Once a heartthrob, always a heartthrob. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, best known for his roles in Home Improvement, Wild America and more ‘90s and early 2000 hits, was spotted out in Hollywood on June 20, photographed for the first time in nearly eight years.
In photos obtained exclusively by Us Weekly, the actor, 39, was vaping and walking his dogs in California, dressed casually in jeans, a hoodie and sneakers.
Thomas, who began acting in 1987 at age 7, last appeared on Last Man Standing, reuniting with his Home Improvement dad, Tim Allen. The Pennsylvania native starred in four episodes of the series between 2013 and 2015. He also directed three episodes of the sitcom.
Before that, Thomas took a step away from the spotlight. After exiting Home Improvement in 1998 to focus on school — he graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School and later attended Harvard University and Columbia University — he didn’t look for a leading part. Instead, he landed guest spots on 8 Simple Rules and Veronica Mars and voiced six episodes of The Wild Thornberrys.
“You can’t be trapped in this bubble called the acting industry,” the I’ll Be Home for Christmas actor told Premiere magazine in 1996. “The industry is neurotic and weird, and so when I go home and I play basketball with my friends, I’m not Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I’m just Jonathan. I don’t like hanging out with other actors and actresses.”
In 1999, he noted that he made the right choice by leaving the family sitcom. “Had I stayed at the show and tried to do academically what I’m doing now, I would’ve, you know, put myself in an early grave,” he said at the time.
Although he’s remained private, Devon Sawa, who starred alongside Thomas in 1997’s Wild America, gave an update on the actor in 2019. “I spoke to Jonathan a month ago for the first time in a long time,” he told Us exclusively at the time.
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In the ’90s, Thomas was honest about starting his career so early and not knowing if acting was really what he wanted to do with his life.
“You should be focused on doing a good job, but every job has an end,” Thomas, who voiced the young Simba in The Lion King in 1994, told Premiere. “You can’t base your life around one thing. So that’s why I focus on school, I play sports, I learn the technical side of [filmmaking]. Because sometime it’ll change, and I’ll have my education to fall back on.”
See the latest photos of Thomas below: