We put together this list of 1990’s actresses for you. Many of the women featured on the list have remained popular since the 1990s, and continue to have success in the entertainment industry to this day. Gwyneth Paltrow may have won an Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love, but a new generation knows her primarily as Pepper Potts from the Iron Man films, or from Goop. Heather Graham, another of the famous blonde actresses from the 90s, was recognizable in Boogie Nights, but may be more popular than ever thanks to her turn in The Hangover. Some ’90s actresses known primarily for sultry roles in that era have gone on to earn accolades for more serious parts in subsequent years, particularly Charlize Theron, who won an Oscar for her performance in Monster. Without further ado, please enjoy!
Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress and former fashion model, who had a breakthrough with her part in Paul Verhoeven’s science fiction action film Total Recall (1990), before rising to international recognition when she portrayed Catherine Tramell in another Verhoeven film, the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), for which she earned her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
Monica Anna Maria Bellucci born 30 September 1964. She began her career as a fashion model, modelling for Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, before making a transition to Italian films and later American and French films. Bellucci played a Bride of Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s gothic horror romance film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and Malèna Scordia in the Italian-language romantic drama Malèna (2000).
Mira Katherine Sorvino was born September 28, 1967 but began her acting career in 1993 by appearing in six episodes of a teen television series Swans Crossing. Other notable roles are from movies Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, At First Sight, and Summer of Sam. In 2006, Sorvino receives a Golden Globe nod for her role in Lifetime’s movie Human Trafficking.
Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an American actress. One of Hollywood’s most bankable stars who cemented herself as a leading lady throughout the late ‘80s and well into the 2000s with films like Mystic Pizza (1988), Pretty Woman (1990), and My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), and many more. Throughout her wildly successful career, she’s been nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards, and she’s taken home three.
Sheryl Lynn Lee is a German-born American film, stage, and television actress. Her rise to fame began in the ‘90s cult television series Twin Peaks. Excitingly, for fans of the series, she reprises her role as Laura Palmer in the 2017 Showtime revival. Lee seemingly became a household name with her recurring roles on television shows such as One Tree Hill and Dirty Sexy Money.
Halle Berry born Maria Halle Berry; August 14, 1966) is an American actress who began her career as a model. At one point, she was first runner-up in the Miss America pageant. In 1992, Berry had her breakthrough acting alongside Eddie Murphy in Boomerang. In 1999, she won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Dorothy Dandridge.
Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo (born January 2, 1967), known professionally as Tia Carrere is an American actress, singer, and former model. Many may recognize her for her breakout role on the soap opera General Hospital. She goes on to act in films Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2. Additionally, she was on the second season of Dancing with the Stars and the fifth season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Gabrielle Monique Union-Wade – born October 29, 1972 is an American actress. Her resume includes titles such as actress, voice artist, activist, and artist. In the ‘90s, her breakout roles were in teenage comedy films. She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You. She later co-starred in Bring It On (2000) and appeared in several romantic comedies throughout the 2000s.
Milica Bogdanivna Jovovich born December 17, 1975, known professionally as Milla Jovovich, is an American actress, model, and singer. Her starring roles in numerous science-fiction and action films led the music channel VH1 to deem her the “reigning queen of kick-butt” in 2006. In 2004, Forbes determined that she was the highest-paid model in the world. Born in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, Jovovich emigrated with her parents to London when she was five, and then to Sacramento, California.
Saffron Domini Burrows (born 22 October 1972) is an English actress and model who has appeared in films such as Circle of Friends, Wing Commander, Deep Blue Sea, Gangster No. On the small screen, she has starred as Lorraine Weller on Boston Legal, Dr. Norah Skinner on My Own Worst Enemy, Detective Serena Stevens on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Victoria Hand on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. She appeared as Cynthia Taylor on the Amazon Video series Mozart in the Jungle and as Dottie Quinn in the Netflix series You.
Marisa Tomei has quite an accomplished acting career. Consequently, she has a repertoire of awards to back up her successes, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her acting career began on the soap opera, As the World Turns. In 1987, following that new found success, she joined the cast of A Different World.
Michelle Marie Pfeiffer was recognized as one of the most prolific actresses of the 1980s and 1990s, she has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including a Golden Globe Award and a British Academy Film Award, in addition to nominations for three Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. Born and raised in Santa Ana, California, Pfeiffer briefly studied court stenography before deciding to pursue acting. Her performances in Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) earned her two consecutive Academy Award nominations, for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress respectively, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for the latter.
Cameron Diaz is an actress, author, producer, and model who was born in 1972. Diaz is best known for her leading roles in comedy films. Her debut movie had her acting with Jim Carey in 1994’s The Mask. Before landing her role as Mary in There’s Something About Mary in 1998, she was a supporting cast member in 1997’s My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Isabelle Adjani began her acting and modeling career at the age of 14. Adjani’s acting is characterized by the fact that she often gravitates towards female characters who are tragic heroines. To date, she is the only actress to win five César Awards. These awards are for her performances in One Deadly Summer, Camille Claudel, La Raine Margot, and Skirt Day.
