When you think about child actors who have grown up, you can usually find obvious visual similarities between their younger and older selves. Take Neil Patrick Harris for example, or Emma Watson. They are both major pop culture figures nowadays, and when you look back to their younger careers you can see how similar they looked. However, there are many young celebrities that have changed very drastically over the years to the point where they are almost unrecognizable.
Jonathan Ke Quan (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)
From Short Round to Data from The Goonies, Jonathan Ke Quan is known for playing lovable sidekicks as a kid. After his escapades with Indy and the Goonies, he kept acting in films such as Breathing Fire and Encino Man. Unfortunately, Quan hasn't acted since his brief role in Second Time Around, which came out in 2002.
If you compare his pictures, it's pretty hard to see any similarities between them! As he grew up, Quan has gone from lovable boy-sidekick to stunt-master extraordinaire, working as a stunt coordinator for blockbusters like the X-Men movie!
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Out of the five main Breakfast Club cast members, the one who has changed the most is undoubtedly Judd Nelson, who played the independent bad-boy John Bender. It's been 30 years since the classic John Hughes film, and Nelson has transformed entirely since then. With his beard and wacky hair, it's hard to see the resemblance to Bender.
Judd Nelson is still acting, with his most recent role as Steven in This Is Happening.
Carrie Henn (Aliens)
Alien sure was a fantastic way to start a franchise, but the cinematic brilliance of its sequel, Aliens, really stepped it up a notch. In Aliens, we were introduced to a young girl named Newt that instantly became a sort of daughter figure to Ripley (Sigourney Weaver's character). Though the film was majorly successful and the character of Newt became a fan-favorite, Carrie Henn never acted again after that.
Since the film, Henn got a degree in liberal studies, and she is now a school teacher in California.
Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
Terminator 2 can be directly compared with Aliens in a number of different ways. They both are blockbuster sequels that improved on the first films, and both introduced young actors who have grown up quite a bit since then. Furlong has acted in a few roles since then, including American History X. Since then, he's been laying low as far as acting goes, but fans are looking forward to what he will do next.
Jeff Cohen (The Goonies)
The Goonies featured many young stars, including Sean Astin and Josh Brolin, but none have changed as radically as the lovable Chunk. The actor, who explains he went from "Chunk to hunk" as soon as puberty hit, drifted away from acting since his last role in 1991, and he now works as an entertainment lawyer.
Taylor Momsen (How The Grinch Stole Christmas)
When it comes to Christmas movies, there are few as classic as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey's comedy genius and Taylor Momsen's young innocence and charm really added a lot to the movie, though innocent may not be the best way to describe Momsen now that she's grown up.
She now acts as lead singer for the band The Pretty Reckless, and has performed on-stage alongside Marilyn Manson.
Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter)
Of course, you can't have a list like this without bringing up Neville Longbottom. Matthew Lewis's drastic transformation through the Harry Potter movies is as much a part of the Harry Potter culture as turning to page 394. In just a decade, Lewis went from the clumsy kid that we all felt bad for to the manly hero who killed Voldemort's snake. That's quite the transformation!
Lewis is still acting, with two movies coming out next year called Me Before You and The Brontes.
Many young actors have undergone some drastic transformations, but this is hardly all of them. Can you think of an actor that I missed on this list? Make sure to write them in the comments below!