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Your childhood crushes: Where are they now?


That Zack Morris was a lucky guy, huh? Cool telephone, the ability to stop time and the never-ending adulation of one Kelly Kapowski. He even married her.

In real life, of course, the lovely Kelly Kapowski isn't a real life. It's always worth remembering the difference between reality and fiction, we find.

But what has become of the real people behind our childhood fictional crushes? Take our hand, dear reader, as we find out exactly that.

(On second thoughts, let go of our hand. Feels weird.)

Tiffani Amber Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski, Saved By The Bell)

Unlike most of her SBTB contemporaries, leaving the show after 6 years (1987-93) didn't spell disaster for her career. Thiessen bagged the role of Valerie Malone in Beverly Hills, 90210 and made her way into movie roles in Speedway Junky (1999), From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999), Love Stinks (1999) and The Ladies Man (2000).

At the turn of the millenium she featured in the music video for "You're a God" by Vertical Horizon. And here it is. She was first choice to replace Shannon Doherty in Charmed in 2001, but she refused the offer.

Later she starred in direct-to-video parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth before appearing in Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending. In 2003 she launched her production company Tit 4 Tat Productions. In 2007 she joined the cast of ABC's drama What About Brian for its last five episodes and starred in science fiction film Cyborg Soldier in 2008.

Since 2009, Thiessen stars in the crime series White Collar as Elizabeth Burke. Hats off to her.


Danielle Fishel (Topanga, Boy Meets World)

Danielle Fishel's acting career didn't exactly blossom after her 7 year turn in Boy Meets World, picking up bit parts in only a handful of lesser-known TV shows. She also appeared in 2003’s National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze and the 2006 sequel, National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2: College at Sea. You, perhaps, have not seen them.

Danielle also stars in a controversial drama, Boiling Pot, which is based on true events of racism that occurred on college campuses across the country during the 2008 Presidential election. It's in post-production and should be out this year.

Most intriguingly she has signed on to Girl Meets World a sitcom that will debut in the US in 2014 on the Disney Channel. It's a sequel to Boy Meets World and will follow Riley Matthews, the teenage daughter of Topanga and Cory Matthews, as she navigates the challenges of life. As well as Danielle Fishel, Ben Savage, who played Cory, will also reprise his role. Savage has released this behind-the-scenes pic.


Kimberley Davies (Annalise Hartman, Neighbours)

Kimberley graced Neighbours for three years from 1993 to 1996. Not sure there's been a better three years since time immemorial, has there? In 1996, she hosted an Australian series called Just Kidding! which, featuring pranks played on an unsuspecting public, had all the hallmarks of an Aussie Beadle's About.

Shortly after she moved to the US and appeared in the short-lived soap Pacific Palisades and made guest appearances on Ally McBeal and Friends, and had parts in films Psycho Beach Party, Made and South Pacific.

She moved back to Australia before appearing in a string of reality shows, namely an Australian show called Celebrity Circus, the fifth series of the UK's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! (she had to leave after she hurt her shoulder, during a Bush Tucker trial) and Australia's Dancing with the Stars.

Then there was this Daz advert and her role as 'Alura McCall' in the James Bond videogame Nightfire.


Yasmine Bleeth (Caroline Holden, Baywatch)

Through the yards of Baywatch blondes Yasmine stood out as a truly stunning brunette. Her time as a Los Angeles County Lifeguard lasted four years and came to a crushing end in 1997. It wasn't, alas, a springboard to acting greatness.

A host of TV and straight to DVD movies that you probably haven't heard of proceeded two years and 41 episodes on Nash Bridges, as Caitlin Cross. She also appeared in The Rembrandts' video This House is Not a Home, a follow-up song to their theme to Friends. It's here, if you want it.

The backdrop to her acting career grinding to a holt is a sad one, with a happy ending. In 2000, Yasmine entered rehab for a cocaine addiction. Alas, in 2001 she was arrested after cops found her and her future husband, Paul Cerrito, with four syringes of injectable cocaine. She was sentenced, in 2002, to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Bleeth later wrote that her coke habit was so severe that she collapsed at a photo shoot for Glamour, and she went without sleep for five days at a time. She says that "consciously trying to stay off drugs is now part of my life and always will be."

Stay off them she has and her and Cerrito remain happily married.


Diane Youdale (Jet, Gladiators)

The incredible Jet from Gladiators appeared on the show from 1992 to 1996, but we didn't realise she only left after hurting her back in a fall in an unaired show. She was competing on the Pyramid and fell awkwardly as she tackled a contender, trapping nerves in her neck. As a consequence of her injury, the Pyramid was suspended for one series.

Anyway, post-pugil sticks Diane became a children's TV presenter as "The Games Mistress" on the video game show series Games World, and as a presenter on You Bet! and Finders Keepers.

Youdale trained as a psychotherapist (she still practises) and pilates instructor. In 2008 she joined BBC Tees to start co-presenting the station's weekday 10am - 1pm programme with Neil Green.

Her website is right here.

(Most recent pic:Twitter)


Michaela strachan (The Really Wild Show)

Depending on your, age you may know Michaela best from her stint on Timmy Mallet's Wide Awake Club, but chances are her 13 year tenure on The Real Wild Show is your main Strachan touchstone. Where to begin with what else she has done? Well, she had a small acting role in the BBC sitcom Game On and amazingly had a brief music career as "Michaela" with two UK hit singles; "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio" (UK #62, 1989) and "Take Good Care of My Heart" (UK #66, 1990), the first of which is well, well worth a watch.

In 2007, the British band, Scouting For Girls, included a song called "Michaela Strachan (You Broke My Heart)" on their eponymous debut album, as a hidden track. They're not the only ones.

