Female Teen Stars Of The '90s Then And Now

Entertainment | By Harriet King | March 21, 2018

The '90s seem like they happened a very long time ago - 28 years ago to be specific. That period brought us many famous female teen stars, some of who are still famous even to this day, and some who have vanished from the scene altogether. Hollywood is fickle no matter what decade you're in.

We all miss our '90s girl crushes, the lovely ladies that took over the small and silver screens and, if we're being honest, the four walls in our bedrooms as well. My wallpaper was definitely just Tiger Beat magazine pages ripped out and plastered everywhere. That's just what you did.

Here they are, 50 of our favorites as we lovingly remember them, and as they are now. You won't believe what Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen), the Pink Power Ranger (Amy Jo Johnson), and Ashley (Tatiana Ali) look like today! Some are still knockouts, some are gone forever, and others are unrecognizable.

Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar was already famous by the time the 90s rolled around - her success in "The Wonder Years" made sure of that. Most people remember her as a child star, but she looked younger than she was - a fact that allowed her to play roles below her age well into her 20s. Because she was working from such a young age, her character's first kiss with Kevin Arnold on screen was Danica's first kiss in real life.

All grown up now, on her second marriage and with a child of her own, Danica looks very different as an adult than she did as a child, which you might expect. She's a fascinating individual and is exceptionally gifted at math, having authored several well-respected theses on the topic. She keeps her hand in at acting, regularly appearing in TV movies for the Hallmark channel, but spends a lot of her time promoting education to young people, especially young girls.

Amy Jo Johnson

Go go Power Rangers! The smash hit kid's TV show has been around in many forms for nearly thirty years, and maintains a presence to this day, but many would say it's never really hit the popularity or success that it enjoyed when it had its original Power Ranger lineup. Kimberley, the pretty Pink Ranger, played a key role in that success, and opened many doors in television for Amy Jo Johnson.

Amy actually started out as a gymnast, and it was her ability in this field that made her perfect for the fight scenes that the show demanded of her. Starring roles in "Felicity" and Flashpoint" followed, but Amy's real passion may well be singing. She has written and released three studio albums with her own band and performed regularly in the Los Angeles area. She has also turned her hand to production and directing in recent years, releasing her first self-produced feature film "The Space Between" in 2017.

Mandy Moore

The late 90s belonged to Mandy Moore. Whether it was as a singer or an actress, she scorched her way into the 2000s as a trailblazer, and everything she touched seemed to turn to gold. Her debut album "So Real" went platinum before she was even sixteen years old, and by eighteen she had three hit albums under her belt. Somehow, she also found the time to appear in "The Princess Diaries" and kick start her acting career whilst still making music.

No star can burn that hot forever, but Mandy is still a huge success, and is amazingly still only in her mid-30s. The blonde hair may have turned dark, and she may be all grown up with a divorce and a failed fashion line under her belt, but she's still a regular feature on our screens. She's even talked about releasing new music, although her engagement to a rock star may have changed her sound a little.

Claire Danes

You can usually work out how old someone is by asking them where they know Claire Danes from. If they say "Romeo and Juliet", chances are they're upwards of 30. If it's "Homeland", you're dealing with someone a little younger. Claire has been working in film and television since she was a child, and she already had a couple of film roles to her name before a lead role in "My So Called Life" made her famous.

A dynamic and versatile performer, her career can almost be looked at in two halves; she seemed to vanish for a while between 2005 and 2012 as she got married and started a family, then returned like she'd never missed a day. Outspoken politically, and heavily involved in charity work, Claire Danes is every bit as big a deal now as she was twenty years ago.

Tia Carrere

Schwing! Tia Carrere should be instantly recognizable from her roles in both of the mega hit Wayne's World movies. Her striking looks opened a lot of eyes in Hollywood, and it wasn't long before she was appearing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in "True Lies". Despite that high-flying start, her on-screen career seemed to dwindle away quite quickly after that, and these days she looks dramatically different to how she appeared at the peak of her fame.

There's a lot of suggestion that music was always her first love anyway - she was performing and releasing music before she was ever a film star, and still does so to this day. She's even won a Grammy! Her acting work has continued in the background, with a series of low budget horror movies, but she can occasionally be found on reality shows like "The Apprentice" and "Dancing with The Stars". She even dared to bare it all for Playboy in 2003.

