Talk:Child actor

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List of young actors[edit]

My Userpage has a list of several young actors that need to be listed here (don't confuse them with the other kids). Also there's a List of teen idols around. -- [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 20:06, Oct 27, 2004 (UTC)

moved list[edit]

I hate lists in the middle of articles. It just makes people add to the list and the article suffers, as it is easier to add a name than a meaningful sentence.

Those interested can add names to the List of child actors and might also consider adding child actor articles to category:child actors.

Quill 11:33, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Becoming a child actor?[edit]

How does one become a child actor? Obviously it's too late for me, but I am interested in a general sense. Can you send resumes to a movie studio, or do you just have to look cute enough so they'll spot you first? JIP | Talk 17:17, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Major edit[edit]

I have rewritten the article on Child Actors. The original was decidedly slanted by portraying a preponderance of problems involved with child actors, where the verifiable reality is that child actors and non-actors experience the same rate of success for making a successful transition to adulthood. Child actors are not, in actuality, primed for adult failure.


I rewrote the article to begin with, to correct the misreading I had noticed in an original version, which was highly biased in favor of the industry. The original writers read the article to state "child actors have no greater incidence of problems than the rest of the population," where the very article they cited specifically listed several problems that child actors do in fact have, and any contrary interpretation could only base itself on some vapid "wellbeing assessment scale," or some such thing.


I myself had to work rather extensively in this industry as a child, and since I have gained some level of education, I feel it is my responsibility to respond to these individuals who appear highly motivated to justify the practices in this industry. Throughout history, precedents have existed for acting being a profession not suitable for certain persons. Justinian's marriage to Theodora was a scandal because she was an "actress." In addition, Shakespeare's plays would not use females, because acting was not considered a respectable profession. Why do we have these consistent "issues" with the unsuitability of these professions for people deemed worthy of protection? Those of us who did work in this profession can "feel" the reason why. To me, it really did feel like I was being exploited, and that feeling "stuck." Just because you can point to a few people who's lives were not utterly devastated by their experience does not make the profession suitable for everyone. The reasoning you use is highly fallacious for that reason. Additionally, the only factor determining whether children work in this profession is the motivation of the caretakers, not their own personal suitability. 72.173.99.16 13:34, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Plus, don't ever forget how far Hollywood scumbags will go to rationalize the moral high ground, despite the trail of devastation they leave in their wake.


I have made the following changes: 1) I have removed the reference to "high rates of substance abuse" because a citation was needed. 2) I have removed the reference to "Children as Chattels" as this was an editorial written about specific child actors, selectively those with problems. It could not be considered an objective source of information on the same level as a psychological study performed according to accepted methodology. 3) I have also removed the reference to child actors limiting themselves to adult friends, as this is both imprecise ("limited" how far?) and is not necessarily considered a problem. Indeed some people question the wisdom of the current American educational model, for example, which is to put 30 children, all aged 14, into a single 8th grade classroom under the supervision of one teacher and (possibly) one teacher's aide. A writer above makes the point that "Hollywood scumbags ... rationalize the moral high ground." I would definitely agree that this is the case in many instances and it results from caring more about money and career than about people. The best remedy for this is for those who care about the child actor the most, their parents, to gain a level head about the business and be willing to decline "opportunities" if they are in fact harmful to the child. To paraphrase a saying of Jesus, "What does it profit a man [a child actor], to gain the whole world [to gain money and fame as a child actor] if he loses his own soul?" 65.244.245.5 20:01, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

What about the rest of the world?[edit]

This article fails to notice that the world outside of North America even exists. Rhollenton 17:15, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree to this comment. Therefore I added the fact-template [citation needed] and added the words "In some countries" to the sentence about the prohibiting rules. I have no knowledge about the existence of these rules, even for North America. There is lots of child nudity (Pretty Baby), morally compromising situations (Taxi Driver) and engaging in overt sexual acts (Kids) in movies from this country. Ik.pas.aan 22:51, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
In some countries? Which are those countries? Are the rules the same for all of them? Are child actors allowed to do stunts in some of those countries and no sex scenes; and in others it's vice versa? Which countries are those that have no rules for child actors and allow all of this?
Can you see where I'm going with this? The phrase in some countries is terribly broad and practically meaningless. Somebody should either remove it or provide examples.TomorrowTime 16:06, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
As far as most Americans are concerned, there is no rest of the world. Nor apparently are there any actors outside American movies.

