Cameron Diaz Then:
Cameron Diaz was the fun, lovable, mind-bogglingly beautiful, blond bombshell who seemed to appear out of thin air in the '90s. From her co-starring role beside Jim Carrey in 1994s The Mask to She’s the One in '96, My Best Friend’s Wedding in ‘97 to There’s Something About Mary in ‘99, Cameron Diaz ruled the Rom-Com genre. In the 2000s, it seemed that Diaz would continue to rule the big screen with big hits such as Charlie’s Angels in 2000, as well as Shrek and Vanilla Sky in 2001.
Cameron Diaz Now:
However, Diaz retired from acting in 2014. In an interview on Gwyneth Paltrow’s “In goop Health: The Sessions” series, the retired actress says that she found peace when she quit making films in 2014. She recounted how hard she had been working for so long and said she had just decided to take her life back. Since quitting the film business, Diaz married Good Charlotte singer Benji Madden in 2015, and the couple just announced the birth of their first child together in February of 2020.
Jennifer Love Hewitt Then:
Jennifer Love Hewitt has been acting in television since she debuted on Kids Incorporated on the Disney Channel in 1989. However, it wasn’t until she played the pretty, quirky girl next door with a big heart and an even bigger crush on Party of Five's breakout heartthrob, Scott Wolf that audiences would fall head over heels with the actress. From 1995 through 1999, Party of Five ruled the teenage drama genre and Love-Hewitt began to appear in popular teen films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Can’t Hardly Wait.
Jennifer Love-Hewitt Now:
Jennifer Love Hewitt is still an actor, but she’s taking more of a backseat role. As a matter of fact, she has recently renewed her role on Fox’s 9-1-1 as an emergency-call operator named Maddie. While she still has roles a-plenty, now she’s more focused on being a mom and she’s changing her mindset when it comes to her career. She is a proud mother of two children—daughter Autumn, 6 and son Atticus, 4, and she’s married to a fellow actor, Brian Hallisay, who was her costar on her previous show, The Client List.
Neve Campbell Then:
Another Party of Five alum, Neve Campbell became an "It" girl almost overnight with the success of the show. As Julia Salinger, Campbell plays a teenage girl struggling with the loss of her parents and learning how to survive without them. However, film roles began coming at her from all directions and soon she was ruling the big screen as well as Fox’s Thursday night line-up. Her biggest success to date has been her recurring role as Sydney Prescott in the horror cult-classic Scream films.
Neve Campbell Now:
These days it seems Neve is taking things a bit more slowly. She’s continued acting in smaller roles throughout the 2000s. In 2011, she began dating her current partner, fellow actor JJ Feild, after two failed marriages. The two have never been married, but they’re still going as strong as ever and have two children between them. As for Ms. Campbell’s future—she has signed on to don the mantle of the ever-sought-after Sydney Prescott once again in the Scream franchise’s fifth installment, expected in theaters in 2022.
Alicia Silverstone Then:
The world was first introduced to a 17-year-old Alicia Silverstone in a series of music videos released by the rock band, Aerosmith, for their songs, "Cryin," "Amazing," and "Crazy." In each of the videos she played a femme-fatal schoolgirl who quickly became the envy of teenage girls all over the world and every teenaged boy’s fantasy. Due to her quick popularity, she was soon offered the starring role in what would become the '90s’ most popular teen film ever made—Clueless.
Alicia Silverstone Now:
Silverstone remained an IT girl throughout the 90s, following Clueless up with roles in films such as The Babysitter, Batman & Robin, Excess Baggage, and Blast from the Past. However, after she appeared in the film Batman & Robin, the paparazzi had body-shamed the actress, saying that she appeared to be fat in her Batgirl suit. She left Hollywood behind and instead opted for acting on the stage. In 2020, Silverstone decided to return to Hollywood and now has a role as Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer in Netflix’s teen show The Baby-Sitters Club.
