Teen Heartthrobs – Then and Now, part 2

A few months ago, I made a post about some of my favourite “heartthrobs” from the 80’s and 90’s (which is still one of my most viewed posts!! Woo! hehe). I’d promised way back then that I would continue the post to add all those that I’d forgotten, and then I just got side-tracked with other stuff. But I’m ready to take on part 2 now, so without any further ado, let’s get this show on the road!

 

Vincent Kartheiser

I first saw Vincent in such teen films as Alaska, Masterminds, Strike! (also called All I Wanna Do), and Crime + Punishment in Suburbia, as well, of course, as Connor in the great vampire show Angel. Quite effeminate, he’s definitely not for everyone’s tastes, but I’ve always liked the little girly boys, so I fell in love with him on first sight.

So what’s he up to now?
Vincent Kartheiser now

While he never really stopped working after Angel ended in 2004, his roles were either small, voice overs, or in relatively unknown works. But he became well known again after landing his role as Pete Campbell in the 60’s drama Mad Men, which is still on now. He also has two films in production, a short called Winter Light, and a drama called Day Out of Days, with Melanie Griffith.

 

Skeet Ulrich

After a few bit parts between 1989 and 1994, Skeet finally got his big break in the teen horror flicks The Craft and Scream, both out in 1996. But then, after a small role in the Jack Nicholson film As Good As It Gets in 1997, he kind of slid off the grid. He got steady work, but nothing really big.

So what’s he up to now?
Skeet Ulrich now

The only thing he’s done of any real consequence is the post-apocalyptic drama Jericho that ran from 2006 to 2008. He also did a season of one of the zillion Law & Order spinoffs in 2011. As of right now, he’s got two TV movies in production, as well as a dramady called Lost in Austin.

 

Ryan Phillippe

After a few small roles on TV and film, Ryan got his big break in the 1996 drama White Squall, with Jeff Bridges. After that role, he got a crap-ton of work, mostly in teen and young adult fare like Nowhere, I Know What You Did Last Summer, 54, and Cruel Intentions, which is probably his most famous role.

So what’s he up to now?
Ryan Phillippe now

He never stopped working after Cruel Intentions, but I have never heard of any of the stuff he’s been in, all the way till The Lincoln Lawyer with Matthew McConnaughey in 2011. He’s currently got two films in production, and looks like he’ll be trying his luck on the small screen. He’s working on a pilot for a mystery show called Secrets & Lies with Juliette Lewis.

 

Robert Sean Leonard

The first time I saw Robert was in Swing Kids. We watched it in history class while I was in high school. I liked him so much that I went on to find more of his movies, going all the way back to his first starring role in 1987’s My Best Friend is a Vampire, which is indeed as silly as it sounds, and it’s awesome! hehe He also had notable roles in Dead Poets Society (don’t forget the kleenex for this one), Much Ado About Nothing, and Killer: A Journal of Murder.

So what’s he up to now?
Robert Sean Leonard now

He worked steadily till 1998, and then roles started to come much less frequently. But then, in 2004, he hit the small screen jackpot, landing the role of Dr James Wilson on the medical drama House, which ran eight seasons. This year he joined the cast of the sci-fi show Falling Skies, which is in its fourth season.

 

River Phoenix

The first film that really made me notice River Phoenix was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which is still my favourite of the franchise). He wasn’t in the film for very long, as he was playing the young Indy, but he was memorable. He started acting when he was 12, and soon showed that he was very talented, blowing everyone away with his role in Stand By Me, among others. He even got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in My Own Private Idaho, which he should have won. He worked on 1 to 4 projects a year, until 1993.

So what’s he up to now?
River Phoenix

Unfortunately, River’s addictions got the better of him, and in the wee hours of the morning on October 31, 1993, he collapsed outside of the Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room (partially owned at that time by Johnny Depp, who was a good friend of River’s). He was pronounced dead at 1:51AM, at Cedars-Sinai hospital. The official cause of death was “heart failure due to acute multiple drug intoxication”. He was only 23.

 

Noah Hathaway

After making a bunch of commercials (he started when he was three), he finally broke through and got his first real acting job at the age of 7 in the sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica. After doing that show for two years, he got few other small roles, mostly TV guest spots, until he struck gold in 1984, when he won the role of Atreyu in the classic The NeverEnding Story. He worked steadily for the next two years (most notably in the weird fantasy flick Troll, where he played a character called *gasp!* Harry Potter!!), but he was never able to recapture the success that he had with The NeverEnding Story.

