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5 Child Actors Who Were Emancipated

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

The stories of kids becoming emancipated from their parents are rather rare. In Hollywood, though, it is not uncommon for the young actors and actresses to seek emancipation. The reason young actors seek emancipation usually revolves around two main reasons: financial mismanagement of their earnings, and getting around child labor laws.

While some of the stars below that were emancipated had the blessings of their parents, others sought their freedom over parental objections and ruined relationships.

1. Alicia Silverstone

Star of the cult classic, The Crush, Alicia Silverstone was emancipated at the age of 15, with the blessing and assistance of her parents. The young star and her parents agreed that she would be better served by being emancipated so that she could get around child labor laws and work more than eight hours a day.

2. Juliette Andrews

Like Alicia Silverstone, Juliette Lewis, star of the movies Cape Fear and Natural Born Killers, also sought emancipation with the blessing of her parents at age 14 in order to sidestep the child labor laws.

3. Macaulay Culkin

Perhaps the most well known story of a child actor who was emancipated is Macaulay Culkin's tale of seemingly tragic irony. After the Home Alone movie series made the young actor a millionaire, gross financial mismanagement by his parents was discovered. As a result, Culkin sought emancipation at age 16, and a court agreed to let the teenaged Culkin live alone in reality. However, until he reached 18, an accountant was ordered to oversee his finances.

4. Drew Barrymore

One of the most shocking stories of a young actress that was emancipated belongs to Drew Barrymore. At age 15, when she was emancipated, she had already been through rehab twice. Her career had been booming since her first major role in the movie E.T. at age 7. The primary reason she sought emancipation was in order to work longer hours than the law would allow.

5. Jena Malone

Recent star of the Hunger Games movies, Jena Malone, 14 years before her role in the Hunger Games movies, became emancipated at age 15. The young actress started at age 12, and had several large roles during her first few years. Malone sought emancipation due to financial mismanagement by her mother.

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