The ’90s. The last great decade according to many. Most ’90s babies remember the ’90s with fond nostalgia. The Rachel hairstyle was in style, Tamagotchi was the thing, and Walt Disney Animation Studios became super popular during the Disney Renaissance. Many argue that rap music was much better during the ’90s, thanks to rap legends like Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. Many also argue that television was much better during the ’90s, thanks to classics like Friends, Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, and Sailor Moon that have graced the airwaves.
Previously unknown actors and actresses became major stars when they landed breakthrough roles on ’90s shows that would become hits and immortalize them forever. Some stars who had successful careers during the ’90s found success that continued throughout subsequent years. Others, not so much.
Some stars just couldn’t match the same fame and acclaim they found during their prime and slowly fell off the top. Other celebrities seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth completely. There are quite a few celebrities who we have known for playing that one role on a ’90s TV show but we haven’t heard much from since then. Maybe they’re no longer active in the entertainment industry. But whatever the case, they’ve fallen a bit under the radar.
If you want to see what some forgotten ’90s TV stars have been up lately, then check out this list of 15 ’90s TV stars that we’ve forgotten about.
15. Heather Locklear
Before Heather Locklear starred in another career-defining role, she won a Razzie award for Worst Actress for The Return of the Swamp Thing and acted in the short-lived sitcom Going Places. One of the roles Locklear is mostly known for was playing Amanda Woodward on the Beverly Hills, 90210 sequel series Melrose Place. Right after Melrose Place, Locklear landed one of the main roles on the show Spin City in the character of Caitlin Moore. In the years that followed, Locklear made appearances in various TV shows such as Ally McBeal and Hot in Cleveland, as well as a few movies, one of them being Scary Movie 5, of all movies to appear in. She hasn’t done much within the past few years.
14. Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali got her first start as a regular child performer on Sesame Street starting in 1985. The role that got her the most famous was when she played Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ali still remained active in the industry following the end of The Fresh Prince, acting in various movies and making appearances in various TV shows. She also attended Harvard University and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and government. Within the past several years, she had a recurring role on the soap opera The Young and the Restless and a lead role on the TV One sitcom Love That Girl! One of her most recent credits was a guest-star appearance on the show Key and Peele in 2015.
13. Barry Watson
Barry Watson first started acting in a brief role on Days of Our Lives in 1990. Once his contract ended, he returned to Texas where he graduated from high school in 1992. But Watson wasn’t quite done with acting yet. Sometime after his graduation, he returned to acting, guest-starring in shows like Sister, Sister and Baywatch before he scored a lead role on 7th Heaven as one of the Camden children, Matt. After that, he got a lead role in the comedy-drama What About Brian? and another lead role in the sitcom Samantha Who? Watson made sporadic appearances on TV since then and appeared in the ABC Family Original Movie My Future Boyfriend. His most recent gig is the main role of Ricky Cooper on the UpTV sitcom Date My Dad, which started airing earlier this month.
12. Luke Perry
Like another entry on this list, Luke Perry became a teen idol after he starred in the hit teen soap opera Beverly Hills, 90210 as brooding bad boy Dylan McKay. He would eventually leave the show in 1995, citing a desire to pursue more mature roles for himself. However, he would return to the show three years later and stay there until the series ended in 2000. In the meantime, Perry appeared in a couple of sci-fi movies, a drama, and an independent film opposite Ashley Judd. Perry has appeared onscreen in various TV shows since his days on Beverly Hills but has also done plenty of voice-over work for animated series, playing himself often. Now, he plays Fred Andrews, the father of the main protagonist, Archie, in the teen drama series Riverdale.
11. Jenna Von Oy
Jenna Von Oy became famous for playing the role of motormouth Six LeMeure on the NBC sitcom Blossom. Once the show came to an end, von Oy attended the University of Southern California to study film but dropped out after two years to make a comeback in the acting industry. She secured the role of Stevie van Lowe in the UPN sitcom The Parkers, a spin-off of the hit UPN show Moesha. van Oy has made sporadic appearances on TV since then and did some voice-over work as well. In 2006, she voiced Gracie in Dr. Dolittle 3 and in 2012, she played Rose in the 2012 drama film Lukewarm. von Oy hasn’t done acting since then and also hasn’t released any more music since she released her debut album Breathing Room in 2007.
10. Shannen Doherty
Shannen Doherty achieved widespread fame and acclaim when she portrayed Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210. She left the show after the fourth season and her career consisted mostly of made-for-TV movies, although there were some exceptions. One well-known exception was her portrayal of witch Prue Halliwell on Charmed. She had a recurring role on the soap opera North Shore, was a special guest star on 90210, and competed on Dancing With the Stars, among other things. In 2015, Doherty announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to her lymph nodes. She underwent surgery and subsequent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In April, she announced that the cancer was in remission. She has a TV movie titled Heathers in pre-production and two films in post-production.
