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