Who doesn’t love the 90’s? It was a decade FULL of pop culture, music, and movies. It was also a time of gorgeous, talented female celebrities, known for their passion and sass. While some enjoyed lifelong careers, not all stayed in the spotlight in the new millennium. Choosing either to retire or try their hands at other ventures, they removed themselves from the public sphere. Let’s look at some of the 90’s stars who have faded from memory (but not our hearts).
Everyone remembers Baywatch, where Yasmine thrilled in her role as Caroline Holden. Her popularity brought soaring ratings to the show, and she garnered much attention on and off screen. Yasmine is also known for her time as LeeAnn Demerest from One Life to Live (which has been on air for over 43 years!). Yasmine was also named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 1995. Now, age 48, Yasmine has mainly left acting behind her.
Starring as Sidney Prescott in the popular horror franchise Scream, Neve Campbell helped make the series a success. Released in 1996, Scream brought in over $173 million worldwide. Catapulted by the film’s success, Neve went on to play in The Craft in 1996 and Wild Things in 1998. She also played in the hit Netflix series House of Cards. Neve and her partner JJ Field recently had a son, Caspian, in 2012.
Like father like daughter, Liv Tyler might have gotten her taste for fame from her dad, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler. Before breaking into acting, Liv worked as a model, appearing in numerous Aerosmith music videos released in the early 2000’s. Going on to star in various major motion picture roles, Liv currently portrays Meg Abbott in the HBO series The Leftovers.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
From a young age, Jennifer Love Hewitt was drawn to acting, appearing in television ads when she was as young as ten years old! After two years as Robin in Kids Incorporated, Jennifer Love Hewitt joined Party of Five. The second half of the decade was devoted to singing, with Hewitt releasing albums in 1995 and 1996. She currently stars in the popular series Criminal Minds.
Aerosmith music videos also offered an early platform for Alicia Silverstone’s acting. She went on to win the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance for her role in The Crush, though she is probably best known for her role in the cult classic Clueless. More recently, Alicia has devoted her time to advocating for animal rights and environmental protection. However, fans will have the chance to see her in her latest role in The Book Club, in theatres this May.
Another Baywatch alum, Erika Eleniak worked as a model in addition to acting. She also played in the classic, 1982 sci-fi favorite E.T. She went on to star in The Beverly Hillbillies, Under Siege, and The Blob. Off screen, she posed for Playboy in 1989. Erika currently lives in Alberta, Canada, with her daughter, Indyanna, born in 2006.
Everyone’s favorite warrior princess, Lucy Lawless rose to fame for her role as Xena in the eponymous TV series. Through her work, she was able to inspire women worldwide. She went on to appear in such shows as Spartacus, Evil Dead, and Parks and Recreation. When not acting, Lucy engages in numerous philanthropic initiates, like Green Peace.
After her ex-husband, Tiger Woods, was implicated in an affair, Swedish model Elin Nordegren garnered worldwide attention. She quickly became a media favorite, though unfortunately not due to her career. After the news blew over, Nordegren was able to enjoy a peaceful life out of the media’s eye.
Hilary Swank made her acting debut in the cult hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer, released in 1999. She went on to star in numerous films, but it was her portrayal of trans murder victim Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry that garnered her the most critical acclaim. She most recently stared in the 2017 film, Logan Lucky.
Best known for her role on the sitcom Married with Children, Christina Applegate stayed with the series for eleven years. She has also starred in over thirty films and numerous TV series. Like other actresses on this list, Applegate counts herself an activist, campaigning for animal rights with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She lives with her husband, Martyn Lenoble, and their daughter, Sadie Grace.
Not everyone got as early of a start as actress Christina Ricci, who began her career with her role in the 1991 film, The Addams Family. She went to play in Casper in 1995. Due to her young age and popularity, Christina became known as a “teen icon.” However, as she grew up, she leveraged this popularity into dramatic, adult roles. When not acting, she works as the national spokesperson for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). She is also married to James Heerdege, with whom she has a two year old son.