Liv Tyler Then:
Although she’s been a model since the age of 14, appearing in just one of Aerosmith’s music videos alongside Alicia Silverstone in 1993, Liv Tyler became an immediate overnight sensation in her own right despite being Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter. After her music video debut, her star continued to climb with starring roles in films such as Empire Records, Stealing Beauty, and the blockbuster Armageddon. It even seemed as if she would continue to be an "It" girl of the 2000s with her supporting role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Liv Tyler Now:
Since staying largely out of the spotlight for the past several years, it appears that Liv is coming back to Hollywood. In 2017, she reprised her role for HBO’s The Leftovers and then starred opposite Kit Harrington in the BBC mini-series, Gunpowder. In 2018 she landed a role as a series regular on Hulu’s hit drama, Harlots, and in 2019, starred in the film Ad Astra as Eve. Since 2020, Tyler stars alongside Rob Lowe in Fox’s new drama, 9-1-1 Lone Star.
Christina Ricci Then:
Christina Ricci started 1990 by swimming into our hearts and stealing them in her breakout film Mermaids, co-starring Winona Ryder and Cher—two already established queens of the 1990s. She followed her star-studded debut with another star-studded film, The Addams Family in which she masterfully played the dark character of Wednesday Addams, alongside Hollywood royalty Raul Julia and Angelica Huston. The list of her film credits goes on and on for the 1990s, including '90s staples such as Now and Then, Casper, 200 Cigarettes, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Sleepy Hollow.
Christine Ricci Now:
In the early 2000s, Ricci became the darling of the Indie film industry, starring in films such as Pumpkin and Black Snake Moan. Around 2014, she began to play interesting historical characters, taking on the role of Lizzie Borden in Lifetime’s film, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and then reprising the role the following year for the channel’s mini-series. She’s even taken a crack at playing the late Zelda Fitzgerald as well as Nelly Bly. These days the actress has several irons in the fire with projects due to come out in 2021.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen Then:
Tiffani Amber Thiessen played the cute and quirky Kelly Kapowski—the sweet girl next door who also happened to be head cheerleader and snag the cutest guy at Bayside High on the popular teen sitcom, Saved By the Bell. And, if that wasn’t enough to cement her as a '90s "It" girl, she then reinvented herself as the exact opposite kind of character on Beverly Hills, 90210—the most popular teen drama of the 1990s—in 1994 as Valerie Malone, yet again snagging the hottest guy in the show, Dylan McKay played by teen heartthrob Luke Perry.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen Now:
Although she’s stayed largely out of the spotlight in recent years, she’s always steadily worked on various projects including USA’s television series White Collar. In 2018, Tiffani wrote and published a cookbook titled Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours, as well as costarring in Netflix’s Alexa & Katie. These days she has been reprising her role as Kelly Kapowski—that is Mrs. Kelly Morris, now—on the reprisal of Saved by the Bell on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
Christina Applegate Then:
From 1987 through 1997, Fox’s Married with Children was one of the most popular shows of its time. And Christina Applegate was most definitely its biggest breakout star, playing Kelly Bundy, the ditzy and trampy teenage daughter - always good for a great giggle. As if that wasn’t enough, in 1991, Applegate appeared on the big screen in the teen cult classic film, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. And from 1998 through 2000, she played Jesse Warner on her own television show Jesse.
Christina Applegate Now:
Christina sort of reinvented herself in the early 2000s. Stepping away from the familiar ditzy type of roles she was becoming used to, she began taking roles of stronger, independent women in films such as The Sweetest Thing, and playing the role of Rachel Green’s sister in Friends. In more recent years, she played the role of Gwendolyn in the films Bad Moms and A Bad Moms Christmas. Her current project is Netflix’s Dead to Me, where she plays Jen Harding, a grieving widow and single mother with a boatload of secrets.