Lark Voorhies

You'd have thought that sharing a surname with one of the most notorious serial killers in movie history would be a disadvantage, but it wasn't for Lark. Apparently a shy child growing up, she shook that off very quickly and emerged on our screens as Lisa in "Saved by the Bell", who will be remembered with an ache in the heart by an entire generation of men.

Her charm and good looks made her a hot commodity for music videos, where she made appearances for both Dru Hill and Montel Jordan, and "Fresh Prince" fans may recognize her as Carlton's love interest Cindy. Although she seems to have not aged a day since the height of her fame, Lark has shied away from television and film in recent years, with no acting credits to her name since 2012. She's instead focused her time on writing, with three self-published novels released to date.

Kate Moss

The silent star of a thousand glossy magazine centerfolds, for a long time everybody in the world seemed to know how Kate Moss looked, but nobody knew what she sounded like. Kate came from the same generation of supermodels as Naomi Campbell and was every bit as successful. Able to maintain her looks and figure for longer than almost every other model you could name, she's still active now, in her mid-40s.

Kate finally broke her silence for the "Get the London Look" campaign by L'Oreal in the mid 2000s, and is a regular feature in British tabloids due to her relationships with rock stars and frequent nightclub appearances, becoming a favorite of the paparazzi. She's also experimented with making both music and perfume. She may have been introduced to the world in the 1990s, but her status as a cultural icon will probably last forever.

Julia Stiles

There was a time when Julia Stiles was everywhere. She was the movie pin up girl who was pretty enough for the mainstream, but also had braids and looked like she knew how to throw a punch, so the alternative crowd had time for her, too. "Ghost Writer" started the ball rolling for her but it was really "10 Things I Hate About You" that shot her into the stratosphere.

If you've been wondering where she's been, you probably haven't been paying attention. Julia has never really stopped working. Whether it's her recurring role in the "Bourne" series, her stellar guest appearances in "Dexter" or her most recent leading part in "Riviera", she's never truly been away. Now married with a child, Julia describes herself as a 'former vegan', having given the diet a go before finding that it gave her anemia, and she missed red meat too much.

Kristen Kreuk

OK, you've caught us, we're cheating by including Kristen. She wasn't a star of the 90s. But until we admitted to that you thought she was, right? Kristen didn't actually appear on TV until 2001, when she worked her way into all of our hearts as Lana Lang in Smallville. She stayed on in the role for nine years, seeing it almost all the way through its TV run, and breaking her way into film in the meantime.

She hasn't found breaking into other areas as easy as her peers, although she's played the iconic Street Fighter character "Chun-Li" in a movie, and currently holds down a major role in "Burden of Truth", which she took coming right off the back of her success in "Beauty and the Beast". Still in her 30s, and looking as fresh as she ever did, her name was only slightly tarnished by association with Allison Mack, and her part in the NXIVM scandal.

Alyssa Milano

If you're anything like us, Alyssa's name gives you the opposite problem to a lot of names on this list. You'll be looking at many of them and wondering where they've been for the past decade or so. With Alyssa, it's hard to believe she's actually been around for that long. But she has!

A poster on the wall of teenage boys' bedrooms for years and years, Alyssa has a list of screen credits as long as your arm, and the arms of the person closest to you. You may know her best for "My Name Is Earl", "Melrose Place", "Charmed" or any one of the names on her impressive filmography. She's as in demand today as she ever was then, and is now recognized as a singer, songwriter, producer and comic book writer. A campaigner for worthwhile causes for almost her whole life, Alyssa recently made headlines as one of the spearheads of the #MeToo movement.

Tracey Gold

Tracey's name is so closely associated with "Growing Pains" that it's difficult to picture her in any other role than the one she made famous there, but she did have an extensive career elsewhere, too! She's worked in television from the 80s through to the present day, but playing Carol Seaver had a major impact on her life in every way imaginable.

Not only did she meet husband Roby Marshall whilst working on the show, she also developed anorexia, and battled with the disease publicly, being open and honest about it during a time when very few were. Having overcome the illness, she later went on to star in "For the Love of Nancy", a TV movie which explored the disease and its dangers. Almost unrecognizable from her youth now, she remains an activist and speaker for causes related to eating disorders, whilst continuing to act and raise her four children.

Liv Tyler

Hands up who thought of "Armageddon" as soon as they read Liv's name? Don't worry, we can see you, and it looks like most of you. Strikingly beautiful, Liv has worked as a model for almost as long as she's been alive and transitioned effortlessly into acting in the mid-90s. She has remained a major name ever since, never really seeming to age, and bringing great presence to her characters.

