Thirty Hollywood Stars Who Were Huge in the 1990s, but now M.I.A.?

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Wrong M.I.A.

It’s inevitable. New stars rise and old stars fade. There’s only so many roles to go around Hollywood, and like a game of musical chairs, the good ones get snatched up quickly. As Megan Fox rises in popularity, some other star starts seeing their roles reduced and offers diminish. Its the way the game is played. Stars fade, people age, and for various reasons, household names go by the wayside. Whether its voluntary or involuntary, we sometimes miss the exit of these former favorites. So we look back at thirty names of the 1990s who’s careers are fading into the sunset (or in many cases already have). Unless they make a Rourke/Travolta comeback, we may have seen their best work.


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Michael Douglas

Hit of the 1990s: Basic Instinct (1992), Falling Down (1993), Disclosure (1994), The American President (1995), and The Game (1997)

Best Moments Since: Traffic (2000)

Huh? Really. Think about it. While Douglas has been reasonably active in the last decade (much more than so than many in this post), his résumé is loaded with weak comedies, flops ,and artsy films. This is not acceptable for such a talented actor. Remember that he was a huge bankable star in the 1990s. Too bad it seems like he has just been taking the paycheck since Traffic came out. Check out his wretched post-Traffic filmography.


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Winona Ryder

Hit of the 1990s: Edward Scissorhands (1990), Dracula (1992), Reality Bites (1994), Little Women (1994), Alien: Resurrection (1997), and Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Best Moments Since: Mr. Deeds (2002) and Star Trek (2009)

Ryder was Miss 1990s with a string of hits and otherwise popular movies. And that’s not even including when she had to drop out of The Godfather: Part III (1990). Although, upon second thought, maybe that’s not a production we want to remember. Still, she serves as a lesson in the evils of shoplifting. Sticky Fingers Ryder parlayed a bout of kleptomania into a one-way ticket to obscurity. Other than popping up in a bit part Star Trek and a few other films, she’s done little of substance since the turn of the millennium.


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Joe Pesci

Hit of the 1990s: Goodfellas (1990), Home Alone (1990), JFK (1991), My Cousin Vinny (1992), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), Casino (1995), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

Best Moments Since: The Good Shepherd (2006)

Hard to believe, but other than one minor cameo, Pesci has not starred in a major film in well over a decade. And he was huge in the 1990s, showing his hilarious side in My Cousin Vinny and his frightening side in Casino. At least he has a good excuse. Pesci voluntarily “retired”, and has done nothing besides one scene in The Good Shepherd for his good friend Robert DeNiro. Although Pesci starved fans will surely note he will appear in the upcoming Love Ranch.


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Bridget Fonda

Hit of the 1990s: The Godfather: Part III (1990), Doc Hollywood (1991), Single White Female (1992), Singles (1992), Army of Darkness (1992), Point of No Return (1993), Jackie Brown (1997), and A Simple Plan (1998)

Best Moments Since: Kiss of the Dragon (2001)

A third generation Hollywood starlet, Fonda has not appeared in films since 2002. That’s pretty close to the time she married film composer and former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman. Damn you, Elfman! It’s sad. She was so perky and cute. I miss her.


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Wesley Snipes

Hit of the 1990s: New Jack City (1991), Jungle Fever (1991), White Men Can’t Jump (1992), Passenger 57 (1992), Demolition Man (1993), Murder at 1600 (1997), and Blade (1998).

Best Moments Since: Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004)

He was big in the Blade movies. And, well, that’s the only thing that kept him remotely relevant in recent years. If Ryder is a lesson to not shoplift, Snipes is a lesson not to be an arrogant ass. Although he is excellent at rambling, accusatory statements, Snipes is now facing prison time after being sentenced to three years for tax evasion. You know, because he failed to file any tax returns at all for six years. But at least he tried to make a honest getaway. He tried to leave the country of South Africa with a fake passport.


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Neve Campbell

Hit of the 1990s: The Craft (1996), Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Wild Things (1998)

Best Moments Since: Scream 3 (2000)

The above also leaves out the obvious run as Julia Salinger on Party of Five. Campbell didn’t exactly have an enormously successful film career, but she seem to be doing fine. That is until the franchise killing Scream 3 came out. At least I thought it killed the franchise. You never know these days…


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Daniel Stern

Hit of the 1990s: Home Alone (1990), City Slickers (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994), Very Bad Things (1998)

Best Moments Since: None

Whatever happened to him? The other half of the Wet Bandits hasn’t done any better than Pesci. Stern’s career was on a roll, and I didn’t even mention he was the the narrator on The Wonder Years. Dude proved he could direct a very funny movie, had a couple big acting roles, and now nothing. I think the last thing I saw him in was Very Bad Things.


