16 Stars Who Grew Up to Be Way Hot IRL

Alaisha Key | Jun 7, 2017 Celebrities
16 Stars Who Grew Up to Be Way Hot IRL

kid stars
ABC Photo Archives Getty Images; abbienormal9/Instagram; NBC Getty Images

Reruns of the popular '80s, '90s, and early '00s shows and movies that you couldn't get enough of as a kid keep playing over and over again (giving us all the throwback feels), and we keep watching. But inquiring minds want to know: What really happened to these child stars? Well, they're not kids anymore, and they've definitely grown up. And most have certainly grown out of their previous (and often adorable) on-screen roles.

We've rounded up a few actors and actresses who may look totally different from what you may remember (and those you might not remember even had childhood star days). And, yes, some have changed so much that you may not even recognize them IRL. 

  • Cole Sprouse

    cole sprouse
    Craig Sjodin/Getty Images; Eugene Powers/Splash News

    The inquisitive kid that we used to know as Cody, one part of the dynamic brother duo from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, has certainly grown up -- and out of the shy twin shell. Cole Sprouse took a brief break from the spotlight. After all, he and brother Dylan have been in the industry since even before they shared the role of Ben Geller. Yes, that was them(!) -- Ross Geller's son on Friends. But the 24-year-old actor is back on the screen and mixing it up as one of the main characters in the CW hit Riverdale as outcast Jughead Jones. Talk about taking on the role of a heartthrob!

  • Jodie Sweetin

    stephanie tanner and jodie sweetin
    ABC Archives/Getty Images; AdMedia/Splash news

    The Tanner girls may be back at it again in Netflix's Fuller House, but a few things have changed along with the characters' story lines. Jodie Sweetin owned the role of middle child Stephanie Tanner in Full House (we can just hear her saying, "How rude!"). But the mom of two isn't a kid anymore. And the cute on-screen know-it-all has become a total red carpet stunner. 

  • Alyssa Milano


    Alyssa Milano hasn't exactly shied away from the spotlight since winning over audiences in the '80s with her role as Tony Micelli's daughter Samantha on Who's the Boss (starring alongside Tony Danza). This badass mom continues to slay us on-screen, as she's starred in several popular series like Charmed and Mistresses, and is an IRL style inspiration and an advocate for several causes, like normalizing breastfeeding. 

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  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    3rd rock from the sun still; joseph gordon levitt
    NBC/Getty Images; Michael Murdock/Splash News

    Time flies! Just look at how Joseph Gordon-Levitt has grown since his days as a member of an alien family tasked with experiencing life on Earth in 3rd Rock From the Sun. The Snowden actor has graduated from cute kid to handsome actor. Swoon.

  • Jaleel White

    steve urkel; jaleel while
    ABC Photo Archives Getty Images; SPW/Splash News

    Jaleel White pretty much played one of the most iconic TV characters in his role as Steve Urkel in Family Matters. After all, who can forget those suspenders, the experiments (that would ultimately put the Winslow family in some type of predicament), and the infamous catch phrase: "Did I do that?" (Yes!)

    Well, he's certainly not Urkel anymore, and the actor has opted to ditch the boy genius look in roles since. Though, we already knew from seeing him transform into Stefan Urquelle on the sitcom that there was always more behind the glasses. 

  • Emma Watson

    hermonie granger; emma watson
    7831 Getty Images; Splash News

    Former Harry Potter star Emma Watson quickly became a child icon, starring as Hermione Granger, the book-smart witch and BFF of the Boy Who Lived, in one of the most successful movie franchises ever. Nowadays, she's still making waves and stunning us with her mind and style.

    The 27-year-old actress recently took on the role of Disney princess Belle in the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. And Watson's been using her voice for good as a UN ambassador.

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  • Kylie Jenner


    Keeping Up With the Kardashians fans will remember that Kylie Jenner and sister Kendall have been on air since the early days of the reality show. But of the two, Kylie seems to have undergone the most change. She's gone from a fresh-faced kid to a bombshell that's switching up her look every other day -- and selling products so that you can do the same. The youngest Kardashian-Jenner is quickly surpassing big sis Kim in the trendsetting department. 

