The 1990s were a very different time and place for television. The networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) still dominated with Saturday just as big a night for programming as the rest and 1995 saw the WB and UPN launch to give more options. VCRs were the only way to record shows for later and it would take until the latter half of the decade for the internet to become a regular presence. Syndication ruled as the success of Baywatch pushed other shows in markets and while cable had a few shows here and there on HBO or USA, it was nowhere near as huge as it is today. It’s remarkable to see how much has changed but one thing that hasn’t has been ladies with amazing sex appeal.
If anything, the ‘90s really pushed the true sex appeal of ladies on television with lowering standards and the T&A leading to the success of many a series. From beaches to bedrooms, the ladies of the ‘90s really enjoyed showing off and viewers loved to watch them. Many have gone on to further fame like the ladies of Friends, Claire Danes, Keri Russell and others. Others have found second acts like Teri Hatcher going from Lois & Clark to Desperate Housewives and several of Melrose Place still hanging on TV. Yet there are several ladies who in the ‘90s were amazingly hot yet today seem to have vanished in the landscape. Some still pop up but amazing how many incredibly hot ladies who were hugely popular have fallen to the wayside today. Here are 20 of the hottest ladies on the boob tube in that decade and how some deserve to be remembered a lot more today.
20 Peta Wilson
Before Maggie Q, Wilson was cast in the title role of La Femme Nikita, a USA adaptation of the classic action series. With her blonde locks, dazzling eyes and husky accent, the Aussie actress helped make the show a hit, mixing kick-ass fight scenes with very hot romantic stuff. Wilson has turned out of most major stuff, a spread in Playboy among various indies like a lesbian drama and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Today, she runs her own lingerie label called Wylie Wilson with a store in Los Angeles, proving she still has a sexy side to herself under the covers.
19 Paula Trickey
Described as “Baywatch with bikes,” USA’s Pacific Blue focused on a squad of bike cops keeping the peace. A goofy premise but it was a hit thanks to its lovely female cast with Trickey the best of the bunch as Cory, her shorts showing off nice legs and white top barely holding back a nice chest. Out of uniform she was hotter in bikinis or less for various jobs and her dark hair standing out among the brighter castmates. She would later appear in The O.C. while settling into her love of golf, including her own line of golf towels and jewelry and while she’s settled into a quiet homemaking life, she can still look gorgeous on a bicycle as well as she did in the ‘90s.
18 Molly Culver and Natalie Raitano
Intended as a vehicle for Pamela Anderson, V.I.P. had her starring as Valerie Irons, a Valley Girl who, through whacky circumstances, ends up becoming head of a bodyguard agency. Culver played Tasha, the former KGB agent not happy about Val interfering, smooth and professional which just made her seem even hotter. Raitano was Nikki, the daughter of a mob family known for her tight halter tops and quick trigger finger. They helped the show be a success with various comedy and action antics and look amazing doing it. Culver still appears on TV like Criminal Minds and can often be seen on VH1’s various “I Love…” shows about decades. Raitano doesn’t show up as much but still performs and a fitness instructor in New York, looking quite firm all over. Anderson got the glory but these two are still incredibly sexy in their own right to be well remembered.
17 Yancy Butler
With her alluring face, long dark hair and husky voice, Butler seemed tailor-made for stardom, aided by a very sexy body. She first popped up on the sci-fi series Mann and Machine as an android turned cop. She followed that with South Beach as a thief working a deal to become an FBI agent. Both series were short-lived but showed her sexy side off as she also worked in movies like Hard Target and Drop Zone as well as the police drama Brooklyn South. Butler later played the lead in a TV version of the hit comic Witchblade but it was canceled as reports came of Butler showing up on set drunk. In the years afterward, Butler has had run-ins with the law and rehab but seems ready to get back on track with some Syfy movies like Lake Placid vs Anaconda and while older, can hopefully still remind you of the fantastic sexy presence she once held.
16 Lisa Zane
The older sister of Billy Zane, Lisa had several notable roles in the ‘90s, starting in a recurring part on L.A. Law and later on ER. She played the vixen businesswoman on the groundbreaking series Profit and then a wicked queen on the cult Heath Ledger show Roar that showed herself off in gowns and baths. An accomplished singer, Zane has been releasing albums and spending a lot of time in Europe performing at nightclubs. She still possesses a fantastic cool side to remind you of the sexpot she played on TV so often and how the Zanes love to have wild fun.
15 Hudson Leick
Leick had wanted to get into acting for a young age and did a ten-episode stint on Melrose Place. In 1995, she got the role that’s defined her as Callisto, the insanely vengeful warrior on Xena and was an instant hit with the fans. From her leather outfit to the dark blonde hair to a face that looked gorgeous even when in an evil smirk, the character proved so popular that she was brought back time and again, even after being killed off. Indeed, when Lucy Lawless had a broken leg, the writers came up with Xena swapping bodies with Callisto and Leick doing a good job aping Lawless’ performance. Leick has mostly dropped out of acting, working at the Healing Heart Yoga Center in Los Angeles as a certified instructor. She still pops up at fan conventions looking fantastic as she performs the famed “Callisto scream” and could still slide into that leather costume with ease to win over fans.
