Remember the days of Tiger Beat? Back in the ’90s, it was a good time to be a tween girl, thanks to all the hunks on television and in music. It was the hey day of the boy bands and the beginning of the pre-teen television scene, and there was so much eye candy for girls who were just starting to get crushes.
We still had our New Kids pillows left on our beds to pretend kissing, when NSYNC began tearin’ up our hearts. And the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees were turning up the heat. That’s 18 choice cuts of prime beef for girls to choose from, and we used to debate not only our favorite songs but which boy was the cutest.
Then there were our must-see TV stars, who kept us watching our favorite shows. From “Saved By the Bell” to “Beverly Hills, 90210” to “Dawson’s Creek,” each one had a couple of gorgeous boys to keep us tuning in.
All those boys are grown men now — they are dads who we love even more when we see them as family guys. You may have lost track with your big crush as they raised their families, so we’ve done the research and found some photos of those ’90s crushes, looking just as gorgeous with their kids.
Here are 20 forgotten heart throbs from the ’90s who are dads now.
20JOHN STAMOS: UNCLE JESSE IS A DAD
John Stamos stole all of our hearts as the best uncle we all wanted in “Full House,” but he always had hopes of becoming a dad. He thought that he might have missed his chance, especially since he reprised his role as Uncle Jesse on “Fuller House,” the reboot of the ’80s classic on Netflix. But John finally found the one — his wife Caitlin McHugh — and this April, they welcomed a son, a little boy named after John’s dad, William Christopher. He calls his little one Billy, and he is already a very devoted dad.
“I’ve waited my whole life for this,” he said in an interview quoted in People. “I just can’t. I’m already so emotional and so excited… I’ve been dreaming about our baby. I mean, I am really excited.”
We haven’t seen many photos yet, but it looks like he has John’s amazing hair, and John joked that he had his wife’s great legs. In his announcement about the birth, John included a hashtag that brought us all back to the Tanner house. #NotJustanUncleAnymore If he’s anything like Uncle Jesse, we know that John will be an amazing dad, and we are so excited to see what fatherhood adventures he will share.
19JAMES VAN DER BEEK: DAWSON’S BROOD
We’re still debating whether we love Dawson or Pacey more, but one thing is for certain, Dawson is definitely the best dad, if only because he’s the only one who has kids — and he has a bunch.
James Van Der Beek is now a father of four, and his wife Kimberly is expecting their fifth later this year.
James will always be Dawson to us, but he also starred in “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23,” and he’s got a couple more projects going on. But his biggest project of the past decade has been expanding his family. His oldest is Olivia, 7, and then there are Joshua, 6, Annabel 4, and Emilia, 2. Aren’t those all beautiful names? We wonder what the new baby’s name will be — something sweet and vintage is our guess.
“The second I had kids, they immediately became my priority and everything I did existed to support the life that was all about them in a good way,” he told People. “What’s been fun about the work that I’ve been doing is that it’s so playful and kids bring out that playful side of you, so I think that’s gone hand in hand.”
18FREDDIE PRINZE JR: DAD’S ALL THAT
Way back in 1999, Freddie Prinze Jr. charmed all of us when he turned Rachael Leigh Cook into the prom queen. It’s been nearly 20 years, but he is just as yummy now as a sweet, supportive husband and dad.
Freddie married Sarah Michelle Gellar, giving us all the perfect marriage from the 1990s. They met while they were filming “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the crazy teen horror film that came out in 1997, and they acted together in a couple of “Scooby Doo” movies.
A couple of decades later, they’re still going strong, and they have two really cute kids that they are raising pretty much out of the spotlight.
Charlotte is 8 and Rocky is 5. “When they’re good, they take after me. And when they’re being naughty, they take after Freddie, obviously,” Sarah Michelle joked in an ET Online article. “Yeah, it’s true.” From what we hear, Freddie is on dad duty when Sarah Michelle is filming, and he’s pretty awesome at it. We hear Freddie didn’t have a good experience when he joined “24,” and he’s taken a step back from acting, which gives him more time with his kids. He’s definitely still a heart throb in our eyes.
17HANSONS’ NEXT GENERATION
Which Hanson brother did you have on your wall? It doesn’t matter — all three are still hot and now they are all pretty awesome dads.
Last year, the boys went on tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “MMMBop,” and Zac, Taylor and Isaac all had a brood of kids back at home cheering them on.
