The Top Ten Young Actresses

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Here's our list of the best young actresses who have graced our cinema screens!

Drew Barrymore in E. T

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For actresses such as Drew Barrymore and Dakota Fanning, a successful career in Hollywood started from a very young age.

Young actresses have all always been able to steal the show from their more experienced co-stars and we thought we'd have a look at ten of the best 10 young actresses in the land of Hollywood.

Eloise Laurence (Broken)



Eloise Laurence makes her film début in Rufus Norris' Broken.

Effusing a confidence so fresh, Laurence - surrounded by an ensemble - grounds the drama surrounding her with an innocence ensuring her presence within the industry is a certainty.

She proves to be the heart of Broken, a film for which she gained nominations for Best Newcomer both at the London Film Festival and British Independent Film Awards. You can see her in action from 8 March 2013 when Broken hits the big screen.

Drew Barrymore (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Irreconcilable Differences)



Almost stealing a Steven Spielberg film aged 7, Drew Barrymore became everybody's favourite child actress in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

Drew impressed that same year with a Golden- Globe nominated role in Irreconcilable Differences, in which she played a young girl who divorces her parents.

A troubled "wildchild" phase followed, and it wasn't until the 90s with a role in Guncrazy and a memorable cameo in Scream, that her film career truly re-launched.

Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam, Man on Fire, The Cat in the Hat, War of the Worlds)



Dakota Fanning's breakthrough came in I Am Sam, a role which earned her the accolade of being the youngest Screen Actors Guild nominee ever.

Countless high-profile roles followed, ranging from TV Miniseries Taken (produced by Spielberg,) Man on Fire and War of the Worlds... all by the age of 11!

Now approaching her twenties, Dakota has appeared in the Twilight films, as well as an acclaimed turn in The Runaways.

Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, Freaky Friday)



It's amazing to think that Jodie Foster's role as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver, Tallulah in Bugsy Malone and teenager-turned-parent in Freaky Friday were delivered by a 13-year-old.

1976 was the year Jodie's long-lasting talent was unveiled upon the world, providing more nuanced performances in that year alone than adults can manage in an entire career!

Chloë Grace Moretz (The Amityville Horror, (500) Days of Summer, Kick-Ass, Let Me In, Hugo)



This young actress has starred in a flurry of films since her appearance in 2005's horror remake The Amityville Horror.

She had a standout role in (500) Days of Summer before her 2010's appearance in Kick-Ass drew controversy over her character Hit-Girl's violent and sweary behaviour, but lead performances in Let Me In and Hugo followed.

This year will see Chloe return in Kick-Ass 2 and no doubt stun critics as she takes on Sissy Spacek's famed role in Kimberly Peirce's remake of Carrie.

Anna Paquin (The Piano, Fly Away Home, Amistad)



Before she was fending off Vampires, Werewolves and Witches as Sookie Stackhouse on HBO's True Blood, a fresh-faced Anna Paquin picked up a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1994 for a brilliant turn in Jane Campion's The Piano.

She plays Flora, the daughter of a mute pianist who is sold into marriage by her father with such a flair that allowed her to become the second youngest Oscar winner ever (behind Tatum O'Neal.)

The actress went on to have smaller roles in She's All That and Almost Famous, before playing the mutant Rogue in Bryan Singer's X-Men – all in the year 2000.

Elle Fanning (Somewhere, Super 8, We Bought a Zoo, Ginger & Rosa)



It's always hard to follow in the footsteps of a successful older sibling but Elle Fanning has become a star in her own right.

Her breakout role in JJ Abrams' Spielberg-affiliated Super 8 was followed with an acclaimed-role in Ginger & Rosa opening the doors for a blossoming career.

The actress will soon be seen in the highly anticipated Maleficent with Angelina Jolie!

Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Hanna)



2007's Atonement won Irish actress Saoirse Ronan award nominations galore at the mere age of 13.

Her Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination paved the way for roles in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones two years later, in which she played a murdered young girl who watches over her family from purgatory.

Her Atonement director Joe Wright cast her as Hanna, an action thriller in which Ronan played a 15-year-old assassin.

The next few years sees her appearance in numerous film roles, ranging from heading a new teen franchise in The Host to a lead role in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (alongside Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Bill Murray.)

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)



From the age of 8, American actress Hailee Steinfeld had a string of advertisements and films under her belt but it wasn't until 2010's role as Mattie Ross in True Grit - the Coen Brothers' remake of the John Wayne classic – that she hit the big time.

Picking up an overwhelming amount of nominations at award ceremonies the world round, Steinfeld held her own against Jeff Bridges in a role that required someone who seemed to be older than their years, whilst also maintaining a little girl's innocence.

Quvenzhané Wallis(Beasts of the Southern Wild)



With just one film, Quvenzhané Wallis has dazzled cinemagoers, wowed critics and altered the history books (the youngest Best Actress nominee ever.)

Her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild is no short of amazing. Another role in the can (Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave alongside Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor, released this year,) it was announced before this year's Academy Awards that Wallis will replace Willow Smith in Will Smith's-produced version of Annie!

Broken is in UK cinemas 8 March 2013.

Do you agree with our list? Have we missed any of your favourite young stars?

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