Back to the '90s: A Then-and-Now Look at Your Favorite Heartthrobs
By Jack Ripley | October 23, 2023
George Clooney, 1990s
Warning - this gallery may make you feel a tad bit old. We're about to embark on a vibrant journey back to a simpler time, when boy bands ruled the airwaves, heartthrob posters adorned bedroom walls, and the excitement of a new episode from our favorite series brought us together each week. Prepare to immerse yourself in a world that expertly meshes the past with the present, proving that while styles and trends may change, the charisma and charm of these 90s icons are timeless.
Let’s rewind the clock, dust off those old CDs, flip open your dreamy Tiger Beat magazines, and prepare to squeal, swoon, and maybe even shed a tear of joy as we revisit the heartthrobs who defined the 90s, and see just how far they've come. Together, we'll get lost in the vibrant era of the 90s and the captivating narratives of our favorite heartthrobs, from their humble beginnings to their spectacular now. Because no matter how much time has passed, these icons still hold a special place in our hearts. Let's go!
Who better to bring a dash of silver fox charm to our 90s heartthrob gallery than the eternally suave George Clooney? The 90s were a defining decade for this Kentucky boy. He strutted onto our TV screens as Dr. Doug Ross in the hit medical drama ER, with his perfect hair (that signature Caesar cut, anyone?), that irresistible twinkle in his eyes, and his mesmerizing charm. Oh, and his excellent medical skills, of course. The show ran from 1994 to 1999, and during that time, Clooney's character saved countless lives, broke quite a few hearts, and earned him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Meanwhile, on the big screen, Clooney donned the iconic Batman suit in Batman & Robin (1997). While the film was a subject of mixed reviews, Clooney's charisma was undeniable. His heartthrob status was officially etched in stone - or should we say cast in the Gotham sky?
George Clooney, 2023
Fast forward to now. While the Caesar haircut may have given way to a more mature salt-and-pepper look, Clooney's heartthrob appeal has remained as timeless as ever. He's transitioned from playing a charming TV doctor and a superhero to taking on critically acclaimed roles in films like Up in the Air (2009) and The Descendants (2011). On the personal front, Clooney is happily married to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. The couple has twins, and based on Clooney's interviews and appearances, he's thoroughly enjoying his role as a doting dad. Let's face it, George Clooney as a family man? Our hearts never stood a chance.
Chad Michael Murray, 1990s
Chad Michael Murray's career in the entertainment industry kicked off in the late 1990s, when he moved to Hollywood and began working as a model for brands such as Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and Skechers. His good looks and magnetic presence soon caught the attention of television producers, leading him to a variety of supporting roles in high-profile TV shows.
He made appearances on shows like Diagnosis: Murder and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but it was his recurring role as Tristan DuGrey on the popular television series Gilmore Girls that first earned him heartthrob status. He went on to gain significant recognition for his role as Lucas Scott on the hit TV drama One Tree Hill.
Chad Michael Murray, 2019
Chad Michael Murray is still acting! But despite his continued success on screen, he's loath to look back at the role that turned him into a heartthrob on One Tree Hill:
[One Tree Hill] is a section of my life that I deleted. A lot of development, a lot of growth as a human being, and [I] just deleted so much of it. I think we have hard drives, right? I'm probably like, you know when you get an iPhone that holds like 264 gigs: I'm down on a 32 gig phone because of old information, so booting everything up. So I think I'm deathly afraid.
We all remember Raymond Usher IV, better known as Usher. His music career took off when he was only 14 years old, after an A&R representative from LaFace Records spotted him at a talent show in Atlanta. His eponymous debut album, Usher was released in 1994, garnering moderate success. However, it was his second album, My Way, released in 1997, that catapulted Usher into the limelight. The album spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "Nice & Slow," and the top-two singles "You Make Me Wanna..." and "My Way." The album was certified 6-times platinum by the RIAA. Usher also appeared in several iconic 90s films and television shows, including The Faculty (1998) and She's All That (1999).