In fact, when they released a video for their new pop track “I Was Born,” the video featured 11 out of their dozen kids, all rocking out with their dads.
Isaac, the oldest brother, has two sons and a daughter. Taylor, “the cute one,” has five kids ranging in age from 16 to 6. And Zac, the youngest, has four. All the cousins are close, and they’ve all seen their ’90s videos on YouTube, according to a Today show interview.
“I’m not yet lame to my kids. They generally like what we do,” Zac said with a laugh. In the article, Isaac added, “When my son was 5, he would tell people, ‘My dad plays rock ‘n’ roll guitar.’ The other kids would be like ‘carpenter’ or ‘accountant,’ and he would say ‘rock ‘n’ roll guitar.’ So, they think it’s cool.” We do too.
16NICK CARTER’S BACKSTREET BOY
The Backstreet Boys have kids of their own these days. Two years ago, heart throb Nick Carter became a dad when his wife Lauren gave birth to their first son.
The baby was born at home through a water birth, according to a Daily Mail article, and Nick was in love at first sight with the boy he named Odin. He’s had his boy in the studio and everything.
Poor Nick’s family has had problems in the past few years, especially his brother Aaron, but his wife and his son have been great. His wife said that he was recording a private album of nursery rhymes for the baby to listen to when he was on tour. How sweet is that? Backstreet’s back, and so are their gorgeous families.
Nick isn’t the only new dad among the Backstreet Boys, last year A.J. McLean welcomed his second child Lyric, who joined big sister Ava. Howie Dorough has two kids, James and Holden, and Kevin Richardson has two sons, Mason and Maxwell. Brian Littrell, who competed for wall space with Nick, has a son named Baylee who has Kawasaki disease and has inspired some of his Christian music hits. (For those keeping track, that’s six boys and two girls among the Backstreet Boys.)
15. 98 DEGREES OF PARENTING
Another hot boy band member Nick Lachey is now a dad of three. Nick has stayed in the spotlight with his beautiful wife Vanessa, doing all kinds of exciting things. We’ve loved watching their family expand along the way, from their first little guy Camden. Their middle child is Brooklyn, and they welcomed little Phoenix in late 2016.
After Camden’s birth, Nick and Vanessa said they would raise their son in his hometown of Cincinnati, although they also have a place in Los Angeles, where they work. Right next door is his 98 Degrees bandmate and brother Drew and his wife and two kids, Isabella and Hudson.
When Vanessa was on Dancing With the Stars (Nick was too in a unique competition), she dedicated a dance inspired by Phoenix’s early arrival. He spent six weeks in the NICU, and Nick said it was a terrifying experience. “Kids in general bring you closer together as a couple and anything you go through and you overcome, whatever that struggle might be, I think strengthens you in the end and you lean on each other,” he said in a People article. And we all thought he was perfect 20 years ago. Sigh!
14MARIO LOPEZ’S BABES
Those curls. Those dimples. Those muscles. While Zac was cool and cute, Slater was suave from the moment he arrived at Bayside High. And it wasn’t long before he was in Tiger Beat and in our hearts. Mario Lopez played the “Saved By the Bell” stud, alongside his co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who we already featured on this list, and they were definitely beloved. Now, Mario’s just as cute, and his life as a family man makes him even more attractive. Mario now hosts “Extra,” and he’s extra adorable.
Mario’s first shot at a family didn’t end the way he wanted. Just two weeks after he married actress Ali Landry, the marriage was annulled. But he’s found happiness with his wife Courtney Mazza, who he married in 2012, about two years after they had their daughter Gia. Son Dominic was born in 2013.
“My wife and I call our son Wreck-It Ralph because he destroys everything. He’s got a lot of fire in him,” he said in a People interview. “My daughter is very dramatic. She’s been sick recently, and this morning she said, ‘Oh my god, I’m not going to feel better. My cough is never going to go away!’ I told her, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be okay.’” Looks like they’ve got a little bit of A.C. Slater in them for sure.
13ANDREW KEEGAN: DAD’S MORE, UM, PENSIVE
Which photo did you like better of Andrew Keegan in “10 Things I Hate About You?” Which one was posted on your wall?
Well, the heart throb has played a lot of different roles since then, including spiritual advisor who started his own religion. Yes, you read that right.
