'90s Heroines Who Don't Even Act Anymore, From Lalaine To Rachael Leigh Cook

Sure, '90s nostalgia is an enormous cliche that's singlehandedly responsible for the fact that Urban Outfitters is still in business, but it's a cliche for a reason. The '90s encompassed everything great in a decade: plaid, DMs, tie-dye, grunge, the beginning of the mass use of the Internet — and just really, really good TV. Which makes it all the more shocking that so many of your favourite names from this decade have now totally disappeared off the acting radar. Let's face it. Just as for their male counterparts, the 90s stars you'd forgotten existed, this wasn't always by choice. But that's OK.

The '90s was a vintage decade for sassy ladies on screen: whether your show of choice was Clarissa Explains It All or My So-Called Life, the main roles were inevitably played by magnetic actresses that you could imagine going on to enjoy rich long careers. They had great one-liners, hilarious delivery, stonewashed jeans. The world was at their feet. All the ladies on this list appear to be leading busy lives outside of the spotlight, whether by opening sweet shops, launching their own fashion ranges, banking, teaching, assisting behind the scenes on Canadian TV, dating other celebrities who were once on your favorite '90s show, raising a family, or fundraising for little-known diseases. Ahh, life's rich tapestry.


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AKA Miranda from Lizzie McGuire, who would have been the best TV friend ever if she hadn't dropped off the face of the series. Seriously, why wasn't Miranda in The Lizzie McGuire Movie? Aside from minor roles in web series like Raymond and Lane in 2015, Lalaine has moved away from acting and into music. She was in a band from 2010 to 2011 called Vanity Theft, whose songs can be found on YouTube.

Rachel Leigh Cook


Remember She's All That? God, that movie made me desperately aspire to own a spaghetti strapped red minidress and to one day experience a seriously transformative haircut. Still waiting on that one. Anyway, the Internet's gone pretty quiet about what Cook is up to these days, but, according to her filmography, she hasn't had an acting role since 2014. Be still, your bleeding hearts. Her Twitter feed is mad funny, and she seems to mostly just be hanging out with her kids and having fun. Better than waiting around in hair and makeup, am I right?

Heather Locklear

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Melrose Place star Heather Locklear was Wayne's World-skit big in the '90s, but since her role in Scrubs has struggled to find acting work. She last appeared in Scary Movie 5 and Franklin & Bash back in 2013.

Allison Joy Langer

Do you recognize this beaming beauty? It's none other than everyone's favourite grunge-girl icon Rayanne Graff, from My So-Called Life. Speaking of lives, Langer's has changed almost beyond recognition. Langer hasn't acted since 2012 in her role in Private Practice, but, these days, she's married to the Count of Devonshire and raises money and awareness for the treatment of fibromyalgia, a condition she also suffers from.

Bridget Fonda

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Way back when, Bridget Fonda was Hollywood royalty. I mean, she made her acting debut at 5 years old in Easy Rider — it doesn't get any cooler than that. She spent the 1990s appearing in must-see films like Single White Female and Jackie Brown. Now? Fonda sadly hasn't starred in a movie in 14 years.

Sheryl Lee

Sheryl Lee was once the most famous face on small screen: for the two years the cult series Twin Peaks aired, she rocked her role as Laura Palmer and as Palmer's cousin Maddy Ferguson. Her last acting role is nothing to sniff at though: she played a supporting role alongside Jennifer Lawrence in the indie movie Winter's Bone. What has she been doing since Twin Peaks got cancelled? Dating David Duchovny, marrying Neil Diamond's son, and campaigning on behalf of PETA. There are definitely worse ways to spend 14 years. However, she's confirmed to be returning to acting when the Twin Peaks revival starts filming again this year.

Raine Pare-Coull

Despite being a relatively successful cast member of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? — by which I mean she made it through all five seasons without succumbing to post-traumatic stress disorder after hearing too many scary campfire stories — Pare-Coull kept a low profile after her stint on the show. She worked as an assistant on a Canadian TV show called The Morgan Waters Show in 2006.

Irene Ng

Remember Irene Ng? She once played the titular role on yet another amazing Nickelodeon show, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. But Ng went on to bigger and better things post-child actress stardom, namely Harvard. She became so besotted with education that, after a stint in banking, she left the world of finance to work as a preschool teacher in Connecticut.

Given the pressures of Hollywood and the cutthroat competition to roles, most of these lives sound far more fun now than they ever did then. So let's all raise a glass tonight to the pleasure of being totally non-famous and still making enough dollars to live on.

Images: Nickelodeon