But presenting is where her bread and butter has always been. She hosted Countryfile for many years, no fewer than five wildlife shows for Channel 5, Orangutan Diary for the Beeb, Great British Ghosts for UKTV-operated channel Yesterday, One Man and His Dog, Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

She has written a book called Wild About Baby Animals and is currently appearing on ITV's Splash!. Michaela is allergic to elephants, FYI.


Samantha Mumba (Singer)

Okay, okay, so having hit the big time in 2000, Samantha may not exactly be a childhood crush, but crikey that's 14 years ago! What's she been up to? Her first single, "Gotta Tell You" reached No. 2 in the British charts and No. 4 on the US's Billboard Hot 100. The album Gotta Tell You stayed in the charts for six months and was certified platinum.

After her second album was cancelled, Mumba's music career was put on hold and she began auditioning for films. Before that, in 2001, she was picked to play Mara in The Time Machine with Guy Pearce. Her second film was in 2003, when she appeared in Spin the Bottle. No, us neither.

Cruelly she sold just a handful of tickets for a highly-publicised comeback concert in Dublin, which was cancelled in February 2007. In March of that year a reality TV show, starring Samantha and her then mentor Harvey Goldsmith aired. It was catchily called Get Your Act Together with Harvey Goldsmith. She returned to public attention when she appeared in the 2008 series of Britain's Dancing on Ice before announcing a new album in 2009. It never surfaced and in late 2010, Mumba confirmed she would no longer be releasing new material and would be concentrating on acting.

This turned out to be nonsense because last year Mumba confirmed her comeback on Twitter and appeared on the RTÉ television show The Hit. The resultant song peaked at number 5 on the Irish Singles Chart which marked her first hit in 11 years. She also has a movie out this year. Here's the details.

She dated Sisqo in 2004, by the way. Baffling.


Melissa George (Angel, Home & Away)

Part of our heart will always belong to Melissa George. The part that watched Home & Away between 1993 and 1996, mainly. So, what has she done since? Well crikey, it might be easier to talk about what she hasn't done! No. No, that's nonsense. Let's talk about what she has...

Melissa has been a huge hit on the US TV circuit appearing in Friends, Monk, Charmed, Alias, Grey's Anatomy, Lie To Me, The Slap, Hunted and The Good Wife.

Movie-wise she's also done rather well. She made her film début in the neo-noir science fiction feature Dark City (1998) and appeared in supporting roles in The Limey (1999) and Mulholland Drive (2001). Lead roles include the remake of The Amityville Horror (2005), Turistas (2006), 30 Days of Night (2007) and Triangle (2009).

Rather brilliantly she is credited as the inventor of "Style Snaps", a device intended to allow changing trouser hem length without sewing. Melissa has stated that her invention earns her more money than her acting career. Here's how they work.


Alicia Silverstone (Cher Horowitz, Clueless)

It was 1995 Alicia hit screens as Cher Horowitz in sleeper success Clueless, but you might want to convince yourself you remember her first for appearing in three Aerosmith videos "Cryin'" and "Amazing" in 1993, then "Crazy" in 1994. If you have an incredible memory, you may place her first in one episode of The Wonder Years in 1992, when she played Fred Savage's high school "dream girl".

Prior to Clueless, she lost the lead role on My So-Called Life to Claire Danes and turned down the role of Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills 90210. Still, she did land parts of course. After roles in Batman & Robin (Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress) and Blast from the Past, Alicia lent her voice to the animated TV show Braceface and appeared in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost.

In 2002, she made her Broadway debut in The Graduate, alongside Kathleen Turner and Jason Biggs, and the following year starred in the short-lived 2003 NBC television series Miss Match. In 2005 she played a reporter alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

That same year Alicia married rock musician and basketball coach Christopher Jarecki. They have a kid called Bear Blu Jarecki. Now that's a name.

A huge proponent for vegetarianism, Alicia released The Kind Diet, a guide to vegan nutrition, in 2009. She was in Tropic Thunder (who wasn't?) in 2008 and more recently appeared in four episodes of Suburgatory and the movie Ass Backwards.

Oh and in 2012 she posted this video of her feeding her young son pre-chewed food from her mouth. It has 1.8million views. Moving on...


Natalie Imbruglia (Beth Brennan, Neighbours)

The lovely Natalie's screen acting biography is somewhat limited after her two year, mid-90s stint on Ramsey Street. An episode of Law Of The Land (1997) was followed, six years later, by a turn in Johnny English and a lead role in little known Aussie movie Closed For Winter . Last year she was in the awful-looking Underdogs and this year she's set to appear in Loopers, which is absolutely not a sequel to Looper.

In fairness, she probably doesn't need the work. Three years after Neighbours she released the smash single Torn, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart in November 1997 and number one on airplay around the world and was number one on the Billboard Airplay chart for 14 weeks. The single went on to sell over a million copies in the UK alone. The subsequent album Left Of The Middle sold, wait for it, 6 million copies (it broke the record of the highest selling debut album by a pop/rock/alternative female artist). In October 1997 Torn broke the all-time airplay record in the UK for being the most played (more than 2000 plays) for six consecutive weeks. It was the No. 1 radio single in the US from March to July 1998. Torn holds the record for the most played song on Australian radio since 1990, played more than 300,500 times since its release, an average of 75 times a day. So, nice work there.

Natalie has released two albums since, neither of course reaching those heights. White Lilies Island sold 1 million copies while the 2005 album Counting Down the Days included the single release "Shiver". It was a huge success, and it became her longest running single in the UK since "Torn." It topped UK airplay charts for several weeks, reaching eighth place. It also became the most played song of 2005.

Natalie was a judge in the second season of Australian X-Factor and, lastly, at one point was romantically linked with Prince Harry. He took her bowling.

(Images: Rex)




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