Brandy Norwood—better known as just plain Brandy—hit the music scene in 1994 with her breakout hit song "I Wanna Be Down" from her self-titled debut album. Considering that she followed up her debut album in 1995 by appearing on Babyface’s next production—the soundtrack to Waiting to Exhale—and proving that she could hold her own with greats such as Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige cemented her 90s "It" girl status. But that’s not where she stopped. Among the various musical hits that she was turning out in the '90s, she also found the time to play Moesha Mitchell in the television series Moesha AND star alongside Whitney Houston in a made for television version of Cinderella.
Throughout the early 2000s, Brandy continued acting and singing although her next couple of albums didn’t quite reach the same popularity as her earlier works. In 2011, she snagged a recurring role as Elisa Shayne on 90210 and appeared in the television show The Game, as the character Chardonnay from 2012-2015. Most recently she has starred in the television series Star as Cassie Brown from 2018 through 2019. Currently, she’s rumored to be starring in the role of Vivien for the upcoming film Signs of Love.
Monica Arnold, also better known as just Monica, hit the music scene right after Brandy in 1995 with her hit debut song, "Don’t Take it Personal (Just One of Dem Days)" off of her debut album, Miss Thang. In a time when many young R&B artists such as Aaliyah and Usher were also hitting the scene and making themselves household names, Monica’s southern grit and boldness, as well as the fact that she was only 14 years old at the time, distinguished her as a household name. Not to mention that she followed up her debut album with The Boy is Mine, which went multi-platinum.
Monica continued to release albums in the early 2000s, but none ever quite reached the popularity of her first two albums. As recently as August of 2020, the singer came together with Brandy for the first time since their Grammy win in 1999 for their duet, "The Boy Is Mine." It had been long rumored that the two had some kind of feud so the announcement that they would be finally reuniting was met with celebration from fans and celebrities alike. She has also been working on an album titled Trenches, her first in five years, originally set to have been released in November of 2020. But due to complications, the release date has been set to January of 2021.
Sarah Michelle Gellar Then:
In 1993, the world was introduced to a very young Sarah Michelle Gellar on the popular daytime soap opera, All My Children, where she played legendary Erica Kane’s love child, Kendall Hart—a role she would play until 1995 and reprise again in 2011. In 1997, Gellar was cast as the lead in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which she played until 2003. Due to the popularity of the show, Sarah was an overnight success and became an IT girl of the 90s, appearing in uber-popular teen films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and Simply Irresistible.
Sarah Michelle Gellar Now:
Although Sarah worked in several more popular films in the early 2000s, she faded from the spotlight and instead turned to voice acting to take it a little easier. She has voiced characters in quite a few popular animated series such as The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, American Dad, and Star Wars Rebels. She’s been married to '90s teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr.—her I know What You Did Last Summer and Scooby Doo co-star—since 2002, and the two have two little girls together: ages 8 and 11.
Britney Spears Then:
Although Britney actually got her big break on the Disney Channel revival of The Mickey Mouse Club in 1992, she wouldn’t actually become a household name until 1999, when she released her debut album and single: both titled “Baby One More Time.” The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and was certified platinum twice over within a month and eventually became the biggest-selling album ever by a teenage artist. Suddenly Britney Spears was everywhere, and she was an "It" girl overnight.
Britney Spears Now:
Spears followed her successful debut album up with Oops!... I Did It Again, her second studio album in May of 2000, barely giving us time to breathe after the success of her third hit single from her first album, “(You Drive Me) Crazy” which became a top-ten hit worldwide. More recently, in 2013, Britney began what would become an extremely popular residency in Las Vegas, and in 2016, she won Billboard’s coveted Millennium Award. In 2019, Britney was set to begin her new residency, Domination, but canceled it with claims of family illness.
Christina Aguilera Then:
Believe it or not, Christina Aguilera began her career exactly the same way as Britney Spears—on The Mickey Mouse Club revival in 1992. She received her big break—again, thanks to Disney—when she was chosen to sing the song “Reflection” for the 1998 animated film Mulan. Within the week she was signed to RCA Records and by June of 1999, she had joined the teen pop revolution with her debut hit single, “Genie in a Bottle,” which catapulted her into a ‘90s It girl. Her album was released two months later and earned Aguilera her first Grammy for Best New Artist of the year.
