The Actor Who Played Paul Pfieffer in ‘The Wonder Years’ Followed the Same Career Path as His Character

The Wonder Years was a massive hit in the 1990s. The series told Kevin Arnold’s childhood story, as he came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. Narrated by Daniel Stern, the series dealt with the trials and tribulations of growing up. Along for the ride was Kevin’s best friend, Paul Pfieffer, and his love interest, Winnie Cooper. Since the series wrapped, there have been rumors about what happened to the actor who portrayed Paul. As it turns out, his career path closely mimicked the eventual career path of his on-screen character.

Rumors once swirled that the actor who played Paul Pfieffer on ‘The Wonder Years’ grew up to be Marilyn Manson

In the 1990s, a rumor that controversial rocker Marilyn Manson’s childhood included a role on The Wonder Years made the rounds on the internet. The theory suggested Manson portrayed Paul Pfieffer in the coming-of-age series. The truth is a lot more mundane. Kevin Arnold’s best friend, Paul, was played by a child actor named Josh Saviano.

Paul Pfieffer and Kevin Arnold read a magazine together in a bedroom during an episode of 'The Wonder Years'
Paul Pfieffer (Josh Saviano) and Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) in ‘The Wonder Years’ | Bettmann/Getty Images

Saviano was 12 years old when he landed his breakout role. Before The Wonder Years, he had a few small parts in movies and television. According to IMDb, He played Willie in a 1990 episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater and Max Plotkin in the made-for-TV movie, Camp Cucamonga. After The Wonder Years signed off in 1993, Saviano disappeared from Hollywood. He resurfaced in 2014, but not as a rockstar. He took on the role of Counselor Don Taft in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for three episodes.

Josh Saviano’s spent his years away from Hollywood becoming a lawyer  

Saviano disappeared from Hollywood after 1993, giving some legs to lore about what became of him. While stories about rock stardom are pretty interesting, Saviano’s adult career path is a lot more traditional. The finale episode of The Wonder Years aired in 1993. Saviano was 17 and finishing up high school. In 1994 he enrolled in Yale University, where he majored in Political Science.

Josh Saviano poses for a photo after arriving at the 2015 TV Land Awards in Beverly Hills, California
Josh Saviano | David Livingston/Getty Images

Saviano made the most of his college years. According to his LinkedIn profile, he pledged a fraternity and graduated in 1998. In 2001, Saviano enrolled at the Cardozo School of Law in New York. Saviano has worked as a lawyer and adviser since 2004. His company, Spotlight Advisory Group, is an independent advisory firm specifically geared toward people in creative fields.

Paul Pfieffer and the actor who portrayed him had similar adult paths

Saviano left Hollywood to become a lawyer, and Kevin’s nerdy best friend, Paul, had a similar career path. In the final episode of The Wonder Years, Kevin revealed that Paul went off to college and eventually became a Lawyer. Saviano and his character attended rival schools. Kevin noted, in the series finale, that Paul attended Harvard University. Saviano attended Yale in real life.

Josh Saviano, Fred Savage and Danica McKeller reunite at the 92nd Street Y for 'The Wonder Years Reunion'
Josh Saviano, Fred Savage, and Danica McKellar | Esther Horvath/Getty Images

Kevin married and had a son, while his long-time love interest, Winnie Cooper, spent years studying art history in Europe. Kevin and Winnie, much to the chagrin of fans, didn’t end up together in the end. Winnie and Kevin dated off and on during both middle school and high school. A Reboot of the series is set for 2021. Fred Savage, the actor who portrayed Kevin, is serving as the show’s executive producer. Savage most recently appeared in the Netflix Original, Friends from College.

RELATED: ‘The Wonder Years’: Where Did Kevin Arnold and His Family Actually Live?