Here's What 40 Celebrities Looked Like as Teenagers

Here's What 40 Celebrities Looked Like as Teenagers
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Many of your favorite celebrities have been cruising down red carpets since their high school years—and we have the photos to prove it. And while a few of them have spent their entire lives in the spotlight, thanks to their famous families, others were hustling through TV cameos, theater gigs, and supporting roles to bolster their Hollywood resumes at a young age.

Here are 40 photos of celebrities as teens, from a young Leonardo DiCaprio participating in a charity basketball event to Neil Patrick Harris rocking a bolo tie on the red carpet. (Hey, it was the '80s!)

Ryan Gosling at 13

Gosling got his start on Disney with a two-year stint on the All-New Mickey Mouse Club. Pictured here in 1993, the child star made pretty famous friends on set. His fellow Mouseketeers included Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Keri Russell.

a kid looking at the camera

Drew Barrymore at 15

Barrymore looks effortlessly cool at the 1990 premiere of Longtime Companion in California. That same year, the actress released her memoir, Little Girl Lost, in which she wrote about her highly publicized addiction issues and rehab stints.

century city premiere of 'longtime companion'
Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

Jack Black at 14

Black, who excelled in drama classes as a kid, cut his teeth in the acting world early with commercial work. Seen here in 1983, he had landed a gig promoting the Activision video game Pitfall!

a person wearing a hat

Pamela Anderson at 16

Anderson smiles for a high school yearbook photo in 1984. The Canadian native played volleyball and worked as a fitness instructor before being discovered at a football game when she was 22.

pamela anderson back row far left age 16 poses for her 1984 high school yearbook phot
getty images - Getty Images

Kenan Thompson at 19

Thompson waves to the crowd during an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 1997. After his stint on Nickelodeon's All That, Thompson and his frequent comedic collaborator, Kel Mitchell, landed their own Nickelodeon show in 1996.

the tonight show with jay leno season 6
NBC - Getty Images

Dakota Johnson at 14

Johnson smiles at the 2003 premiere of The Cheetah Girls in New York. As the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, she was no stranger to the spotlight—in 1999, she starred alongside her mother in the movie Crazy In Alabama.

new york premiere of disney's the cheetah girls
Theo Wargo - Getty Images

Joseph Gordon-Levitt at 16

Here, the actor attends the 1997 SAG Awards. By then, the actor was already well-known for his work in films like 1992's A River Runs Through It and 1994's Angels In The Outfield.

ron galella archive file photos 2010
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Jamie Lee Curtis at 17

Curtis accompanies her parents to a tribute to Orson Welles held in Los Angeles in 1975. She made her acting debut in 1977 with TV guest spots before rising to prominence in 1978's Halloween.

jamie lee curtis
Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Images

Jason Bateman at 14

Bateman slings his sweater over his shoulder at the first annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Beverly Hills in 1985. He was coming off of the cancellation of his show It's Your Move, his first time helming a series after nabbing supporting roles in shows like Little House on the Prairie and Silver Spoons in the early 1980s.

st patrick's day with jason bateman
Darlene Hammond - Getty Images

Jodie Foster at 13

By 1976, Foster was already a Hollywood staple: She had three films premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where this portrait was shot.

actress jodie foster
Bettmann - Getty Images

Kieran Culkin at 15

Decades before his award-winning stint on Succession, Culkin was already oozing charisma at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. That year, the actor helmed the film The Mighty, in addition to scoring roles in Oscar-nominated fare, including The Cider House Blues and Music of the Heart.

cannes 1998
Steve Granitz - Getty Images

Natalie Portman at 14

Portman beams at the 1995 New York premiere of Mighty Aphrodite. Four years later, she would enroll in Harvard University, balancing acting and schoolwork.

ron galella archive file photos 2009
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio at 18

A year after making his film debut in 1991's Critters 3, DiCaprio balled out at a 1992 MTV celebrity basketball tournament. That same year, he was cast by Robert De Niro in This Boy's Life.

