Just as I was gearing up to write another hard-hitting "Where Are They Now?" piece about former child star Zachary Ty Bryan (best known as the oldest brother Brad on Home Improvement), TMZ (of all people!) actually went and scooped me! However, their focus on his legal troubles makes it seem like Mr. Ty Bryan (oh, excuse me, he dropped the Ty sometime around 2002) has been MIA since 1999, when the show that made him a household name went off the air. Though that did mark his last starring role, Bryan has been involved in much more than just altercations at what sounds like a pay-by-the-hour motel type hotel down in San Diego.
After being cast as the tween heartthrob and then perhaps surprisingly pushed to the backburner in favor of his younger, shorter, spunkier on-screen brother J.T.T. (that's Jonathan Taylor Thomas to those not in the know), Bryan's time on Home Improvement was spent mostly dealing with girls and dating and the occasional soccer game. He seemed fit to be the next Andrew Shue... or at least the reverse Andrew Shue, even taking the title of Youth Spokesman for the World Cup in the mid-nineties, at the height of his success. However, the sport seems to be still just a hobby for Bryan, who has taken two and three episode arcs on little known programs like Opposite Sex, Family Law, and Center of the Universe before moving onto two and three episode arcs on better known programs (Boston Public, Veronica Mars, Shark). His characters rarely evolved past the jock or the frat boy, though, with Bryan succumbing to the limitations of his surfer look and past performance rather than his passion.
I guess Bryan doesn't think he's doing well enough for himself, though, because without any projects on the horizon, he has opted to sue said hotel for $25,000. Maybe he hopes to have a "comeback" with a trial covered by the paparazzi-- and unfortunately that's the exact kind of story that would once again land him on the covers of magazines. Or maybe he just has an old hot rod he wants to fix up... you know, for the nostalgia.