Over the years, Usher has proved to be a versatile artist, exploring genres beyond R&B, including pop, soul, and electronic music. His subsequent albums, "Here I Stand" (2008), "Raymond v. Raymond" (2010), and "Looking 4 Myself" (2012), continued to achieve commercial success, producing hits like "Love in This Club" and "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love". Over the span of his musical career, Usher has received 8 Grammy Awards and 18 Billboard Music Awards. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also has launched successful fragrances and co-owns the NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ryan Phillippe, 1990s
Born Matthew Ryan Phillippe on September 10, 1974, in New Castle, Delaware, Phillippe began his acting career with television roles before moving on to the big screen. Phillippe’s career launched in the early 90s with his role on the long-running soap opera One Life to Live, where he played Billy Douglas, daytime television's first openly gay teenager. His portrayal of this groundbreaking character received significant attention and laid the foundation for his future success. His breakthrough in film came in the latter part of the decade when he landed a role in the slasher film, I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). Two years later, he starred in Cruel Intentions, a modern-day retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, set among wealthy teenagers. Phillippe's portrayal of the manipulative Sebastian Valmont was a hit with audiences, and the film became a cult classic. The same year, he featured in the Oscar-winning film Gosford Park and married actress Reese Witherspoon.
Ryan Phillippe, 2023
By 2007, Phillippe's marriage to Reese Witherspoon had crumbled. They share joint custody of their two children. Following his relationship with Witherspoon, Phillippe's love life has been rocky - in 2015, he was engaged, but once that relationship ended he began harassing his ex. In 2017, another ex-girlfriend filed a lawsuit against him for physically abusing her - even throwing her down the stairs. Phillippe alleged that he had fallen while attempting to remove her from the premises:
[The ex-girlfriend] was refusing to leave until she got into the bedroom, and at one point, I thought that I was going to try to remove her from the premises and set her outside and close the door. Because I didn’t know what else to do. And at that point, it hadn’t occurred to me to call the cops. I’m a famous person. I didn’t want to bring that kind of attention to me and my house. And so I attempted to pick her up like a baby. Carrying. Like a child. With one arm under the back and one arm under the legs. And she was flailing. And I made it one step, and I fell back on my bottom, holding her. And that was it.
Keanu Reeves, 1990s
Keanu Charles Reeves is a Canadian actor born on September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. He got a head start as a 90s heartthrob in 1989 with Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, where he won our hearts as lovable slacker Ted Logan. He reprised his role in the 1991 sequel, while showing more serious acting chops that same year in Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break. However, it was his role as the cybercriminal-turned-savior Neo in the groundbreaking science fiction film The Matrix (1999) that truly catapulted Reeves into superstardom. His performance in The Matrix became one of his most iconic roles, resonating with audiences worldwide and influencing an entire generation of sci-fi cinema.
Keanu Reeves, 2023
Nowadays? Keanu's still as lovable as ever.
James Van Der Beek, 1990s
Best known for his role as the sensitive dreamboat Dawson Leery on Dawson's Creek, James Van Der Beek turned many a teenager's heart all aflutter in the 90s. Born on March 8, 1977, in Connecticut, he began his acting career in off-Broadway theater. He made his way to television with appearances in shows like Clarissa Explains It All. However, it was in 1998 that he soared to heartthrob status with the debut of Dawson's Creek. The series, set in a quaint Massachusetts town, centered on four friends navigating the ups and downs of adolescence. With his boyish charm and penchant for philosophical musings, Dawson became a teenage icon, and Van Der Beek quickly found himself in the hearts of millions of viewers around the world. Let's be honest, who could resist those blue eyes and that perfectly tousled hair?
James Van Der Beek, 2019
Fast-forward to now: Van Der Beek has certainly come a long way from the Creek! After bidding adieu to his teen heartthrob image, he showcased his acting chops and sense of humor in a variety of roles. In Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 (2012–2013), Van Der Beek brilliantly parodied himself, proving he could not only break hearts but also tickle funny bones. He then went on to receive critical acclaim for his role in Pose, an FX series set in the 1980s and early 1990s that explores the lives of LGBTQ+ characters during the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Beyond acting, Van Der Beek is now a doting dad to a bustling brood of kids, frequently sharing adorable family moments on his social media. His parenting posts are a far cry from the angst-filled moments on Dawson's Creek, offering a glimpse of the man behind the once teenage heartthrob.
Freddie Prinze Jr, 1990s
If you were a teen in the 90s, chances are you've sighed over Freddie Prinze Jr. in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), where he made running from a psycho killer look devastatingly good. Or perhaps you've swooned as he played the high school jock who falls for the not-so-popular girl in She's All That (1999). Either way, Prinze Jr. was the quintessential 90s heartthrob – the perfect mix of boy-next-door and Hollywood star.
