All Grown Up! Here's What Our Favorite Teen Heartthrobs Look Like Today
| LAST UPDATE 05/21/2023
Thanks to Hollywood, we have been blessed with some of the most beloved characters on screen. Of course, we could never forget the famous faces of these iconic movies that were once plastered on our bedroom walls...
Our first teen heartthrob to kick things off is none other than Jonathan Bennett. However, most might recognize him as the iconic Aaron Samuels from North Shore High School! But now, he's completely off the market.
Now 41 years old, we honestly don't know where the time has gone. It was just yesterday when Cady and Regina were fighting over this guy. But now, he's gone in a different direction. After dabbling in a few Hallmark Christmas films, he decided it was time to settle down and proposed to his boyfriend Jaymes Vaughan in 2020. So fetch!
Just one glance and he had everyone hooked. There was once a time when we all wanted to be Mandy Moore in the arms of Landon Carter in A Walk To Remember. He stole the hearts of many but decided romance films weren't really his thing. He moved on to dominate thriller film-seekers and exceeded all of our expectations.
His most recent film was Escape The Field, a thriller that was released in 2022. Yet, aside from his past and most current acting roles, West likes to reflect on his past on his Instagram profile. The flashback Fridays seem to be highly popular with his followers. We could say it's that touch of nostalgia everyone needs now and then!
Chad Michael Murray
Once upon a time, Chad Michael Murray was our Prince Charming and high school sweetheart wrapped in one. From dominating the One Tree Hill fan club, constantly trying to win over Rory in Gilmore Girls, and even setting the standard for all jocks in future romcoms after his Cinderella Story role, Murray had something special.
He has that same twinkle in his eye that he carried through the 2000s. Not to mention, his pearly whites and winning smile are enough to have us falling to the floor! But, sorry, folks, he is now taken. After living his TV dream of marrying Sophia Bush, he found true love with his wife, Sarah Roemer, who he married in 2015.
Incoming: the ultimate playboy of the 2000s. For some reason, most of us wanted to date him despite his 2, 3, and 4-timing track record! Still, he managed to win us over. Despite making a few cameos in 2 Broke Girls, Desperate Housewives, and a few Hallmark Christmas specials, he is still remembered as the John Tucker.
So what has Metcalfe been getting up to these days? While he still might have the same looks and charm, give or take the facial hair, he definitely has the power to stay on our screens. Since departing from his bad boy era, Metcalfe has entered the world of drama. Since 2016, he has been a part of Chesapeake Shores as Trace Riley.
It's our favorite electric guitar, rocking around the house, high school heartthrob. Let's be honest. There was nothing more intense than the chemistry between Cliff Pantone and Torrance Shipman. Those two were made for each other! It's the classic cheerleader meets the boy who is totally out of her league. Yet, we were here for it.
Since his big breakthrough in Bring It On, he hasn't been so prominent in the Hollywood scene as much. He might have wanted to leave it at that, just in case there wasn't any character that could beat Cliff. Instead, he has focused on being a family man with his daughter, born in 2021, and current equestrian girlfriend Andrea Watrouse.
This next guy had us distracted in class. Luckily we were saved by the bell! Every girl in high school history wished they were Kelly Kapowski. Mark Paul Gosselaar was the Justin Bieber of the 90s, with his very own distinct blonde bombshell hairstyle and a smile that was enchanting enough to break the fourth wall.
He's still as dashing as ever. Although he might not be able to squeeze into his old Bayside bomber jacket, he's still full of talent. Since the NBC show, Gosselaar has appeared in Mixed-ish, Franklin & Bash, and the nostalgic reboot of Saved by the Bell. Not to mention, he has also become a family man now with 4 children!
Oh Matt Dillon. Are there any words to describe a jawline as sharp as his once was? He brought the Greased Lightning look to life with his bad-boy aesthetic yet he had a pure heart of gold. He was definitely up there in the list of swoon-worthy actors. From Drugstore Cowboy to cameos in Modern Family, he is a face to be reckoned with.
We have to give it to him. Despite the dad 'do and change of clothes, there's something about his smile which takes us back. After his teenage years, he went on to star in films such as There's Something About Mary, as well as the horror production of The House That Jack Built. The only thing scary about Dillon is his neverending charm.
