Fame is fickle. The stars that we see everywhere today could very well slip into obscurity tomorrow. After all, it has happened countless times. Think of all the people we used to admire in the 90s and the early 00s. Sure, some of them are just as famous - if not more famous - as they were back in the day but most have fallen off the radar. We no longer read about them in the papers and we no longer see them on the big screen (or even the small screen).
It's a pity, but at the same time, it makes perfect sense. Very few celebrities - whether they are actors or singers - manage to hold onto their fame for decades. They grow older and are offered less and less roles or they commit a faux pas that makes them undesirable both in the eyes of Hollywood directors and the audience.
The guys below were all famous in the 90s. Some of them are still around Hollywood to this day. They are the people we call "Hollywood A-listers". They are not going anywhere anytime soon. Others, on the other hand, struggled to hold onto their fame. At the turn of the millennium, they experienced difficulties in booking acting gigs or topping the charts. They are also still around but most of us would hardly recognize them were we to walk past them on the street today. And finally, there are those who passed away before their time.
Jared Leto is a talented man. He is not only a skilled actor but also a gifted singer and songwriter. He began acting in the early 90's and came to prominence in 1994 when he was cast as Jordan Catalano in the popular teen drama TV series My So-Called Life. That same decade he starred in films such as the 1998 epic war film The Thin Red Line, the 1999 drama film Fight Club and the 1999 psychological drama movie Girl, Interrupted. It was also in the 90's that he formed the band Thirty Seconds to Mars (IMDb).
George Clooney doesn't need an introduction. He is one of Hollywood's best known leading men and has been one for decades. Clooney began acting all the way back in the late 70's although he did not rise to fame until the 90's. The role that put him on everyone's radars was that of Dr. Doug Ross on the long-running medical drama ER (he starred in the show from 1994 to 1999). That same decade he starred in the 1996 thriller film From Dusk till Dawn and the 1998 crime comedy Out of Sight (IMDb).
Ashton Kutcher landed his very first acting gig in the late 90's. Back then he was cast as Michael Kelso in the once very popular sitcom That '70s Show. Funnily enough, it was on the set of this series that he first met his current wife Mila Kunis. Apart from starring in That '70s Show Kutcher also made an appearance in one film in the 90's. The film was called Coming Soon and it fell under the genre of romantic comedy film according to IMDb.
Dazed and Confused, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Glory Daze, Going All the Way, Good Will Hunting, Phantoms, Shakespeare in Love, Dogma and Armageddon are just some of the movies that the talented actor Ben Affleck was cast in during the 90's. It is worth mentioning that he not only starred in Good Will Hunting but also co-wrote its screenplay (alongside his childhood friend), thus winning his very first Oscar and Golden Globe Award (in the category Best Screenplay according to IMDb).
Matthew Perry is not doing so great at the moment but once upon a time he was a real heartthrob. As most are probably well aware, Perry came to international attention in the mid-90's when he was cast as the funny but insecure Chandler Bing in the iconic TV series Friends (IMDb). On the show Chandler was portrayed as a rather unattractive and hopeless man, something that we all found ridiculous. Indeed, most of us thought that Chandler was at least as cute as Joey (portrayed by Matt Le Blanc), if not cuter!
The actor and rapper Will Smith first came to attention in the late 80's as a rapper who rapped under the rather strange pseudonym The Fresh Prince. His popularity increased significantly in the 90's when he landed the titular role in the popular TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which was on air between 1990 and 1996. After the show ended he transitioned to film. Fore example, you might have seen him in such famous 90's movies as Independence Day and Men in Black (IMDb).
Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, The Jackal, First Knight, Mr. Jones, Sommersby, and Intersection are some of the films that Richard Gere was cast in during the 90's. Gere is a skilled actor who has been acting ever since the early 70's. As such, it makes sense that his filmography is rather extensive. He is not due to appear in any films this year. Indeed, according to IMDb, his last film role was in the 2017 drama film Three Christs. However, he is due to portray the lead character in the upcoming TV series MotherFatherSon.
8mm, Return to Paradise, Inventing the Abbotts, and Clay Pigeons are some of the films that Joaquin Phoenix appeared in during the 90's. Of course, it wasn't until the early 00's that he actually made it big as an actor. As most can probably recall, it was in 2000 that he landed the role of the villainous Commodus in Ridley Scott's epic historical drama film Gladiator (IMDb). Most of us tend to associate Phoenix with this famous movie to this very day.
Eminem is known as one of the best artists of all time, which, you have to admit, is pretty impressive. He's not bad looking either. He began rapping in the 90's and according to Billboard, it was in that same decade that he released two solo albums which contained such famous songs as Bad Influence, My Fault, Infinite, If I Had, Wake Up Show Freestyle, Any Man, Role Model, Kim, Get You Mad, and My Name Is. In total, he has released as many as 10 solo albums.
Who'd say yes and who'd say no to Brad Pitt, one of Hollywood's most famous actors? Pitt first gained recognition in the early 90's when he landed the role of J.D., a petty thief in the iconic road film Thelma & Louise. His role was a minor one but his performance (and his physique) was so impressive that before long he was on everyone's radars. Indeed, it was just a year later, in 1992, that he landed his first leading role in the period drama film A River Runs Through It. Later in the decade he also appeared in Legends of the Fall, Interview with the Vampire and Fight Club (IMDb).
Chris Noth is best known for his TV work. Although Noth began acting in the early 80's he did not come to prominence until the early 90's. You might recognize him as Mike Logan, an NYPD Detective from the police procedural and legal drama Law & Order or as Mr. Big, a wealthy man involved in an on-again/off-again relationship with Carrie Bradshaw in a once very famous romantic drama TV series that was on air between 1998 and 2004 (IMDb).
Johnny Depp first rose to prominence in the late 80's when he was cast as Officer Tom Hanson in the police procedural TV series 21 Jump Street. He became a teen heartthrob overnight. It was also in the 80's that he made his film debut although nowadays we tend to associate him with movies that he appeared in during the 90's or the early 00's. For example, in the 90's Depp starred in Cry-Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and Sleepy Hollow (IMDb).
Here we have another talented man. As most people are probably well aware, Justin Timberlake is not only an actor but also a singer, songwriter and dancer! Back in the 90's he was a member of the popular boy band NSYNC but later went solo, and rather successfully. For example, today he is known for songs such as Cry Me a River, Rock Your Body and What Goes Around... Comes Around (AXS). He did not start acting until the early 00's - his first acting gig was in the teen film Longshot (IMDb).
Patrick Swayze came to international attention in the 80's. He often played romantic lead males and tough guys. Obviously, girls loved him. In the 80's he starred in films such as the 1989 action film Road House, the 1983 coming-of-age drama film The Outsiders, the 1984 war film Red Dawn, and the 1989 action thriller film Next of Kin whereas in the 90's he was cast in movies such as the 1990 romantic fantasy thriller film Ghost, the 1991 crime thriller film Point Break and the 1998 action thriller film Black Dog (IMDb).
It was in the early 80's that David Schwimmer made his acting debut. He appeared in one episode of the TV comedy series Police Squad! He played the role of a "Patient" and did not land another acting project until 1989. His luck began to change in the early 90's however. For example, in 1993 he was cast as Josh '4B' Goldstein in NYPD Blue and in 1994 he landed the role of Greg Richardson in the popular sitcom Monty. That same year he was cast as the nerdy paleontologist Ross Geller in the iconic TV series Friends (IMDb).
According to IMDb, Enrique Iglesias was only 15-years-old when he began writing songs, albeit in secret. He released his very first album in 1995, at the age of 18. Two years later, in 1997, his second album came out. It was recorded in Spanish. In the late 90's he made a successful crossover into the English language music market. Some of his 90's songs include Bailamos (released in 1998), Rhythm Divine (released in 1999) and Be With You (released in 1999 according to Billboard).
The famous comedian and actor Adam Sandler began acting in the late 80's but he did not came to international recognition until the 90's when he was cast in films such as the 1995 comedy film Billy Madison, the 1996 sports comedy Happy Gilmore, the 1998 romantic comedy The Wedding Singer, the 1998 sports comedy The Waterboy and the 1999 comedy Big Daddy. Today he is just as active as he was in the 90's. Indeed, according to IMDb, this year he is due to star in at least two movies.
Who'd pick and who'd pass on the handsome actor Keanu Reeves? Reeves began acting in the early 80's and made his breakthrough in the mid 80's when he was cast in the 1986 independent crime film River's Edge. The 90's were a good decade for Reeves. He was cast in countless successful movies, including the 1991 buddy cop action thriller film Point Break, the 1991 science fiction comedy film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the 1993 romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, the 1994 action thriller film Speed and of course, the 1999 science fiction action film The Matrix (IMDb).