mtv rock n' jock b ball pediatric aids foundation
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Helena Bonham-Carter at 18

As a teen, pictured here in 1984, Bonham-Carter acted in commercials and TV gigs before her big break in 1985's A Room With A View. She also starred in Lady Jane, a period piece that led her to believe she was typecast in pre-20th century roles.

helena bonham carter
Mike Moore - Getty Images

LeBron James at 17

By this point, James was already a shoo-in for the NBA. During his final season at St. Vincent High School in 2003, he brought home a third-straight state title, but was at the center of several eligibility controversies.

st vincent high school lebron james against rj reynolds high school at the greensboro coliseum in greensboro, nc on jan 15, 2003
Sporting News Archive - Getty Images

Anna Paquin at 14

Paquin poses at the 1996 premiere of her movie Jane Eyre. By then, Paquin had already won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Piano, her first professional acting gig.

jane eyre new york city premiere
Ron Galella - Getty Images

Austin Butler at 17

Butler attends the 2008 premiere of the Nickelodeon movie Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh. The actor spent his early career working on shows for kids, before switching to teen fare, like the Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries. It would be another 14 years before you'd see him take his turn as Elvis on the big screen.

merry christmas, drake josh world premiere arrivals
Dr. Billy Ingram - Getty Images

Kristen Stewart at 14

Stewart dons a Dunkin' Donuts T-shirt at a 2004 Sundance Film Festival event in Park City, Utah. The teen had delivered an acclaimed performance in the movie Speak and headlined the children's action-comedy Catch That Kid.

2004 park city diesel house
L. Busacca - Getty Images

Zoë Kravitz at 14

Kravitz wears a Paul McCartney T-shirt to a 2004 party celebrating the Seinfeld DVD release. A few years later, she would make her acting debut in 2007's No Reservations after spending her childhood in the spotlight with her famous parents, Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet.

seinfeld first 3 seasons released on dvd
Carley Margolis - Getty Images

Elvis Presley at 18

1953 was a life-changing year for Presley. In August, he recorded two songs at Memphis Recording Service—as a birthday gift for his mother, as the story goes—helmed by Sam Phillips, who went on to produce dozens of the King's tracks.

elvis presley
RB - Getty Images

Brooke Shields at 17

By 1982, Shields was one of the world's most in-demand models. In the early 1980s, she starred in two films—The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love—that came under fire for sexually graphic scenes. In 1983, she took a break from acting and enrolled in Princeton University.

brooke shields attends event
Sonia Moskowitz - Getty Images

Neil Patrick Harris at 16

Harris wears a very-'80s bolo tie to the 1989 Great American Road Rally benefit in Hollywood. The actor's show, Doogie Howser, M.D., premiered early that year and would run for four seasons.

great american road rally benefit
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor at 16

Taylor is all smiles after a bird perched on her head during a 1948 photo shoot in London's Trafalgar Square. The actress signed her first MGM contract in 1941, but it wasn't renewed. By 1944, Taylor was cast in the lead role in National Velvet, which kickstarted her career.

star perch
Chris Ware - Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow at 19

Paltrow smiles next to her mother, actress Blythe Danner, in 1991. That year, she acted alongside John Travolta in the musical romance Shout and played young Wendy Darling in Hook.

gwyneth paltrow poses with her family
Barry King - Getty Images

Christian Bale at 13

At this age, Bale beat out thousands of child actors to star in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. Here he is at the film's 1987 premiere.

empire of the sun westwood premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Demi Moore at 19

Moore, pictured here in a 1981 General Hospital promotional photo, began acting that same year. Moore was actually her married last name: The actress wed singer Freddy Moore earlier that year and continued to use his name as her stage name after they divorced in 1984.

