You watched them on TV years ago and were like… meh. But today, when you see them on TV they make the ladies heart’s flutter just a tad. Here are 15 child stars who grew up to be hotties:
1. Justin Timberlake
Yes, yes. J Tim had a bit of a quirky phase when he was on the Mickey Mouse Club. But hey, it was the ‘90s and we all had awkward outfits and bleached hair moments – right? Don’t judge. Now, we’re really feeling the slick, smooth “Suit & Tie” look for the singer.
2. Ryan Gosling
J Tim wasn’t the only mouse house kid to grow up to be a major hunk. Ryan Gosling was his buddy, and the two side-by-side were the cutest pair on the show! The years have treated Ryan well, oh so well.
3. Joseph Gordon Levit
The talent was always there for JGL, but it took some growth for him to turn into the hunk he is today. Seeing him in 3rd Rock From The Sun and Brick, there was definitely potential for him to be a heartthrob. Now he’s looking super dapper but alas, he’s not single.
4. Neil Partick Harris
NPH won our hearts early on as a whiz-kid doctor in Doogie Howser, MD. Then as he grew up, he shed that innocent, blondie persona for the sarcastic yet steamy Barney on the now-finished How I Met Your Mother. He’s also held several award show hosting gigs and is the father of two adorable children with husband David Burtka.
5. Elijah Wood
Oh my goodness, this is a throwback! Elijah was such a cutie at 10-years-old, starring in roles for Radio Flyer and The Adventures of Huck Finn. He’d grow up to be one of the only attractive hobbits we know and now stars as the lead in the FX show Wilfred.
6. Matthew Lewis
Move over, Cedric Diggory because apparently, Neville Longbottom got HOT. The once dull misfit of the HP cast grew up into quite a hottie. And honestly, we could go through a majority of the cast to find a bounty of child stars who got it goin’ on now, but we’ll leave it with Matt for that genre, and dive into some other hunks.
7. Nicholas Hoult
As an 11-year-old, Nicholas Hoult played the friendless, quirky Marcus in About A Boy opposite ladies’ man Hugh Grant. Only a few years later would he morph into a sexy, troublemaking high school student in the U.K. seriesSkins. The young Brit has gone on to take more hot-guy roles in Warm Bodies and the X-Men films, while also modeling for Tom Ford.
8. Jonathan Lipnicki
He started as Ray Boyd in Jerry Maguire, but now Lipnicki is a 23-year-old mixed martial arts fighter with an eight-pack stomach we could ogle all day. Considering how ridiculous some child stars’turn out, Lipnicki is pretty normal. He recently filmed a video about the misconceptions of child stars though, titled “You Used To Be Cute”.
9. Tahj Mowry
Do you remember this cutie? We sure do! In the sweet ‘90s, Tahj was Michelle’s friend Teddy on Full House and then charmed us all on Smart Guy. He’s still acting now and looking oh so good – check him out on the ABC Family show Baby Daddy.
10. Zac Efron
OK. We know what you’re thinking. When was Zac Efron NOT hot? Well, we have to say that in High School Musical, he was cute… but not steaming the way he is now. He had the opportunity to be great though with that flawless hair, and now he’s got some gorgeous abs and pecs to go with.
11. Brian Austin Green
Hard to remember Green NOT being so good looking, right? But during the early years of Beverly Hills 90210, he did not hold the title of Hollywood hottie. His David Silver role started out as kinda-scrawny but sort of cute young kid, and was easily overshadowed by way-hotter (then) Luke Perry and Jason Priestley. But by the second season and onward to today, he became the amazing man to achieve full Tori Spelling love-interest status before you could say “Donna Martin graduates.” The rest is history!
12. Josh Peck
From The Amanda Show to Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh, Josh Peck was always the goofy sidekick to Drake Bell’s better looks. But near the end of the series, we saw Josh getting fit and well, look at him now! Now a successful voice-over actor (the Ice Age films and others) keeps his handsome mug off-camera, and we find that pretty unfair. But hey, we do get to see him along some fellow hotties in 2012’s Red Dawn!
13. Patrick Dempsey
It may come as a surprise that Patrick Dempsey, known to us know as McDreamy, was a bit of a nerdy kid! Travel back to the ‘80s and you’d find him playing some geeky roles like in Can’t Buy Me Love. Now, Dempsey has evolved into an ultimate heartthrob, wooing us on TV on Grey’s Anatomy and in films like Enchanted.
14. Shia LaBeouf
Shia was a total nerdy kid on the mouse house channel’s Even Stevens – and how could you not love that? Fast forward to his adult years and he is grown-up, doing some weird things (paper bag on head, anyone?) but looking mighty fine and shredded.
15. Leo DiCaprio
DiCaprio wooed us all in Titanic but before that, there was his time on Growing Pains and The New Lassie. He had the makings to be something beautiful, and oh did he become that. Even though he’s a figure now for the “dad bod,” the ladies still love them some Leo.
The original version of this post can be found here.