9. Rider Strong
After he landed the role of Shawn Hunter on the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World, Rider Strong was hurled into widespread fame and teen heartthrob status for years to come. Strong went back to school to study English, graduating magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2004. He went back to the small screen in 2006 to appear in the comedy-drama series Pepper Dennis. But unfortunately for Strong, the show only lasted one season. A series of films and short films followed, as well as some sporadic appearances on TV shows. He reprised his role as Shawn Hunter in the Boy Meets World sequel, Girl Meets World. Nowadays, Strong lends his voice as demon Tom in the Disney XD animated series Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
8. David Faustino
Throughout the early to mid-1980s, David Faustino made numerous guest-star appearances on popular shows but it wasn’t until he got the role of Bud Bundy, the younger child of the Bundy family, in the Fox sitcom Married…with Children that he shot to fame. During the series’ ten-year run, Faustino made appearances in sitcoms, dramas, and movies such as crime drama Burke’s Law, indie film Robin’s Hood, and Disney film Perfect Harmony. He reprised his role as Bud Bundy in Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Top of the Heap. Faustino continued to act in film and on TV in the following years and even appeared in Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. He also lent his voice to Mako in the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel The Legend of Korra. Currently, he’s the host of Old Scratch Radio which broadcasts Sundays on Dash Radio.
7. Jason Priestley
Starring as chick magnet Brandon Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 turned Jason Priestley into a teen idol and a household name. After Beverly Hills ended, Priestley appeared in a variety of TV shows and movies. Another role he became known for, while not quite as popular as the one he played on Beverly Hills, was the role of Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick in the black comedy Canadian TV show Call Me Fitz. In addition to being an actor, Priestley also became a director, making his directorial debut during Beverly Hills‘ ten-year run, directing 15 episodes. He directed a few episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Working the Engles in addition to several other shows, the most recent in an episode of the American-Canadian dark fantasy TV series Van Helsing.
6. Marques Houston
Before Marques Houston‘s breakthrough role on Sister, Sister, Houston was active in the music industry. He was a member of the R&B singing group Immature, also known as IMx, starting from 1990. A few years later, he got the part of Roger Evans on Sister, Sister, the next-door-neighbor to identical twin protagonists Tia and Tamera. Afterward, he had a couple appearances on TV but remained off of it for years until he returned in 2015 to play the lead role in the TV One romance movie Will to Love. In the meantime, Houston continued singing with Immature before going solo in 2003. He also acted in several films over the years, such as You Got Served and Battlefield America. He’s set to reprise his role as Brendan Young in the horror film series Somebody Help Me in Somebody Help Me 3.
5. Tahj Mowry
Like his famous older twin sisters, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Tahj Mowry got bitten by the acting bug and became a ’90s star on television. One of his first roles was playing Teddy, Michelle Tanner’s friend, on Full House. His most notable role was playing the lead role of child prodigy T.J. Henderson in WB sitcom Smart Guy. Following Smart Guy, he moved on to voice-work, voicing Wade in Kim Possible throughout the show’s run. Since 2012, he had a lead role as Tucker Dobbs in the ABC sitcom Baby Daddy, which ended earlier this year in May. In addition to acting, Mowry appeared on The Real as a guest co-host in 2015 and released his debut single titled “Flirt” that same year. A few months later, he released a six-track EP.
4. Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart landed the starring role of Clarissa Darling in Clarissa Knows It All in 1991, a wildly successful show on Nickelodeon during its four-year run. After the show ended, Hart moved on to star in the TV movie Sabrina The Teenage Witch, which turned into an extremely popular television series that lasted seven seasons on ABC and WB. In the years that followed, Hart starred in a couple of ABC movies, guest-starred in a few shows, and competed in Dancing With the Stars. She also opened up her own candy shop in 2009 but the business venture eventually failed and the shop closed down permanently in 2015. In 2010, Melissa returned to a new weekly television series titled Melissa and Joey that ended in 2015 but has only made a couple TV show and movie appearances since then.
3. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas became a teen heartthrob when the played the middle child of the Taylor family Randy on one of the most watched sitcoms of the ’90s, Home Improvement. During the show’s eight-season run, Thomas lent his voice to a few movies, most notably The Lion King as the voice of young Simba. Following Home Improvement, Thomas made a few appearances in shows such as Ally McBeal in 2000, Smallville in 2002, and Veronica Mars in 2005. Sometime after his appearance on Veronica Mars, it seemed that Thomas had disappeared off the map and out of the entertainment industry. It wasn’t until 2013 that he resurfaced and reunited with his TV father from Home Improvement, Tim Allen, in the second season finale of the latter’s ABC sitcom Last Man Standing. Two years later, he appeared in the twelfth episode of the fourth season. He hasn’t done anything since then.
2. Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Mark-Paul Gosselaar‘s first taste of show business came when he starred as Zack Morris in the Disney sitcom Good Morning, Miss Bliss. The show was canceled after one season, but NBC rebooted the teen sitcom and turned it into the ’90s hit known as Saved By The Bell. Playing Zack Morris again but to a wider audience was perhaps Gosselaar’s career-defining role. He reprised his role in two TV movies and two spin-off TV series. Gosselaar continued to act after that, primarily appearing on TV; most of his appearances were in TV movies. Gosselaar played one of the lead roles in the comedy-drama series Franklin & Bash, which was canceled after four seasons, and played one of the main roles in the drama series Pitch, which was canceled in May after one season.
1. Scott Wolf
Scott Wolf is mostly known for his role as Bailey Salinger on the teen and family drama Party of Five, a TV show that suffered low viewership ratings during its first and second seasons but surged considerably in ratings and popularity after it won a Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama. However, there are two other roles Wolf is noted for. He portrayed Jake Hartman in the drama series Everwood and Chad Decker in the sci-fi series V. Throughout his career, Wolf has appeared in a variety of films, several of them TV films, and has guest-starred on various TV shows such as Spin City, CSI: NY, and NCIS. In more recent years, he had regular appearances on shows like Perception and The Night Shift, the latter of which he still appears in. Since last year, he has been a guest host on Live With Kelly.
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