A talented child and teen star whose precocious intelligence and charm only deepened with age, Ben Savage followed in the acting footsteps of his older brother, Fred Savage of "The Wonder Years" fame, with roles in projects like the sitcom "Dear John" (NBC, 1988-1992), "Wild Palms" (ABC, 1993) and "Big Girls Don't Cry. They Get Even" (1992). He achieved stardom, however, for anchoring his own long-running sitcom, "Boy Meets World" (ABC, 1993-2000), which followed the growth of his character, Cory Matthews, and his friends from childhood through college, including his marriage to soulmate Topanga (Danielle Fishel). Inspiring a passionate fanbase of viewers who grew up along with Savage and his co-stars, the series remained a cornerstone of pop culture for a certain generation. After "Boy" ended, Savage graduated from Stanford and continued to book TV guest spots, but maintained a low profile until news leaked in 2012 that he and Fishel had signed on for a sequel series, "Girl Meets World," which would follow the adventures of Cory and Topanga's 13-year-old daughter Riley. Grounded and good-natured at every step along his professional way, Ben Savage proved a rare example of a youthful scene-stealer who became a gifted adult actor.
Born Sept. 13, 1980 in Chicago, IL, Bennett Joseph Savage made his film debut in the fantasy comedy "Little Monsters" (1989) and soon after booked a guest spot on "The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988-1993), two projects which starred his older brother, Fred Savage. Apart from his family ties, however, he earned his own television role with a recurring turn as Judd Hirsch's son on the life-after-divorce comedy "Dear John" (NBC, 1988-1992), and went on to land a series regular role on the sitcom "A Family for Joe" (NBC, 1990). Although he landed supporting turns in the film "Big Girls Don't Cry. They Get Even" (1992) and "Clifford" (1994), he would enjoy more success on the small screen, including a memorably frightening performance as a murderous child star in the sci-fi miniseries "Wild Palms" (ABC, 1993). Savage's star-making role, however, came when he was cast as the too-clever-for-his-own-good Cory Matthews on the likable coming-of-age sitcom "Boy Meets World" (ABC, 1993-2000).
Displaying a mischievous intelligence and infectious energy as the scheming Cory, Savage easily carried the weight of the series on his shoulders, helped along by a talented supporting cast that included best friend Shawn (Rider Strong), foil-turned-love interest Topanga (Danielle Fishel), goofy older brother Eric (Will Friedle) and stern but loving teacher Mr. Feeny (William Daniels). Following the characters from childhood to young adulthood as well as through life lessons both comic and dramatic, the show paralleled the growth of its core group of fans, and it became a beloved classic to a certain generation. Savage's character in particular showcased this growth, becoming a much more mature and steadying force than in his younger days, and as the series ended, Cory and Topanga were married and on the cusp of facing the adult world, post-college. For his work on the beloved series, Savage won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award along with Rider Strong for "Favorite Television Friends" and earned nominations for three Young Artist Awards.
Although he certainly had ample opportunity to flex his teen star muscle, Savage proved to be built of more substantial stuff, and remained low-key about his personal life and claim to fame. After the series ended, he went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in political science but maintained a steady acting presence with TV appearances on "Still Standing" (CBS, 2002-06), "Chuck" (NBC, 2007-2012), "Without a Trace" (CBS, 2002-09) and "Bones" (Fox, 2005- ). Fans were delighted, however, when it was announced that a sequel series to "Boy," entitled "Girl Meets World," was going into production, and that Savage and Fishel had signed on to reprise Cory and Topanga, whose 13-year-old daughter, Riley, would step into her father's shoes as the show's central character.
By Jonathan Riggs
Cast (Feature Film)
Began acting in TV commercials
Feature film debut, "Little Monsters" opposite older brother Fred
Landed recurring role as Judd Hirsch's son on NBC sitcom "Dear John"
Cast as series regular on NBC sitcom "A Family for Joe," starring Robert Mitchum
Co-starred in ABC miniseries "Wild Palms"
Starred in breakthrough TV role as Cory Matthews on ABC sitcom "Boy Meets World"
Made stage acting debut in an L.A. production of "Unexpected Tenderness"
Had featured role in drama "Swimming Upstream"
Played supporting role in indie feature "Palo Alto, CA"
Guest starred on an episode of NBC's "Chuck"
Announced to reprise role on a "Boy Meets World" spin-off titled "Girl Meets World"