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Childhood Crushes Then And Now



Everyone has that one TV or movie star they just couldn’t resist crushing on growing up, whether they’ll admit it or not. Usually it’s the outgoing young man, or shy young lady from a family sitcom, but it always seems like an actor gets their breakthrough as a child star.
And chances are, many years have passed since you thought about that particular crush, so you must be wondering, what happened to them? Well you’re in luck, because we’ve compiled all the biggest teenage heartthrobs, and tracked down what they’re doing today. Read ahead to see them today!

Kirsten Dunst (Judy from Jumanji)

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Kirsten Dunst has worked nonstop since she was a child, starring in films such as ‘Interview with a Vampire’ and ‘Jumanji’ to more recently ‘Melancholia’ and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. A versatile beauty who proves she can play innocent to seductive, we expect Kirsten Dunst will have a long career as she refuses to run out of steam.

Jennifer Love-Hewitt (Can’t Hardly Wait)

Jennifer Love-Hewitt may have started her career as a scream queen in ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ but she rose through the ranks of Hollywood to prove that she was here to stay. From communicating with ghosts in ‘Ghost Whisperer’ to chasing down crooks in ‘Criminal Minds’, she has had quite the colorful career.

Jennifer Aniston (Friends)

Everyone knows Jennifer Aniston for her infamous role as Rachel in the hit sitcom ‘Friends’ but fun fact she actually originally auditioned for the role Monica. After eleven years on the beloved show, Jennifer moved away from television and into film where she had a string of success in comedy and drama roles.

Danica McKellar (Winnie from The Wonder Years)

Winnie from ‘The Wonder Years’ left Hollywood after her successful run on the show to focus on school, specifically mathematics where she has created a line of study software to help improve teens’ math skills. While she still took on small roles in films and TV shows, Danica admitted to reporters her transition from child actress to an adult was rather rocky. Recently, she returned to the limelight as a contestant on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

Natalie Portman (Mathilda from Leon: The Professional)

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Natalie Portman stepped onto the acting scene at the age of 12 and rose to stardom in the critically-panned Star Wars prequel trilogy as Padme, Luke and Leia’s mother. Now she is very selective on the roles she takes, with her film resume continuing to grow with the critical hit ‘Black Swan’ which won her an Oscar as well as playing Thor’s love interest, Jane for Marvel. She is now married and focused on raising her child.

Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)

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Melissa Joan Hart launched her career on ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ at Nickelodeon but is mainly known for her role as Sabrina on ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ where she bewitched our hearts for seven years before moving on to ‘Melissa and Joey’ which was unfortunately recently canceled. As for now Melissa continues being a spokesperson for the diet program Nutrisystem.

Christina Aguilera

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Christina proved that she had the voice and differentiation in style to break out of the pop mold and her powerhouse voice helped her dominate the music scene and win multiple Grammy Awards. Currently, a main judge on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Aguilera is giving back her talent to those hoping to break into the music scene while working on her eighth studio album.

Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)

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Alicia Silverstone stole our hearts as the lovable Cher in the ’90s hit ‘Clueless’ before disappearing from the limelight for several years. While she has had a few films to add to her roster over the last few years, she now spends most of her time as an animal right’s activist. A self-proclaimed vegan, Silverstone has taken part in many campaigns for PETA as she promotes her lifestyle changes and healthy living.

Danielle Fishel (Topanga from Boy Meets World)

Danielle Fishel broke into the business with her starring role on ‘Boy Meets World’ as Topanga Lawrence, the eclectic and hilarious girlfriend of Cory Matthews. While her career became nonexistent after the show, she recently has returned to the role that made her famous by starring in the sequel spin-off ‘Girl Meets World’ which focuses on Cory and Topanga’s daughter.

Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels)

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Drew Barrymore was always cute, but now she’s just gorgeous. She’s grown into a successful lady that’s still as sweet as we remember her in the movie E.T. She’s always been our favorite actress and we love that she’s still around in Hollywood.