With over 85 million records sold, Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain is one of the most popular artists of our time. Several of her best known hits include “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Don’t be Stupid.” Regarded as “The Queen of Country Pop,” Shania is one of the bestselling country music singers in history. In 2017, she released her fifth studio album, titled “Now,” which soared to number one on the Billboard Top 200. The Queen’s reign isn’t over yet!
Best known for her role as Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis in the hit series Full House, actress Lori Loughlin went on to appear in Spin City and Suddenly Susan. In 1989, she married Michael R. Burns, an investment banker, but the two split shortly after. Lori Loughlin went on to marry Mossimo Giannuli, a fashion designer, in 1997. The couple went on to have two daughters, in addition to Giannuli’s son, Gianna, from a previous marriage.
Who could forget Kelly Taylor from Beverly Hills 90210? Played by Jennie Garth, the role helped launch her career. Garth went on to play in the popular series, What I Like About You, starring as Valerie Tyler. She went on to star in the film, Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country, in 2012. Recently, Garth launched a business, MomGiftBox.com, to help pamper moms worldwide, with the proceeds benefiting various charities.
Not content with acting alone, Nancy Kerrigan also competed in the 1994 Olympics in figure skating. In 1991 she won bronze in the World Championships, and again one year later in the Winter Olympics. That same year she took home silver in the World Championships, and again in 1994. World-renowned, she toured with such performances as Champions on Ice and Broadway on ice. In 2017, she took part on Dancing with the Stars.
Beginning her career as the eponymous lead role in the popular series Felicity, Keri Russell stayed with the show till 2002, even winning a Golden Globe. She went on to star in numerous major motion pictures, including Waitress, August Rush, Extraordinary Measures, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Mission Impossible III. Most recently, Russell played in the hit series The Americans, portraying an undercover KGB spy in 1980’s America.
Candace Cameron Bure
Another member of the Full House cast, Candace Cameron Bure is perhaps best known for her role as D.K. Tanner. She went on to star in the Hallmark Channel film adaptation of the Aurora Teagarden book series, playing the titular role. In 2014, she placed third on Dancing with the Stars. She also has worked as a producer, author, and talk show guest.
Best known for her role as Ryce Newton in the comedic Beethoven movies, Nicholle Tom stayed with the franchise from 1992 to 1995. She went on to play Maggie Sheffield in the iconic series The Nanny. Her talents extend to voice acting; Nicholle lent her voice to the DC Animated Universe’s Supergirl. Born to a talented family, Nicholle’s siblings, David and Heather, are also active in the industry. Both starred in the series The Young and the Restless, playing Billy Abbott and Victoria Newman, respectively.
Courtney Cox is perhaps best known for her role in the wildly popular TV series Friends. After the show ended in 2004, Cox went on to star in the Scream TV spinoff, playing Gale Weathers. She also enjoyed a recurring role as Jules Cobb in Cougar Town, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. In addition to acting, Cox has worked as a director and producer, forming her own production company, Coquette Productions, with now ex-husband David Arquette.
Best known for her role in Baywatch, Pamela Anderson also starred in such series as V.I.P. and Home Improvement. Her success helped her to win Playmate of the Month for Playboy Magazine in 1990. Nowadays, Anderson advocates for animal rights in association with PETA, fighting against fur and promoting veganism. In 1996, she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Known for her role as Donna Martin in the hit series Beverly Hills 90210, Tori Spelling went on to star in such movies as A Carol Christmas and A Friend to Die For. Her bestselling autobiography, “Stori Telling,” was tagged by the New York Times as “Best Autobiography” in 2009. In 2016, she voiced the character April in Izzie’s Way Home.
Gwen Stefani first rose to fame as a member of the band No Doubt, known for their pop-punk sound. The band enjoyed great success with singles such as “It’s My Life,” “Just a Girl,” and “Don’t Speak.” Stefani went on to pursue a solo career, releasing her first album to much acclaim. In 2002, she married Gavin Rossdale, with whom she had three sons, before divorcing in 2016.
Not one to be overshadowed by her famous brother, Janet Jackson made a name for herself all her own. Janet is one of the most popular musicians of the past decade, thanks to numerous hits. At the 2004 Super Bowl, a wardrobe malfunction led to embarrassing headlines, but even these couldn’t dim her shine. Happily married, Janet is currently in preparation for a forthcoming world tour.
