Hollywood’s Hottest Stars Over the Years: Then and Now

It certainly seems as though aging works a bit differently in Hollywood. Of course, it could just be that most stars have a nest egg of at least a few million dollars and can afford the best skin care on the planet. Or, it could be that some stars are actually time travelers.
 
While not all of these famous faces started out early on in the business, there are quite a few on the list who actually have been working in the industry for decades – only, you wouldn’t even know they’re the same people without photographic evidence. We’ll let you be the judge, as you take a look at these side-by-side photos of some of the biggest stars on screen.

Anthony Hopkins

Hopkins, who recently starred in “The Two Popes” on Netflix, actually looks pretty similar in his side-by-side photos from over the years.

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He’s still got that whole, “I want to chop you into bits and pieces and consume you with a nice glass of wine,” look going on.  Hopkins himself would never actually take that bite. In fact, he’s said that his outlook on life is to be kind.

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson may not be rocking the same hairstyle as he was in his younger days, but he’s still got the same attitude in his cool stare, that’s for sure.

 

You can almost hear the long string of expletives coming at you through the screen. Jackson has several films and other projects coming out this year, including ” The Banker” , which is streaming on the Apple app.

Denzel Washington

If you would’ve gone to school with a young Denzel Washington, you may have been surprised at how he turned out to be such a smoke show later on in life.

 

Just take a look at the comparison, which shows the Hollywood hunk before he straightened out his teeth and earned himself several Oscars and a $250 million net worth.

Steven Tyler

This former rockstar is best known for his days at lead singer and frontman of the rock band, Aerosmith. Everyone is familiar with his hit, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, which was played during a crucial scene in the movie, “Armageddon” , which starred Tyler’s daughter, Liv.

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Like many other rockstars his age, Tyler still rocks his signature long hair, only now it has some gray streaks in it.

Ozzy Osbourne

Depending on when you were born, you may remember this rock legend for a few different things. some will say it’s his music, others will say it’s the reality show about him and his family.

 

It could also be the time he bit the head off of a live bird during one memorable yet insanely creepy and dark performance. But, throughout it all, he decided to keep his long locks.

Mick Jagger

Jagger, who is one of the founding members of one of the greatest rock bands of all time; The Rolling Stones, has had a career in the music industry that’s lasted more than five decades.

 

The picture on the left is during his early music days in the mid-1960s when he and the band used to play for free at clubs. He couldn’t have possibly known how big of a name he’d make for himself in the industry.

Jack Nicholson

Here’s another famous 1960s face who was trying to make his way in entertainment way back when. Just like Mick Jagger, Nicholson’s career didn’t seem very promising in its early stages – that is, until later that decade.

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Even though he may have lost some hair over the years, he’s gained six Golden Globes and been nominated for 12 Academy Awards. He does look a lot happier these days, doesn’t he?

Christopher Plummer

Plummer is another name on our list who’s been around in the industry for more than five decades. Best known for playing Captain Georg Von Trapp in 1965’s ” The Sound of Music” , his smile looks the same today as it did when he starred in the film.

 

The 90-year old star was honored earlier this year on the game show ” Jeopardy”  when an entire category was devoted to him and his career.

Jackie Chan

The king of Kung Fu has actually been in the acting game since he was just five years old.

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Here we’ve got this shot of him from the late 1970s when he started to score his first major roles as an adult. The 66-year old star looks basically the same now as he did way back when.

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones’ legendary career in Hollywood has lasted an incredible seven decades. He first made his film debut as a bright-eyed hopeful in 1964’s political satire film, “Dr. Strangelove”.

 

It was all uphill from there, as the actor went on to win and be nominated for all kinds of awards. He even still has the same smile as he did when he started out! Actually, it’s a little bit wider these days.

Harrison Ford

This “Indiana Jones” star has broken more than just a couple of hearts in his day. He couldn’t go anywhere in the 1980s without being swarmed by adoring fans who wanted his autograph or to just be anywhere near him.

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And, at 77-years old, he’s proving he’s still the heartthrob he always was, by going shirtless in his upcoming film ” Call of the Wild” .

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was making ladies all across America swoon while television was still being broadcast in black and white. When “A Streetcar Named Desire” hit the scene in 1951, it solidified his super-hunk status.