Who'd pick and who'd pass on Harrison Ford? Ford is one of those actors who have decades of acting experience under their belts. Indeed, he has been acting ever since the late 60's although he did not come to international attention until he was cast as Hans Solo in the Star Wars film series. Other popular films that we often associate Ford with include the 1982 neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner, the 1992 spy thriller film Patriot Games, the 1994 action film Clear and Present Danger and of course, the Indiana Jones film franchise (IMDb).
According to Biography, Nick Carter was only 12-years-old when he joined the popular boy band the Backstreet Boys. Like the other band members, he became an international star practically overnight. After seven years of touring with the band he decided to pursue other projects. He released his first solo album in 2002 but it wasn't particularly successful and as such he turned to acting (for example, in 2006 he starred in the reality TV show The Carters). As was to be expected, he later re-joined the group.
When most of us think of Mario Lopez today we think of him as a host as opposed to an actor. Yet back in the 90's he was best known for playing the role of A.C. Slater in the popular TV sitcom Saved by the Bell. He later reprized his role in the show's sequel, Saved by the Bell: College Years. According to IMDb, Lopez hasn't given up acting completely although nowadays he mostly stars as himself. For example, he recently starred as himself in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
The handsome Hollywood actor Christian Bale was only 13-years-old when he landed his first starring role in Steven Spielberg's 1987 epic coming-of-age war film Empire of the Sun. In the 90's he went on to star in films such as the 1994 family drama film Little Women, the 1996 drama thriller film The Secret Agent, the 1998 musical drama film Velvet Goldmine and the 1999 romantic comedy fantasy film A Midsummer Night's Dream (IMDb). While these films certainly brought him recognition it was not until the early 00's - when he landed the role of the famous psychotic villain Patrick Bateman - that he became an international celebrity,
Who'd pick and who'd pass on Andrew Keegan? Keegan came to international attention in the 90's when he was cast as a high school football player Reed Isley in the teen and family drama Party of Five and when he landed the role of Wilson West in the TV drama 7th Heaven. He didn't just stick to TV projects however. Indeed, you might have also seen him in the 1994 adventure comedy film Camp Nowhere, the 1996 science fiction film Independence Day and the 1999 teen romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (IMDb).
Pick or pass on Vanilla Ice? Vanilla Ice is a famous rapper and TV personality. He made it big in the 90's thanks to his pop single Ice Ice Baby. Indeed, according to Biography, Vanilla Ice was the first white rapper to make it to the top of the pop singles chart with his catchy tune. Eventually, his fame began to fade and even though he continues recording new songs to this day most of us will forever associate him with that one single that put him on everyone's radars.
It was in the late 90's that the skilled and ambitious actor David Boreanaz found himself in the spotlight. The role that made him famous was that of vampire-turned-detective Angel in the once very popular supernatural drama TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on air from 1997 to 2003). He later reprized his role of Angel in the show's spin-off Angel which first aired in 1999 and which ended in 2004. He currently portrays Jason Hayes in the military drama TV show SEAL Team (IMDb).
While Paul Rudd is not as big as some of the other actors on this quiz that does not mean that he is any less talented. Indeed, this prolific actor is as active in Hollywood today as he was back in the 90's and his filmography is rather impressive. Today we associate him with films such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Ant-Man. Some might also link him to his role of Mike Hannigan in the iconic TV show Friends. However, it would be unfair to ignore his 90's projects, which included films such as Clueless and Romeo + Juliet (IMDb).
Brian Littrell is a singer and songwriter who is best known as a member of the famous boy band the Backstreet Boys. According to Biography, it was in the early 90's that Littrell was contacted by his cousin Kevin Richardson (another member of the Backstreet Boys) who urged him to come in for an audition. He did, and the rest is history. Littrell hasn't just stuck to pop music however. In fact, he is also known for his Christian songs.
Who'd say yes and who'd say no to Rider Strong? If you're a true 90's girl then you probably know that he came to attention after he bagged the role of Shawn Hunter in the popular 90's sitcom Boy Meets World (on air from 1993 to 2000). He later reprized his role in the show's sequel Girl Meets World (on air from 2014 to 2017 according to IMDb). He has been relatively quiet as of late but that doesn't necessarily mean that he has slipped into obscurity for good.
I Love You, I Love You Not, Wilde, Gattaca, Music from Another Room, and The Talented Mr. Ripley are just some of the films that Jude Law was cast in during the 90's. It was for his role of Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley that he was nominated for countless awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, an Empire Award, an MTV Movie Award and a Teen Choice Award. Unlike some famous 90's actors, Law has managed to hang onto his fame (IMDb).
