The 1990s were an amazing time for entertainment. Coming out of the ’80s, when everything was over-the-top, people started to settle in a new kind of cool, and there were a lot of sweethearts for girls to look up to on television and movies and in the music industry.
These were the days of “Dawson’s Creek” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” of Brandy and Christina. ’90s kids remember setting their clocks for “Party of Five” and quoting all of the lines in “Clueless.” They loved the good girls, and they adored the rebels — and they still can’t believe they canceled “My So Called Life.” There were plenty of girls that they felt liheyke t knew and even some that they felt like they were. They grew up along with them — and when they became moms, fans weren’t far behind.
The world may have lost touch with their favorite ’90s stars. Or for some of those superstars, people might have forgotten their ’90s roots. But as ’90s kids go along with this parenting journey, it’s cool to know that they can still look up to the people they adored in their childhood, as they are all raising children a few decades later.
Here are 20 forgotten sweethearts from the ’90s who are now moms.
20ANNA CHLUMSKY WAS “MY GIRL”
Do you remember the little tom boy that captured our hearts in “My Girl” back in 1991? Anna Chlumsky played Vada, a little girl so confused about life from living in a funeral home.
Her best friend was played by Macauley Culkin, and we all cried our eyes out when his character didn’t make it. Vada was the little girl who we all related to on some level, and we fell in love with Anna’s sweet smile. But now, more than 30 years later, Anna is still just like us — she’s a mom.
Anna, who was under the radar for a while, has returned to the entertainment industry as one of the main characters in Julia Louis Dreyfuss’s “Veep.” And she is a mom to two daughters, Penelope Joan and Clara Elizabeth. She talked about them in 2017 on Live With Kelly, when Clara was just starting to crawl. “One’s crying and then the other one’ll kind of feel bad for them and cry too,” she said about a typical day in her life. “Or Penny’ll make a noise or something and Clara’ll try to imitate it. It’s darling. It’s really, really darling.” For those of us who were ’90s kids, it’s amazing to know that the girl from “My Girl” has girls of her own now. We bet they are just sweethearts.
19TATYANA ALI: FORMER PRINCESS OF BEL-AIR
Tatyana Ali was the little sister we all knew or were.
In “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” she went back and forth from being the annoying tattle-tale to the girl her big brother and big cousin protected with all that they had.
As Ashley Banks, we thought she was one of the coolest kids on the block, and she’s still one of those sweethearts we think of when we think about kids who we loved in the ’90s. Tatyana grew up to be gorgeous and talented — and a great mom.
Way back in the day, we were all jealous that Tatyana was dating the super cute Jonathan Brandis. But Tatyana went even farther in life, getting a degree from Harvard and working as a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign before coming back to entertainment. Eventually, Tatyana married a Stanford professor that she met on dating site eHarmony, and the two welcomed a little boy in 2016. “There are so many things I want to show him,” the actress said after giving birth. “Then I remember to slow down. Time moves quickly on its own; no need for me to push it along. If I can try to remember anything at all in this heaven, it’s to take my time, be present, take it all in, so I can remember everything and live in it eternally.”
18JENNIE GARTH HAD TWO HEARTTHROBS FIGHT OVER HER
Kelly Taylor was the girl that two of the biggest heartthrob men in Beverly Hills fought over, at least on one of the most popular TV shows of the ’90s, “Beverly Hills 90210” (the original!).
Kelly was a great friend, but she was also irresistible, mostly because she was such a sweetheart, and that meant that both Brandon and Dylan wanted to date her. It was the biggest love triangle of the decade, and we still can’t help but imagine what it would be like to have Jason Priestley and Luke Perry fighting over us.
While Jennie Garth left behind the role of Kelly more than two decades ago, we still love her. She became even more lovable as the big sister on “What I Like About You,” and we loved it when she reprised her 90210 role in the new series. Most of all, though, Jennie has spent her time as a mom. She had three daughters with her ex-husband Peter Facinelli (you may recognize him from the Twilight series). Luca, Lola and Fiona are great girls, but that’s no surprise since they have such a wonderful sweetheart of a mom. They are all blond and gorgeous, and there is no doubt the boys will fight over them just like they did their mom.
17BRANDY WAS THE BIGGEST SINGER/ACTRESS COMBO
There were a lot of people who tried both acting and singing in the ’90s, but none were more successful than Brandy Norwood.
We knew her just as Brandy — or Moesha, the character she played in the show of the same name for years. Brandy was also a pop princess, who was loved for her R&B stylings.
