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15 Child Stars From TGIF Shows: Where Are They Now?

There was no better way to start a weekend than sitting down on a Friday night with ABC’s family friendly programming block popularly known as TGIF. The acronym comes from the phrase ‘Thank God it’s Friday’, but people changed it into ‘Thank God it’s funny’. Ah, the ’90s! They truly were a magical place! We grew up with these amazing shows like Full House, Family Matters, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Step by Step, and many others, and they still hold a special place in our hearts.

Which is why, at some point, you have probably wondered what happened to all those people? How did their careers turn out? Did they stay in showbiz? Did they reach stardom? Well, you’re about to find out, thanks to Ranker.

1. Jaleel White, AKA Steve Urkel

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Photo:  ABC/Creative Commons

Steve Urkel was the lovable nerd on Family Matters who could make anyone laugh. Portrayed by Jaleel White, it took a little more than one season for the character to become the star of the show. After the show was over though, the Los Angeles born actor continued his career making small appearances mainly on television. He also took part in season 14 of Dancing with the Stars. He is currently working on the sitcom Me, Myself & I.

2. Ben Savage, AKA Cory Matthews

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Photo:  ABC/Twitter

Boy Meets World wasn’t just a sitcom. It showed exactly how the life of one person changes as he grows up. At the center of the story was Cory Matthews, played by Ben Savage. Savage continued acting once he was done with this series, but he also attended Stanford University and interned for Senator Arlen Specter. In 2014, he reprised his role as Cory Matthews in Girl Meets World, a spin-off of the original show from the ’90s. The 37-year-old actor had a feature role on the sitcom Still The King this year. Also, he isn’t married, despite of what people think, and he isn’t dating his Boy Meets World co-star Danielle Fishel.

3. Melissa Joan Hart, AKA Sabrina Spellman

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Photo:  ABC/Creative Commons

Melissa Joan Hart was just turning 20 and she had already landed the lead role in two successful TV shows: Clarissa Explains It All and TGIF’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The latter ended in 2003, and since then Hart has had quite a few roles, mostly in TV shows and TV movies. She co-starred the sitcom Melissa and Joey alongside another 90s icon, Joey Lawrence, for five years. Currently she lives in Connecticut with her husband and three sons. She published her autobiography Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life in 2013.

4. Mary-Kate Olsen, AKA Half Of Michelle Tanner

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Photo:  ABC/Creative Commons

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen started their acting careers when they were 9 months old. The twin sisters played Michelle Tanner on Full House. The Olsen twins had a few more acting roles along the way (Mary-Kate was in Weeds and Factory Girl), but they mainly focused their attention on being fashion designers and building their empire, consisting of a production company and the Olsen-branded merchandise. Among their most successful brands are The Row, Elizabeth and James, Olsenboye, and StyleMint. Mary-Kate is married to Olivier Sarkozy, a French banker who is the half-brother of the former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.

5. Ashley Olsen, AKA The Other Half Of Michelle Tanner

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Ashley Olsen has never had a role without sharing it with her twin sister. In 2004, she retired from performing and dedicated herself on their fashion label and its mid-priced to luxury brands. The twins together have a net worth of over $400 million, and their empire, including the acting work and the merch, as wel as their current fashion ventures, is worth over $1 billion.

6. Staci Keanan, AKA Dana Foster

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Staci Keanan played the whip-smart Dana on Step by Step. Previously, the actress had starred in another classic sitcom My Two Dads. However, after Step by Step, Keanan almost completely left acting, replacing it with another career. She graduated from the Southwestern Law School, and she is currently practicing law in the Los Angeles area. She is married to actor Guy Birtwhistle.

7. Danielle Fishel, AKA Topanga Lawrence

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Topanga was Cory’s sassy and spirited friend-girlfriend-wife in Boy Meets World. The character was played by Danielle Fishel, who also guest starred on another TGIF show, Full House. Fishel reprised the role of Topanga in Girl Meets World as well, and she has had a several guest-starring roles on sitcoms. The 36-year-old has also had a successful career as a TV presenter as she hosted Style Network show The Dish from 2008 to 2011.