Uma Thurman is an American actress, writer, and producer who was born in April of 1970. Throughout the years, she’s acted in romantic comedies, dramas, science fiction, and action films. Thurman’s early success can be attributed to her cover appearances on British Vogue in 1985 and 1986. Shortly after that, her roles in Quentin Tarantino movies made her a major star.
Elizabeth Hurley was born in 1965 and became a household name in the ’90s as Hugh Grant’s girlfriend following his success in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Her best-known film roles are Vanessa Kensignton in Austin Powers and as the Devil in Bedazzled. Also, in the ’90s, Hurley was credited as a producer for two movies made by Hugh Grant’s production company.
Vanessa Lynn Williams initially gained recognition as the first African-American woman to receive the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in 1983. Amid growing media controversy, she resigned as Miss America in July 1984 under pressure from the Miss America Organization and was replaced by the first runner-up: Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Thirty-two years later, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell offered Williams a public apology during the Miss America 2016 pageant for the events of 1984.
Anne Parillaud is a French actress who was born in 1960 and her career began in 1977. American fans may recognize this actress from her starring role in La Femme Nikita. Parillaud’s original professional ambitions were to become a lawyer. However, at 16, she landed a role in L’hôtel de la plage. It goes without saying that the rest is history.
Alicia Silverstone has enjoyed a wildly successful acting career since the ‘90s. Fans may remember her appearance in the Aerosmith music video “Cryin.” Seemingly overnight, she became a household name for her role in the movie Clueless. This film likely helped her get a multi-million dollar deal with Columbia Pictures and the role of Batgirl in Batman & Robin (1997).
Penelope Cruz is a Spanish actress and model who was born in 1974. She was signed by a modeling agency at 15 and began acting on TV a year later. She has starred in several movies in her successful career, including Vanilla Sky, All the Pretty Horses, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Blow. Over the years, she has received several award nominations and wins.
Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress and producer. Her rise to fame came from her long-standing role in the Fox teen drama series Party of Five, aired from 1994-2000. Additionally, she’s held the part of Sidney Prescott in the film franchise Scream from 1996-present.
Kelly Hu is a voice artist, former fashion model, and beauty queen. Fans know her from her role as Dr. Rae Chang on the soap opera Sunset Beach. Later she went on to play Michelle Chan on the television police drama series Nash Bridges. Some notable movies in her filmography include The Scorpion King, X2, and The Tournament.
Linda Fiorentino is an actress whose rise to fame began with her 1985 debut role in Vision Quest. Major films for Fiorentino in the ‘90s include Jade, Men in Black, and Dogma.
Jennifer Connelly began her professional life as a child model and later transitioned into acting. Her debut film was Once Upon a Time in America in 1984. In the ’80s & ‘90s, she went on to have roles in Phenomena, Labyrinth, Career Opportunities, and The Rocketeer.
Li Gong is a Chinese actress that didn’t make her Hollywood debut until 2005. However, she was well-accomplished as an actress in China before coming to the U.S. When Gong arrived in Hollywood, she played Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha. The following year she took a role in Miami Vice.
Deborah Unger is a Canadian actress best known for her films in the ‘90s and going into the 2000s. Her filmography includes Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Crash, The Game, Payback, White Noise, Silent Hill, 88 Minutes, and The Way. Before her work in movies, she appeared alongside Nicole Kidman in the Australian television series Bangkok Hilton.
Nicole Kidman is an Australian actress, singer, and producer. Fans know her from several popular movies and being the wife to Country music star Keith Urban. Kidman began receiving worldwide recognition in 1995 when she played Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever.
Natascha McElhone is an English actress best known for her role in late-90s films Ronin, The Truman Show, and 2002’s Solaris. From 2007 until 2014, she had a longtime role on the Showtime comedy-drama series Californication. In recent years she’s played the First Lady in the ABC political drama Designated Survivor.
Natasha Henstridge is a Canadian actress known for her role in the science-fiction thriller franchise Species. Before acting, Henstridge enjoyed a successful modeling career that began at the age of 14. By the time she was 15, she was on the cover of French Cosmopolitan. She went on to have several notable roles in television and film.
Gina Gershon is an American actress that began her successful career in the late ‘80s. Things seemed to slow down by the ‘90s but picked up again by the end of the decade with movies like Face/Off (1997). In the 2000s, she was in P.S. I Love You, Five Minarets in New York, Killer Joe, and House of Versace.
Heather Graham is an actress, director, and writer. Her rise to fame began in television commercials. However, things seem to progress steadily after her first starring role in the teen comedy License to Drive. She went on to get supporting roles in movies such as Shout, Diggstown, Six Degrees of Separation, and the TV series Twin Peaks.
Claire Forlani is an English actress known for her leading role in the film Mallrats. She gained more recognition for her parts in Meet Joe Black (1998). Other films of note include Boys and Girls, Antitrust, The Medallion, and In the Name of the King.
