Remember TGIF? To a lot of people, that means “Thank God It’s Friday,” or you might even think of a chain restaurant by that name, but if you’re of a certain age, there’s no doubt that when you hear that name, you think of a bunch of situation comedies that were on ABC back in the late ’80s and the early ’90s. These shows were family oriented, and in this case, the “TGIF” was supposed to stand for “Thank God It’s Funny” although that was kind of up for debate, I suppose. There were quite a few of these shows; the most popular were Full House, Step By Step, Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Family Matters. While all of these shows featured established adult stars, a lot of them also launched the careers of many young actors.
What happened to all of these young stars? What did they do with their lives, and more importantly, what the heck do they look like now? I know that I want to know, and if you grew up in the ’80s and the ’90s, then you almost certainly do as well. That’s the thing: you might not have liked these shows a whole lot, but I know that you watched them. How do I know that? Well, because everyone did.
We know you remember all of these stars as kids. Here’s what they look like as adults. Get ready to be surprised with some of these.
15. Andrea Barber – Kimmy on Full House
Kimmy Gibbler was so confusing for teenage boys. She was DJ’s best friend on Full House and was always totally irritating but was also kind of attractive all at the same time. After the show ended, the actress who played her stopped acting. And why not? Andrea Barber was totally loaded. I always think it’s funny how people are expected to keep acting when someone just gave them millions of dollars by the time they were 18. She went back to school and got a degree in English from Whittier College, then got an MA in Women’s Studies. She now works at Whittier as assistant to the director of Whittier College’s Office of International Programs. Wait a minute… Kimmy Gibbler is super smart? Who would’ve guessed something like that?
14. Danielle Fishel – Topanga on Boy Meets World
Danielle started acting at a young age, having small roles in Full House and in the movie Harry and the Hendersons before getting her breakthrough role on Boy Meets World. While she’s never had a role as good as that one, she hasn’t gone away either and has managed to keep busy in the business. She was once on the cover of Seventeen and was named one of Teen People’s hottest stars under 21. She even dated Lance Bass from ‘N Sync for a while, and he took her to her high school prom. Are you kidding me? This chick had one of the best teen lives ever. She now is a reporter for PopSugar and has been the host of The Dish on the Style Network. She recently went through a divorce and still looks good, so hey guys… keep your eyes out.
13. Melissa Joan Hart – Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Everyone used to love Melissa Joan Hart. Guys wanted to date her, and girls totally wanted to be her friend. First, she was on Clarissa Explains It All, and then, when that got canceled, she decided to go to college. That didn’t last long, as she was offered the lead role in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. That show lasted for about 7 years before finally going off the air. Since then, she hasn’t had a lot of acting work other than starring recently on the show Melissa and Joey, but then again, it isn’t as if she needed it. This chick is loaded. She’s been married for a while now, and she has three sons. If you were around at that time, it’s hard to believe that she’s now 41 years old. Melissa, you will always be Sabrina the Teenage Witch to me.
12. Kellie Shanygne Williams – Laura on Family Matters
Kellie sure was a cutie back then — I’ll give her that. Born in Washington DC, she played the middle child on Family Matters. After the show ended, she had a role on the show What About Joan. Since then, she hasn’t had a whole lot of work in the acting realm although I’m going to assume that after starring on network television for a long period of time when she was young that she doesn’t have to. She’s now married and has two children and works with kids in the Washington DC area, trying to help give them opportunities in theater. And you know, when I said she was a cutie back in those days, well, she still is now. At 41 years old, she’s still totally gorgeous.
11. Jaimee Foxworth – Judy on Family Matters
Jaimee Foxworth is best known for two things: she played the role of Judy on Family Matters, and she became a performer in adult films. She got the role on the show after being a child model. Once Urkel came along, her role became smaller, and eventually, they just wrote her off the show without there being any sort of reason for it; the show continued on like she’d never even existed. She never had any other good acting work again and struggled with substance abuse and depression. She also struggled with poverty and ended up working in adult films under the name “Crave.” This is all a total drag, and the only real person to blame is Urkel. At least, I’m going to go with that anyway.
10. Christine Lakin – Al on Step by Step
Christine played Al, who was the daughter on Step By Step and who was a bit of a tomboy. You might think she’s disappeared since the show was canceled in 1998, but that’s not the case. She’s been in a bunch of movies and television shows such as Reefer Madness and The Hottie and the Nottie with Paris Hilton. (Man, you just know anything starring Paris Hilton just has to be awful.) Lately, Christine’s been making some cash narrating audiobooks. She was married a few years back and has a child. All in all, you would have to say she’s been doing okay. She’s managed to keep working in the business, and that says a lot all by itself, not to mention the fact that she still looks pretty darn good.
9. Staci Keanan – Dana on Step By Step
Staci Keanan may have aged, and she may have died her hair, but I have to say, she doesn’t look all that different. Staci has been acting forever; she started at the age of 5 when she became the voice of My Little Pony and did some television commercials for Burger King and Hershey’s Kisses. She also was on the show My Two Dads before she got on Step By Step. She continued to act for a little while but got out of the business and went to law school. She’s now married and is practicing law in California. She practices law under her real name which is Anastasia Sagorsky. So, if you’re out in California and in court for some reason and, all of a sudden, you see someone that looks like Dana from Step By Step, it probably is.