Freddie Prinze Jr, 2022
On the personal front, Prinze Jr. is happily married to his Scooby-Doo co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar, another 90s icon. They have two kids and often share adorable snippets of their family life on social media. It's comforting to see that our favorite teen heartthrob has found his happily-ever-after. He's also a bit of a culinary whiz - in 2016, he released a cookbook titled Back to the Kitchen. Who knew that the teen heartthrob who once played a high school jock could teach us a thing or two about searing the perfect steak?
Andrew Keegan, 1990s
Andrew Keegan's rise to teen idol status began with his role in the TV show Party of Five in 1995. His portrayal of Reed Isley instantly turned heads and hearts alike. But it was his role as the too-cool-for-school bad boy Joey Donner in the 1999 teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You that propelled him into the heartthrob stratosphere. Joey Donner was the guy every girl loved to hate and hated to love, and Keegan played him with an irresistible swagger. And who could forget his turn as Wilson West in 7th Heaven, the nice guy who won over Mary Camden and audiences alike? Whether he was playing a bad boy or a good guy, Keegan had a knack for making audiences swoon.
Andrew Keegan, 2020
Even teen heartthrobs must grow up. After dominating the 90s with his smoldering looks and memorable roles, Andrew Keegan took on a variety of roles in indie films and TV shows in the new millennium. He also dabbled in the world of voice-over, lending his voice to characters in video games. In 2014, Keegan made headlines for an entirely different reason - he co-founded a spiritual community center in Los Angeles called Full Circle. Yes, you read that right. Joey Donner, the self-absorbed model/actor from 10 Things I Hate About You, became a spiritual leader. Full Circle closed down in 2017, but we can't wait to see what Keegan does next.
Rider Strong, 1990s
Rider Strong, the dreamy-eyed bad boy who made our hearts flutter back in the 90s, stole the show – and many hearts – with his memorable performance in a particular teen sitcom. As Shawn Hunter in Boy Meets World, Strong was Cory Matthews' best friend and Topanga Lawrence's occasional love interest - and the cool, troubled kid who made teen angst look oh-so-dreamy. He was the leather-jacket-wearing heartthrob whose smoldering gaze was as deep as his troubled past.
Rider Strong, 2023
What has 90s heartthrob Rider Strong been up to these days? Well, he's all grown up and has been dabbling in various creative pursuits, proving he's more than just a pretty face. He directed a handful of short films and co-directed the feature film Irish Twins with his brother, Shiloh. In 2014, he reprised his role as Shawn Hunter in the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, much to the delight of fans. Seeing Shawn all grown up was a sweet, nostalgic treat that had us reminiscing about the good old 90s. And on the personal front? Rider married actress Alexandra Barreto in 2013, and they have a son. It's heartening to see the once-troubled Shawn Hunter find his happily-ever-after.
Will Smith, 1990s
Will Smith's reign over the 90s began with his breakthrough role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996). With his infectious smile, wicked charm, and an unparalleled knack for getting into hilarious situations, Smith's portrayal of a street-smart teenager from Philly living with his wealthy relatives in Bel-Air was a cultural phenomenon. His charm and undeniable talent made him a household name and a definite heartthrob of the decade.
Not content with just conquering the small screen, Smith took over Hollywood with box office hits like Bad Boys (1995), Independence Day (1996), and Men in Black (1997). Whether he was chasing aliens or saving the world from an alien invasion, Smith had a unique ability to make our hearts race and our stomachs ache from laughter simultaneously.
Will Smith, 2023
Fast forward to the present, and Smith is still the charismatic and talented man we fell in love with in the 90s. Over the years, he's proven himself to be one of the most versatile actors in the business, with roles in dramatic films like King Richard, for which he received an Academy Award. On the personal front, Smith has had some drama, what with the Oscars "slap" debacle. He's been married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997, and they have two children together, Jaden and Willow, who are both carving out their own successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Justin Timberlake, 1990s
It's time to bring 'SexyBack' as we take a look at the multi-talented, curly-haired sensation, the one and only Justin Timberlake! Born on January 31, 1981, in Memphis, Tennessee, Timberlake went from being a Disney Mouseketeer to a boy band heartthrob and then a Grammy-winning superstar, all the while making hearts skip a beat with his dance moves, vocals, and undeniable charm. The 90s saw a young Timberlake rise to fame as one of the lead vocalists of the iconic boy band 'NSYNC. Armed with his trademark blonde curls and killer dance moves, Timberlake and his bandmates set the music world on fire with their pop hits. Tracks like "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Bye Bye Bye" were not just chart-toppers but also anthems for millions of fans worldwide.
