Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

14 Stories About Child Actors That'll Make You See Their Work In A Different Light

Would you rather go to prom or host SNL?

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share which stories about child actors changed how they saw their TV shows and movies. Here are some of their submissions:

Warning: Some of this content includes stories of murder, suicide, and addiction.

1. While the 1996 film Matilda was in production, Mara Wilson's mother was dying of breast cancer. Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman — who played her evil parents in the film — invited Mara over to their house and took care of her during this difficult time.

Sony

Mara's mother died soon after they finished filming. In Mara's book, "Where Am I Now?", she discusses how she always felt sad that her mom never got to see the film. But years after her mother died, Danny Devito shared with Mara that he visited her at the hospital during her final months and showed her an almost-finished cut of the movie.

lonelyrainbow

2. And Mara Wilson was embarrassed about the scene where she had to dance in Matilda, so Danny Devito had the whole crew dance too while they were filming.

Sony

3. In 2004, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen skipped their senior prom to host Saturday Night Live. The opening skit of the night was prom-themed.

Mary-Kate and Ashley riding in a fake limo with Jimmy Fallon.
NBC / Getty Images

4. Linda Blair — who was 14 when The Exorcist was in theaters — received death threats from people who said she was glorifying Satan.

Warner Bros.

5. And when Linda Blair was 15, she started dating 25-year-old musician Rick Springfield — singer of the hit song "Jessie's Girl."

Rick and Linda smiling for a photo together.
Studio 10 / Via youtube.com

6. Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady from The Brady Bunch, revealed in an interview that she used to make out with Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady) in the doghouse on set. She also said Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) had a crush on Chris Knight (Peter Brady) and they "did kind of hook up later on."

7. The role of Boo in Monster's Inc. was played by Mary Gibbs — the daughter of storyboard artist Rob Gibbs. She was only 2-and-a-half, so it was really difficult to get her to stand still and say lines. They ended up recording random noises and words she said while playing around, including the infamous "kitty."

Disney

8. Judith Barsi — the voice of Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven and Ducky in The Land Before Time — was murdered by her father at the age of 11. Her father also killed her mother and himself.

Judith Barsi in an episode of "Punky Brewster."

9. Cary Guffey — who turned 4 while playing the role of "Barry" in Close Encounters of the Third Kind — was nicknamed "One Take Cary" by the film crew because he was almost always able to deliver his lines in one take.

Columbia Pictures

10. Henry Thomas had such an impressive audition for the role of Elliot in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial that Steven Spielberg hired him on the spot. At the end of his audition, Spielberg said to him, "Okay kid, you got the job."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

11. Heather O'Rourke, the star of the Poltergeist movies, died from a bowel obstruction at the age of 12 — just months after Poltergeist III wrapped up filming. The circumstances of her death were considered "unusual" because she never showed any prior symptoms of a bowel defect.

12. Kieran Culkin had no idea what Home Alone was about — or that his older brother, Macaulay, was the star — until seeing it in theaters. He was 7 years old when he played the supporting role of Kevin's cousin.

20th Century Studios

13. Judy Garland — who was only 16 when cast as Dorothy — was put on a strict diet and given pills in order to stay thin on the set of The Wizard of Oz. She was forced to work long, strenuous hours, and by the time they finished filming, she was addicted to amphetamines and sleeping pills.

Loews Cineplex Entertainment

14. And Cameron Crowe, the director of Jerry Maguire, said that Jonathan Lipnicki — who played Ray — was the one who came up with the infamous line, "Do you know the human head weighs eight pounds?"

Sony

Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form