Happy 54th birthday, Scott Baio! Before the mania for male singers like ’NSYNC, One Direction, and Justin Bieber from the mid-’90s to present, there were the original teen idols—famous more for their onscreen roles than their soundtracks, and known for their Tiger Beat and Dynamite magazine covers rather than selfies with fans. Alongside names like David Cassidy and Andrew McCarthy in the '70s and '80s, Baio rocketed to fame and stole women's hearts as Chachi on Happy Days and Charles on Charles in Charge.
Famous for his Italian good looks and New York accent, the Brooklyn-born actor starred in various shows like Diagnosis Murder in the '90s and had his own reality show on VH1 in the 2000s. More recently, Baio portrayed attorney Bob Loblaw on Arrested Development and just wrapped a two-season run of a family sitcom on Nick at Nite. With '80s and '90s nostalgia and reboots in full effect around us, we had to catch up with Baio, and we asked him: That teen heartthrob status never really goes away, does it?
Yes, women still do come up to Baio to tell him they had posters of him on their walls ("They're all very sweet," he says), and he also gets his fair share of cool stories from fans. "I was at a sushi bar and the chef behind the counter said ‘I learned English because of you,'" says Baio. "He said, ‘I used to watch Charles in Charge all the time, and that’s pretty much how I learned English!’ I was like, whoa! That’s pretty nice!"
nonprofit, and personal goals: "I'm trying very hard to get my golf handicap down, and that's about it on the radar screen for me," Baio tells InStyle. He also told us we can catch some unconventional "cameos" of him on one of his favorite primetime television shows this fall: In ABC's '80s-based The Goldbergs (premiering Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. EST), he's constantly mentioned and is featured in a poster in one of the character's bedrooms. "Stuff like that gets me excited," Baio says.
"Nobody’s come to me about doing that, I don’t know what it would morph into at this point," Baio tells us. "I always think of those things [as] sort of moments in time, and move on to something else." Still, Baio did say that he and Charles in Charge co-star Willie Aames, who portrayed Buddy, remain good friends. (Fellow '80s babies, we're filing this under anything is possible.)
In honor of Baio's birthday, scroll below to see some of his most iconic and heartthrob-status-worthy images:
Baio portraying Chachi Arcola on Happy Days:
Baio as a college student and stay-at-home babysitter on Charles in Charge:
Baio's long locks from the '80s to the mid-90s: