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Films that Launched the Dramatic Careers of Family Movie Stars

This week, we saw the trailer for The Woman in Black, the project that is to be Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter film. Though we have faith in Radcliffe as an actor, we’re not sure that this film will be the one that launches him into dramatic films, per se — maybe it’s just us, but all we can see in this video is Harry Potter dressed up as a lawyer running from Voldemort — but you never know. Either way, the trailer got us thinking about films that have launched the dramatic careers of actors who previously primarily starred in family or kids’ films. This kind of list relies on largely subjective data, and therefore is definitely an arguable one, so let us know what you think of our picks in the comments.

Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon, 1999

Jim Carrey became a household name in the early nineties for the mildly horrible Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a film that delighted potty-mouthed children and teenagers everywhere. Though he followed it with more respectable fare — The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever — he remained largely a children’s hero and family movie star (we still count The Truman Show as a family movie, though we admit it’s debatable) until his portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, for which he won his second Golden Globe.