Growing up, most people have had their fair share of celebrity crushes. Whether it was a child star from a favorite TV show or sci-fi film, or the twenty-something heartthrobs in the latest sitcom, plenty of people have fallen for famous stars.
Today, many of these crush-worthy celebs have ongoing careers in the entertainment industry, while others lead quiet lives out of the spotlight. In case you wondered where they ended up, here’s a look at several celebrity crushes back then and today.
Candace Cameron Bure
On the popular sitcom Full House, Candace starred as eldest daughter D.J. Tanner, a spunky young girl who took charge of her TV dad and uncles’ antics. However, she also experienced some difficulties during her younger years – due to this, many people view her as an example of what it means to be strong-minded and tough but kindhearted all at once. Recently though Candace has been gaining publicity for other reasons too: apparently, she’ll soon be involved in another season of Full House!
Courtney Cox always manages to bring the funny whenever she stars in a new film. From Monica in Friends, to Gale Weathers in Scream; one thing never changes – her undeniable talent for comedy. She recently starred as Jules Cobb in Cougar Town and when she isn’t starring on TV or making blockbuster movies, Courtney takes time out of her schedule to raise her daughter with David Arquette.
Joseph Gordon Levitt
As Tommy Solomon from Third Rock From the Sun, little Joseph Gordon Levitt stole viewers’ hearts. Ten years after the sitcom aired, he was still stealing female admirers–but for his looks now. The talented actor has transformed into one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men.
Alicia Silverstone stole our hearts as the loveable Cher in the ’90s hit Clueless before disappearing from the spotlight for some time. Now, she focuses mostly on being an advocate for animals rights – a self-proclaimed vegan who was never shy about promoting her beliefs through social media or through advertising campaigns for various organizations focused on animal rights.
Danielle Fishel burst onto the scene when she was cast as Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World’ and quickly became a fan favorite. Though her career came to an end afterwards, she recently reprised her signature role in Girl Meets World – a sequel series focused on Cory’s life – making Danielle once again one of the most recognizable faces in television.
Amy Jo Johnson
Known as the Pink Power Ranger to children of the 90s, Amy Jo Johnson left the spotlight after Power Rangers so she could focus on her music career. She recently found success by writing and directing short films which have made an impact in various film festivals around the world; proving that she is a triple threat when it comes to creativity.
The NSYNC frontman went from being awkward to sexy, sophisticated gentleman. You can tell just how amazing Justin Timberlake’s evolution has been – he was just an average guy before, but now with his handsome looks and knowing attitude he is completely out of this world cool.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
Teenage boys fell head over heels for Ms. Tiffani Amber Thiessen when she played the spunky Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell in the ’90s, launching her acting career and bringing her to fame. Ever since then, she’s starred in 90210 (as bad girl Valerie Malone), guest-starred on Criminal Minds and even hosted Saturday Night Live! But it was her leading role as Peter Burke’s (played by Tim DeKay) partner/wife Elizabeth Burke on White Collar from 2009-2014 that really got people talking about this beautiful actress again. These days, you can find Mrs. Thiessen hosting Dinner at Tiffani or trying out new recipes for us all to try out at home.
No one could have guessed that this Disney Mouseketeer would find her way to the Reigning Queen of Pop or that she would manage to keep herself relevant for over 20 years. Britney Spears has fought her way back up after some recent hits (her latest albums Femme Fatale and Britney Jean) and continues to captivate us with every new album release.
Drew Barrymore has always been one of the cutest people alive and now she is quite simply an unbelievably gorgeous woman. As successful as ever, Drew remains just as kind-hearted, cute and adorable as we remember her from movies such as E.T., which is why she’s always been our favorite actress and why it’s so great that she still manages to thrive in Hollywood today with films ranging from Charlie’s Angels to 50 First Dates.
Neil Patrick Harris
As Dr. Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris had previously played a gawky and awkward preteen doctor who could only rely on his wits rather than muscle power to overcome obstacles in the hospital. However, it appears that he has swapped out those geeky traits for ones better suited for an attractive adult!
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.
In the Little Miss Sunshine film, Abby was known for being an adorable yet quirky little girl with a big heart who charmed audiences everywhere. But now that she’s nearing adulthood, Abby has matured into something much more than just ‘cute’. She may even be considered a late bloomer!
Jenna Von Oy
Jennifer Jenna Von Oy-Bratcher was born in Connecticut and spent much of her childhood life starring in successful movies such as Blossom. From there she went on to star in popular television series like The Parkers and A Goofy Movie. She married Brad Bratcher back in 2010 and they share two amazing children – one boy, one girl.
Ricci has had a long and successful career, in part do to her it girl status in the 1990s whiel she was playing Wednesday in The Addams Family. She had some rough patches but recovered quickly when Wes Craven cast her in Cursed (though many are quick to point out that the movie was troubled). These days Ricci is back on top again playing Lizzie Borden on Lifetime’s TV show Lizzie Borden Took an Axe.
When the world first got introduced to Keke Palmer in Akeelah and the Bee, they were astounded by her incredible acting talent. The performer-singer has since underwent her own modern day Cinderella story; transforming from an awkward teenager into a sophisticated woman of wealth and stature.
Despite being mostly known for playing Stuart Minkus on Boy Meets World, Lee Norris has also starred in many Hollywood productions as the nerd who no one notices or pays attention to. However, his recent appearances on One Tree Hill show that he too can be put in the spotlight when people take notice of him.
Amanda Bynes’ acting career took off when she landed the role of Lisa Turtle on Nickelodeon’s All That before starring in a slew of films like She’s the Man and Easy A. After dealing with mental health issues, Amanda made headlines again when she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Thankfully, Amanda has been receiving treatment and has focused her efforts on becoming a fashion designer.
For so long, this star had been overshadowed by her sisters who were famous for their show on TV, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Now though, Kylie has become an iconic figure of this generation as a successful businesswoman via her company, Kylie Cosmetics.
Kelly LeBrock became an obsession for teenage boys when the film ‘Weird Science’ was released. She was such a sex symbol that producers had to continuously cast her in movie roles in order to cash in on her popularity among men who were looking for some sexual fantasy fulfillment. Sadly, being typecast eventually led to Kelly’s acting career hitting a standstill, and she has only been in D-list movies since.
The Twilight hottie got his start from playing a kid turned fish in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl which didn’t say much about his looks but later he grew into an actor that deserved all the attention. He was voted one of the sexiest men alive when he played Jacob Black who captured everyone’s heart during these few years
Jennifer Love Hewitt once played a scream queen in I Know What You Did Last Summer but proved herself to be much more than that. Her other teen films include Can’t Hardly Wait, before she turned to more serious roles like playing the ghost whisperer and chasing down criminals. She’s had quite an eclectic acting career!
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, she has evolved into an attractive woman many of us can’t keep our eyes off of when we see her on Gossip Girl.
Shelton has had an extensive acting career. Her father was a television producer who did not want his daughter to become an actor but she eventually broke out of her shell and began working with Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville. She later went on to work on films such as The Sandlot, The Bachelor, Uptown Girls, and more.
Hilary Duff achieved mainstream fame through her Disney show Lizzie McGuire from 2001-2004. Her commercial success continued in many other films until she took a hiatus from acting to focus on music. In 2010, Duff disappeared completely for marriage and pregnancy but recently returned to producing music after dismissing any talk of reviving Lizzie McGuire.
Little Jonathan Lipnicki shot to fame with his role as Tom Cruise’s son in the movie Jerry McGuire. As the cute, nerdy kid with a huge brain he had a promising future ahead of him– so how come he came back looking like this? After starring in other movies such as Stuart Little 2 and Animal Farm, Lipnicki has recently become quite handsome– which may or may not surprise you if you’re familiar with his teenage years.
Lea Thompson is most well-known for her role as Marty McFly’s mother in Back to the Future, but she also appeared in such classics as Dennis the Menace and starred in her own series Caroline In The City. Recently, she has taken on small roles in box office bombs like Left Behind and competed on Dancing With The Stars.
Soleil Moon Frye
Ah, we all remember the adorable Punky Brewster and Soleil Moon Frye was the perfect fit for this role. This show only aired for four seasons but it didn’t stop Soleil from going on to star in other shows after this one ended. She took a break from acting but she came back again as Sabrina Spellman’s friend Hilda Spellman who was roommates with Sabrina until 2003 when the series stopped airing. But today, Soleil spends most of her time being an amazing mom to her three children and occasionally writes novels which are really successful!