So what’s he up to now?
Noah Hathaway now

He stopped acting completely in 1986, only taking one role in 1996. He opened a dance studio for a while, but stopped after an injury. He went on to get a black belt in Kempo Karate and did some competitions. He married, and later he and his wife opened a shop in California building and fixing “chopper” motorcycles. He occasionally still does appearances in fan expos and conventions. He’s recently decided to give acting another try, doing one project a year since 2012, starting with the odd crime film Sushi Girl.

 

Nick Carter

Nick Carter began his career wanting to be an actor. He did lots of auditioning and landed a few commercials. He also got a bit part in Edward Scissorhands. But it was to be a music career that would rocket him to fame. In 1992, with little Nick a mere 12 years old, the Backstreet Boys are formed. In May 1993, they had their first live gig in Orlando. They recorded their first single We’ve Got It Going On a few months after that. And the rest, as they say, is history.

So what’s he up to now?
Nick Carter Now

He’s made two solo albums, both of which sold relatively well. He made a reality show called House of Carters with all 4 of his siblings. It only lasted one season. He was recently back on tour with the Backstreet Boys for a reunion tour for them along with the New Kids on the Block. This year, he recorded a duet album with Jordan Knight (from NKOTB), called Nick & Knight, and they’re due to start touring in September.

 

Nicholas Brendon

Nicholas won my heart the second I saw him, way back in 1997, in season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And it really was the best episode for me to see first. It was the Xander-centric episode The Pack, where he and four bullies are possessed by evil hyena spirits. And of course I’ve been hooked ever since (to both Buffy and Nicky, hehe).

So what’s he up to now?
Nicholas Brendon now

While he’s never been able to recreate the success he had during Buffy‘s seven year run, he’s always kept busy. He’s done voice-over work for video games (mostly Buffy games), and tons of guest spots on various TV shows. Then, in 2007, he got a permanent spot (albeit a small one) on the FBI drama Criminal Minds, as Penelope Garcia’s boyfriend, fellow FBI hacker Kevin Lynch. He’s trying his luck on the big screen again (past efforts are better left untalked about) with the thriller Indigo. There’s also a TV show in the works with a 2015 release date called Chainsaw Sally, which looks to be a horror comedy, starring a few other actors known for horror and fantasy, including Debbie Rochon and Tristan Risk.

 

Jason & Jeremy London

I may be cheating a little here, but really, you can’t talk about one London brother and not the other. While Jason made his name on the big screen with his iconic role as Randall ‘Pink’ Floyd in Dazed and Confused, Jeremy mostly stuck to the small screen, making many guest appearances in all genres of show, and his most known role, that of Griffin Holbrooke on the drama Party of Five, which ran for 6 years, 5 of which Jeremy was in. He didn’t make that many jumps to the big screen, but his most famous movie role is Mallrats, which, I kid you not, I’d always thought was Jason in the role! I found out it was actually Jeremy literally two seconds ago. Way to go, me. But while he wasn’t in that particular film, Jason was in many others, including Man in the Moon, Blood Ties, and the fabulous To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. After Party of Five ended in 2002, Jeremy floundered about for two years, until he got a recurring role on the drama 7th Heaven, which lasted two years.

So what are they up to now?
Jason & Jeremy London Now

Both of them have tons of projects in their film-and-tv-ographies, Jason a ton and a half, but I can recognize literally about 1 out of 12 titles, and even less titles that I’ve actually seen. Most recently, Jason has a small role in the crime drama Untold, and Jeremy was in a sci-fi show called Dark Rising: Warrior of Worlds, neither of which I knew existed. On the horizon, Jeremy has nine projects (one movie completed, seven in post-production, and one merely announced), Jason has seven (two completed, four in post-production, and one currently filming). And out of all these, there’s only one that looks even remotely interesting, a TV show inspired by the story of Jack the Ripper called 7 Faces of Jack the Ripper. I’m not sure how good it’ll be, if it’s good at all, cause the acting in the trailer is pretty atrocious…

 

Ethan Embry

Ethan has an oddball look (and personality to match), but I always thought it was a charming oddball look. If I’m not mistaken, the first time I saw him was in Empire Records, which was, and remains, the teen film to top all teen films. But that, in 1995, was hardly his first rodeo, having done 10 projects before it (none that I’ve actually heard of, but that’s besides the point). After that, his popularity sky-rocketed, and he made two, three, sometimes up to six projects a year till 2003. First, teen films (White Squall, That Thing You Do!, Can’t Hardly Wait, and Disturbing Behaviour), and then more adult roles more suited to his age. Most of his work after 1998 is on TV, either as a show regular, as in the detective drama Dragnet, or as a guest star, of which he did many.