When she and Monica combined their voices for “The Boy Is Mine,” something legendary happened, and Brandy became a super star. With her good girl image and her amazing talent, she was definitely America’s sweetheart at the time.
But Brandy grew up and grew out of the spotlight — while her brother Ray J got famous for a different reason. Brandy married producer “Big Bert” Smith, and they had a daughter, Sy’Rai, who was born in 2002. Brandy has continued to be involved on the music and acting scenes, but after a 2006 fatal car accident, she hasn’t been in the spotlight as much. But her little girl might grow up to be just like her, according to one People interview. “She’s into her school work and her education but singing is all she does, watching videos and making up routines,” Brandy said in 2012. “I’m seeing the signs, but I want her to hold on a little longer and have a regular childhood.”
16GWEN STEFANI HAS BEEN FAMOUS FOR SO LONG
Gwen Stefani was “just a girl” — a girl who taught us how to be a rocker back in the ’90s.
As the lead singer of “No Doubt,” she was one of our favorite women of the decade because she was so creative and she taught us all about ’90s angst.
We could still quote all the lyrics to “Spiderwebs.” But Gwen has changed a lot over the decades to her place now on The Voice. She’s made a lot of music and kept us in her fan club.
Gwen went on to have the ’90s marriage of our dreams, marrying the super hot Gavin Rossdale from Bush, while continuing to make music and fashion. Gwen and Gavin had three kids before they divorced, and she’s now linked to Blake Shelton. Earlier this year, Blake told the Today Show that he never imagined how much he would love Gwen’s kids, but we aren’t surprised that they are awesome, since she is so cool. And of course she chose some rockstar names for her boys, Kingston, Zuma and Apollo. Gwen keeps her boys out of the spotlight as much as she can, so they can have a normal childhood, but we love it every time we get a glimpse.
15CLAIRE DANES’S SO-CALLED LIFE
“My So Called Life” might not have been on the air for long, but it so described our lives in the ’90s. Claire Danes, who played Angela, was all of us as we made new friends, rebelled against our moms and experienced our first loves.
And we all still kind of have a crush on Jordan Catalano. But Claire has moved on, and now the man of her dreams is actor Hugh Dancy. Claire welcomed a son, Cyrus, with Hugh in 2013, and she recently announced that baby No. 2 is on the way.
Just like she shared our truth in the ’90s, Claire is sharing our truth now, admitting in a Harper’s Bazaar article that being a parent is hard. “Being a mom is incredibly challenging,” she said in the article. “But we still feel a pressure to talk about it in very romantic terms. We all have that resentment at times and anxiety about being trapped by the role, that responsibility. And then chemically it can run riot … and there’s no ‘off’ button.”
Claire actually gave birth to her first child the night that the second season finale to her current show Homeland aired, and she had to figure out how to hide her pregnancy while pretending to be a CIA agent. She’s tough, but also real, and that is why we still love her.
14MICHELLE WILLIAMS IS A LONG WAY FROM DAWSON’S CREEK
In that first season of Dawson’s Creek, we weren’t sure if we loved or couldn’t stand Michelle Williams.
After all, we didn’t like that Joey had to compete for attention from Dawson or Pacey, and Jen, Michelle’s character, definitely had a wild side. But pretty soon she was just a part of the gang, and one of the biggest sweethearts of the ’90s.
Michelle is still an excellent actress, but she stays out of the Hollywood limelight — that’s because she spends her time focusing on being a great mom. Michelle had a baby with her then-boyfriend Heath Ledger, and after Heath’s tragic death, she’s had to go it alone to raise her daughter Matilda. With her best friend Busy Phillips — isn’t it awesome that they are still friends IRL — Michelle is the kind of dedicated mom that makes us love her even more than we did a few decades ago.
“Being a mother is not only who I am in my relationship with my daughter, but it’s a part of the kind of work that I want to make and the relationship with the person that I want to be for her, so there is really no area of my life that is untouched,” Michelle said in a speech “It’s at the center of everything that I do.”
13JESSICA BIEL FOUND HER 7TH HEAVEN
There were a lot of things to love about “Seventh Heaven,” including the gorgeous long-haired guy who played Matt Camden. But the real break out star was actually Jessica Biel, who played the athletic teen turned troublemaker Mary.
Jessica bristled a bit under the good girl image that the family show served up, and after a few seasons, she moved on, but we didn’t. We knew back then that Jessica was a sweetheart, but we didn’t know that she would soon be among the Hollywood jet set. And we certainly never guessed she would start a family with one of the hottest boy band member turned pop icon.