abc's general hospital file photos
Erik Hein - Getty Images

Will Smith at 19

Smith and Jeff Townes, who performed together as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, pose for a portrait in 1989. The duo released five albums together.

dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince portrait shoot
Al Pereira - Getty Images

Scarlett Johansson at 16

Johansson attends the 2001 premiere of her movie Ghost World at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. The actress had made her film debut years earlier, at age 9, in the comedy North and had also already racked up critical acclaim for her performance in 1998's The Horse Whisperer.

celebs attend screening of ghost world at film fest
Sean Gallup - Getty Images

Janet Jackson at 18

Jackson, seen here filming Fame in New York City in 1984, had spent much of her childhood touring with her siblings as part of The Jacksons (formerly The Jackson 5). Not only had she released her debut album by this time, but she had also earned roles in Good Times and Diff'rent Strokes, two of the most popular sitcoms of the era.

janet jackson on the set of fame filming in nyc's south street seaport july 1984
Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin at 18

Culkin attends the 1998 New York premiere of the movie Gia. The child actor was best known for his roles in the Richie Rich and Home Alone franchises, while his late teens were dominated by controversial headlines.

screening party for gia
Ron Galella - Getty Images

Julie Andrews at 16

Andrews poses during a 1951 studio photo shoot. The actress got her start performing on Britain's West End at age 12. While she continued to work in theater, she also accepted a role in the show Educating Archie in 1950.

julie andrews
NBC - Getty Images

Stella McCartney at 16

McCartney bucked her family's musical tradition—her father is Beatles superstar Paul McCartney—to pursue fashion design. Pictured here in 1987 with Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, she had already become a staple at fashion shows.

1987 fallwinter fashion shows
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff - Getty Images

Rashida Jones at 16

Jones attends the 1992 world premiere of The Bodyguard with her father, legendary record producer Quincy Jones. Although she participated in high school theater, Jones didn't make her acting debut until after she graduated from Harvard University in 1997.

world premiere of the bodyguard
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Ethan Hawke at 19

Hawke sports a cap and blazer at a 1989 New York film premiere he attended with his Dead Poets Society castmates. The film is considered to be Hawke's breakthrough role.

blaze new york premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Kate Moss at 17

Moss poses next to her mother backstage in London in 1991. She began modeling at age 14, after she was discovered at a New York airport while traveling back to England from a vacation in the Bahamas.

moss, moss and day
Glyn Howells - Getty Images

Kirsten Dunst at 17

Dunst attends the 1997 Environmental Media Awards held at the Will Rogers State Historic Park in California. The teen actress had already delivered lauded performances in Little Women and Interview With the Vampire, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

seventh annual environmental media awards
Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Ron Howard at 17

Although Howard is now best known for his directing career, he was first a child actor in the 1960s, with roles on The Andy Griffith Show and The Twilight Zone. Pictured here in 1971, in a promotional still for The Smith Family, Howard would soon become a household name following his stint on Happy Days—before turning to working behind the camera.

ron howard promotional photo for 'the smith family'
ABC Photo Archives - Getty Images

Angelina Jolie at 19

In 1994, Jolie attends the 25th anniversary celebration of Midnight Cowboy with her father Jon Voight, who starred in the film. One year later, Jolie would headline her first feature film, Hackers.

25th anniversary of midnite cowboy
Ron Galella - Getty Images

Brie Larson at 15

Larson attends the 2004 Teen Choice Awards in California. Nearly a decade before, at just six years old, she had become the youngest person admitted to the training program at the American Conservatory Theater.

2004 teen choice awards arrivals
Vince Bucci - Getty Images

Zendaya at 16

Zendaya arrives at the 2012 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party, held in Beverly Hills. By then, the actress was a Disney Channel staple: She had starred in Shake It Up, alongside Bella Thorne, and filmed her first movie role in the made-for-TV movie Frenemies. Seven years later, Euphoria would premiere.

teen vogue's 10th anniversary annual young hollywood party
Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

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