Today I was surprised to learn that '90s heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas is turning 34 years old! Can you believe that?!
Throughout the '90s, JTT seemed to crop up in every film and TV show, not to mention filling the pages of many teen magazines (often in handy poster form so you could complete your JTT obsession by plastering your room with his adorable face). To celebrate the man of your '90s dream turning another year older, I thought it would only be fair to take a journey through Jonathan Taylor Thomas's life and career.
Little JTT plays Little Spot!
Jonathan's first role came along at the age of 6 when he played the adorable character Spot in The Adventures of Spot back in 1987 (Spot would later also be voiced by Haley Joel Osment!).
He had a role in The Brady Bunch spin-off The Bradys
Back then, he acted under his given name, Jonathan Weiss. He later changed his stage last name to 'Thomas' due to another actor named Jonathan Weiss. The name Thomas is his brother's middle name.
In 1991, he landed his most famous role as Randy Taylor on Home Improvement
Jonathan Taylor Thomas played the role of middle child Randy Taylor for eight seasons of Home Improvement, before leaving the show to focus on his academics. All together, he appeared in a whopping 180 episodes of the show!
He just couldn't wait to be king
At the same time that he appeared on Home Improvement, Taylor Thomas also starred in a multitude of films, one of which was the wildly successful 1994 Disney film The Lion King, in which he voiced the young Simba.
Following on from The Lion King, you probably also caught JTT in Man of the House and Tom and Huck, appearing in both films in 1995.
'90 babes united
After voicing a the characters Pinocchio and Scarecrow Jr. all throughout 1996, Jonathan Taylor Thomas's next role involved him teaming up with the other ultimate '90s heartthrob, Devon Sawa in Wild America. Following this role, a now 17-year-old JTT took on the lead role in the Christmas season staple I'll be Home for Christmas.
Following I'll be Home for Christmas, Thomas finished up with Home Improvement, only appearing in a few episodes of the eighth season. From 1999 onward, he slowed down his acting work while he studied Philosophy and History at Harvard University (graduating in 2010 from Columbia). Despite studying, he still went on to star in movies Speedway Junky, Walking Across Egypt and TV series The Wild Thornberrys (voicing Tyler Tucker), Ally McBeal, The Simpsons, Smallville, 8 Simple Rules and Veronica Mars.
After a role in the short film The Extra, Jonathan Taylor Thomas pretty much retired from acting, only guest starring in the odd episode of Tim Allen's new sitcom Last Man Standing, most recently in January of this year. However, in addition to acting he has picked up a new skill: directing! JTT has directed two episodes of Last Man Standing, one back in 2013 and 2014.
So aside from trying his hand at directing, what else has JTT been up to since 2006? According to an interview with People.com back in 2013, he's been focusing on "directing, writing scripts and taking advantage of his free time." And considering he's been acting since he was 8 years old, I'd say that free time is most certainly well deserved!
Happy 34th birthday Jonathan Taylor Thomas!