Milo Ventimiglia was everything that was anything taboo. While starring as Jess Mariano in Gilmore Girls, it's very clear why Rory eventually gave in, despite his devious antics. Still, his luscious brown locks and biker-boy image had everyone going crazy. He had that Italian stallion image that made hearts melt worldwide.
Guess what - he's still got it. Only now, he's rocking the dark-horse yet handsome aesthetic. His facial hair definitely adds ten points. Since his rodeo in the fictional town of Connecticut, he went on to star in the popular series, This Is Us, working alongside Mandy Moore. He just continues to wow us all, no matter what age.
All the Wildcats gather around, we've got something special. We could recognize that curly hair-fro any day. The basketball star who adorned the halls of East High had his ways. Troy Bolton has his time, but there was something about Corbin which had us all jumping. He was the real down to earth deal. How could we forget that prom-posal?
Since then, the High School Musical alum went on to star in other TV shows and films, such as Discovery Channel's Flight 29 Down, as well as another Disney original, Jump In! He still is in the industry today, despite the decades on him. We still love Mr. Bleu - and so does his wife, Sasha Clements!
If Sean Faris isn't associated with the classic rom-com Sleepover, then what even is Sean Faris?! Jokes aside, Faris has set himself up to be the heartthrob for many teens around the world. Although it's no surprise that his fame rose after being nominated for prom King, no surprise.
Today, he is the same charmer we all fell in love with back in the early 2000s. After all, he started to take his roles more seriously and starred in major drama series such as Pretty Little Liars as Gabriel Holbrook. Not to mention, he has been the love interest in a vast range of Hallmark movies - also a good reason to give them a watch.
Talk about being totally Unfabulous? If Jordan Calloway doesn't ring a bell, then we don't know what will. Calloway might be predominantly remembered as Emma Roberts' high school bestie and basketball jock, Zach Carter-Schwartz. If the theme song wasn't running around our heads, it was Jordan Calloway.
Since this was one of the most popular shows of the Nickelodeon prime era, it's always good to catch up with the gems from that time. Since then, he has veered into something more serious, playing Chuck Clayton in the early seasons of Riverdale. As well, he played the role of Khalil Payne in Black Lightning.
Ever heard of the Stiff-Dylans? Well, this was their bass player. The renowned dreamboat Robbie was everything everyone cared about when Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging hit theaters in 2008. His brown curls had us swooning. Plus, his appearance at Georgia's surprise party set the standard very high.
Taylor-Johnson has continued to bless our screens. He was later cast in Kick-*ss and Kick-*ss 2, as well as the 2015 production of Avengers: Age of Ultron. His most recent star power was displayed in the 2022 film Bullet Train. Oh, and did we mention he met his wife on set at just 18 years old? (And they're still going strong today!)
Here's another teen heartthrob icon. Tom might just be one of the best things to come out of Midland, Indiana. He had the classic Bieber hair swoosh, but he did it his own way. His Smallville character, Charlie Baker, was a different type of jock - the quiet kind, which had us drooling from afar. And that red hat was iconic.
Since leaving the Baker clan, Welling went on to act in the TV series Lucifer, which ran from 2016 until 2021. He seems to have a flare for action TV, as he also went on to star in the series Professionals. Aside from acting, he welcomed quite the love life after 2 marriages. Sadly, the silver fox is no longer on the market.
This face might be most recognized as one of the 3 children Mrs. Doubtfire looked after. While he rocked the classic oversized jacket and long hair, once he grew up, he only got more charming and handsome. While starring in Boy Meets World and Brotherly Love, Lawrence peaked as the perfect boyfriend to Rachel McAdams in The Hot Chick.
The camera loved him, and so did majority of every audience that tuned in to his teen sitcoms! Lawrence face lit up every room and scene. His most recent piece of work was playing Jimmy in Double Threat (2022). Thank goodness, we thought we saw the last of Lawrence! After a recent split from his ex-wife, he is now available, folks!
We would do anything to be a part of Adrian Grenier's entourage. But, before his prime tv era, we really fell in love with Grenier when he was cast as Chase Hammond in Drive Me Crazy. This was perhaps the true stepping stone for our daydreams back in the day! We could say he was the total package with ultimate hair goals.
Grenier has continued to flaunt his blue eyes, which only complimented his locks even more. Although he might have played a controversial role in The Devil Wears Prada, we can't hold back the thought of dating him. Though, we won't be holding our breath, considering he tied the knot to girlfriend Jordan Roemmele this past summer...
Rob Lowe has always had baby blue eyes and hair that could outshine anyone walking out of a hair salon. Those curls were all natural and swept tons of ladies off their feet. He made his mark as Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders. There wasn't anything that bomber jacket and piercing stare couldn't do.
Although his character was fairly dysfunctional, he and Matt Dillon were a shoo-in for the film's heartthrobs. Since then, his eyes have stayed just as captivating, yet the locks have been trimmed. After making appearances in Californication and The Interview, he has devoted a special amount of time to his wife and 2 children.
So when was the exact moment we knew we were going to be dreaming about Mr. Epps? Well, it was that defined shirtless scene in Love & Basketball. The 2000s was certainly a time to be alive. Not to mention, it's no surprise there was a surge in basketball fans during these golden years. We can only blame the First Time Felon star...
Since his 2000 debut, Epps went on to star in major movie roles as well as hit television series such as This Is Us. After appearing in Dracula and Scream 2, he was also cast in the series ER. It's quite clear why he had so many patients. Plus, he's a double whammy - a big movie star, and also the dream husband to singer Keisha!
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was all that. The jock jacket, the classic 2000 spiked haircut, and the dashing smile to match his playboy facade. Underneath that persona, we knew there was a softie deep down. He had it all - president of the class, captain of the team, and even won the girl, making one of the top heartthrobs of the generation!
She's All That was definitely a peak moment of his career. Since then, he went along to star in a range of ultra-happy films to keep the ball rolling. While he starred as Freddie Jones in the Scoopy Doo films, he also went on to star in Jack and Jill, Summer Catch, and finally, Christmas With You. He was what we all wanted for Christmas!
Faison might not have been the lead in Clueless, but his scenes were simply the best. Playing Dionne's complicated love interest, Murray, he proved his innocence once he let his ego go. Despite Clueless, he also made his mark in Rememeber The Titans after going shirtless in the locker room. A moment to always remember.
He was everything we loved about the 90s. But we all grew up, and he turned over to more serious roles. Faison, out the many others, romanticized his doctor character in Scrubs. He also made an aca-awesome appearance in Pitch Perfect. Aside from acting, he too went on to become a family man, now the father to 6 children!
James Van Der Beek
Hold your horses. James Van Der Beek had long blonde hair like a soft horse's mane. It was the tee shirt that also added a little something to his boy-next-door aesthetic. He was the ultimate country boy of Dawson's Creek, playing the one and only, Dawson. Safe to say, he made us swoon.
Since exiting the creek, Beek entered the world of One Tree Hill and fellow 90s teen show Varsity Blues. He just had the look. While he grew out of his heartthrob phase, Van Der Beek took on a series of action films such as Texas Rangers and Taken in Broad Daylight, all while he was taking care of his kiddies at home!
We're not joking when we say Jared Leto was the ultimate bad boy that we wanted to know. He was the kind of kid most fans wanted to cut class with, and it was definitely worth it. There must be something hypnotizing in those deep blue eyes. Thankfully, to this day, he could still play that same sassy teenager.
We grew a different kind of love for Leto when he grew out his hair and played with color. There's something adventurous about him, which is most likely why he is keeping the fans alive. His quirky character yet charming looks have landed him roles in infamous productions, romanticizing his edgy characters. We aren't complaining, though!
Little Leo was an up-and-coming actor the minute producers laid eyes on him. The blonde hair, the blue eyes, and the cheeky smile. He had it all. That being said, his 360 personas landed him major roles from a young age, such as The Boy's Life and Total Eclipse. Of course, since then, he has become famous for the Wolf of Wall Street.
It breaks out hearts to know it took Leo so long to win that well-deserved Oscar. But they say good things come to those who wait. As he continues to work in the industry, this hasn't just landed him major movie roles but also younger girlfriends. Let's just say Leo has made quite the roster. Not that we're judging, of course!
