When the 1990s began, television was nothing like what we know today. The big ones were still the main networks as most cable channels didn’t do original programming. Reality TV wasn’t a thing and forget streaming channels, the Internet didn’t even exist. You could only watch shows live or with a VCR and syndicated programming was a major thing. There were a lot of things changing up the landscape such as when Baywatch became a monster hit and pushed imitators. Also, syndicated TV was packed with shows that were, frankly, incredibly cheesy. From an emphasis on T&A to kids shows and more, the 1990s were packed with shows that today range from “so bad they’re good” to just plain bad.
Looking back, you can see a lot of women in some of these shows who would go on to achieve fame. Ladies from Teri Hatcher to Pamela Anderson are still sex symbols today with slews of credits. Other ladies may not be as busy today but still remembered like Yasmine Bleeth. But others are ladies who were truly hot and sexy in their time but forgotten today. It’s a shame as so many had the potential to be bigger stars, showing major sex appeal and often much better than the shows they were on. Some have retired, others are still out but not as famous as they once were. But they share coming to attention in this decade with shows that leaned on the cheesy side. Here are 15 such hot ladies and a reminder of how TV in the ‘90s offered plenty of great appeal.
15 Paula Trickey
Among the various takeoffs of Baywatch was Pacific Blue. USA made no secret this series was basically “Baywatch with bikes,” focusing on a group of cops who rode bikes in Santa Monica to defend the beaches. Paula Trickey played Cory, a hot-tempered cop who looked terrific in the uniform of white top and bike shorts. The buxom brunette got some very sexy stuff in the show’s run, moving from a rookie cop to more of a boss and some hot undercover assignments. Trickey showed up in a variety of TV shows and movies, including a recurring role as a conniving mother on The O.C. but has been rather quiet the last few years. She keeps up a good Twitter feed, including videos of her old show. She also got attention suing Warren Sapp for body slamming her at an ESPN event but still should be best remembered for a lady who promised a hot ride.
14 Sandra Hess
The first Mortal Kombat movie was hailed by fans of the video game series as terrific and top notch action. The second, Annihilation, was a horrible bomb loathed by many. However, most admit that Sandra Hess was a much better choice for Sonya Blade than Bridgette Wilson had been. The Swiss actress nad model got attention as the “Cave-Lady” in Encino Man. While Annihilation flopped, it got her more attention, leading to gigs like villainess Andrea von Strucker in a Nick Fury TV movie. Her bigger role was on Pensacola: Wings of Gold, as Alexandra Jensen aka Ice, a rising ace pilot with a group of trainees. Hess was believable in the action scenes and showed a hot style out of uniform as well to highlight the three season run of the show. Hess has been low-key since but had a nice recurring role as an arms merchant on NCIS to show she could still be a hot vixen even without an aircraft.
13 Alison Armitage
As soon as Baywatch became a huge hit, producers were falling over themselves trying to copy it. One of the nuttier attempts was Acapulco H.E.A.T. The idea was a Hemisphere Emergency Action Team, a group of elite operatives operating in Mexico against international crimes. Their cover was working at a resort owned by supermodel Fabio and running a beach fashion shop. The whole thing looked to be little more than an excuse for the actors to go around exotic locations and look hot doing it. The hottest was Alison Armitage as Cat, an ex-cat burglar offered a chance to work off a prison sentence for the team. The show made sure to have her in bikinis and other revealing outfits and showing off nicely. Armitage played the role for the show’s two seasons (the second with half the cast cut) and as a former Playmate, her fantastic body was nicely showcased. She hasn’t acted since 2002, preferring to keep to a quieter life but her turn as Cat really did manage to steal this show.
12 Vanessa Angel
The gorgeous Vanessa Angel had her big break in 1985’s Spies Like Us as a hot Soviet soldier. But she broke out more in the 1990s with a variety of roles on TV that showed her form, highlighted by terrific legs. She had a role on Baywatch and then a cop in Reasonable Doubts. Her most famous role would be in Weird Science, USA’s adaptation of the hit ‘80s movie. She was Lisa, the computer-created “perfect woman” of a pair of nerds using her special powers to make mischief. Angel never shied away from showing off in hot outfits for the show and a fun drive flaunting a good comedy style. She got more attention in the comedy Kingpin. She had a recurring role on Stargate SG-1 and has since been working in a variety of TV movies. Vanessa currently splits her time running a clothing line as well as various radio jobs but still retains the looks that reminds you how she’s one sexy Angel.
