Where Are They Now? Male Child/Teen Stars From Some Of Our Favorite ’90s Movies & TV Shows

April 4, 2013  |  
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How great were the ’90s in all forms of entertainment? They were pretty awesome, and a big part of the success of a lot of the sitcoms and movies that we remember to this day were the performances by child stars and teen stars that we admired or secretly wanted to date on the low low. Their standout roles were YEARS ago, and as we’ve grown, so have they. So what are they doing and looking like now? We’ve found about 11 who were some of our faves back in the day.

Brandon Quintin Adams

You remember Adams as the little boy Zeke dancing in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, Jesse in two Mighty Ducks movies, and Kenny in The Sandlot–the lone black face in that movie. And when he got older, he was stud material playing a boo of Moesha on the show of that same name, a boyfriend for Ashley Banks on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and many other guest roles. He grew up nicely, and just a few years ago he was trying to pursue a rap career under the name B. Lee. He’s also trying to get back into acting, doing short films, and voicing characters in video games. In an interview with the Chicago Defender, Adams also opened up about his late best friend, Merlin Santana, who played Romeo on The Steve Harvey Show and was killed in 2002: “It took me a long time to recover from that. (Merlin) was my best friend, and (the murder) was a senseless thing.”

Brandon Hammond

Little Brandon Hammond was all over the place in the early ’90s, playing the go-to kid in some of our favorite movies. How could anybody forget his performance as Ahmad in Soul Food? But ever since he turned 18, his roles have been less and less, until they were few and far between. His last movie was a short in 2006 called Summer Blame. But these days, he’s trying to be more behind the camera than in front. According to Juicy Mag, he’s working on a web series about the realities of the entertainment industry, and as you can see, he still has that baby face!

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

He was every little girl’s random crush during his time on Home Improvement, and when he left the show in ’98 to  focus on his education, then began the manhunt. Where’s JTT!? He would show up every now and then over the years, starring in an ABC Family movie here, a guest role there, but it wasn’t until recently that we got to see the now-31-year-old on his grown man status. He popped up trying to do a guest appearance on the show, Last Man Standing with former Home Improvement dad Tim Allen. And he doesn’t have the boyish good looks of yesteryear, but he still looks pretty good!

Joey Lawrence

I know you remember Joey Russo on Blossom. The guy with the good looks and full head of hair but empty cranium somehow managed to make the phrase “Whoa!” popular at the same time that Blossom made her floral-decked hats the beez-neez in the early ’90s. He’s now 36, and as for most men, that hair line started to recede pretty quick. But he’s doing all right for himself! He did Dancing With the Stars, played the character of Dee Dee’s boss on the UPN comedy Half & Half, and as of now, he’s doing the show Melissa & Joey with Melissa Joan Hart and is the host of the ABC diving competition, Splash.


Darris Love

The Secret World of Alex Mack on Nickelodeon anybody? Darris Love played the best friend, “Ray” of the main kooky character with the secret powers, Alex. That fun show went on for four seasons, and before we knew it, the main character, played by Larisa Oleynik, went to star in a bunch of movies as a teenager, while Love kind of kept his career going quietly. After that show, he did a few guest appearances on shows like Angel and ER, while also appearing in a few music videos (including “How To Love” by Lil Wayne). His most recent TV or movie appearance was this year on the Showtime series, Shameless–one of my personal faves.

Mike Vitar

According to everybody in my office, Mike Vitar was their dream boo after watching the classic coming-of-age film, The Sandlot. He played the character of “Benny The Jet” Rodriguez, and was the standout baseball player out of all the kids in his neighborhood. He was fast, he was brave, and in our eyes, he was toooo cute! So where is Mike Vitar at today? Well, he retired from acting, and now at the age of 34, he’s a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department–hence the photo below. Looks like he grew into those eyes…

Fred Savage

Wonder Years actually started in the late ’80s, but since we know where Ben Savage is (what with the spin-off of Boy Meets World in the works), we were wondering where the oldest Savage brother was. He was the youngest actor ever at the time to receive Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Wonder Years, playing Kevin Arnold. And after that show ended in ’93, Savage was the voice of the octopus Oswald on the show of the same name on Nick Jr., appeared in Austin Powers in Goldmember, and has had numerous guest TV appearances. He’s also involved in directing, helping bring together episodes of Modern Family, and 2 Broke Girls, just to name a few.