Her life was nearly very different. Although she is, famously, the daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, she didn't always know that. She met Steven Tyler by chance, and recognizing the resemblance, had a difficult conversation with her mother. It turned out her mother had a brief relationship with Tyler in the 70s, and she was the result! Immediately striking up a great relationship with her dad, he cast her in the music video for hit single 'Crazy', and the rest is history.

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten is, without a doubt, one of the most famous actors in the world. She seems to have been around forever, and she still looks youthful and beautiful. It's sometimes easy to forget that she was once a 1990s starlet, but she was. Most people remember her as the child star of "Interview with the Vampire", but many Trekkies will point out that she'd already appeared in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" by that point and was well on her way to the superstardom she enjoys now.

Whether it's the Spiderman series, "Mona Lisa Smile", "Melancholia" "Get Over It" or "Wimbledon", you'll have seen Kirsten in major roles throughout the years, performed with a real girl-next-door charm that makes her easy to love. Engaged to be married, and having recently had her first child, Kirsten is no longer the girl we remember from 20 years ago, but she's still at the peak of her powers.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

You know what she did last Summer. But do you know what she's doing now? Jennifer Love Hewitt shot to fame in the mid-90s thanks to her starring role in the campy horror series, which came off the back of her success playing Sarah Reeves in 'Party of Five'.

Unfortunately for Jennifer, her star didn't shine for long on the silver screen, but that's not to say she hasn't stayed successful. "Ghost Whisperer" was a big hit series for her until she had to leave the role due to pregnancy. Even today, she has a leading role as Maddie in "9-1-1". Now married with two children, but still looking as great today as she did twenty years ago, she's also displayed talent as an author. She's had a series of comic books published, as well as a semi-autobiographical novel, which is credited for making 'vajazzling' popular. There's a great fact of the day for you.

Winona Ryder

If you don't recognize her by name alone, go and stand in the corner. Winona is a megastar and has been for at least two decades now. She also might be a vampire, because she doesn't seem to be changed by the passing of the years at all. She'd already become a star via her appearance in "Beetlejuice" by the time the 1990s arrived, but her role in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in 1992 really sealed the deal for Winona as a major player.

An extremely gifted and delicately beautiful actress, Winona is known for employing the "method" approach to parts, which led to an arrest in 2001 for shoplifting. Having appeared in every genre of film imaginable, she first dipped her toes into the science fiction waters when she appeared in Alien: Resurrection in 1997. That stood her in good stead for her currently starring role in cult hit "Stranger Things", which has introduced her to a whole new viewing generation.

Janet Jackson

You might think we're stretching it a little by including Janet Jackson in this list but go ahead and picture her in your mind. What does she look like? Where is she? What time is it? That's right, it's the 1990s. Janet was a true 90s icon, rising up from her brother's shadow to become every bit as celebrated and acclaimed as he was, even sharing screen and song time with him in their memorable 90s duet 'Scream'.

Her 1997 album 'Velvet Rope' is one of the most critically acclaimed releases of all time, and arguably only really Madonna could really rival her for female star power at her peak. Her reputation suffered a little after her infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' whilst performing with Justin Timberlake at the Superbowl, but she's recovered, and continues to record music and tour on a global scale.

Courtney Love

If you haven't played air guitar to Hole's "Celebrity Skin", you haven't lived. The 1990s were a time of triumph and heartbreak for Courtney Love, finally punching her way into mainstream consciousness after years of being on the fringes of the music scene, but only doing so off the back of a great personal tragedy.

She's as known for being the widow of legendary Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain as she is for anything else she's ever done, but the headlines, the drugs and the conspiracy theories kept her name in circulation for many years from the day he died. She's remained active in music for all the years since and has both a collection of manga books and an autobiography since the turn of the century, but to us she'll always be the undisputed Queen of Grunge

Linda Fiorentino

If you don't recognize Linda by name alone, well give you a clue. "Men in Black". And if you like your films a little more cult-friendly, try "Dogma" instead. Both movies saw Linda Fiorentino in the female lead, but they were the peak of a career that extended a few years longer in both directions. Linda first became known as Carla in "Vision-Quest", but it took her ten years to find another role that hit the same heights.

She was a star of the 90s because that's when we knew her best; her time at the top was short but burned brightly, and since 2000 she has only made three more credited appearances as an actor. On the rare occasions we see her, her appearance is always noteworthy - she has changed dramatically during this time.

