90s nostalgia is in full swing, and it’s never more apparent than in the slate of reboots taking over our TV screens. In preparation for ever more reboots, here are a bunch of our favorite stars from the 90s, back when they started, and what they’re up to now.
Jaleel White – Family Matters | Then
Jaleel White became an instant family favorite when he appeared as Steve Urkel in the second half of the first season of Family Matters. Surprisingly, White had only been booked for a one time guest role on the sitcom as the family’s annoyingly nerdy neighbor, but White was so funny, he was asked to return to the show as a regular character. The show shifted its focus from the Winslow family to Urkel himself, making White the main character of the series.
Jaleel White – Family Matters | Now
Following Family Matters, White had roles in a number of different TV shows, including voicing Sonic in the animated series, Sonic Underground. He also played J. Calvin Frasier in the show grown ups between 1999 and 2000. In 2010, he had an arc as Reggie Culkin in the show, Fake It Til You Make It. Many people still associate White with his character Urkel, and are surprised to see that he isn’t actually an awkward skinny nerd. Most recently, he played Darryl in Me, Myself and I.
Kirk Cameron – Growing Pains | Then
Kirk Cameron got his start on TV doing commercials as a child before he was cast as the oldest son, Mike Seaver, on the sitcom Growing Pains. Throughout the run of the show, Cameron was the guy every teen girl was crushing on, especially as he charmed lady after lady as his character. Towards the end of the show’s run, however, Cameron became an evangelical Christian, and wanted his character’s actions to reflect his newfound faith.
Kirk Cameron – Growing Pains | Now
After the show wrapped, Cameron became so focused on his new faith that he cut off all contact to his former cast mates, barely speaking to them for many years, until the cast began reuniting for movies and talk show reunions. Despite his turn towards religion, he never left show business behind entirely. Cameron co-hosted The Way of the Master, a Christian ministry show from 2003 to 2014. Recently, he has appeared in Extraordinary as Barry, as well as The National Bible Bee Game Show.
Katey Sagal – Married… With Children | Then
Katey Sagal made a name for herself as an actress when she was cast in Married… With Children as the protagonist, Al Bundy’s wife, Peggy. Sagal’s often hilarious antics as the working class wife of a shoe salesman made her immensely popular with audiences. Peggy’s signature red updo was inspired by the wig that Sagal had worn to her audition for the role, and producers liked it so much they decided to have her keep the hairdo on the show.
Katey Sagal – Married… With Children | Now
After Married… With Children’s 11 year run, she moved on to do voiceover work in the animated adult TV series, Futurama, with its ardent audiences of devotees. In 2002, she began playing another TV mother as Cate Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, where she was John Ritter’s wife. The show also starred a young Kaley Cuoco, but didn’t last much longer after Ritter’s death. Sagal has recently appeared in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as this year’s Superior Donuts.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar – Saved By The Bell | Then
Mark-Paul Gosselaar was first cast as Zack Morris when he was only 14 for the Disney channel show, Good Morning Miss Bliss. The show was cancelled after one season, but producers found Gosselaar so charming that they decided to redevelop the show to center on his character, Zack. Zack and several of his friends were moved to California and joined by a few new faces, with their new show named Saved By the Bell. The show ran for four years.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar – Saved By The Bell | Now
Following Saved By the Bell and its various, but less successful spinoffs, Gosselaar tried to make a move into film, first appearing in a TV movie, before getting his break on the big screen in Dead Man on Campus. In 2001, Gosselaar was cast in the TV drama, NYPD Blue, where he played Detective John Clark, Jr. until 2005. From 2011 until 2014, Gosselaar appeared in the show Franklin & Bash in the starring role of Pete Bash. Most recently, he was in Pitch.
Julianna Margulies – ER | Then
Though Julianna began acting several years before being cast on ER, it was her role as Carol Hathaway, which she began playing in 1994, that put her on the map as an actress. She starred in the show from the pilot episode, where she was featured opposite a young George Clooney. Though Hathaway wasn’t intended to last very long, Margulies’s performance made an impression, and she stayed with the show for six years. She was the only cast member to win an Emmy for the show.
Julianna Margulies – ER | Now
Though Margulies was heavily criticized for leaving ER after only six years while commanding an impressive paycheck, Margulies wanted to move on to bigger things. She had a number of film and TV roles in the intervening years, including several episodes of The Sopranos, as well as Caterbury’s Law, where she played Elizabeth Caterbury. From 2009, Margulies began starring in the legal drama, The Good Wife, as the show’s protagonist, Alicia Florrick, whose on screen husband was played by Chris Noth. In 2017, she was in Three Christs.
Sarah Michelle Gellar – Buffy The Vampire Slayer | Then
Sarah Michelle Gellar began acting at a young age, earning notice for her role on All My Children when she was only 16 years old. By 1997, Gellar was cast as the title character in the Joss Whedon show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which proved to be immensely popular among teens and young adults. The show lasted until 2003, and spawned the spinoff, Angel, in which Gellar made several appearances. Even a decade after it wrapped, Gellar is still known as Buffy.
Sarah Michelle Gellar – Buffy The Vampire Slayer | Now
During her run on Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar was landing movie roles left and right, and appeared in films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2. She also played Daphne in the live action Scooby Doo movies, released in 2002 and 2004. From 2005 up until 2014, Gellar voiced several characters on the animated series, Robot Chicken. She also voiced a character in Star Wars Rebels from 2015 to 2016. This year, she was seen in the TV pilot sequel Cruel Intentions.
Fran Drescher – The Nanny | Then
Though Fran earned her first role in the 1970s, she only found sporadic work with smaller film roles throughout the 1980s. In the early 90s, she and her husband created the show, The Nanny, which took a lot of inspiration from Fran’s early life, down to the characters upbringing in Queens and her family members’ names. The show made Drescher a bonafide star, and even earned her an Emmy nomination along with two Golden Globe nominations.
Fran Drescher – The Nanny | Now
After The Nanny wrapped in 1999 after six seasons on the air, Fran had several small roles in a number of films and television shows before getting back to writing and producing her own material. In 2005, she created and starred in the show, Living with Fran, which ran for two seasons. In 2011, she put her life back on the screen with Happily Divorced which was based on her and her long term husband’s relationship. This year, she appeared in an episode of Broad City.
Lark Voorhies – Saved By The Bell | Then
Lark Voorhies began acting at a young age and was one of the original stars of Good Morning Miss Bliss that was transferred over to Saved by the Bell. As Lisa Turtle, Voorhies played the sometimes haughty, rich character in the friend group. Turtle was the most fashion conscious of her group of friends, and when the original series ended with the characters’ high school graduation, Voorhies’s character moved to New York City in order to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Lark Voorhies – Saved By The Bell | Now
Voorhies only reprised her role of Turtle once during the run of the spinoff series, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Following Saved by the Bell, Voorhies had notable runs on Days of our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful. Afterwards, she played Mercedes Langford in the show In the House from 1997 until 1999. Voorhies began writing books in 2010, as has published three so far. Her last film appearance was 2012’s Closer to God: Jessica’s Journey.
John Goodman – Roseanne | Then
John Goodman had been acting for a number of years before he began playing Roseanne’s husband, Dan Connor, in the sitcom Roseanne. The show focused on the blue collar Connor family, and Goodman’s character, Dan, was often bouncing from job to job. As a sort of sitcom everyman, many people found Dan Connor to be more real and relatable than a lot of other TV dads, as he was far from perfect, but was always there to support his family.
John Goodman – Roseanne | Now
Despite Goodman’s extensive resume, Dan Connor still remains one of his most recognizable roles. Following Roseanne, Goodman appeared in a long string of TV shows and movies that include an arc on The West Wing, Center of the Universe, Evan Almighty, and Treme. He played a weighty role in the 2012 Ben Affleck film, Argo, about the US operation to extract hostages from Iran in the late 70s. This year, Goodman was seen in the film Once Upon a Time in Venice as Dave.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas – Home Improvement | Then
Jonathan Taylor Thomas may have been one of the best known teenage heartthrobs of the 1990s, along with the boy bands and Leonardo DiCaprio. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was cast on Home Improvement as Randy Taylor, Tim Allen’s character’s middle child. Jonathan played Randy until the show’s final season, when he asked for his character to be written out of the show so he could attend university. Jonathan did not return for the series’ finale.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas – Home Improvement | Now
Since Home Improvement, Jonathan Taylor Thomas continued his acting career, which included voiceover work for the Nickelodeon cartoon, The Wild Thornberrys in 2000, and The Tangerine Bear: Home In Time For Christmas. He also had roles in several TV movies, which included Common Ground and An American Town. Over the years he made a few guest appearances on television shows, but was more focused on earning a college degree. His last film appearance were several guest slots on Last Man Standing.