14 Vanessa Angel
Born in London, Angel moved to Los Angeles to become a model, making her movie debut as a Soviet soldier showing off in underwear in the comedy Spies Like Us. In the ‘90’s, she had roles on Baywatch and a bisexual model on Melrose Place before landing the TV adaptation of the sci-fi comedy Weird Science. As Lisa, the super powered beauty brought to life by a pair of nerds, Angel went about in various sexy outfits (and often next to nothing) with good humor to make the show a success and also played a hot “ball girl” in the comedy Kingpin. She seemed a bit lost amid the Hollywood machine, appearing in various TV shows, including a stint on Californication that proved she still has the funny sexy side after all these years to remain magical.
13 Rachel Blanchard
Some joke that given how her film career turned out, Alicia Silverstone might have been better off reprising her role as Cher in the TV version of the classic comedy Clueless. Instead, Rachel Blanchard was cast and did a good job not aping Silverstone but her own spin on the quirky and well-meaning Cher, surrounded by almost all the movie’s cast. Blanchard wonderfully handled the ‘90’s fashions and bikinis to make the show a success on ABC and later the WB. After it ended, she moved onto 7th Heaven and won acclaim for a role on the British Sitcom Peep Show and another TV adaptation, Fargo not to mention the infamous Snakes on a Plane movie. A case of an actress on the TV version better than the original and far hotter in many ways.
12 Elizabeth Gracen
A former Miss America, Gracen had gone on to modeling and acting in various small roles on TV series as well as rumors she’d had an affair with then-governor Bill Clinton. She was cast on the series Highlander as Amanda, a thousand-year old thief with a mischievous side whose first episode involved going around in fishnets and a tight dress. It was supposed to be a one-off but fans loved it so much that Amanda was soon made a recurring character and a permanent one by the end of the show. Gracen would reprise the role for a spin-off, The Raven that sadly was hampered by serious backstage issues, a shame given Gracen’s ability to show Amanda in various period dresses, all hot as hell. The experience drove Gracen mostly out of the limelight (sans a Playboy spread) although she did appear in the cult sci-fi film Coherence to show her casting as Amanda was good as she barely seems to have aged as a hot beauty.
11 Andrea Parker
A former ballet dancer, Parker started the ‘90s as a body double for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (it’s her legs sliding on boots in the beginning), George Clooney’s fiancée on the first season of ER and the first season of the long-running hit JAG. The NBC series The Pretender had a good following with Michael T. Weiss as Jarod, a man escaping a sinister organization with the ability to take on any occupation. Parker played Ms. Parker, the agent tasked with finding him and viewers loved her smooth black hair, rocking a business skirt and hot as hell despite her cold demeanor. After the show ended, Parker moved on to the sitcom Less Than Perfect to show a funnier edge but still sexy and has done arcs on Desperate Housewives and Pretty Little Liars. She’s older but still that amazing air that made Parker (the actress and the character) a cold lady who could warm you up nicely.
10 Gena Lee Nolin
One of the “Barker Beauties” on The Price is Right, Nolin moved onto acting, a few minor gigs before her role as Neely on Baywatch. With her long blonde hair and killer build, she became a popular character on the series and it suffered a bit when she left after four seasons. She starred as jungle gal Sheena, giving her more time in a skimpy outfit and in 2001, finally agreed to a spread in Playboy for her fans. Nolin has mostly retired from acting but getting attention for a best-selling book talking about her struggles with a thyroid condition and various health charities, proving at 44 to be as sexy as ever and with an eye to helping women as well.
9 Donna D’Errico
A hit with her first spread in Playboy in 1995, D’Errico moved onto a starring role on Baywatch, fitting in perfectly with her blonde locks, bright smile and rocking a red swimsuit well. She also appeared in the goofy spin-off Baywatch Nights. She mostly vanished after the shows ended with a few TV appearances but got major attention in 2012 when she climbed Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark. Sadly, she filed for bankruptcy in 2014 but one hopes she can bounce back with her bright style to keep making you smile.
8 Jamie Luner
Luner came to prominence in the late ‘80’s as the ditzy sister on the short-lived sitcom Just the Ten of Us. She took a major step forward in 1995 starring as a vixen in Aaron Spelling’s Savannah, showing off her body with lush reddish hair in skimpy clothing. The show failed but Luner was such a hit that she moved to play the even hotter and more scheming Lexi on Melrose Place, going all out in revealing outfits and hot lines. After the show ended, she starred on the last season of Profiler. She had a role in the short-lived cop drama 10-8 and a familiar presence making movies for Lifetime. She joined All My Children in 2009 and stayed with the show until its end to prove she still had what it took to be a sexy vixen. While she’s mostly between roles today, Luner still has the potential to rock a wicked hot lady like few others and be fantastic doing it.
