From the covers of Tiger Beat to ABC’s popular teen sitcom block TGIF, it was almost impossible to avoid 90’s teen idols at the height of their fame. Today, these idols are all grown up with families, and while some have faded from the spotlight, others are hotter than ever. Below we explore THIRTY 90’s actors an where they are today…
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Best known for her title role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar gained 90s teen idol status in movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions. Gellar went on to marry frequent costar and fellow teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. in 2002. The actress continued to work in movies and TV shows, and lent her voice to animated series including The Simpsons and Robot Chicken. She won an Emmy for her ongoing role on All My Children and currently stars as Sydney Roberts on The Crazy Oneswhen she’s not playing mother to her two children Rocky and Charlotte.
Vancouver-born Devon Sawa rose to fame with roles in Little Giants and Now and Then opposite Christina Ricci; he also starred in Wild America alongside fellow heartthrob JTT. Sawa continued to work through the early 2000s on movies like Final Destination and Idle Hands before taking some time off. He reemerged looking very grown up in 2010 on the TV series Nikita and recently welcomed his first son Hudson with wife Dawni.
Totally rad 90s teen idol Alicia Silverstone shot to fame with her role as Beverly Hills socialite Cher Horowitz in 1995′s Clueless. Other well-known 90s roles include Batgirl in Batman & Robin and a starring role in several Aerosmith music videos. The actress continued to work throughout the 2000s and was married to Christopher Jarecki in 2005. Silverstone is an animal activist and vegan, and her book The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great was published in 2011; she also has two movies set to be released in 2014.
James Van Der Beek
In the late 90s, Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” rose to fame as the theme song of wildly popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek, and so the world was introduced to James Van Der Beek. Best known as Dawson Leery, Van Der Beek made the switch to the big screen as reluctant football star Mox in Varsity Blues. The actor continued to work on edgy productions like The Rules of Attraction and eventually even played a mocking version of himself on the sitcom Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23. He and wife Kimberly welcomed baby Annabel on January 25, 2014.
Multitalented singer and actress Brandy Norwood starred on the hit 90s TV series Moesha before hitting the big screen in the anticipated sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. After Moesha ended, Brandy continued to work in the music and film industry, eventually pursuing a relationship with album producer Robert Smith, with whom she had a daughter in 2002. After a stint on Dancing with the Stars, she renewed her acting career in 2011 with a role on the TV series 90210 and played the role of Chardonnay on The Game from 2012-2013.
After a string of small TV roles, Rider Strong hit it big as bad boy Shawn Hunter on one of the most beloved 90s TV shows Boy Meets World. The show ran from 1993 through 2000, and Rider continued to work in Hollywood on movies like Cabin Fever and Borderland. He has since begun working as a writer on projects including Irish Twins and Blood Merchant. He recently married Alexandra Barreto in October, 2013, and the actor is rumored to be reprising his role as Shawn in the upcoming Girl Meets World.
At 13, Larisa Oleynik starred as the title character on Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack, and she remained a constant on the 90s teen scene. A small role as Ryder Strong’s love interest on Boy Meets World was followed by a starring role as Joseph Gordon Levitt’s love interest Bianca Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You. Oleynik continued to act in small productions while she attended college, graduating from Sarah Lawerence College in 2004. She reemerged in 2011 when she won major roles on popular shows like Hawaii Five-O and Pretty Little Liars.
Gaining female fans while playing Luke Brower on the final season of Growing Pains, Leonardo DiCaprio went on to play in a number of edgy and controversial roles in movies like This Boy’s Life, Total Eclipseand his first Oscar-nominated role as Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. It was his starring role in 1997′s blockbuster Titanic that catapulted him to idol status; DiCaprio continued to take on challenging roles and remains in the spotlight. He recently worked on hit films Inception and The Wolf of Wall Streetand is currently dating German model Toni Garrn.
First catching audience attention as Julia Salinger on Party of Five, Canadian actress Neve Campbell jumped to the big screen as Bonnie in The Craft before stepping into her most famous role: Sidney Prescott of the Scream series. Post-Scream Campbell took on various movie and TV roles before reprising her role as Sidney in 2011s much anticipated and long-awaited sequel Scream 4. In 2014, she will star alongside William H. Macy in Walter and is working on the biographical piece Vivaldi.
