Jun 6, 2013

Zachery Ty Bryan: Home Improvement Also-Ran

Born in Colorado in 1981, Zachery Ty Bryan was hired to play the oldest brother on the TGIF sitcom Home Improvement (1991-1999).  As he grew into adolescence, he became more and more muscular, but his spectacular physique never made a splash in teen magazines -- they were all agog over Jonathan Taylor Thomas.  For most of the series' run,  JTT was the standout star, Zachery a background player.

But he never became bitter over his second-banana status; ZTB and JTT remained on friendly terms.  Instead, he used his free time to star in movies and tv series:

1. First Kid (1996), about a regular guy who lands a date with the President's daughter.

2. "Mr. Muscles," a 1997 episode of Promised Land about steroid abuse.
3. Principal Takes a Holiday (1998), about a teen operator who gets a drifter to stand-in as his school principal.
4. Held for Ransom (2000), which allowed his character to buddy-bond with Jordan Brower.

Afterwards he mostly played athletes whose plots involve winning the championship, not getting the girl.  The Game of their Lives (2005), for instance, is about the U.S. soccer team beating Britain in 1950.

Code Breakers (2005) is about a cheating scandal at West Point Military Academy, with no girls in the cast.

In Hammer of the Gods (2009), he played a man-mountain, the Norse god Thor, who wields a mighty hammer and saves his friends (there's a girl, too, but it's most about his friends).

Today Zach has moved into independent film production.