No matter how popular and successful an actor or actress appears to be on the surface, there's always a chance Hollywood will simply stop hiring them for reasons the general public may never understand. In some cases, it may even be the thespian in question's choice to slowly fade away, no longer wishing to live their life in the spotlight. Nonetheless, long-term fans who suddenly realize it's been months or years since they've seen their favorite entertainer will inevitably wonder where the heck they went, wishing and hoping for the day they return to prominence.
For the most part, it comes down to the fact that these ladies once played a memorable role or two and people have faith these former stars will be able to capture lightning in a bottle twice.
Whether or not this actually happens remains to be seen, but in the very least, it would be nice if some film or television producer at least gave them another big chance. Keep reading to remember 20 actresses from the '90s we desperately want to see make a comeback.
20 Shannon Elizabeth Deserves Another Piece of the Pie
As the foreign exchange student living with Jim Levenstein, Shannon Elizabeth was a living dream to many young men in the late 1990s. Naturally, she continued playing the role Nadia in a handful of sequels to that mainstream breakthrough, followed by a handful of other comedies including Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Love Actually. Elizabeth additionally tried her hand at the horror genre with films like Scary Movie and Thirteen Ghosts. For whatever reason, though, she seemed to be increasingly less appearances starting around the mid-2000s, with her only recent work of note being a stint on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother. Maybe that series will transition into a revival of her film career. At the moment, she's a huge animal activist.
19 Ali Larter Making a Comeback Would Be No Hoax
Making her mainstream breakthrough in 1999 with Varsity Blues, it could be said Ali Larter is more of a 2000s-era actress we want to make a comeback, but the fact remains she's been gone a while, and fans would be happy to see her back. It's not like she wasn't doing anything in the '90s, either, as she was in fact the face of Allegra Coleman, a fake model created by Esquire magazine as part of an elaborate hoax. From there, her career got real quick, including roles in the Final Destination and Resident Evil series, plus a long-term stint on Heroes. Roles outside of those franchises haven't been in the spotlight for a while, though, so maybe it's time she got another chance at sparking something new.
18 Tatyana Ali Was a Fresh Princess Who Could Be a Fresh Queen
Fans of '90s television and hip-hop-based sitcoms in general will never forget Tatyana Ali's breakthrough role as Will Smith's cousin Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. More recently, she also starred on the cable series Love That Girl! and popular soap opera The Young and the Restless, while also making a handful of supporting appearances in films and various other TV shows. However, her last stint in a main cast ended in 2013, and Ali's film roles simply never matched the profile of her TV work. Considering how cool it would be for her to pop up in cousin Will's next big blockbuster, it could be time for that trend to change.
17 Sarah Michelle Gellar Still Slays After All These Years
Considering all the hype surrounding the announced Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, it might be time to have a discussion about what the original slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, has been up to in the past couple years. After Buffy ended, it initially looked like she was poised for a long and successful career with a number of high-profile horror films, only for things to fizzle out recently after the cancelation of her sitcom The Crazy Ones, co-starring Robin Williams. Since then, Gellar has largely focused on a "kid-friendly" cooking company called Foodstirs, which apparently left her with little time for acting. While this is entirely understandable, getting behind the camera with another great role could give her start-up the publicity needed to become a major business.
16 There Will Always Be Something About Cameron Diaz
For someone still on the younger side of this list, it may be a little surprising to learn Cameron Diaz is also one of the few to have officially spoken out on the status of her career, calling herself "actually retired." Then again, given how massively successful some of the movies Diaz appeared in were, if anyone has the necessary funds to make a decision like this in their mid-40s, she's probably the one. From The Mask to There's Something About Mary to Shrek all the way up to Bad Teacher and Annie, nearly everything Diaz touched had blockbuster potential. If she wants to stay retired, that's her choice, but the strange thing is that no Hollywood producers have tried talking Diaz out of it yet.
15 Leelee Sobieski Shouldn't Shut Her Eyes on a Film Career
The younger a person is when they find fame, the harder it is for them to maintain it, meaning Leelee Sobieski will probably have a tougher time at a career revival than most on this list. In her mid-teens, Sobieski started making waves in Deep Impact, Eyes Wide Shut, and Never Been Kissed, plus a highly acclaimed title role in the miniseries Joan of Arc. Various roles in thrillers and horror films followed until around 2012, when Sobieski announced she was done with acting, primarily so she could focus on motherhood. While that's an entirely valid choice, there's always a chance she could reconsider once the kids get a little older, or even if she just feels a tad bored.
