MadameNoire Featured Video
1 of 15


Not often do we get to see celebrities grow, mature, and blossom right before our eyes. But, some celebs became stars at a young age and we’ve been able to watch them become even bigger successes. Here are 14 black childhood stars then and now!

Keshia Knight-Pulliam

Keshia Knight-Pulliam is best known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show when she was young. Nowadays she’s all grown up and has starred in various movies and T.V. shows including Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Psych, and Harlem Heights.

Bow Wow

When younger, Bow Wow broke through as an actor as well as a rap artist. He played roles on The Steve Harvey Show as well as Moesha and was also featured in movies including Carmen: A Hip Hopera, All About the Benjamins, Like Mike, and Madeas Big Happy Family. Apart from his acting career, Bow Wow is also well known for being a rapper, having released seven albums since 2000.

Alfonso Ribeiro

When his career first started blossoming, Alfonso played Alfonso in Silver Spoons and then really broke big when he played the character of Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. As years passed and the show ended, he ventured out onto new acting jobs and even became the host of several shows, including Catch 21, Celebrity Duets, and GSN Live.

Cherie Johnson

Cherie Johnson played herself on the comedy show Punky Brewster. She also appeared on the show Family Matters as Maxine Johnson. In 2009 she wrote and produced her own movie entitled I Do…I Did! Cherie continues her acting career, playing roles on several shows including Fanaddict, Guardian of Eden, and others.

Raven Symone

Raven’s career began back in 1989 after she became an important part of The Cosby Show playing the role of Olivia. Years later she released several CDs, had her own T.V. show, and of course, grew to become a beautiful women. Today she’s starring in Sister Act on Broadway.

Gary Coleman

As a child star, Gary Coleman was the star in the television series Diff’rent Strokes, when he became well known for his phrase, “Whatchu talkin bout Willis?”After the show ended, Gary was in several television films and cameos before his untimely death in May 2010.

Tia and Tamera Mowry

Both Tia and Tamera Mowry starred on the sitcom Sister, Sister when they were just kids. As their careers blossomed, Tia and Tamera have had a role in several T.V. series. Recently, the sisters have appeared on their reality television series.

Jaleel White

Better known as Steve Urkel on the show Family Matters, Jaleel White became famous for his acting abilities. Years later he has shed the nerdy clothes and glasses and has played a role in several television shows including NCIS, Psych, House, and Fake It Till You Make It.

Lark Voorhies

Lark’s acting career started at the ripe age of two, but she is best known for playing Lisa Turtle in Saved by the Bell and actually won two Young Artist Awards for her performances. Recently she’s been in several films including The Next Hit, How High, and Measure of Faith.

Lil’ Romeo

At just the age of five, Lil’ Romeo was signed to No Limits Records after writing a rap for his father. Seven years later he released his own CD and had plenty of hits on the billboards. Today Romeo is part of RESQ3 and is working on his fourth album, Intelligent Hoodlum.

Janet Jackson

Throughout her younger years, Janet appeared on several television series including Good Times, The Jacksons, and Fame. Today she is best known for her music, but she has also spread her wings and become a spokeswoman for Nutrisystem.

Kellie Shanygne Williams

Kellie Williams played the part of Laura Winslow on Family Matters. In more recent times she’s appeared in several movies including Steppin: The Movie and In the Mix, along with television series such as The Parkers and What About Joan.

Tatyana Ali

From 1995-1996, Tatyana Ali had a role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Ashley Banks. After the show she started her musical career, releasing an album entitled Kiss the Sky. Tatyana also continued her job as an actress, playing roles in several films including Nora’s Hair Salon, Glory Road, Hotel California, and Love That Girl! Shels also an active producer.

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN