16 Forgotten '90s Celebs (& What They're Up To Now)

Photo: Alex J. Berliner/BEImages.
This story was originally published on September 14, 2015.

Ah, the '90s. It was a time before camera phones. Our attention spans hadn't been sullied by Twitter or Instagram. If you wanted to keep tabs on your favorite celebrity, you had to buy the latest issue of Tiger Beat or Bop. That's where you'd find a paragraph or two about his/her likes and dislikes along with a pull-out poster you could hang on your wall (if your mom would let you — I swear that sticky tack comes off!).

In every generation of celebrities, some will be fleeting (even in our current age of constant surveillance and reportage). In the '90s, though, it seemed much easier for our beloved heartthrobs to slip through the cracks and out of the public eye as they got older. Sometimes this was a conscious decision on their part — maybe they wanted to go to school and live the civilian life. Other times, they might have had trouble transitioning from child star to adult celeb.

Here, we take a look at 16 celebrities who were all that and a bag of chips in the 1990s. In the time since, however, they've managed to disappear from the public eye and cultural consciousness. Where did they go? What are they up to now? Will J.T.T. accept your marriage proposal from fourth grade? We'll do our very best to get you all those answers — well, maybe not the last one. That's between you and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
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Photo: Alex J. Berliner/BEImages.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Then
If you grew up in the ‘90s, J.T.T. was it. He came to prominence as the middle child of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen) on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement (1991-1999). He voiced young Simba in The Lion King (1994) and had leading roles in movies like Tom and Huck (1995) and Man of the House (1995). He was all anyone wanted to talk about during lunch at Dorchester Elementary School in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. Congratulations, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. You truly made it.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Now
After Home Improvement ended and the teen movie roles dried up, Thomas opted out of Hollywood to pursue higher education, travel, and “have a bit of a break,” he told People in 2013. He went to Harvard, Columbia, and the University of St Andrews in Scotland during a 10-year hiatus from Hollywood. He’s since returned to L.A., where he writes, directs, and occasionally acts. He recently guest-starred on his old TV dad Tim Allen’s latest show, Last Man Standing (2011-present).
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Tatyana Ali: Then
Ali got her start on Sesame Street in 1985. Here’s a vintage clip of a young Ali watching Herbie Hancock play the keyboard. She’s most well-known, though, for her role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where she played Ashley Banks. She had many of her formative experiences on the show, like her first kiss.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Tatyana Ali: Now
After Fresh Prince ended, Ali released an album and continued to act. She graduated from Harvard in 2002. She still acts and also directs. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Photo: BEImages.
Andrew Keegan: Then
You remember Andrew Keegan. He so brilliantly played the cocky asshole in so many ‘90s TV shows and movies (like 10 Things I Hate About You). Someone’s gotta play that role, though, and Keegan always seemed game to step up to the a-hole plate.
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Photo: REX USA.
Andrew Keegan: Now
While his IMDb page paints a more cheerful picture of somewhat steady acting gigs, Andrew Keegan’s life has been a bit more, shall we say, colorful behind the scenes since his days as the big douche bag on campus in your favorite shows and movies from the late '90s and early '00s. He started a church called Full Circle — In May 2015, the church hosted a charity event that was raided by agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, who had received a report that illegal fermented tea was being sold. Full Circle claimed that the beverage was kombucha. You can find Keegan on Twitter and Instagram. Expect a lot of church-related posts.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Marla Sokoloff: Then
Did we think Sokoloff’s bad-girl character Gia Mahan on Full House (1987-1995), who later became Stephanie Tanner’s best friend, was the coolest chick ever at the time? Yes, yes we did.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Marla Sokoloff: Now
Sokoloff famously dated James Franco, who she met when the two costarred in the oft-forgotten 2000 teen flick Whatever It Takes (yes, that is Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul), for five years. She also played Joey Tribbiani’s (Matt LeBlanc) pregnant sister Dina on season 8 of Friends (1994-2004). As of March 2015, Sokoloff is the mother of two daughters — Elliotte Anne and Olive Mae — with her husband Alec Puro, a composer. She blogged about her pregnancies on People.com. You can follow Sokoloff on Twitter and Instagram.
