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The oldest actors to play teenagers

They play teenagers onscreen but you'd be amazed how old some of the actors playing your favourite characters really were.

They play teenagers onscreen but you’d be amazed how old some of the actors playing your favourite characters really were.

Many mouths are left agape when told that the rough girl Rizzo in Grease was played by a 34-year-old Stockard Channing. That’s right, 34! Or that the ever charming teenage bad boy Fonzie was brought to life by Henry Winkler, who was actually 17 years older than his on screen character.

While some age gaps might be obvious, some actors’ ability to remain ageless is astounding. Here are some stars who have had us fooled.

Dawson, Fonzie and Rizzo were all teenagers played by older actors.

Stockard Channing pulled off an 16-year age difference. The actress was 34 when she played 18-year-old Rizzo in the 1978 musical Grease.

At 29, Gabrielle Carteris, who played 16-year-old schoolgirl Andrea Zuckerman, was 13 years older than her Beverly Hills 90210 character.

When Buffy first hit our screens in 1997, Buffy’s supernatural lover boy Angel was a centuries old vampire trapped in a 26-year-old’s body. David Boreanaz was the actor who brought the blood sucker to life and was 35, nine years older than his character.

James Van Der Beek says he came close to not being cast on Dawson’s Creek because he looked too old. The actor played 15-year-old Dawson Leery when he was actually 20.

Stacey Dash was 28 when she played ditzy 17-year-old Dion Davenport in the 1995 film, Clueless. The ageless actress also reprised the role in the TV series that followed.

TV’s ultimate bad boy 17-year-old Dylan McKay of Beverly Hills 90210 was actually played by 25-year-old Luke Perry.

Henry Winkler was 17 years older than his Happy Days character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli.

Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones. While Daenerys’ approximate age on GOT is 16 Emilia’s actually a decade older at 26.

It may come as no surprise that Gina Riley was not exactly the same age as her 25-year-old character Kim Day Craig in Kath and Kim. While Kim was 25, Gina was actually 10 years older when she began playing the part.

Michael J. Fox was 24 when he played 17-year-old Scott Howard Marty McFly in Back to the Future in 1985.

Harry Shum Jr. plays Mike Chang on Glee. Mike’s approximate age on Glee is around 19 while Harry is 31.

In The O.C.’s first season actor Benjamin McKenzie was 25, a decade older than his on-screen counterpart, Ryan Atwood.

Mark Salling who plays hunky teen Puck on Glee is actually 31 while his onscreen character is around 19.

Wood Harris was 31 years old when filming Remember The Titans (2000). Julius Campbell’s age was 18 so that was a 13-year age difference!

At age 26, actor Scott Wolf was a whole decade older than his 16-year-old teenage character Bailey in the 90s hit Party of Five.

Ian Ziering was 26 years old when he posed as bratty teenager Steve Sanders in Beverly Hills 90210.

Tammin Sursok plays 19-year-old Jenna Marshall on Pretty Little Liars but baby faced Tammin is a whole 11 years older at 30.

Calista Flockhart was 31 years old filming The Birdcage (1996) when her goody-two-shoes character, Barbara Keeley’s age was around 18.

Ralph Macchio is probably best-known for playing teenager Daniel LaRusso in the 1984 hit film “The Karate Kid.” Macchio was 24 at the time. He went on to star in two other films in the franchise.

Tobey Maguire was 26 while filming Spider-Man in 2002 when he played 17-year-old Peter Parker.

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