Justin Timberlake, 2019
Since his days with NSYNC, JT has released multiple successful solo albums, but his talent isn't confined to the music stage. He's proven himself a versatile actor, too, with roles in films like The Social Network (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011), and Trolls (2016). Timberlake has two children, and has been married to actress Jessica Biel since 2012 - despite a hand-holding scandal in 2019. Hey, at least he apologized:
A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement - but let me be clear - nothing happened between me and my co-star. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son. I apologise to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focussed on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that.
Nick Lachey, 1990s
Time to swoon, folks, as we dial back the clock and put the spotlight on the 90s heartthrob who made us say "I Do (Cherish You)," - Nick Lachey. Nick Lachey shot to fame as the lead singer of the boy band 98 Degrees. Alongside his brother Drew and bandmates Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons, Lachey gave us melodic love songs like "Because of You," "The Hardest Thing," and "My Everything." With his good looks and heart-melting vocals, it wasn't long before he firmly established himself as a certified heartthrob.
Nick Lachey, 2022
These days, Nick Lachey has pivoted his career into reality television. He's hosted several shows, and is probably most famous for co-hosting the reality dating series Love Is Blind with his wife, Vanessa Minnillo. However, some fans of the show aren't big fans of their hosting style. A change.org petition has been floating around to remove Lachey and Minnillo as hosts, citing that they tend to point "“attention at themselves and their personal lives rather than focusing on the contestants that are actually participating in the experiment".
Lachey and Minnillo have been married since 2011, and have three adorable children together.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 1990s
Back in the 90s, Joseph Gordon-Levitt became a familiar face on the small screen with his role as Tommy Solomon in the quirky sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001). As the oldest alien disguised as a teenage boy, Gordon-Levitt managed to infuse his character with both alien wisdom and adolescent awkwardness. Little did we know, the young, quirky alien would morph into a full-fledged heartthrob in the years to come. Afterwards, Gordon-Levitt began to venture into more diverse roles, shaking off the image of the innocent, boyish Tommy Solomon. He took on more challenging roles in indie films, showing off his incredible acting range, and jumpstarting a successful acting career.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 2022
As of now, Gordon-Levitt still has our hearts and attention. He has continued to show off his acting chops in a variety of roles, from voice acting in The Last Jedi (2017) to exploring the world of streaming series with Comrade Detective (2017) and Mr. Corman (2021). Besides acting, Gordon-Levitt has also ventured into directing and screenwriting. On the personal front, he's been happily married to Tasha McCauley since 2014, and they have two children together.
Leonardo DiCaprio, 1990s
The 90s was a golden era for Leo DiCaprio. His portrayal of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann's ultra-stylized Romeo + Juliet (1996) made audiences everywhere swoon. But the peak of his 90s heartthrob status came a year later with the release of a little film called Titanic (1997). His role as the charming and doomed Jack Dawson made Leo an international superstar, and set millions of hearts aflutter around the world. King of the world, indeed!
Leonardo DiCaprio, 2023
Fast forward to now, and Leo is still at the top of his game. He's continued to work with renowned directors and take on ambitious roles, such as playing Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015), which finally won him that elusive Oscar.Off-screen, DiCaprio is a passionate environmental activist, proving that he's not just a talented actor, but a man who cares deeply about our planet. He founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998, which focuses on supporting projects that protect vulnerable wildlife and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.
Ricky Martin, 1990s
Born Enrique Martin Morales on December 24, 1971, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin has been a staple in the music scene since his early days and has charmed us with his voice, his moves, and his undeniable charisma.In the early 90s, Martin was still riding the wave of his success from the late 80s as a member of Menudo, one of the biggest Latin boy bands of all time. But it was in the mid-90s when he started his solo career that he really started to turn heads. His self-titled album, which featured the hit "Maria," put him on the map as a solo artist.
But then, 1999 happened, and Ricky Martin became a global phenomenon. His single "Livin' la Vida Loca" became a worldwide hit, catapulting Martin to international stardom and turning him into a certified heartthrob. The song, with its infectious Latin pop sound and Martin's high-energy performance, had everyone shaking their hips. And let's be honest, who could resist his charming smile and those dance moves?