Alyssa Milano

On Who’s the Boss?, Alyssa Milano played lovable tomboy Samantha alongside Tony Danza. The character ditched her baseball caps for more girly looks in later seasons, and Alyssa transformed right along with her! Today, the Charmed star is an absolute bombshell.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell)

Tiffani Amber Thiessen became the object of affection for teenage boys everywhere as Kelly in ‘Saved by the Bell’ which launched her acting career and brought her to fame in the 1990s. She went on to star as bad girl Valerie Malone in ‘90210’ However, in 2009 her career took another leap forward as she took on a lead role for the TV show ‘White Collar’ which ran until 2014. Currently, she has her own cooking show called ‘Dinner at Tiffani’s.’

Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire)

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Hilary Duff rose to stardom with her hit show ‘Lizzie Mcguire’ which ran from 2001-2004. She continued to have success through multiple Disney films before taking a break from the film industry to focus on her music. However, she decided to disappear from the limelight completely to get married and have her first child in 2010. Recently, she has returned to music after dismissing a Lizzie revival.

Katie Holmes (Joey from Dawson’s Creek)

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From ‘Dawson’s Creek’ to fleeing the Church of Scientology and her ex-husband Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes has lived quite a colorful life with many different acting roles to account for. While her career stalled after ‘Batman Begins’ and her marriage to Tom Cruise, she had recently returned to acting with her role as the iconic Jackie Kennedy as well as guest roles on various sitcoms.

Mila Kunis (That ’70s Show)

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Launching her career with ‘That 70’s Show’ Mila Kunis has continued to rise to fame with roles in ‘Family Guy’ as Meg and in films like ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Recently, she married her ‘That 70’s Show’ co-star Ashton Kutcher and had their first child. She also starred in the box office failure ‘Jupiter Ascending.’

Emma Watson

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Hermione Granger was known for her brainy, know-it-all attitude, and not for her extraordinary appearance. As actress Emma Watson grew up with the Harry Potter series, it became more and more difficult to mask her ridiculously distracting good looks! Today, the actress is a goddess in any situation.

Christina Ricci (Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family)

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Ricci was creepy and kooky in the ‘The Addams Family’ which launched her career, making her the “it” girl in the ’90s. While her career stalled for awhile, she did return to the scene in Wes Craven’s troubled production of ‘Cursed.’ Lately, she can be seen swinging her axe on Lifetime in ‘Lizzie Borden Took an Axe.’

Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing)

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Made famous for her moves in ‘Dirty Dancing’ Jennifer Grey became a household name in the 1980s. Sadly, her career came to a halt after a routine rhinoplasty left her unrecognizable. While she did secure parts in smaller roles, her career never took off again. Recently, she returned to her dancing roots by competing on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ proving she still had the moves that made her famous all those years ago.

Anna Chlumsky

As the lovable Vada in My Girl, child star Anna Chlumsky stole our hearts before disappearing from the spotlight for over fifteen years. When she resurfaced, audiences were stunned. The Veep star is drop dead gorgeous, and her awkward tomboy features are now absolutely stunning!

Amy Jo Johnson (The Pink Ranger from Power Rangers)

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Known as the Pink Ranger by kids from the ’90s, Amy Jo Johnson left the limelight after ‘Power Rangers’ to focus on her music career. Lately, she has been producing and directing short films which have done well in the film festival circuit, proving she is a triple threat when it comes to creativity.

Kelly LeBrock (Lisa from Weird Science)

Kelly LeBrock became an obsession for teenage boys when the film ‘Weird Science’ was released. She was the sexy woman created by that science experiment. Unfortunately, her acting career did not take off as she thought it would and she has only been in a handful of D-list movies over the past decade

Taylor Swift

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The pop sensation was always good-looking, but even Taylor went through a rough patch as a teen. Back on picture day some time in the early 2000s, Ms. Swift rocked an awkward braided hairdo unbefitting her squeaky clean image. She’s surely come a long way!