 

And with those puppy dog eyes and pouty lips, it’s not hard to see why. By the late 70s, his image in Hollywood had started to fade, although he’ll always be remembered as one of the greats.

Tom Hanks

This 63-year old actor is still at it today; thank you, universe. He’s continuously impressed us over the years, starring in huge box office hits like “Forrest Gump”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “Apollo 13”, and “Castaway”, just to name a few.

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His roles can keep us on the edge of our seats, make us jump, and make us cry. Lucky for us, he’s still got the same charming smile as he had when he appeared on the scene in 1979.

Jeff Goldblum

Goldblum made his film debut as a tough (yet silky-haired) thug in “Death Wish” in 1974. He pretty much looks exactly the same now as he did when he played that role.

 

Just look at those pearly whites and his smooth skin. Word is that he’s set to appear in a new Jurassic film; ” Jurassic World; Dominion ” , in 2021.

Robert De Niro

DeNiro is unbeatable when it comes to playing the role of the tough guy – or the wise guy. But that isn’t the only reason why the world has come to love seeing him on screen.

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He makes this magical combination of tough and hilarious that just keeps us glued to our seats. As of this year, six of his films have been inducted into the US National Film Registry.

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd has been making us laugh since the mid-’90s. We loved him as the adorable (yet sort of stuck-up) stepbrother on Clueless, and we loved him so much more when he started appearing on a string of hilarious hit comedies, like “Knocked Up” and “the 40-Year Old Virgin”.

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He’s set to appear in this summer’s new ” Ghostbusters” film, and he looks exactly the same as he did the first day that we saw him on screen.

Will Smith

Well, we’re pretty sure Will Smith is a vampire, and here are both exhibit A and exhibit B. On the left is a shot of Will from his days starring on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90s. On the right? A picture of him from an event earlier this year.

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He hasn’t aged a day. So, the only rational explanation is that he must be a vampire – or a time traveler.

Elton John

Sir Elton John is still rocking the same style of shades and suits as he was when he first started playing shows in the 1970s. The difference is that he looks a million times happier now.

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John is currently on his official retirement tour, as he announced earlier this year it’d be his last. A couple of months ago the 73-year old released a new single that he recorded with Lady Gaga.

Bryan Cranston

Cranston is most well-known these days for his role as Walter White on the hit show “Breaking Bad”, a role for which he won four Primetime Emmy Awards. He’s also known for playing Malcolm’s dad on “Malcolm in the Middle”.

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But long before he was causing chaos in TV land, he was actually performing wedding ceremonies. Cranston got ordained as a minister when he was younger to help him pay his way before he found fame.

Alec Baldwin

This funny-man recently celebrated his eight-year wedding anniversary to his wife, Hilaria. Although she’s about half his age, Baldwin still has that whole baby-face thing going for him.

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He may be 62, but those deep-blue eyes have us fooled. He most recently returned to the screen in an episode of ” Saturday Night Live at Home” .

Abigail Breslin

You may remember the sweet little face on the left from the hit film, “Little Miss Sunshine”. But Abigail Breslin is all grown up now.

 

She still has the same adorable smile as she rocked on screen in her early years. The difference? Breslin has gone from newbie to in-demand around Tinsel Town.

Zac Efron

Zac Efron popped up on the scene in the early 2000s, rising to fame as one of the leads on “High School Musical”. And, even in those days, he earned himself young Hollywood heartthrob status.

 

Unfortunately for every girl in America, ex-cast member (and girlfriend) Vanessa Hudgens swooped him up, and the two were inseparable for years. Once they grew up, they decided to break things off and these days, he’s reportedly single.

Elle Fanning

Elle decided to follow in older sister Dakota Fanning’s footsteps, becoming an actress is major films when she was still a kid. In fact, she wasn’t even three years old when she made her debut, acting as the younger version of her sister’s character.

 

These days, those baby blues are still making us feel all of the things, in films like this year’s ” The Roads Not Taken ” , in which she plays alongside Salma Hayek.

Scarlett Johansson

It’s kind of hard to flip through the channels without seeing some film that Scarlett Johansson is starring in.

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Although she was still cute as a button during her early years in the industry, she’s now one of the first actresses that come to mind when you think about gorgeous leading ladies. She has also been the highest paid in the business since 2018.