Ricky Martin, 2022
Fast forward to today, and Ricky Martin is still rocking the music scene. As of my last update in September 2021, he's continued to release new music and perform to sold-out crowds. His vibrant sound and his dedication to his craft have allowed him to maintain a successful and enduring music career. Martin is also a dedicated advocate for human rights, and he's been particularly vocal about issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community since publicly coming out as gay in 2010. His openness about his identity and his advocacy work have earned him respect and admiration from fans and fellow artists alike. On the personal front, Martin has been happily partnered with Jwan Yosef since 2016, and they have four beautiful children together. His journey from Menudo band member to international superstar and proud family man has been truly inspiring to watch.
Enrique Iglesias, 1990s
The 90s saw the beginning of Enrique Iglesias' journey to stardom. His self-titled debut album, released in 1995, became a big hit, selling millions of copies worldwide. With tracks like "Si Tú Te Vas" and "Experiencia Religiosa," Enrique quickly gained popularity in the Latin music scene, and his good looks and charisma solidified his status as a heartthrob. But it was with the release of his smash-hit "Bailamos" in 1999 that Enrique crossed over to the mainstream English music market. The song, which was featured in the film Wild Wild West, catapulted him to international stardom.
Enrique Iglesias, 2023
Fast forward to now: Enrique Iglesias is still a major player in the music industry. He's released several successful albums in both English and Spanish, and he continues to churn out catchy, chart-topping hits. His collaborations with artists such as Pitbull, Descemer Bueno, and Gente de Zona have further solidified his status as the king of Latin pop. Enrique has been in a long-term relationship with former professional tennis player Anna Kournikova since 2001, and they have three children together. Despite being a global superstar, Enrique has managed to keep his family life away from the limelight, earning him admiration from fans and fellow artists.
John Stamos, 1990s
Ready to take a ride on the John Stamos express? Everyone was doing it in the 90s! As the incredibly good-looking and charming Uncle Jesse Katsopolis on Full House (1987-1995), Stamos had everyone wishing they were part of the Tanner family. His perfect hair, his cool attitude, his love for Elvis, and his incredible bond with the Olsen twins as Michelle Tanner turned Stamos into a household name.
When Full House ended, Stamos continued to showcase his acting talents with appearances in several shows, including ER, Glee, and Law & Order: SVU. He never strayed too far from our hearts (or our screens), ensuring that his heartthrob status remained intact.
John Stamos, 2022
Stamos is just as busy (and just as charming) as ever. He reprised his role as "Uncle Jesse" in the Full House sequel, Fuller House, and took on new roles in well-received series like Scream Queens and You. Off-screen, Stamos has been a dedicated advocate for Project Cuddle since 2005, a charity that works to prevent baby abandonment. On the personal front, he married Caitlin McHugh in 2018, and they have a son together.
From Blackie Parrish to Uncle Jesse to being an actual dad, John Stamos has been making us swoon for decades. For the most recent information about his career and life, refer to the latest sources. So, here's to John Stamos - the '90s hunk who just keeps getting better!
Mario Lopez, 1990s
In the 90s, Mario Lopez's portrayal of A.C. Slater in Saved By The Bell had viewers swooning across the globe. Those dimples! Those muscles! That charm! Whether he was wrestling, dancing, or showing his softer side, Lopez's Slater was the dreamboat who had us all wishing we could hang out at The Max after school.
Mario Lopez, 2023
These days, Lopez is mostly in the hosting game, appearing on Access Hollywood and serving as a host for various reality TV shows like The X Factor and America's Best Dance Crew. I guess when you've got the looks and the charm, every show wants a piece of you! Away from the spotlight, Lopez is a family man. He married Broadway dancer Courtney Mazza in 2012, and they have three children together.
Johnny Depp, 1990s
Johnny Depp's heartthrob status can be traced back to the 80s with his breakout role as Officer Tom Hanson in "21 Jump Street," but it was in the 90s when he truly hit his stride. He started the decade with a bang with his sensitive and soulful portrayal of Edward in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990), a role that established him as a versatile actor and a bona fide heartthrob.
