Whether it was because of a huge scandal, or just wanting a break from the Hollywood spotlight, there are so many celebrities that we miss seeing on the regular. Back in the day, they won us over as the biggest teenage crushes, the artists who sang hits we couldn’t get enough of, and our unofficial roommates, as huge magazine posters of them covered countless bedroom walls. Then it just seemed like they disappeared from the face of the earth with no warning (well, some of them gave a warning but I know I didn’t take it seriously).
It seems like time has gone by so fast that many fans didn’t realize it had been years and maybe even decades since we last saw some of our favorite throwback stars. If they come across our Instagram feed or we see them in a commercial or even hear an old song on the radio, we think, “Oh my gosh! Yes I remember them!” and it’s always followed by the question of, “Whatever happened to them?” Next thing we know, we’re scrolling down their Instagram page trying to find out if they are married (and if they are, have a jealous moment thinking we could’ve been their spouse), if they have adorable children, and what they’ve been up to. Thanks to shows like OWN’s Where Are They Now? we know what many stars have been doing since their hiatus from the limelight. Still, we want to hear and see more of them this year so they definitely need to make a comeback. Check it out:
15 Alexa Vega
We know her as the star of the Spy Kids franchise. She tried to branch out and show that she was more than just a kid saving the world in Sleepover, and she also had a recurring role on Nashville in 2014 to 2015. But while she has been in a few movies and shows here and there, I’m ready to see Alexa Vega (now PenaVega) land a major role. She’s grown up to be such a beautiful girl (do I say woman now?) and hasn’t let the troubles of childhood stardom take a toll on her life or even body. She might have taken a break from the spotlight to focus on her personal life. She is now married to Carlos PenaVega and the two welcomed their first child, Ocean, together back in December. And while she’s known as the Spy Kids star in many headlines referring to her, she might be okay with that. The movie was huge so that’s nothing to scoff at anyway. But we're ready for more!
14 Michelle Trachtenberg
This Harriet The Spy star seems to be off the map after having recurring roles on Gossip Girl and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She was a pretty big deal in the nineties, as Harriet The Spy was a major film that probably caused kids everywhere to find a new secret hiding spot for their diaries. While we haven’t seen much of her, she revealed that she’s a member of the prestigious Writer’s Guild of America organization and has given the green light to several projects. She even said, “ I feel like [I’m living] a Hollywood version of Harriet’s life,” as she dished on her real-life notebook that holds several secrets. “Harriet would be proud.” The film also starred Rosie O’Donnell as her nanny and was one of few movies that was a really good adaptation of the book that came before it. I can only hope that she’ll be stepping out in front of the camera again really soon.
Mya’s "Movin On" hit had all of us belting at the top of our lungs along with unforgettable jams like "My Love is Like…Wo," "The Best of Me," "It’s All About Me," and the theme song for the Rugrats movie "Take Me There." And it only got even more intense as she released hits like "Case of the Ex" after that in 2000. She also had singles like "Fallen" in 2003 and "Lock U Down" in 2007. But she seemed to breakup with the music industry shortly after that. Since then, she made headlines for channeling her inner exotic dancer, and coming in 2nd place on Dancing With The Stars in 2009. But she’s also been on many blogs because she still looks just as amazing as she did in the 90s and 2000s. It looks like she’s already working on her comeback as she just released her latest single "Unbreakable" and even performed it on Today recently. She also put out another song named "Coolin" in 2016.
12 Mackenzie Rosman
Do you recognize this girl? What has Ruthie Camden been up to since the final days of Seventh Heaven? Actress Mackenzie Rosman literally grew up on the show as it aired from 1996-2007. She first began as little Ruthie, but then developed into the average teenager who experimented with makeup and kissing boys. While it might have been hard for her to shake being known as Ruthie, just as it was difficult for any of her siblings and even the parents to be known as more than their role, I think it’s past time for Rosman to make a comeback (outside of the Maxim shoot she did recently). She did have a reunion with her TV sisters Jessica Biel (who played Mary Camden) and Beverly Mitchell (who starred as Lucy Camden – am I the only one who just noticed how all of them had kind of old names?). They shared a snapshot together and Mitchell revealed on her blog that they are still like sisters to this day. Hey Netflix, maybe we can get a Seventh Heaven reboot with the kids? Maybe not with Reverend Camden though...
