Instagram | @willsmith

5+ '90s Stars Who Made It Big (And 5+ Who Didn't)

Jake Bean 24 Mar 2020

Hollywood can be a harsh place. You need to impress a whole lot of people in order to stay relevant, and there are some who manage to achieve that almost unattainable goal.

But not every celeb makes it, even if they were super famous at one point!

1. MADE IT BIG: Johnny Depp

20th Century Studios

Known in the '90s for: Edward Scissorhands, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Sure, his career began in the '80s, but he hit it big in the '90s, and his career hasn't stopped since.

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2. DIDN'T: Meg Ryan


Known in the '90s for: Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and The Doors.

For a while, she was the queen of rom-coms. But she hasn't really made a movie headline since.

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3. MADE IT BIG: Sandra Bullock


Known in the '90s for: Speed, The Net, and Practical Magic.

Sure, her most popular '90s movie was probably Speed, but it definitely helped her get roles in movies like Miss Congeniality.

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4. DIDN'T: Andie MacDowell

Columbia Pictures

Known in the '90s for: Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Recently she was a judge on Ru Paul's Drag Race! But the star has not had any major moments since the '90s.

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5. MADE IT BIG: Brad Pitt

20th Century Studios

Known in the '90s for: Legends of the Fall, Seven, Fight Club, and True Romance.

And the list goes on and on. The '90s were truly the decade for Brad Pitt. It's where he made a lot of classics.

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6. DIDN'T: Alicia Silverstone

Paramount Pictures

Known in the '90s for: Clueless, and Batman & Robin.

Poor Alicia Silverstone. She was so good as Cher in Clueless, but it seemed to be the only thing that people would really remember her for.

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7. MADE IT BIG: Will Smith


Known in the '90s for: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, some movies, and rapping.

Will Smith is probably the biggest success story of an actor in the '90s.

His fame and power has continued to this day, and shows no signs of stopping.

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8. DIDN'T: Macaulay Culkin

20th Century Studios

Known in the '90s for: Home Alone, and The Good Son.

He was a megastar in the '90s and then suddenly... poof.

But he still entertains us on social media.

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9. MADE IT BIG: Jeff Goldblum

Universal Pictures

Known in the '90s for: Jurassic Park and Independence Day.

Sure, he had a career before the '90s, but the '90s were filled with roles that would shoot him into Hollywood stardom forever.

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10. DIDN'T: Freddie Prinze Jr.


Known in the '90s for: I Know What You Did Last Summer and She's All That.

He was the heartthrob of the '90s, but apparently, his fame wouldn't last long beyond that.

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11. MADE IT BIG: Leonard DiCaprio


Known in the '90s for: What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Basketball Diaries, and Titanic.

The man who would become the greatest actor of our generation made a lot of his biggest movies in the '90s.

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12. DIDN'T: Brendan Fraser

Universal Pictures

Known in the '90s for: George of the Jungle and The Mummy.

He was to be the action star that rose from the '90s, and yet he never really found his footing.

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13. MADE IT BIG: Robert Downey Jr.

Instagram | @robertdowneyjr

Known in the '90s for: Chaplin and Natural Born Killers.

This guy has had one heck of a career! He made an insane comeback in Hollywood and is one of the most well-known actors now.

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14. DIDN'T: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Instagram | @sarahmgellar

Known in the '90s for: I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions.

Like her husband Freddie Prinze Jr., it seemed that once the '90s and Buffy The Vampire Slayer was over, so was her career.

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15. MADE IT BIG: Winona Ryder


Known in the '90s for: Edward Scissor Hands and Beetle Juice,

Winona Ryder has been acting since she was a young girl.

Aside from a forgettable shoplifting stunt, her career has never wavered. You can watch her enter The Upside Down on Netflix's Stranger Things.

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16. DIDN'T: Jonathan Taylor Thomas


Known in the '90s for: Home Improvement, Wild America, and The Lion King.

Whatever happened to JTT? During the '90s he was one of the original TV teen heartthrobs.

Unfortunately, his career fizzled out after the cancellation of Home Improvement.

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17. MADE IT BIG: Michelle Pfieffer

Instagram | @michellepfeifferofficial

Known in the '90s for: Batman Returns and Dangerous Minds.

Throughout the '90s Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the most sought after actresses working in Hollywood.

Most recently, she starred alongside Angelina Jolie in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

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18. DIDN'T: Dustin Diamond

Instagram | @dustindiamondofficial

Known in the '90s for: Saved By The Bell.

Poor Screech... where did it all go so wrong? Dustin never really moved on from Bayside High.

He's never really made a comeback after the show's cancellation.

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19. MADE IT BIG: Neil Patrick Harris

Instagram | @nph

Known in the '90s for: Doogie Howser.

Long before the days of Barney Stinson and "The Bro Code", Neil Patrick Harris starred as the child genius-turned-doctor on Doogie Howser.

Now he's a Tony Award-winning stage actor.

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20. DIDN'T: Rider Strong

Instagram | @rider_strong

Known in the '90s for: Boy Meets World and My Giant.

Shawn Hunter was the original bad boy of the after school TV special.

Unfortunately for Rider, his film career quickly faded into obscurity once the gang left John Adams High.

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21. MADE IT BIG: Jennifer Aniston

Instagram | @jenniferaniston

Known in the '90s for: F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Who could forget Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green?

Friends was one of the most popular shows of the '90s and has since helped propel Jen to superstardom.

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22. DIDN'T: Wesley Snipes


Known in the '90s for: Blade and U.S. Marshalls.

Wesley Snipes went from evading U.S. Marshalls on the big screen, to running from the tax man in real life.

His sputtering career has never recovered.

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