Kristen Stewart

When she nabbed the role of Bella in the Twilight series, tweens made Kristen Stewart their instant idol, admiring her beautiful girl-next-door look. But things weren’t always this way! Stewart has been working in the industry for awhile, and she definitely endured an awkward phase. What a turnaround!

Bonnie Wright

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We loved her as Harry Potter’s love interest in the wildly popular films, but it would be a disservice to actress Bonnie Wright not to mention her incredible metamorphosis! In a couple of short years, the cute teen went from plain and simple to absolutely breathtaking. Tell the wizarding world to watch out!

Christine Lakin (Al from Step by Step)

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You remember sporty Al, from ‘Step by Step’ right? Well, Al is all grown up and has ditched the overalls. Christine Lakin has fought to stay in the limelight since ‘Step by Step’ went off the air starring in a few box office bombs as well as a multitude of independent films. She has spent most of her time in guest roles on hit TV shows such as ‘Melissa & Joey’ and ‘CSI’ proving she still has the power to book gigs even if they aren’t as a leading lady.

Britney Spears

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No one would have guessed that this Disney Mouseketeer would rise to the Queen of Pop, let alone maintain a career for almost two decades. Britney has fought her way back to the top even recently with her albums ‘Femme Fatale’ and ‘Britney Jean,’ and has continued to keep the pop world on its toes as the years go by. At this point, it doesn’t seem like she’s going anywhere.

Alexa Vega

After seeing her as Carmen on the Spy Kids series, audiences never thought twice about the cute little actress. But look out world, she’s turned into one hot chick! Sporting risqu outfits in the Machete movies, Alexa Vega is getting tons of attention for her provocative look.

Larisa Oleynik (Alex Mack)

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This California born girl has been stealing hearts since her first roles in 1993. Oleynik is known mostly for her roles in 10 Things I Hate About You and The Secret World Of Alex Mack. Larisa has now guest starred in a few widely known shows such as Mad Men and Hawaii Five-o. Larisa is now 33 and still lives in California!

Michelle Trachtenberg

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With appearances on Nickelodeon and in Harriet the Spy, audiences knew Michelle Trachtenberg as the well-spoken, brainy kid with the squeaky clean reputation. But now in her late twenties, Michelle’s killer good looks and slamming body had us all talking after seeing her on Gossip Girl. She’s a certified vixen!

Dakota Fanning

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Dakota’s incredible talent and charisma are undeniable. But as a budding young actress, the world got to see all of her awkward phases! Despite sporting stringy hair, braces, and even headgear at one point in her career, little Dakota came out hotter than most could ever hope for!

Marley Shelton (The Sandlot)

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Shelton wasn’t always interested in life on the big stage. Her father was a producer but she never wanted to act. When she finally started her acting career she began working with Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville. She then went on to make movies like The Sandlot, The Bachelor, Uptown Girls, and many many more.

Jenna Von Oy (Blossom)

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Jenna was born in Connecticut as Jennifer Jean Von Oy. She began acting in 1990 with her most famous movie Blossom. She went on to star in The Parkers and A Goofy Movie. Jenna married Brad Bratcher in 2010 and they have two beautiful children together.

Amanda Bynes (All That)

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Amanda Bynes began her career on the hit kid’s show ‘All That’ and starred in a flurry of films such as ‘She’s the Man’ and ‘Easy A.’ However, a string of psychological problems effectively killed Bynes’ acting career and recently she was finally diagnosed as schizophrenic. Thankfully, she has begun to receive treatment and focus on a career in fashion design.

Justin Timberlake

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The NSYNC front man was never really “awkward,” but when you see the before and after, there’s no denying Justin’s incredible transformation. Mr. Timberlake was a teen idol before, but his sexy, sophisticated look puts him in another galaxy of cool.