Daryl Sabara

You may recognize the face on the left from playing Juni Cortez in the “Spy Kids” series. Over the years, he’s transformed into – well, actually, he looks the same now as he did when he was younger.

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He decided to cut the hair, but aside from that, not much has changed when it comes to Sabara’s looks, which is evidenced by the bushy brows and laid-back smile.

Daniel Radcliffe

Best known for his work as the leading man in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, it’s pretty hard for Radcliffe to move away from that image, though he did try.

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After leaving his Potter days behind, he went on to appear in TV shows and films such as “Jungle” and “Miracle Workers”. He still has the same doe-eyed look and the same shaggy hair. Hey, that’s why we love him.

Joseph Gordon Levitt

Joseph Gordon Levitt first graced the screens as the adorable alien trapped in the body of a kid on “Third Rock from the Sun”.

 

Even if you’ve never seen an episode of the show, you likely recognize this face. That’s because now, he’s starring in major films left and right. Though if you actually haven’t seen the show, you should, it’s hilarious.

Georgie Henley

Best known for playing little Lucy Pevensie in “The Chronicles of Narnia”, Georgie Henley is now all grown up.

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She’s starred in several films lately, but she’s also putting some of her off-screen talents to use by writing and direction a short film called “TIDE”. Henley is also set to appear on the ” Game of Thrones” prequel show.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore has been wowing us on screen since she was the cute little kid in “E.T.” – or the cut-yet-lethal kid in “Firestarter”.

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She grew into a gorgeous and talented actress who’s been starring as the hilarious man-eater (quite literally) in the Netflix original series, ” Santa Clarita Diet” . She also has a line of beauty products out now, Flower Beauty , which is currently raising money for global health causes.

Kristen Stewart

Even though her first television role on Disney was a small, non-speaking part, Kristen Stewart can still say that she was on TV before she even turned ten.

 

Even with that adorable mug, it took her a year of auditioning to land that kind of role. But Stewart flipped the tables later in life and was even the highest-paid actress in the world in both 2010 and 2012.

Hilary Duff

Before Hilary Duff became known as a teen idol for playing Lizzie McGuire, she appeared as Wendy in “Casper Meets Wendy”. Not long after, she won an award for a supporting role she played in the television film, “The Soul Collector”.

 

Duff seemed to make a seamless transition between being a star in childhood and adulthood – something that many former child stars have proven is not an easy thing to do.

Kim Kardashian

You likely wouldn’t recognize the face on the left if you saw her out of context, and without the comparative photo on the right. That’s because Kim Kardashian didn’t find her fame until later in life.

 

Kardashian’s father was OJ Simpson’s defense attorney during the infamous murder trial. After the scandalous intimate tape she had with rapper boyfriend, Ray J, was released in 2007, her name started to circulate until her family became one of the biggest names in the country.

Ariel Winter

“Modern Family” fans are all too familiar with the cute, quirky and brilliant Alex Dunphy. But long before she landed her breakthrough role, she was playing parts in television ads at just four years old.

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Yep, her first time ever appearing on TV was in a Cool Whip commercial in 2002. The actress is still young and has a very promising career ahead of her.

Blake McIver Ewing

Many child stars fall off of the map when they grow up, and one of those is Blake McIver Ewing. You may remember Blake as the nerdy neighbor kid on “Full House”.

 

He had some other roles around the ’90s as well, including 1994’s “The Little Rascals”. Unfortunately, Ewing’s best days in Hollywood seem to be well in his past.

Ariana Grande

Grande rose to fame as the cute and bubbly Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”. Now? She’s one of the biggest pop stars in the world, with a Grammy, Brit, MTV Music Video Award, and eight Guinness World Records under her belt.

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In fact, she earned over $72 million last year, making her the highest-paid pop artist of 2020. Thank U, Next!

Jerry O’Connell

O’Connell’s career was another that started when he was young. As a kid, he did a lot of ad work for Duncan Hines, and a Frosted Flakes commercial.

 

But the adorable actor shed his baby weight and grew into a handsome leading man. O’Connell is married to former model/actress, Rebecca Romijn.

Keira Knightley

As of lately, this British actress has been focusing on more artistic ventures, as evidenced by the pivotal mark in her career in 2013; “Begin Again”.

