Teen Heartthrobs: Then and Now

From Charlie Sheen to Joey Lawrence, check out what happened to these teen screen stars.

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Warner Bros./W Magazine
Tom Cruise hasn't changed much since "Risky Business"
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Warner Bros.
Remember the iconic scene — Tom Cruise sliding across the living room floor in a button-down, knee-high socks and sunglasses — in the classic "Risky Business?" He's come a long way: from his Maverick days, to "Days of Thunder," to impossible missions to... a rock musical-turned-movie. Click to see Cruise (and other teen stars) then and now.
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Cruise's latest mission had him playing rock legend Stacee Jaxx in the musical-turned-movie "Rock of Ages," alongside a slew of stars: Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The movie may have tanked, but rumor is Cruise will return to some familiar roles soon, with "Mission: Impossible 5" and "Top Gun 2" possibly in the works.
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Robert Downey Jr. was technically just out of his teens when he began landing leading roles, but his baby face and bad-boy charm still melted teenage hearts back in the 80s. Because he starred opposite Molly Ringwald in "The Pick-Up Artist;" played the bully in Hughes' "Weird Science" and was considered for the role of Duckie in "Pretty in Pink," he is sometimes considered part of the "Brat Pack."
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These days, Downey has gone from goofball to leading hunk in a number of franchises, most notably acting as the handsome headline-making sleuth in "Sherlock Holmes" and the brilliant-billionaire-philanthropist-playboy-superhero Ironman in the "Avengers" series.
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Once, Leonardo DiCaprio was the ultimate heartthrob. He played a troubled teen on "Growing Pains," but Leo mania really hit in 1997 with "Titanic." Recently, DiCaprio has had a spate of starring roles in Martin Scorsese films and the thriller "Inception."
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In the '80s, Val Kilmer starred in the fantasy "Willow" and in "Top Gun" — and knew he had such teen idol potential that he turned down Patrick Swayze's role in "Dirty Dancing" for fear of getting typecast.
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These days, decades after getting his big break playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1990 biopic <i>The Doors,</i> the former Batman is prone to casting of a different kind — involving westerns and crooked cops.
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Foto: Andrew Deschapelles / Telemundo Arizona
Charlie Sheen first shot to idol status in his early 20s, with films like the Vietnam War drama </i>Platoon</i> and the stockbroker flick <i>Wall Street</i> with Michael Douglas. Of course, he also had an oh-so-memorable cameo as "guy in police station" in <i>Ferris Bueller's Day Off.</i>
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Foto: Jose Campos / Telemundo Arizona
These days, Sheen's personal life has overshadowed his work in television comedy series <i>Two and a Half Men</i>, which he left in 2011 after he kept making headlines for his alleged problems with drugs, women, violence and tiger blood.
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Foto: Jose Campos / Telemundo Arizona
Before he was Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka and the twisted Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp first won hearts playing undercover Officer Tom Hanson on the television series <i>21 Jump Street</i> in the late '80s.
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While he's less of a pin-up man now (you can thank director Tim Burton for the quirky roles) and more of a respected Hollywood talent, Depp isn't going anywhere. Recently, he's narrated a documentary about the Doors and helmed a film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's <i>The Rum Diary</i>.
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Aaron Carter became a tween sensation back in the '90s, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter.
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But a year after appearing on <i>Dancing with the Stars</i>, Carter checked himself into a facility for "emotional and spiritual issues," according to his manager. Carter tweeted, "the main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human."
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bueller? Bueller? Matthew Broderick was 23 when he took on the role of a wise-guy high school student in the John Hughes classic <i>Ferris Bueller's Day Off</i>.
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Broderick has maintained a strong career in film and theater with hit Broadway shows <i>The Producers</i> and <i>The Odd Couple</i>. But he's probably now more famous for being Sarah Jessica Parker's husband.
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Whoa! Many teen idols come and go, but how many have a catch phrase? Joey Lawrence was a working actor from the time he was a small child, but it was his time as Blossom's older, ditzier brother, Joey Russo, on the '90s sitcom <i>Blossom</i> that turned him into a teen heartthrob.
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Lawrence continues to work in both television and Broadway, appearing with fellow sitcom star Melissa Joan Hart on ABC Family's "Melissa & Joey", and more recently, performing with the Chippendales at the RIo Las Vegas
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AP
If every guy in high school looked like Jason Priestley no girl would ever leave. As one of the stars of <i>Beverly Hills: 90210</i>, the actor became a poster favorite for teenage girls living in every zip code.
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The Canadian-bred Priestley, who officially became an American citizen in 2007, is a long-time race car enthusiast and shares two children with make-up artist wife Naomi Lowde.