Neil Patrick Harris

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As Doogie Howser M.D., child star Neil Patrick Harris was a gawky teenage physician known for his brain and not his brawn. But as a good-looking adult, the How I Met Your Mother actor pulls off the role of a serial womanizer! Neil definitely went from nerdy to dapper.

Nicholas Hoult

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Little Nicholas Hoult impressed fans with his poignant portrayal of Marcus in the 2002 film About a Boy. The British was taunted by his peers in the film, and in real life, Nick wasn’t turning any heads. That is, until time’s natural progression took hold! Hoult is now a hot face in the X-Men film series, and he’s famously dated Jennifer Lawrence.

Freddie Highmore

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We loved him as the adorable but gawky Charlie Bucket alongside Johnny Depp, even if he still had some growing up to do. Freddie Highmore has since went from cute to completely sexy as the brooding Norman on Bates Motel. Who would have saw this coming?

Joseph Gordon Levitt

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As Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock From the Sun, little Joseph Gordon Levitt stole viewers’ hearts. But in real life, girls weren’t necessarily swooning over the mousy-haired teen! A decade later, the talented actor has transformed into one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men.

Shia LaBeouf

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On Disney channel’s Even Stevens, Shia’s acting talent made us forget about his gawky appearance. But now, these details hardly matter. The eccentric actor worked out, grew a beard, and is now breaking hearts as one of the finest guys in Hollywood. What an amazing journey!

Jonathan Lipnicki

Jonathan Lipnicki became a household name as the big-brained child star in Jerry McGuire. With his spiky hair, thick glasses, and goofy voice, Jonathan’s future with the ladies seemed a little shaky. Boy, was the world wrong! Lipnicki reemerged in his twenties looking chiseled.

Lee Norris

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With his appearance on Boy Meets World as brainiac Stuart Minkus, Lee Norris has been typecast as the nerdy sidekick in most of his Hollywood roles. Although his character was often friend-zoned on One Tree Hill, fans couldn’t help but notice his evolving good looks.

Nicole Richie

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The reality star was typically described as “average” or “cute” as the sidekick of Paris Hilton, but years later, Nicole Richie has overcome her awkward phase. She’s nothing short of stunning! Despite some trouble with an eating disorder and substance abuse, Nicole is as healthy and beautiful as ever.

Candace Cameron Bure

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On the beloved sitcom Full House, Candace played eldest daughter D.J. Tanner, the spunky kid who went toe to toe with her TV dad and uncles. But Cameron also went through a rough patch during her younger years. Candace gained so much attention, she’s even working on a Full House revival.

Jerry O’Connell

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The actor’s endearing performance in Stand By Me was incredibly memorable, but Jerry O’Connell gained little attention for his physique. He overcame his awkward phase, dropped some pounds, and returned to Hollywood as a total hunk! He’s even married to supermodel Rebecca Romijn.

Jaleel White

Steve Urkel’s ridiculously nerdy persona was fictional thanks to Hollywood costuming and child star Jaleel White’s hilarious acting. But it’s impossible to ignore the child star’s shocking looks these days! As the host of Total Blackout, Jaleel surprised us all.

Abigail Breslin

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As the lead character in Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail won our hearts as the offbeat, goofy girl with a heart of gold. Her “cute” status has since been eradicated. As she nears her twenties, Abigail’s beauty and wit have evolved beyond measure. Consider her a late bloomer!

Kelly Osbourne

As a loud-mouthed, back-talking teen on her rock family’s hit reality show, Kelly Osbourne was known for her terrible fashion and over-the-top punk attitude. But time has been kind to the Fashion Police co-host. Kelly still has her unique style, but she’s definitely gone from gawky to gorgeous.

Keke Palmer

When the world was introduced to Keke Palmer in Akeelah and the Bee, they were stunned by her incredible acting chops. The singer-performer has since undergone her own modern day Cinderella story, growing from an awkward teen into an attractive young twenty-something.

