PHOTOS: Zac Efron Is The Latest Teen Idol To Transition To A Leading Man

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

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.


Jared Leto

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

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.


Will Smith

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.


Mark Wahlberg

“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.

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  • AJAnders

    Zac is a hot piece of ass but has he really ever had a hit movie other than High School Musical? Neighbors has got to be the first ever Efron movie that I’m actually interested in seeing.

    And I love John Stamos as much as the next guy but I don’t remember seeing much of him after his Full House days other than a guest appearance on Friends and a few TV movies.


    Great stuff. There’s no such thing as too much Zac Efron coverage. (Apparently)

  • jake75

    Wow, the “actors” you chose for this are all across the board. You have Will Smith who has banked insane box office, Mark Wahlberg who has done very well and is now in one of the biggest franchise series, and Jared Leto who has chosen seemingly chosen very wisely projects that will do well for him, but then you include John Stamos who flatlined for awhile after Full House then sort of made a comeback but just on TV and yogurt commercials, Rob Lowe who was big when he was a teen due to his looks but has to rely on the acting strengths of others in television series?
    I am hoping that Zac goes the way of Wahlberg, Leto and Smith. He seems to have matured with his sobriety, so let’s hope he does the same with his film roles.

  • Cam

    How is this gay news?

  • dannyboi2

    @Cam: oh come on, Zac is the hottest babe around, He is Gorgeous. That face and his personality I just want to eat him up, he’s been very relevant as of late. That makes it gay News . lol

  • Alan down in Florida

    Hate to be picky but I need to quibble. Not one of these guys was a child star. At best they were teen heartthrobs and John Stamos was a full grown man by the time of Full House.

  • Mezaien

    @Cam: Hahahah that is yesterday news. Zac, is nice and sweet, BUT Will Smith, is hot and sexy.

  • DK

    @dannyboi2: “he’s been very relevant as of late.” Where? The offices of Teen Beat?

  • coltonblack

    I really like Zac Efron. He seems to be a very nice person and he is a very good actor. I recently wrote about him on my blog regarding skin care for gay men.

    I am looking forward to checking out his movie!

Comments are closed.