12 Actors Only '90s Kids Still Remember (And Obsess Over)
Have you ever tried watching Matilda with your nephew, kid, or anyone who was born after the '90s, and been met with blank stares when you started blabbering about the awesomeness of the film's star, Mara Wilson? If so, this article is for you. Why? Simply because there are certain actors only '90s kids remember and still have super strong feelings about. These stars either moved on to different professions, disappeared completely, or have settled into their roles as cool indie actors. For you, these stars will forever be your childhood. I know I will never stop thinking Wilson is amazing, even though my nieces and nephew look at me like I'm crazy because everyone knows no one is better than Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard (in their defense, this might be an actual fact).
Old school stars deserve love too though, and without these 12 actors the '90s would have been so dull. They made movies and television so much better, and quite a few of them ended up being plastered all over your bedroom walls. Each of them were the '90s in their own way, and indulging the '90s nostalgia of your soul is just not possible without remembering their contributions to the greatest of all the decades.
1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
The voice of Simba, the reason why you watched Home Improvement, and one sexy hitchhiking Santa in I'll Be Home for Christmas, Thomas was inescapable in the '90s and you loved every minute of it. Even though he has more or less left acting behind for academia, he still owns my heart (and let's face it, he probably still has yours too).
2. Mara Wilson
If Wilson wasn't your life hero as a kid, then your life was very different from mine. Between Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Miracle on 34th Street, I was convinced Wilson was the coolest. Now Wilson is a writer, and reading her Twitter feed only confirms her inherent awesomeness.
3. Devon Sawa
For awhile there Sawa played all the preteen heartthrobs. Remember when he was human Casper? Because I'm still not over it. He is still working steadily today, but to have full Sawa appreciation you had to be around when he was a Teen Beat mainstay.
4. Christina Ricci
The woman who was once Wednesday Addams played one amazing role after another throughout the decade. Being a die hard Ricci fan was just a fact of life, but the coolest part about Ricci's career is her roles matured with her. She is still offering up fascinating performances to this day including playing historical figures like Lizzie Borden in Lizzie Borden Took An Ax and Zelda Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything.
5. Jaleel White
Urkel! The '90s most annoying neighbor and irrepressible star is impossible to forget — unless you've never heard of him, which let's face it, no one under the age of 16 has. Still, White recently appeared on Drunk History so his cool factor has to be on the rise again.
6. Thora Birch
Birch got you at every era of your childhood and young adulthood. She was the adorable little sister in Hocus Pocus, she made you believe in friendship goals in Now & Then, and just outside of the '90s, she portrayed the wonderfully droll Enid in Ghost World. Everyone should know Birch, but her early work still defines her career.
7. Thomas Ian Nicholas
Nicholas' best known role has to be Kevin from American Pie, but before you took one for the team and smuggled that movie into a sleepover, you knew him as your totally adorable crush in Rookie of the Year and A Kid in King Arthur's Court.
8. Gaby Hoffmann
Hoffmann is having a serious moment right now thanks to Girls and Transparent, but you know she isn't a wunderkind who just magically appeared out of nowhere. She is still the actress you most wanted to be your BFF in the '90s thanks to Now and Then.
9. Jonathan Lipnicki
The bulk of Lipnicki's acting career has taken place way outside the '90s, but while he's "that guy" to most moviegoers, for '90s kids he will always be the adorable little boy from Jerry Maguire.
10. Tatyana Ali
Ashley Banks was always my favorite Fresh Prince of Bel Air character. Ali was perfect in the role, and she and Will Smith gave the series so many of its best moments. That's why it sucks that Ali hasn't had another big role since then. She's still working steadily, but she could definitely carry her own show, Hollywood.
11. Chris O'Donnell
Fine, so thanks to the NCIS franchise, you and your grandparents know O'Donnell, but you still know him best because you are the one who had a massive crush on Robin from the '90s Batman movies.
12. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
I know what you are thinking, given the constant speculation on whether or not the Olsen twins will return for Fuller House, they are clearly beloved by everyone. Hard truth time, guys: it's only the '90s kids who are passionate about their need to make an acting comeback. Your average non-'90s or late '80s born human doesn't care. They are way more likely to know Elizabeth Olsen than her mogul twin sisters. The Olsen twins will always be your childhood though, so keep on keeping the faith for a Michelle Tanner resurrection.
Remember, it is up to you to remember these '90s actors — your childhood faves must never be forgotten.
Images: TriStar Pictures; Giphy (12)