1990s
1.5k voters

13 Teen Idols Who Actually Made It

Updated June 3, 2019 9.8k votes 1.5k voters 166.9k views13 items

Ladies, you know these guys. The men on this list were plastered all over your bedroom wall(s) throughout your teen years. These hunky teen idols were the men of your dreams, but unlike many failed child actors, they actually made it. These are the teen idols who didn't flame out, but instead got even hotter, going on to become popular, talented, and even Oscar-winning stars.

You saw Titanic in theaters thirty-two times, just to memorize every detail of Leo's handsome face. You swooned over Dawson and didn't even mind Justin Timberlake's weird bleached blonde hair. But these days, you're pleasantly surprised that you can still enjoy the talents of your favorite teen idols (many of whom were the greatest teen stars of the 90s), all grown up, but still successful.

These teen idols actually made it, and the world of film, television, and music is the better for it. Take a trip down memory lane with these hotties, who went from teen stars, to bonafide adult celebrities, known for much more than just their breakout roles. Sit back and enjoy a few moments, celebrating the fact that despite the odds, these teen idols made it.
Photo:
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    You Knew Him From: Growing Pains (1991-1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Titanic (1997)

    More Recently: The Departed (2006), Inception (2010), The Great Gatsby (2013), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), The Revenant (2015), just to name a few...

    856
    67
    Did he make it big?

    More Leonardo DiCaprio 

    Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Leonardo DiCaprio#117 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World#72 of 273 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

  • Mark Wahlberg
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    You Knew Him From: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (1989-1993)

    More Recently: The Departed (2006), The Fighter (2010), Ted (2012), Lone Survivor (2014), Patriots Day (2016), All the Money in the World (2017)

    788
    90
    Did he make it big?
  • Justin Timberlake
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    You Knew Him From: 'N Sync (1995-2000)

    More Recently: The Social Network (2010), Bad Teacher (2011), The 20/20 Experience (2013),  Man of the Woods (2018)

    784
    123
    Did he make it big?

    More Justin Timberlake 

    The Best Songs Ft. Justin Timberlake#236 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#304 of 339 The Funniest People Of All Time

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    You Knew Him From: 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

    More Recently: (500) Days of Summer (2009), Inception (2010), 50/50 (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Don Jon (2012), Snowden (2016)

    725
    125
    Did he make it big?

    More Joseph Gordon-Levitt 

    The 45+ Best Joseph Gordon-Levitt Movies: Ranked Filmography#233 of 1,017 The Best Actors in Film History#183 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever