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You'll Barely Recognize T.J. From Smart Guy Now

For some of us who grew up in the '90s, childhood was all about the kid-friendly sitcoms produced by the likes of The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and The WB (one half of the network that is now The CW). Often those shows starred actual kids, and some of them have remained active in the entertainment industry ever since. If you've ever wondered what those ex-child stars looked like, and don't mind feeling a little old, keep reading.

Smart Guy was a sitcom that aired on The WB for three seasons from 1997 to 1999. It was centered on T.J. Henderson, a ten year old whose high IQ allowed him to skip several grades and enroll in high school, where he struggles to fit in with the older kids. In other words, it's Doogie Howser before he went to medical school.

Ten-year-old Tahj Mowry, one of the '90s stars you probably forgot about, played the title role. It wasn't his first acting gig. Fans of those '90s sitcoms no doubt recognize him from his role on Sister, Sister, the ABC sitcom starring his real-life older sisters, twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. Or they might recognize him from his role as Teddy, Michelle Tanner's friend on Full House.

The younger Mowry has kept working steadily since his Smart Guy days. Here's what he looks like now.

What Tahj Mowry has been up to since Smart Guy

Smart Guy was Mowry's first time leading a sitcom, but after the show ended in 1999 he kept on working through his teenage years, appearing on Disney Channel shows like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and recording voice roles in the Lilo & Stitch and Kim Possible series. He also made occasional appearances on adult-oriented shows like Desperate Housewives in 2007.

Mowry took a break from acting and attended Savannah State University on a full football scholarship before returning to the biz in 2012. He discussed making the transition from child acting to adult acting in a 2012 interview with Ebony, in which he credited his parents for helping him remain well-adjusted by always making sure he was enrolled in public school with other kids his age, instead of being home-schooled like many child actors. 

Upon his return to showbiz, Mowry landed the role of Tucker Dobbs on the Freeform (then ABC Family) series Baby Daddy, which ran for six seasons and ended in 2017. His next appearance will be as the lead role in the upcoming comedy Welcome Matt. Making the leap from child star to adult actor is no easy feat, but Mowry managed it and seems poised to stick around for some time.