So what’s he up to now?
Ethan Embry Now

Ethan never stopped working, but looking through the list of projects (both TV and film), I only recognize a few names, and even the ones I recognized I haven’t seen. I think the only thing I’ve seen him in recently(ish) is Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, in which he only had a small part. He was a regular in season 2 of the fantasy show Once Upon a Time (which I find boring as heck, but anyways..). He’s got four projects on the way, two completed, one in post-production, and one in pre-production.

And that’s all she wrote!! And in this case, she’s me. I’m the she, and that’s all I wrote. I’m finished, is what I’m saying here :-p

Enjoy my list? Who were your favourite teen heartthrobs? Let me know in the comments!! 🙂

M.

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Teen Heartthrobs – Then and Now

After growing up in a house with 12 to 14 people living in it at any given time, I was happy to finally get my own room in my mid-teens. Not only was it my own room, but it was the biggest in the house, and in the basement, so I had lots of privacy. It helped that everyone thought the room was haunted and never wanted to come near it, but that’s a whole other story. A big room meant I had lots and lots of wall space, and boy did I ever put it to good use. Every available space was filled with posters of cute boys from the teen magazines I used to read: Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Bop, 16 and others. I used my allowance to buy subscriptions to these magazines, and I had a handful of new posters to add to my collection each month. After a while I had to start using the ceiling, but that was so hard to manage that I eventually gave up on it and took older posters down to make space. The 90’s (which is when I was a teenager) were a good decade for cute boys, it certainly produced a great deal of them. A few of them are still working today, but a lot of them have sunk into oblivion (or darn near it), and a few of them are unfortunately no longer with us. You’ll probably notice a few notable names missing in this list, and that’s because I tried to minimize the names, not to make an entry that’ll take 3 hours to go through. There are some actors that started acting in their teens, but were never really considered a “teen idol”, for whatever reason. Elijah Wood, for example, started acting as a kid, and worked all through his teen years, but he never really did the “teen actor” thing, and mostly picked non-teen-movie roles, as did Leonardo DiCaprio, so neither of them is in the list. We all know what became of them, anyways, hehe. I also only put the ones that I personally found attractive. So there may be a few “obvious” heartthrobs that I seemingly forgot, like Edward Furlong or Rider Strong for example, but I didn’t forget. I just didn’t like them :-p

I’ve always been curious to find out what happened to my favourite actors from back then, so I decided to make a list with pictures showing what these actors look like now. Some, still being popular today, were easy to find recent pictures of. Some haven’t worked in years, so pictures were less easily available, but I Googled my little heart out and managed to find some pretty decent stuff. Most of these actors are from the 90’s, since that’s when I was a teen, those are the ones I know best. But I have included a few boys from the 80’s as well, from those films that I loved all through childhood and into my teens. A good few have aged remarkably well, while others… not so much. Let’s get this started! 😀

 

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I first saw Andrew in Independence Day. He had a speaking role, but it contained all of one line. Such an impression did Andrew leave with his one line of dialogue that he was all over the teen magazines for months after, which I’m sure is what helped jump start his career. He was on the short-lived sitcom Thunder Alley after that, but his really big break came from the hit film 10 Things I Hate About You with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. While he used to be the bad boy with long hair, the tables turned in this film and he played a jocky douchebag (and he did it real well too). He worked pretty steadily until 2004, a few indie films (including the wonderful Broken Hearts Club) and as a regular on the tv show 7th Heaven, and that’s when the roles got fewer and far in-between. So what’s he up to today? ImageHe’s currently filming a horror flick called Living Among Us, with Esmé Bianco (and her wonderful breasts) and William Sadler. The film is due to be released October 1st of this year. Other than that, he’s only had a spattering of guest starring roles on a few tv shows, none of which are really interesting. Hopefully this new film will help his career get back on track. Horror is a great genre for comebacks!

 

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Brad Renfro got his big break at age 10, starring along side Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon in The Client, based on the awesome book of the same name by John Grisham. After that wonderful performance, his star rose quickly, film offers coming in by the ton. He was in the fun Tom and Huck, with fellow heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas, but then once his hunk status was established, he quickly made sure to remind audiences that he had real talent, Imageand made a string of wonderful, if sometimes hard to watch, films, including Sleepers and Apt Pupil, with Ian McKellan. He worked almost non-stop until 2002, when his addictions were starting to get the best of him and work was getting harder to keep because of it. So what’s he up to today? Unfortunately, after battling his addictions for the greater part of his young life, he succumbed to them fully and on January 15, 2008 he was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment, victim of an accidental heroine overdose. A shame that such talent was wasted on a junkie…

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One of my few entries from the 80’s, I first saw Corey way back when I was a wee thing in what is, to this day, my favourite film of all time, The Lost Boys. I had a crush on him even before I knew what crushes even were! hehe I didn’t see any of his other teen flicks until I was in my late teens, so most (probably all) of my love for him came from The Lost Boys, which I watched so often that I could recite the entire film by heart. I also wore out the tape, and had to replace it. Twice. I was glad when they finally put it out on dvd, I could stop re-buying stuff. He worked steadily until 1993, and then that’s when his Imageaddictions pretty much put an end to his career. He got less and less interesting roles until, finally, he had to accept any work that came his way, no matter how crappy it was (and some of them were really, really bad), just to pay for his addiction of choice, painkillers. He tried a number of times to get clean and kick-start his career over again, but in the end he always succumbed to the drugs. So what’s he up to today? Sadly, Corey Haim is no longer with us. On March 10, 2010 his mother walked into his room of their small apartment and found him motionless on the floor. He was pronounced dead on his arrival at the hospital. Anyone who knew him couldn’t honestly say that they were surprised that he died young, but they were surprised to find out that he died not of an overdose, as most would expect, but of complications of pneumonia.

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Devon got his big break, after a few smaller roles, as the humanized title ghost in Casper. It was just for one scene, but it got all the fan girls in a tizzy, and Devon’s ridiculously cute mug was a staple in the teen mags after that. ImageHe made a few films a year until 2000 (including awesome contributions to the horror genre, Idle Hands and Final Destination), after that he seems to have just vanished. Nothing on his IMDB profile for the next 10 years looks even vaguely familiar. So what’s he up to today? After 10 years of making a handful of films that no one saw, he landed himself a recurring role on the reboot of the spy show Nikita, with Maggie Q and Shane West, and he revisited the horror genre in the direct-to-dvd A Resurrection. Nothing else is on his plate as of now.

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I first saw Jonathan in The Neverending Story 2 (which, after recently rewatching it, I realize is a horrible film. I must have really have had a crush on him to have watched it as many times as I had). The year after that Stephen King’s It was made into a 2 part tv mini-series, and Jonathan was cast as one of the young “Loser’s Club”, 7 best friends to face a (fucking terrifying) monster who masquerades as a clown. Despite my intense fear of clowns (or coulrophobia, if you wanna get fancy), ImageIt is still one of my favourite films, even though it’s a little cheezy and just screams “90’s TV!” After that he made a few more tv movies and guest starred in a few shows before being cast as one of the leads of the futuristic show SeaQuest DSV. After the show ended however, roles started getting scarce, good roles even scarcer. So what’s he up to today? Unfortunately Jonathan suffered from depression, not helped along by a bit of a drinking problem, and finally, on November 12, 2003, after months of depressing about his waning career, he committed suicide by hanging himself in his Los Angeles apartment. He was found, alive but just barely, by a friend who immediately called the ambulance. It was too late, however, the injury too severe, and he died 15 hours later.

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Jonathan was never in anything that I would have watched on my own, but after seeing him in my teen mags, I did something that I’d vowed never to do: I started watching a soap opera. Jonathan played Lucky Spencer on General Hospital for 6 years. And once I started watching, it was like crack. I knew it was bad, and yet I was hooked. I watched every day (the VCR programmed to tape it every day while I was in school) for the next two years. Jonathan Jackson nowAfter his stint on General Hospital, he did a few movies, and then sort of faded away, projects coming through at a very slow rate. So what’s he up to today? After a guest spot on the short-lived Sarah Connor Chronicles, he’s got 4 years of nothing. Then, in 2012, he got a role as a regular on the country music drama Nashville, which is in it’s second season. As of now, that’s all he’s got going on, but hopefully this new show will reignite his star. He’s quite good, and still gorgeous. I’m glad to see he hasn’t cut off his beautiful hair, which so many men do when they age…

