May 24, 2016

Will Estes: Teen Idol

Born in 1978, Will Nipper became one of the biggest child stars of the 1990s (no, Nipper wasn't a stage name), with a starring role on The New Lassie, a retread of the 1950s dog-and-boy classic (1989-92), plus guest shots on Highway to Heaven, Murphy's Law, Baywatch, Step by Step, Full House, and Boy Meets World.

Also a few movies, such as Dutch (1991) and How to Make an American Quilt (1995). And several appearances as "himself," on The Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards, Soaptalk, Jeopardy, and ;Circus of the Stars (he was a trapeze artist).    








 As a teenager, he changed his name to Will Estes, buffed up adequately for teen idol status, and starred in several more tv series, including Kirk (1995-96), as the son of future homophobia spokesman Kirk Cameron; ;Meego (1997), as a boy who gets alien Bronson Pinchot as a nanny; and American Dreams (2002-05), as the son of a family in the turbulent 1960s.

Guest roles, some leading to lengthy story arcs, continued, on The Secret World of Alex Mac (1997-98) and Seventh Heaven (1999-2000).









No gay roles, but some buddy-bonding, especially in Blue Ridge Falls (1999), with two country boys (Will and fellow 1990s teen star Jay R. Ferguson) helping a friend who has killed his abusive father.   He is reputedly gay but closeted, which may explain the absence of gay roles or any public statements in support of gay rights.   At least he hasn't said anything opposing gay rights.