As Randy Taylor on Home Improvement, Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ fame soared to new heights. He was just 10 years old when he made his debut on the Tim Allen-led sitcom. After he left the series to go to college in 1998, Jonathan rarely made any more television appearances. Find out where the former teen icon is today.
What Happened to Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
Prior to becoming a favorite on Home Improvement, Jonathan, born Jonathan Taylor Weiss in 1981, appeared on The Bradys and In Living Color. Once he made his debut as middle child Randy on the Emmy-nominated program, his life was forever changed. The Pennsylvania native landed countless magazine covers, established himself as a mainstay on primetime television and became a teen sensation with his quick wit and comedic skills.
While working on the series, Jonathan was presented with the opportunity to voice the young version of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King with an all-star cast, including Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The 1994 film was just one of the many credits added to his resume in his early teen years.
At the age of 17, the Ally McBeal alum decided to embark on a new chapter in his life and ended his run as a main cast member on Home Improvement. He attended Harvard University and later St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. Jonathan did not return to reprise his role in the show’s series finale in 1999 due to his academic obligations. He left Harvard in 2002 but returned to the Ivy League sector to earn his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University in 2010. The TV star has been very candid over the years about his views on growing up in Hollywood.
“You can’t be trapped in this bubble called the acting industry,” the 8 Simple Rules actor shared during an interview with 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 the years following his run on Home Improvement, Jonathan appeared in the 1999 film Speedway Junky and later voiced the character Tyler Tucker in The Wild Thornberrys from 2000 to 2001. He made appearances in Smallville and Veronica Mars before disappearing from the spotlight for eight years.
Jonathan made a brief return to acting in 2013 when Tim enlisted him to appear in his ABC sitcom Last Man Standing. He also directed a few episodes of the show. The cameo marked his most recent acting credit to date, per IMDb.
Where Is Jonathan Taylor Thomas Today?
Since his appearance on Last Man Standing, Jonathan has largely stayed out of the spotlight. He was spotted out for the first time in eight years in June 2021. The former teen icon walked his dogs around Los Angeles during the rare public appearance.
Jonathan does not have any social media accounts and tends to keep a low profile. While it is uncertain if Jonathan will ever return to acting, he reflected on rising to fame at a young age in a March 2013 interview with People.
“I never took the fame too seriously,” he said. “It was a great period in my life, but it doesn’t define me. When I think back on the time, I look at it with a wink. I focus on the good moments I had, not that I was on a lot of magazine covers.”