The 1990s was a decade that saw the rise of many celebrities who captured the hearts of fans around the world. From charming boy-next-door types to brooding bad boys, these male heartthrobs made their mark on pop culture and left a lasting impression on an entire generation.
In today’s post, I’m going to take you on a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the biggest heartthrobs of the 90s. Whether you were the type to have your bedroom walls plastered with their posters or just an admirer of their work, these stars were impossible to ignore during their heyday.
Biggest Heartthrobs Of The 1990s
James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek is perhaps best known for his inimitable role as Dawson Leery on the teen drama Dawson’s Creek, which launched him to instant heartthrob status in the late 1990s.
His boyish good looks and sensitive demeanor won him millions of devoted fans, and he quickly became one of the most instantly recognizable faces on 90s television.
Riding on the coattails of his Dawson’s Creek fame, Van Der Beek starred in 1999’s coming-of-age sports comedy-drama film, Varsity Blues and would go on to continue enjoying heartthrob status through the early and mid-2000s by appearing in a variety of films and TV shows.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
A chiseled jawline and easy-going charm made Freddie Prinze Jr. a fixture of 1990s Blockbuster teen movies like She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
His heartthrob appeal lay in his ability to play the sensitive, romantic lead with ease, while also being able to add a rugged masculinity that made him appeal to audiences of all ages.
Freddie Prinze Jr. married fellow hottie Sarah Michelle Gellar in 2002, making them one of the most iconic couples of the early 2000s. The two had met while filming the 1997 teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer, and their on-screen chemistry quickly turned into a real-life romance, which made Gellar the envy of millions.
Ryan Phillippe is a versatile actor who had already tackled a variety of roles throughout his career by the time he rose to fame.
Phillippe achieved heartthrob status in the late 1990s thanks to his roles in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and 54.
With his piercing blue eyes and athletic physique, Phillippe was seen by millions as the epitome of the all-American actor idol.
Since then, he has appeared in a large number of films and television shows, showcasing his range as an actor and earning him a spot amongst Hollywood’s most reliable leading men.
Leo DiCaprio is one of the biggest movie stars of all time, but he rose to fame as a mid-1990s heartthrob thanks to his career-defining role in James Cameron’s Titanic.
With his striking good looks and incomparable charisma, he instantly stole the hearts of millions across the world.
DiCaprio has since gone on to star in several critically acclaimed films, including The Wolf of Wall Street, Inception, and The Revenant, making him one of Hollywood’s most respected actors.
But the recognition he would receive for his talent and dedication to the craft of acting throughout his career would pale in comparison to the height of heartthrob stardom he attained in the 90s.
Andrew Keegan was a staple of teen movies in the late 90s and considered a heartthrob by many thanks to his roles in classic 90s hit shows Moesha, Party of Five, and 7th Heaven, as well as hit films like Camp Nowhere, Independence Day, and 10 Things I Hate About You.
His dark curly hair and warm inviting smile embodied the carefree spirit of youth and lit up the screen in a matter of seconds, making him a favorite of teenage girls everywhere.
George Clooney is a true Hollywood icon. Clooney was already a well-established actor by the time the 1990s rolled around, having won over audiences with his roles in a variety of sitcoms, including fan-favorite Roseanne.
However, when he landed a role in 1994’s ER his suave demeanor, dark expressive eyes, and dreamy smile, made him a solid candidate for 90s teen heartthrob of the decade.
Clooney exudes charm and sophistication, which has made him one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors ever since.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is best known for his iconic role as the ever-so-charismatic Zack Morris on the popular 90s teen sitcom Saved by the Bell.
Gosselaar was a 90s teen heartthrob to millions of viewers in the early 1990s thanks to his striking blonde hair and winning smile.
Much like his character Zack Morris, Mark-Paul epitomized the cool, confident, well-intentioned jock archetype that was so popular in the 90s.
He has since gone on to appear in many other TV shows and films, showcasing his skill as a legitimate actor and cementing his status as a beloved figure in pop culture history.
Luke Perry became a heartthrob in the ’90s thanks to his rugged good looks and brooding intensity, making him the quintessential bad boy.
Perry became a fan-favorite when he appeared in the mega-hit TV show Beverly Hills, 90210.
His rebellious rock & roll spirit and smoldering blue eyes made him irresistible to millions, while his distinctive charisma and talent made him a highly sought-after actor in Hollywood.
Best known for his role as Joey Russo on the hit 90s sitcom Blossom, Joey Lawrence was a bona fide heartthrob at a time when rugged good looks and easy charm were supreme.
With his signature thick head of hair and striking green eyes that captured the hearts of viewers everywhere, Joey Lawrence quickly became one of the most recognizable faces on television.
Lawrence also had a strong jawline, chiseled features, and a muscular physique that gave him a classic Hollywood look and which earned him a well-deserved spot on this list.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Most of us met Jonathan Taylor Thomas when he appeared on the mega-hit ‘90s sitcom Home Improvement alongside Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas quickly became a household name and heartthrob to millions of teenage viewers thanks to his piercing blue eyes and floppy blond hair.
He was the epitome of boyish charm and youthful innocence, which made him an obvious choice to play the character of Simba in Disney’s classic animated film The Lion King, further solidifying his status as a beloved figure in 90s pop culture.