Do you love watching horror movies? If you do, then you're probably familiar with some of the child actors who have starred in them over the years. Horror movies are a genre that children and adults often enjoy watching together. While many child actors appear in horror films, only a select few achieve mainstream success.
Many kids have appeared in some of the popular scary movies on Netflix and beyond. Some have grown to be major Hollywood stars, while others have pursued other interests. Let's take a look at some of the most successful child actors from popular horror movies, then and now.
Patty McCormack, who is now in her late 70s, was just ten years old when she starred in The Bad Seed's classic and one of the best scary movies on Netflix. McCormack played Rhoda Penmark, a child who may or may not have been responsible for the death of one of her classmates.
The movie was released in 1956 and was based on a novel of the same name. Critics lauded McCormack's performance in the movie, and she went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
McCormack has continued to act over the years, appearing in TV shows and movies such as The Master, Frost, Nixon, and The Sopranos. he is one of the few child actors from a horror movie who has had a successful career in Hollywood.
Martin Stephens was just 11 years old when he starred in the Village of the Damned movie in 1960. The movie was about a group of alien children who come to earth and kill the adults in a small town. Stephens played David Zellaby, one of the alien children. The movie was a hit, and Stephens went on to star in several other horror movies, including The Innocents and The Haunting.
Stephens retired from acting in the early 1970s and now works as an architect. He has exhibited his work worldwide and has been awarded several prestigious prizes. He still reunites with his fellow cast members from the Village of the Damned.
Pamela Franklin was 14 years old when she starred in The Innocents, a movie about children possessed by ghosts. Franklin played Miss Giddens; the woman hired to care for the children. The Innocents was released in 1961 and was very successful. Franklin starred in several other horror movies, including The Night of the Eagle and The Legend of Hell House.
Franklin retired from acting in the early 1980s and now works as a yoga teacher and healer. She has written two books about her experiences in the entertainment industry. Her last project was Fantasy Island in 1979, which she left to raise her two sons.
Billy Redden was just 16 years old when he starred in Deliverance, a 1972 movie about a group of boys who go for a canoeing trip and are then attacked by a group of hillbillies on the Cahulawassee River. Redden played the role of Dewey, one of the boys in the group. The Deliverance was a box office hit, and Redden starred in several other horror movies, including The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn.
Redden has continued to act over the years. He has featured in movies like Big Fish in 2003 and Outrage: Born in Terror in 2009. He is among the most sought-after character actors in the entertainment industry and has appeared in several movies and shows.
Linda Blair was just 13 years old when she starred in The Exorcist, a 1973 movie about a young girl possessed by a demon. Blair played the role of Regan MacNeil, the girl who is possessed. The Exorcist was a box office hit, and Blair starred in several other horror movies, including Hell Night and Savage Streets.
Blair has continued to act over the years. She has featured in TV shows like Roller Boogie in 1979, Supernatural on the CW, among others. Linda has proved herself to be a versatile actress and has played various roles over the years. Furthermore, she has gone further to accept roles that might be considered controversial.
Sissy Spacek was 29 years old when she starred in Carrie, a 1976 movie about a teenage girl bullied by her classmates and then has her revenge. Spacek played the role of Carrie White, the girl who is bullied. The Carrie was a box office hit, and Spacek starred in several other horror movies, including The Fog, Christine, and Albino Alligator.
Spacek has continued to act over the years. She has featured in TV shows like Coal Miner's Daughter and the TV series Homecoming where she acts with Julia Roberts. Sissy Spacek is considered one of the greatest actresses of her generation and has won numerous awards for her work.
Harvey Stephens was just six years old when he starred in 'The Omen" as the devil child. The movie was a hit, and Stephens went on to star in several other horror movies. He banged several awards in 'The Omen,' including the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He did all this on his sixth birthday.
Stephens has continued to act over the years. He has featured in TV shows like The Omen remake. He, however, suffered a misfortune when he attacked two cyclists and was jailed for 14 months with several compensation claims, which, at large, ruined his acting career. Nevertheless, Stephens is one of the few child actors who have successfully transitioned into a successful adult career.
Horror movies can be a great opportunity for child actors to get started in the entertainment industry. These seven actors are perfect examples of how a horror movie can help launch an acting career. They have all gone on to star in other horror movies and have enjoyed successful careers.
Image Credit: By Larusso37 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61023946