11 Marla Sokoloff
Okay, so now that I’m over Marla Sokoloff’s character, Gia, trying to get Stephanie Tanner to smoke a cigarette on Full House, I’m ready for her to make a comeback! Sokoloff’s most notable role was that of Sokoloff on the classic sitcom, and her appearance in teen movie Sugar & Spice. She was definitely the bad girl on Full House who we all know was a terrible influence on Stephanie. Some fans might remember the episode when she wanted Stephanie to go hang out with her and a few older guys, and when Stephanie didn’t go, thanks to DJ Tanner, Gia ended up getting into a bad accident.
With that being said, I wonder if I’m the only one who thought Sokoloff was just as mean as Gia. But it’s been about 20 years since then, so it’s safe for her to come back now. She actually did make an appearance on the Netflix reboot Fuller House. In case you’re wondering, Gia is now a soccer mom who still tries to influence Stephanie Tanner.
10 Natasha Bedingfield
We can still feel the rain on our skin! Okay but seriously, Natasha Bedingfield had so many feel-good hits back in the mid-2000s. It brings back so many memories to hear "Unwritten," "These Words," and "Pocketful of Sunshine." On a side note, remember her brother Daniel Bedingfield who had that popular song "Gotta Get Through This?"Anyway, it’s been nearly ten years since Natasha’s last hit song and I couldn’t help but wonder what happened. She did release an album, Strip Me, in 2010 but it didn’t gain nearly as much traction as her first songs. She is lending her voice for the highly anticipated Tangled: The Series that follows the popular Disney movie. It is only premiering on Billboard for now. She also revealed she’s currently working on a new album and will be hitting the stage with Train this summer. This sounds like the beginning of an amazing comeback that we can’t wait for!
9 Lark Voorhies
So, Lark has been no stranger to the media since her last days as Lisa Turtle on Saved By The Bell. Even after that she starred in a few movies and seemed to be doing well for herself. But in recent years, she has been giving interviews and saying things that go viral, and not in a good way. I’m still rooting for her though. So if she makes a comeback, I’m hoping it’s closer to the woman she was back in the day, and not the troubled woman she seems to be now. The last time we heard from Lark, she divorced her ex-husband (who she had married multiple times) after he was accused of trying to extort her for money. Her mother also has revealed she is worried about Voorhies. It’s not clear when the dark turn came, but it’s never too late for her have a turnaround and make a comeback.
8 Lacey Chabert
Oh Gretchen! All kinds of Mean Girls one-liners come up when Lacey Chabert’s name is mentioned. From her monologue about why Regina George wouldn’t let her wear white gold hoops to the infamous “You can’t sit with us!" scene, Chabert’s character as Gretchen Wieners is still missed more than ten years after the film hit theaters. I don’t know if she’ll ever have a role as big as Gretchen, but I’d like to see what else Chabert can do. She did star in a season of Baby Daddy on ABC Family, but her character was written out of the show after a few episodes. It’s also been revealed recently that she will star in a Hallmark movie. I’ve never met Chabert in person, but I have a feeling this role could be right up her alley. I’m excited to see what else she could be working on too. I definitely wouldn’t be against a Mean Girls reunion!
7 Andrew Keegan
Whether he was playing a bad boy in Ten Things I Hate About You or a heartthrob on Seventh Heaven, I think it’s safe to say almost every teenage girl had a crush on Andrew Keegan at one point in their life. I know I did! His name alone has a ring to it that sounds like the most popular boy in school who you might never have a chance with. Still, while he was definitely winning in the 90s and even early 2000s, he seemed to be on a hiatus in recent years. It looks like he’s traded in his pretty boy look for more of a grungy one. But that’s often what happens when child actors have to play a role that could be much different than who they are in reality. In our heads, he would also be the popular high schooler. Now, he’s said to be the leader of an organization that has been described as a cult in California. Let’s hope he drops that and gets back in front of the camera.