7 Nana Visitor
After roles in various short-lived and forgettable series, Visitor hit the big time in 1993 when she was cast as Major Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She became a huge fan favorite for the part, tough as hell in a fight but still amazingly sexy, including in various revealing dresses and even working her real-life pregnancy into the show well. After the series ended, Visitor had a role on Dark Angel and starred in ABC Family’s first original series Wildfire and today works on the online series Full Out and a popular presence on Twitter to showcase her quirky humor and beauty that still shines well.
6 Janine Turner
The precursor to so many “small quirky town comedies” of today, Northern Exposure won over audiences and critics alike in 1990 for a six season run that was one of the best series of its time. A breakout from the start was Turner as Maggie, the former beauty queen turned tomboy, her short black hair just making her look hotter and even bundled up in winter clothing couldn’t hide her amazingly sexy body and her love-hate relationship with main character Joe formed the backbone of the show. Turner also turned in a performance in the action hit Cliffhanger among other film credits. She would return in the 2000’s to star in the Lifetime drama Strong Medicine and today has settled into writing for The Washington Times and her staunch Republican and Tea Party backing may surprise those used to her liberal character yet still doesn’t take away from how well this beauty has aged.
5 Claudia Christian
After a slow start, Babylon 5 soon won acclaim as one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time with its gripping plot and overall arcs. A key character was Susan Ivanova, the tough as nails but steaming hot commander on the station. Able to balance comedy antics with bad-ass action, Claudia Christian was a winner for fans with Susan handling everything from alien invasions to an affair with another woman. Christian had a falling out with the showrunners to leave after the fourth season, a move many feel threw the entire series off massively. She made only a few film and TV appearances afterward (as well as a Playboy spread) as she was wrestling with a drinking problem. She’s sober now and doing documentaries as well as books promoting her struggles and ability to overcome it, still possessing the sexy smirk and eyes that set so many sci-fi nerds afire and an out of this world beauty.
4 Brittany and Cynthia Daniel
Based on the iconic young adult series, Sweet Valley High starred real twins Brittany and Cynthia as Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Jessica was warm, studious and sincere while Jessica was far more into mischief, the two handling high school life with the occasional switching for comedy antics and the perfect pairing of blonde beauties who often enjoyed hitting the pool or the beach in bikinis. Brittany has kept to acting with roles in Dawson’s Creek and the popular sitcom The Game. Cynthia has retired from acting to become a photographer in Los Angeles. However, both ladies still look as gorgeous as ever and perfectly alike to remain a very sexy pairing.
3 Nikki Cox
One of the first shows for the WB, Unhappily Ever After played like an even raunchier Married With Children about a wild family. Cox played Tiffany, the sexpot who was also the smartest person in the family even if she could be as crazy as the rest. The producers never failed to have Cox come out in short skirts and tight sweaters to show off her bountiful cleavage as well as numerous revealing outfits over the show’s five season run. Cox had a short-lived self-titled sitcom and then got into hotter dresses on NBC’s Las Vegas for a popular run. She’s taken time away from acting to support husband Jay Mohr and showing how well she’s grown despite her sexy prime.
2 Mitzi Kapture
Starting on CBS, Silk Stalkings moved to USA and soon became a hit with its fun drive and sexy crimes in Palm Beach. Kapture enthralled viewers as Rita Lee Lance, a gorgeous cop who’d come to crime scenes in designer outfits with lush dark hair and a nice humor. She’d get into sexy undercover work and even bikinis at times but still tough at her job with her partnership with Rob Estes’ Chris would blossom into love. Kapture left the show after five seasons and after some time off, spent a few years on The Young and the Restless as well as Baywatch to show her great bikini body off. She hasn’t acted in a while and her last few public appearances showed a rather chubby face that seemed to be the result of Botox. A shame as this was one of the hotter ladies with a badge on TV and looked awesome in and out of uniform.
1 Renee O’Connor
While Lucy Lawless was the obvious choice of stunning sex appeal as the title character of Xena Warrior Princess, Renee O’Connor brought her own great beauty to the part of Gabrielle. At first just a quiet village girl, Gabrielle soon rose up with her own sexy side to become a capable warrior. She got a good makeover with a revealing outfit and the chemistry of O’Connor and Lucy Lawless launched a thousand slash fanfics. Lawless has continued to great fame but O’Connor has mostly moved behind the camera with her own production company. She still hangs out with Lawless, the two meeting at fan conventions and show they still have the terrific chemistry that made the show a hit and the former bard a fan favorite.