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Priestley's <i>90210</i> co-star Luke Perry played television's favorite bad boy, Dylan McKay, on-and-off for some seven years. Those sultry eyes were severely missed when he took a break from the show in 1995.
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Shopping malls are no longer danger zones for Perry, as the screaming teens have since grown up and moved on (most of them). With numerous film, television and stage projects under his belt, he even managed to squeeze in a 2009 Christmas music video for Las Vegas rock band The Killers.
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Yo homes to Bel-Air! Riding on the success of his rapper days with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith starred in more than 140 episodes of <i>The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air</i> beginning in 1990. His early movies included the drama <i>Six Degrees of Separation</i> and the cop flick <i>Bad Boys</i>.
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Smith has ruled the box office over the years with summer blockbusters like <i>Independence Day</i> and <i>Men in Black</i> and holiday heavy-hitters like biopic <i>Ali</i>, which earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2001. His recent films include <i>Hancock</i> and <i>Seven Pounds</i>.
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Cue the fake audience "aww" and "ooh" He was so hot he made your teeth sweat. Mark-Paul Gosselaar played Zack Morris, the beached blonde cutie, for four years on <i>Saved By The Bell</i> and even made appearances in the hit sitcom's not-so-successful spin-offs.
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The actor went on to some forgettable television roles before landing a spot on <i>NYPD Blue</i> as Det. John Clark Jr. He more recently worked on <i>Franklin & Bash</i>, a lawyer series on TNT.
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Growing up in the '80s was less painful thanks to regular doses of Mike Seaver, played by Kirk Cameron, in the popular series <i>Growing Pains</i>. We can still hear the theme song, too. And the sound of his voice changing.
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Offscreen, Cameron ended up marrying his onscreen love Kate, played by Chelsea Noble. He's also worked on a number of television and movie projects, including the firefighter drama <i>Fireproof</i>.
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For six seasons, Fred Savage portrayed the role of Kevin Arnold on the television series <i>The Wonder Years</i>, which earned him critical praise and the hearts of young viewers across America.
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WCAU
Since his cute Kevin Arnold days, Savage has maintained a career balanced with directing and making guest appearances on shows like <i>Law and Order: Special Victims Unit</i>. Currently, he's the voice of an undercover agent in the animated series <i>Generator Rex</i>, airing on the Cartoon Network.
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Don't worry, all five members of New Kids on the Block are in this gallery. We'll start with Donnie Wahlberg, who rose to fame with his boys in the late '80s with hits like "Please Don't Go Girl" and "You Got It (The Right Stuff)".
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He traded the stage for the silver screen after NKOTB broke up. With the group's recent reunion, Wahlberg has been able to balance both talents. Wahlberg released the movie <i>Zookeeper</i>, a comedy with Kevin James, in 2011.
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Just admit it, you had the trading cards too. Jonathan Knight and fellow group members definitely had the right stuff until New Kids on the Block disbanded in 1994.
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The oldest member of the group turned to real estate during the group's absence from the music world. Knight and the boys wrapped up a casino tour in 2010 in support of their latest album, "The Block."
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Before the Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC, New Kids on the Block ruled arenas, shopping malls, and woke up to screaming fans. They also ruled the dance moves, with Danny Wood leading the way.
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The Boston native embarked on acting and solo music projects before reuniting with the group in 2008. Wood, now 41, still has the moves. And the muscles to prove it.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
It's hard to believe that "Please Don't Go Girl" came out more than a decade ago. The youngest of the group, Joey McIntyre was only 12 years old when he joined New Kids on the Block.
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Over the years, McIntyre has recorded solo albums and even appeared on the first season of <i>Dancing with the Stars</i> (he placed third). In 2011, McIntyre and the rest of the New Kids toured with The Backstreet Boys on the NKOTBSB World Tour.
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Quick show of hands for people with the most Jordan Knight trading cards. Every screaming fan wanted to touch his hair, if his clothing was out of reach. He reached all the high notes for New Kids on the Block, as the group went on to sell millions of albums, lunch boxes and pillow cases.
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Cammie White
Knight has perhaps had the most successful solo career compared to the rest of the group, with dance pop hits like <i>Give It to You</i>. In 2011, Knight release his third solo album, "Unfinished."
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WireImage
Christian Slater may have been the ultimate Hollywood bad boy of the '80s and '90s, for his roles on and off the silver screen. But we loved him anyway, for playing poster-worthy characters like Binx in <i>The Legend of Billie Jean</i> and high school hunk Mark Hunter in <i>Pump Up the Volume</i>.
