Popular Forgotten Actors And Actresses From the ’90s: Where Are They Now?

The ‘90s came and went very quickly and it is hard to believe nearly two decades have past since the ’90s came to an end! Every new generation in Hollywood has their own breakout stars which means it is easy to forget a lot of the celebrities from decades past. Many actors and actresses have become icons in the entertainment industry while others have slipped under or completely off the radar. Take a look back at some of the most popular — but now forgotten — actors and actress from the ’90s and find out what they are up to now!

32. Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles gained prominence when she starred in 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern film adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew that became one of the most iconic teen films of all time. She seemed to be headed for mainstream success when she starred in Save the Last Dance and Mona Lisa Smile but after awhile she fell right out of the spotlight. While she continues to act in films, she is no longer in leading roles and has simply taken on smaller parts in Jason Bourne, Silver Linings Playbook, and Dexter meaning she isn’t quite the household name that she once was thanks to the success of 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999.

31. Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer became a movie star in the ‘80s thanks to his role in the big blockbuster hit Top Gun. Although he was still popular in the ‘90s because of his performances in The Doors, Tombstone and Batman Forever, during this period, he developed a reputation for being difficult to work with. By the late ‘90s, his performances also began to suffer. Critics were less than impressed with Kilmer’s performances in more recent movies. While he still continues to act, he is no longer a box office draw, and as he prepares to reprise his role as iconic role as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, he is also battling throat cancer which has explained his retreat from acting and the spotlight.

30. Bridget Fonda

Bridget Fonda was born into show business. Her grandfather was Henry Fonda; her father was Peter Fonda; and her aunt is Jane Fonda. During the ‘90s, she starred in a number of high profile films, including The Godfather Part III, Single White Female and Point of No Return. After 2002, however, she hasn’t appeared in any films. Bridget reportedly walked away from her film career to start a family with movie soundtrack composer, Danny Elfman with whom she now shares a son, Oliver.

29. Matthew Lillard

Matthew Lillard rose to fame in the ‘90s. He had roles in some of the era’s most defining films including Hackers, Scream and She’s All That. Although he still continues to act, his career has cooled off considerably. While Lillard doesn’t land significant movie roles anymore, he did land a part in the Oscar-nominated film The Descendants opposite George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. These days, he mostly sticks to voice work and small television roles, and has made quite the career out of voicing Shaggy Rogers for many Scooby-Doo shows, videos, games and more.

28. Anna Chlumsky

Anna Chlumsky entered the world of show business when she was pretty young. She rose to fame before she was a teenager with her role in 1991’s My Girl as Vada. In the ‘90s, it seemed like she was headed for big things; however, in 1999, she left the acting world to go to study at the University of Chicago. After college, she worked as a fact-checker for the Zagat Survey and as an editorial assistant for HarperCollins and only recently rejoined the entertainment business again in a big way thanks to a role on the acclaimed series Veep. 

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27. Christian Slater

Throughout the ‘90s, Christian Slater starred in a number of big budget films, including True Romance, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Heathers and Broken Arrow however, his standing as a major movie star began to fade after he was convicted of assaulting his then girlfriend and a police officer while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Even though he continues to act, his days as a leading man in big budget films are over and instead he turned to quite a bit of voice acting and most recently appeared as Mr. Robot in the series by the same name.

26. Rebecca Gayheart

In the ‘90s, Rebecca Gayheart was an up and coming actresses. She had roles in a number of films, including Scream 2, Urban Legend and Jawbreaker. Even though she seemed to be in demand, her career never ended up taking off quite the way that many expected. While she has become a favorite in many Hallmark Channel films, she is best known for her high profile marriage to former Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane and recently made headlines when the pair announced their separation after nearly 15 years of marriage.

s_bukley / Shutterstock.coms_bukley / Shutterstock.com

25. Ethan Embry

In the ‘90s, Ethan Embry was releasing or filming at least two films per year. He had roles in some of the most memorable films from that era including, Empire Records, White Squall, Vegas Vacation and Can’t Hardly Wait. In spite of his success, however, Embry more or less disappeared after 1999. He has had since perhaps become best known for his part in 2002’s Sweet Home Alabama and most recently appeared in Grace and Frankie as Coyote Bergstein.

