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90s Heartthrobs Then and Now: A Fascinating Comparison

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1990s Star Nick Lachey

1990s Star Nick Lachey
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Get ready to be charmed as we turn back time and shine a light on the beloved heartthrob of the 90s, Nick Lachey. Rising to stardom as the frontman of the popular boy band 98 Degrees, Lachey, along with his brother Drew and fellow bandmates Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons, serenaded us with unforgettable love ballads such as “Because of You,” “The Hardest Thing,” and “My Everything.” With his irresistible looks and captivating voice, it didn’t take long for Lachey to become a certified heartthrob in our hearts.

Rider Strong to Make a Comeback in 2023

Rider Strong to Make a Comeback in 2023
Wikimedia Commons
Rider Strong, the heartthrob of the 90s, has been busy pursuing various creative endeavors, proving that he is more than just a handsome face. He has directed a few short films and co-directed a feature film called Irish Twins alongside his brother, Shiloh. In 2014, he delighted fans by reprising his role as Shawn Hunter in the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World. Seeing Shawn all grown up brought back sweet nostalgic memories of the 90s. On a personal note, Rider tied the knot with actress Alexandra Barreto in 2013, and they now have a son together. It’s inspiring to witness the once-troubled Shawn Hunter finding his happily-ever-after.

George Clooney in the 1990s

George Clooney in the 1990s
Nbc
Who better than the eternally suave George Clooney to bring a touch of silver fox charm to our collection of 90s heartthrobs? This Kentucky boy truly made his mark in the 90s, captivating audiences as Dr. Doug Ross in the popular medical drama ER. With his perfectly styled Caesar cut hair, captivating twinkle in his eyes, and irresistible charm, Clooney became a household name. Not to mention, his character’s exceptional medical skills saved countless lives and earned him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations during the show’s run from 1994 to 1999. In addition to his success on television, Clooney also took on the iconic role of Batman in Batman & Robin (1997). While the film received mixed reviews, there was no denying Clooney’s undeniable charisma. His heartthrob status was firmly established, almost as if it were cast in the Gotham sky.

Actor Omar Epps sets sights on 2023 career goals

Actor Omar Epps sets sights on 2023 career goals
Colin Stark
Epps continues to excel in his on-screen performances, with notable roles in popular shows like House and This is Us, as well as appearances in films like 3022 and The Fatal Affair. Beyond his acting career, Epps demonstrates his dedication to his family by sharing heartwarming moments with his wife Keisha and their children on social media. In 2018, he also gave fans a deeper understanding of his life and career through the release of his memoir, Fatherless to Fatherhood.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Rise to Fame in the 1990s

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Rise to Fame in the 1990s
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Joseph Gordon-Levitt rose to fame in the 90s through his portrayal of Tommy Solomon in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001). Playing the oldest extraterrestrial disguised as a teenager, Gordon-Levitt skillfully blended alien wisdom with the awkwardness of adolescence. Little did we anticipate that this quirky alien would evolve into a heartthrob in the following years. Subsequently, Gordon-Levitt delved into a variety of roles, shedding the innocent, youthful image of Tommy Solomon. He embraced more challenging characters in independent films, showcasing his remarkable acting versatility and propelling his successful career in the industry.

Will Smith in the 1990s

Will Smith in the 1990s
Nbc
Will Smith’s rise to fame in the 90s began with his breakout role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996). With his infectious smile, irresistible charm, and an unmatched talent for finding himself in hilarious predicaments, Smith’s portrayal of a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia living with his affluent relatives in Bel-Air became a cultural sensation. His charisma and undeniable skill propelled him to stardom, making him a household name and ultimate heartthrob of the era. Not content with dominating the small screen, Smith also dominated the silver screen with blockbuster hits like Bad Boys (1995), Independence Day (1996), and Men in Black (1997). Whether he was chasing extraterrestrials or saving the world from an alien invasion, Smith possessed a unique ability to simultaneously make our hearts race and our stomachs ache from laughter.

Will Smith to Star in New Film in 2023

Will Smith to Star in New Film in 2023
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Now in the present, Smith remains the captivating and skilled man who captured our hearts in the 90s. Throughout the years, he has showcased his versatility as an actor, impressing us with his performances in various genres, including his award-winning role in the dramatic film King Richard, which earned him an Academy Award. On a personal level, Smith has faced some controversy, notably the Oscars “slap” incident. Nonetheless, he has maintained a lasting marriage with actress Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997 and together they have two children, Jaden and Willow, who are successfully establishing their own careers in the entertainment industry.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rise in the 1990s

Leonardo DiCaprio's Rise in the 1990s
Barry King
Leo DiCaprio had a golden era in the 90s, capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere. His depiction of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s visually stunning Romeo + Juliet (1996) was adored by all. However, his ultimate heartthrob status in the 90s reached its pinnacle with the release of the iconic film Titanic (1997). Playing the charming and ill-fated Jack Dawson, Leo skyrocketed to international stardom, leaving countless hearts fluttering worldwide. He truly reigned as the king of the world during this time.