8. Candace Cameron Bure, AKA D.J. Tanner

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Photo: ABC/Glenn Francis/Creative Commons

Candace Cameron Bure played D.J. Tanner on Full House, a role she reprised in the Netflix reboot Fuller House. She began acting when she was 6 years old, and recently she has starred in the lead role of many Hallmark TV movies. The actress married former hockey player Valeri Bure in 1996 and the couple have three children together.

9. Kellie Shanygne Williams, AKA Laura Winslow

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Kellie Shanygne Williams was the perfect Laura Winslow. On Family Matters, her character was the object of Steve Urkel’s undying affections. However, once the show was over, the actress appeared in a few TV series including What About Joan and Eve. Her last role was in a short film in 2011. The 41-year-old lives in the Washington, D.C., where she is a stay-at-home-mum who also runs a nonprofit that helps young people produce their own television shows.

10. Christine Lakin, AKA Al Lambert

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Photo: ABC/Creative Commons

Back in the ’90s, Step By Step was a very popular show, as demonstrated by the fact that it ran for 7 seasons. Nowadays, it’s almost forgotten, but one actress who got a successful career out of it was Christine Lakin, who portrayed tomboy Alicia “Al” Lambert. After wrapping the show, Lakin has had a number of roles in television and film, and she has done theater and audiobooks as well.

Step by Step is one of those 90s TV shows that was popular (it ran for seven seasons) at the time but seems to have faded into oblivion over the years. One of the show’s breakouts was  Since the show went off the air, Lakin has maintained a steady acting career, appearing in a number of films and television shows. She has also done theater and narrated several audiobooks. The actress has spoken about her Step By Steps experience in an interview with ABC, saying, “I had this secret worship for [Suzanne Somers]. I thought she was so glamorous and so beautiful. She was so warm and funny and goofy and played this dumb blonde, but she owned that. She was nothing short of a constant business woman and that was something I looked up to.”

11. Jodie Sweetin, AKA Stephanie Tanner

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Photo: ABC/Creative Commons

Who can forget Full House‘s sassy Stephanie Tanner? Jodie Sweetin reprised the role in Fuller House as well. The actress began her career at the age of 5, and, aside from Stephanie, she has had a handful of other roles, mostly on television. In the past, the 35-year-old has had addiction problems, but hse is now sober. She documented the road to recovery in her memoir unSweetined. She has two children from three unsuccessful marriages.

12. Rider Strong, AKA Shawn Hunter

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Another Boy Meets World alum, Rider Strong played the part of Shawn, Cory’s best friend. Shawn was a troublemaker quite unlike Cory, but their friendship was one of the pillars of the show. When Boy Meets World went off air, the actor finished his education and got his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Bennington College. He is still pursuing a career in acting, and he’s tried his hand at directing, screenwriting, and producing as well. The actor got married in 2013 and he has a son.

13. Andrea Barber, AKA Kimmy Gibbler

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

On Full House, Andrea Barber played Kimmy Gibbler, D.J.’s goofball best friend. Before reprising the role in Fuller House, the actress interned at the United Nations and earned a Master’s in Women’s Studies from the University of York in the United Kingdom. The 41-year-old is divorced and has two children.

14. Jaimee Foxworth , AKA Judy Winslow

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Jaimee Foxworth was Judy Winslow on Family Matters. Hower, at the end of of the fourth season, her character was written off with no explanation whatsoever. The actress struggled to find acting work, and she turned to pornography at the age of 19. She also had substance abuse issues, but now she has moved past it and has gotten back on her feet. “When I was on Family Matters, I thought the money was never going to stop,” she told Oprah. “I thought I was never going to be broke. So I say to young girls, always have another option. Try to go for your dreams. Don’t try to be just what you see on TV.”

15. Scott Weinger, AKA Steve Hale

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Photo: ABC/Twitter

Scott Weinger played Steve on Full House. He was D.J.’s not very bright, but super dreamy boyfriend. The actor kept in the acting business after the show was over. In 1992, he voiced Aladdin in the Disney animated movie, and reprised the role in a number of follow-up projects. He has also worked as writer and producer on shows like Black-ish, 90210, and The Muppets. The 42-year-old has graduated from Harvard, and is currently starring in Fuller House.

Source: ranker