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October 13, 2015

Top 50 Teen Idols (40-31)

by Kim Potts, posted Nov 10th 2009 6:00AM
Will Smith40. Will Smith
Show We Loved Him On: 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' (1990-96)
Why He Made Us Swoon: He's handsome, talented, confident and silly, the perfect combo for an acting/rapping teen idol, it turned out. Smith had already made a hit record (and lost most of the money he'd earned from it) when he became TV's 'Fresh Prince,' a role that launched his comeback, led to a huge movie career and provided a welcome bit of diversity to the lineup of leading men in prime time.

Mario Lopez39. Mario Lopez
Show We Loved Him On: 'Saved by the Bell' (1989-93)
Why He Made Us Swoon: As Bayside High wrestler A.C. Slater, Lopez was a more athletic alternative to Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Zack Morris, but both teen idols could stir a crowd of teen girls into a respectable frenzy. And with a mature look (and a thankfully less mullet-y hairstyle), Lopez continues to be a TV sex symbol as a frequent reality show and 'Extra' entertainment host.

Scott Wolf38. Scott Wolf
Show We Loved Him On: 'Party of Five' (1994-2000)
Why He Made Us Swoon: Has there ever been a more sympathetic teen character than Wolf's Bailey Salinger, the orphaned high schooler who felt put upon to act like an adult for the sake of his other siblings? That Wolf was all sorts of adorable didn't hurt, whether he was trying to keep his family's restaurant afloat, woo girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Love Hewitt) or, later, battle a serious drinking problem.

Parker Stevenson37. Parker Stevenson
Show We Loved Him On: 'The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries' (1977-79)
Why He Made Us Swoon: He played older brother Frank to Shaun Cassidy's Joe Hardy, and together the duo solved cases both serious and Scooby-Doo-like in their frivolousness. Stevenson, while not as flashy as Cassidy with his concurrent pop-star career, was sort of the thinking girl's teen idol, leading the Hardys on investigations to Hawaii, the Bermuda Triangle and Transylvania. Kirstie Alley famously thanked Stevenson, her then husband, for giving her "the big one." Alrighty, then.

Jensen Ackles36. Jensen Ackles
Shows We Loved Him On: 'Dawson's Creek' (1998-2003), 'Dark Angel' (2000-02),'Smallville' (2004-05) and 'Supernatural' (2005-present)
Why He Made Us Swoon: He'd already earned Daytime Emmy nominations and a devoted fan base for his work on 'Days of Our Lives' when he hit prime time. But the sexy blond Texan only added more fans to the mix with his 'Creek,' 'Dark Angel' and 'Smallville' roles, before earning true teen-idol status as demon-hunting bro Dean on 'Supernatural,' where he and co-star Jared Padalecki are often stalked by zealous teen fans.

Michael Landon35. Michael Landon
Show We Loved Him On: 'Bonanza' (1959-73)
Why He Made Us Swoon: As cocky, youngest Cartwright brother Little Joe, Landon drew gobs of fan mail and became the series' resident heartthrob. The actor used the currency of his on-screen popularity to convince producers to let him write and direct a few tales of the Ponderosa, which led to one of the most prolific producing, writing and directing careers in tube history. And don't think there weren't more than a few teen girls -- and their moms -- who tuned into 'Little House on the Prairie' to get a glimpse of Pa.

Paul Petersen34. Paul Petersen
Show We Loved Him On: 'The Donna Reed Show' (1958-66)
Why He Made Us Swoon: Petersen was on the classic sitcom from ages 12 to 20, so teen viewers had the chance to grow up with, and grow fonder of, him each year. By the time the boy with the boy-next-door looks was in his teens, he'd become a pinup fave and recorded several hit records. As an adult, Petersen founded A Minor Consideration, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of child actors.

Joey Lawrence33. Joey Lawrence
Show We Loved Him On: 'Blossom' (1991-95)
Why He Made Us Swoon: An adorable kiddie star on 'Gimme a Break,' Lawrence's baby face had matured into that of a handsome teenager, baseball player Joey, by the time he landed on 'Blossom.' Joey wasn't the sharpest member of the Russo clan by far, but he was sweet and funny and, a golden ticket in TV land, he had a catchphrase: "Whoa!" And by the way, these days, he prefers to be called Joseph. Whoa!

Bobby Sherman32. Bobby Sherman
Show We Loved Him On: 'Here Come the Brides' (1968-70)
Why He Made Us Swoon: Classically handsome plus a talent for crooning a great pop tune equals the perfect recipe for teen-idol stardom, and that was exactly what Sherman found after landing on the lighthearted Western 'Here Come the Brides.' With the acting gig, his singing career took off, and together they made him the only true rival to David Cassidy for the teen idol crown in the late '60s/early '70s.

Benjamin McKenzie31. Benjamin McKenzie
Show We Loved Him On: 'The O.C.' (2003-07)
Why He Made Us Swoon: He was a rebellious teen from the wrong side of the tracks who found himself living in a ritzy mansion, but McKenzie's Ryan Atwood, refreshingly, didn't always fit into TV bad-boy clichés. For one, the tough guy had a very sweet face, a very dry sense of humor and a very loyal friendship with geeky pal Seth. And the best Atwood factoid: That he'd played Snoopy in a school play. McKenzie's latest, the gritty LAPD drama 'Southland,' was picked up by TNT to the applause of many a McKenzie fan.

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