“Home Improvement” star Jonathan Taylor Thomas was beloved by many for his childhood role on the show. However, Thomas chose not to remain in Hollywood when “Home Improvement” ended.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas at the 1996 Nickelodeon Big Help event | Source: Getty Images

Jonathan Taylor Thomas at the 1996 Nickelodeon Big Help event | Source: Getty Images

Now 42, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was seen out for the first time in two years, casually dressed, sporting a scruffy beard and a relaxed demeanor at a convenience store, a stark contrast to the young teen idol who once graced television screens across America. The photos gained strong reactions from fans.

Wearing a tan sweater, jeans, and a black beanie, Thomas was photographed on a casual stroll with a metal mug in hand. When fans saw the images, they were shocked. One commented:

“Oh wow… he really let himself go!!”

Fans who hardly recognized the former child star expressed their disbelief. One said, “This can’t be true. Wow. Looks like the last decade has been rough on him. Wishing him all the best. Loved his work as a child.”

Another fan noted that Thomas looked like a regular person and deduced that because he had not been in the spotlight, he had not had to keep up with the Hollywood beauty standards like many others. Others who defended him also said that features change as a person grows, and that’s what happened to Thomas.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas seen out in Los Angeles on August 14, 2013 | Source: Getty Images

Jonathan Taylor Thomas seen out in Los Angeles on August 14, 2013 | Source: Getty Images

This marked the first time in two years that Thomas has been seen out in public. Thomas is notoriously private, and the last time he was seen before this appearance was two years ago while he was walking his dogs. Before that, it had been eight years since anyone had seen the former actor.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas at the 1997 Cable ACE Awards | Source: Getty Images

Jonathan Taylor Thomas at the 1997 Cable ACE Awards | Source: Getty Images

Although he was much-beloved on “Home Improvement,” Thomas confirmed that walking away from fame was the right thing to do. He may have walked away from stardom at the height of his career, but he has no regrets.

“I’d been going nonstop since I was [eight] years old. I wanted to go to school, to travel, and have a bit of a break,” admitted Thomas. His academic journey took him to prestigious institutions like Harvard, Columbia, and St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, where he cherished his time as a student. He has not looked back since making that decision.

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