Rachel Leigh Cook

Perhaps the quintessential 90s film star, Rachel reached peak fame with "She's All That" in the late 90s and translated that success into a starring role in cult sensation "Josie and the Pussycats" two years later. Eagle eyed readers may recognize her from a popular earlier work, though; she was the face of the "this is your brain on drugs" adverts of the mid-90s. That's right, the ones with the frying pan!

Rachel, who still looks fantastic, still works in the world of acting, but mostly in straight to DVD films and Hallmark TV movies these days. Her career slowed down after she got married and started a family in 2004. In recent years she's found a lot of work and a new audience by doing voiceover roles in video games, with particular success in the popular "Star Wars" video game tie in series.

Lisa Bonet

Lisa seemed to live two lives during the 1990s. On one hand she won America's hearts with her role as Denise on the Cosby show, but on the other, by that point she'd already ran away from home on her 20th birthday with rock musician Lenny Kravitz. By the mid-90s she and Lenny were divorced, and she was a frequent fixture in the headlines.

A striking figure, who looks different but just as captivating today, Lisa's life and career has been one of ups and downs. She achieved notoriety by appearing naked with Mickey Rourke in 'Angel Heart' before the 90s even began, and her only truly prominent film role during the 90s was opposite Will Smith in 'Enemy of the State'. She took the late 90s off to focus on raising her child, but has since returned to television roles, including 'New Girl' and 'Life on Mars'.

Gaby Hoffman

It takes a special kind of actor to make the transition from child star to adult star, so we guess that makes Gaby Hoffman special. You might have seen her on TV recently and not connected her to her childhood roles because she looks so different, but the woman you see playing Ali in "Transparent" is the same girl who lit up the big screen as a child in "Field of Dreams" with Kevin Costner.

Gaby seems to have had a stellar list of credits without ever really getting the recognition that she deserves for it. She's also had major roles in "Uncle Buck", "Volcano" and "Sleepless in Seattle", winning awards for her talents in the process. She's from a famous family, with both of her parents having enjoyed fame. Still only in her mid-30s, it's to be hoped that someday soon Gaby will get the recognition that her talent merits!

Chloe Sevigny

Chloe Sevigny was catapulted to fame on the back of the seminal and controversial 1995 movie 'Kids', which won applause and acclaim for its head on discussion of racial politics, drug use and sex among young people. Having found her way into the world of celebrity via controversy, Chloe never really looked back.

Still highly active in film and television, as well as working as a fashion designer (a habit she puts down to locking herself in the bedroom and sewing when she was a child because she was bored), there's little that Chloe hasn't done. She once dated British pop star Jarvis Cocker. She performed one of the first unsimulated on-screen sex acts in the history of Western cinema. She became a director with the release of 2016's "Kitty", and she may be one of the most interesting people in the world. But to many of us, she'll always be Jennie, or Lana from "Boys Don't Cry".

Yasmine Bleeth

Yasmine Bleeth was destined to be a huge star. Very few people have even looked as good in a swimsuit as Yasmine did in Baywatch, and it didn't take her long to convert her success from that show into a big screen role in BASEketball. Unfortunately for Yasmine, that's about as good as it got.

Around the turn of the century, drug addiction took a heavy toll on Yasmine both physically and mentally. Her looks, which had secured a great deal of her work, were negatively affected, and she ultimately ended up arrested and convicted of driving under the influence. She met her husband during rehabilitation, and in 2003 stopped acting and withdrew from public life. She spoke of being happy with her husband, happy in life, and focused on staying sober, so nobody can hold that against her. Not even the teenage boys who only found out they liked women when they saw Yasmine run down the beach for the first time.

Nia Long

"The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." "Boyz in the Hood". "Made in America". "Moesha". You could know Nia Long from any number of places, but the 90s is where it really started for the hard-working actor who is as busy today as she ever was.

Nia has been treated well by the passing years and looks as vibrant and beautiful today as she did when we first got to know her in the 90s. She took particular pride in her "Boyz in the Hood" role, saying that it made her realize she didn't have to apologize for who she was or where she was from. In turn, her performances have inspired young girls from similar backgrounds to pursue careers in the arts. When she's not busy in front of the cameras, she campaigns on behalf of PETA and occasionally coaches people as a motivational speaker in Barbados.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Unless you were there, it's hard to describe exactly how famous Sarah Michelle Gellar was in the mid-1990s. She was probably the hottest star in the world for a short time. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was a global phenomenon and she topped the "World's Sexiest" lists in every men's magazine you could find. She seemed a sure bet to go on to a huge movie career, but after initial success in the horror genre with the "Scream" franchise, it just never really happened.

