20 of the Greatest Child Actor Performances of All Time

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2. Henry Thomas, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

While the film may be about E.T. himself, it's Elliot that shines. As the young boy who creates a deep, emotional (and psychic) connection with the alien, Thomas doesn't merely go through the motions. He portrays his boyish friendship with the alien as well as quiet sadness when E.T. seemingly “dies.” He also acts along Drew Barrymore, who was a formidable child actor, and still steals the show.