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Ten worst child actor performances ever

Ten worst child actor performances ever

The old Hollywood adage says to never work with animals or children, but why was there never a rule laid down about children who can't act? It's a given that there are plenty of stories out there that require the services of children, but when so many child actors' performances are tantamount to having teeth pulled without anaesthetic, you wonder why the studios didn't just exclusively employ the services of those who could act, regardless of the role (Haley Joel Osment in The Michael Jackson Story, for example, would be a winner).

So, if you've been looking for a good teeth-gnashing for some time, sit back and prepare yourself for an avalanche of the worst child actor performances of all time. Think of it as guaranteed birth control.


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10. Fletcher O'Leary on Neighbours



For a show with a long, storied history of bad child acting, little Mickey has done quite an impressive job to come in as the worst. His blank-eyed, upward-inflected brand of acting belongs in a 1980s school video about puberty in which he gets to ask lots of questions about why he keeps having funny dreams and waking up with wet sheets.

9. Robin Weisman in Three Men & A Little Lady

Little Robin didn't go on to do much in Hollywood after this 1990 franchise effort. Can you tell why?

8. Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone

Possibly an unpopular choice given Home Alone's status as "birthday party movie" of choice for Australians of a certain age, but watch it again: Culkin is as wooden as one of the planks he KOs Pesci and Stern with.

7. Michael Stephenson in Troll 2

Here's young Michael attempting not to fall asleep while his cinematic father gives him a good talking to in Troll 2. Although, we can't let Michael take all the blame - the movie is one of the worst ever made, after all.

6. every single child in Mac And Me

Not only is Mac & Me's cavalcade of product placement one of the most odious crimes ever committed in the name of children's movies, it also boasts a stellar line-up of some of the crappest child actors (none of whose names even bear Googling) ever captured on film.

5. Heather O'Rourke Poltergeist I, II & III

A curious case of a child actor whose talent diminished with age. O'Rourke (who incidentally fell afoul of the rumoured "Poltergeist curse" when she died in 1988 aged 13) was super creepy when in the first film she announces "They're here...", less so in this hilariously naff scene from the third offering. "Robbie, Robbie, the tree's eating Robbie!!"

4. Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone

It's a source of ongoing amazement to me that the child actor they chose to portray the titular character in the Harry Potter movies would be the least engaging member of the entire cast. He's at his worst when he smiles.

3. Michael Oliver in Problem Child

The main "problem" with this kids' spin on the 'lovable rogue' genre is that you spend the entire film wanting to punch him in the face.

2. Harvey Stephens in The Omen (1976)

For a child meant to be the son of Satan, you'd think Damien Thorn might actually be able to muster up more than the dead-eyed (and not in a scary way) stares that young Stephens seemed to think would do the trick. Where's a stage mother when you need one?

1. Jake Lloyd in Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

It wasn't enough that George Lucas decided to molest our childhood memories by rebooting the Star Wars franchise in such godawful fashion; no, he had to employ the services of the least charismatic, most irritating child "actor" in history. About five minutes of Lloyd's squawking and you were praying for him to lose his extremities in an epic battle to the near-death. Which unfortunately ended up happening to Hayden Christensen, instead. Ripped. Off.

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12 comments so far..

  • Nick's avatar
    Commenter
    Nick
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 10:13 AM
    "Walker told me I have aids." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGOI8-X_JWg
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  • Kinna's avatar
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    Kinna
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 10:30 AM
    play him off keyboard cat! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ5w4MkFofc
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  • bacon's avatar
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    bacon
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 11:34 AM
    hahaha... Micky from Neighbors sucks! Just last night we were deciding weather to change the channel due to his far from logie winning performance! go back to school kid!
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  • catchyleo's avatar
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    catchyleo
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 11:48 AM
    Honorable mention to Joseph & Christian Cousins who played the husky voiced Dominic in Kindergarten Cop. El blando. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6qoFUhI9DY
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  • Matador's avatar
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    Matador
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 12:21 PM
    Oh yes Catchyleo! "I gotta get the lasers"
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  • Kinna's avatar
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    Kinna
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 1:23 PM
    that kid was messed up... in the head
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  • Hotef's avatar
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    Hotef
    Date and time
    Tuesday 30 Jun 2009 - 2:15 PM
    I'm so glad Problem Child kid is on here. He was even more annoying than the guy who voiced Iago in Aladdin - y'all know who I mean. I hate that kid... Go easy on Culkin - loved his Uncle Buck rapid fire Q & A with John Candy... As for Kindergarten Cop, all I have to say is... "DUH-MUH-NIK!!!"
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  • MrOtto's avatar
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    MrOtto
    Date and time
    Wednesday 01 Jul 2009 - 1:04 AM
    Honorable mention to The Olsen twins in Full House.
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  • catchyleo's avatar
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    catchyleo
    Date and time
    Wednesday 01 Jul 2009 - 9:36 AM
    Hotef, right on with the props to Maccy C in Uncle Bock. That was 2 minutes of celluloid GOLD! "What's your record for consecutive questions asked?" "38."
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  • bacon's avatar
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    bacon
    Date and time
    Wednesday 01 Jul 2009 - 11:08 AM
    hey hey did anyone forget that little Kiwi kid in one of the newer starwars movies?
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