In the early 90s, Lark Voorhies was best known as Saved By the Bell’s fashionista, Lisa Turtle, but the actress was also a regular on shows like Days of Our Lives and In the House. Lisa stepped out of the spotlight around 2002, eventually reemerging in 2008 in the short Mimi’s Place and later in the full-length film Closer to God: Jessica’s Journey. She is currently married to Andy Prince and they have one child together.
Gaining notoriety as resident nerd Steve Urkel on Family Matters, Jaleel White achieved idol status once his nerdy character conjured up “Cool Juice” and turned into the stylish and handsome Stefan Urquelle. When Family Matters ended, White continued to work steadily on a number of television shows and movies, and he competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2012. He continues to act and has a daughter Samaya with his ex-girlfriend.
Introduced to audiences as Claudia Salinger on Party of Five, Lacey Chabert also worked as a voice actor in a number of animated movies and television series throughout the 90s including Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys and Anastasia. Although she worked steadily, she truly regained notoriety in 2004 as toaster strudel heiress Gretchen Weiners in Mean Girls. Chabert was featured in the 2007 and 2008 Maxim Hot 100 lists, and the newly married actress has 4 movies set for upcoming 2014 releases.
In the 90s, Donald Faison was best known for portraying Murray in the teen blockbuster Clueless; he would later reprise his role on a television series based on the movie. He stayed in the spotlight with parts in Can’t Hardly Wait and TGIF series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In 2001, he began working on hit television show Scrubs opposite Zach Braff, and the show continued for 9 seasons. Most recently, he married second wife Cacee Cobb and portrays Phil Chase on The Exes.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Party of Five alumnus Jennifer Love Hewitt was a 90s “It” girl thanks to teen blockbusters like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Can’t Hardly Wait. The actress won several big roles in the early 2000s before starring in The Ghost Whisperer from 2005 through 2010. Most recently, Hewitt worked on Lifetime Television’s racy drama The Client List and helped script the comic anthology Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Music Box. She is currently married to her Client List co-star Brian Hallisay, and they welcomed daughter Autumn in late 2013.
Erik Von Detten
Disney heartthrob Erik Von Detten won over female fans with his surfer guy good looks in movies likeEscape to Witch Mountain and Brink, but the actor also proved his talent taking on a number of vocal roles on animated shows including Recess and The Wild Thornberrys. In 2004, Erik worked on the television series Complete Savages and has most recently reprised his role as the voice of Sid in Toy Story 3.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
Sister, Sister catapulted twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry to fame in 1994, and the series ran through 1998. The two often worked together before branching out in the mid 2000s when Tia starred as Melanie Barnett on BET’s The Game and Tamera worked on the TV series Strong Medicine. Tia married actor Cory Hardrict in 2008 and is currently working on the TV series Instant Mom; Tamera married Fox News correspondent Adam Housley in 2011, and the two have a son together named Aden.
A regular on both Party of Five and Thunder Alley, Andrew Keegan kept busy throughout the 90s with roles on most every popular teen show, including the popular Boy Meets World. The handsome actor played up his good looks as the pretentious model Joey in the teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You and continued to work throughout the 2000s. In 2013, he starred in two shorts and is currently working onLiving Among Us.
Melissa Joan Hart
It’s difficult to say whether Melissa Joan Hart is best known for her title role on Clarissa Explains It All or TGIF’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but the actress was a mainstay of all things 90s. After starring opposite Adrian Grenier in Drive Me Crazy, Hart worked on a number of TV movies. She married husband Mark Wilkerson in 2003, and the couple have three sons together. The former 90s star owns a production company called Hartbreak Films and stars opposite Joey Lawerence in the TV series Melissa and Joey.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Married to fellow 90s idol and co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze starred in a number of teen movies including She’s All That and Down to You, often playing a heartthrob-type. When not spending time with his vampire-slaying wife and their two children, Freddie continued to pursue an acting career and played Cole Ortiz on the television series 24. More recently, the actor has lent his voice to Robot Chicken and been featured on several TV shows including Bones and Witches of East End.
After starring as Joey in the hit teen drama Dawson’s Creek, Katie Holmes was a regular on the big screen in movies like Disturbing Behavior, Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Go. The actress worked steadily through the 2000s, scoring the role of Rachel Dawes in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. In 2006, Holmes married Tom Cruise and gave birth to media darling daughter Suri. The marriage ended in 2012, but Katie has continued to work in Hollywood and has 5 movies set for release in 2014.
In the early 90s, Ryan Phillippe began working on One Life to Live as Billy Douglas; however, the actor really hit it big on the big screen in films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and 54. In 1999, he played Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions alongside wife and fellow 90s idol Reese Witherspoon. The couple would eventually divorce in 2007, but Phillippe continued to work on both movies and TV series, including a stint on the long running wrestling show WWF Raw. The actor has three films slated for release in 2014 and is currently dating former model Paulina Slagter.
Starring as Willow on the supernatural TV hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alyson Hannigan also appeared on the show’s spinoff series Angel alongside series regular and future husband Alexis Denisof. In 1999, she starred as quirky band geek Michelle in American Pie, and the actress continued to portray the part in three sequels. Following American Wedding and the end of Buffy, Hannigan landed the role of Lily on How I Met Your Mother; Alyson is still happily married to her former co-star, and the couple have two daughters together.
Although Joey Lawerence first gained popularity in the late 80s, he defined himself as a 90s idol while starring in popular teen dramas like Blossom and Brotherly Love. In the early 2000s, Lawerence worked on American Dreams and Run of the House, both of which enjoyed short-lived success. The actor currently plays the nanny opposite former Clarissa star Melissa Joan Hart in the TV show Melissa and Joey; he has dabbled in both in directing and producing for the series. The actor married his second wife Chandie Yawn-Nelson in 2005.
In 1996, the big orange couch of SNICK introduced audiences to Amanda Bynes, a regular performer on the sketch comedy show All That. Her successful skit “The Amanda Show” eventually developed into an independent spin-off show, and when the series ended in 2002, Bynes jumped to the big screen withWhat A Girl Wants. The actress last worked on the 2010 teen comedy Easy A, but she has recently had legal issues as many young stars face when growing up in the spotlight. Bynes enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2014 in hopes of making a positive change in her life and career path.
Best known for his role as the Beverly Hills: 90210 Dylan McKay, Luke Perry was the quintessential 90s bad boy heartthrob. Although he’s best known for his role as Dylan, the actor starred in many movies and TV series throughout the 90s including The Fifth Element and Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. Unlike many teen idols whose celebrity fizzles out, Perry worked tirelessly through his upcoming 2014 release A Fine Step. In addition to acting, Luke has dabbled in directing and producing, with three executive producer credits from 2011-2013. The actor has two children, both teenagers, from his previous marriage to Minnie Sharp.
Starting out as a Mouseketeer and quickly moving to the big screen in Honey I Blew Up the Kid, Keri Russell is best known for her portrayal of the title character in late 90s TV series Felicity. The actress worked sporadically throughout the early 2000s, but her career began picking up again in 2010 with a role on the series Running Wilde. Russell currently stars on the communist Russia-era drama The Americans, and she married Shane Deary in 2007, with whom she has two children.
Before his breakout role in the 90s teen drama Breaker High, Ryan Gosling played a handful of characters on various 90s TV series including Flash Forward, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps. He also gained notoriety and female fans in the series Young Hercules, in which he played the title character. The actor’s switch to the big screen redefined him as a Hollywood heartthrob, and his role in 2004′s The Notebook cemented his status as Hollywood leading man. Gosling recently starred in the controversial Only God Forgives, and he will make his directorial debut with 2014′s How To Catch a Monsterlater this year.
In the late 90s, Reese Witherspoon rose to fame while starring in teen-centric movies like Pleasantville,Cruel Intentions and the quirky indie flick Election. It wasn’t until 2001, however, that the actress asserted herself as America’s sweetheart while playing Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Witherspoon married her Cruel Intentions co-star Ryan Phillippe in 1999 while continuing to play a number of wholesome female characters. The couple split in 2007 after having three children together; Witherspoon remains an audience favorite and recently starred in the romantic comedy This Means War in 2012.
Mark Paul Gosselaar