Jonny Lee Miller

I first saw Jonny in what still remains one of my favourite teen films of all time, Hackers. He’d already been a pretty big star when he did the film, but only in the UK. Hackers saw his star rise in America, and since that first film he’s been working almost non-stop, both here and in the UK. So what’s he up to today? He’s currently starring in Elementary with Lucy Liu. The show’s in it’s second season. While you Were SleepingPersonally, I don’t like it, I much prefer Sherlock. The little twist of making both Watson and Moriarty women was cute, but then because of that, everything became about feelings. The Sherlock Holmes stories don’t need all that, they’re perfect the way they are. Adding all this crap is just… well… crap :-p But I’m getting off topic here. Jonny’s one of the few actors who successfully juggle both film and television (a lot of actors from TV seem to have bad luck in getting good film roles). In 2010 he was the baddie of Dexter‘s fifth season. He’s a big fan of genre films, as well, so his handsome mug is all over horror. It’s always nice when good actors like to do horror and thrillers.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph’s rather incredible career started when he was a mere 7 years old. After a few guest spots on other TV shows, he landed a spot on the short-lived but awesome Dark Shadows. It only lasted one season, which is a real shame because I loved it. It always seems to happen that way with awesome shows. The next few years saw a bunch of guest spots on shows and a few kid’s films. Joseph Gordon-Levitt nowThen, in 1996, he became a household name almost overnight when he signed on to the hit show 3rd Rock from the Sun, with John Lithgow. So what’s he up to today? After 3rd Rock ended in 2001, he took it easy for 3 years or so, doing just one project a year till 2005. Then, all of a sudden it seemed, he was everywhere, making 4 to 5 pictures a year. Most recently he’s got Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in production, and his directorial debut, Don Jon, was in cinemas not too long ago. He also joined the Batman franchise in The Dark Knight Rises, as Robin. As for his looks, he just seems to get better looking with each passing year, although I admit I really miss that long hair…

Josh Hartnett

Josh literally exploded onto the scene in 1998, going from complete unknown to household name overnight. He did films of all genres, doing some horror and teen films, Josh Hartnett nowlike The Faculty and The Virgin Suicides, earlier in his career, then moving on to action and chick flicks later. He was incredibly popular until about 2007, when his star began to wan. So what’s he up to today? After having practically nothing on his resume for the last couple of years, he’s now got a show, Penny Dreadful, in production, and has one film, Parts Per Billion, due out this year.

JTT

Ask almost any woman my age and she’ll tell you, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT, as the teen mags called him) was one of the hottest teen idols of the 90’s. After a few roles in kid’s shows in the late 80’s, Jonathan struck gold when he landed the role of middle son Randy on Tim Allen’s hit show Home Improvement. He was on the show for 7 years, making teen girls everywhere swoon. He made a bunch of films during that time too, most notably he was the voice of young Simba in The Lion KingJTT nowSo what’s he up to today? Ego got the best of him, and he left Home Improvement (by lying to Tim Allen about wanting to go to school) to focus on a movie career. Unfortunately, despite what it may seem like on tv and in films, Hollywood doesn’t like flakey actors, and lying to leave a good, money-making career was not a wise move on his part. He got a few roles after that, but they were all duds, and in 2000, the roles stopped coming all together. From 2003 to 2006 he got a (very small) handful of guest spots on tv shows (mostly cartoons and cameos), and then nothing at all until 2013, where he got a guest spot on a few episodes of some show called Last Man Standing. Checking IMDB to see what it is, it’s Tim Allen’s new sitcom. I guess they’ve finally put any bad blood behind them.

Matthew Lillard

I first saw Matthew (and fell in love with him) in Hackers, with Jonny Lee Miller (lots of beauty in this film, hehe). He worked a lot after that, mostly in teen films or horror films (or teen horror! lol). Sadly he never got the role he deserved, as a leading man. He’s never been (in the stuff I’ve seen anyways) “the one”.  He’s never the main romantic interest, never the main hero, if he saves the day it was always beside or behind the “real” hero. Hell, he even got Matthew Lillard nowregulated to “sidekick villain” in Scream. They couldn’t even let him be his own bad guy, he was just following his friend Billy. So what’s he up to today? After Scooby-Doo 2his star seems to wan a little. There’s a lot of entries in his IMDB page, but if you look closely it’s a lot of voice acting work (mostly for Scooby-Doo cartoons), guest spots on tv shows, even voices in video games (mostly Scooby-Doo games). He’s milking that role as Shaggy for all it’s worth! Hey, I guess it pays the bills. But he seems to be trying to pull away from that in the last few years. He’s only got one upcoming Scooby-Doo thing, and he’s currently in a show called The Bridge, with Diane Kruger and Ted Levine, about a serial killer operating on the Mexico/US border. I hadn’t heard of it till now. I like serial killer stuff, I may just check it out. Matthew also has two more films due out this year, a true-story sports film called One Heartand Match, which seems to be some sort of dramatic comedy, co-starring Patrick Stewart and Carla Gugino.

M.