Non-annoying child actors

From this thread where it was asserted that all child actors are annoying.

Who are the exceptions?

From the original Andy Griffith show, the character of Opie was at least not just a catch-phrase delivery system.

I think most child actors are annoying simply because they’re usually not very good actors, and when they try, they just come across as cloying.

I don’t know her name, but watching the new season of Louie, I am absolutely shocked at how good the actress playing Louie’s youngest daughter is. She is just so incredibly natural, playing some pretty difficult scenes.

Okay, I just looked her up… her name is Ursula Parker.

Alexis Castle will never annoy me. Ever.

And Alicia Witt.

Have to go back a ways, but, Natalie Wood in “Miracle On 34th Street” was outstanding.

Similarly, Margaret O’Brien in “Meet Me In St. Louis.”

Kieran Shipka has played a perfect little bitch (“Just Like Mommy, Kids!”) some of the time but she’s such a fine actress at such a young age that I can’t find her annoying in any way. She’s growing into a real beauty with more chops than January Jones will collect in her lifetime.

Wait… can I list January Jones, who doesn’t seem to have ever grown into adulthood anyway?

It’s sad to think about now, but I was a huge fan of Lindsay Lohan when she appeared on Another World at age 10. She was extremely vivacious and natural, and great fun to watch. At the time, I hoped that she would go on to great things.

OTOH, Hayden Panettiere was incredibly annoying as a child actress on Guiding Light. Part of it was that the character was a spoiled brat, but the actress herself was simpering and whiny, and you always wanted to slap her. I would not have imagined that she would have a successful career as an adult.

Probably the best child actor I’ve ever seen was Haley Joel Osment. He was memorable from his first onscreen appearances – Forrest Gump, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Murphy Brown before he became a household name with The Sixth Sense.

Joseph Gordon Leavitt’s work in 3rd Rock From the Sun and early movies was not annoying.

Chloë Grace Moretz has been impressive in her work.

I liked Shia LaBeouf in Even Stevens and Holes. It’s grown up Shia LaBeouf that has become annoying…

Dakota Fanning was not at all irritating in an episode ofFriends, which was the first time I saw her in anything.

I think a lot of it is how the characters are written, and most of the rest is how they’re directed.

Yes, and he was simply amazing in The Sixth Sense.

Natalie Portman was a great child actress back in the day.

None of the many kids in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial were annoying, I thought.

I think it’s a question of annoying child characters more than it is actors. Kids on sitcoms are all too often made out to be smarmy, sassy mini-adults, so naturally they’re pretty annoying. But there are lots of good, non-annoying young actors (both past and current). Some of my favorites would be Jena Malone, Tatum O’Neal, Adam Hann-Byrd, Brittany Murphy, Jodie Foster, River Phoenix, Christina Ricci, and hell, let’s go all the way back to the Kid himself, Jackie Coogan.

For the most part, the kids in the Harry Potter movies impressed me. Solid, believable performances across the board. Their acting was a little weak in the first movie, but they all matured quite well.

Quite true.

And Tatum O’Neal definitely earned her Oscar for Paper Moon.

And thank… well, whatever gods exist in the HP universe that Emma Watson got over that horrid British-actress thing where all words are the size of oranges. (The really, really emphasized mouth opening and lip wriggling with every sentence.)

(Anyone know where that comes from, or why?)

(ETA: If this wasn’t a thread about child actors I’d speculate about, um, learning to talk with their, um, mouths full.)

I thought Brad Renfro did a good job as the title character in the film adaptation of the John Grisham novel, The Client. I don’t think he’d acted prior to that. Unfortunately, he started abusing drugs and alcohol and died quite young. (BTW, both Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones were also good in that film.)

I liked Fred Savage in The Wonder Years, and his brother Ben in Boy Meets World.

Also, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack) in “Saved by the Bell.” He played a highly annoying character, but he did have a certain charm that carried it off.

Ricky Schroder was pretty non-annoying too.

I was going to mention her – she stole every scene she was in, and was just wonderful.

Barry Gordon in A Thousand Clowns certainly sets a high bar. Not only is is role unmarred by overcuteness, but he holds his own with Jason Robards, Martin Balsam, William Daniels, and Barbara Harris.

Dakota Fanning in Charlotte’s Web.
Natalie Portman in Leon.
Jackie Evancho in The Company You Keep.
All superb!

I think the little girl who plays “Bo” in the recent one-season-and-done series *Believe *was pretty good, and not annoying, in a role that could have easily been very annoying.

Sara Gilbert played a smart ass kid on Roseanne and did it without being annoying.

Miranda Cosgrove did well on at least 2 Nickelodeon sitcoms and the movie School of Rock without me getting annoyed with her, although I see how she could bother some.

Names not handy, but the kids in The Goonies were not at all annoying.