We've all heard the old, sad tale: Child actor becomes famous, becomes desired, becomes overexposed, and then becomes a has-been. It is, perhaps, one of the saddest stories in Hollywood. Yet, every now and then, a once-hot youngster whose visage was pasted on our walls, turns into a now-hot adult. There are plenty of more famous examples, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt — but what about those who have shifted from the pages of TigerBeat and out of the limelight? There are plenty of cuties from our childhood who don't have Gosling-like levels of fame but can still stand the test of time, when it comes to poster-worthiness.
So take a walk back through the world of '90s hotness (whether you were a fellow tween coming of age or a slightly older gal who couldn't help but ogle a bit) and see those former heartthrobs who just seem to get better with age. Well, mostly.
Devon Sawa was the quintessential early '90s blonde boy, playing Christina Ricci's (and maybe ours?) first crush in Casper, and then hitting it big with Now & Then. Do you remember when he was in SLC Punk? That was great. Luckily for us, Sawa can regularly be seen in CW's Nikita. And he kind of looks a little bit like Jeremy Renner, right?
Photo: Crollalanza/Rex USA.
Andew Keegan was famous for playing the bad-boy jerk that we loved to hate (10 Things I Hate About You and O, for instance), because he has that type of charm that simply oozes. Keegan has done a couple of low-profile projects recently, but he still has that up-to-no-good grin that got our attention in the first place.
Photo: Everett Collection/Rex USA
Do you recognize Ralph? Think, dear grasshoppers, about young Daniel-san. Yup, this is the original Karate Kid, who starred in the original blockbuster and its two sequels. Macchio has achieved relative success since, like playing a reoccurring character on Ugly Betty and making it to the top five in Dancing With The Stars.
Photo: Greg Allen/Rex USA.
Look, we all laughed evenly at Kenan & Kel when it was on Nickelodeon, but Kel Mitchell stole our hearts. Kenan has gone on to play some of our more favorite SNL characters, while Kel has found success doing voice work on his old faithful, Nickelodeon.
Photo: John Ricard/Corbis
Okay, this might not be the hottest picture of MPG in the world (for that, check out his super-steamy guest scene in Weeds
, though, be warned — NSFW), but you can see that the "preppie" of Saved By The Bell
has become a bit of a jock. Gone are the bleached-blonde, hair gel-heavy days, and for that, we are not the least bit mad.
Photo: Picture Perfect/Rex USA.
Though we tried to avoid musicians, Jesse McCartney isn't just the one who told us we had a "Beautiful Soul" — but the recipient of two Daytime Emmy Awards. His music career is still going strong (...-ish), thanks to 2010's "Have It All," and the former heartthrob also released a scent two years ago called, "Wanted By Jesse." Well, we hope Bieber looks this good after the fans screams have died down...
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Though he has stated that he won't go back to join his former cast-mate's for Girl Meets World
, Rider Strong continues to be the TGIF television heartthrob. (Gosh, does anyone remember that breezy shag he had? So, so
dreamy.) What has Shawn Hunter been doing? Well, just your usual graduating-magna-cum-laude-from-Columbia
business. It's official: The Boy Meets World cast will always be awesome.
Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
If you had any doubt about the age-old saying that three names maketh a hot man in the 90s, Jonathan here is proof. He's laid very low since Home Improvement
, and for now, doesn't have any plans to get back into acting — though he says
he'd like to work behind the camera. Meanwhile, he's busy traveling, reading books, and having perfectly windswept hair.
Photo: Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.
Chad Michael Murray
As if anything could undo the work of Heavenly creation that is CMM. Aside from being a professional good-looker at parties and red carpets, these days you can find him doing slightly random TV work and, presumably, hanging around his fiancé and former One Tree Hill cheerleader extra Kenzie Dalton.
Photo: Rob Latour/Rex USA
It should be noted that in the Wikipedia article about this Dawson's Creek babe, we learn that Behr, when reading the script for Roswell, "felt an immediate affinity for the lead alien." Somehow, though, he's managed to overcome that strong attraction in favor of his now-wife KaDee Strickland.
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages