At the age of fifteen, Julia Stiles knew she would have her life as a famous actress. But it wasn’t until 1999 when she starred in 10 Things I Hate About You with Heath Ledger. She juggled both acting and a degree in English Literature from Colombia University. But since her success in 1999, the star never had another chance to achieve that level of fame. Now, she realizes she might just live in the shadow of her fame and fortune in the ’90s. Instead, she started a family and said, “Having my attention focused on my son has made me a better actress because I don’t come home every night dwelling on every little scene.” In a way, it sounds like a move fulfilling way to live her life (via The Things).
It was a struggle for Drew Barrymore to make her way to fame. She was unemployed as an actress at the age of 15, so instead she started scrubbing toilets at the age of 16. She was addicted to alcohol and drugs by the time she was 13. But her parents helped her get through those dark times, and she eventually found success. Thanks to her roles in Scream, Home Fries, and The Wedding Singer, Drew Barrymore made her name known around the world in the 1990s. Eventually, she made a film production company called Flower Films and created her first film Never Been Kissed (via The Guardian).
Everyone around the world has seen Friends, and if you haven’t seen at least one episode, then you’ve heard of it. Courteney Cox starred in Friends in her role of Monica. People around the world fell in love with the star, as they saw her on hundreds of episodes throughout the ’90s next to her coworkers and best friends. She was also in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, starring next to famous actor Jim Carrey. Eventually, she starred in Scream and all of the sequels following the first movie (via Movie Web).
Full House<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> was probably always playing on your television, whether in the background or every single evening, a new episode aired. We all fell in love with Jodie Sweetin, who played a huge role as Stephanie Tanner in the TV series year after year. But she had a tough time once the show ended, and she spiraled into drug abuse and addiction until 2008 when she finally got clean. Eventually, she starred in another rendition of Full House, called Fuller House, as well as her most recent debut in Just Swipe. Now, the star is 41 years old (via IMBD).
We saw Marisa Tomei on As the World Turns and A Different World. But if you’re unfamiliar with those shows, you’re not alone. It wasn’t until 1992, when the star was seen on My Cousin Vinny that she gained her fame and fortune. Because her role was so successful, she gained many other roles in films like Anger Management and Wild Hogs. Even though the star is now 58 years old, she certainly doesn’t look like it. She’s now a founding member of The Naked Angels Theater Company based in NYC and spends her earnings there (via The Richest).
We see the quintessential ’90s sitcom Full House again on our list with star Lori Laughlin. She portrayed Aunt Becky on the show, the aunt we all wished we had. After Full House finished, her career came to a standstill until 90210, when she acted for two years. She also starred in Fuller House, but her reputation plummeted when she was involved in a scandal. She bribed officials at USC to let her daughter into their school. When this information leaked, many people disliked her. She then participated in Project Angel Food to reconcile her mistakes. In an interview, she said, “They have welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly down and broken. That’s how I found a home here, and that’s what I feel like they did for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and working with this organization, because they do care. It’s really a community” (via People).
No article about stars from the ’90s would be complete without a Full House marathon. These famous child actresses from the ’90s starred in Full House, which was the starting point of their future careers. They used that as a catalyst to launch a series of posters and video games. In the mid-2000s, the Olsens dropped their acting careers and instead created a couture label called The Row. They wanted to focus their efforts on fashion as opposed to acting, even if the world missed their faces on their television screens (via Insider).
In the early 1980s, General Hospital played on the big screen. But it wasn’t until she was seen in the “Brat Pack” movies, that she was put on the map for her fame and fortune. She also starred in the hit St. Elmo’s Fireand About Last Night. She made headlines in the acting world when she made $12.5 million for the movie Striptease. Moore was one of the few stars who were able to handle the stressors of being famous. Even though she’s 60 years old now, she continues acting. She joined the cast of Empire, and in 2019, published a memoir called Inside Out (via Mamamia).
If you’ve ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ve most likely seen Eliza Dushku as Faith. She was also a cheerleader in Bring It On. But once the Buffy shows ended, she failed to pursue many more projects with consistency. Mainly, she focused on doing voice work for video games like Fight Night Champion. She ended up quitting acting after starring in the Buffy spinoff called Angel. She reached a $9.5 million settlement with CBS over sexual harassment allegations with Weatherly and Caron (via Giant Freakin Robot).
You could spot those dark brows from a mile away. Hoffmann has starred in Uncle Buck, Sleepless in Seattle, Volcano, Field of Dreams, and Now and Then. From 2014 to 2019, she starred in Transparent. Her last film role was in C’mon C’mon. In an interview, she said, “I really love my job so much. I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to do this for a living, but I don’t want to do it that often.” Acting and being famous isn’t easy, especially when you’re doing it every day (via The Guardian).
You might not recognize the star’s name, but you’ll recognize her face. She appeared on Tim Allen’s fictional TV show “Tool Time” on Home Improvementfrom 1993-1995. This was the peak of the star’s acting career since she was nothing more than a supporting character in any other roles she’s had. In 2017, she turned her love for horses into something attainable and jumped back into the acting saddle. She starred in a show called Debbie Dunning’s Dude Ranch Roundup. Now, she’s taking her acting countryside (via Country Living).