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Photo: BEImages.
Erik von Detten: Then
von Detten got his start on the soap opera Days of Our Lives (1965-present), on which he appeared in 1993. He voiced Sid in the original Toy Story (1995), and appeared in the Disney Channel Original Movie Brink! in 1998. Most people remember von Detten for playing Josh Bryant in The Princess Diaries (2001) — and, you know, the most epic middle part of all times.
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Photo: Peter Brooker /REX USA.
Erik von Detten: Now
von Detten was the runner-up on the reality show Celebrity Mole Hawaii (2003). He returned to voice Sid as a grown-up garbage man in Toy Story 3 (2010). Here’s a picture of von Detten with his adorable, towheaded son at the Toy Story 3 premiere.
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Photo: Courtesy of Amblin Entertainment.
Devon Sawa: Then
He was the boy who made a million hearts flutter when he asked Kat (Christina Ricci) “Can I keep you?” in Casper (1995). He did it again when he kissed Ricci in Now and Then. He was also dreamy as Junior in Little Giants (1994). As he got older, Sawa’s roles tended more towards the weird, with roles in SLC Punk! (1998), Idle Hands (1999), and Final Destination (2000).
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Devon Sawa: Now
Sawa still acts. He recently appeared on The CW’s Nikita revival from 2010-2013. In January 2014, he and his wife Dawni had their first child, a son named Hudson. Sawa ruffled a few feathers this past January when he weighed in on Deflategate with a misogynistic joke about women and sports. You can follow him on Twitter.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Tahj Mowry: Then
This adorable tot — who yes, is the younger brother of famous twins Tia and Tamera Mowry — basically guest-starred his way through every hit sitcom of the ‘90s, from Who’s the Boss? to Friends. He played Michelle Tanner’s friend Teddy on Full House and headlined the show Smart Guy as child prodigy T.J. Henderson from 1997-1999.
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Photo: Rob Latour/REX USA.
Tahj Mowry: Now
Mowry’s first single, “Flirt,” came out in April 2015, followed by his EP, Future Funk. He’s also been playing Tucker Dobbs on the ABC Family sitcom Baby Daddy since 2012. You can follow him on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram,
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Photo: Alex J. Berliner/BEImages.
Jenna von Oy: Then
She was Blossom’s (Mayim Bialik) fast-talking BFF and the most faithful of sidekicks, Six LeMeure, on the NBC sitcom, which ran from 1990-1995.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Jenna von Oy: Now
According to von Oy’s personal website, she’s been working steadily as an actress and singer since her breakout role as Six. In 2010, she married Brad Bratcher, and they welcomed their first daughter, Gray Audrey, in 2012. Their second daughter, Marlowe Monroe, arrived in 2014. von Oy blogs about pregnancy and motherhood, and she’s also working on two books. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Barry Watson: Then
Just look at this guy. Was he not the ‘90s Jared Padalecki? Watson even came to prominence in a similar role as Padalecki (who we all loved as Rory’s first boyfriend Dean on Gilmore Girls). On 7th Heaven (1996-2007), Barry Watson played Matt Camden, the eldest son of a reverend.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Barry Watson: Now
In 2002, Watson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and he’s been in remission since completing chemotherapy since October of that year. He returned to 7th Heaven, had his first child, and has been acting steadily since. After 7th Heaven ended, he played lead roles on two short-lived shows, What About Brian (2006-2007) and Samantha Who? (2007-2009). From there, Watson moved onto guest-starring roles. In 2012, Watson played Serena van der Woodsen’s (Blake Lively) boyfriend Steven Spence on Gossip Girl (2007-2012). In 2014, he made a few appearances on Masters of Sex (2013-present) and Hart of Dixie (2011-2015).
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Jason Behr: Then
The aliens-walk-among-us teen drama Roswell (1999-2002) gave us many things: Katherine Heigl, UnREAL’s Shiri Appleby, and mysterious, man-of-few-words heartthrob Jason Behr (he of the chocolate-brown eyes and ability to point at the sky to signal that he “wasn’t from around here” in a way that made you want to protect him). In case you need more of reminder about Jason Behr/Max Evans, Forever Young Adult has some of his best work — and by "work," we mean objectifying six-pack shots from teen magazines around the time Roswell premiered.