Another Beverly Hills 90210 heartthrob: speaking of eyes, take a load of Jason's back in the day! From the late 90s until the early 2000s, Priestly had a special place in our hearts. From hitting the road with Calendar Girl to being our one True Angel, he was definitely a sight for sore eyes.
We have to give it to Priestly, as he still has that same twinkle in his eye that the Kodak film captured back in the day. His most recent piece of work can be seen in the TV series Private Eyes, where he plays Matt Shade, as well as the festive film, Dear Christmas playing Chris Massey. But he will always be our Fitz.
It seems anyone who came out of 90210 was bound to be remembered. One man, in particular, was Luke Perry. He was the epitome of Beverly Hills 90210, which is when he became the teen idol for many folks out there aiming to win over the girl of their dreams. He truly was one to be reckoned with - a sweetheart on and off the screen.
After becoming a 90s heartthrob, Perry's name was typically associated with 90210 - although he also appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In 2019, he was cast in Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, leaving a great mark in film history. Sadly, the actor passed in 2019 - but left behind an amazing legacy and 2 children.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has made it clear he's not letting anyone forget about him. From a young age, his adorable smile and perfectly sleeked hair stole our hearts from the second we saw him in 3rd Rock From The Sun. After that, he powered through a series of characters, making him a complete icon.
Not only has the Don-Jon lover boy barely aged over time, but he has kept up the fan hype! That's not so easy to do when you're in the industry 35+ years. Even now, without the long locks, we are still swooning over his films. Still, all we can think about is his adorable nerdy character from 10 Things I Hate About You.
Those might just be the brownest eyes we've ever seen. For most, Andrew Keegan had a face carved by angels. His major role was in 10 Things I Hate About You, and he mainly dabbled in the industry through the 90s and early 2000s. He appeared in The Hot Chick, the original Freaky Friday, as well as TV series 7th Heaven.
However, he devoted his acting career to his years in the 90s and early 2000s. Since then, he has ditched the cameras and tapped into a more spiritual side. In 2014, news broke that Keegan had started his own religion and began to lead a group of anyone who followed his beliefs. Yet, he remains to do this in the heart of California.
Another total jock who swept us off our feet was A.C. Slater from Bayside High. The other half of Zach Morris was underrated at the time. Although he stole the heart of Jessie Spano and occasionally Kelly Kapowski, he was always a winner in our eyes! We think it was his curly hair that did the trick.
The Saved By the Bell star made quite a career for himself. While he appeared in both Honey films, he also went on to show off his skills in Dancing with the Stars and co-host the X Factor USA. We're just jealous of his kids who can say that A.C Slater is their dad!
Meet Rider Strong. He was Shawn, the side-kick lover boy beside Cory Mathews throughout the hit teen series of the 90s, Boy Meets World. We can't argue that Shawn went down as one of the most iconic best friends in sitcom history. We think it was the hair - and he didn't let us forget about it.
Since then, Strong went on to continue his Shawn legacy in the Disney Channel reboot Girl Meets World. He came back as the savvy 'uncle' to Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley. Though he experimented in other films throughout the late 90s, we think his heart belongs to the BMW clan. He still has that mischievous smile today.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Last but not least, we have Mr. Taylor Thomas. Let's just say he had some simple rules to live by: always have the hair looking good... and always hold a puppy!? While acting in Man of the House and 8 Simple Rules, those eyes had us hypnotized. His teen characters always displayed that cheeky boy-next-door kind of guy.
In 1998, he left Home Improvement to focus on his academics. Now 41 years old, Thomas officially left acting behind and hasn't looked back. "He really was dedicated to his studies, and then kind of got away from TV.," fellow co-star Tim Allen recalled to Yahoo. We respect it!
MMMBop! Would ya take a look at these guys? The iconic boy band that started in the 90s started a whole new music cult. What's ironic is that they were simply a group of 3 brothers from Tulsa who loved music and started fooling around. Little did they know their one-track hit and long hair would have fans going crazy.
Was there a Hanson hairstyle? Well, if there was, we wanted it! The group had fun dabbling around in the studio, creating tracks up until the mid-2000s - as well as 2017, when they brought out a Christmas track. But, most importantly, they are now surrounded by loving families and have even started a tour for the band's 25th anniversary.