The entertainment industry is incredibly difficult to make waves in, especially for those that are interested in pursuing a career as an actor. Not only is so much luck involved with the trade, but it’s very easy for the big star of the moment to disappear into obscurity. Being famous or headlining a television series or movie is no guarantee that your star is always going to be on the rise.
The ‘90s was a crazy time that saw all sorts of unusual productions get made. While some of the stars from that decade have remained relevant and stayed in the public eye, there are even more who have virtually disappeared. Accordingly, Here Are 20 Stars From The ‘90s Who Pretty Much Just Gave Up.
20 Edward Furlong
Edward Furlong looked like he had a seriously promising career ahead of him in the '90s. He gives a very memorable performance in Terminator 2 and held a decent presence in cinemas. However, Furlong hit tough times in his later years and very much fell out of the spotlight. He has an incredibly brief cameo in Terminator: Dark Fate, but don't expect him to headline a feature any time soon.
19 Devon Sawa
Regardless of what your favorite genre of film was, it's safe to say you still saw Devon Sawa in something during the '90s. He was a fixture of the decade and he had starring roles in vehicles like Final Destination, Idle Hands, Little Giants, and SLC Punk! And let's not forget his lead role in Eminem's music video for "Stan." Sawa has disappeared from the spotlight and although it may be too soon to write off a comeback, his presence has been missed.
18 Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a major force to be reckoned with in the '90s. Not only was he a crucial cast member on the sitcom Home Improvement, but he had a decent career in films and got to even voice Simba in The Lion King. Thomas continued to make a go at acting in the later years of his life, but between a few odd guest appearances, he hasn't been able to latch on to audiences in the way that he used to.
17 Scott Wolf
Sexy teen dramas are always a mixed bag in terms of which members of the cast remain relevant long after their series is over. Party of Five helped make the careers of people like Neve Campbell, but Scott Wolf was one of the cast members who has chosen other priorities in life. Wolf hasn't stopped acting, but he's married, had a bunch of kids, and moved from California to Park City, Utah.
16 Leelee Sobieski
Leelee Sobieski's career was devoted to film rather than television, but she still conveyed lots of star power back in the '90s with her limited, but significant roles. Films like Eyes Wide Shut and Deep Impact were big deals for Sobieski and even though she made a splash at the awards circuit, she's disappeared from Hollywood and turned more towards other artistic endeavors like painting and sculpting.
15 Phoebe Cates
Pick your poison here: Gremlins, Fast Times in Ridgemont High, Drop Dead Fred...Phoebe Cates was in some major films from the '80s and '90s. Unfortunately, her notable career hasn't followed her later in life. She's married Kevin Kline, had a couple of children, and found a content life that doesn't involve acting.
14 Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes was a serious staple of '90s cinema, particularly in the action genre. Movies like Blade, Demolition Man, Jungle Fever, and Mo' Better Blues are still being talked about today. Snipes' career took a dive and even Blade: Trinity shows him passing out of favor with the public. He hasn't completely stopped acting, but the fact that Marvel has turned to another actor for their revival of the Blade franchise is very telling.
13 Ali Larter
Ali Larter was a significant actress in the 1990s. She made a big splash with Varsity Blues and then was able to leverage that success into other major movies like Final Destination, Legally Blonde, and House on Haunted Hill. Larter was still getting roles well after the '90s, like her leading part in Heroes, but since then she's become much more of an infrequent guest actress.
12 Andrew Shue
Melrose Place was one of the sexier teen dramas to come out of the '90s and a precursor for many of the steamy series that would fill the WB and CW network later in life. Melrose Place made the careers of many of its cast, but despite Andrew Shue's effective performance as Billy Campbell, he failed to make much of a dent in the acting world after the fact. He's become content and resigned to a life outside of the public eye.
11 Amy Jo Johnson
It really says something that decades after the debut of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers they are still making new shows in the franchise. Amy Jo Johnson was one of the two female Rangers in the original season and even though she's been able to leverage that role through the fan circuit, she's shifted her focus from acting to making music and films.
10 David Faustino
Married...with Children became a defining comedy for the Fox network and provided laughs to audiences for a decade. Many of the cast members from that series are still making people laugh in comedies, but David Faustino—Bud Bundy—hasn’t seen that same level of fame. Faustino still acts, but his efforts have shifted to a different sort of fare, acting in material like Sharknado: The 4th Awakens and soap opera The Young and the Restless.
9 Geena Davis
Geena Davis is someone that can still be caught on TV and film, but those appearances becomes more infrequent and her level of fame is nowhere near where it was in the '80s and '90s. Davis received and Academy Award nomination for Thelma & Louise and it's hard to forget her performance in movies like Beetlejuice or The Fly.
8 Nicolas Brendon
Nicolas Brendon was part of the heart of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it looked like he could have had a successful career in either comedies or serialized television. Brendon rode Buffy’s success, but issues in his personal life have plagued his success and held him back from anything too mainstream.
7 Brittany Daniel
It may not have as much staying power now, but if you were a teen in the '90s then you definitely remember Sweet Valley High and Brittany and Cynthia Daniel, the twins that starred in the series. Brittany Daniel went on to continue acting beyond her sister and shows up in projects like Joe Dirt and Blackish, but she's followed other pursuits in life. Daniel has also survived some severe medical ailments and more than anything else it's a relief that she's still alive and doing good in the world.
6 Andrew Keegan
Andrew Keegan was a serious heartthrob back in the '90s, both on television and film. He had major roles in series like Step by Step, 7th Heaven, Full House, and 10 Things I Hate About You. Keegan slowly stepped away from acting and his life his actually taken a bizarre direction. Keegan is responsible for co-founding the group, Full Circle, which has largely been considered to be a cult from many sources.
5 Kellie Shanygne Williams
The antics of Steve Urkel may be what most people remember from the ABC sitcom Family Matters, but the comedy actually focused on the trials and tribulations of the Winslow family. Kellie Shanygne Williams' character may have not been the most beloved one on the series, but she still played an important role in the show. Williams has since taken up philanthropic efforts and started the Kellie Williams Program, which helps DC students produce television.
4 Leanna Creel
Leanna Creel faced a tough lot by playing a new character that was added during the final season of Saved by the Bell and also meant to replace some missing characters, no less. Creel rose to the occasion, but after Saved by the Bell’s run she instead found a passion behind the camera. Creel even started her own production company that she was able to sell to Lionsgate.
3 Jenna Von Oÿ
Blossom was an important, unique sitcom that showed that it was okay to go against the grain. Jenna von Oÿ ‘s Six was one of the best characters on the show, but after Blossom disappeared, so did von Oÿ. In later years the former actress has taken up a simpler life in Nashville to raise a family and record country music.
2 Rachel Stevens
Rachel Stevens was a member of the super popular pop group, S Club 7. The thing that made S Club 7 different from other '90s pop groups is that they had many television shows that accompanied their albums. Rachel Stevens has since shifted her efforts to reality TV fare and judging the kind of contestants that she used to be.
1 Wiley Wiggins
Wiley Wiggins became a favorite of acclaimed director Richard Linklater for a while, turning up in film like Waking Life and his lovable role in Dazed and Confused. Wiggins popped up in other films like The Faculty, but has since traded acting for being a video game designer.
These are our picks for the biggest stars from the ‘90s who have either given up or vanished off the map, but they’re far from the only ones. Sound off over your favorites in the comments below!
Sources: TheTalko.com, ScreenRant.com, CheatSheet.com