Another star that started young, Christina Aguilera began her career on shows such as Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club. In 1998, her addition to the hit Disney Movie Mulan’s soundtrack, “Reflection,” cemented her popularity. That same year, she signed with RCA Records, with whom she released a self-titled album, with the single, “Genie in a Bottle,” becoming an instant classic. Christina continues to campaign for child and environmental rights.
Another celebrity that started young, Britney Spears signed to Jive Records in 1997. Her debut album burst onto the scene, clearing the way for a long, star-studded career. The 1999 release of “Baby One More Time” led to insane, international success, which was followed by the release of Spears’ second album, “Oops I Did it Again.” Spears is unarguably one of the most successful teen artists of all time. After a break in 2007 to deal with personal issues, Britney returned to performing, taking time out from touring to raise her two sons.
Known as Posh Spice, due to her fashionable looks, Victoria Beckham enjoyed immense success as part of the British pop band The Spice Girls. After the group split, Beckham went on to release her own music. Her single, “Out of Your Mind,” peaked at number two on the UK charts. In addition to running her own fashion label, Beckham is raising four children with her husband, renowned soccer player David Beckham.
Unlike most of the women on our list, Slam Hayek began her career in Mexico, staring in such films as El Callejón de los Milagros (translated as Miracle Alley). After moving to Hollywood in the early 90’s, Hayek enjoyed roles in the films Dogma and From Dusk till Dawn. In 2017, she starred in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. She has also worked to fight discrimination against immigrants and violence against women.
At 16, Demi Moore quit school to pursue acting full time. She went on to star in numerous critically acclaimed films, such as A Few Good Men and Indecent Proposal. For her role in the 1996 film Striptease, Moore was paid $12.5 million, making her the highest-paid actress in Hollywood history. In 2017, Moore began acting in the TV series Empire.
Though she began her career as a model, Cindy Crawford’s beauty and energy quickly brought her success as an actress as well. She is perhaps best remembered for her iconic role in the 1991 Pepsi commercials. She’s also appeared on the cover of hundreds of magazines. In addition to supporting numerous charities, Crawford manages a home furnishing business.
Born in Israel, Natalie Portman moved to America as a child, though she still enjoys dual citizenship. After making her debut in the 1994 film, Leon: The Professional, Portman garnered international attention as Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. She won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Nina Sayers in Black Swan. Most recently, she stared as Jacqueline Kennedy in the film Jackie, which explores the former first lady’s hardships after the death of her husband.
Cate Blanchett is perhaps one of the most acclaimed actresses on this list. Originally from Australia, Blanchett won a BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for her titular role in the 1998 film Elizabeth. In 2004, she portrayed Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator, and in 2018, she will star along Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, and Rihanna in the all-female remake of Ocean’s 8.
Known for portraying emotionally disturbed women, Julianna Moore began her career in the early 90’s, earning herself numerous awards for such challenging roles, including an Academy Award. Some of her most popular roles include Nine Months and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Her film about the Japanese embassy hostage situation, Bel Canto, is forthcoming.
Australia’s Toni Collette began her career in comedic roles, such as the 1992 Spotswood and the 1994 Muriel’s Wedding. In 1999, she played Lynn Sear in The Sixth Sense, and in 2006 she portrayed Sherly Hoover in the dark comedy Little Miss Sunshine. In addition to acting, Collette sings in the band Toni Collette & The Finish, and in 2017 she formed her production company, Vocab Films. That same year, she bought the rights to the novel and screenplay, “The Best of Adam Sharp,” by Graeme Simsion.
Perhaps more than any actress on this list, Heather Locklear seems to stick in the public mind. Starring in various roles, such as on Melrose Place, Locklear was at times better known for her reputation than for her acting. In addition to battling depression and anxiety, Locklear was also arrested on charges of domestic abuse, filed by her lover Chris Heisser (who was himself arrested for DUI shortly after Locklear’s arrest).
Hollywood is no stranger to sex scandals, but few if any involve heads of state. The most famous exception to this rule is, of course, Monica Lewinsky, who became involved with former president Bill Clinton. Instead of hiding after the scandal broke, Lewinsky accepted interviews from Tom Green, Vanity Fair, and Barbara Walters. She then went on to fight for victims of sexual harassment.
