JTT. In the early 1990s, those three simple letters inspired a fervent, Jonas-Brothers-level reaction in millions of young girls across America. Tweens dreamily wrote them in bubble letters on their school notebooks and imagined the day when, perhaps, they might become Mrs. JTT.
But in the post-2000 years, we didn’t hear those letters as often anymore. Which prompts this week’s Rich or Rehab question: whatever happened to Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
The actor is, of course, best known for playing Randy Taylor, the son of Tim Allen’s “Tool Timer” Tim Taylor on the sitcom “Home Improvement.” His work on that show, a gig he scored at the age of 10, and the heartthrob status that followed propelled him to score other projects, including the voice of young Simba in “The Lion King” and a starring role in the movie “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
In turn, his success prompted him to bail on “Home Improvement” in the middle of its penultimate season, a fact that reportedly irked Allen. Even though his star faded a bit in the years that followed, he continued working as an actor, popping up on TV shows such as “Smallville,” “8 Simple Rules” and “Veronica Mars.” He also portrayed gay characters in a couple of low-profile films, includiong “Speedway Junky,” prompting rumors that Thomas, too, was gay. But in 2000, the one-time prince of Teen Beat denied those rumors in interviews, including this one with The Advocate.
During the past couple of years, Thomas has stayed out of the limelight. Wikipedia and IvyGate report that as recently as last year, he was enrolled at Columbia University in New York. He did not appear with the rest of the “Home Improvement” cast earlier this year at the TV Land Awards. It seems the kid, now a man, is trying to keep some semblance of privacy and live a normal life.
Good luck, Jonathan. Once you ‘ve been JTT, it can be pretty hard to go back.
Images: Geocities and AfterElton.com