Taran Noah Smith was a child actor playing the role of “Mark Taylor” on “Home Improvement” between 1991 and 1999. Home Improvement fans often couldn’t remember his real name, and instead affectionately referred to him as “the ugly kid on Home Improvement.”
He was only 7 years old when Home Improvement started. He looked a little bit dorky in his first years on the show but appeared to be normal on the surface. Here’s a picture of Taran in his youth:
Puberty, unfortunately, was not kind to Taran, as he started breaking out in acne and quickly grew tall and lanky to the point at which he was several inches taller than Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played his older brother on the show. By the time Home Improvement finally went off the air in 1999, Smith was a really goofy-looking teenager. He also seemed to look more and more gay with each successive season of the show. Here are some pictures of Smith partying with several guys who appear to be flaming gay (I can only speculate as to what kind of hijinx were going on at their party):
In 2001, at age 17, he married Heidi Van Pelt, a 33-year-old woman (they are shown together in the first picture below). He also sued his parents for control of a $1.5 million trust fund created with his Home Improvement earnings that his parents were pilfering. It’s unclear as to whether Smith married Van Pelt to get away from his parents, cover up the fact that he’s gay, or whether he indeed feel in love with her. One thing that is certain, however, is that Smith is a grease-ball who hasn’t washed his face or hair since about 1989, as one can clearly in the second picture below which was taken in September 2005. Smith is dressed as though he’s going to a costume party – someone should tell him that he should wait until Halloween before dressing up as a freak and going out in public. All of this makes him one washed-up celebrity!
Update - July 17, 2007
Taran Noah Smith has become far more washed up than anyone could have ever predicted. It certainly seems as though Van Pelt was only after Smith's money, as his parents had initially warned him about. He and Van Pelt divorced on February 2, 2007 and he recently lost his house to foreclosure. It was reported that he and/or Van Pelt completely trashed his 4 bedroom/4 bath house located in the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks. Apparently the entire house reeks of the smell of "shit" and "piss," holes have been punched in the walls, and odd messages are spray painted all of the inside of the house. A real estate tear-sheet for teh house reads "Absolutely the worst house in a prime location," and the house is now on the market for a mere $1.149 million.
Smith's lawyer blamed the damage on his ex-wife, saying "You can thank his golddigging ex-wife for the debacle he's in."
Update - August 10, 2007
Smith was recently interviewed by the National Enquirer about his recent divorce. Smith said, "I guess I'm living proof that love is blind. I've lost my house, and now I'm fighting to stop my wife from taking my livelihood away from me. I'm done with older women."
Smith also mentioned that the reason he recently left his wife was because she announced she preferred girls to guys. He said the couple agreed to have an open marriage, yet when Taran found a steady girlfriend, his angry wife smashed every dish they owned.
Smith also said that "friends" were the ones who trashed his home in Sherman Oaks. Meanwhile, Taran has apologized to his parents. "I had to go back to them and say: 'I'm sorry. You were right about Heidi.'"
Update - February 1, 2012
Taran Noah Smith was arrested at around 1:00 A.M. on February 1, 2012 in Los Angeles County for a DUI and alleged possesion of marijuana. Smith was reportedly parked at an odd angle next to a fire hydrant in his 1998 Honda when a police officer decided to investigate and was overcome by the smell of marijuana emanating from Smith's car. It is unclear whether Smith was alone in his car at the time or whether any of his creepy party buddies shown in the pictures above were with him at the time.