This pop/rock band from England first debuted in 1996 when they released their single Wannabe. They went on to become one of the best-selling girl groups ever with over 20 million albums sold. Scary Spice (Mel B), Sporty Spice (Mel C), Baby Spice (Emma), Ginger Spice (Geri) and Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) reached international fame quickly after releasing their first album ‘Spice World’. But unfortunately, they had to part ways when Geri Halliwell left the group in 1998 and disbanded in 2000 following an indefinite hiatus.
Today, each member of the Spice Girls has their own successful career. Geri Halliwell is currently pursuing a solo music career and Victoria Beckham went on to launch her high-end fashion line. Despite some friction between them when they reunited in 2008 for a comeback album and tour, the group ultimately disbanded after providing one final show back in 2012 at London’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Christy Carlson Romano
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. During her adolescent years, she starred in several Disney films before giving up to voice overs. She has been praised by critics for work on both Kingdom Hearts video games and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children—for which she voiced the role of Yuffie.
It’s hard to believe Steve Urkel, one of the most iconic TV personalities ever, was originally made up. Credit goes to Hollywood costumes and young actor Jaleel White who did an excellent job playing a nerdy but lovable character. Fast forward twenty-something years later and we couldn’t recognize him! Recently he appeared on a game show called Total Blackout, where he played not only himself but also four other characters at once!
The pop sensation has always been good-looking, but even Taylor herself had gone through a tough period in life when she was younger. Picture day during the early 2000s showed that Ms. Swift sported an awkward hairstyle unfit for her squeaky clean image – but she’s certainly come far since then!
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 at how different she looked. The Veep star is drop dead gorgeous, and her awkward tomboy features are now absolutely stunning!
Mila Kunis has thrived in Hollywood for over 20 years now with an illustrious resume including roles in Family Guy as Meg, and such blockbuster movies as Black Swan and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Recently, she married her co-star from That 70’s Show, Ashton Kutcher and welcomed their first child together. Her most recent venture was playing Jupiter Jones in the film adaptation of the book of the same name – however it was met with less than positive reviews from critics and fans alike.
As the clumsy Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series, Matthew Lewis made us laugh at his physique, crooked teeth, and goofy personality. But now, flash forward a few years – and this wizard has won! His impressive change of appearance generated a new term for changing one’s physical appearance: Neville Longbottoming.
Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart joined the cast of Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon after beginning her acting career, but is mostly known for playing Sabrina Spellman in Sabrina the Teenage Witch who we followed along with throughout all 7 seasons until she left us heartbroken. After several stints of dramas and sitcoms that never lasted very long, Melissa has been focusing more on diet programs such as Nutrisystem and has also appeared to represent them as well.
Natalie Portman had been acting professionally since she was twelve years old, as Mathilda on Leon: The Professional, and started transitioning to more adult roles when she starred as Padme in the Star Wars prequels. She has continued to act professionally ever since and is currently one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors with credits including Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, and Thor.
We loved him when he was a scrawny yet cute little boy in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, even though there were many times he needed to grow up. Now as a fully grown man, Freddie Highmore has proven himself to be an absolute stunner on Bates Motel, which can only make sense given his past work experience.
After seeing her as Carmen on the Spy Kids series, audiences never thought twice about this adorable little actress. But look out world; she has turned into one smoking hot girl! Sporting risqué outfits in the Machete movies, Alexa Vega is getting all sorts of attention for her provocative look.
Jennifer Aniston may be most known for her iconic role as Rachel in the Emmy Award winning TV series Friends, but did you know she actually tried out for the part of Monica? With eleven successful seasons under her belt, it’s no wonder why this sweet-faced actress wanted to branch out into other genres. A true talent, Jennifer has found even more success after leaving TV behind and showcasing her comedic and dramatic range on screen instead.
Madeline became famous during the ’90s for her role in The Nanny, and she still hasn’t slowed down – taking on leading roles in several hit TV shows including Californication and NBC’s Heroes. A shy child who blossomed into a striking woman, Madeline has shown both her beauty and her acting talent over the course of her many years of success.
The former Drake & Josh star was once an awkward teenager who struggled with his weight, but managed to shed some pounds and transform himself for the better. Nowadays he’s unrecognizable from the guy we used to know!
