Being a teen in the ’90s came with a whole set of challenges like trying to arrange plans around the TGIF lineup, shopping for furbies, and of course, picking which posters of the many gorgeous actresses of the decade to hang on your bedroom wall. With shows like Baywatch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and movies like American Pie and 10 Things I Hate About You, there was no shortage of some serious crush material.
While many successful ’90s actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts continued on to have bustling careers in the 21st century, there are many others that seem to have fallen off the face of the planet. While you may have known Ginger Spice’s favorite color, food and song back in the ’90s, you probably have no idea what she’s up to these days. Many of your favorite actresses completely gave up life in Hollywood thanks to starting a family, drug abuse and all kinds of other fun things life has to offer. In your mind, it’s easy to freeze our favorite actresses and musicians in time, and sometimes we forget what the heck happened to them! Read on to learn what the hottest ’90s actresses and musicians are up to these days and re-awaken your biggest teen crushes.
15. Tatyana Ali
We all watched as Tatyana Ali grew into a young woman as Ashley Banks on our favorite ’90s sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. We couldn’t help but be impressed by Tatyana’s beautiful pipes when she decided to be a singer on the show– and in real life. While we can watch Tatyana play the adorable youngest daughter of the Banks family pretty much every evening on Nick at Night, we have absolutely no clue what happened to the actress. Unfortunately, after the ’90s, Tatyana’s acting career wasn’t as strong as she probably would have hoped. You may have caught her in the cult-classic, Jawbreaker or the popular procedural drama, Criminal Minds. The biggest reason she wasn’t spending much time on the small screen was probably because she was working hard to build her singing career. Today, we can see Tatyana randomly on daytime talk shows and of course, re-runs.
14. Shannon Elizabeth
No matter how hard you try (but why would you?), it’s hard to forget an actress like Shannon Elizabeth. Most remember Shannon from her portrayal of Nadia in teen flick, American Pie, where she very successfully seduced teen virgin, Jim (Jason Biggs). The beautiful actress also had small roles on ’90s TV shows like Step by Step, Hang Time and USA High, in addition to a handful of movies. While we see Shannon in movies time to time, we really don’t hear much about the actress. Believe it or not, Shannon spends a lot of her time as a professional poker player! She’s been playing poker as a second job for many years now, and even won 55,000 dollars at the 2005 World Series of Poker.
13. Thora Birch
Is it just us, or did Thora Birch just disappear out of thin air– or at least from Hollywood? We watched Thora grow up on the big screen, from her roles in Hocus Pocus and Now and Then; to her admirable performances in films like American Beauty and Ghost World. But after the success of many films, Thora seemed to fall of the face of the planet. In 2002, Thora starred in a mini-series adapted from Liz Murray’s autobiography, Breaking Night, which ended up earning her an Emmy nomination.
In the last ten years, Thora has been low-key performing in movies, but is constantly overshadowed by some seriously weird behavior. While filming 2009’s Shadow of Broken Dreams (she plays a prostitute who gets convicted of murder), her father remained on set while she was performing a sex scene and reportedly shot her a thumbs up during it. Ew. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of the kind of drama she would continue to have on set of many of her projects, causing her to take a break for a while.
12. Larisa Oleynik
Our crush on Larisa Oleynik started back in 1994 when she played a mysterious, witty teen on The Secret Life of Alex Mac. Watching a beautiful girl in a backwards hat that would randomly morph into a puddle really left an impact on us as young teens. We fell even more in love with Larisa after watching her play the role of popular teen, Bianca in 10 Things I Hate About You. While her character wasn’t allowed to date in the film, all we wanted to do was take the beautiful Bianca to prom!
What happened to Larisa since her days as a teen heartthrob, you ask? If you were one of the many people who were left confused after binge-watching Mad Men and not being able to place a name with the face of Ken Cosgrove’s wife, you were not alone. That’s right: Larisa played Mrs. Cosgrove on Mad Men, short haircut and all! We can also spot Larisa on Pretty Little Liars and other various films.
11. Amy Jo Johnson
Remember rushing home from school so you could catch the latest episode of Power Rangers and daydream about saving the day with Amy Jo Johnson–otherwise known as the pink ranger? Ya, we do too. For many of us, Amy Jo was one of our very first crushes, and one that we could never forget. But we can’t help but wonder what happened to the feisty pink ranger after all of these years. Turns out, Amy Jo spends more time behind the camera than in front of it these days. The actress sill performs from time to time– you may have seen her on shows like Flashpoint and Felicity over the years, but she really hasn’t done much more than that.
10. Carmen Electra
If you spent the majority of your teen years in the ’90s, you more than likely had a poster–or five– of the sexy Carmen Electra on your wall. The actress/model shocked us with her short marriages to men like Dennis Rodman and Dave Navarro. Carmen Electra managed to make a career out of her sexy stare and incredible body– making her pretty hard to forget about. These days, you can catch Carmen on reality shows like E!’s Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. On her episode, she talked about feeling guilty about not being there for her mother as her career began to take off. Whether she’s posing half naked, or talking to dead relatives, we are definitely okay with seeing more and more of Carmen.
9. Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell first appeared on TV in 1994 in Melrose Place as Julia Salinger. But Neve really made a name for herself when she became the face of one of one of the most memorable slasher films of the ’90s, Scream. Neve played Sidney Prescott, and convinced most of us that it was always a bad idea to answer our house phone; making us eternally grateful for the invention of caller ID. Over the years, Neve continued to appear in successful movies like The Craft and Wild Things, but never managed to do much after the ’90s.