Jane Sibbett – Friends | Then
When Jane Sibbett was introduced on Friends she was replacing the original actress who portrayed Ross’s lesbian ex-wife, Carol. Sibbett was featured often in the first several seasons of Friends, especially during the storyline that regarded Carol’s pregnancy with Ross’s child, and how the pair dealt with co-parenting the baby alongside Carol’s new partner, Susan. Sibbett broke new ground on television as Carol, as she portrayed one of the first lesbian weddings to ever appear on TV in Friends’s second season.
Jane Sibbett – Friends | Now
Since she completed her run as Carol on Friends, Jane Sibbett continued to work on film and television intermittently. In the mid 2000s, she shifted her main focus from acting to producing, as she began working on a series of documentaries that follow a Croatian faith healer named Braco. So far, she has released four films about his work, including Braco: The Golden Bridge and Evolution. In 2016, Sibbett returned to the screen in Jessica Darling’s It List, as Mrs. Darling.
Roseanne Barr – Roseanne | Then
Roseanne Barr got her start as a standup comedian in the 1980s, who won national acclaim after performing on Late Night with David Letterman. When TV execs wanted to create a sitcom about a working class family, Roseanne was chosen to play the family matriarch, and the show that followed was largely based on her own life and kids. Her role in the title role of Roseanne was awarded with numerous awards and accolades, including an Emmy Award.
Roseanne Barr – Roseanne | Now
Since Roseanne went off the air in 1997, Barr has done a lot of work as a voiceover artist, in addition to sporadic guest roles on several TV series. Barr has been a prolific series producer since the early 1990s, which included both her own show, as well as several others like The Jackie Thomas Show. She hosted her own talk show, The Roseanne Show, before it was cancelled, and made several reality shows. The Roseanne revival is set to debut in 2018.
Megan Mullally – Will And Grace | Then
Megan Mullally’s shot at stardom may have been delayed when she lost out on the role of Elaine in Seinfeld to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Her big break came when she won the role of Karen Walker on Will and Grace, where she played Grace’s sassy, rich assistant who is consistently out of touch with the rest of the world. Mullally’s hilarious portrayal of Karen earned her a number of awards of over the years, including two Emmys.
Megan Mullally – Will And Grace | Now
When Will and Grace went off the air in 2006, Mullally was given her own talk show, called The Megan Mullally Show, which she hosted between 2006 and 2007. Mullally had a number of guest appearances in the following years, before earning another regular role on a series. A talented singer, Mullally began performing on Broadway in the 1990s, and also created the role of Elizabeth in the stage musical, Young Frankenstein. Mullally has made her way back in front of the camera in the Will and Grace revival.
Tori Spelling – Beverly Hills, 90210 | Then
Tori Spelling began playing Donna Martin on her father’s teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1990, a role she played for a full 10 years before the show wrapped in 2000.
Tori Spelling – Beverly Hills, 90210 | Now
Following Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori had roles in a number of different television shows and movies. Though she reprised her role as Donna Martin in the 90210 reboot in 2009, she remade her adult image as a reality TV star, allowing her family to be filmed for several shows documenting their lives, including Tori & Dean: Inn Love, Tori & Dean: Cabin Fever, and 2014’s True Tori. In 2017 she appeared in a TV movie called, Mother May I Sleep With Danger as Julie Lewisohn.
Amanda Bynes – All That | Then
Amanda Bynes was a child star who managed to turn heads with her hilarious portrayals in the teen sketch show, All That. She created several memorable characters that would recur in sketches throughout her years on the show including, sketches like ‘Ask Ashley.’ Bynes was eventually given a sketch show of her own, which was titled The Amanda Show when she was only 13 years old, which often parodied many popular shows that were airing at the same time.
Amanda Bynes – All That | Now
After All That and The Amanda Show, Bynes seemed to be on track to become Nickelodeon’s biggest breakout star. She went on to play What I Like About You which was on a network television show. Bynes also began starring in films,with her first big screen appearance opposite Frankie Munez and Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar. Bynes’s performance in the movie musical Hairspray was well received. She also had positive feedback for her role in Easy A, which was her last film appearance.