Like so many others actors on this quiz, Ethan Hawke also made his acting debut in the 80's. He came to international attention later in the decade but did not become a serious star until the 90's when he was cast in films such as the 1994 romantic comedy drama film Reality Bites (in which he portrayed Troy Dyer), the 1995 romantic drama film Before Sunrise (in which he starred as Jesse), and the 1997 science fiction film Gattaca (in which he played the role of Vincent Anton Freeman or Jerome Morrow according to IMDb).
Tom Cruise was 19-years-old when he was cast in his very first movie - the 1981 Endless Love. His breakthrough came about only two years later, in 1983, when he landed the role of Joel Goodson in the coming-of-age comedy film Risky Business. He was then cast in one successful movie after another. For example, in the 90's he appeared in the 1990 sports film Days of Thunder, the 1994 Gothic thriller film Interview with the Vampire, and the 1996 romantic drama film Jerry Maguire. It was also in the 90's that he starred in the first installment of Mission: Impossible film series (IMDb).
Christian Slater made his film debut in the 1985 drama film The Legend of Billie Jean and came to international attention three years later, in 1988, when he was cast as Jason “J.D.” Dean, a psychotic high school student, in the black comedy film Heathers (which also starred Winona Ryder). He continued acting into the 90's and made an appearance in countless films, including Pump Up the Volume, Interview with the Vampire, True Romance and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (IMDb).
Robert Downey Jr.?
Before Robert Downey Jr. became known as Iron Man he starred in films such as the 1992 biographical comedy drama film Chaplin, the 1994 romantic comedy film Only You, the 1995 comedy drama film Home for the Holidays, the 1993 fantasy comedy drama film Heart and Souls and the 1990 action comedy film Air America (IMDb). Of course, the 90's were not all sunshine and rainbows for Downey Jr. In the late 90's he got into legal trouble as a result of substance use but managed to pull himself together. Today he is known as one of the best actors in Hollywood.
Who'd say yes and who'd say no to Heath Ledger? Ledger made his film debut in the late 90's, or, to be more exact, in 1997 when he bagged the role of Toby Ackland in the drama thriller film Blackrock. That same year he was cast as Oberon in an independent family comedy film Paws. Two years later he appeared in a famous romantic comedy in which he portrayed Patrick Verona, a "bad boy" who is hired by another student to date a girl named Kat but who ends up actually falling for her in the process (IMDb).
Kurt Cobain was a talented grunge performer who became a legend in the 90's. He formed the world-famous band Nirvana in 1986. The band released its debut album, Bleach, three years later, in 1989. Their second album, Nevermind, came out in 1991 and was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. Two years later, in 1993, their third album, In Utero, was released and according to IMDb, instantly topped the charts. In 1994, Cobain took his own life leaving his family members, his band members and his fans with an incurable heartache.
Will Friedle is another one of those actors who were big in the 90's but who have since slipped into obscurity. In the 90's Friedle was known for his role of Eric Matthews in the popular sitcom Boy Meets World, which was on air between 1993 and 2000. He hasn't had much luck with either film work or TV work as of late, which is a pity. He spends most of his time at the moment doing voice-overs according to IMDb.
Leonardo DiCaprio is another Hollywood A-lister that needs no introduction. He is one of the biggest stars out there and he never ceases to amaze us with his acting abilities. As most are probably well aware, DiCaprio began acting in the early 90's. He made his breakthrough in 1993 when he was cast in the drama film What's Eating Gilbert Grape. It was for his role in this film that he received his very first Oscar nomination. A few years later he was cast in James Cameron's Titanic (IMDb) and the rest is history.
Like so many other stars, Joey Lawrence got his start as a child actor. Over the years he has starred in countless TV shows but most of us still associate him with the role that made him famous in the 90's. The role was that of Joey Russo in the once very popular sitcom Blossom which was on air from 1990 to 1995. Apart from that you might also associate him with his role of Kurt Franklin in the sitcom Run of the House and with his role of Joe Longo in the TV series Melissa & Joey (IMDb).
Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Philadelphia, Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and A League of Their Own are just some of the films that the talented Hollywood actor Tom Hanks was cast in during the 90's. By then he was already an established star. After all, he began acting in the late 70's although back then he focused mostly on plays and did not move into film or TV work until the early 80's (IMDb).
James Van Der Beek?