Jessica is now married to *NSYNC’s Justin Timberlake, who brought sexy back in his still smoking solo career. She is now a mom to Justin’s little guy Silas, who was fully ensconced in the terrible twos last year, according to the couple’s interview on Oscar night. “He’s doing amazing,” Jessica said about her toddler during the red carpet interview. “But it’s one of those things where you’re like, I love you, but I don’t know if I like you.” That happens to every mom, but Jessica is such a sweetheart that we are sure that Silas is coming out of the terrible stage unscathed.
12MARIAH CAREY WAS THE ULTIMATE ’90S DIVA
Mariah Carey’s debut album dropped in 1990, and she pretty much ruled the decade after that. With her five octave range and her diva attitude, Mariah is a total legend, who was all over boys’ walls and girls’ mixed tapes. We envied her “Vision of Love,” and all we wanted for Christmas was to hear her holiday tune. Mariah has continued to be an incredible artist, but nothing could surpass the heights she achieved in the ’90s, except for maybe motherhood.
Mariah has 7-year-old twins, who are super cute. The babies are the result of her relationship with funny man Nick Cannon, and they were actually born to the sounds of her concert album.
The twins are named Moroccan, after the room where she and Nick got engaged, and Monroe, after the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Since then, Mariah and Nick divorced, and she has been linked to a backup dancer and a billionaire. Mariah said she was struggling with mental illness, and a New Year’s Eve performance left us wondering if she was no longer a musical powerhouse. But the entire time she has remained a great mom to her kids. While Nick and Mariah are no longer together, they are both peacefully coparenting their kids, who Mariah calls “dem babies,” and it’s awesome to see the diva totally devoted to someone other than herself.
11MELISSA JOAN HART, THE FORMER TEENAGE WITCH
Before the Disney Channel had High School Music and all those tween shows, the ’90s was filled with Nickelodeon shows that were perfect for us kids growing up.
And one of our favorite Nick stars was Melissa Joan Hart, or as we knew her, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (or before that “Clarissa Explains It All”).
Melissa had the spunk we all wanted while having the embarrassing family that we all related to (although ours couldn’t cast spells and didn’t have a talking cat). Melissa grew up alongside, and now she’s a mother just like us too.
Melissa, who more recently starred with another ’90s heart throb Joey Lawrence on “Melissa and Joey,” is married to musician Mark Wilkerson, and she is the mom to three boys. Mason is now 12, Braydon is 10, and Tucker is 5. And as much as she wants to be a regular mom, Melissa is still so recognizable that her boys use it to their advantage. “When they can’t get my attention [in public], they will yell out ‘Melissa Joan Hart’ because they know I don’t like to be recognized at airports or restaurants,” she said in a People magazine article. The only thing worse might be “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”
10KERI RUSSELL WAS FELICITY
Every child of the ’90s remembers the girl with the long curly hair, Keri Russell.
She started out on the Mickey Mouse Club along with Britney and Justin, and she was recognizable in one or two episodes of a ton of our favorite shows before Keri headlined one of her own. She was Felicity in the show of the same name, and we all fell in love with the ambitious but naive girl as we followed her through high school and college.
When Felicity cut her hair, it felt like we all lost a part of ourselves and grew as different people.
Keri has continued to be a Hollywood mainstay, although she’s never reached the heights of Felicity. She recently played an entirely different character on “The Americans,” which earned her an Emmy and also introduced her to the love of her life Matthew Rhys. Keri already had two kids before they met with her first husband Shane Deary, and she and Matthew welcomed a son in 2016. Now that “The Americans” has ended, Keri said she’s looking forward to family time — “just normal [stuff], like breakfast, school runs, picking them up from school, dinners [and] bedtimes,” she said in Us Magazine. Matthew added, “That will become a novelty. It is a novelty.”
Kelly Bundy wasn’t always our parents’ favorite, but we grew up thinking that she was gorgeous and hilarious.
And then when Christina Applegate starred in a hit movie, it cemented her as the cool young woman that we all wanted to be in the 1990s.
Christina was also one of the original Pussycat Dolls in the 1990s, just to make us all love her even more. It seemed like she was an industry darling during that time, and we couldn’t get enough.
While Christina has continued to have success, it’s nothing like it was in the 1990s. We love her so much that we raved when we saw her in “Anchorman,” and when she had a baby, she talked about it in real life with the funny but short-lived “Up All Night.” Christina has little girl, Sadie Grace, who was born a few years after the actress went through a breast cancer battle. Her daughter, who is now 7, is such a miracle, and that’s something to celebrate. Cristina has said she took time off to be with her girl over the last several years. “It’s hard saying goodbye to her,” she said in an ABC News video. “Because I kept saying, ‘Say goodbye to me’ and she kept going, ‘Mommy your dress is so sparkly, it’s so beautiful. It is so sparkly!’ But I was like, ‘I love you, just give me a hug.'”