These days she can be found in Los Angeles, where she has two children with husband Freddie Prinze Jr, and she still takes on some television roles, although she doesn't have a movie credit since 2009. It might have been the case that she was just too well known as Buffy, but there are worst things in life than playing a part that won a legion of fans who still love and adore her to this day

Debbe Dunning

We bet you know her as Heidi from "Home Improvement", even if you never knew her real name until now. Being Heidi kept Debbe on screen for the entirety of the 1990s, which were undoubtedly the peak of her career.

It was modeling work that first put Debbe on the radar, and she worked on a number of Miller Beer adverts before and during her time on "Home Improvement". Although other TV work never came in great volume once her time on the show ended, Debbe kept herself busy as a model, presenter and spokeswoman for various causes, as well as appearing as a celebrity contestant on "American Gladiators" Her career tailed a way a little after the turn of the century as she started a family, but for the whole of the 90s, in her capacity as a 'Tool Time' girl, she made a lot of American men think about DIY in a way they never had before.

Tia & Tamera Mowry

If you looked at this picture and didn't immediately start singing the "Sister Sister" theme tune in your head, what are you even doing here? Twin sisters in real life, Tia and Tamera found fame playing off their identical looks in a number of roles during the 90s, but it was their starring role in the sitcom that ran from 1994 to 1999 that made them household names. They could just have easily become known in the field of music; they were part of the girl group 'Voices' who released a single in 1992.

Tia & Tamera eventually branched off in separate directions after the sitcom finished, and particularly in the past ten years have started finding acting and TV roles individually of one another. Despite that, both have expressed interest in reviving 'Sister Sister' showing their characters as adults. They still look great and they've got the talent, so why not?

Stacey Dash

We have yet another alumni of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" on our list, although Stacey was already well known when she made a guest appearance on Will Smith's show. "Mo Money" arguably gave her her break, but most people reading this list will remember her best as Dionne in the smash hit "Clueless".

When "Clueless" moved from cinema to the small screen, Stacey moved with it, staying in the role for the rest of the 1990s. She's had one off roles in a few TV shows since then, played Kanye West's girlfriend in a music video and racked up a number of film appearances, before reinventing herself somewhere around 2012. Since then she's appeared on Fox News, supported Republican causes, and unsuccessfully run for congress in California. She still looks fantastic, and we can't wait to see what she tries her hand at next.

Lucy Lawless

If there was a female-led TV franchise during the 1990s that was capable of rivaling "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", it was "Xena: Warrior Princess", and Lucy was in the title role. A stunningly beautiful but powerfully built woman, Lucy Lawless had already played Amazonian women on screen before accepting the part as Xena, and also appeared in "Hercules" in a similar role during her time as Xena.

Lucy's time on the show made her a lesbian icon, and she accepted that role gladly, appearing at PRIDE events and speaking out in favor of gay marriage. She's a talented singer, having released several albums, and her success has never slowed down from the moment she first took on the Xena role. She has appeared in prominent roles in major franchises like "Parks & Recreation" and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D". Having recently turned 50, she still looks like she could beat you up and break your heart at the same time.

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy was the playmate of the 1990s and won "World's Sexiest Woman" in several magazines for several consecutive years. She became so famous for her modeling appearances that she moved into the movies without any prior acting experience at all. Somehow, she pulled it off.

Starting off with "BASEketball", she also had starring roles in "Diamonds" and "Scream 3". Her whole life was changed in 2002 after having a child who was diagnosed with autism; she campaigned for several autism related causes and was, for a time, wrongly portrayed as an anti-vaxxer in the media. This nearly cost her a position on "The View". These days she still looks sensational but is more likely to appear on your television as herself than she is in any acting role. She's recently appeared in several reality shows following her and her marriage to Donnie Wahlberg.

Erika Eleniak

Like Jenny McCarthy, Ereka made her way into television stardom after first being spotted within the pages of Playboy. It should be no surprise that the producers of Baywatch were looking in that direction for casting ideas, and in 1989 she was cast as Shauni, a role she held until 1992.

Action movie fans may recognize her as the Playmate who jumped out of a cake and found herself in big trouble with Steven Seagal's blockbuster "Under Siege". A promising career seemed to beckon, but unfortunately Ereka was struggling with personal issues, which manifested themselves as rapid weight gain and loss. Having won the majority of her roles partially because of her looks, it took a while for Ereka to get onto the road to recovery, and since 2010 she's been mostly retired from the world of showbiz. Happy and settled as a mother now, she'll forever be remembered as a sex siren of the 1990s.