Joshua Jackson’s Rise to Fame in the 1990s

Joshua Jackson's Rise to Fame in the 1990s
Everett Collection
Joshua Jackson captured our hearts in the 1990s with his portrayal of the lovable and sensitive Pacey Witter in the popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003). He effortlessly combined wit, charm, and undeniable chemistry with Katie Holmes’ character, Joey Potter, making us all fall for Pacey and even favor him over the show’s main character, Dawson. However, Jackson’s talent extended beyond Dawson’s Creek. Throughout the 90s, he also demonstrated his acting skills in movies such as The Mighty Ducks (1992) and Cruel Intentions (1999), solidifying his status as a genuine heartthrob.

Brian Austin Green, Star of the 1990s,

Brian Austin Green, Star of the 1990s,
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Brian Austin Green is an essential addition to any list of heartthrobs from the ’90s. He captured the hearts of audiences with his portrayal of the cool and relatable David Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). With his mischievous smile, youthful charm, and talent for DJing high school dances, Green quickly became the embodiment of teenage dreams worldwide. Interestingly, he also ventured into the music industry, releasing a hip hop album called One Stop Carnival in 1996. Although it didn’t achieve chart-topping success, it provided a glimpse into his passion for music.

James Van Der Beek, Icon of the 1990s

James Van Der Beek, Icon of the 1990s
Warner Bros
James Van Der Beek gained fame in the 90s for his role as the charming Dawson Leery on the popular show Dawson’s Creek. Born on March 8, 1977, in Connecticut, he started his acting career in off-Broadway theater and later made appearances on television shows like Clarissa Explains It All. However, it was in 1998 that he became a heartthrob with the debut of Dawson’s Creek. The show revolved around four friends navigating the challenges of adolescence in a small Massachusetts town. With his youthful charm and thoughtful nature, Dawson became an icon for teenagers and captured the hearts of viewers worldwide. It’s hard to resist his captivating blue eyes and perfectly tousled hair.

Jared Leto in the 1990s

Jared Leto in the 1990s
Everett Collection
Jared Leto rose to fame with his portrayal of Jordan Catalano in the beloved TV series My So-Called Life (1994-1995). With his captivating gaze, laid-back persona, and enviable flowing hair, he injected a touch of glamour into the high school experience. His leaning against lockers even became an iconic symbol of teenage rebellion in the 90s.
However, Leto’s acting prowess extended beyond the small screen. Throughout the decade, he showcased his versatility and talent in notable films such as Prefontaine (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), and Fight Club (1999). These roles further solidified Leto as a skilled and multifaceted actor.

Freddie Prinze Jr. Shines in the 1990s

Freddie Prinze Jr. Shines in the 1990s
Rex Usa
If you grew up in the 90s as a teenager, it is likely that you have been captivated by Freddie Prinze Jr. in movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), where he effortlessly portrayed the fear of being chased by a deranged murderer. Alternatively, you may have been enchanted by his portrayal of a popular high school athlete who falls in love with a less popular girl in She’s All That (1999). Regardless, Prinze Jr. embodied the ideal heartthrob of the 90s – a charming blend of a relatable neighbor and a glamorous Hollywood star.

John Stamos in the 1990s

John Stamos in the 1990s
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Are you ready to hop on the John Stamos express? Back in the 90s, everyone was on board! Stamos became a heartthrob as the incredibly handsome and charming Uncle Jesse Katsopolis on the popular TV show Full House from 1987 to 1995. With his flawless hair, cool attitude, love for Elvis, and amazing connection with the Olsen twins as Michelle Tanner, Stamos became a household name. Even after Full House ended, Stamos continued to impress us with his acting skills. He made appearances in various shows like ER, Glee, and Law & Order: SVU, never straying too far from our hearts or screens. His heartthrob status remained intact, ensuring that he stayed a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

Ginuwine Set to Perform in 2022

Ginuwine Set to Perform in 2022
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Presently, Ginuwine remains active in the music industry, albeit with a lower level of prominence compared to his prime in the 1990s. He has made appearances on television shows like Parks and Recreation and Your Husband Is Cheating On Us, as well as participating in various film projects. Additionally, Ginuwine still engages in live performances and touring. Beyond his musical pursuits, Ginuwine has utilized his influence to bring attention to matters that deeply concern him, such as mental health, demonstrating that he possesses more depth and substance than just his captivating singing voice and dazzling dance skills from the ’90s.

Enrique Iglesias: Dominating the 1990s

Enrique Iglesias: Dominating the 1990s
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Enrique Iglesias’ rise to fame began in the 90s. His first album, titled after himself, was released in 1995 and became an enormous success, selling millions of copies around the world. Songs like “Si Tú Te Vas” and “Experiencia Religiosa” quickly made Enrique a beloved figure in the Latin music scene, and his attractive appearance and charm solidified his status as a heartthrob. However, it was the release of his mega-hit “Bailamos” in 1999 that propelled Enrique into the mainstream English music market. This song, featured in the movie Wild Wild West, launched him to international stardom.