14 Jenna von Oÿ Blossomed on Screen and Could Do So Again
From a very young age, Jenna von Oÿ had been on our TV screens as Blossom's best friend Six LeMeure on the former character's self-titled sitcom. When she was a bit older, Oÿ continued her comedy career with a more adult supporting role on The Parkers. In between the two, she also played one-time characters on dozens of other sitcoms and dramas, plus the occasional TV movie where she attempted to portray more serious acting chops. Aside from a few guest appearances on reality shows as herself, though, Oÿ's acting career largely fizzled out circa 2012, so she could focus on a secondary passion in writing. As the author of two books, perhaps some sort of adaptation could be what brings her back to Hollywood.
13 Robia LaMorte Could Use Acting to Preach Her Message
Truth be told, the odds of Robia LaMorte, now known professionally under her married name Robia Scott, making a comeback seem pretty low. It's not that audiences don't want to see her, it's that Scott grew disillusioned with acting in general, preferring to instead focus on her religion as a writer and self-made minister. This obviously means she won't be involved in the upcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer remake, nor any new music videos as a backup dancer like she was in the past for Prince or Debbie Gibson. However, LaMorte could always combine her former career with her new one by participating in films she feels has a more positive message, so long as some producer sees it fit to offer her a role in such a picture.
12 Renee O'Connor Is No Second Fiddle
While most actresses on this list have at least a few roles for which fans will remember them, it's probably fair to say Renee O'Connor is almost exclusively known as Xena's closest companion, Gabrielle. That said, those who watched the show will likely also agree Gabrielle was such an iconic character in her own right that this is all we need to want O'Connor to appear in another major role some time soon. In fairness, she has portrayed roles in a handful of additional TV films and series, yet few reached the same status as her true breakthrough. Unfortunately, it's probably for this same reason that O'Connor hasn't gotten much work in recent years, with producers unable to see her as any other character, though this reputation could change with the right opportunity.
11 Bridget Fonda Needs to Re-Enter the Family Business
As the daughter of Peter Fonda, and thus the granddaughter of Hollywood icon Henry Fonda, chances are Bridget Fonda could still get work in the industry if she so pleased. Long-term fans would surely be happy to see her again, as well, unable to forget her expert turns in classics like Single White Female, Jackie Brown, or the TV film In the Gloaming, which earned her an Emmy in 1997. Fonda continued to get steady work for a few years after that, only to largely fall out of the spotlight in the early 2000s. Around this same time, she married musician Danny Elfman and started a family of her own, which could explain the absence. Nonetheless, given her family pedigree, a return to form will always feel possible.
10 Rachael Leigh Cook Could Look For Work Outside of grapes
Starring in at least one film per year since 2016, it could be said Rachael Leigh Cook is one of the more active actresses on this list. However, with all due respect to her career choices, the fact these films were all TV movies airing on the Hallmark Channel means she's not exactly the blockbuster star who once acted as the face of countless teen comedies, most notably She's All That. The fact most of her film roles since 2004, were either Direct-to-VOD or Direct-to-DVD doesn't quite honor her talents, either. Granted, there were also a few recurring stints on TV shows including Psych and Perception, yet Cook could definitely use a higher profile film role to bring her back into prominence.
9 Lara Flynn Boyle Missed Out on Twin Peaks
Of all the names on this list, it could be said Lara Flynn Boyle is the most surprising, as there was recently a high-profile project that seemed tailor made for her involvement: Twin Peaks: The Return. The original Twin Peaks role of Donna Hayward is what made Flynn Boyle's career, so her absence from the new series was certainly confusing to old fans. Not that it was her only character of note, as she also played a main character on The Practice, in addition to a number of critically-acclaimed films including Red Rock West and Happiness. For whatever reason, though, Flynn Boyle hasn't seen the spotlight since 2014. As for her disappearance from Twin Peaks, series creator David Lynch simply explained, "This is a story that takes place without her."
8 Trina McGee-Davis Should Get Reacquainted with the World
As close to a one-hit wonder as an actress can come, odds are the only role of Trina McGee (formerly McGee-Davis) that the average fan will recognize is that of Angela Moore, Shawn's longest lasting girlfriend on Boy Meets World. Memorable as that role was, she also appeared in a handful of other sitcoms from the era, including City Guys and Family Matters, plus a couple low profile movies, perhaps most notably Friday After Next. While she did recently reprise the role of Angela for a single episode of Girl Meets World, for such a major character, she received very little time in the revival, and that's been about it for her career recently. It's not clear why, as McGee's character always provided emotional scenes she could've taken to other projects.