Eva LaRue

It's Dr. Maria Santos from "All My Children!" Eva was on screen from 1993 to 1997 in the popular role and won many hearts and minds in the process. Naturally beautiful, she gave a performance that was full of joy, and returned to the role after many fan requests in 2002, staying for another three years.

Eva never really broke through into the movie world - the largest credit to her name is the critically panned third "Robocop" film - but the TV work kept coming, and the junior doctor we fell in love with went on to become a crime scene investigator in "CSI: Miami" in 2005, staying on for seven years in the role. Having been married three times, Eva has one daughter, and seems to be slowly winding down from acting work, having made no major appearances in any format since 2016. After having worked almost constantly since 1987, who can blame her?

Tori Spelling

Tori is one of the rare cases on this list of someone who was famous during the 1990s but is arguably more famous now. It would have been hard to imagine that in 1990 when she was riding high as the star of "Beverly Hills 90210", but it's happened. Success in life was always inevitable for Tori; she was born into a Hollywood household and it was her father who cast her in her Beverly Hills role.

In recent years she's better known for being herself than she is for any part. Her appearance has changed dramatically down the years, and she's written a number of books, all of which have an autobiographical theme. In one of her more recent books she admitted to having financial trouble, which won't have been helped by her mother, from whom she is estranged, almost cutting her out of her father's will completely.

Amanda Bearse

Amanda was already a fully-grown woman by the 1990s, so we didn't grow up with her in the same way we did with many of the star names on this list, but that doesn't make her role in the decade any less significant. Already known to the cult audience from her appearance in seminal 1985 horror film 'Fright Night', Amanda found her greatest fame playing Marcy in "Married...with children" for a full decade from 1987 all the way through to 1997.

Her TV career never really progressed from there, and aside from the occasional bit-part, she hasn't been seen as an actress very much since. She is, however, an icon of the LGBT community; she came out as a lesbian in 1993 at a time when gay rights had not evolved to the position they've now reached. It was a decision that took bravery and will have inspired many other women who were trapped in her position.

Juliet Tablak

Juliet wasn't on our screens very long in "Married...with Children", but certainly long enough to get noticed as the archetypal girl next door. The fact she's remembered at all is something of an anomaly; Juliet's career was neither long nor varied, and the four episodes of the hit sitcom she appeared in represented the only major achievement of her acting career. She had one off roles in shows like "Power Rangers" and "Silk Stalkings", but nothing of any permanence.

Juliet's story isn't an unhappy one, though. She just decided that acting wasn't for her. Completely turning her back on the industry, she went back to school and retrained as a doctor, specializing in chiropractic. Recent pictures of her wedding reveal that as of 2015 she still looks as beautiful and youthful as we remember her.

Monica Lewinsky

Monica is without doubt a controversial inclusion on this list. She was never an actress or performer of any kind, and her fame only came about because of her involvement in what was arguably the greatest scandal of the 1990s. Such was the impact of her affair with then-President Bill Clinton, it's impossible to argue against the statement that she was one of the most influential women of the entire decade, even if she never set out with that intention.

Monica's relationship with the President made her a household name all over the world, and she's managed to capitalize on that to make a living out of an incident which could just as easily have destroyed her life. She's worked as a fashion designer and a television presenter in the years that have followed, and campaigns heavily against cyber-bullying, having herself been a victim of it when she first established a presence on Twitter.

Danielle Colby

Danielle is a woman who lives by her own rules. You will recognize her best as the star of "American Pickers", but her status as a TV star is just a simple part of her life rather than the main focus of her enthusiasm.

Taking an interest in the quirky and the unusual, Danielle's introduction to the world of performance came as part of her own burlesque dance troupe in Iowa, in which she performed under the stage name of 'Dannie Diesel'. Her fame has enabled her to pursue this passion further, opening up her own burlesque dance academy in Chicago in 2014. She also somehow finds time to own and operate "4 Miles 2 Memphis" - her own retro clothing company. Unfortunately, her rising star took its toll on her marriage, which eventually dissolved when her husband decided he couldn't cope with her increasing fame.

Ashley Judd

Who knew that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" was a launching pad for successful young actresses in the 1990s? Here's the second entrant on our list who made her first major appearance in the show way back in 1991. This progressed to a starring role in "Sisters" from 1991 through to 1994, by which time she was beginning to establish herself as a movie star.