24. Larisa Oleynik

Larisa Oleynik rose to fame in the mid-’90s when she was starring as Alex Mack on the children’s TV series The Secret World of Alex Mack from 1994 to 1998. After the show came to an end, she had a starring role as Bianca Stratford in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You and a recurring part in 3rd Rock from the Sun; however, since then, she’s maintained a pretty low profile. She’s guest starred in a number of TV shows, including Malcolm in the Middle and Without a Trace, and she also had recurring roles on Mad Men, Hawaii Five-0, and Pretty Little Liars. Even though she’s clearly active in the entertainment biz, she’s nowhere close to being the teen idol she once was.

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23. Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett rose to fame in the ‘90s with roles in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, The Faculty and The Virgin Suicides. Although everyone predicted that he would become a huge star, at the height of his fame, he turned his back on back on Hollywood. Hartnett is still acting these days, but he has to fight for his roles. “I still get offered films and TV roles, luckily, but years ago, if I saw a role I wanted, there was a good chance I could grab it. When I see a role now, I’ve got to fight for it. It’s not bad. It’s actually more rewarding,” he said. Most recently he was sen as Ethan Chandler in the buzzed about series Penny Dreadful from 2014-2106.

22. Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci was the “it girl” of the ‘90s with classic movies like Casper and Now and Then and The Addams Family. She went on to appear in Buffalo ’66, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Sleepy Hollow but since 1999, Christina has continued only to appear in B-list flicks and made for TV Movies like The Laramie Project. Her career got a bit of a boost in 2011 with the television series Pan Am. While ABC cancelled the series, the show was an international success and won accolades abroad in Europe. Despite continuing to act, she is still known either as the girl from The Addams Family or Casper — her two biggest ’90s films.



21. Scott Wolf

Scott Wolf became a teen sensation when he starred on the hit television series Party of Five as Bailey Salinger. Since the series ended, he had leading roles on television shows like Everwood, The Nine and Perception and went on to star in The Night Shift; however, his main focus these days is his family. He has been married to Kelley Limp, an alumna of MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans for over a decade. The couple has three children together, Jackson Kayse, Miller William and Lucy Marie. Wolf is looking for a comeback though as it was announced that he will be appearing in one of The CW’s most anticipated new teens series, Nancy Drew, as Carson Drew, the father of the teen sleuth.

20. Neve Campbell

Neve Campbell was a staple part of ‘90s media culture, playing in classic shows like Party of Five, and films like The Craft and Scream. She made an attempt at moving into more serious adult roles in Wild Things and 54, but didn’t seem to manage to maintain the same star power. While she has continued to appear in films that few have seen in comparison to her ’90s hits, she’s also made minor appearances in television shows, only appearing in a handful of episodes. Her roles have been fewer and further between with parts in House of Cards and 2018’s Skyscraper opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but it is clear her stardom is not what it once was.

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

19. Fred Savage

Fred Savage became famous when he had a starring on The Wonder Years role as Kevin Arnold. These days, he mostly works behind the scenes. He has directed episodes for a number of television series, including Boy Meets World, That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place. He has also produced several episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Friends with Benefits, Party Down, Phil of the Future and Happy Endings and he made his film directing debut with Daddy Day Camp. He is married to his childhood friend, Jennifer Lynn Stone, with whom he has three children.

18. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar was the princess of the 1990s with her portrayal of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the television series, and classic teen-cult films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, and Cruel Intentions. She was also the leading lady in the romantic film Simply Irresistible, but since the end of the decade, Gellar has been busy being a mom and lending her voice to many cartoon series and playing roles in B-list movies. In an attempt at a comeback she starred alongside the late, great Robin Williams in the TV series The Crazy Ones. Unfortunately, the show didn’t do much to raise her profile and was cancelled by CBS after one season. Since then, her roles have included voice acting gigs in episodes of Robot Chicken and Star Wars Rebels.

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

17. Rider Strong

Rider Strong received widespread recognition in the ‘90s when he starred on the ABC series Boy Meets World as Shawn Hunter. Unfortunately, his acting jobs have been pretty sporadic since the series ended. He was in the movie Cabin Fever and, with his brother Shiloh, he wrote and directed the short film Irish Twins. Strong reprised his role as Shawn Hunter on the spin-off series Girl Meets World and he is currently married his longtime girlfriend Alexandra Barreto, who he met while filming the 2006 television series Pepper Dennis. Together they have one son, Indigo “Indy,” who was born in December 2014.

16. Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone was at the epicenter of 1990s culture with films like Clueless, Batman & Robin, and Blast from the Past. But the early 2000s brought about the end of Silverstone’s A-list position and beginning of voice over work and made-for-TV movies. The ’90s bombshell has yet to regain the popularity that she once held, but to be fair, it is hard to top her iconic work as Cher in Clueless.

 Erik Pendzich/REX

Erik Pendzich/REX

15. Jason London

Jason London is best known for his role as Randall “Pink” Floyd in the hit film Dazed and Confused. He also had roles in films like Broken Vessels, $pent, the NBC miniseries Jason and the Argonauts and Poor White Trash and of course starring in Aerosmith’s “Crazy” and “Amazing” music videos. Unfortunately for the once popular star, his legal issues are the only reason he gets press nowadays. In January 2013, he was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct after he got into a fight at a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona. On the night of his arrest, he became belligerent towards offices, made homophobic slurs before he soiled himself in the back of the police car. The only thing close to a comeback he has experienced was appearing in the 2018 Lifetime Christmas film The Christmas Contract.

14. Vanessa Marcil

Vanessa Marcil is best known for her roles as Brenda Barrett on General Hospital and Gina Kincaid on Beverly Hills, 90210. Marcil has since starred in the television series Las Vegas and returned to General Hospital, resuming her role as Brenda Barrett. After such mega stardom in the ’90s, things changed in the 2000s for the actress and she has had only a handful of roles since Las Vegas ended in 2008. Unfortunately for Marcil, her most recent headlines have been over a nasty custody battle with her former Beverly Hills, 90210 castmate Brian Austin Green over their son Kassius, and the fact she was diagnosed with thyroid disease in May 2019.

13. Andrew Keegan

Andrew Keegan was a teen heartthrob in the ‘90s and an in-demand actor. He had recurring roles on Full House, Party of Five, 7th Heaven, Related, Step By Step, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Amanda Show, and was a regular on the final season of Thunder Alley. He also had a starring role in the movie Camp Nowhere and is probably best known for his part in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, which starred Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. These days he flies well below the radar and it seems his step back from such popularity was because in 2014, Keegan founded Full Circle which is characterized as a “new religion” but many described as cult-like. Full Circle closed its doors in June 2017, and Keegan is still mostly unheard from in the entertainment industry.

12. Leelee Sobieski

Leelee Sobieski achieved recognition for her roles in Deep Impact and the TV movie Joan of Arc. Sobieski has since been involved in a number of different movies, including some indie films like Lying and Walk All Over Me. Unfortunately, Sobieski’s films, with the exception of Eyes Wide Shut, have not been nearly as financially successful as Deep Impact.

11. Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence was a pretty busy young actor in the ‘90s. He had a feature role in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire and in the television series Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad and he also had starring roles in the shows Brotherly Love and Boy Meets World. Since then it has been mostly TV films and the odd guest appearance on a sitcom. Matthew has guest starred on his brother Joey’s ABC Family sitcom, Melissa & Joey and the Boy Meets World spin-off series Girl Meets World, but something tells us that he has mostly given up on Hollywood. Despite a very different status in Hollywood compared to the ’90s, Lawrence did make headlines for his romance with popular Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke which saw the two married in the spring of 2019.

10. Thora Birch

Thora Birch was one of the biggest child stars of the ‘90s. She had roles in Patriot Games, Hocus Pocus and Now and Then, before she landed a role in the highly acclaimed film American Beauty, which earned her the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She then had the lead role in the indie flick Ghost World and earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, but then she faded from the spotlight. She’s still making movies and appearing in TV shows, but nothing as high profile as her ‘90s roles.

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9. Devon Sawa

Devon Sawa got his big break in the movie Casper alongside a young Christina Ricci. He also starred in Wild America, Idle Hands, SLC Punk! and Final Destination. One of the last times we really remember seeing him was when he played the title character in Eminem’s music video for “Stan.” Although he went from a recurring character on Nikita to a series regular, his acting jobs have been sparse. He’s currently married to Dawni Sawa. They have two children together, Hudson and Scarlett.