Jennifer Grey was a well-known actress throughout the 1980s due to her role in Dirty Dancing. However, it wasn’t until recently when she competed on Dancing with the Stars that fans realized how much of an impact this role had on her life. Although there were many small gigs she got over time, nothing compared to what she was once capable of doing before her nose job left her looking like a different person.
We loved her as Harry Potter’s love interest in the wildly popular films, but we would be doing Bonnie Wright an injustice if we don’t mention her amazing transformation. From being just a muggle to taking over Hollywood with just two short years of acting experience under her belt, she has already proven herself as one hell of an actress.
After playing Kevin Arnold’s sister Winnie on The Wonder Years, Danica McKellar pursued an education in mathematics after filming wrapped up on the popular series. And it seems like she made the right choice – Winnie now runs a line of study software to help improve teens’ math skills! Having retired from acting when she became an adult, Winnie recently appeared as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Though Jerry O’Connell may not have been well-known at first, he soon became an actor-turned-hunk after shedding pounds and transforming himself in Stand By Me. For those who are unaware of his work before then, he showed off his acting skills again on TV shows such as Sliders and What About Brian?
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 experienced an awkward phase before landing a big break!
Christina showed that she could separate herself from the pack with her killer vocals and still be able to put out hits after hits. Now an icon for future artists, Christina was both a coach for contestants on NBC’s The Voice as well as working on her eighth studio album – giving back what has been given to her all these years.
Little boy Nicholas Hoult astounded audiences with his intense portrayal of the main character Marcus in the 2002 drama film about a boy. In real life, Nick was shy and reserved; rarely attracting attention from anyone else. When he matured out of his awkwardness, he became famous for being one of the lead actors in X-Men films as well as being Jennifer Lawrence’s ex-boyfriend.
Though at first she was just seen as another average girl next door when she became Paris Hilton’s sidekick, Nicole Richie has since become even more than her good looks. Years after going through a bad phase including an eating disorder and drug addiction, she is now healthy and looking absolutely gorgeous.
Dakota’s undeniable talent and charisma can’t be ignored – even when she was in the process of becoming an up-and-coming actress. And, thanks to her journey through the stages of awkward puberty, the world has been able to watch just how hot she became before they really knew who she was!
From little parts in 10 Things I Hate About You and The Secret World of Alex Mack, to a regular guest spot on Mad Men and Hawaii Five-O, Larisa Oleynik had mastered the art of acting by age 16. She found success from an early age, leading her to continue living in California at the ripe old age of 33!
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!
Though Hermione Granger was well-known for her intelligence and wit, she never had the most stellar of appearances. Growing up alongside the iconic boy wizard in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter books, it became increasingly difficult to obscure Emma Watson’s staggeringly alluring beauty! Now a goddess among mortals, young Emma has come out from behind those pages and captured our hearts with every radiant smile she flashes at us from across the silver screen.
As a loud-mouthed, back-talking teen on her rock family’s hit reality show, Kelly Osbourne was notorious for an over-the-top punk attitude. But time has been kind to the Fashion Police co-host who became more refined and learned how to play up her natural beauty when there weren’t cameras rolling.
Zac Efron, who captivated fans as Troy Bolton in High School Musical when he was just a teenager is back with an unrecognizable, manly appearance. His seductive good looks show why he has ascended to be among Hollywood’s most successful actors at such a young age.
From Dawson’s Creek to running away from Scientology and her ex-husband Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes has lived quite an eventful life. During her career downturn post Batman Begins and also within her marriage to Tom Cruise – it all changed when she was casted as the iconic Jackie Kennedy in addition to guest starring on many sitcoms such as Arrested Development, Frasier and Friends
You might know me as the show Step by Step but now I am all grown up and my name is Al. Christine Lakin has fought to stay in the spotlight since Step by Step went off the air starring in a few Hollywood flops; then again, who doesn’t? Most of her time was spent doing TV guest spots on hit shows such as Melissa & Joey and CSI. Even though she wasn’t playing lead roles anymore, she proved herself to be capable and talented enough to book work.
Kirsten Dunst has never slowed down in her pursuit for what she wants. With movies such as Interview with a Vampire and Jumanji under her belt, to more recent roles like Melancholia and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, this girl is made of the right stuff! As an actress known for playing both innocent and seductive, Kirsten Dunst will continue having a successful career because she refuses to give up.