Starting with "Ruby in Paradise" and moving on to a succession of major roles which have brought her more awards than we could count, in recent years she's taken a strong interest in social and political affairs. As well as being a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, she's spoken out repeatedly on gender equality issues, and was one of the first women to publicly name disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein as an abuser, making her a spearhead of the #MeToo movement.

Nancy McKeon

Nancy will always have a place in our hearts from her starring role as Jo in "The Facts of Life", a show that ran with great success for most of the 1980s, and she was already well known to most audiences by the time the 1990s rolled around. During the decade she received her only four movie credits to date, making that time of her life, arguably, her creative peak.

Her career actually started all the way back in 1977 with an appearance on "Starsky and Hutch", and she worked constantly in television for almost the next thirty years. She was nearly even more famous - the role of Monica in "Friends" came down to a straight choice between Nancy and Courtney Cox, with Nancy just losing out. She has no hard feelings about that, however, agreeing that Cox was the perfect choice for the part. She's slowed down with her acting work in recent years, after marrying and starting a family in 2003.

Daryl Hannah

Daryl Hannah is undoubtedly a legend of Hollywood. The 1990s were a great time for her, but you could say the same thing about the decade that came before them and both decades that have followed. Her appeal and talent have truly withstood the test of time.

Her role in cult classic "Blade Runners" is unforgettable, and she'd also starred in both "Steel Magnolias" and "Wall Street" before the 1990s even got up and running, and major parts in classics like "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" followed. She still works just as hard these days, and also spends a lot of her time campaigning on environmental issues, regularly arguing against climate change deniers. In 2013 she revealed that she was diagnosed with autism as a child, and that doctors had recommended she be institutionalized. How wrong they were, and how lucky for us that she wasn't.

Phoebe Cates

If you've never seen Phoebe in "Gremlins" then you're missing out on a treat, and you should go and watch it as soon as you're done reading this list. That role alone made her a household name, and her success was only amplified by the successful follow up in the 1990s. For a whole generation, though, we'll forever be enchanted and touched by her performance - and incredible chemistry - with Rik Mayall in "Drop Dead Fred" in 1991.

Phoebe could have gone on to achieve whatever she wanted in acting but retired from the profession in 1994 following her marriage to actor Kevin Kline, choosing to focus on raising her children. She returned as a one off in 2001's "The Anniversary Party" as a favor to her friend Jennifer Jason Leigh, but these days she focuses on her New York based boutique store "Blue Tree", which opened in 2003.

Kate Winslet

Near, far, wherever you are, you must surely have heard of Kate Winslet. She possesses a strong claim to being the actress of the 1990s, and most of it is down to just one utterly iconic performance. She stole hearts, minds and awards as Rose in "Titanic", the movie which launched the careers of both her and Leonardo di Caprio to superstardom.

Her list of acting credits is so extensive that it merits its own individual page on Wikipedia, and she's every bit as relevant today as she always has been. She's growing older gracefully, having spoken out against plastic surgery and Botox, which marks her out as having a different attitude to most of her contemporaries. Despite "Titanic" being a huge success, Kate is on record as saying she prefers smaller, more art-house style productions, and is particularly fond of playing conflicted or troubled women.

Tatyana Ali

Be honest, did you expect to see so many names from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" on this list? Add another one, because here's Ashley all grown up! Seemingly inspired by co-star Will Smith, Tatyana capitalized on her fame from the hit TV show and followed him into the world of music. She released one album and had a minor hit with "Boy You Knock Me Out", but never really established herself in the same way Will did.

Undeterred by this she carried on acting constantly throughout the decade, growing up from the girl-next-door in the show to the sophisticated and elegant woman she is today. She has the smarts to go with it, too - she obtained a bachelor's degree in African American studies from Harvard in 2002. She also accidentally became an ambassador for online dating - she met her husband Vaugn on eHarmony!

Jessica Biel

The 1990s were just a starting point for Jessica. Trained for the stage and especially gifted as a vocalist, her career as a performer actually started in musicals, appearing in performances of "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Sound of Music". It was obvious that she had both the look and the skill from a very young age, and she was soon picked up by a major talent agency.