Christina Aguilera Now:
Between 2000 and 2001, Christina released a Spanish-language album as well as releasing a Christmas album. In 2002, Aguilera released the album Stripped, which showcased her maturity as an artist. One of the singles from the album, “Beautiful,” won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. These days, Christina is busy being a mother of two as well as a partner to long-time fiancé, Matthew Rutler. Also, in May of 2019, she began her first Las Vegas residency, which ran through March 7, 2020—the rest of her shows being postponed due to Covid-19.
Tori Spelling Then:
In 1990, Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered and it was an overnight success, catapulting its eight young stars into fame almost immediately. Tori Spelling played naïve Donna Martin, the goodie two-shoes of the group of friends and their overall conscience. 90210 ran through the year 2000, and even as busy as the show kept her, Tori still had time to guest star in several other tv shows, star in several made for tv movies, and even got a few big screen credits to her name, such as Scream 2.
Tori Spelling Now:
Since Beverly Hills, 90210 ended in the year 2000, Tori has kept herself uber busy with projects. That is probably because her father is none other than the legendary television producer, Aaron Spelling, and she literally grew up in television. She has also penned six books regarding her life and motherhood. In 2009, Tori reprised her role as Donna Martin for the reboot show—titled 90210—for two episodes. As recently as 2019, Tori joined her former castmates for BH90210, a 6-episode reprisal of the original show on Fox.
Winona Ryder Then:
We’ve known Winona Ryder since 1986, when she starred in popular classics such as Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Great Balls of Fire. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that Winona became a star in her own right when she starred in both Mermaids with Cher and Edward Scissorhands with Johnny Depp. From there, it was hard to keep up with her many popular movies, starting with Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992 to Girl Interrupted in 1999. It probably didn’t hurt her fame that she also happened to date some of the biggest teen heartthrobs of the ‘90s i.e., Christian Slater, Johnny Depp, and Matt Damon.
Winona Ryder Now:
For the past 20 years, Winona has continued to work, however none of her newer films reached quite the same popularity as her earlier films and her roles appeared to become smaller and smaller with the exception of Mr. Deeds, in which she costarred alongside Adam Sandler. In 2016, it seemed her luck would be turning around in the form of a small Netflix show called Stranger Things in which she would take on the role of single mother Joyce Byers, trying to raise two teenage boys in the 1980s. Her performance on the show has garnered Ryder both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations in the past few years.
Melissa Joan Hart Then:
It all started with a groovy little song and cute blond to tell us like it was. Clarissa Explains it All aired on Nickelodian in 1991, and for three seasons, teenage girls everywhere wanted to be just like Melissa Joan Hart. Melissa also did a very creepy and memorable episode of the ever-popular series, Are You Afraid of the Dark? in 1993. And if that wasn’t enough, she was cast as the lead character in Sabrina the Teenage Witch in 1996, which was so popular, it made her an "It" girl.
Melissa Joan Hart Now:
After Sabrina the Teenage Witch wrapped up in 2003, Melissa continued to work in television, filming several made-for-tv movies, and guest-appearing in many different shows. From 2010-2015, she had a successful show on the ABC Family network called Melissa & Joey, costarring Joey Lawrence. Now, at 44 years old, the actress recently told Glamour magazine that “she’s found more creative fulfillment in directing and producing than she did acting.” Also. There are rumors swirling that she could be reprising her role as Clarissa Darling in 2021… We’ll just have to see!
Claire Danes Then:
Claire Danes burst onto the scene when she was cast in the short-lived but acclaimed My So-Called Life in 1994—a role that won her a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Drama and a nomination for an Emmy in 1995. In 1996, she was cast in the coveted role of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet alongside heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio. All in all, Danes starred or appeared in 11 feature films throughout the '90s.
