It’s hard out there for a pimp. It’s even harder out there for a child star teetering on the edge of adulthood. But Neighbors star Zac Efron is one of the lucky few who has successfully managed to transition from just another blue-eyed teen idol into an acclaimed Hollywood actor.
Countless child stars have been swallowed up by the industry — Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin, Amanda Bynes, to name a few. But aside from being caught up in
an alleged drug run a tussle with a homeless man in L.A.’s Skid Row earlier this year, Mr. Efron has managed to escape the chains and fetters of child stardom and make the transition to Hollywood leading man status relatively unscathed.
Check out these five other former teen heartthrobs who’ve blossomed into successful stars.
Rob Lowe first rose to fame after starring in 1983’s The Outsiders, alongside fellow heartthrobs Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillion and Patrick Swayze. Teenaged girls and gay boys alike couldn’t get enough of the young stud’s square jawline and piercing blue eyes. In 1988, he became one of the first celebrities to have a sex tape leak. He managed to weather that scandal and has since gone on to appear in dozens of films and TV shows, as well as nab a few Golden Globe nominations along the way.
The very talented Jared Leto first melted our hearts when he appeared in the short-lived television series My So-Called Life, and we’ve been in love with him ever since. Since then, he’s appeared in a number of critically-acclaimed films, including Fight Club, The Thin Red Line, and, most recently, Dallas Buyers Club, for which he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor.
John Stamos (and his mullet) became a household name after appearing as super sexy, hip-to-the-jive Uncle Jesse on Full House. After the sitcom ended in 1995, the hazel-eyed dreamboat went on to appear in a number of other successful TV shows and movies.
From starring the hit sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 1990s to becoming a four-time Grammy Award-winning rapper and four-time Golden Globe-nominated actor, Will Smith truly is a renaissance man. Forbes recently named him one of the world’s most bankable actors. His films, including mega-hits like Independence Day and Men in Black, have grossed over $6 billion in global box office sales.
“Marky Mark” Wahlberg got his start in the early ’90s as a rapper. He soon turned to modeling for Calvin Klein, posing for some of the underwear giant’s most iconic ads. Today, Wahlberg is still around starring in and producing hit films, while also maintaining his smokin’ hot, albeit it slightly beefier, physical physique. Woof.