6 Tatyana Ali
We all know her as Ashley Banks. But where has Tatyana Ali been since she starred as the beloved cousin of Will Smith on the classic sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Well, she’s been living life that’s for sure. She went on to release a single that featured Will Smith, and after that, appeared in a few television shows. You might remember she was on The Next Generation Wayans that had a season on BET a few years ago. She also starred in The Young and the Restless for six years before going to Love That Girl! In her personal life, she just welcomed her first child, Edward Aszard Rasberry, with her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. What most might not know is that she filed a lawsuit against the hit daytime talk show The Real with claims that it was originally her concept. Whether this works out for her or not, we hope she won’t be a stranger.
5 Nate Richert
If there wasn’t a photo of him above, you might not be alone if you are thinking, “Nate who?” We remember him as Sabrina’s crush turned boyfriend Harvey on Sabrina The Teenage Witch. But since then, we haven’t seen much of Richert. He looks completely different now. So much so that if you saw him walking down the street, you might ask yourself, “Do I know him from somewhere?” Still, we were a huge fan of Richert when he was on the series. And I wouldn’t mind seeing him have a big return. He has made appearances since Sabrina but only a handful. He played Charlie Nash in Game Box 1.0, and Perry Tropper on The Sure Hand of God in 2004. After that, he was Henry in the short H-e-n-r-y in 2006. I don’t know why he’s taken a break from the spotlight but I’m here for him getting back into the acting circuit.
4 Jesse Metcalfe
His breakout role came as Gabrielle Solis’ other man on ABC’s Desperate Housewives in 2004. When she finally broke things off with him years later, he starred in another major role, John Tucker Must Die, more than ten years ago. Many teenage girls exclaimed, “No, let him live!” thanks to Metcalfe being such a hottie. He went on to star in his latest major role, Christopher Ewing in the Dallas remake, but that aired from 2012-2014. We need to see Metcalfe grace our small screen or even the big screen on a regular schedule. I’m especially rooting for him because even though he portrays a playboy on television, he’s nothing like that in real life. He's engaged to his longtime girlfriend Cara Santana. The two made headlines after it came out that they are not being sexually intimate until their wedding night. They’re still working out some details, which could be why we haven’t seen or heard from him, but after he’s happily married, we’d like for him to make a comeback.
3 Julia Stiles
Seriously, where has Julia been? She made all of us think we had hope on the dance floor after Save the Last Dance became a classic. On a side note, that was also Kerry Washington’s first breakout role. As for Stiles, she did star in movies like Ten Things I Hate About You, opposite Andrew Keegan, and even made an appearance on The Mindy Project recently. You might also recall seeing her in the TV movie Guilt By Association. While she’s starred and had cameos in things here and there, I would love to see her return in a major role and in a movie that is considered one of the most popular of our time, like Save the Last Dance was in 2001 and 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999. I could really see her landing a major role like Mandy Moore did in This Is Us. Come on Julia!
2 Brendan Fraser
We know him from movies that we just knew would be classics like Encino Man, Blast from the Past, and the 1997 Tarzan parody, George of the Jungle. But where has Brendan been since then? He’s had a few appearances here and there in series like Scrubs and even lent his voice in a few episodes of Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Odd Parents. Most recently, he has joined the cast of The Affair with another star who we miss, Joshua Jackson, who many remember as Pacey from the teenage drama series Dawson’s Creek. During his break from the spotlight he did pack on a few pounds (who doesn’t as they get older though?), but he made it clear via his social media that he was determined to get back to his glory days as he often posted photos of himself in the gym. While I must say he’s looking good, I also hope his latest role is just the beginning of the comeback we’ve been waiting on from Brendan
1 Freddie Prinze, Jr.
This guy! He proved to us he was more than just a Hollywood name when he tied the knot with his teenage sweetheart Sarah Michelle Gellar. For those who didn’t think they would last, they just celebrated their 14 year wedding anniversary together last year! Interestingly enough, it could be his decision to steer clear of the spotlight that has helped their marriage last so long. But I don’t know if it would be too much to ask for him to make a comeback. I get it - he’s enjoying life and all that good stuff, but there really hasn’t been too many movies like She’s All That. He did go on to have a recurring role for an entire season of 24 in 2010. While reality television doesn’t necessarily have the best rap right now, I would love to see his everyday life on the small screen. I think he and Sarah would do things the right way.
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