If you watched Dawson's Creek, a teen drama TV series that was on air between 1998 and 2003, then you probably had a crush on the show's protagonist, Dawson Leery, and in consequence, on the actor who portrayed him, James Van Der Beek. That is the role that he is most often associated with to this day although a look at his filmography will reveal that he has kept himself busy over the years. For example, he currently plays the role of Matt in the drama TV series Pose (season one of which came out last year according to IMDb).
Ryan Gosling did not become an international star until the early 00's, or to be more specific, until 2004, when he was cast as Noah Calhoun in the romantic drama film The Notebook (which also made a star out of his co-star Rachel McAdams). However, that does not mean that he was just sitting idle in the 90's. While Gosling starred in just one movie in the 90's (Frankenstein and Me) he did make an appearance in quite a few TV shows, including Breaker High and Young Hercules (IMDb).
Matt LeBlanc became an international star after he bagged the role of Joey Tribbiani, a dimwitted but funny womanizer, in the famous TV series Friends. It was for this role that he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and as many as three Primetime Emmy Awards. After the iconic show ended LeBlanc went on to star in his own sitcom named Joey (on air from 2004 to 2006). He is currently busy portraying Adam Burns in the sitcom Man with a Plan, according to IMDb.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
If you watched Home Improvement, a once popular sitcom that was on air from 1991 to 1999, then you probably had a serious crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Thomas played the role of Randy Taylor on the show and appeared in as many as 177 episodes in total. Unfortunately, he slipped into obscurity thereafter. Indeed, a quick look at his filmography on IMDb will reveal that he hasn't been involved in any acting projects since 2015, which, as most will probably agree, is a pity.
The role of Guthrie McFadden in the musical TV series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was River Phoenix's first acting role. His acting ability was obviously impressive even back then for the same year that he was cast in this series he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a New Television Series. Later he went on to appear in a number of successful movies, including Stand by Me, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and My Own Private Idaho. Unfortunately, Phoenix passed away in the early 90's as a result of drug intoxication (IMDb).
Fans of the teen drama TV series Dawson's Creek (on air between 1998 and 2003) were either team Dawson or team Pacey. Those who were team Pacey were obviously not indifferent to the actor who portrayed him (Joshua Jackson) either. Of course, Dawson's Creek was not the first - or the only - acting gig that Jackson landed. Prior to starring on the TV series that made him famous, he was also cast in the 1992 sports comedy drama The Mighty Ducks (and its sequels according to IMDb).
Who'd go ahead and pick Matt Damon and who'd pass on him? Damon made his acting debut in the late 80's when he was cast in the coming-of-age movie Mystic Pizza. He did not come to international attention until the 90's however which is when he starred in films such as the 1997 drama film Good Will Hunting, the 1998 epic war film Saving Private Ryan, and the 1999 psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. Nowadays we tend to associate him with his role of Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise (IMDb).
Rob Lowe first came to prominence in the early 80's when he was cast in films such as the 1983 coming-of-age drama The Outsiders, the 1984 sports film Oxford Blues, the 1984 comedy drama film The Hotel New Hampshire and the 1985 coming of age film St. Elmo's Fire. These movies established him as a Hollywood star and a teen idol. As such, it comes as no surprise that he continued acting into the 90's. For example, it was in 1992 that he starred in the iconic comedy film Wayne's World (IMDb).
Who'd go ahead and pick Skeet Ulrich and who'd pass on him? Ulrich is a talented actor who is to this day best associated with a large number of popular 90's films such as the 1996 slasher film Scream and the 1996 supernatural thriller film The Craft. Unfortunately, at the turn of the millennium Ulrich slipped into relative obscurity although according to IMDb, he has recently been cast as FP Jones, the leader of a criminal gang known as Southside Serpents, in the teen drama TV series Riverdale.
Ryan Philippe made his acting debut in the soap opera One Life to Live. He played the role of Billy Douglas on the show and starred in 13 episodes in total. However, he did not rise to fame until he transitioned to film. For example, many of us still associate him with popular 90's films such as the 1997 slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer and the 1998 drama film 54 (IMDb). It was also in the 90's that he married the Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon but their marriage did not last.
The singer and songwriter Kevin Richardson is best known for his involvement with the popular boy band the Backstreet Boys. He was huge in the 90's, and understandably so. After all, the Backstreet Boys debut album sold 13 million copies according to Biography. In 2006 Richardson decided to leave the band in pursuit of other projects, much to the disappointment of the group's lifelong fans. Still, his hiatus turned out to be far from permanent - he re-joined the group in 2012.