It’s definitely not what we expected from the egotistical clueless model from one of our favorite teen movies from the 1990s. But he’s not an actor anymore, and he’s really serious about helping people find peace — and now he’s a dad.
Andrew welcomed daughter Aiya Rose in 2016 with his girlfriend Arista Ilona, and we’re wondering if the little girl had any idea how many of us had a crush on her dad back in the day. He wasn’t exactly pensive in that white shirt, no matter what Bianca said, but Keegan is now all about the spiritual. He announced the baby’s gender during an intention ceremony at the spiritual center he co-created, and he told People, “Our intention is to raise our child in a co-creative environment where truth and love are foremost.”
As an aside, we wish we could have written this section about the movie’s breakout star Heath Ledger. He was a great dad to daughter Matilda before he passed away in 2008.
12MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR: ZAK ATTACK
Mark-Paul Gosselaar was the class cut-up that we all loved back in the ’90s, when he starred as Zak Morris is “Saved by the Bell.”
He wasn’t exactly the best role model in those episodes, but Mark-Paul said his kids are binge-watching the show. That’s right, his kids! He has four, although he was talking about the oldest two when he mentioned the viewing to People a few years ago. Michael is 14 and Ava is 12.
Mark-Paul said his oldest Michael has an interest in the entertainment industry, but he doesn’t want him to be a child actor like he was. “I think I would be more supportive when he turns 18. I wouldn’t want him to go through it as a child, but when he becomes 18 he can do whatever he wants,” he said to ET.
Mark-Paul has two other kids from his second marriage, Dekker, 5, and Lachlyn, who was born in 2015. They aren’t old enough yet to get the goings on at Bayside High, but the older kids are right at the age their dad was when he started appearing in Teen Beat. He’s gone on to play a tone of different roles, but he’ll always be Zak to us.
11MATT CAMDEN’S SEVENTH HEAVEN
There were many things to love about “Seventh Heaven,” the wholesome story of a pastor’s family that aired for more than a dozen seasons.
One of the biggest reasons it caught fire in the beginning was the hunky oldest son Matt, played by Barry Watson, who soon captured our hearts and graced our walls.
We all thought that Barry would be the biggest star from the show, although Jessica Biel, who portrayed his sister, definitely topped him. But now, he’s just as cute and a great dad to boot.
Barry has three kids. He had Olive and Felix with his second wife Tracy Hutson, and then he had a daughter Clover with his third wife Natasha Gregson Wagner, daughter of Natalie Wood. We wondered if he would go on to fill his house like his television family did with seven kids, but three is enough for Barry. We don’t know much about his life as a dad because he keeps his kids out of the spotlight, but if he is anything like Matt Camden, we’re certain that he’s awesome. Oh, and we bet his kids have great hair like he did back in the days when we kept his posters up on our walls.
10JOEY MCINTYRE’S NEW KIDS
The ’90s really were the era of boy bands, which means that a lot of those boys were on the cover of Tiger Beat and in posters on our walls. The New Kids on the Block started it all in the ’80s and early ’90s, and there were tons of girls who practiced kissing on their New Kids pillows. Of course, there were five of them, all very cute, but the youngest Joey may have been the most popular.
These days the New Kids have had revival tours, and Joey McIntyre had his own TV show.
He’s also a dad to three kids, Griffin, Rhys and Kira. Somehow, fatherhood brings out the best in his blue eyes.
In addition to Joey, Donnie Wahlberg (Mark’s brother!) has two kids, Xavier and Elijah, and Danny Wood has three, Chance, Vega and Daniel. Jordan his two sons, Dante and Eric, and as far as we know his brother Jonathan doesn’t have any. It’s pretty interesting that of all of the New Kids kids, there is only one girl out of 10. But there is one thing for certain that we’re sure that everyone agrees on, they definitely have the right stuff to be great dads.
9LUKE PERRY: DYLAN WALSH’S DAD
Long before there were Team Edward and Team Jacob, there were Team Brandon and Team Dylan (and then Team Kelly and Team Brenda, but that’s another story for another day). The stars of Beverly Hill 90210 were definitely huge heart throbs throughout the ’90s, but it’s safe to say that we were definitely Team Dylan. He was on our walls then, and we bet his son is going to be on tweens walls soon.
