8 Forgotten Divas From The ’80 And ’90s

Fame can be a heartless, fleeting thing. One moment, you’re on the front page of every tabloid, landing tons of film and TV roles or selling out arena tours — and the next minute, you’re just like everyone else, wandering through the grocery store and hoping that someone recognizes you. Every new It Girl in music and in acting replaces a forgotten It Girl of yesteryear. Here are 8 forgotten divas from the silver screen as well as the radio airwaves, and what they’re up to now:

8. Sybil Danning

Austrian beauty Sybil Danning came to Los Angeles in the late 1970s and began starring in  B movies, cult films, science fiction films, and action films. Some examples are Bluebeard, in which she appeared alongside Raquel Welch and Richard Burton, and Battle Beyond the Stars, which featured her as an alien Amazon woman. She also appeared on many television shows, hosted her own collection of 26 action-adventure films and graced the August 1983 cover of Playboy (inside of which she did a nude pictorial). She took a break for a long time but has recently appeared at some conventions, acted in an independent horror film in 2010 and did a music video in 2011 for the band The Last Vegas.

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7. Taylor Dane

Taylor Dane burst onto the music scene in the late 1980s, impressing everyone with her powerful voice in the tracks “Tell It to My Heart” and “I’ll Be Your Shelter.” After establishing herself as a pop star, she tried to transition into acting with a handful of film roles. She also appeared in the Showtime series Rude Awakening and made it to Broadway in a production of Aida. She released some more music in 1998 and even scored a number one hit on the dance charts with “Planet Love,” but about a year later, she was dropped from her record label. She later release a Greatest Hits album and says she’s still working on various music and TV projects.

Photo by Baxter/AbacaUsa.com

6. Victoria Principal

Victoria Principal was one of TV’s biggest leading ladies in the 1980s, playing Pamela Ewing Barnes on the CBS drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987. She was offered the chance to come back as the same character when cable network TNT rebooted Dallas in 2012, but she turned down the offer. Victoria might not have done a lot of acting after Dallas, but she became a very successful entrepreneur, launching a line of skin care products called Principal Secret Skincare. Victoria also became the best-selling author of four healthy and beauty books: The Body Principal (1983), The Beauty Principal (1984), The Diet Principal (1987) and Living Principal (2001).

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5. Yasmine Bleeth

In January 2015, Yasmine Bleeth made her first public appearance in more than a decade, attending the 55th annual Penguin Plunge on New Year’s Day in Venice Beach, California, with her husband, Paul Cerrito. Now, she stays out of the spotlight, but she was once one of Hollywood’s most famous beauties, best known for her roles on Baywatch and One Life to Live. She was named one of magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1995 and was crowned one of FHM‘s 100 Sexiest Women in the World every year from 1996 to 2001, and FHM‘s U.S. 100 Sexiest Women every year from 2000 to 2003.

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4. Cassandra Peterson

Cassandra Peterson has had an interesting career: she’s best known for playing the character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, a horror hostess who dressed in a very sexy, Gothic way, but spoke in a Valley Girl accent.  “I figured out that Elvira is me when I was a teenager,” Cassandra once explained. “She’s a spastic girl. I just say what I feel and people seem to enjoy it.” Soon, Cassandra’s Elvira went mainstream and throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she sold Halloween costumes, comic books, action figures, trading cards, pinball machines, Halloween decor, model kits, calendars, fragrances and collectible dolls. Elvira computer games also became popular.

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3. Mya

Back in the 1990s, Mya was one of pop music’s biggest stars, releasing hit songs such as “It’s All About Me,” “Moving On,” “My Love is like…Wo” and “Lady Marmalade.” She has won both MTV Video Music Awards and Grammy Awards. Mya also tried her hand at acting appearing in the 1999 film In Too Deep alongside Omar Epps and L.L. Cool J and the 2002 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. Unfortunately, she all but disappeared after that, except for a stint on the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars in 2009 (which, to be fair, she rocked — she was the Runner-Up in the show’s Finals). Mya’s still making music, though; on Valentine’s Day of this year, she released an E.P. called Love Elevation Suite. 

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2. Brigitte Nielsen

Danish-born Brigitte Nielsen was a famous bombshell in the 1980s, posing nude for Playboy multiple times. She made her silver screen debut in the film Red Sonja, opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, and stayed in the headlines with her marriage to Sylvester Stallone in 1985. They divorced soon after, in 1987, but not before making the movies Rocky IV and Cobra together. Brigitte is also known for her role in Beverly Hills Cop II and various music videos. She hasn’t disappeared from the spotlight, though; since her 1908s fame, she has appeared on reality TV and currently hosts her own talk show Gitte Talks on the Danish television network Kanal 4.

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1. Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle first skyrocketed to success and stardom as the lead singer of the hugely successful all-female pop group the Go-Gos, which sold more than seven million albums in just three years. It was a lot to handle: She told The Big Issue, “I’ve been famous since I was 17-years-old and when you’re that young you’re a kid. You don’t have a school that teaches you how to handle success and fame. It really does your head in if you don’t have the maturity.” Afterwards, she went on to have a very successful solo pop career, releasing hit songs such as  “Mad About You”, “I Get Weak”, “Circle in the Sand”, “Leave a Light On” and “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Like many pop stars, she also made a foray into acting, appearing in the film Swing Shift alongside Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. In 2010, Belinda published an autobiography called Lips Unsealed that became a New York Times bestseller.

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

Amanda Young