  • Alexa PenaVega

    carmen spy kids; alexa penavega
    Splash News

    Alexa PenaVega saved the world a few times over as one half of the adorable brother-sister duo in the 2001 kid classic Spy Kids. These days, the 28-year-old actress has upgraded her style game and is giving us life, as the self-proclaimed tomboy goes glam in a second. Just check out her Instagram.  

    She's also embarking on some new missions: She's married to fellow actor Carlos PenaVega; she's lining up new projects; and she's the proud mama of baby Ocean.  

  • Abigail Breslin


    Abigail Breslin has come a long way since playing little Olive Hoover in 2006's Little Miss Sunshine. The starlet is seriously winning with a career that has taken off on both the big and small screens. Yep, the once on-screen awkward pageant girl has blossomed into young Hollywood royalty. 

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  • Marques Houston

    sister sister set pics; marques houston
    ABC Photo Archives Getty Images; Maury Phillips Getty Images

    Marques Houston has certainly grown out of being the nosy neighbor whom our favorite twin duo (Tia and Tamera) loved shouting "Go home, Roger!" to on Sister, Sister. This former child star and '90s boy band member (remember Immature?) struck out on his own as a solo artist and actor and became a definite 2000s heartthrob for sure.

  • Zac Efron

    zac efron
    Tony Brady/Splash News; Brandon Voight/Splash News

    Zac Efron first hit the scene as a lead in Disney's High School Musical as the jock who wanted to sing. Having said good-bye to the basketball and the shaggy haircut, the teen crush has grown up to be a blockbuster smash. You can see his more mature look in the recent Baywatch remake, as he struts his stuff alongside costar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.   

  • Devon Gummersall

    my so called life; devon gummersall
    ABC Photo Archives Getty Images; AdMedia/Splash News

    Devon Gummersall is no longer the lovable TV nerd he once portrayed on the cult classic My So-Called Life. He's officially been declared hot. No, really! BuzzFeed even said so in an article, and apparently Gummersall could not stop getting asked about his new hottie status after gaining a role in Mad Men. While he's been in the business for two decades, he's still Brian to many fans. But it's clear that he's grown now. 

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  • Soleil Moon Frye

    punky brewster soleil moon frye
    Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Jen Lowery / Splash News

    Punky Brewster is all grown up! Soleil Moon Frye has transformed from the spunky orphan that we watched on TV into the beautiful actress that we've seen grace our TV screens for years. This 40-year-old mom of three recently made headlines by showing off her beach bod in a gorgeous swimsuit photo. And all we can say is werk, mama! 

  • Neil Patrick Harris


    We know you remember the sweet face of the youngest doctor making rounds in Doogie Howser, M.D. (a cutie with brains!). And looking at Neil Patrick Harris now, it's clear that he's matured into a fun-loving actor we can't get enough of. If you need proof of his changing faces, just check him out in Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

  • Shia LaBeouf

    even stevens; shia labeouf
    George Lange Getty Images; Xavier Collin/Image Press/Splash

    Shia LaBeouf will forever be known to all Disney Channel kids as Louis Stevens, the wily preteen who was always getting into unbelievable amounts of trouble on Even Stevens. And while he may not have necessarily lost Louis's penchant for trouble (wonder if he still makes those faces?), the actor has aged up and killed it in box office hits like the Transformers franchise. We are just waiting to see what his next project will be.

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  • Josh Saviano

    josh saviano
    ABC Photo Archives / Getty and Splash News

    Ever wonder what happened to Kevin Arnold's BFF Paul Pfeiffer? Well, the Wonder Years star disappeared from the limelight, but Josh Saviano reemerged recently: He's appeared over the past few years as an attorney on Law & Order: SVU, which is ironic as he's actually one in real life. Looks like he did inherit a few ideas from Paul, including what seems to be a real-life friendship with actor Fred Savage

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