8JANET JACKSON WAS SECOND ONLY TO MARIAH
If Michael Jackson was king of ’80s pop music, his sister Janet was the queen of the ’90s.
Her album Rhythm Nation came out in 1989, but by the end of the ’90s she was named the second most successful recording artist of the decade, behind Mariah Carey.
She topped the charts with so many amazing hits, and we couldn’t imagine watching MTV without Janet’s amazing videos. Janet gave us all kinds of goals, and we still rock out to her songs today.
After an infamous performance at the Super Bowl in 2004, Janet was less in the spotlight for a while, but she still sold out concerts every time she scheduled one. There was only one goal that Janet hadn’t fulfilled and that was motherhood. But Janet amazed us again, having a baby in 2017. Having a baby in your 50s can be really tough, but Janet got her body back in no time and ended up back on tour with little Eissa in tow.
“She changes all the diapers — she does it all. She’s a real mother. She loves it. I asked her, ‘How are you getting along with this?’ and she said, ‘Tito, I love it.’ She just loves her baby,” Janet’s older brother Tito told People. “She’s great at being a mother. It’s really great. I guess it sort of makes her feel complete.”
7GWYNETH PALTROW DATED BRAD PITT
Gwyneth Paltrow is kind of a legend these days. She’s not in that many movies anymore — other than the Iron Man series — but she’s won an Oscar and she can totally pick and choose her projects. That’s all because of the incredible career that she has had since it all started in the ’90s.
It all started with “Se7en,” the thriller that may have made Brad Pitt more of a name but also served as a breakthrough for Gwyneth — and you may not remember since you think of Brad Pitt with Jennifer Aniston then Angelina Jolie, but before that, he and Gwyneth were Hollywood’s it couple of the ’90s.
Gwyneth went on to steal our hearts in “Emma” before her Academy Award-winning performance in “Shakespeare In Love.” Gwyneth could do no wrong — well, that is until she became a mom. You guys probably didn’t miss that, since Gwyneth was one of the biggest stars to make headlines for her baby name. She named her first child with Chris Martin the unusual moniker of Apple. Their son got the name Moses. And even though they have “consciously uncoupled,” we still get major envy because of Gwyneth’s over-the-top lifestyle site Goop. It’s been a long time since the ’90s, but Gwyneth is still on top.
6ALICIA SILVERSTONE WAS THE ULTIMATE TRENDSETTER IN “CLUELESS”
The ultimate valley girl who taught us an entirely new language, Alicia Silverstone was definitely the it girl for the ’90s.
She was super beautiful in “The Crush,” and we loved her in Aerosmith’s “Cryin'” video. But it was her role in “Clueless” in 1995 that solidified her as one of our favorites.
Sure, it was a little weird that she fell for her step brother, but the way that she became accepting and devoted to her friends made us overlook the downsides to her character Cher. Alicia was such a sweetheart at the time, and while she’s still working, whenever we see her we think of her in a plaid yellow skirt.
Alicia has always been an animal rights activist, but now she’s also got her own parenting activism. She gave birth to her little boy Bear in 2011 with husband Christopher Jarecki, and unfortunately one of her biggest headlines in recent years was a controversy about the baby. She uploaded a video of herself feeding her toddler like he was a bird — she literally chewed up the food for him in her mouth and then spit it into his mouth. As if! But Alicia said he likes to eat that way: “It’s his favorite…and mine. He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating,” she said in People.
5DREW BARRYMORE HAS BEEN A CELEB SINCE SHE WAS A KID
We first got to know Drew Barrymore way back in 1982, when the classic kid-friendly “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” came out.
Poor Drew, though, had a rough ’80s, filled with way to much partying way too young. She went to rehab twice before she turned 20. But thankfully, she was much better by the ’90s, when she came back to the big screen in a huge way.
The biggest hits were definitely “Scream,” where Drew had an epic return to Hollywood, “The Wedding Singer” and “Ever After,” but there were a number of other awesome flicks like “Never Been Kissed” that just made us fall back in love with her.
We fell in love with Drew when she was a child actress, but now that she’s a mom she’s definitely keeping her kids outside of an industry that spoiled her childhood. Drew has two precious girls, Frankie and Olive, who are about the age that Drew was when she filmed “E.T.” They are just as adorable as she was at that age. The little girls haven’t seen Drew’s current series, the weird “Santa Clarita Diet,” but she told E! News that they do have a favorite of her films. “My daughters, I’m proud to say, love “Ever After,” and they watch that a lot,” she said in the interview.