According to Women’s Day, Luke Perry’s son Jack is a professional wrestler with his dad’s good looks and his mom’s great hair. Jack goes by “Jungle Boy” Nate Coy in the wrestling world. He’s all grown up and taking care of business, which must mean that Luke is a great dad. Luke is still gorgeous, and his son will be making his name in the next generation.
And for all of you who were on Team Brandon, let us mention that Jason Priestley is also a dad. He and his wife have two kids, Ava and Dashiell. We’re sure that they are just as attractive as their dad as well. 90210 was a major part of our childhood in the ’90s, and it’s nice to know that both Brandon and Dylan are great dads now.
8MARK WAHLBERG: MARKY MARK’S FUNKY BUNCH
Back in the ’90s Marky Mark had the Funky Bunch, but fast forward 20 years and the singer turned actor has his own funky bunch — a brood of a bunch of wild and crazy kids. While we will always remember Mark Wahlberg breaking it down in his Calvins, he’s come a long way from those days — as his family Christmas photo in pink swim trunks shows.
Mark and his wife Rhea Durham have four kids. Ella is 14, Michael is 11, Brendan is 9 and Grace is 7. In this picture, his oldest daughter’s block colored bikini reminds us of his music video, but Marky Mark’s chest just doesn’t quite compare.
We admit it, though, he still looks dreamy in the “Transformers” movies, and we get those good vibrations every time we see him on the big screen.
We hear that Mark is totally devoted to his kids when he isn’t on set. You don’t hear a lot about dads — especially rapper dads — who have a lot of kids but are still with their one baby mama and spend a ton of time with them. Mark’s a lot different than he was in the 1990s, and it looks like his family really grounds him and keeps him humble.
Usher’s gone through a lot since he first amazed us with his talent and good looks in the ’90s. We’re not just talking about the multi-platinum albums and amazing concerts — he’s also had a lot of highs and lows in his personal life. But all the while, he’s kept a very stable and happy home for his sons — at least he did before his latest family turmoil, which includes a divorce and a couple of cheating allegations. (Say it ain’t so!)
Usher had two boys, Usher V (or Cinco) and Naviyd, with his then-wife Tameka Foster. They divorced and went through a tumultuous custody fight, with Tameka losing custody shortly after the tragic death of her older child Kile in a tubing accident on a lake.
Tameka accused Usher of being an absentee father, but a judge disagreed and we’ve seen Usher dote on his boys.
In 2015, the younger Usher got stuck in a pool drain, but he was saved by a quick-acting worker, and was rushed to the hospital where he was treated and released. Life has its ups and downs for sure, but Usher remains a devoted dad who gives his boys as normal a life as possible when their father is a superstar.
6JT’S TOUR BUDDY
Oh, those frosted curls! There were a lot of talented and gorgeous young men in *NSYNC, but the biggest heart throb of the group was undeniably Justin Timberlake.
He was tearin’ up our hearts like no other, and he went on to have an epic solo career, bringing “it” back like never before.
And now JT is even hotter as a sexy dad. He has a 3-year-old Silas with his gorgeous wife Jessica Biel who is just too cute for words. Silas isn’t only Justin’s tour buddy — he’s also his inspiration. Justin told People that his latest album Into The Woods was inspired by his son. And he has his own style and swagger that he gets from his dad.
At the Golden Globes, JT said his son loves his new song. “We let him hear it like four times in a row this morning,” Justin said in the interview quoted in Billboard. “And he walks up to the mirror and and he looks at it and goes ‘haters gonna say it’s fake, so wheel.’ I was like, man, when that ‘r’ kicks in, you’re gonna have it.”
Yeah, Silas and his dad are both totally adorable, and 20 years later, we’re still swooning.
5CHRIS O’DONNELL’S LITTLE ACTORS
Back in the ’90s Chris O’Donnell was one of Hollywood’s hottest up-and-coming actors.
He captured our hearts in “Fried Green Tomatoes,” then he starred in “Scent of a Woman,” “The Three Musketeers” and “Mad Love.”
We were totally hooked, and that’s why we went to theaters to see “Batman & Robin” even though the movie was pretty terrible.
Chris spent some time home with his family — and boy did he welcome a brood — before he returned to stardom on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Chris is a dad of five now, and four of them have appeared on his show, including Lily, Charles, Finley and Maeve. Only Chris Jr. hasn’t had a special appearance, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him guest-starring soon.