Claire Danes Now:
And her career never stopped. Between 2000 and 2011 alone, Claire appeared in another 12 feature films, including the Oscar-winning critically acclaimed film, The Hours, and one made-for-tv movie called Temple Grandin. In 2011, she won a role on Showtime’s Homeland as Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative who also happens to be bipolar. Altogether, the show has been nominated for 176 awards and has won 60 of them including Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama in both 2012 and 2013.
Gwen Stefani Then:
In 1992, the world was introduced to a new kind of sound from a band called No Doubt when they released their first single, “Trapped in a Box.” However, it wasn’t until they released their 3rd studio album that included the hit singles “Spiderwebs” and “Don’t Speak” that they would become a household name. Specifically, their spunky, grunge-ish, blond bombshell lead singer, Gwen Stefani would become an overnight sensation. Her mix of punk fashion, rainbow-colored hair, and facial jewels made her a ‘90s fashion icon almost immediately. Add to that an MTV Music Video Award for Best Group in 1997, and you have ‘90s celebrity royalty.
Gwen Stefani Now:
While No Doubt continued its success through the early 2000s, winning two Grammys as well as a host of other awards, Gwen decided to spread her wings and fly solo. She launched a successful solo career in 2004, as well as played the legendary Jean Harlow in the Oscar-nominated film, The Aviator. In 2018, Gwen began her first residency in Las Vegas called Gwen Stefani – Just a Girl that lasted into 2020 but was put on hiatus with the onset of Covid-19. In 2020, Gwen has returned as a judge on The Voice for its 17th season and as of January 1, 2021, released her first single from her newest album called “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.”
Kirsten Dunst Then:
Kirsten Dunst has been in the industry since the age of three when she began modeling clothes in commercials. Although she had worked with both Woody Allen and Tom Hanks by the time she was 8-years-old, audiences didn’t sit up and take notice of the little vixen until 1994 when she burst onto the big screen as vamp Claudia opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the blockbuster Interview with A Vampire. She then followed it up by costarring in Little Women, alongside other ‘90s "It" girls (Claire Danes and Winona Ryder) the same year, and Jumanji in 1995. She worked on many other projects throughout the ‘90s, not the least of which was one season spent on the popular television series, E.R.
Kirsten Dunst Now:
Dunst’s success continued into the 2000’s with films such as The Crow: Salvation, Bring It On, Crazy/Beautiful, and Spider-Man. She’s also been a lucky girl in love, as she has dated such Hollywood hunks as Josh Hartnett, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Adam Brody. In 2015, Dunst appeared in the second season of the television drama Fargo and met her current fiancé, Jesse Plemons, who played her on-screen husband. In 2019, Dunst produced and performed in her new Showtime series, On Becoming a God in Central Florida and she has a new film in post-production, expected to be released in 2021, called The Power of the Dog.
Nia Long Then:
Nia Long wasn’t an overnight sensation, but she became a ‘90s "It" girl all the same. In 1991, the world was introduced to her in Boyz ‘n’ the Hood where she played the main character’s sometimes girlfriend, Brandi. Soon after she starred in the rom-com Made in America opposite comedic legends Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson. She had played Claudia Prescott in one episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air in 1991, but in 1994 she was asked to join the cast as Lisa Wilkes, Will’s love interest. She would star in nine more films, and various television series before the end of the decade, including Soul Food and In Too Deep.
Nia Long Now:
The 2000s continued to be a time of success for Long, with films such as Big Momma’s House and Boiler Room, as well as a recurring role on the popular television series Third Watch. She’s still as busy at work as ever with four total projects being released just in 2020 alone. In her latest venture, she tried her hand at executive producing the film Fatal Affair for Netflix, as well as starring in the film with her In Too Deep costar, Omar Epps. Now that she’s gotten her feet wet in producing, she has ideas to develop and play a freedom-fighter type character from the 1970s.