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Tween Heartthrob Lance Kerwin, James at 15

When all my friends in the 6th grade were crushing on Leif Garrett and Shaun Cassidy I was swooning over Lance Kerwin who played James in James at 15. I’ve always preferred the Kevin Spaceys and Tommy Lee Joneses to the Brad Pitts and Tom Cruises.

James at 15

James at 15

I remember standing at the magazine stand while my mom did her grocery shopping. I’d pick through every copy of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat looking for that rare pinup of Kerwin. Throughout the entirety of my crush, I only found two, both of which I tacked on the blue walls of my blue-rose themed bedroom.


So, I’ve been wondering lately whatever happened to him. I did a little research and it turns out he fell into drug addiction. He started smoking pot before the age of 10 and was doing crack in his 20s. But, today, Kerwin is involved in Christian ministry and has a powerful testimony. He leads the U Turn 4 Christ program in Hawaii, which helps others overcome drug addiction. What a blessing!

Did you have a teen/tween heartthrob?

In 1980, Kerwin starred in Children of Divorce, which highlighted the impact of divorce on Generation X.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Anonymous

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  2. Jennifer K

    Well, I’m going to lose what’s left of my hipster cred, but I had a total jones for Donny Osmond when I was a mere tween. I even wanted to convert to Mormonism until my mother told me Mormons can’t drink….coffee.

  3. Rebecca

    Jen…I always loved that sweet little face of Lance Kerwin. I knew about his wanderings…and his salvation. I wish the media would blast his story on the cover of People Magazine. But, his story probably wouldn’t sell enough copies to pay the bills…people like stories of tragedy, not redemption.

    I hung not a single poster in my bedroom… Secretly I loved Donny Osmond (don’t tell)… When I got older it was James Taylor. Both he AND his music stole my heart away…

    I love the way you write!


  4. jenX

    @LANCE – I think so, too! He didn’t let it conquer him!

  5. jenX

    @PEG – we’ll share him! 😉

  6. jenX

    @MISSQOKC – Hey, the chimp would have been an improvement over at least one guy I dated. hahaha! Thanks for your comment. I loved BJ McKay.

  7. Lance

    That’s great that he has turned his life around, and his story is so positive and uplifting as to what the human spirit can accomplish! After reading his testimony, I’m moved at what he’s done, and how he’s used his past as a springboard for good in the world!

  8. miruspeg

    Jen it is wonderful to read stories how people have turned their lives around.
    I wish the media would blast these stories over the front page!

    Also sorry Jen I am claiming him for the baby boomers as he was born in 1960….LOL.

    Take care

  9. missqokc

    Well, this just shows that you were a much smarter girl than I was. You fell for a normal teenage boy who loved photography and I had a poster on my wall of a truck driver with a pet chimp! (BJ McKay) My choices of men in my 20’s and 30’s weren’t much better than that. In fact, a chimp loving truck driver would have been an improvement over a couple of them. I wish I was kidding.

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