Throughout the 90s, Depp took on a variety of roles that showcased his incredible range as an actor. Whether he was playing the charming but troubled Gilbert Grape in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), the eccentric and intriguing Ed Wood in Ed Wood (1994), or the obsessive and dedicated Inspector Fred Abberline in From Hell (2001), Depp never failed to captivate audiences with his talent and good looks.
Johnny Depp, 2023
Although Johnny Depp is still a recognized name in Hollywood, he has been in smaller roles recently due to struggles with alcohol and drugs. He also recently was involved in a highly publicized defamation case against his ex girlfriend, Amber Heard, who accused him of physical and emotional abuse. His personal life and legal disputes have often made headlines, but there's no denying his impact on Hollywood, especially in the 90s and early 2000s.
Brad Pitt, 1990s
The ruggedly handsome Brad Pitt made his mark on the 90s like a cowboy bursting through saloon doors in a western movie. Who could forget his role as the charming drifter J.D. in Thelma & Louise (1991)? This breakout role put Pitt on the map and instantly launched him into heartthrob territory. His good looks and undeniable charisma were impossible to ignore, but his talent was even clearer. Whether he was the mysterious and irresistible Louis in Interview with the Vampire (1994), the enchanting and slightly mad Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys (1995), Pitt proved time and time again that he was more than just a pretty face.
Brad Pitt, 2023
Brad Pitt is still a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. His roles have become more complex and intriguing, with films like The Big Short (2015), Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019), and Ad Astra (2019) under his belt. His production company, Plan B Entertainment, has also produced a slew of critically acclaimed films.
Off the silver screen, however, Pitt's personal life has often been the subject of media attention, particularly his marriages to Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. In an ongoing legal battle over their shared assets, a countersuit by Jolie recently accused Pitt of abuse against her and their children:
Pitt choked one of the children and struck another in the face...Pitt grabbed Jolie by the head and shook her, and then grabbed her shoulders and shook her again before pushing her into the bathroom wall...Pitt then punched the ceiling of the plane numerous times, prompting Jolie to leave the bathroom.
Jared Leto, 1990s
Jared Leto burst into hunky glory with his portrayal of Jordan Catalano in the cult classic TV series My So-Called Life (1994-1995). With his brooding eyes, relaxed demeanor, and that luscious mane, he made high school seem a lot more glamorous than most of us remember. Even his tendency to lean against lockers became an iconic symbol of '90s teen angst.
But Leto didn't stop there. Throughout the 90s, he flexed his acting muscles in a series of films like Prefontaine (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), and Fight Club (1999), proving his range and depth as an actor.
Jared Leto, 2023
Jared Leto is still active in Hollywood, but he's gotten a little...well, weird. He started a cult-y group for his band, Thirty Seconds To Mars, and created a yearly summer camp event called Camp Mars, where fans can spend a weekend participating in various activities, for a hefty fee. Leto refers to the Thirty Seconds to Mars fan base as the Echelon, and the bond between them is strong. The band has even involved fans in their work, like when they invited fans to share their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic for a project called "A Day in the Life of America." And somehow, amidst all of this, he manages to age in reverse. Seriously, does this man have a hidden fountain of youth?
Joshua Jackson, 1990s
Joshua Jackson stole our hearts in the 90s as the loveable and sensitive Pacey Witter in the teen drama Dawson's Creek (1998-2003). With his wit, charm, and undeniable chemistry with Katie Holmes' character, Joey Potter, Jackson had us all rooting for Pacey, even over the show's titular character, Dawson. But Jackson wasn't confined to the Creek. Throughout the 90s, he also showcased his acting prowess in films like The Mighty Ducks (1992) and Cruel Intentions (1999), further cementing his status as a bona fide heartthrob.
Joshua Jackson, 2023
Joshua Jackson is still an active force in Hollywood. He's transitioned into more mature roles, impressing audiences with his performances in series like Fringe, but he has fond memories of Dawson's Creek:
It’s honestly hard to define down into one [favorite] memory. For me, this sort of slots into my college years so for me it is that place. It was an innocent time where we were in Wilmington, North Carolina, and had a group of young actors to just go and play with all the time. And it had everything, you know. It had all the wonderful, sweet things that you have at that time of your life and it had all the difficult, angsty things [too]. … I can’t believe it’s been 25 years.
He has been married to model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith since 2019.
