Zetus Lapetus: You Won't Believe What These Disney Channel Hunks Are Up To Now

In honor of the Disney Channel turning 40 (yes, 40!) this year, we're taking a trip down memory lane and checking in with all the stars from your favorite Disney Channel Original Movies.

By EOL Staff May 28, 2023 7:00 AMTags
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Picture this: It's Friday and you just finished eating Lunchables. Your Furby is sleeping so you turn on the TV and hear the most magical phrase any '00s kid could imagine. 

I'm Zac Efron and you're watching Disney Channel.

Ah, what a time to be alive.

These days, thanks to Disney+, we can rewatch all our favorite DCOMs (for the uninformed, that's Disney Channel Original Movie) any time we want. And while binging High School MusicalLuck of the Irish, Brink! and more, we couldn't help but wonder...what ever happened to our favorite hunks who took over our screens and captivated our hearts when we were kids, tweens, teens and even young adults (OK, and adults too)?

Are they married? Do they have kids? Heck, are they even still acting? 

Well, fear not: We did the heavy lifting (and some Googling) and found all the answers you want to know about the guys who once graced your bedroom walls back in the day.

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And while some you still get to see on TV on a weekly basis, others have retired from Hollywood. But regardless of where they are in life, we love them all equally.

So, without further ado, in honor of the Disney Channel turning 40 (yes, 40!) this year, keep reading to take a little trip down memory lane...

Ryan Merriman, Smart House & The Luck of the Irish

Ryan is still acting, appearing in A Christmas Movie Christmas on UPtv (which was delightful). He played Ian Thomas on Pretty Little Liars, and was in quite a few horror movies. He married Kristen McMullen in 2014 and still celebrates St. Patrick's Day every year, thankfully.

Erik von Detten, Brink!

Erik Von Detten is practically a Disney prince himself, with roles in Brink! and The Princess Diaries and voice roles in Toy Story, Recess and Tarzan. However, his last gig was in 2010, stepping away from the spotlight to start a family. The 40-year-old, who now works in sales, and his wife Angela welcomed their first baby, a daughter named Claire, in May of 2019 and, welcomed baby no. 2 in 2021.

Sam Horrigan, Brink!

Sam played Val, leader of Team X-Bladz, in 1998's Brink!. In the years since, he's made appearances on shows including Veronica Mars, One Tree HillModern Family, Desperate Housewives, CSI, and True Blood. Not too bad of a resume! He has two kids with estranged wife Betty

Phillip Rhys, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

Superstar Proto Zoa is still acting to this day. He was in CBS All Access' Tell Me a Story, and two episodes of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists as Sophia Carson's dad. Plus, we'd be remiss not to mention his run on 24 in 2002 and 2003. These days, he's stepped behind the camera and now serves as a director.

Gregory Smith, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

Post Zenon, he starred in Everwood from 2002 to 2006 and Rookie Blue from 2010 to 2015. But after 2015, he switched gears and starting director, particularly on CW shows such as Arrow, Riverdale, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl. He also added Katy Keene to that lengthy list. He married Taylor McKay in 2018. 

Brandon Baker, Johnny Tsunami

After playing Johnny Kapahala in 2007's Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board, he went on to star in 2013's The Formula, which would be his final gig. These days, he works for a company that organizes elopements.

Riley Smith, Motocrossed

Since the 2001 movie, he's kept a steady stream of acting gigs, including Nancy DrewProven Innocent, Life Sentence, Frequency, Nashville, The Messengers, True Blood, 90210, Drive, Joan of Arcadia, 24 and maaaany more. He's also got a band called The Life of Riley.

Chez Starbuck, The Thirteenth Year

His acting career hasn't been too eventful since The Thirteenth Year. However, Chez now creates custom closets and shelving units and has two adorable kids with wife Whitney Ward.

Taylor Ball, Eddie's Million-Dollar Cookoff

Taylor hasn't done much since Eddie's Million-Dollar Cookoff in 2003, sadly, only really acting in the show Still Standing from 2002 to 2006. He's kept an incredibly low profile, not even having obvious active social media accounts.

Chris Olivero, Double Teamed

Chris unfortunately hasn't acted since 2014. Before then, he played Declan on Kyle XY and also appeared in the DCOM Now You See It. He's married to actress Alexandra Picatto and together they have a young son.

Justin Timberlake, Model Behavior

Disney royalty JT was a cast member in The Mickey Mouse Club and channeled a male model in Model Behavior, acting as Jason Sharpe. In case you've been on a decades-long silent retreat or have been living on Mars, he's very much still a household name. He and wife Jessica Biel are parents to Silas and Phineas.

Robert Ri'chard, Alley Cats Strike

Robert Ri'chard followed up 2000's Alley Cats Strike with a long acting career, including stints on Cousin SkeeterVeronica Mars, Meet the Browns, The Vampire Diaries and Empire. Plus, he's made appearances on iZombie, CSI: NY, NCIS, and CSI: Miami. 

Kyle Schmid, Alley Cats Strike

Kyle has since starred in Netflix's The I-Land, as well as Being Human, Lost Girl and a 2012 episode of Arrow. He married actress Caity Lotz earlier this year.

Taran Killam, Stuck in the Suburbs

Taran played famous pop singer Jordan Cahill in the 2004 movie, and went on to be a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2010 to 2016. He also appeared on How I Met Your Mother with Cobie Smulders, who he married in 2012. They have two daughters, born in 2009 and 2015. 

Clayton Snyder, Lizzie McGuire

After playing Lizzie McGuire's crush from 2001 to 2004, he moved on to real estate and married longtime girlfriend Allegra Edwards in November 2020. These days, he still acts in the occasional movie or TV series, and was even set to play Ethan again in the Lizzie McGuire revival. And yes, he's still just as dreamy as he was way back when.

Adam Lamberg, Lizzie McGuire

Lizzie McGuire's best friend Gordo only acted in two projects after post Disney, with the last in 2008. He was set to reprise his role in the revival. Today, he works at the Irish Arts Center in NYC. 

Zac Efron, High School Musical

Zac Efron may always be Troy Bolton to many of us, but the HSM star went on to do quite a lot. He starred in 17 Again, Neighbors, Baywatch, The Greatest Showman, and even played Ted Bundy. Plus, he won a daytime Emmy in 2021 for his Netflix series, Down to Earth with Zac Efron

David Henrie, Wizards of Waverly Place

During his time on Wizards of Waverly Place, David Henrie was also playing the son on How I Met Your Mother. And while he hit pause on his acting career in 2016, he co-wrote, directed and starred in 2020's This Is The Year

He wed Maria Cahill in 2017, and their first daughter Pia was born in March 2019. Son James arrived in December 2020. They welcomed another baby girl in summer 2022.

Lucas Till, Hannah Montana: The Movie

Best known for romancing Hannah Montana in the 2009 flick, he went on to star on CBS' MacGyver. He's also been in two X-Men movies as Havok and played the boy next door in Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" video. 

Cole and Dylan Sprouse, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Apologies to Cole and Dylan for putting them in one slide, but where would Zack be without Cody? And Cody without Zack? The twins mostly took a break from acting to go to college between 2011 and 2017, but now they're both back in it and taking advantage of their new hunk status. Cole is on Riverdale and following his split from costar Lili Reinhart, he's dating Ari Fournier. Meanwhile, Dylan is dating model Barbara Palvin and owns a meadery.

Most of these shows and movies can thankfully be found on Disney+.

A version of this story was originally published on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8:18 p.m. PT.