Matthew Lewis

As the awkward Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series, Matthew Lewis had us laughing at his physique, crooked teeth, and goofy demeanor. But flash forward a few years, and the wizard has the last laugh! Matthew’s incredible transformation spawned a new term for the transformation: “Neville Longbottoming.”

Lea Thompson (Marty McFly’s Mom in Back to the Future)

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Lea Thompson is best known as Marty McFly’s mother from ‘Back to the Future’ which put her on the fast track to stardom. Since then she has been in films like ‘Dennis the Menace’ and had her own sitcom in the ’90s called ‘Caroline in the City.’ Recently, she has been in some small films, like the box office bomb ‘Left Behind’ and competed on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

Kylie Jenner

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This star was often upstaged by her older half-sisters on their hit reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. But my, how the tides have turned! Kylie is now an icon of her generation, and with a few tweaks to her appearance, she’s as confident and beautiful as ever.

Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)

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Ah, we all remember the cute Punky Brewster and she couldn’t have been brought to life without the talents of Soleil Moon Frye. While the show only lasted for four seasons, Soleil went on to guest star in several shows before taking a hiatus from acting. However, she returned to the scene as Sabrina Spellman’s roommate in ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ where she remained until 2003. Now she focuses on being a mother to her three children and has recently dipped her toes into writing novels.

Madeline Zima (Grace Sheffield from The Nanny)

Madeline rose to fame in the ’90s sitcom the ‘The Nanny’ and has yet to lose steam as she’s taken on starring roles in ‘Californication’ and NBC’s ‘Heroes.’ An awkward child but growing into a stunning beauty, Madeline has proved she has got the looks and talent to make it in Hollywood for years to come.

Christy Carlson Romano (Renee “Ren” from Even Stevens)

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Christy Carlson Romano is best known for her roles in ‘Even Stevens’ and as the voice of the title character of the animated series ‘Kim Possible.’ Throughout her teenage years she starred in several Disney films before taking on more voice over work. She is well-known for her work on the Kingdom Hearts video games and the film ‘Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children’ where she voiced the role of Yuffie.

Courteney Cox (Friends)

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Courtney Cox brought the funny as Monica in ‘Friends’ who’s wacky personality was hilarious and endearing. Since then she went on to star as the ruthless reporter Gale Weathers in all four ‘Scream’ films and starred in the series ‘Cougar Town.’ When she’s not acting she is raising her daughter with ex-husband David Arquette and planning her wedding to Snow Patrol band member Johnny McDaid.

Zac Efron

The High School Musical star was cute as a teen, but flash forward a few years, and behold his unbelievably handsome physique! Zac Efron’s sexy features make him one of Hollywood’s most promising leading men.

Josh Peck

The Drake & Josh star was once an awkward kid, but after shedding a little weight, he’s hardly recognizable! Josh Peck made a healthy choice in his teens, transforming his body and the future of his career at the same time. We love his motivation!

Taylor Lautner

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The Twilight hottie got his start playing a kid turned fish in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, which didn’t say much for his interesting look. But after a few years, Taylor Lautner really came into his own. As Jacob Black, the tween heartthrob was voted among the sexiest men alive.

Spice Girls (Then)

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This girl group launched their careers in 1996 and their single ‘Wannabe’ put them on the map where Scary Spice (Mel B), Sporty Spice (Mel C), Baby Spice (Emma), Ginger Spice ( Geri) and Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) became household names. Their music shot them into stardom rapidly with their debut album ‘SpiceWorld’ selling over 20 million copies worldwide. However, the group lost Geri Halliwell in 1998 and disbanded in 2000 for an indefinite hiatus.

Spice Girls (Now)

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Today, the Spice Girls all have their own successful careers with Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham leading the pack. Geri has gone on to a successful solo career while Victoria is now known for her fashion branding. All of the girls reunited in 2008 for a comeback album and tour, however this proved to be troublesome for the group realizing that times had changed and their hearts weren’t in it. Their last performance together was in 2012 at the London Olympics.

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