The hottest movie babes of the 1990s you’ve totally forgotten about
Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone are names synonymous with beauty and 1990s glamour. But for every household name of the 1990s, there are 10 more generational pin-ups who have since been all but forgotten. And unjustly so.
The OG Buffy and the woman largely responsible for inspiring a whole slew of kick-ass female-led movies following the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1990, Kristy Swanson’s performance in the cult flick inspired the television series of the same name - though was too old by the time it came about to play a student. Regardless, she looked set for certain stardom but never broke into the upper echelon. She continues to work in TV guests roles but her biggest big screen achievements are limited to Dude Where’s My Car and Big Daddy.
Two words: Wayne’s World. As bass-playing frontwoman Cassandra, Tia Carrere became the fantasy of teenagers and adults the world over post the success of the 1992 Mike Myers comedy. She backed it up with the sequel a year later and then a supporting effort in cult action flick True Lies in 1994. Then there’s the hard to forget seduction scene in otherwise forgettable film My Teacher’s Wife. But she has largely been exclusive to television and small budget films since - barring her voice work on animated films like Lilo & Stitch.
She was the star of the 1990s television reboot of Weird Science and the leading woman in cult Farrelly Brothers comedy Kingpin, starring Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, in 1996. A former model, the British import paved the way for the likes of Liz Hurley to follow in her footsteps. She’s continued to work ever since in limited supporting roles but remains best known for her 1990s work.
For a period during the 1990s it was almost impossible to see a movie without Mira Sorvino in some capacity, such was the streak she was on following her Golden Globe win for supporting actress in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite in 1995. She went on to star in Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, Replacement Killers, Mimic, Summer of Sam, plus receive more Golden Globe noms for her role as Marilyn Monroe in biopic Norma Jean & Marilyn. A former partner to Quentin Tarantino, Sorvino continues to work consistently but has long since been overlooked as a leading actress in major films.
Best known as Shauni McClain on Baywatch, former Playboy playmate Erika Eleniak could do no wrong in the early 1990s, starring in Steven Seagal hit Under Siege and in the big screen adaptation of The Beverly Hillbillies to boot. But since then, she’s largely been relegated to small budget films and reality TV roles.
Blame Pete Sampras for this one. The breakout star of Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison, the former Miss Teen USA emerged as a young Rene Russo and looked destined to follow the same career trajectory. In the space of five years she starred in everything from Total Recall to Mortal Kombat to I Know What You Did Last Summer. But before she ever really got a chance to shine and craft her skills, she married tennis king Pete Sampras in 2000 and basically disappeared barring a stellar reappearance in 2005’s Shopgirl alongside Steve Martin and Jason Schwartzman. In fact, she hasn’t acted since 2008, and even today is only 43.