We all know the name, Cameron Diaz. At the age of 21, Diaz auditioned for The Mask, even though she had zero experience in the acting world. Alongside Jim Carrey, that film became one of the best films of the year with the highest revenue, which was a catalyst for her acting career in Hollywood. She also played Princess Fiona’s voice in Shrek and had a role in Charlie’s Angels and Gangs of New York. But the star is no longer acting, and in 2018, she retired. Instead, she wanted to pour all of her energy into being a mother. Recently, she took on a role in Back in Action on Netflix (via Movie Web).
Robin Tunney was the star in The Craft but tended to keep a low profile after her success in 1996. She then took on roles in The Mentalist, End of Days, Hollywoodland, The Fix, and Prison Break. Now, the star is 50 years old and mainly focuses her time on poker tournaments. It’s quite the shift from acting, but the star loves it. In a 2006 tournament, she won $200,000 to place towards a charity of her choosing (via Ned Hardy).
High school was an awkward time for most of us. But not for Cindy Crawford, who started her modeling career in high school when she won the “Look of the Year” in the Elite Model Management. Her face became one associated with fame, and she ended up on magazine covers for two decades. Now, she has several upcoming books and a docuseries called “The Supermodels.” Even though she looks young for her age, in a recent interview, she said, “I’m not 25, so why should I be trying to look 25?” That’s a motto we could all live by, and is achievable by those of us not famous (via Today).
You likely first saw Keri Russell on the television series Felicity. She won a Golden Globe Award because of her role in Felicity. She’s continued to appear on television shows and films, starring in The Americans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Waitress, and most notably Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. During season four of The Americans, Russell was pregnant and had to hide her baby bump using sweaters and other large clothes (via The Americans).
You wouldn’t think that some stars’ careers began by dancing, but that’s exactly what happened to Carmen Electra. After dancing in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a brief stint in the music world with Prince, she appeared on the big screen. She produced a self-titled album at that time, something most of us could never achieve. Thanks to Prince, she changed her name. In an interview, she said, “I auditioned for an all-girl group that he was putting together and he ended up signing me to his label Paisley Park,” Carmen told The Yo Show. “After I danced for him he said, ‘You look like Electra. That should be your name.” But it was all thanks to Baywatch that she became a model for Playboy. But her relationships with other famous men helped her career and step up the level of fame she currently has (via Yahoo).
We all know Amanda Bynes from The Amanda Show, especially with her famous quote “The girl’s room!” But that wasn’t how she climbed her way to fame. She starred in All That in 1996, and for the next decade, became more popular with viewers around the world. Eventually, she starred on the screen What a Girl Wants! and She’s The Man. But her life started spiraling downwards when she was supposedly involved in a series of hit-and-run accidents in addition to rehab. She’s tried to produce her fashion line, though lost a lot of popularity due to strange social media posts, similar to Britney Spears. In 2013, she was found roaming the streets naked and on drugs and was put on psychiatric hold because of it (via Page Six).
Another female celebrity who reached her peak in the ’90s is Britney Spears. It’s likely that many of us even had posters and CDs of the star, though nowadays most of us just feel sorry for her. She reached incredible fame as a teen with her music. Even to this day, she’s the world’s best-selling artist. Her famous head-shaving incident made headlines around the world, and only just received control of her finances after being put on hold. It sounds like she couldn’t handle the stress that comes with being famous. For years, the star has struggled with substance and drug abuse, and many people worry about her well-being to this day (via Fox).
Love Hewitt starred on Kids Incorporated, a famous show featured on the Disney Channel. Most of us ended our days with Disney Channel, so you’ve likely seen this star on your screen. She also starred in I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is how she made her way to the life of a famous celebrity, and ever since then, has been on Garfield, Tropic Thunder, and Heartbreakers. Now, she’s married to Brian Hallisay and has a daughter named Autumn, and two sons named Atticus and Aidan (via Yahoo).
Starring in McDonald’s commercials, Jell-O, and Crayola helped Tara Reid begin her career and paved her way to fame. But those were the stepping stones to her big career when she starred in The Big Lebowski and American Pie. Her career started to decline at one point, and she blamed the failed plastic surgery on her breasts that messed up her look, as well as a failed lip augmentation. In an interview, she said, “The last thing I wanted to happen was to have the whole world see it. The actual center part, where the areola is, instead of being a circle, it turned out to be a large square. It was horrifying.” That doesn’t sound like something you want to happen to your body as a famous person (via The Sun).
Another star from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is Sraha Michelle Gellar. But that wasn’t how she climbed the ladder to fame, it was all thanks to her Daytime Emmy Award from All My Children. The science-fiction hit helped her gain fame. Since then, she took random movie roles like Scooby-Doo. At some point, the star hit a wall and had a total acting burnout. She wanted to prioritize her life and her husband, so she took a halt from the world of being famous. Now, she’s in a recent series called Wolf Pack, but the hands-on mom isn’t letting her acting job get in the way of being a mother (via The Guardian).
For 25 years, Denise Richards acted in the movie business, pushing her way to the top. She had notable roles in Starship Troopers, The World is Not Enough, and Wild Things. She was unable to make her roles stand out from the rest of the crowd, but she did star in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Richards left the RHOBV after a tumultuous series of events, but only recently will return to the show. In regards to her return, she said, “This all just happened recently on the spur of the moment. I was at her screening as a friend â like a real friend â I didn’t tell anyone I was gonna be there.” She’s jumping back onto the housewives bandwagon to continue her life as a famous celebrity (via Today).