20 Child Actresses Who Grew into Babes

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm
By Shane Rivers

With the Harry Potter craze still alive and well, I’m constantly reminded of how many men have been going nuts over the now-grown Emma Watson. Emma, of course, is the young woman who played the role of Hermione Granger in the Potter series, and she did the first film when she was only eleven years of age. But she’s all grown up now, and magazines such as Maxim are starting to take notice. That got me to thinking, so I prepared this list I like to call “20 Child Actresses Who Grew into Babes.”

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Anna Paquin – At only 11-years-old, Paquin won a Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Holly Hunter’s daughter in The Piano. Anna PaquinSix years and a white streak of hair later, she started breaking hearts as Rogue in the X-Men trilogy. Now she’s really come into her own playing the sexy blonde Sookie Stackhouse on HBO’s True Blood series (where she went topless!).

Kirsten Dunst – Her big break came at the age of 12, playing the bloodsucking Claudia opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire. At 18, she wowed viewers as cheerleader Torrance Shipman in Bring It On, and then she really made a name for herself playing Mary Jane Watson is the blockbuster Spider-Man series. If there’s any doubt about her sexiness, just take a look at the upside-down kiss from the first Spidey film.

Natalie Portman – This Israeli-born actress made her screen debut as Mathilda in The Professional, and she’s never looked back. Playing Padme Amidala made her an even bigger name, and she made buzz cuts sexy in 2005’s V for Vendetta. She’s also got brains to go with her beauty, graduating from Harvard with a psychology degree. Look for her first nude scene in the short film Hotel Chevalier, a companion piece to The Darjeeling Limited.

Alyssa Milano – Still remembered for her breakout role on Who’s the Boss?, Milano later tried to shed her good girl image by starring in a string of racy films such as Embrace of the Vampire. She eventually landed the role of Phoebe on Charmed, a show which lasted for eight seasons (alongside fellow babes Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan). Now in her mid-30s, Milano is still a certified babe.

Amanda BynesAmanda Bynes – This future babe started acting at the age of seven, and she was everywhere on Nickelodeon by the mid-90s with projects such as All That, and The Amanda Show. In recent years, she’s transitioned into film work, and she’s continued to mature into one of the most gorgeous 20-somethings in Hollywood. At the risk of sounding like an old pervert (too late), Bynes is one babe that I’ve had my eye on for several years.

Hayden Panettiere – With a last name that drives proofreaders wild, Panettiere has been in the acting business for most of her 19 years. Before getting noticed in Remember the Titans, she had already appeared on both Guiding Light and One Life to Live. But it was her role as cheerleader Claire Bennet on television’s Heroes that really brought her mainstream attention. Her cute-as-a-button face didn’t hurt anything, either.

Christina Applegate – She’s pushing 40, but you might be surprised to know that Applegate got her acting start at only three months of age. Her movie debut came at seven in Jaws of Satan, but she made men everywhere take notice when she took on the role of 80’s goddess Kelly Bundy on TV’s Married…with Children. Applegate has continued to mature like a fine wine, and even a successful fight with breast cancer hasn’t been enough to slow her down.

Lindsay Lohan – Before she was dating ugly lesbian DJs, Lohan was making her acting debut at the age of 11 on Another World. A year later, she made her film debut playing identical twins in a remake of The Parent Trap. Her career has been all over the place since that time, with her party lifestyle well-documented for jealous housewives waiting at the checkout counter. But no matter how nutty her personal life gets, there’s no denying that Lohan has turned into a red-headed knockout.

Nicole Eggert – Prior to blooming into a full-fledged babe, Eggert played the cute kid on Charles in Charge. She later cemented her hottie status with a stint on Baywatch before churning out a number of straight-to-DVD titles.

Keshia Knight Pulliam – Could anybody deny the cuteness of little Rudy on The Cosby Show? Well, Rudy grew up and turned out to be pretty foxy. If you don’t believe me, check out Tyler Perry’s House of Payne over on TBS. You can also catch her playing a hooker named Candi in another Tyler Perry masterpiece (insert sarcasm here), Madea Goes to Jail.

Soleil Moon Frye – I would’ve never in a million years expected Punky Brewster to turn into a babe. She did, however, and I’m so glad I was mistaken. It’s interesting to note that she suffered from gigantomachia as a teenager, which is a condition that causes the breasts to grow extremely large. Much to the disappointment of breast men everywhere, she fixed the problem through cosmetic surgery. Soleil is still smokin’, though.

Jennifer Love Hewitt – Speaking of big breasts, it’s hard to overlook Jennifer Love Hewitt and her eye-popping rack. While she got her start way back on Kids Incorporated, she’s went on to be named 1999’s Sexiest Woman in the World and 2008’s Sexiest Woman on Television. Hewitt is only 30, so we can look forward to more MILF goodness from her for at least a decade (and maybe more with all the advances in plastic surgery).

Michelle Trachtenberg – Her movie debut came at the age of 11 in Harriet the Spy, and you might remember her as Penny in 1998’s awful Inspector Gadget. After playing Dawn Summers on the final three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she demonstrated her soon-to-be hotness in a bikini scene in EuroTrip. Since that time, her beauty has continued to grow, and potential Michelle Trachtenberg stalkers will definitely want to take a look at films such as Black Christmas and 17 Again.

Lacey Chabert – When I used to see pictures of the Party of Five cast, I always remember thinking to myself, “I bet that little kid is going to grow up and be really hot.” I was right. When I saw her as Gretchen Weiners in Mean Girls, I just about fell out of my chair (also check out Black Christmas). Maxim agrees, as they put her on the cover of their January 2007 issue.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen – With her exotic face and killer curves, Tiffani Amber Thiessen never quite gets the recognition she deserves for her stunning beauty. She will, however, forever be known as Kelly Kapowski on TV’s Saved by the Bell (a role she won at the age of 15). She continues to work in film and television, and I would personally recommend the Woody Allen film Hollywood Ending as a prime example of her good looks.

Drew Barrymore – After a childhood career which included a role in E.T. and a cocaine habit, Barrymore bounced back in later years to become a constant force in Hollywood. Her looks seem to change from one movie to the next, but just take a peek at the January 1995 issue of Playboy to see her babeness on display for all the world. David Letterman knows what I’m talking about.

Odette Yustman – She was only five when she got her first role as one of the students in Kindergarten Cop. Odette put together a string of roles on TV and film, and audiences everywhere starting noticing her beauty in the monster flick, Cloverfield. But it was the international movie poster for The Unborn that really sealed the deal, showing off a butt that would make men everywhere weep and gnash their teeth.

Kristen Stewart – Best known as Bella Swan in Twilight, Stewart’s acting career began at the tender age of eight after an agent saw her perform in the school Christmas play. She’s only 19 as of this writing, so we can expect bigger and better things in the future from this half-Australian babe.

Scarlett Johansson – You’d be hard-pressed to find a male that hasn’t fallen under the spell of Scarlett Johansson. From her pouty lips to her ample bosom, Johansson’s beauty has catapulted her to stardom in numerous high-profile films. But if you go back and watch the much-maligned movie North, you’ll see a 10-year-old Scarlett making her screen debut. At least that film was good for something.

Eliza Dushku – You may remember Eliza Dushku as Schwarzenegger’s rebellious teen daughter in True Lies, but she’d later become well-known as a badass vampire slayer named Faith. Add full-time gigs on Dollhouse and Tru Calling, and you’ve got a child-actress-turned-babe with one busy career. And be sure to watch her take on cannibal hillbillies in the film Wrong Turn (while wearing the requisite white tank top).