Every now and then we see a picture online and we get a sense of nostalgia from old TV shows that we used to watch. It occurs to us that we haven’t see that actor in a while. TV series are a highly competitive arena. Just look at how many new shows are always popping up. If a show can’t hold its ratings it goes into obscurity.
This was the era before social media when we weren’t distracted by just about everything. Back then the only way to keep tabs on what was going on with our favorite celebrity was to buy magazines to see what they were up to.
This was why our favorite celebrities seemed to slip through our fingers as the '90s and early 2000s disappeared. There was really no way to keep tabs on them. Some celebrities chose to leave the limelight because they wanted to start a family or go back to school while others were booted out of the limelight never to be heard from again.
We have wondered what happened to some forgotten stars and we are betting fans are wondering the same thing. Check out these 20 forgotten stars and where they are now.
20 Jonathan Taylor Thomas Finally Made It
If you grew up in the '90s then you knew all about Tim “The Toolman” Taylor on Home Improvement. It was a popular show that ran for eight years. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the Teen Beat crush of that generation and he even voiced Simba in Disney’s 1994 The Lion King. After the show ended, Jonathan didn’t have much work and decided to head back to school.
During a 10-year hiatus from Hollywood, he went to Harvard, Columbia, and the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He’s had bit parts over the years in TV shows like Smallville and 8 Simple Rules. He was even cast alongside Tim Allen again in the TV series Last Man Standing, but hasn’t been in anything since 2015.
19 Ali Larter Was Everyone’s Teen Dream
Ali Larter was part of the cast of Dawson’s Creek in the '90s as Pacey Witter’s crush. She was only there for one season but she certainly made an impression. She became the girl with the “whipped cream bikini” in Varsity Blues and continued on making movies like Final Destination and Resident Evil.
To see Larter these days, you wouldn’t think that she’s aged a bit. After her stint in the TV series Heroes, the roles seemed to dry up for her. She’s only had a few roles over the years and is currently on the TV show Splitting Up Together.
18 Amy Jo Johnson Was A Power Ranger
She was the pink Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin Powers Rangers that made its debut in 1993. Amy Jo Johnson was certainly one of the most popular characters on the show. She didn’t disappear completely from Hollywood after that as she has had a few bit parts over the years.
She was in TV shows such as Wildfire and Flashpoint. She’s been in a few movies recently but nothing notable. After she left the Power Rangers, she tried her hand at being a musician and a filmmaker. She did also have a cameo in the most recent Power Rangers movie.
17 Jenna von Oÿ From Blossom
You may remember Jenna playing the role of Six on Blossom for five years before the show ended. She didn’t get much work after that until she found another long-term role in The Parkers. But she’s probably always going to be known as the girl who wore the floppy hats.
She’s also been doing a lot of writing and will often do guest pieces for People’s celebrity baby blog. She wrote a book called Situation Momedy because she is also a mom. She’s got a sequel to the book coming out, too. She still stays in touch with her Blossom costar Mayim Bialik as you can see in the photo. The two are still as close as ever.
16 Marla Sokoloff Was The Bad Girl
We remember Marla Sokoloff as the bad girl in Full House always trying to get Stephanie to do bad things with her. She was also part of Party of Five, 7th Heaven and Boy Meets World. After the '90s, she did find success with other roles in shows like Desperate Housewives and The Practice.
During that time she also got married and had two children. She became a writer for a while for People’s celebrity baby blog but she found she got herself in a little trouble over it. She started talking about how she stopped saying “no” to her daughter because she felt she said it so much that it was becoming ineffective. She got so much backlash for the piece that Good Morning America brought a parenting expert on the show just to refute her.
15 Barry Watson From 7th Heaven
It was kind of fun seeing Barry Watson on Gossip Girl because it made us think, “Where has he been?” His character dated Serena for a season before she left him to go back to Dan.
Barry has done a lot of work in the industry but he is still known as Matt Camden from 7th Heaven. During that time he was very popular and was doing other movies on the side. It wasn’t long before the opportunities just seemed to dry up for him, though. He started getting Lifetime Christmas movie roles until we spotted him in Gossip Girl in 2012. He’s currently working on a TV series called The Loudest Voice that is in post-production.
14 David Faustino Had A Smart Mouth
Married…. with Children was a hugely popular show in its day and it's one that would never fly in today’s society. David Faustino played Bud Bundy, the unpopular child who wanted to be as popular as his sister but it was always out of his grasp.
It’s hard to picture David in any other role than that one which is probably why he hasn’t had a successful run in Hollywood. Not that he stopped working. We did see him in The Young and the Restless, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens and the TV show DreamWorks Dragons. He is currently in post-production for a new TV series called Hollywould.
13 Brittany Daniel Rocked The Creek
Brittany Daniel played the manipulative Eve who rocked the creek on Dawson’s Creek. She had Dawson doing all kinds of things that were out of his character. She also starred in the TV series Sweet Valley High with her twin sister. She did a lot of work with her sister but gained more success when she went off on her own and starred in movies like Joe Dirt and Little Man.
During this time she also successfully battled stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which inspired her to work with charities that are involved in cancer treatment.
12 Scott Wolf Has A Family
Party of Five wasn’t the most popular show out there but it had a dedicated fanbase. There were a ton of actors on the show who made a mark in Hollywood. When the show came to an end, Scott Wolf struggled to find roles.
He seemed to only be able to find lower-profile roles in shows like The Night Shift, V, and Everwood. He was one actor that chose to leave Hollywood to start a family. He moved to Park City, Utah and that’s about as far away from Hollywood as one could get. He didn’t fully leave the acting life, however, and this year he is set to star in the movie The Christmas Song.
