See '90s Teen Idol Will Friedle Now at 43
He played the dim but lovable Eric Matthews on Boy Meets World.
Will Friedle was 17 years old when he first played the role that he'll always be associated with. On family-friendly sitcom Boy Meets World, he was older brother Eric to main character Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), and while Eric wasn't exactly MENSA material, he was cool and popular—not to mention beloved by the show's fans. The series made Friedle a teen idol, and the fact that he dated another major teen star, Jennifer Love Hewitt, didn't hurt his status. Today, the actor is 45, has found a Hollywood niche, and is still always game to engage with Boy Meets World fans and keep the love for the 1990s series alive. Read on to find out more about his life today.
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He's a prolific voice actor.
Friedle went on from Boy Meets World to appear in live-action roles, including in the movie National Lampoon's Gold Diggers, the TV show 3rd Rock From the Sun, and the TV movie Everything You Want. But you're much, much more likely to catch Friedle's voice in something that you're watching.
The former teen star has been working frequently as a voice actor since fairly early in his career, racking up dozens of credits. Among some of his more well-known voice roles are playing Nightwing in the Batman Unlimited movies, Bumblebee in the animated series Transformers: Prime, and Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy spinoff series. Throughout the '00s, he played Ron Stoppable, best friend to the titular heroine, in the popular Disney Channel animated series Kim Possible. And he's provided voices for several video games as well.
He's been married since 2016.
Yes, Friedle did date Party of Five star Jennifer Love Hewitt in the late '90s, but that Teen Beat power couple wasn't meant to last forever. In 2016, he married Susan Martens, sharing in now-deleted tweets (as reported by People) the happy news with his Twitter followers. The actor keeps his personal life private, and, in fact, very little is known publicly about Martens or their relationship. He did, however, toss a Boy Meets World reference into his social media wedding announcement, captioning a selfie of the two of them on the big day, "Ladies and gentleman…Mrs. Squirrels…"
Any Boy Meets World fan worth their salt will remember that in the final season of the show, the episode "Seven the Hard Way" featured an alternate future reality for the characters. In that reality, Eric had given up all of his possessions, married a moose, and re-named himself "Plays With Squirrels."
He reprised his Boy Meets World role in the sequel series.
In 2014, a sequel series to the original called Girl Meets World premiered on the Disney Channel. The show brought Savage and Danielle Fishel back to their childhood roles and revolved around Cory and Topanga's teen daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard). Friedle, who stayed close with his castmates, told Entertainment Weekly that he was initially happy just to support the continuation of the story by watching the show and visiting the set. (He also considered himself retired from onscreen acting at that point.) But, ahead of Girl Meets World's second season, he realized that the picture wouldn't be complete without Eric.
"You hear this all the time and it's a big cliché—but we were like a family," he told the publication. "We all grew up together… I mean, when I met Ben, he was 11. So we've known each other for most of our lives, we went through this extraordinary experience together. And there came a point where it almost wasn't fair if the audience didn't get to see what happened to Eric."
Friedle ended up appearing on four episodes of the series. In his first guest appearance, he returned as "Plays With Squirrels."
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He co-hosts two podcasts with some former co-stars.
Rather than try to distance himself from his roles, Friedle still celebrates them—sometimes in podcast form. For the podcast I Hear Voices, he re-teamed up with actor Christy Carlson Romano—the Kim Possible to his Ron Stoppable—to highlight voice actors through interviews. According to its official synopsis, "I Hear Voices is a celebration of our favorite VOICES in animation series, video games, anime, and more!," and there are new episodes every week.
Meanwhile, just this month, Fishel announced on social media that she, Friedle, and their Boy Meets World co-star Rider Strong, who played Shawn, will be launching a rewatch podcast. According to her Instagram post, the podcast will launch soon (exact date TBD) and feature special guests as they make their way through the seasons of the show. "We can't wait to deep dive into the laughs, the tears, and ALLLLLL the behind the scenes stories with you," Fishel writes. Appropriately, the podcast is titled Pod Meets World.
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