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Sharon Stone

Hit of the 1990s: Total Recall (1990), Basic Instinct (1992), The Quick and the Dead (1995), Casino (1995), Sphere (1998)

Best Moments Since: Broken Flowers (2005) and Bobby (2006)

Stone is still reasonably sexy for someone on the wrong side of fifty, but she remains talentless and has no career. Other than some smaller roles like mentioned above, Stone hasn’t done much of worth since her 1990s heyday. C’est la vie.


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Steven Seagal

Hits of the 1990s: Out for Justice (1991) and Under Siege (1992)

Best Moments Since: ???

He wasn’t “huge” back in the 90s, but he was known. Now, he is just humongous. Somehow, he still seems to be gainfully employed as the king of the Direct-to-Video genre. Who knew? But hasn’t been in anything decent since the 1990s. And even that may be stretching things.


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Helen Hunt

Hit of the 1990s: Twister (1996) and As Good as It Gets (1997)

Best Moments Since: Cast Away (2000)

He absence is unfortunate, since she’s a great actress. Her last big year was 2000, which corresponds to when Mad About You ended. The Oscar winner does seem to get some minimal work, but could use a few more high profile roles. Though I suppose she’ll never live this down:


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Billy Crystal

Hit of the 1990s:City Slickers (1991), City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994), Analyze This (1999)

Best Moments Since: America’s Sweethearts (2001) and Monsters, Inc. (2001)

What was the last actual movie he did? Essentially, it was Analyze That, a poor sequel to the original. He still does voice work and actually did act this decade in at least one original picture. But more or less he turned into an Oscar host.


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Patricia Arquette

Hit of the 1990s: True Romance (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Lost Highway (1997), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Best Moments Since: Holes (2003)

Arquette kept pretty busy in the 1990s, but is now basically a TV star. Medium won her an Emmy, so it’s not for nothing, but going from movies to television is not exactly the chosen career path of actresses.


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Rick Moranis

Hit of the 1990s: Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992) and The Flintstones (1994)

Best Moments Since: Brother Bear (2003)

Alright, Moranis really had his heyday in the 1980s with Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids among others. But we still miss him, as he announced his retirement from acting and has stuck to it. The last decade has only seen him do occasional voice work.


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Lori Petty

Hit of the 1990s: Point Break (1991), A League of Their Own (1992), Free Willy (1993), and Tank Girl (1995).

Best Moments Since: ???

Petty went from a stretch of prominent roles and the occasional feature feature to little seen movie roles and random television guest appearances. Was Tank Girl really that bad? Didn’t seem to hurt Naomi Watts nearly as much. Although Petty sank her own career when she pulled out of two movies: Demolition Man and Speed. In both cases, a little known actress, Sandra Bullock, replaced her. Aand look how that worked out.


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Jeff Goldbloom

Hit of the 1990s: Jurassic Park (1993), Nine Months (1995), Independence Day (1996), and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

Best Moments Since: Igby Goes Down (2002)

Not to take away from his Colbert Show appearances, nor his recent resurrection on whatever version of Law & Order that’s still lingering around, but Goldbloom used to be big. I guess its the pictures that got small. You will be missed Jeff…


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Geena Davis

Hit of the 1990s: Quick Change (1990), Thelma & Louise (1991), A League of Their Own (1992), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and Stuart Little (1999)

Best Moments Since: Stuart Little 2 (2002)

The actress and former fashion model also notably made it to the semifinals of the U.S. women’s Olympics archery team before being cut. Now she’s reduced to Stuart Little sequels and failed TV shows. I’ll remember her as a solid all around actress, even if Cutthroat Island killed the pirate genre for nearly a decade.


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Val Kilmer

Hit of the 1990s: The Doors (1991), True Romance (1993), Tombstone (1993), Batman Forever (1995), Heat (1995), and The Saint (1997)

Best Moments Since: Wonderland (2003), Spartan (2004), and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Kilmer still works regularly, and at a high quality, just in lesser seen productions. At least it makes up for not being so easy to be seen. In the 1990s, however, he had a great run of major roles, even being the goddamn Batman. It’s just not the same these days.


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Alicia Silverstone

Hit of the 1990s: The Crush (1993), Clueless (1995), and Batman & Robin (1997)

Best Moments Since: Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Speaking of Batman, remember her? You know, that Aerosmith chick. What happened to her? Why can’t I fall off the face of the earth, like Alicia Silverstone? She’s still only 32, so maybe we shouldn’t give up on her yet.


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Chris O’Donnell

Hit of the 1990s: School Ties (1992), Scent of a Woman (1992), The Three Musketeers (1993), Batman Forever (1995), The Chamber (1996), and Batman & Robin (1997).

Best Moments Since: Vertical Limit (2000)

And it seems like Batman and Robin was a career killer for both Silverstone and O’Donnell. Though demonstrating any semi-successful show is prone to spin-offs, O’Donnell can be seen in the upcoming NCIS: Los Angeles this fall.


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Demi Moore

Hit of the 1990s: Ghost (1990), A Few Good Men (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), Disclosure (1994), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Striptease (1996), and G.I. Jane (1997).

Best Moments Since: Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Bobby (2006), and Mr. Brooks (2007)

Before being known as Ashton Kutcher’s better half, “Gimme” Moore was actually kinda famous on her own when she became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after and most expensive actresses in the 1990s. The husky voiced star and former box-office queen has slowly been creepy back in the public eye in recent years. You’ll have to decide if less is more here. Ouch, bad pun.


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Tom Sizemore

Hit of the 1990s: Passenger 57 (1992), True Romance (1993), Wyatt Earp (1994), Natural Born Killers (1994), Strange Days (1995), Heat (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Enemy of the State (1998), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Best Moments Since: Pearl Harbor (2001) and Black Hawk Down (2001)

How many times has this guy been arrested? Sizemore seems to have many favorite past times. Drugs. Robbing a Verizon store. Domestic violence. He’s been in jail and something tells me he’ll be going back soon.


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Tia Carrere

Hit of the 1990s: Wayne’s World (1992), Rising Sun (1993), Wayne’s World 2 (1993), and True Lies (1994)

Best Moments Since: Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Carrere had a nice run of big movie roles in the 1990s, but is currently reduced to Dancing with the Stars and other random television and voiceover work. At least she managed to bag a Grammy for best Hawaiian music album along the way. For whatever that’s worth. And you’d probably thought she’d end up as an alcoholic stripper.


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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hit of the 1990s: Total Recall (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994), and Batman & Robin (1997)

Best Moments Since: The 6th Day (2000) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

There’s Batman & Robin again. Schwarzenegger apparently has some other job, and I’m sure if he wasn’t too busy doing whatever it is he’s doing, he’d still be in action movies.


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Bill Pullman

Hit of the 1990s: A League of Their Own (1992), Singles (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Wyatt Earp (1994), Casper (1995), While You Were Sleeping (1995), Independence Day (1996), and Lost Highway (1997)

Best Moments Since: Igby Goes Down (2002) and The Grudge (2004)

Pullman had a pretty good string of high profile roles throughout the 1990s, but this decade has largely consisted of tiny roles in so-so films. Pullman’s also a writer and won a few Tonys in the last few year, so it seems like he trends towards theater acting these days.


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Sam Neill

Hit of the 1990s: The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Piano (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), Event Horizon (1997), and The Horse Whisperer (1998)

Best Moments Since: Jurassic Park III (2001)

Neill has done some fine television work of late, but has seemingly ceased any major movie productions. If it wasn’t for a Jurassic Park sequel, the extent of his movie highights for this decade would look even more depressing.


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Meg Ryan

Hit of the 1990s: Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), The Doors (1991), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Courage Under Fire (1996), and You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Best Moments Since: Kate & Leopold (2001) and Proof of Life (2000)

Ryan went from girl next door good looks who could roll through the romantic comedies to strangly looking more and more like The Joker. The years have NOT been kind to her, although the plastic surgery didn’t seem to help matters.


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Gary Busey

Hit of the 1990s:Predator 2 (1990), Point Break (1991), Under Siege (1992), The Firm (1993), Lost Highway (1997), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Best Moments Since: playing himself on Entourage

Busey is excellent at appearing in a lot of movies that no one has seen in the last five years. If I am not mistaken, he actually died in 2006. I just don’t think anyone has told him yet.


Emilio Estevez

Emilio Estevez

Hit of the 1990s: Young Guns II (1990), The Mighty Ducks (1992), Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994), and Mission: Impossible (1996)

Best Moments Since: Bobby (2006) – also directed

Hi, I’m actor Emilio Estevez. You might remember me from such films as Young Guns and The Breakfast Club. You probably haven’t seen me in a while. Apparently, my brother and father manage to get work while I do whatever it is that I do.


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Gwyneth Paltrow

Hit of the 1990s: Hook (1991), Se7en (1995), Sliding Doors (1998), Great Expectations (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Best Moments Since: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), and Iron Man (2008)

Seriously. Think about it. In 1998 alone she was the leading lady in FIVE theatrical features, won a Best Actress Oscar, had her pick of any leading female part in any film. In recent years she’s been in a lot of stuff you probably never heard of. To be fair to Paltrow, she’s always chosen interesting roles in interesting movies, never just showing up for a paycheck or in some mainstream blockbuster. But other than her role as Iron Man’s secretary, what’s the last movie you remember her being in?


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Cuba Gooding Jr.

Hit of the 1990s: Boyz n the Hood (1991), A Few Good Men (1992), Outbreak (1995), Jerry Maguire (1996), As Good as It Gets (1997), and What Dreams May Come (1998)

Best Moments Since: Pearl Harbor (2001) and Radio (2003)

If you ever go to Walmart or Target, you’ll probably see half a dozen or so recent movies starring Cuba Gooding Jr. that were either direct to video or independent films. He is the King of the Walmart bargain bin. It gets worse. He made a guest appearance in at the Venetian last year with Pauly Shore. I’d say that’s pretty much rock bottom.

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