11 Fred Savage From The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years is what made him famous but Fred had a hard time retaining that fame over the years. He’s jumped from TV show to TV show over the years but nothing that was overly successful that it would change his career. Fred had a role in Deadpool 2 in which he played himself, but he didn’t like the role very much and didn’t even want to see the movie when it was completed.
Ryan Reynolds did something to Fred that he really didn't appreciate - he took him away by force without his approval. Fred told CinemaBlend,
“I don't think [Ryan] apologizes. And I have not seen him again. And that's fine, you know? That's fine by me. I don't want to see the movie.”
10 Lacey Chabert Left Party Of Five
Lacey Chabert was one of the younger stars on Party of Five but when the show ended she struggled to find roles. That was until she landed a role on Mean Girls alongside Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan. It may have seemed as if her career hit the skids after that movie but she has consistently been working in Hollywood ever since.
She’s just taken over the TV movie genre instead of big blockbuster roles. For years she has been on TV series like Shimmer and Shine and Young Justice. She also has a whopping six TV movies coming out in 2019.
9 Ian Ziering Is Battling Sharks
We fell in love with Ian Ziering on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210. He played the wealthy Steve Sanders who fell in love with Kelly. He hasn’t had the same success in the industry as some of his other costars from the show, but he hasn’t fully disappeared either.
He is the lead in all the Sharknado movies. He seems to be doing better this year in the industry as he's currently filming the TV series Swamp Thing and is filming the reboot of 90210, which we are all excited to see.
8 Jason Behr Hasn’t Been Doing Much
Jason Behr was the arrogant jock from Dawson’s Creek that got together with Michelle Williams. He’s best known for his role on another WB series called Roswell. After the show ended, however, Behr couldn’t find any more roles until he starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the movie Grudge.
He starred in a lot of movies that really didn’t go anywhere. He was in the movie Dragon Wars: D-War which was like a Bollywood version of Game of Thrones. The last thing that he starred in was the TV series Breakout Kings in 2012. We’re really not sure what he’s doing right now.
7 Andrea Barber Is Still Kimmy Gibbler
Andrea Barber was Kimmy Gibbler on Full House and that was pretty much all she had for a career at the time. When the show ended, so did her career. When her career disappeared she decided to leave Hollywood and go to school. She got herself an academic career and became a mother.
It wasn’t until 2016 that she came back to the little screen in the spin-off series Fuller House. She started writing a memoir in 2018 talking about her life. Hollywood reports her saying,
“A lot of people are like, ‘What happened during those lost years?’ so I’m actually writing a book as we speak, about my time as a child actor and what I did for those 20 years, which include going through some heavy postpartum depression and anxiety, and talking about some dark times and heavy topics.”
6 Rider Strong Went Behind The Camera
Rider Strong was Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World but after the show ended he was more interested in going back to school. He majored in English at Columbia University and he received a Masters of Fine Arts from Bennington College. He’s taken on a few roles here and there over the years but nothing big.
He mostly prefers to be behind the camera working as a writer and director. He hosts a podcast called "Literary Disco" with friends Julia Pistell and Tod Goldberg. He’s a family man who has no interest in being a big actor in Hollywood any longer. He does make an appearance in the reboot Girl Meets World, though.
5 Tatyana Ali Won Fans Over In Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Tatyana Ali’s most notable role was that of Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alongside Will Smith. She actually received her first kiss on the show which is something that happens when you grow up on the screen.
After the show ended, she went about continuing to act but not in anything major and she released a music album. She also decided to go back to school and graduated from Harvard. She’s been consistently acting and directing in the industry. She had six major projects in 2018 but none of them are movies you are likely to recognize.
4 Malcolm David Kelley Was Lost
Malcolm David Kelley is all grown up now but he was pretty popular when he joined the cast of Lost as a child. The show brought him a lot of popularity but his career didn’t skyrocket after Lost. He did get some smaller roles such as those in Gigantic and Saving Grace. It’s not just TV shows that he’s been in, though. He got some movie roles too.
He was in the movie True To The Game in 2018 and he has multiple projects in 2019 so he may be turning his career around. Only time will tell if he will remain forgotten or not.
3 Michael Fishman Didn’t Survive Being A Child Actor
Michael Fishman is easily recognizable as the little boy from Roseanne, a role he played throughout his childhood. The show ended in the '90s but he didn’t do much with his career after that. He’s basically had little to no work after the show but he is now on the spinoff show The Conners, so who knows what that may bring him.
Last year Michael decided to separate from his wife of 20 years and he told E! why he chose that over a divorce. "Among the reasons for not getting a regular divorce is the shared desire to keep Jenny covered by my health insurance, and ... slowly unfold our 20 years together in a way mutually beneficial for our family, particularly on behalf of our children," he said.
2 Shane West Has Had A Rough Road
When Shane West came on the scene in the TV show Once and Again, he was an instant hit. He went on to star in movies such as Nicolas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember. He got his first real paycheck from that movie and it allowed him to buy the ’67 Camaro that his character used in the movie, which is pretty cool.
Shane has been steadily acting but he hasn't been making great waves. He did find success in shows such as ER and Nikita, though. He didn’t do anything for two years between 2017-2019 but he found himself on the TV series Gotham this year.
1 Marques Houston Made An Album
Marques Houston played the annoying neighbor on the show Sister, Sister. After the show ended, it was slow going for his career. He was in the movie Good Burger and You Got Served but the latter was in 2004 and he really didn’t do anything else until he starred in the TV series One on One and then Cuts.
He wasn’t just working on acting at the time, though. He went after a music career too. Marques is part of the R&B group Immature or IMx. He hasn’t starred in any movies or TV shows since 2016 so he may have given up on acting completely.
Sources: CinemaBlend, Hollywood, E! News