7 Terry Farrell Doesn't Need to Wallow in the Obscurity of Deep Space
After technically gotten her start in the 1980s with Rodney Dangerfield's comedy Back to School, the career of Terry Farrell exploded in the '90s through not one, but two well received TV series. More notable was probably the role of Jazdia Dax on Star Trek: Depp Space Nine, followed immediately by Reggie Kostas on the sitcom Becker. There were also a number of TV films along the way, plus a handful of movies released in theaters, though none matched the success of these shows. After leaving Becker, Farrell decided to focus on raising her family, but that was a solid 15 years ago. Her son is a bit older now, and she recently popped up on the sci-fi tribute web series Renegades, so it's possible a full-scale return isn't far away.
6 A.J. Langer was a Noble Best Friend
A British politician's wife living in a castle, A.J. Langer doesn't exactly need to act anymore if she doesn't feel so inclined. However, anyone who witnessed her portray Angela's best friend Rayanne Graff on My So-Called Life has been hoping she'd get a second major role since all the way back in 1995 when that series was inexplicably canceled. Even in her heyday, Langer only appeared in a handful of minor guest roles on various sitcoms, plus a few low-profile films, aside of course from the one that made her famous. Not that it seemed to bother her, as Langer appears quite content with her husband, Charles Courtenay, now known as the 19th Earl of Devon, but her making a return to acting wouldn't be the first time British nobility spent time on camera.
5 Traylor Howard Doesn't Need a Pizza Place to Succeed
Silly and verbose as the title was, the short-lived sitcom Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place nonetheless eventually made Hollywood history by serving as the breakthrough for series lead Ryan Reynolds. Of course, Reynolds wasn't alone on the show, joined by the titular "girl" portrayed by Traylor Howard, who also found success a few years after it was canceled as the second assistant to the obsessive detective Adrian Monk. There were also a handful of film roles in between, including the cult comedy Dirty Work, only for Howard's career on camera to take a noticeable dive after Monk ended its run. What she's been doing since then is anyone's guess, but old fans would surely still be happy to see her solve another case, or share a few jokes with Deadpool.
4 Yasmine Bleeth Shouldn't Spend Her Days at the Beach
With how slow the actresses on Baywatch would run toward people who needed their help, it's wholly possible Yasmine Bleeth is just perpetually late for auditions. Okay, that's probably not the case, though she has indeed been notably absent from the spotlight since back in 2003, when her character returned to the sands for Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding. Not that this was her only role, as Bleeth also appeared on the soap operas Ryan's Hope and One Life to Live, in addition to guest roles on quite a few sitcoms, including a long term stint on Nash Bridges. These appearances also ended along with Baywatch's wedding, though, which is too bad, because audiences always enjoyed a day at the beach when she was on screen.
3 Patricia Richardson Could Improve Any Home Comedy
One of the older actresses on this list, if any of them have indeed chosen to retire, we fault Patricia Richardson the least for winding things down. That said, her most famous co-star Tim Allen is still up and running, so the fact she always provided the acting chops on their sitcom Home Improvement kind of has us wishing it was Richardson whose career would continue to flourish. Appropriately, her most recent mainstream role was a guest stint on Allen's new series Last Man Standing, though her dramatic talents always suggested she could play something a bit more serious, like she did in Ulee's Gold and a few episodes of The West Wing. Whatever type of production is willing to hire her, audiences would likely be happy to see Richardson once more.
2 Theresa Randle Can Put Bad Boys in Their Place
Though rarely seen in the lead role, Theresa Randle was in the background of several iconic '90s films starring major actors, making her a familiar face to fans despite her low profile. To name a few stand outs, she portrayed Will Smith's wife in both Bad Boys movies, Michael Jordan's wife in Space Jam, and even Spawn's wife in the anti-hero's self-titled cult classic. Randle's one starring stint came in the Spike Lee joint Girl 6, allowing a wider example of her comedic and dramatic skills. For as high profile as some of these movies were, Randle never quite broke through, and completely faded away from the scene by 2010. Maybe a comeback as a character other than a "bad boy's" wife would remind audiences, and Hollywood, what they'd all been missing.
1 Peri Gilpin Was Always More Than a Sidekick
Even if she winds up in another major project, chances are audiences will always view Peri Gilpin as Frasier Crane's producer, Roz Doyle. In this capacity, she regularly brought Frasier down from fits of pretentiousness at work, the same way his father Martin did at home. Though never much of a movie star, Gilpin also appeared in a good number of TV shows after Frasier ended it's run, most notably a long stint on ABC Family's sports drama Make It Or Break It. That show ended in 2011, and since then, Gilpin has rarely done more than make a handful of minor appearances in other series. Another long-term supporting role in a TV show or film would probably make Roz' remaining fans pretty happy.