8. Angela Watson – Karen on Step By Step
Another child actress from the show Step By Step is Angela, who played Karen. On the show, the character she played was a wannabe model, which is what Angela was herself. She never really got much work after the show, which would’ve been cool enough except for the fact that her parents spent all of her money. Seriously? Not cool. After Step By Step ended, Watson found out that all the money she earned, which was around $2.5 million, had been blown by her parents. Because of this, she started Child Actors Supporting Themselves (CAST), which is an organization to help child actors and athletes not lose all of their money. I imagine Thanksgiving dinners around the Watson house are kind of awkward.
7. Candace Cameron – D.J. on Full House
Full House was an incredibly popular show. Even now, people remember all the stars of the show very well. Candace, who is the sister of Kirk Cameron, who starred in Growing Pains. Her career tailed off quite a bit after the show ended, but in all honesty, I doubt she cares that much being so rich and famous and all. She did a whole bunch of TV movies and also appeared on Dancing With the Stars as well as The View. Not only that; she’s also written a bunch of books, one of which was a bestseller. Suffice it to say, things haven’t gone all that badly for Candace, and she still looks pretty good, too. Just like her brother, she tends to fall way to the right of center and is a staunch conservative as well as being religious.
6. Jodie Sweetin – Stephanie on Full House
Jodie played Stephanie, which means she was pretty much the cutest thing going until those darn Olsen twins came along. But don’t go crying for her; she still managed to get a lot of cuteness in when she could. When the show finally ended, she finished high school and then attended college in California. She never has really done a whole lot more with her career, which is probably in large part because she ended up having a pretty big problem with drugs. She’s said that she used a lot of ecstasy, meth, and crack, among other things. She’s now been sober for a while and wrote a memoir about her experience that sold very well. Here’s hoping that she continues to do well and that she stays clean also.
5. Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen – Michelle on Full House
Alright, so you already know this one. But still, it had to be in here. How could you do a story like this and not include the Olsen twins? It simply is not possible. They both started on the show as infants playing Michelle. There are laws about how much children can work, so the producers got around all of that by having a pair of twins play the same character. They’ve had a few personal problems along the way, but the two are basically mega stars at this point. They starred in all sorts of other film and television productions as they were growing up and also became fashion designers. They’re estimated to have a combined worth of around 100 million dollars, and to top it all off, they still look awesome, too. Amazingly, they’re only 31 years old. How is that possible?
4. Jaleel White – Urkel on Family Matters
Speaking of Urkel, what the heck was that all about anyway? Jaleel White was supposed to just be on one show as Urkel, but the character was so popular, he became a regular. In fact, the character was so popular that Family Matters basically turned into the Urkel show. Urkel has a breakfast cereal and a doll named after him — the character was so popular, it was ridiculous. White played the role until he was 22, after which he said, “If you ever see me do that character again, take me out and put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery. He’s continued to work here and there but hasn’t really settled into anything, which is cool since he’s so loaded. He also looks a lot more rugged now than one would expect.
3. Scott Weinger – Steve on Full House
While Scott is well known for playing the role of Steve Hale on Full House, his most famous role is one that you probably didn’t know that he did. He was the voice of Aladdin in the Disney movie of the same name. He did the role of Aladdin in 1992 at the same time that he played his role on Full House. He’s continued to voice Aladdin in all of the Disney productions that came afterward around that character. In fact, he even voices Aladdin at the Mickey’s PhilharMagic film attraction that’s shown at numerous Disney theme parks. He now plays the character of Dr. Steve Hale on the show Fuller House, which, if you’ve never watched, I would say you’re probably in the majority. Fuller House? Really?
2. Ben Savage – Cory on Boy Meets World
Ben Savage played Cody, who was the main character on the show Boy Meets World. His older brother is Fred Savage, who was the star of The Wonder Years. So, if you’re keeping track at home, these two were making a ton of money when they were teenagers. I imagine that their parents are doing quite well for themselves — at least I hope so. Ever since the end of the show and its spin-off, Girl Meets World, that he also starred in, Ben has been pretty much been doing his own thing. First, he took a break from acting and wound up getting a degree from Stanford, and since then, he’s worked in a variety of different television shows and movies, mostly in pretty small roles. Who cares, though? This dude is loaded.
1. Rider Strong – Shawn on Boy Meets World
Alright, so first of all, Rider Strong? That’s one of the coolest names ever. Big ups to his parents on that one. Rider is best known for playing Shawn on Boy Meets World and also on its spinoff Girl Meets World. He also appeared in the movie Cabin Fever. He hasn’t done a whole lot of acting since then although he’s had work. He’s written and directed some independent films and also graduated from Columbia with a degree in English and then followed that up with a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College. Mostly, he’s just been chilling out with a really cool name. His dad has him beat, though. His father was a firefighter from San Francisco, and his name is King Strong, which is the coolest name ever.
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