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13 Teen Idols Who Actually Made It

Updated June 3, 2019 9.6k votes 1.4k voters 164.1k 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.
  • 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...

    Did he make it big?

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  • 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)

    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)

    Did he make it big?

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  • 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)

    Did he make it big?

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