Remember the 90s? If not, we at Her Beauty feel terribly sorry that you had to miss out on that decade of awesomeness. It was a magical time in which MTV still played music videos, gaudy neon jackets were all the rage, and you saved things onto floppy disks that contained a few kilobytes of storage space. It also had its share of actors who have remained big stars today such as Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and…um…Ryan Phillippe. Okay, so not everybody’s star shines forever. In fact, for your viewing pleasure we have compiled a list of 10 famous actors from the 90s who have largely dropped off into obscurity.
1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Back in the mid-90s Sarah Michelle Gellar was saving the world from all sorts of evil monsters in the title role of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her career on camera has been fairly quiet since, although she has voiced her share of animated characters, including various characters in Robot Chicken and Seventh Sister in Star Wars: Rebels. She’s the mother of two children and after almost 16 years is still happily married to Freddie Prinze Jr.
2. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
If you were a big fan of Home Improvement, one of the biggest sitcom hits in the 1990s, you are sure to recall Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Tim Taylor’s middle son Randy. After eight solid seasons on the show as well as appearing on countless covers of teen magazines, Thomas essentially said goodbye to showbiz. Don’t feel too bad for him though. He’s an Ivy Leaguer, having spent time at Harvard before graduating from Columbia University. So he’s doing just fine.
3. Melissa Joan Hart
Confession: I had a crush on Melissa Joan Hart when I was a teen, although I never cared for any of her TV shows. However, millions of viewers enjoyed her as the star of such shows as Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She made a minor come back in the sitcom Melissa & Joey, which lasted four seasons before ending in 2015. She’s a busy mother of three kids these days.
4. Ryan Phillippe
Ryan Phillippe made a name for himself in the 90s starring in a string of successful movies including the teen horror flick I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and the critically-acclaimed 54. He was also nominated for several Teen Choice Awards as well as an MTV Movie Award. The early 2000s weren’t too bad either, but once 2006 rolled around times started getting tough. He found himself acting in a lot of direct-to-video films, which was probably not where he had envisioned his career path. But, hey, he lent his voice to an episode of Robot Chicken as well. We at Her Beauty are totally cool with that!
5. Claire Danes
If you grew up in the 90s and were into those teen angst shows, you were definitely a fan of My So-Called Life, which gave Claire Danes and Jared Leto their start. Unfortunately, you were in the minority as the show only lasted one season. After a few more movies Danes completely disappeared. Wait…what? Since 2010 alone she has won more than a dozen awards including Prime Time Emmys, Golden Globes and People’s Choice! Don’t worry, we’re going to hunt down the intern that put Danes on this list and make them run laps around our office building as punishment.
6. Tiffani Thiessen
Quick. Who was the hottest chick on Saved By the Bell? If you answered “Elizabeth Berkley” we will give you a second chance to answer correctly. Tiffani Thiessen was the best. After the show ended, she even managed to jump over to the other iconic 90s teen show Beverly Hills 90210. It was all downhill from there though. Unless you were as impressed with her performance in 2008’s Cyborg Soldier as we were. And we really, really, really were not.
7. Edward Furlong
Say, remember in Terminator 2 when Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to play a good version of his cyborg character and then said, “Hasta la vista, Baby” and blew a bunch of stuff up? Never forget that it was all made possible because of Edward Furlong. After all, as the teenage John Connor, he was the one served as the Terminator’s Spanglish teacher! These days, when Furlong isn’t acting he is busy working on his rap sheet. He’s battled drug and alcohol addiction and has spent several stints in prison for domestic violence. He seems to be a real mess is what we’re saying.
8. James Van Der Beek
Dawson’s Creek was everybody’s favorite teen drama in the late 90s and its co-star James Van Der Beek was so big at the time that he had even been rumored to be in the running to play Anakin Skywalker in the second and third Star Wars episodes. He recently stated that he would have been too busy with show commitments to accept the role anyway. Sad. Or maybe not?
9. Macaulay Culkin
Once upon a time, Macaulay Culkin was the biggest child star on the planet, thanks to his success as Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone: Kevin’s Parents Really Suck At Remembering Him series. Unfortunately, an overbearing father (who also acted as Culkin’s manager) and the terrible decision to play an evil kid in The Good Son wrecked his acting career. He’s been in a few indie films since, but it’s safe to say that his glory days ended just after he zanily dumped that bucket of pure acid onto Daniel Stern’s head or whatever
10. Jason Mewes
Perchance you recall Jason Mewes? If not, Google will help you refresh your memory. Or, better yet, you can just finish reading this article. Anyway, he was the (Unsilent?) Jay half of the Jay and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) duo, notable for their appearances in Clerks, Clerks II: Double the Clerking, and Chasing Amy, which, having never seen the film, I assume is just them literally spending two hours trying to catch up with a jogging Amy. Anyway, Mewes gets a few bit roles every now and then, but playing a 20-year old stoner while you are creeping towards your mid 40s isn’t exactly a formula for success.