Kramer Vs. Kramer
In a record that still stands today, Justin Henry was nominated at all of 8 years old for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his turn as little Billy, a child caught in the midst of his parents' bitter divorce, in the 1979 flick. With small parts on ER, Brothers & Sisters and indie films, he's struggled since. In 1998 he cofounded the Slam Dunk Film Festival, and today works as a digital media professional.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
At only 6 years old when she shot the film, Wallis is the youngest Best Actress nominee ever. Now 9, she beat out some 4,000 would-be starlets for the role of Hushpuppy—a kid surviving in the backwaters of the Louisiana bayou with her dying father—by impressing the film's director, Benh Zeitlin, with her ability to burp on command. Next up for the young Oscar nominee is 12 Years a Slave with Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender.
The Goodbye Girl
These days, writer Cummings is best known for her memoirs Notes from the Underwire (about child stardom) and The Year of Living Dangerously (about homeschooling), but she also received an Oscar nod at age 10 for her turn as Lucy McFadden in 1977. Post Goodbye, Cummings starred on the '70s TV hit Family, and did episodes of Remington Steele, The Love Boat and Blossom before retiring from acting.
In 1973, 10-year-old O'Neal won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress—becoming the youngest winner in Oscar's long history—for playing orphan Addie. The film paired her with real-life dad Ryan O'Neal. Post-Oscar, O'Neal made intermittent film appearances, including The Bad News Bears, Little Darlings and The Runaways, and competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2008 before signing on for the reality show Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals. The show documented her process of mending her relationship with her father—one she called abusive and troubled in her memoirs, A Paper Life and Found: A Daughter's Journey Home.
Little Miss Sunshine
These days, Abigail Breslin, 16, has established herself as one of Hollywood's go-to girls for teen roles in films like My Sister's Keeper, Zombieland and the upcoming big screen adaptation of August: Osage County, which pairs her with an all-star cast including Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. Breslin broke out at age 10, earning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod for her turn as a pre-teen wannabe pageant queen in the quirky indie film.
To Kill a Mockingbird
The 1962 adaptation of the beloved Harper Lee novel scored eight Oscar nominations and took home three trophies, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck. Among the nods was one for Best Supporting Actress for Mary Badham, 10, who played the story's precocious narrator, Scout. She lost to Patty Duke, 16, who won for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Badham had no prior acting experience before Mockingbird and retired soon after, despite a few other on-screen appearances, including The Twilight Zone. Now an art restorer, she still travels around the world sharing her Mockingbird experience.
You know her as sassy Southern belle Sookie Stackhouse of True Blood, but Paquin earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar at all of 11 for her turn as Flora McGrath in the 1993 film, making her the second-youngest Oscar winner in the Academy Awards' history, after O'Neal. Post-Oscar and Pre-Sookie, she starred in a diverse range of films, from the X-Men franchise to Almost Famous to Scream 4.
The Sixth Sense
At all of 11, Osment earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role as a kid who sees dead people in M. Night Shyamalan's eerie flick. The actor, now 24, starred in movies like Pay It Forward and Steven Spielberg's A.I. before turning his focus to school. After a 2008 Broadway run, he returned to Hollywood with a role on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and the upcoming Wake the Dead.
The Bad Seed
These days, creepy kids are a horror staple. But way back in 1956, this 10-year-old set the standard with her Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her turn as sociopathic serial killer Rhoda. She went on to star in teen flicks before turning to TV, making her mark in films like Dallas, Murder She Wrote and The Sopranos. She's still acting, with roles in Frost/Nixon and the 2009 Lifetime movie Citizen Jane.
In 2003, the 13-year-old was nominated for Best Actress for her turn as Maori chief-in-training Pai in her big screen debut. Post-Oscar nod, Castle-Hughes played Queen Apailana in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Mary in The Nativity Story, but her acting career was sidelined in 2007, when, at age 17, she had a child. Now 22, Castle-Hughes has returned to acting, with several productions out of her native New Zealand lined up.
In 2007, at age 13, the Irish actress received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her role as the meddling Briony Tallis in Atonement, which set a precedent for stellar turns in films like City of Ember, The Lovely Bones and 2011's action-thriller Hanna, which reunited her with Atonement director Joe Wright. Next up for the now-18-year-old is the title character, Melanie Stryder, in the 2013 adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's adult novel The Host.
Foster's Oscar-nominated turn as an underage prostitute in 1976's Taxi Driver—at all of 14—set the precedent for scene-stealing in her future endeavors, including two wins for best actress for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs, and another nod for Nell. While she wasn't nominated this year for her turn in Carnage, she did pick up the Cecille B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.
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