Carla Gugina began receiving recognition after her 1989 role in Troop Beverly Hills, followed by This Boy’s Life in 1993. She continued to rise to fame with her starring role in the Spy Kids trilogy. Her later notable movies include Night At the Museum, American Gangster, Sally Jupiter, Sucker Punch, San Andreas, and Gerald’s Game.
Kate Winslet is an actress who has won accolades in Great Britain and America. Undoubtedly, one of her most well-known roles is Rose in the 1997 film Titanic. In the 2000s, she experienced steady success in film with pictures such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland, and Little Children.
Ashley Judd is known as an American actress and political activist. Her box office successes include Ruby in Paradise, Heat, Norma Jean & Marilyn, A Time to Kill, and Kiss the Girls, to name a few.
Connie Nielsen is a Danish actress. Her first English language role was a supporting part in the 1997 film, The Devil’s Advocate. She received a lot of success in the late ’90s and well into the 2000s with films such as Soldier, Gladiator, Mission to Mars, One Hour Photo, Basic, The Hunted, and The Ice Harvest.
Catherine Zeta-Jones is a Welsh actress who began as child actor in musicals. Her rise to fame in Hollywood started after The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. She has since starred in Intolerable Cruelty, Ocean’s Twelve, The Terminal, and No Reservations.
Jeanne Tripplehorn is an American actress that began her career in the theatre. Her film career started with the erotic thriller Basic Instincts in 1992. Her other ‘90s film successes include The Firm, Waterworld, and Sliding Doors.
Pamela Anderson is a Canadian-American actress, probably most well-known for her multiple appearances in Playboy. She was a regular on Home Improvement, Baywatch, and V.I.P. In the late-90s, Anderson appeared in Raw Justice and Barb Wire. She began acting again in the early-2000s and has roles in Scary Movie 3, Borat and Blonde and Blonder.
Emmanuelle Béart is a French film actress. According to her filmography, she has appeared in over 60 film and television productions since 1972. Astoundingly, she is an eight-time César Awards nominee. In 2003, Béart appeared in the French edition of Elle, which sold over half a million copies making it the biggest-selling issue in the magazine’s history.
Penelope Miller began her career on Broadway. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, she starred in several Hollywood classics such as Adventures in Babysitting, Biloxi Blues, Big Top Pee-wee, The Freshman, Awakenings, Kindergarten Cop, Other People’s Money, and Year of the Comet.
Cindy Crawford is an American model, actress, and businesswoman. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Crawford was considered a supermodel. Consequently, she regularly appeared on magazine covers all over the world. In 1992, Crawford starred in Pepsi’s Superbowl XXVI commercial series. Her first starring role in the film Fair Game (1995) was a financial failure.
Lena Headey is a Bermudan-English actress best known for her role as Cersei in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, which earned her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Headey’s debut film was the mystery drama Waterland in 1992. She later starred in notable films such as The Jungle Book (1994) 300, And The Purge.
Juliette Lewis is an actress and singer known for typically portraying unorthodox characters. Her breakthrough role was as Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in 1989. Two years later, she went on to gain recognition in the remake of Cape Fear.
Salma Hayek is a Mexican and American film actress. Her career began in telenovela Teresa. In 1991, Hayek moved to Hollywood and began acting in Desperado, From Dusk till Dawn, Wild Wild West, and Dogma. While she experienced success in the late ‘90s, her breakthrough role wasn’t until Frida (2002) where she netted an academy award nomination.
Tea Leoni is an actress and producer. Her early career began in television sitcoms, including Flying Blind and The Naked Truth. Leoni’s breakthrough role was in the film Bad Boys. She went on to act in Deep Impact, The Family Man, Jurassic Park II, Spanglish, and Fun with Dick and Jane.
Robin Wright is an accomplished actress and director. Wright began gaining recognition for her role in the NBC Daytime soap opera, Santa Barbara. In 1987, she went on to star in the iconic film, The Princess Bride. Wright also starred in Forrest Gump and Message in a Bottle. Most recently, Wright has had parts in Everest, Wonder Woman, and Blade Runner 2049.
Her film debut was in the 1992 comedy Encino Man. Tunney gained recognition for her roles in Empire Records and The Craft. She also had leading roles in End of Days, Supernova, and Vertical Limit. However, Tunney may be best known for her roles in the television series The Mentalist and Prison Break.
Renée Zellweger is an actress with two Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. Surprisingly, her first leading role was in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994). Before that, she had minor roles in Dazed and Confused and Reality Bites. Zellweger’s reached critical acclaim with Jerry Maguire, One True Thing, and Me, Myself, and Irene.
Sandra Bullock has had a career playing memorable characters. Her acting career began in 1987 with a minor role in the thriller Hangman. She went on to gain more attention for her supporting role in the action film Demolition Man. Bullock finally broke into stardom in 1994 with her role in the action thriller Speed.