Photo by Broadimage / Rex Features

8. Tia Carrere

Tia Carrere is best known for her role as Cassandra in the movie the Wayne’s World movies. Around that same time period, she had roles in other successful ‘90s films including Rising Sun and True Lies; however, towards the end of the decade, the roles became more and more lackluster. While she found success on the small screen thanks to her role in the television series Relic Hunter, her biggest roles since were on Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Apprentice. Since the early ‘90s, she has been pursuing a singing career and has released five studio albums.

Emiley Schweich/Everett Collection

7. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a big star in the ‘90s and a teen idol. He had a starring role on Home Improvement; however, after several years on the show, he left to focus on his academics and he never looked back. After graduating high school, he studied Philosophy at Harvard University, spent a year studying abroad at St. Andrews University in Scotland and graduated from Columbia University in 2010. His most recent role was as a guest star on Last Man Standing, but he seems more interested in leaving acting behind and focusing on writing and directing.

6. Lark Voorhies

Lark Voorhies rose to fame as Lisa Turtle on the sitcom Saved by the Bell. While she continued to act after the NBC show came to end, appearing in soap operas including Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful and the film How High, she disappeared from the spotlight after 2002 only appearing in a handful of films since. Since 2010, she has released three books: Reciprocity, Trek of the Cheshire, and A True Light.

(c)NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

5. Eddie Furlong

Eddie Furlong looked like he was headed for big things in the ‘90s. He had a lead role in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Brainscan and American History X, which was critically acclaimed. At the end of the 90s, however, his career and popularity declined considerably and most of his subsequent films were released straight to DVD. Furlong has allegedly been battling a heroin and cocaine addiction for years, which is said to be the reason why his career got derailed. In 2013, he was in court pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge that stemmed from an altercation he had with his ex-girlfriend.

4. Tatyana Ali

Tatyana Ali rose to fame thanks to her role as Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After the NBC series came to an end, she landed a recording contract and released an album, Kiss the Sky, and she also continued to act. She’s since given up on the singing career and instead has continued to focus on acting. She’s had a recurring role on The Young and the Restless as Roxanne and a lead role on Love That Girl!; and made her biggest fame comeback in made-for-TV Christmas films however, none of this has given her the same level of fame as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In 2016, she married a Stanford English professor, Vaughn Rasberry, and the pair welcomed a son in September 2016 and as of the spring of 2019 were expecting their second child.

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3. Elizabeth Berkley

Elizabeth Berkley was at the top of her game when she starred in Saved by the Bell. Then she landed the lead role in the movie Showgirls and her career became completely derailed. The film was a massive flop and ruined her chances of becoming a leading lady on the big screen. She’s since had number of guest starring roles on dramatic TV shows including CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, Without a Trace, Threshold, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and she also appeared in 2013 on Dancing with the Stars. Her most recent role was on the show The New Girl back in 2016. In 2003, Berkley married Greg Lauren and together the pair have welcomed a son, Sky Cole, born in 2012.

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2. Heather Graham

Heather Graham was considered one of the hottest actresses in the ’90s. She had roles in a number of high profile movies including Boogie Nights, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Lost in Space and Bowfinger. While she has been active in television and movies since then, she is not nearly as famous as she once was and has only appeared in lesser known shows and films.

1. Rachael Leigh Cook

After her success in She’s All That, it really seemed as though Rachael Leigh Cook was headed for big things, but after starring in the box office flop Josie and the Pussy Cat Dolls, it was clear that she wasn’t going to become a movie star. So, she went the indie route instead and then branched out into TV. She’s had recurring roles on shows including Las Vegas, Robot Chicken, and Psych, as well as a lead role in the show Perception. Cook married actor Daniel Gillies in August 2004 and they welcomed two children together Charlote and Theodore before announcing their separation after nearly 15 years of marriage in mid 2019.

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Telisa Carter

Telisa Carter

Telisa enjoys learning and writing about all things entertainment in the world of Hollywood. When she isn't catching up on her favorite TV shows, she likes to read, and obsess over all things football.