Brian Austin Green, 1990s
No rundown of '90s heartthrobs would be complete without Brian Austin Green, who first won over audiences as the cool yet approachable David Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). Armed with his mischievous smile, boyish charm, and the ability to DJ a high school dance like nobody's business, Green quickly became a poster boy for teenage dreams across the globe. Funnily enough, he also tried his hand at a music career, releasing a hip hop album, One Stop Carnival in 1996. It may not have topped the charts, but it gave us a glimpse of his love for music.
Brian Austin Green, 2023
Nowadays, Brian Austin Green has been making headlines for his personal life, notably his marriage to actress Megan Fox and their subsequent separation. The two started dating when Fox was 18 and Green was 30, and were together for sixteen years, eventually drifting apart:
She said, 'I realized when I was out of the country working alone that I feel more like myself and I liked myself better during that experience and I think that might be something worth trying for me. I was shocked and I was upset about it but I can’t be upset at her because she didn’t ask to feel that way. It wasn’t a choice she made, that’s the way she honestly felt. We talked about it a little more and said let’s separate for a bit... and so we did.
Despite the roller coaster of his personal life, Green continues to keep things professional when it comes to his career.
Omar Epps, 1990s
In the 90s, Omar Epps emerged on the scene, causing hearts to flutter in the cult classic Juice (1992). With his undeniable on-screen charisma and good looks, Epps quickly established himself as a bona fide heartthrob. From playing a high school running back in The Program (1993) to an aspiring medical student in Higher Learning (1995), Epps proved he could tackle diverse roles with ease and style. But perhaps the role that solidified his status as a 90s heartthrob was his portrayal of Quincy McCall in the classic romantic drama Love & Basketball (2000). His chemistry with co-star Sanaa Lathan was off the charts, and he had audiences swooning all over their popcorn.
Omar Epps, 2023
On screen, Epps is still killing it. He's continued to star in hit shows such as House and This is Us, simultaneously appearing in films like 3022 and The Fatal Affair. Off-screen, Epps has proven to be a devoted family man, sharing beautiful moments with his wife Keisha and their kids on social media. He also released a memoir, Fatherless to Fatherhood in 2018, giving fans a glimpse into his life and career.
Devon Sawa, 1990s
Born on September 7, 1978, in Vancouver, Canada, Sawa catapulted into teen idol status in the '90s, sending hearts aflutter around the globe. His turn as the human form of the friendly ghost in Casper (1995) had pre-teens practicing their "Can I keep you?" lines in the mirror. And let's not forget his portrayal of the rebellious yet endearing Scott Wormer in Now and Then (1995). Sawa was the rebellious '90s dreamboat we didn't know we needed.
His role in Idle Hands (1999) showcased his comedic chops, while Final Destination (2000) confirmed that he could make us jump out of our seats in fear while still remaining crush-worthy. That's talent, folks.
Devon Sawa, 2022
Cruising into the present: Devon Sawa is still regularly acting, albeit in smaller roles. He has mentioned finding it hard to shed his Casper reputation over the span of his career in Hollywood:
I had to smoke pot in movies and I had to be in a hip-hop video. That’s what I felt like I had to do to get away from ‘Can I keep you?’. Everybody wanted to hear, ‘Can I keep you?’ It drove me nuts.
In terms of his personal life, Sawa has been married to producer Dawni Sahanovitch since 2013, and sober since 2006.
While you might not know who Elgin Baylor Lumpkin is, if you grew up in the 90s you definitely knew his stage name: Ginuwine. After all, if the '90s could sing, it would sound like his single "Pony." Released in 1996, this chart-topping single catapulted Ginuwine to heartthrob status almost overnight. His slick choreography and mesmerizing gaze made him an irresistible fixture on our screens and radios. His first album, Ginuwine... The Bachelor, was an instant hit, and a second album, 100% Ginuwine, solidified his place in R&B royalty. And let's not forget about those music videos - they were the stuff of '90s dreams.
Today, Ginuwine continues to contribute to the music scene, although perhaps in a less high-profile way than his '90s heyday. He's appeared on shows like Parks and Recreation and Your Husband Is Cheating On Us, as well as several films. Ginuwine continues to perform live and tour.
Off the stage, Ginuwine has used his platform to raise awareness for issues close to his heart, such as mental health, proving that there's more to this '90s heartthrob than smooth vocals and flashy dance moves.