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The New York native has had a fair share of relationships, television and movie roles, and battles with sobriety. His latest television drama, ABC's <i>The Forgotten</i> was canceled in 2010 after just one season.
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Jacquelyn Buckley
When a 20-year-old Michael J. Fox signed up for the role of Alex P. Keaton on the sitcom <i>Family Ties</i>, little did he know that an even bigger gig was waiting in the wings: playing Marty McFly in the <i>Back to the Future</i> trilogy. Time traveling never looked so cool.
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Cody Faldyn
Fox, who holds a dual American-Canadian citizenship, has been at the forefront of research and support for finding a cure for Parkinson's, a disease he was diagnosed with in 1991. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has raised more than $170 million dollars for research.
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Troubled teenager roles were made for Matt Dillon, who made his feature film debut in 1979 playing a rebel in the limited release of <i>Over the Edge</i>. In 1983, this fresh face joined fellow would-be heartthrobs (Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze) in an adaptation of S.E. Hinton's <i>The Outsiders</i>.
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Network Video Productions
With his teenage idol days behind him, Dillon has experimented with a variety of roles (in <i>Crash</i> and <i>You, Me and Dupree</i>, to name a few), making him one of the more versatile players in Hollywood. Dillon has an upcoming guest starring role on ABC's Modern Family, and has three movies that are scheduled to be released in 2012.
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Linda Newland
<i>Silver Spoons</i> and <i>The Hogan Family </i> quickly propelled Jason Bateman's career to Teen Beat status and beyond. And he started when he was only 13 years old.
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Bateman returned to the small screen in 2003 as Michael Bluth in <i>Arrested Development</i>, which ended in 2006 despite critical acclaim and a strong following. A movie version of the show, with all the original cast members, is in the works.
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Whether you loved him in <i>The Goonies</i>, <i>The Lost Boys</i>, or one of hundreds of his television commercials, Corey Feldman was the fresh face of the '80s. He quickly became known as one-half of "The Two Coreys" with friend and fellow actor Corey Haim, who died in 2010.
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Now an environmentalist and spokesman for PETA, the former child star is also working on the third <i>Lost Boys</i> movie (the sequel to the cult favorite came out in 2008).
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Thanks to roles in <i>The Outsiders</i> and <i>St. Elmo's Fire</i> (being a member of the Brat Pack didn't hurt either), Rob Lowe rose to stardom and heartthrob status, all before his sex tape controversy in 1988.
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Anna Sanchez
At 47, Lowe has built an impressive resume since his teen magazine days. He might be looking for new work now, though. Lowe's four-year stint on the family drama <i>Brothers and Sisters</i> just ended with the death of his character, Senator Robert McCallister.
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This Brat Pack member set the bar high for Hollywood's young stars of the '80s. Following the success of <i>The Outsiders</i>, Emilio Estevez made detention look cool and gave every American teenager a little bit of hope in the <i>The Breakfast Club</i>.
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With the Brat Pack and Coach Bombay (of <i>The Mighty Ducks</i>) days long gone, Estevez has continued to work in film and television, even guest starring on brother Charlie Sheen's show <i>Two and a Half Men</i>. His latest screenplay, a drama called <i>The Way</i> is currently in production.
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Viewers had their pick of Andrew McCarthy films in the '80s, as the young and fresh face appeared in classics like <i>Pretty in Pink</i>, <i>Weekend at Bernie's</i> and <i>Mannequin</i>.
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Now 49, the Westfield, New Jersey native most recently appeared in the now defunct television series <i>Lipstick Jungle</i> and guest starred on the CW's <i>Gossip Girl</i>.
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Don't you, forget about . . . John Bender, the character played by Judd Nelson in <i>The Breakfast Club</i>. He also appeared in <i>St. Elmo's Fire</i> and <i>Fandango</i>, with fellow up-and-comers Demi Moore and Kevin Costner, respectively.
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Unfortunately, this Brat Pack member's career hasn't experienced the same hype since his cool, plaid-wearing teenager role in the 1985 classic. He recently guest starred as a doctor on the USA Network crime drama <i>Psych</i>.
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Foto: KSNV
He was the Honeycomb cereal kid, among other television commercial characters. And like his fellow Brat Pack members, Anthony Michael Hall caught the fame bug through coming-of-age teen films, with a breakout role as the geeky and desirable freshman in <i>Sixteen Candles</i>.
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Hall starred in the cable television series <i>The Dead Zone</i> as a psychic for six seasons. But he'll forever be attached to the image of Farmer Ted and his braces.