Rules[edit]

Another rule, child actors are not allowed to swear, use drugs, alcohol, or even smoke, or even refer to any of those, plus they're not allowed to fight anyone, such as violent movies including Street Fighter which has ONLY adult actors/actresses. --PJ Pete

I find this hard to believe, as TV and film is littered with examples of profanity from child actors for one. It's usually taken as fact that any responsible producer would not give the child actor real drugs, alcohol or cigarettes (preferring instead to use items that look authentic but the contents are non-existent or substitutes), and as for violence - depends entirely on the production and nature of the violence - a world of difference between 3 Ninjas and Street Fighter. NKTP 09:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

inappropriate behavior section[edit]

This section suffers from several NPOV issues such as:

  • What constitutes "inappropriate behavior" is not defined, only a vague reference to Disney taking steps to prohibit child actors from exposure to it. What inappropriate behavior do activists consider a danger to child actors? What if, any of those concerns has have film makers taken issue with?
  • Since the section mentions that some U.S. films have in the past featured nudity involving minors, their should some discussion of the fact that non-sexual underage nudity is legal under U.S. federal law and the laws of many western European countries. Under U.S. federal law the context of the nudity is important to determining the legality of the child nudity. Mere nudity not involving lascivious exhibition of the genitals is not illegal under U.S. federal law.
  • Generally, in the U.S., if a film involves legal child nudity, the studio will still be required to get parental consent for the scene. This fact should be added also.
  • While some countries do indeed ban even non-sexual child nudity in TV, film, and stage, I fail to see how that is directly relevant to what movies studios do in the U.S. with regard to underage nudity provided they comply with U.S. law.
  • Child nudity in film has been controversial in the past such a Brooke Shield's nude scenes in the film Pretty Baby and thus it is valid to point this out but we must be clear not everyone views such nudity as wrong, particularly if it is non-sexual and viewed as being artistically relevant.

--Cab88 14:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

removal of inappropriate behavior section[edit]

I've decided to remove the following text for NPOV and accuracy issues which I previously mentioned on this talk page. If someone feels a section on "inappropriate behavior " among child actors is needed then please provide sources and make sure that the concept is defined in the section.

In the United States, despite the ban of nudity involving juvenile performers that exists in other countries, child actresses have appeared nude in several motion pictures. One example is when Olivia Hussey filmed a sex scene with Leonard Whiting in Romeo and Juliet. She was 15 at the time, and she showed her breasts for a split second in that scene. Another example is when Brooke Shields (or a body double of comparable age) appeared nude in Pretty Baby (1978), a film in which the 12-year-old actress plays a prostitute over whom a much older photographer becomes obsessed. Two years later, Shields appeared partially nude alongside child actor Christopher Atkins, with whom, as a castaway from a shipwreck, she set up housekeeping, in Blue Lagoon (1980). A then-barely 17-year-old Thora Birch showed her breasts in the film American Beauty (1999), under the aegis of her parents and legal representatives ensuring that the particular scene had artistic integrity.