Denise Richards – Melrose Place | Then
Denise Richards got her start bouncing around a number of our favorite teen shows, including Saved By The Bell, Seinfeld, and Married with Children, where she played a variety of small roles. It was her mini arc on Melrose Place as Brandi Carson, however, that gained her enough attention to begin earning bigger roles, including Lt. Carmen Ibanez in the 1997 film, Starship Troopers. That ended up becoming her breakout role, which placed her on the Hollywood map.
Denise Richards-Melrose Place | Now
By the early 2000s, Denise was earning herself roles on a number of big TV shows, holding her own in long term arcs. She appeared as Debra in Blue Mountain State between 2010 and 2011, as well as several episodes of Two and Half Men, which starred her ex-husband, Charlie Sheen, between 2003 and 2011. This year, Denise appeared in Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce as well as the movie, A Violent Man, where she played Victoria. She has six more films yet to be released this year and next.
Heather Locklear – Spin City | Then
Heather Locklear finally earned herself national attention when she was cast as Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place in 1993. She played the role until the series wrapped in 1999, before reprising it in the recent reboot. Following her popular run on the primetime soap opera, which was also the brainchild of Aaron Spelling, the king of 90s teen dramas, she moved on to Spin City. Locklear played Caitlin Moore from 1999 to 2002, firmly cementing herself as a staple of 90s television dramas.
Heather Locklear – Spin City | Now
After Spin City wrapped, Locklear bounced around a number of television shows, including LAX where she played Harley Random from 2004 until 2005. Locklear continued to act, but was beset by a number of problems in her personal life, in particular, her divorce from her second husband, and falling out with her ex-best friend, Denise Richards. Beginning in 2016, she began playing First Lady Katelynn Christian in the TV show, Too Close to Home, which was created by Tyler Perry.
David Hasselhoff – Baywatch | Then
David Hasselfhoff ended up being the man to bring Baywatch to the masses. It’s original run starring Hasselhoff in 1989 didn’t go well, but Hasselhoff saw its potential and invested his own money in rebooting the show. He played the role of Mitch Buchanon for 11 years, ending his run on the show in 2000. Hasselhoff also appeared in the Baywatch spinoff, Baywatch Nights between 1995 and 1997, which helped cement him as the world’s most watched man on TV, for which he won a Guinness World Record.
David Hasselhoff – Baywatch | Now
Since the end of Baywatch over a decade and a half ago, Hasselhoff has been seen in a large number of movies and TV shows. He also finally fulfilled his childhood dream of being a Broadway star when he made his debut in Jekyll and Hyde in 2000. He also had starring runs in the Broadway productions of Chicago and The Producers. Most recently, he can be seen spoofing himself in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, where he’s officially billed as “The form of David Hasselhoff”.
Sara Gilbert – Roseanne | Then
Sara Gilbert got her first taste of stardom when she watched her older sister Melissa Gilbert on the hit 70s TV show, Little House on the Prairie. Determined to follow in her siblings’ footsteps, Sara began doing commercials as a child. In 1988, she was cast as the middle child on the sitcom Roseanne, where she played the sardonic Darlene until the show wrapped in 1997, nine years after it first began airing. The show found her to be so critical, that they filmed around her university schedule.
Sara Gilbert – Roseanne | Now
Gilbert had a number of guest roles on various TV shows following Roseanne, including a run on 24 as Paula Schaeffer in 2002, as well as starring in the short lived series, Twins, from 2005 to 2006. Gilbert briefly reprised her onscreen relationship with her Roseanne character’s partner, when she appeared in several episodes of The Big Bang Theory as one of Johnny Galecki’s love interests. Gilbert is now both a producer and co-host on the show The Talk, and will be playing Darlene in the Roseanne revival.
Karyn Parsons – Fresh Prince Of Belair | Then
Karyn Parsons got her big break in Hollywood when she was cast in the Will Smith centered sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Belair as Hilary Banks, one of Will’s cousins. Hilary was often the family member most obsessed with showing off her status, and could often act quite spoiled, as she liked to go shopping and looked down on places that were associated with a lower socio economic level. Though Hilary was never a very brainy character, she eventually finds career success.
Karyn Parson – Fresh Prince Of Belair | Now
After Fresh Prince of Belair stopped production, Parsons starred in the short lived TV series, Lush Life as Margot Hines, which only lasted for four episodes. She followed that up with a couple of film roles, including The Ladies Man and 13 Moons. From 2001 to 2002 she played Toni in The Job. Karyn took a break from acting after the role, but produced a series of films about black heroes. She is set to return to TV in 2018 for the series Fly.