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A 23-year-old John Cusack changed our lives forever when he appeared in Cameron Crowe's <i>Say Anything</i>. And while the bedroom window scene has been reproduced by many since the 1989 movie, nothing has compared to Lloyd Dobler, his boom box, and the sounds of Peter Gabriel.
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Cusack has starred in a variety of movies since his boom box days, including <i>High Fidelity</i> and the apocalyptic disaster movie <i>2012</i>. He paid tribute to the '80s in 2010's comedy <i>Hot Tub Time Machine</i>, which supplies a good dose of music and child actors from the same decade.
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The Dallas Morning News
Before he was the vibrant attorney Alan Shore on television, James Spader appeared in a number of '80s flicks. Whether it was his hair or his sly tone, audiences loved to hate Steff McKee, Spader's smooth and snobby character in <i>Pretty in Pink</i>.
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The Emmy Award winning actor's golden hair may be long gone, but he's continued to prove he's one of the finest talents around. His role as a (you guessed it) lawyer in David Mamet's Broadway play <i>Race</i> ended in 2010.
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Before McDreamy, Patrick Dempsey (and his gorgeous hair) appeared in a handful of films in the '80s, including the teen comedy <i>Can't Buy Me Love</i>, which earned him a Young Artist Award, and an early following of fans.
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Telemundo San Antonio
Since 2005, Dempsey has stopped hearts with his dreamy stares (and his hair, of course) every week playing Dr. Derek Shepherd on <i>Grey's Anatomy</i>. When he's not in scrubs, Dempsey's in race gear, as the owner of an IndyCar Series team.
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Ralph Macchio reached <i>Teen Beat</i> and <i>Tiger Beat</i> status when he rocked the headband and played the scrawny but tough teenager Daniel LaRusso in the <i>Karate Kid</i> series. Jaden Smith had some big shoes to fill in the 2010 remake <i>The Karate Kid</i>.
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He may not have the karate moves anymore, but Macchio has kept busy with small film and television roles over the years, most recently appearing on <i>Ugly Betty</i> as Hilda's love interest.
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Here we are, face to face . . . It was not hard to fall in love with Rick Schroeder on <i>Silver Spoons</i>, the series that Staten Island native appeared on for five seasons. But before playing Ricky, he won a Golden Globe Award at the age of nine for a role in the 1979 remake of <i>The Champ</i>.
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His boyish charms may have stuck around, but with shows including <i>NYPD Blue</i> and <i>24</i>, Schroder has established himself as a serious actor. Now 41, he's been working behind the camera, directing a 2009 television movie called <i>Hellhounds</i>.
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Before strapping on the guitar and donning the hair as Jesse Katsopolis on <i>Full House</i>, a young John Stamos made his television debut in 1982, playing street kid and foster son Blackie Parrish on the soap opera <i>General Hospital</i>.
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What can't he do? Stamos' post-Full House days have included Broadway gigs, music videos and the last three seasons of <i>ER</i>. Recently, Stamos guest starred on <i>Glee</i>, playing a dentist who can sing, of course.
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Waa-waaaa. The '80s belonged to Chachi Arcola, the sensitive tough guy portrayed by Scott Baio on the television series <i>Happy Days</i> and its spinoff <i>Joanie Loves Chachi</i>. He continued to capture hearts playing a college student on the sitcom <i>Charles in Charge</i>, which lasted for five seasons.
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Chachi has kept busy through the years, producing, starring and directing in independent films and television projects. In 2007 he caught the reality TV bug and starred in <i>Scott Baio is 45 . . . and Single</i> and its sequel <i>Scott Baio is 46 . . . and Pregnant</i> on VH1.
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Before The Bacon Brothers and the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the Philadelphia native drew attention in 1984 as dancing sensation Ren McCormack in <i>Footloose</i>. He also stopped traffic with his low cut tees and tank tops.
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While no one really knows how many connections Bacon has in Hollywood, the actor has taken on heavy movies like <i>Mystic River</i> and <i>Frost/Nixon</i>, and has made time for film festivals. His 2009 HBO historical drama <i>Taking Chances</i> was featured at the Sundance Film Festival.
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An 18-year-old Christopher Atkins (and his golden curls) first made headlines in 1980, starring in the romance <i>The Blue Lagoon</i>. His nude scenes were the talk of the town, as was the age of his co-star, Brooke Shields, who was 14 at the time.
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While he hasn't been able to reproduce the hype caused by <i>The Blue Lagoon</i>, Atkins has made a career in film and television, including an appearance on VH1's <i>Confessions of a Teen Idol</i> in 2009. His hair still looks great though.
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