Listmania! TV’s Ten Most Memorable Child Actors | Teeny Manolo

Listmania! TV’s Ten Most Memorable Child Actors

By Glinda

The criteria? Simple.

They had to be on television and they had to be under 18 at the beginning of the series. Much to my dismay, this kicked Sally Field as Gidget right out of the running.

Punky Brewster

Soleil Moon Frye- Punky Brewster

People either loved her or hated her, but either way she managed to etch herself into the American consciousness.

Doogie Howser

Neil Patrick Harris- Dougie Howser, M.D.

A doctor who is going through puberty equals hit show. Why exactly, I’m not sure.  But it did.

Frankie Muniz

Frankie Muniz- Malcolm in the Middle

The brilliant, beleaguered Malcom played the quintessential middle child in a hilariously dysfunctional family. 

Fred Savage

Fred Savage- The Wonder Years

If you didn’t root for him to get together with Winnie, then you simply have no soul.

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Bonaduce- The Partridge Family

Even though nobody had posters up in their rooms of Danny, we all remember him better than that Cassidy guy.

To see who rounds out the list….

Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?

Gary Coleman- Diff’rent Strokes

Forever immortalized by that famous question.

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert- Little House on the Prairie

Those braids! Sticking up for Almanzo! And watch out Nellie!

Ron Howard and Andy Griffith

Ron Howard- The Andy Griffith Show

I don’t think I ever watched the show, and I know exactly who Opie is.

Awwww! Alfalfa!

Carl Switzer- Our Gang/ The Little Rascals

I’m cheating a tad bit as technically the Our Gang series was made for movie theaters. However, millions grew to know and love Alfalfa and his bubble-singing through television.

Leave it to Beaver Cast

Jerry Mathers- Leave it to Beaver

Even though this show aired way back in the late 50’s to early 60’s “The Beav” is still a fave.

12 Responses to “Listmania! TV’s Ten Most Memorable Child Actors”

  1. Ana Says:

    Good list. I always like the young Rudy (Keisha Knight Pulliam) from the Cosby Show.

  2. BarkingDogShoes Says:

    Ana, I was just going to say Rudy! Remember how she called Kenny, “Bud?”

  3. Heidi Says:

    I loved Little House and have the entire series on DVD, now my daughter can watch them.
    My hus and I, a few years ago, watched re-runs of The Wonder Years because we like it so much.
    Now we watch M.A.S.H. every night.No childhood stars there.

  4. Glinda Says:

    You know, Keisha was in the running, but the ensemble cast was so strong that I felt she didn’t really stand out as much as these others. She was a total cutie, though! I was a faithful watcher of the Cosby Show, and most of the time wished I could move in with the Huxtables because they were way cooler than my parents.

  5. Phyllis Says:

    Does anyone remember Anissa Jones, who played Buffy in Family Affair way back in the 60’s? An absolutely adorable child, very talented, real and fresh. She came to a very sad end and died of overdose at the age of 18.

    And of course, my personal childhood hero was Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday Addams with deadpan aplomb in The Addams Family, one of the best TV shows of all time! Lemony Snicket owes a huge debt to Wednesday Addams.

  6. raincoaster Says:

    Oh yeah, Buffy! I remember her.

    But what about the kid from Gentle Ben?

  7. Phyllis Says:

    Raincoaster: he was Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron Howard (Opie.)

  8. raincoaster Says:

    Right! All I could think of was “that guy in the Austin Powers movies!”

    Did you know Billy Mumy has a band and a new CD? It’s true. And it’s very, very weird.

  9. Caitlin Says:

    True story: my mom played volleyball with Jerry Mathers at his fraternity when they were both at UC Berkeley.

  10. raincoaster Says:

    Was he any good?

  11. Caitlin Says:

    Well…he was smart!

  12. Meg Q Says:

    I’m kinda late here ’cause I’m just catching up with my RSS reader, but I just had to say:

    “If you didn’t root for him to get together with Winnie, then you simply have no soul.”

    Truer words were n’er spoken.

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