--Cab88 11:54, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Effects of Working on Child Actors[edit]

Seems like there should be some indication in the article that the high pressure work environment into which a child actor is thrust is not conducive to healthy progression through the stages of social development in an ordinary child. The child is required, under penalty of corporal punishment perhaps, to work on command. That work involves contracts which the parents, not the actor, sign. The child must attend promotional events, often without compensation. In America, the child actor is treated as property with no bargaining power. The assumption is the child is better off working than not working and that a replacement actor can be had with little difficulty. Child actors exist because there are parents, especially mothers, who are often failed show business personalities who vicariously live out their fantasies through their children. The inherently exploitative nature of the process is of much less concern to the business types who arrange the work and the schedules than making money. They maximize the output while minimizing the cost. A child who works all the time does not properly socialize with otherwise similarly situated youths. A child who works all the time may well not be getting the quality education he otherwise would have been afforded and thus is less than optimally prepared for life after show business. A child who becomes famous while working encounters odd reactions when placed in otherwise normal circumstances such as being surrounded by throngs of curious children and adults, and being bullied or exploited by those who motivation is not friendship, but the cachet of association with the rich (supposedly) and famous. A child actor who has spent his developmental years constantly working becomes disoriented when the work stops. The endless accolades are replaced with silence and rejection. --72.75.86.145 (talk) 04:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

This page is unavoidably not NPOV, and yet is more meaningful than the article. Factual notations of the rules effecting child actors give quite the wrong impression, as they only suggest ways that the child is protected from adult exploitation (by all the adults.) The fact is that the child's development will stop at the point of success. Life will then proceed to more success or failure on the same terms, both of which can be frightening, without external outside-world cues leading to further development towards adult maturity. None of this can be shown in the article however. As Dragnet's Friday, and this encyclopedia, say, "Just the facts ..." (music up). JohnClarknew (talk) 18:44, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:TheTwoWhoStoleTheMoon.jpg[edit]

The image Image:TheTwoWhoStoleTheMoon.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --11:22, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Unbalanced[edit]

This article seems to be focused entirely on the negative aspects of child acting (some might even call it a stereotype, focusing on the perceived high rate of dysfunctionality.) No mention is made of former CA's who left the business without becoming notable for having their lives screwed up (e.g. Shirley Temple Black), or continued successful Hollywood careers as not only actors, but even directors or producers in some cases (Ron Howard, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Roddy McDowell, ... etc.) (Of course, in the middle, you also have some who stayed in the business, but were arguably screwed up (e.g. Judy Garland.)) The article needs a section on successful FCA's. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:58, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Aha! I see an attempt at balance is hidden in the "Effects" subsection. But I don't think this is logically placed, and the positive content contradicts the title. The article needs some structural improvement, and a bit of copyedit in this part. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:14, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I actually agree. The "Effects" section really isn't encyclopedic at all and should honestly be removed, or at least needs an entire re-write with any "effects" described by (and reliably sourced from) notable experts. Not simply selectively listing mini-bios of one or two editors' favorite (or not-so-favorite) former child stars. There is also now a section entitled "Post-success troubles" (I'm not sure if it existed when the editor above posted here over a year ago). It's appears to be little more than additional filmographies, gossip and/or trivia regarding a handful of former child stars from the 1980s and 1990s and should also be removed. If no discussion is generated here within the next few weeks, I'll be removing the section(s) to comply with Wikipedia's basic guidelines. --- Crakkerjakk (talk) 12:29, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

When is an actor a child?[edit]

No defenition of child actor; reference to "teenage actor" suggests it is less than 13 (?) but then a reference to restrictions being dropped at age 18 - is a teenage actor a child actor? Hugo999 (talk) 02:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

I have same question. Is someone starting in acting business at age 16 a "child actor". specifically looking at Ezra Miller's categories. It appears from his article that he was age 15 or 16 during his first film role. Should he be categorized in Category:Child actors?--96.232.126.27 (talk) 05:24, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Are some of the sources in the Pedophilia section reputable?[edit]

The first two references in the Pedophilia section quote something called the Vigilant Citizen, and one quote from that website is included in the article , which reads "While Feldman does not directly mention Monarch mind control (which is used on Hollywood child stars and is characterized by systematic sexual abuse), he describes a reality that is very similar to it." This makes it sound like "Monarch mind control" is a generally accepted practice, when in reality it is a fringe conspiracy theory not supported by mainstream research. Is this possibly a violation of WP:V? MatthewZimmerman (talk) 20:37, 22 August 2013 (UTC)