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Before her reemergence in the industry, Knightley appeared in blockbuster hits like ” Pirates of the Caribbean” , for which she became a household name. Earlier this year, her film, ” Misbehaviour ” , was released in the UK.

Freddie Highmore

Who could forget the face of a young Freddie Highmore, who played the role in the 2005 remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, starring Johnny Depp?

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But Highmore wasn’t nearly finished proving his worth in Hollywood, as he’s still very much active in the acting community today. After starring in ” Bates Motel ” from 2013-2017, he went on to land the starring role on ABC’s ” The Good Doctor ” .

Neil Patrick Harris

This funnyman is well-known for plenty of roles, depending on which era you look to, but most recently, it’s for his long-running part as Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother”.

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He wound up nominated for a whopping four Emmys for his work on the show. Before that, he was recognized for his several years playing the title role on ” Doogie Howser, M.D. ” He may have grown up, but he’s a legend in the industry no matter which picture you’re looking at.

Macaulay Culkin

When Macaulay Culkin first arrived on the scene in the early ‘90s, he became an instant star. He outsmarted a handful of bad guys all by himself after his horrible parents forgot about him in “Home Alone”, and America fell in love.

 

Although he took a long break from acting, he recently launched his own comedy site and podcast called “Bunny Ears”, on which he does parodies, and also appears in the occasional film.

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning was one of my favorite actresses before she was even 12-years old. She played the tear-jerking role of Pita in 2004’s “Man on Fire”, opposite Denzel Washington.

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These days, she’s still going strong. In fact, she now stars a gritty period drama about the first woman to be employed by the NYPD in the 1890s, ” The Alienist ” .

Britney Spears

Britney Spears has been in the spotlight since she first landed a spot in the “Mickey Mouse Club” at age 11 alongside Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

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In 1998, she dropped her first single, Hit Me Baby One More Time – and it marked the beginning of the era of Britney in pop music.

Alyssa Milano

Powerhouse actress Alyssa Milano arrived on the scene in Hollywood when she was just 10-years old.

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After rising up through the ranks and making a name for herself on ” Who’s the Boss ” and ” Melrose Place ” , she landed the role of Phoebe Halliwell on the hit series ” Charmed ” , which she also became an executive producer of.

AJ Michalka

AJ Michalka still looks pretty much the same today as she did when she rose to fame with her sister on “Aly and AJ”. She then landed the role of Lainey Lewis, Barry Goldberg’s (way too out of his league) girlfriend on the hilarious sitcom, ” The Goldbergs ” .

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Since Lainey was such a hit, she recently scored her own show in the form of “Schooled” , on which she currently plays a music teacher back in the same high school as she attended before.

Haley Joel Osment

Who could forget Haley Joel Osment’s breakthrough role as the adorable and psychic Cole Sear on ” The Sixth Sense ” ? Throughout the early 2000s, Osment played in several other major movies, including the memorable ” Pay it Forward ” .

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Roger Ebert even called him one of the “best actors working” in those days. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite keep that momentum going, and his career seemed to slow down immensely as he got older.

Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci’s character in ” Addam’s Family Values” was probably one of my favorite moments in movie history. She was brilliant in the 1993 film as the creepy and quite possibly homicidal Wednesday Addams.

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She put out masterpiece after masterpiece throughout the 00s, like ” Casper ” , ” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ” , ” Monster ” , and more. She’s won an incredible number of awards throughout her decades-long acting career, throughout which she’s maintained her unique yet classic beauty.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens first made a name for herself in the industry during her time as Gabriella Montez in ” High School Musical ” . She and co-star, Zac Efron, were involved romantically for a number of years while they worked together on the franchise.

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She looks basically the same in 2020 as she did during her time on HSM – down to the hairstyle and everything (hey, why fix something, or cut something, that isn’t broken?)

Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale is another famous face on the list who found fame on ” High School Musical ” . She’s said that she brings something different to every character she plays – and it’s true from what we’ve seen!

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Her looks have remained pretty much the same through the years, although we haven’t seen much from her since around 2015.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, with huge, chart-topping hits like, Come and Get it and Love You Like a Love Song.

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But before she was a mega-star, she actually got her start working with the big purple dinosaur way back on ” Barney and Friends” in 2002. Aside from her talent in the music industry, she also does some acting and production work.