11 Molly Culver and Natalie Raitano
While Pamela Anderson is famous for Baywatch, she had a pretty good follow-up in VIP. She played Valerie Irons, a hot dog stand clerk who, by pure chance, saves a cowardly movie star from an attacker. To save face, the actor claims Valerie is a highly trained bodyguard. Having just lost their own boss, a real bodyguard agency asks Valerie to be their figurehead boss, saying she’ll just be in the office all the time but of course, she’s in real danger. Molly Culver played Tasha, a former KGB agent who saw Val as just a joke. A running gag was Tasha annoyed at how much work she did but the media fawned over Val as the hero.
Natalie Raitano was Nikki, the hot-tempered daughter of a mob boss who was the explosives expert. She was notable for her ultra-tight tops and hot lipstick to stand out well. Together, they got some very hot times with the action and a little comedy to balance the series from being just about Anderson. The show had a good run of four seasons but Culver and Raitano have been pretty much off the acting grid since. Too bad as they both managed to nearly steal the show in sexiness from Pamela Anderson, no mean feat.
10 Kathleen Kinimott
Renegade is infamous for it cheesy intro: “He was a cop, and good at his job. But he committed the ultimate sin—and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the badlands...an outlaw hunting outlaws...a bounty hunter...a RENEGADE.” Give them this, it summed it up perfectly. Lorenzo Lamas starred on this popular series as Reno Raines, who spent his time as a bounty hunter while also trying to find evidence to clear his name. He worked with Bobby Sixkiller, a slick bounty hunter boss often out to make a profit. Kathleen Kinimott was Cheyenne, Bobby’s sister who helped out. A gorgeous blonde, Kinimott’s casting was no doubt due to how she and Lamas were married when the show began. Thus, it made sense she got some sexy times and looking great.
The two divorced but remained on good terms to continue the show. But when Kinimott made nasty remarks on Lamas’ new wife, Shauna Sands, she was fired. She’s been quiet since, a photographer and running a studio in Los Angeles. Just goes to show how work and love mix poorly.
9 Jennifer O’Dell
Long before Jurassic Park, The Lost World was a story imagining a group of explorers discovering a land where dinosaurs still lived. It made sense someone would turn it into a weekly TV show and it happened in 1999. It suck surprisingly close to the original material by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a group of British explorers in 1900 crash in a remote jungle where dinosaurs and a variety of tribes lived. The group soon gets help from Veronica, a woman orphaned as a child when her parents went missing in this jungle and aids them. Jennifer O’Dell was clearly the eye candy of the series with what amounted to a leather bikini with often bare feet, her lush blonde hair making her look hotter. She got a lot of action stuff but clearly showed nicely through the show’s three –season run. O’Dell also got attention for a bikini-clad photo shoot with co-star Rachel Blakley. Since the show ended, O’Dell has popped up a lot in a variety of TV shows but nothing major, a shame for a lady who showed a fun wild side.
8 Elena Lyons
Peter Engel is well known for NBC fans of the ‘90s. He was the creator of Saved By the Bell, the still iconic teen sitcom. Engel soon had his own mini-empire of teen comedies like California Dreams, Hang Time and others. One wasn’t on NBC but rather the USA Network. USA High focused on a mixed bag of teens from various countries, all attending a school in Paris. From the start, Elena Lyons showed off nicely as Lauren, the main lady who enjoyed showing off in a variety of great outfits. From the start, she and lead Jackson had a nice banter and soon dating and Lyons had a great comic timing. Since the show ended, Lyons appeared in the film Club Dread (doing a nice topless scene) and has since moved to various small movie and TV roles. She also does weekly videos on various advice to women, showing she’s still a smart lady as well as sexy.
7 Kristanna Loken
For a time in the 1990s, Kristanna Loken was a rather familiar face. She had a role in the comedy series Unhappily Ever After and then the flying show Pensacola: Wings of Gold. Her big break came on Mortal Kombat: Conquest, a syndicated show based on the smash hit video game series. Set in ancient times, she was Taja, a thief who’s soon pushed to join others to defend the Earth from various demons. Loken showed off a nice fighting form and some hot outfits but the show was axed after just one season. In 2003, Loken hit it big as the T-X in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, sparking the rough sequel with her look. She later starred in BloodRayne and the TV series Painkiller Jane, both showing her action chops with hot looks. Loken has been busy with a variety of direct-to-video movies but not much on the big screen and a shame her star has fallen given how she was a fine sexy action lady in her prime.