Melissa Jone Hart
Beginning her career on shows such as Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Melissa Jone Hart continued to act after the 90’s. She starred in the TV show Melissa and Joey, which ran from 2010 to 2015. In addition to acting, she has directed and worked as a spokesperson for Nutrisystem. She is also the mother of three.
Beginning his career on the kid’s sketch show All That, Kenan Thompson captured the hearts of audiences old and young alike. With fellow cast member Kel, Kenan went on to star on his own show, Kenan and Kel. He has been a regular performer on SNL since 2003.
Like his fellow star Kenan, Kel rose to popularity after his roles on All That and Kenan and Kel. And who could forget the epic movie classic, Good Burger? More recently, he’s reprised his beloved character Ed while working for Nickelodeon Sports in 2017, where he interviewed famous athletes.
Another All That alum, Amanda Bynes went on to star in her own sketch show, despite only being thirteen! She also starred in various films, such as What A Girl Wants, She’s the Man, and Hairspray. She has also worked in the fashion industry.
With her breakout role on Buffy, Alyson Hannigan went on to star in the American Pie movies before accepting a role on the popular TV series How I Met Your Mother. Now the host of Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Alyson married Buffy co-star Alexis Denisof, with whom she had two daughters.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Known for her portrayal of the titular role on the cult classic Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar went on to star in various films, such as Cruel Intentions. Taking a break from acting, Gellar launched her own food crafting company, named Foodstirs, in 2016. Married to Freddie Prinze Jr, she is working on a cookbook.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
After meeting on the set of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Freddie Prinze Jr. married Sara Michelle Gellar. After various film roles in the early 2000’s, Prinze decided to pursue a career in food, working as a chef and publishing more than a few recipes.
Another popular 90’s diva, Brandy won her first Grammy’s in 1996. In addition to music, she acted in both Thea and Moesha. After a string of appearances on reality shows about her life, Brandy accepted a recurring role on Star.
After launching his career in the 90’s, Mark-Paul Gosselaar starred in NYPD Blue, Commander in Chief, and Raising the Bar. He also appeared on the show Pitch before its cancellation.
After her breakout success on Beverly Hills 90210, Tiffani Thiessen starred in the Netflix original movie, Alexa and Katie.
Mario Lopez continued acting after the 90’s, playing roles on NCIS: New Orleans as well as hosting CBS’s game show Candy Crush.
After starring in the box office hit, Showgirls, Elizabeth Berkley competed on Dancing with the Stars. She also wrote a book, titled Ask-Elizabeth, a self-help book for teenage girls.
After success in the 90’s, Dustin Diamond released a controversial movie and book, which former cast mates were not too happy about. He also played himself in a recent episode of Adult Swim.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Who doesn’t love Jonathan Taylor Thomas? After starring roles on ABC’s 8 Simple Rules and UPN’s Veronica Mars, Thomas took a step back from acting, last appearing as a guest star on ABC’s The Last Man Standing.
Joey Lawrence began his career with a lead role on Gimme a Break! He went on to play in several Disney Channel Original Movies, such as Horse Sense and Jumping Ship. He also starred in Melissa and Joey alongside Melissa Joan Hart. He was also on Dancing with the Stars!
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Few got their start earlier than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. After starring in Full House, the sisters played in a popular movie series, the final film of which was New York Minute, released in 2004. Now the twins are taking a break from acting to pursue a career in fashion.
Andrea Barber got her start on Full House, a role she reprised for the Netflix spin-off, Fuller House.
After a break from acting to deal with personal issues, Jodie Sweetin returned to the spotlight in 2008. She published a book, took part in Dancing with the Stars and now stars in Fuller House.
Best known as Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Jaleel White has continued to act after the show’s end. In addition to Atlanta, Psych, and Dream Girls, he stars in the CBS comedy Me, Myself, and I.
Do you remember Boy Meets World? Ben Savage, who played Cory Matthews, took us from 6th all through college. He now reprises his role in the spin-off, Girl Meets World, starring alongside Danielle Fishel, who played Topanga in the original.