Tom Cruise, 1990s
Though Tom Cruise had already been making a stir in Hollywood in the '80s, the '90s were a golden era for him. Remember the electrifying scene from Mission: Impossible (1996) with the lasers and the sweat drop? Or his mesmerizing performance in Jerry Maguire (1996), which gave us the timeless line "You complete me"? And let's not forget Eyes Wide Shut (1999), where he proved that his acting prowess extends well into the enigmatic and complex.
Tom Cruise, 2023
Tom Cruise is still in the fast lane of his career. His name has become synonymous with the adrenaline-fueled Mission: Impossible franchise. He also reprised his role in the Top Gun series, with the latest installment having hit the screens recently. Tom is still doing his own stunts - hanging off airplanes, scaling skyscrapers - you name it, he's probably done it!
Off-screen, Cruise is known for his questionable dedication to Scientology. Yet, despite the rollercoaster ride of his personal life, he continues to dazzle us on screen with his charm and talent, remaining a fixture in our Hollywood dreams. What's next, Tom? We're excited to see!
Matt Dillon, 1990s
Born on February 18, 1964, in New Rochelle, New York, dreamy Matt Dillon started his acting career in the '70s at age 14, but it was the '80s and '90s that truly catapulted him to hunk status. Who could forget his early roles as the bad boy with a heart in movies like The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983)? Swoon!
As the '90s rolled in, Dillon showcased his versatility with films like Singles (1992), where he played a charmingly aloof rock musician, and There's Something About Mary (1998), which saw him delivering laughs as a hilariously misguided private investigator. He kept us on our toes, and we loved every moment of it!
Matt Dillon, 2022
Nowadays, everyone's favorite bad boy continues to shine both on and off screen. He's taken on a variety of roles, demonstrating his range and depth as an actor while working with directors like Wes Anderson, Lars Von Trier, and more.
Off-screen, Dillon is a dedicated humanitarian and has even tried his hand at directing with films like City of Ghosts and The Great Fellove. He's been in a relationship with dancer/choreographer Roberta Mastromichele for the last ten years. The heartthrob status? That's just a bonus!
Mark Wahlberg, 1990s
Let's be honest, he could get between us and our Calvins. Born on June 5, 1971, in Boston, Massachusetts, Mark Wahlberg's initial claim to fame was as the younger brother of New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg. But Mark wasn't just about to live in his brother's shadow. He stepped into the spotlight as the leader of the hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Let's be honest, who can forget the chiseled abs and iconic Calvin Klein ads of the early '90s? The 'Marky Mark' era had everyone swooning.
Wahlberg was not content being just a music heartthrob. He ventured into acting and truly came into his own with roles in critically acclaimed films such as Boogie Nights (11997) and Three Kings (1999). His transition from music to acting was seamless, and he soon became a household name.
Mark Wahlberg, 2023
Fast forward to now: Mark Wahlberg has successfully cemented his place as a leading man in Hollywood. He's starred in a slew of blockbuster hits like the Transformers and Uncharted series and continues his acting journey with films scheduled for release in the near future. As for being a dreamboat? Once a hunk, always a hunk.
Off-screen, Wahlberg is a devoted father of four, successful entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the co-owner of burger restaurant Wahlburgers, and established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. He's come a long way from his 'Marky Mark' days and proven that he's not just a heartthrob, but a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.
Josh Hartnett, 1990s
Josh Hartnett, with his deep-set eyes and boy-next-door charm, quickly climbed the Hollywood ladder in the '90s and became a bona fide HUNK. His breakout role came in the form of brooding teenager Michael Fitzgerald in the television crime drama Cracker (1997-1999). Oh, and did we mention his role as Trip Fontaine in The Virgin Suicides (1999)? A part that had us all swooning.
Josh Hartnett, 2022
Hartnett still works in Hollywood, but is more selective about his roles. He played a recurring character in the popular series Penny Dreadful, and enjoys taking part in independent films. Hartnett finds happiness is best found closer to home than Hollywood:
I'm absolutely not in the race to be the hottest actor. I know what it's like to be in that whole world. I was up there for a couple of years and it was uncomfortable...I think trying to stay at the top is a shortcut to unhappiness.
Off-screen, Hartnett has proven to be a low-key guy, valuing his privacy and staying away from the Hollywood limelight. He's a family man now, living a quieter life with his partner Tamsin Egerton, who he married in 2021 after ten years together, and their two shared children.