4HALLE BERRY BECAME AN OSCAR-WINNER
Halle Berry may have bene one of the hottest actresses of the 2000s, but it all began in the ’90s.
We met the be former Miss USA in the romantic comedy “Boomerang” in 1992, and she was so gorgeous that we weren’t surprised that she received role after role.
She also starred in the funny movies “The Flintstones” and “Bulworth” in the next couple of years, but it was when she starred in “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” in 1999 that people noticed that she is also a supremely talented actress. The role garnered her and Emmy and a Golden Globe, and it probably lead to her casting in “Monster’s Ball,” an extraordinary movie that earned her an Oscar. Halle was the first black woman to win an Academy Award, and it all started with the pinup from the 1990s.
With her acting career on a roll — including a James Bond film and a series of X-Men movies — Halle waited until later to have kids. But she’s spent most of the 2010s focusing on being a mom. She gave birth to daughter Nahla in 2008, and eventually went through a bitter custody battle with her ex model Gabriel Aubry. Then she married actor Olivier Martinez, and they had a baby together, a boy named Maceo before they divorced. She keeps the kids out of the spotlight, but she definitely seems to love her life as a mom.
3SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR HAS BEEN SLAYING FOR DECADES
These days, there are plenty of kick-butt women on television.
But back in the ’90s it all started with one show, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” The amazing sci-fi series was lead by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar who was the perfect balance between beauty queen and strong, brave fighter.
The series earned her five Teen Choice Awards and a Golden Globe nod, and then when she went on to star in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Cruel Intentions,” Sarah Michelle proved that she could handle just about everything.
In a match made in vintage ’90s heaven, Sarah Michelle married the oh-so-cute Freddie Prinze Jr., who started with her in “I Know What You Did…” as well as the “Scooby-Doo” movies. And they went on to have two adorable kids, Charlotte and Rocky. The mom co-founded a baking kit company, and she said her kids help her a lot in the kitchen. “I believe in including my kids in the process. We went to the farmer’s market and they get to pick vegetables they eat over the weekend. I give them a list at the supermarket and ask them to get something. We have a rule in our house. You have to try something 10 times and two times more before you decide whether or not you like it,” Sarah Michelle said. We love that Sarah Michelle is still kicking butt in everything that she does.
2CHRISTINA AGUILERA IS STILL GOING STRONG
We’ve talked a lot about women who ruled the 1990s, but this next one came on the scene late in the decade. She was another Mickey Mouse Club alum who made it big, topping the charts by the decade with her debut album.
We’re talking about songstress Christina Aguilera who had the looks of Britney Spears but even better pipes. Christina recorded a song for the Disney movie “Mulan,” but she really busted out with her album “Genie In A Bottle,” and that got her to the top of the charts and into our hearts in 1999.
Christina sang about “What A Girl Wants” back in the day, and she went on to earn five Grammy Awards. For a while she fell of the radar, although she’s back in the public view since joining “The Voice” as a judge. While we all know that she can sing, you might not know that she’s a mom. Christina had son Max in 2008 with her then-husband Jordan Bratman, and she welcomed a daughter Summer with her fiance Matt Rutler in 2014, when she was on a break for a few seasons of “The Voice. Christina is set to release her first album in nearly a decade later this year, but her most proud achievement is definitely being a mom.
1JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT NOW HAS A PARTY OF FOUR
One of our favorite shows of the ’90s was “Party of Five.” The story of five kids trying to make it after the passing of their parents was so poignant, while also being extremely fun.
And it was filled with great actors, including Matthew Fox and Scott Wolf. But the surprise sweetheart that emerged from the story was Bailey’s girlfriend Sarah. The role spearheaded the career of Jennifer Love Hewitt, who starred in several movies, including “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and even released several music albums.
The girl with the gorgeous hair, heart-shaped face and incredible spirit was definitely a sweetheart of the ’90s. She’s had a few other memorable but short-lived roles since then, but mostly when we think of Jennifer, we think of Sarah and Bailey. Jennifer began dating her co-start on “The Client List” Brian Hallisay, back in 2012, and the two now have two kids together, a daughter named Autumn and a son named Atticus. “Let’s just say it’s crazy and beautiful. Every day brings something new and surprising and exciting. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world,” she said in a People interview. Jennifer has spent a lot of time at home being a mom, but according to reports, she has a role on a show in the fall.