6 Mitzi Kapture
This gorgeous brunette had a big breakout in 1991with Silk Stalkings. The series started on CBS but soon found a bigger audience moving to USA as one of their first original series. Mitzi Kapture played Rita Lee Lance, a cop investigating murders among the rich and famous of Palm Beach. Kapture showed a variety of styles and the usually laughable fashions of the early 1990s looked spectacular on her. Her sex appeal was on full blast with her chemistry with co-star Rob Estes and the show was never the same after both left. After a break, Kapture returned to TV on Baywatch and her form in a swimsuit was terrific, boosting the show’s ratings up majorly. Since leaving the show, Kapture has been mostly absent from acting with some recent photos showing her sadly with too much weight and some bad looks. A shame as in her prime, this was one very hot lady to make her shows, cheesy as they were, very watchable and arresting.
5 Kari Wuhrer
Quite a few young teens in the 90s saw this lovely lady as their first major crush. Kari Wuhrer first starred on the popular MTV game show Remote Control, notable for hot dresses and the occasional singing. She played the part of a created human in Swamp Thing The Series with an affinity for low shorts. That was followed by the short-lived Fox show Class of ’96 and others. Her biggest role was joining the cast of Fox’s cult sci-fi show Sliders. The series focused on a quartet who traveled to various alternate Earths. Wuhrer played Maggie, a soldier from one Earth joining the group and brought a serious sex appeal to things in hot outfits and often some very steamy situations (such as affected by a virus wanting her to bond with men. Wuhrer has popped up in slews of cable TV movies and some other parts but few have touched the great appeal she brought and on any Earth would be a very hot lady.
4 Kelly Packard
It never approached the level of popularity of Saved By the Bell but California Dreams was still a fun and notable sitcom. It focused on a group of teens working as a band with Kelly Packard as Kelly, the lead singer/guitarist. Packard was charming in the role with long blonde hair and a great look, a bright smile and being a surfer meant Packard got to show off in swimsuits a lot. She was with the show during its five year run which still has a cult audience. Packard then got more attention for a swimsuit playing rookie lifeguard April on Baywatch, good with the action and of course showing a sexy side a lot. Since then, Packard has been seen mostly in a variety of TV movies and an episode of Wife Swap but prefers to stick to her family life more. She still has the terrific All-American girl next door looks and bright smile to remind fans of how she made two ‘90s shows so nice to watch.
3 Justina Vail
UPN’s Seven Days had a pretty cool plotline. Whenever a major disaster struck (from a diplomat killed to a nuclear attack), operative Frank Parker would be sent back in time a week to stop it. A top member of the cast was Olga played by Justina Vail. The actress had been featured in an episode of Highlander and showed more skill for this part. A Russian scientist with a hot accent, Olga had a great manner and Vail looking terrific with her bright red hair. A recurring character was Galina, an insane lookalike who would impersonate Olga, giving Vail a chance to show a sexier side. The running bit was her attracted to Frank but then he has to go back in time and lose all that progress. Rumors abounded on trouble on set which led to its cancellation after three seasons. It seems to have turned Vail off on acting as ever since, she’s been working as a life coach and therapist and doing a column for Backstage magazine. At least she had a good time for fans of a show worth making time for.
2 Elizabeth Gracen
Nicely expanding on its source material, Highlander was based on the cult movie of the same name. It focused on a race of humans who could live for centuries, coming back from injury and death but duelling it out with the winner taking his enemy’s head off. It was shown main character Duncan Macleod had a long history with ladies and one episode showed a past love in Amanda. A thousand-year old Englishwoman, she was an expert thief and con artist and showed a seductive manner in just about everything. She was meant for just one episode but Amanda Gracen was so great in the part that she was made a recurring character and eventually a regular.
Gracen was nice mixing a variety of outfits and accents and could handle herself in a fight to make the character a fun one. She eventually got her own spin-off which only lasted one season. Gracen was infamous when it was revealed she’d had an affair with then-Governor Bill Clinton but still showed a great style in this part. She hasn’t acted much since but a fan film in 2013 had her reprising the role and still looking terrific to show her sexiness really is immortal.
1 Lisa Ryder
Forever Knight was a popular cult show, focusing on Nick Knight, a 1200-year-old vampire searching for a cure. In his spare time, he worked as a cop in Toronto to handle various crimes. The third season had a big cast turnover with Lisa Ryder joining as Tracy Vetter, Nick’s new partner. Lisa Ryder had a good spunk in the role, Tracy a rookie cop promoted thanks to her high-ranking father and thus fighting for respect. She didn’t know about Nick but was attracted to a handsome vampire contact. She was killed in the series finale (which had just about every main character killed off) but Ryder achieved some fame later. In 2000, she started a role on the long-running sci-fi series Andromeda that showed off a great action drive and some nice outfits. Ryder also starred as a robot in Jason X (ironically, her Andromeda co-star Lexa Doig, who’d played a robot, was a human in that film). Ryder has had a variety of roles in her native Canada and elsewhere but still gets attention for her turn in this vampire epic.