Kenny Blank

Blank played the eldest child in the Peterson family on the Robert Townsend-led show, The Parent’Hood. While acting is how most of his knew him, he was an extremely talented musician from a very young age, and even composed a couple songs for the sitcom. After he left the show, and started going as Kenn Michael, he did voice work for years on the show As Told By Ginger, has had a few film roles, and has been doing voice work for video games. But mostly, he’s continued to compose music for different films, and has even tried his hand at directing and cinematography, including directing episodes of BET’s Let’s Stay Together last year.

Photo courtesy of StraightFromTheA

Michael Fishman

We watched “DJ” grow up in front of our eyes as the youngest of the Conner clan on Roseanne, and he truly did, acting on the show from the age of six to to 15. He was deeply saddened by the end of the show’s run, and after the fact, continued to work closely with Roseanne Barr on numerous projects, including being the co-host of her short-lived show, The Roseanne Show. His last real on-camera work includes doing a guest appearance on Barr’s recent show, Roseanne’s Nuts, and her Comedy Central roast, and in 2001, appearing in the Steven Spielberg movie, A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Jason Weaver

You knew Jason Weaver had something special when he came on the scene with great acting talents and even greater vocals when he played a young Michael Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream. He went on to be a young heartthrob, acting on the show Thea, alongside Brandy, and doing Smart Guy with Taj Mowry in the late ’90s. After that, Weaver focused more on singing, doing features on songs with Chingy (“One Call Away”), but he returned to acting with films like Drumline, Ladykillers, ATL, and most recently finished up the movie Hope For Love to be released this year.

Lee Thompson Young

If you missed out on our Evening Eye Candy gallery waxing poetic about our love for Lee, who is now, 29, we can bring you up to speed on what he’s doing now. After years of melting the hearts of young girls and even grown women playing Jett Jackson on The Famous Jett Jackson, Young kept on acting and getting a lot of interesting roles. He had a role in the TV movie, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story, FlashForward, the movie Friday Night Lights, and Akeelah and the Bee, and is currently one of the stars of the TNT show, Rizzoli & Isles. Still. Lookin’. Good.

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  • KIm

    This is sad reading about Lee Thompson Young after him committing suicide August/September 2013. 🙁

  • Nikkig402

    Brandon still Fine!! Rest in Peace Merlin!!

  • Tiffany Rochelle

    RIP Lee Thompson Young!

  • kendrai

    it’s sad Lee Thompson young isn’t around just when it seemed things were looking up for him!! RIP MR. YOUNG

  • tonya

    not sure how long ago you’ll did this but mr young has passed away

    • Name

      5 months ago

  • Stacey Citraro-againstanimalab

    Brandon was great in The People Under The Stairs! The parents were wicked crazy so funny!!

  • theloveofyou

    Lee Thompson Young passing was so sad such a handsome man to die that way

  • yadayada

    wooh JET JACKSON! let me knw that all boys ddnr have coories or atleast not him because i wanted those eyes!

  • Naobi

    I remember him as Joey Russo on Blossom, but I also remember him as Joey on Gimme A Break with Nell Carter.

  • Hey, nice to see my interview with Brandon Adams from the Chicago Defender on this site. It’s all jumbled now that CD did a redesign. If you want to download the print version, it’s on my website at shamontiel(dot)com under “Other Publications.” They print out as PDF files. (No, this is not spam. I really did do the interview with him. He was fun to talk to.)

  • Kendra Bethune

    i don’t know why you trying to call kendra bethune i was trying to study under rider strong whose white when my case manger thought i ‘d make a good actress in 2012 early 2013
    shawn hunter on boy meets world

  • Laquesha

    MIKE VITAR I want your babies!