By the way, Chris seems tough on TV, but it turns out he is a big softie. He actually fainted during the birth of his oldest child — but apparently he toughened up for the other four. He said in a Parenting interview that his wife Caroline is the bad cop when it comes to parenting, but he’s the bad cop when it comes to more serious issues at home. If his stint on “NCIS: Los Angeles” is any indication, we bet he gets the job done.
4KIRK CAMERON’S GROWING PAINS
Kirk Cameron used to be the lovable goofball who always got in trouble in “Growing Pains.”
But these days we imagine he’s the one doling out the great advice like his television father Alan Thicke did back in the ’90s.
Kirk and his wife Chelsea Noble adopted four kids, Jack, Isabella, Anna and Luke, and then they added biological kids Olivia and James to the bunch. That’s six kids, the oldest of whom is now 21. “Adoption is so special. My adopted kids know that they’re in our family because we wanted them to be in our family. We chose them. That’s something special that every adopted child can know,” Kirk said in People in 2008. “They’re just my kids. Literally, I forget who’s adopted and who’s not.”
We love that — it’s so hard to raise kids these days, but as Kirk says, family is family, and there is no difference between a kid who is adopted and one who is born into a family. Nowadays, Kirk is known for his Christian beliefs, and for working to sharing those beliefs through his acting in films such as “Fireproof” and other projects. He looks exactly the same as he did when we put his posters up. But now he’s definitely a doting dad.
3BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN’S BOYS
When we talked about 90210, we talked about Dylan and Brandon, but there was also Steve and David, and they were pretty cute too.
Brian Austin Green, who played David, may have started off as the dork on the show, but he grew into a hunk right before our very eyes.
Not too long after the show went off the air, he had his first child Kassius, with his co-star Vanessa Marcil.
Later, he met and eventually married one of the hottest girls in Hollywood, Megan Fox. They have three boys — Noah, Bodhi and Journey. Brian and Megan broke up after Bodhi was born, and when she got pregnant again, a lot of people speculated about who the dad could be, but the pair eventually announced that they had reconciled and were looking forward to raising their boys together.
“Marriage is hard,” Brian said in a People interview. “It’s work, I think for anyone. I think when you get to the point like we have, where you have kids and you’ve been married for a while and we’ve been together for a long time, it’s – you just take it day by day. … We have three amazing kids. We’ve had and have a great relationship and you know we’re just taking it day by day.”
2NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: DOOGIE HOWSER’S TWINS
In 1989, Doogie Howser, M.D. first aired, and we all lost our mind about the cute boy doctor.
By 1990, the star Neil Patrick Harris was in Tiger Beat, and we were smitten. The way that he wrote in his digital diary every night was enough to tell us he had the sensitivity, along with the smarts and the looks, right? Turns out, he’s also an amazing dad.
Neil, who is a jack-of-all-trades, has had an awesome career on stage and the small screen, but it’s his home life that keeps melting our hearts. He and husband David Burtka share 7-year-old twins Gideon and Harper, and the entire family is adorable. The kids call Neil Daddy and David Poppa, and the family loves to dress in elaborate costumes for Halloween that have amazed us.
The kids were conceived through a surrogate, but Neil and David have chosen to not find out which is the other’s biological child. They are just one amazing, talented, happy family. Gideon and Harper both appear in Neil’s latest project, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” but Neil said they aren’t really into acting at this point, and he’s OK with that. Neil is still so cute and so sweet — and a great dad too.
1URKEL’S FAMILY MATTERS
OK, OK, not many of us had posters of Steve Urkel up on our walls in the 1990s, but Urkel sure made us laugh from the moment the show “Family Matters” aired beginning in 1989.
He may have been the neighbor, but he was undeniably the reason we tuned in. And we were shocked to see how hot Jaleel White actually was when he transformed into Stefan for a few episodes. That’s when we realized that he wasn’t just funny but also a gorgeous and smooth man.
Anyway, Jaleel is not only hilarious, but he’s also a great dad. His daughter Samaya was born in 2009, and the little girl was 2 when she cheered on her dad on “Dancing With the Stars.” In a BCK Online article at the time, Jaleel said his daughter loved to watch him on “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.” We wonder if she’s seen “Family Matters” by now or any of the other shows where he appeared as Urkel, such as Full House and Step By Step. Now that he is all grown up, he’s even hotter and knowing that he is such a wonderful father brings everything to another level of heart throb.