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Photo: Peter Brooker /REX USA.
Jason Behr: Now
Behr has been acting sporadically since Roswell went off the air in 2002. He married actress KaDee Strickland in 2006, and they welcomed a son named Atticus in 2013.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount.
Marques Houston: Then
“Rogerrrrrrr!” is a refrain you can often hear during episodes of Sister, Sister (1994-1999). Houston played Tia and Tamera’s annoying-but-doting next-door neighbor Roger Evans for five of the show’s six seasons. Houston also appeared in Good Burger (1997), You Got Served (2004), and the film adaptation of Fat Albert (2004). In addition to his solo music career, Houston was also part of the R&B group Immature, which went by the name of IMx.
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Photo: Evans Ward/BEImages.
Marques Houston: Now
Houston still acts and makes music. His most recent role was in TV One’s movie Will to Love, which premiered this past June. You can follow him on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. He really likes taking selfies in his car.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Skeet Ulrich: Then
He became a ‘90s alternative pin-up boy thanks to starring turns in The Craft and Scream (even if his characters are always sleazy and probably the killer).
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Skeet Ulrich: Now
First things first: No, that’s not his real name. He was born Billy Ray Trout. Now that that’s out of the way, we can share that your ‘90s lover (if only in your mind) appeared in a few more cult-favorite movies and TV shows throughout the ‘90s and early aughts. Miracles (2003) and Jericho (2006-2008) were probably the most popular. He had a short stint on Law & Order: L.A. (surely you remember that L&O spinoff that lasted from 2010-2011) and has mostly been voicing various roles on Robot Chicken (2007-2014) since then. He also has fraternal twins named Jakob and Naiia, who were born in 2001. You can follow Ulrich on Twitter on Instagram.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Andrea Barber: Then
As Kimmy Gibbler on Full House (1987-1995), she was D.J. Tanner’s (Candace Cameron Bure) best friend and the perennial thorn in Danny Tanner’s (Bob Saget) side.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Andrea Barber: Now
After Full House ended, Barber took a break from acting to attend Whittier College. She’ll return to the role of Kimmy Gibbler for Netflix’s Fuller House in 2016. She’s still good friends with Candace Cameron Bure. Barber has two children (Tate and Felicity) with husband Jeremy Rytky. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Shane West: Then
West’s breakout role was on the cusp of the new millennium in the ABC show Once and Again (1999-2002). He then made people everywhere swoon as Landon Carter in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember (2002), where he played a bad boy turned loving, doting teen husband to Mandy Moore’s dying Jamie Sullivan. He used part of his paycheck from the movie to buy his character's ‘67 Camaro, which is such a Landon Carter move.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Shane West: Now
West has been steadily acting this whole time, finding most of his success with television roles on ER (2004-2009), Nikita (2010-2013), and Salem (2014-present). He also plays in punk bands when he has time. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Rider Strong: Then
He was Cory Matthews’ (Ben Savage) laid-back best friend, and the ladies couldn’t get enough of his leather jacket and long hair on Boy Meets World (1993-2000).
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Rider Strong: Now
Strong graduated from Columbia University, where he majored in English, in 2004. He received a Master’s of Fine Arts from Bennington College in 2009. He’s taken on occasional roles since B.M.W. ended in 2000; however, he does a lot more behind-the-camera work in writing and directing these days. He also hosts a podcast called Literary Disco with his friends Tod Goldberg and Julia Pistell. Strong married actress Alexandra Barreto in October 2013, and they welcomed a son named Indigo “Indy” Barreto Strong in December 2014. You can follow Strong on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Mike Vitar: Then
He’s best known as Benjamin Franklin “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez in The Sandlot (1993) and Luis Mendoza in D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994) and D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996).
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Photo: Courtesy of LAFD.
Mike Vitar: Now
Vitar retired from acting after appearing in a 1997 episode of Chicago Hope (1994-2000). He joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 2002. He has a wife and two sons.
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