  • Reese

    Oh gosh, my first crush was on Lee Thompson Young. I remember the Famous Jett Jackson was set in a fictional North Carolina town and I was from NC. I just knew I was going there to find him (this shows you how young I was).

  • Bren

    OMG, when I saw JTT I nearly fainted. When I saw LTY, I woke up in the hospital!

  • Eri Cad

    Ummm, Mike Vitar aka Benny “the jet” Rodriguez is looking gooooooooooooooooddd. I mean damn! I need to go to Los Angeles and set some fires. Damn!

  • sammi_lu

    I just watched People Under the Stairs last night with Brandon Quintin Adams..loved him on the Sandlot too.

  • FAMURattler85

    I had the biggest crushes on both Brandons growing up. I have only one word for Lee now, breathtaking.

  • Jessica

    Some child stars on this list still handsome.

  • pickneychile

    I always loved Benny from Sandlot. He was so cute. Jett Jackson looks the best….he look goooood!!

  • CoCo Lee

    Darris Love was also In that str8 2 dvd movie Janky Promoters Staring Ice Cube

    • Brandi Graves

      He’s looking a little Eddie Kain like

      • CoCo Lee

        Lol right!!

  • Brandi Graves

    that Brandon Adams been fine since he played Jimmy Bean in Polly with Keisha Knight Pulliam he aged very very well!!! yaass!! and of course Lee Thompson Young can get it LOL!!

    • CoCo Lee

      Omg Brandon was… and you couldnt tell me Lee Thompson Young was the finest thing to hit Disney lol

    • Suchalady

      YES & YES!!!

    • Hey, nice to see my interview with Brandon Adams from the Chicago Defender on this site. It’s all jumbled now that CD did a redesign. If you want to download the print version, it’s on my website at shamontiel(dot)com. (No, this is not spam. I really did do the interview with him. He was fun to talk to.) Just look under “Other Publications.” You can print it out in full.

  • CoCo Lee

    Brandon was in the Car with Merlin when he was murdered…. so sad…

    • Brandi Graves

      I didnt know that… they didnt say that when they did that murder mystery show and reenacted the murder either on BET or TvOne

      • CoCo Lee

        Yes Celebrity crime Files…. He didn’t do an interview but they said his name and that he was the driver… and that he was the one 2 call the chick who set it up 2 meet him so he could lure her 2 the police…

  • Keisha Samoht

    My sisters tormented my friend Tiffany sayin Johnathan Taylor Thomas was her husband and that her name was Tiffany Thomas-Thomas… i think thats why she stopped coming to over to my house (we were like 8) cause no matter how much i told the m to stop, they would not stop… Thanks alot big sisters!

  • Boo

    Omggg yesss! I loveeeed Lee Thompson Young. I saw every episode of The Famous Jett Jackson. I was so jealous when Meagan Good kissed him in one of the episodes. Whooo child I was in loove!! Im soo glad he still looks good.Brandon is fiine too.

  • wveronica7

    i used to watch Jett Jackson faithfully for Lee Thompson Young. He is till fine. If only I can run into him…

    • bigdede

      I don’t think you want to run into him……

    • HoneybLex

      Didn’t he commit suicide?

  • bigdede

    Brandon and Merlin played boys who were both trying for Rudy’s attention. Nice to see they became best friends. My sister had the biggest crush on Brandon. He was so cute.

    • Lanaa

      Brandon was never on the Cosby Show, you thinking of Deon Richmond who played Kenny.

      • bigdede

        No he was on there. That one episode where the teacher had the boys and girls dancing together, he was the boy she liked and wanted to dance with

        • Maddie

          I know what episode you’re talking about and that was not him. Completely different actor. Look up Brandon Adams’ TV credits. You won’t find “The Cosby Show” listed anywhere on there.

        • MemphisFool

          That was on the Cosby Show spin-off, A Different World. He danced on into the closing credits.