She could still almost pass for a teenager today, maintaining a youthful appearance, and the major roles keep coming. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Illusionist", "The A-Team" and "Total Recall" all made money at the box office, but Jessica decided she wanted more interesting roles, so she decided to move into production, so she could create them. One of the first results was the truly chilling "The Sinner", in which she gives a hugely compelling performance. At home, she became the envy of many women around the world by marrying Justin Timberlake.

Tiffany Thiessen

Tiffani might have been the most popular poster on teenage boys' walls for the first part of the 1990s. In her role as Kelly on "Saved by the Bell", she was the pretty face of the whole show, and a massive part of the show's success. When her time on the show came to an end, she jumped straight into "Beverley Hills 90210" and the good times kept rolling for the rest of the decade.

One of the true definitive teen icons of the time, she was expected to progress into movies, and although she does have film credits to her name she never really cracked it in Hollywood. Despite this, she's enjoyed a solid career on television, including hosting her own cooking show called "Dinner at Tiffani's". She'll always be best loved and remembered as Kelly, though, and even Justin Bieber has shown his admiration for her, wearing a t-shirt with her face on it at an awards ceremony!

Karyn Parsons

And another one for the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" tally! That show made more people famous than many realize. Karyn entertained us for years as spoiled cousin Hilary. Hilary was a character that we just loved to hate, and Karyn got the portrayal down perfectly.

Despite moving into appearances in "Lush Life" and "Melrose Place" later in the 90s, Karyn's career never really progressed from there, despite a couple of appearances in small movies. Largely stepping away from appearing on screen herself, she moved into the world of production. Her company 'Sweet Blackberry' make animated films about little known heroes among the black community. After a long sabbatical, during which time she got married and raised two children, she's preparing to make her comeback in a TV show called 'Fly', which is expected to be released in 2018.

Pamela Anderson

You didn't really think we'd go all the way through this list without mentioning Pamela Anderson, did you? We've seen a couple of "Baywatch" stars in this list already, but without Pamela and her co-star David Hasselhoff, it's doubtful the show would have ever attained the following and success that it did.

A fixture in glossy magazines and a favorite of the paparazzi, Pamela was everywhere in the 1990s, as famous for her relationships with bad boy rock stars as anything she did on television or in film. Although she's visibly older now, she's still strikingly beautiful. You could perhaps also credit her with accidentally creating the trend of celebrity sex tapes when her honeymoon video with Motley Crue's Tommy Lee was stolen and appeared on the internet. The star of "Barb Wire" isn't seen quite as much in recent years, but she's strongly interested in animal rights issues and has campaigned on behalf of PETA.

Marisa Tomei

Time seems to stand still for Marisa Tomei. She looks almost the same today as she did nearly 30 years ago, when she first hit the big time with a starring role in "My Cousin Vinny". She appeared in "Chaplin" later in the same year, and her career has only blossomed and grown since then.

Marisa is one of the hardest working actresses in Hollywood and is perhaps remarkable for being able to keep her private life almost completely out of the newspapers, managing to maintain a separation of her home and work life. Never married, and having no children, Marisa has in the past expressed frustration when asked questions about her relationships, stating that she doesn't see why women have to be married or become a parent in order to be seen as having complete lives.

Danielle Fishel

With her role as Topanga Lawrence on Boy Meets World, Danielle Fishel shot up to stardom in the '90s. She appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine in 1998, and appeared on the list of Teen People's "The 21 Hottest Stars Under 21." Pretty much every guy in the world had a crush on Topanga during the 90s. After Boy Meets World wrapped (with a Cory/Topanga wedding!), Danielle Fishel appeared as a correspondent on The Tyra Banks Show from 2006-2007, where she revealed how Nutrisystem helped her lose weight.

She also co-hosted one season of MTV's Say What? Karaoke. She also appeared in Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, a short promotional film for Childish Gambino's album, Because the Internet. Then, of course, she resumed her role as Topanga in Girl Meets World.

Jenna Von Oy

She made hats cool! Jenna always seemed to be wearing hats in 90s publicity photos and for a while they seemed like the best accessory in the world. The 90s were a great time for sitcoms, and Jenna was a perfect sitcom star. She was a big hit in both Blossom and the Parkers, but never seemed to have the same burning ambition of some of her peers, and quietly stepped away from fame after the turn of the century. She has only six screen credits to her name since 2001.

That's not to say she's been doing nothing, though. She looks very different as an adult to the girls she played on screen, and she's recently published a booked called "Situation Momedy", intended as a guide to those having children for the first time. She's also tried her hand at being a country singer, although she hasn't landed a recording contract so far. Keep trying, Jenna!



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