Today, Neve is 42 and not all that interested in continuing an acting career. While you may have caught her in shows like Mad Men and Grey’s Anatomy, it’s hard to find her in much else. These days Neve is more concerned about spending time with her son, Caspian.
8. Shania Twain
Admit it, you fell in love with Shania Twain way back when– even before you knew what country music was. With her smooth voice and sexy smile, it was easy to have a crush on this country-pop star. After about a decade of producing multiple albums (that all performed fairly well) and having her first child, it seemed like Shania had completely fallen off of the map by the time 2010 rolled around. Where on earth did she go?
Unfortunately, Shania’s personal life had taken the steering wheel, putting her music on the back-burner. Shania lost her husband to the arms of her best friend and it completely shattered her. Shania was also diagnosed with Dysphonia, a disorder that makes it hard to sing and even speak. In 2013, Shania finally released her long awaited album and began talks of touring in the near future. Today, Shania is expected to do a full fledged tour and really focus on her music again. Needless to say, we’re pretty stoked.
7. Geri Halliwell
While all the Spice Girls were well, spicy, there was something extra sexy about Geri Halliwell‘s tiny dresses and flaming red hair. Ginger Spice had us under the Spice Girl spell for many years until she abruptly left the group, breaking hearts all over the world. Since Geri’s dramatic exit, she attempted to do various solo projects, but proved maybe she wasn’t as strong a performer without her four other best mates. In 2007, The Spice Girls did a massive reunion tour, giving us that hint of ginger we missed for so many years. Just last year, Geri announced that she, Mel B and Emma Bunton would be releasing an album as a new group they called, GEM. While it may not be the whole package, it’s just enough girl power we need to get by.
6. Lil’ Kim
If you grew up in the ’90s, you definitely used to try to catch a glimpse of Lil’ Kim‘s racy album covers and magazine shots. Lil’ Kim burst onto the rap scene as a force to be reckoned with as one of the few woman strong enough to be respected artist in the rap community. Lil’ Kim has truly been through a lot over the course of her career, from winning awards, starring in TV shows and even serving a short time in prison. Recently, Lil’ Kim has been working on her fifth studio album, set to sometime in 2017. Aside from her music career, Lil’ Kim has been receiving a lot of attention over the years for her ever-changing face. If you compare pictures of her today to ones of her at the beginning of her career, she’s almost unrecognizable.
5. Lark Voorhies
If there’s anything you have in common with Saved By the Bell‘s Screech Powers (Dustin Diamond), it’s that you had a major crush on Lisa Turtle, played by the adorable Lark Voorhies. Lark won us over with her cute smile and snarky attitude, and we couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Since her days at Bayside High School, Lark appeared in a handful of movies that went straight to TV as well as some sitcoms and TV shows. Today, Lark seems to stay far away from the cameras as she has become a successful novel writer. She currently has three self-published books and has made it known that she has been suffering from Lupus for a number of years.
4. Jenna von Oÿ
Actress, Jenna von Oy played Blossom’s feisty sidekick, Six Dorothy Lemeure. Six’s spunky attitude was everything we needed as a teen, and we can’t help but thinking of her fondly remembering her adorable ’90s style, complete with brightly colored hats of course. She went on to star on The Parkers from 1999 until it wrapped in 2004. Since then, Jenna continued to act in made-for-TV movies and various films. But we really haven’t seen a whole lot of Jenna over the last ten years, and that’s because she hasn’t been doing much at all. Only time will tell if we’ll get to see Jenna’s pretty smile on screen ever again.
3. Yasmin Bleeth
When we think about Yasmin Bleeth, we imagine a beautiful woman running on the beach in the classic red, Baywatch bathing suit. No matter how many years have past, we never forget about the beauty that is Yasmin Bleeth– she was voted one of the Sexiest Women in the World by FHM for five years in a row. Bleeth starred in a handful of TV shows in the late ’90s before abruptly halting her career thanks to a serious cocaine addiction. The actress was caught with cocaine and drug paraphernalia. After many hours of community service, Yasmin was able to clear her record. To this day, Yasmin still fights the urge to turn to drugs, and isn’t focusing on her acting career at all.
2. Karyn Parsons
Karyn Parsons is the second actress from ’90s sitcom royalty, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to make this list. While we’d laugh at Hillary Banks’s idiotic comments, we couldn’t help but swoon at her effortless beauty. Whether she was going to the mall or to a funeral, Hillary managed to always look completely flawless. After the wild success of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Karyn went on to act in various movies like The Ladies Man. These days, Karyn has been more focused on her husband and son, Nico. The former actress also founded Sweet Blackberry, a non-profit that helps educate young people about unsung black heroes.
1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar made an impression on ’90s teens everywhere with her ability to make killing vampires sexy. Since her vampire slaying days, Sarah continued to build her acting career with some pretty intriguing roles. We loved watching her play the ultimate bad girl in Cruel Intentions, and enjoyed watching her freak out in horror flick, The Grudge. Since then, Sarah has married teen heartthrob, Freddie Prince Jr. and started a family. 14 years later, the two seem to still be madly in love, giving us ’90s nostalgia fanatics something to aspire to. These days, Sarah is no stranger to Hollywood, and still appears on various TV shows and movies– she’s even involved in a potential Cruel Intentions revival series. No matter what Sarah Michelle Gellar does, we’ll definitely be watching.
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