Some child stars continue their high-wattage trajectory straight into adulthood, such as Ron Howard or Jodie Foster. For others, the road to success winds just a bit longer. With Alisan Porter winning The Voice US, 25 years after her first taste of international fame as the pint-sized moppet of Curly Sue, here's a look at a few celebrities who have grown into their careers.
On May 24, a beaming Alisan Porter gleefully told reporters, "I have retired Curly Sue. She is dead! I am now the girl who won The Voice."
Porter, 34, best known for playing a spunky orphan in the John Hughes comedy Curly Sue in 1991, became the first singer from a female coach (Christina Aguilera) to take the top honour on the US edition of The Voice, now in its tenth season.
"It's so cool that's how my career started and I'm honoured to have had a great career when I was young," she told WHO. "It's been years, decades since that was over and since I've been wanting this."
Perhaps Christina Aguilera was the best coach for Alisan Porter on The Voice — after all, Aguilera made an impression 23 years ago when she was in The Mickey Mouse Club along with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling.
Since that time, Aguilera has won five Grammy Awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. In addition to being a coach on the US edition of The Voice, Aguilera, 35, is the mum of two children.
Since she was a toddler, Jodie Foster has been acting on screens big and small, first on '60s sitcoms such as Mayberry R.F.D. and then breaking into films with Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver in 1976, for which her portrayal of a teen prostitute landed her an Oscar nomination.
After graduating from Yale University with a literature degree in 1985, Foster continued her stellar career with two best actress Academy Award wins for 1988's The Accused and 1991's The Silence of the Lambs.
As a director, Foster, 53, is on her fourth big film, the thriller Money Monster starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, which opens in Australia on June 2. "The interesting thing is that Jodie and I are roughly the same age," Clooney tells WHO, "and I've been doing this for 30 years or something. But Jodie, compared to you [Julia and I] are the young ones in the game. You've been doing it since you were…"
"Since I was 3," Foster says.
First seen on US screens spruiking breakfast cereals, Joseph Gordon-Levitt quickly emerged as an actor to watch in made-for-TV movies and films such as A River Runs Through It and Angels in the Outfield.
In 1996, he hit his comedic stride as alien Tommy Solomon on the sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun and became a teen idol, much to his chagrin. "Even back then, I really didn't like the whole idolatry that goes on with actors and found the celebrity thing distasteful," Gordon-Levitt told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2007. "I still do."
Now Gordon-Levitt, 35, has added directing and producing to his CV, as well as fatherhood — he and wife Tasha McCauley have a son, born in August 2015.
Before he became the body-morphing, accent changing, Oscar-winning actor of today, Christian Bale made commercials and tread the boards as a child star until Steven Spielberg cast him at the age of 13 for the 1987 war film Empire of the Sun.
After that, the teen phenom went the musical route, dancing his way through Newsies and Swing Kids before unnerving audiences and thrilling critics with his embodiment of serial killer Patrick Bateman in 1999's American Psycho.
In 2004, the Welsh actor lost 27kg for his role in the drama The Machinist, only to then gain 45kg in six months to do his next part — rebooting the Batman franchise in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.
Bale, 42, has been married to Sibi Blazic for 16 years; they have two children.
The Tanner Children From Full House
When U.S. sitcom Full House premiered in 1987, Candace Cameron Bure played 10-year-old D.J., Jodie Sweetin played 5-year-old Stephanie, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen alternated as 10-month-old Michelle, the three daughters of widower Danny Tanner, played by Bob Saget, and raised by Tanner and his brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and buddy Joey (Dave Coulier).
After the show's 8-season run, Cameron Bure, now 40, continued to act in films and TV and has become a best-selling author. In 1996, she married NHL professional hockey player Valeri Bure and have three children together.
While Cameron Bure has written and spoken about her battle with bulemia as a young adult, Jodie Sweetin has been forthcoming about her recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Thrice married with two children, Sweetin, 34, is now engaged to producer Justin Hodak, 39, a fellow recovering addict and a single dad. "Every day, we're choosing to be together, choosing to build a life together," Sweetin told Us Weekly.
Cameron Bure and Sweetin have both competed on the US Dancing with the Stars and both now star in Fuller House, the Netflix reprise of their original star-making series.
As for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the sisters both played toddler Michelle due to US labour laws but became popular as twins outside of the show. They parlayed that fame into a franchise, becoming a sister-act in movies such as It Takes Two, sitcom Two of a Kind, and a company called Dualstar, which oversaw merchandising, too. The Olsens then shifted to fashion, becoming top designers and style gurus. Now 29, Mary-Kate is married to Olivier Sarkozy while in 2014, Ashley had been linked to director Bennett Miller.