Oh the 1990's. What are you known for? Yuppies? Grunge? Slick Willy in the White House? Giant cell phones? How about lots of beautiful women? Yes, let's remember the decade that way with our top 90 female celebrity crushes of the 1990's.
When you're done here be sure to check out the Top 80 Female Celebrity Crushes of the 1980s too!
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We first noticed Claire Forlani when she played Sean Connery's daughter in the film The Rock in 1996, but it was in Meet Joe Black with Brad Pitt in 1998 that she earned a permanent spot on our radar.
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The curvaceous Jennifer Tilly jumped out of the shadow of her more famous sister Meg after acting in the controversial film Bound in 1996. She followed that up with an appearance in Liar Liar and even lent her voice to the starring puppet in Bride of Chucky, forever earning a place in our heart.
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Carla Gugino first landed on our radar with her crazy hot portrayal of Meg Harris in Jaded in 1996. After that we were smitten and only wanted more. Luckily for us, she followed that up with a role as Michael J. Fox's love interest on the TV series Spin City in the same year. A role in the Nic Cage film Snake Eyes coupled with her appearing on the TV drama Chicago Hope from 1999 to 2000 and we were locked in as big fans.
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Madchen Amick is a name you may not remember, but she was one of the several sexy female stars on the cult hit Twin Peaks from 1990 to 1991. Then again, maybe you will recall her being on Central Park West from 1995 to 1996, or Fantasy Island from 1998 to 1999? No matter what show you saw her on, if you saw her, you most certainly haven't forgotten her.
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Jennifer Connelly first caught our attention in The Rocketeer in 1991. Four years later she appeared in Higher Learning and we were even more interested. But it was in Mulholland Falls in 1996 that she became burned in our memories.
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We were already fans of Diane Lane by the time the 90's rolled around, but appearances in Chaplin, Judge Dredd, Murder at 1600, and A Walk on the Moon garnered her status of one of our all-time faves.
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The first time we really noticed Lucy Liu was in 1996 when she showed up in Jerry Maguire, but it was as the badass criminal in Payback and her role on Ally McBeal from 1998 to 2002 that made sure that we'd never forget her.
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Marisa Tomei won an Academy Award for her role in My Cousin Vinny in 1992, then won our hearts acting alongside Christian Slater in Untamed Heart.
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Rebecca Gayheart first gained our attention in the sci-fi TV series Earth 2 in 1994, but it was her portrayal of Toni Marchette, Dylan's girlfriend and eventual wife on Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1995 that made us want more. Especially after she was killed the day after the wedding. Luckily, we were still able to watch Rebecca in Scream 2, Urban Legend, and the TV series Wasteland.
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Who that saw it will ever forget the music video for the 1993 Aerosmith song "Crazy?" It featured two young ladies who would go on to become big stars, Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone, being very, very naughty. Liv went on to star in Empire Records and Stealing Beauty, That Thing You Do!, and Armageddon in the 1990's, solidifying her status as more than just Steven Tyler's sexy offspring.
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Mira Sorvino first hit our radar in 1995 when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Mighty Aphrodite. The films Norma Jean & Marilyn and Beautiful Girls, as well as Romy and Michele's High School Reunion made sure we wouldn't soon forget her.
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"Tell me what you want, what you really, really want." In 1996, "Girl Power" became a part of the international lexicon and the Spice Girls were what we wanted. Two albums, Spice and Spiceworld, plus a feature film Spice World, and Posh Spice quickly became one of our favorite singers.
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A few years before the Spice Girls came along (in 1992) we were treated to another sexy female singer's worldwide debut when the group No Doubt released their self-titled album and our long-time attraction to Gwen Stefani was set in motion.
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In 1989 a model from New Zealand named Rachel Hunter caught our eye when she posed for the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, eventually landing on the cover in 1994. She also caught the eye of singer Rod Stewart who married her in 1990, despite being 24 years older than her.
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Jewel Kilcher hit the scene in 1995 with her debut album Pieces of You. Her subsequent followup album Spirit in 1998 and the accompanying music videos for both on MTV (yes, MTV used to show music videos) made sure she would never be forgotten.
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Kate Moss introduced the world to the "heroin chic look" as she was featured in a sexy ad campaign for Calvin Klein in 1993. We were fascinated and so was Johnny Depp who dated Moss from 1994 to 1998.
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Jasmine Guy was our favorite reason to tune in to The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World from 1987 to 1993.
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Victoria Silvstedt was the December 1996 Playboy Playmate of the Month and then the 1997 Playmate of the Year. As if that wasn't enough to get our attention she then signed on to succeed Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith as the trademark buxom blonde spokesmodel for Guess? appearing in numerous iconic and very sexy advertisements.
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For the better part of seven years (1993 to 2000) Danielle Fishel played Topanga Lawrence on the sitcom Boy Meets World during ABC's TGIF lineup on Friday nights making us wish that we were Cory Matthews and not Ben Savage.
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The first time we noticed Catherine Zeta-Jones was when she played the femme fatale Sala in The Phantom in 1996, but it was two other roles in the 1990's, Elena Montero in The Mask of Zorro and Virginia Baker in Entrapment with Sean Connery, that ensured that we would be intrigued by her well into the 21st century.
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Jesse Spano of Saved by the Bell was one of our favorite TV characters of the early 1990's, but when the show went off the air in 1993 we wondered where we would see Elizabeth Berkley next? Turns out it was in the film Showgirls in 1995 and she was completely naked for a good portion of the movie. We did not see that one coming.
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In the 1990's Madonna put out three original albums, appeared in the films A League of Their Own and Evita, and released a book filled with nude photos of her titled Sex that sold 1.5 million copies at $50 each. Needless to say we were big fans at the time.
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Stacey Dash charmed and entranced us with her role as Dionne Davenport in the film Clueless in 1995. Luckily for us they made a TV show based on the film that aired from 1996 to 1999 so we wouldn't have to stop feeling that way about her and her character.
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When Harry Met Sally… in 1989 really put Meg Ryan on the map, but following that up in the 1990's with The Doors, Sleepless in Seattle, When a Man Loves a Woman, plus City of Angels and You've Got Mail, solidified her place as an actress we always made a special effort to see during the decade.
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Who here didn't secretly have a big crush on Seinfeld's Elaine Benes from 1989 to 1998? Anyone? She was both the girl you wanted to hang out with and the girl you wanted to date. Even if she was about as shallow as a kiddie pool, we still wanted to be her Mimbo.
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Mariah Carey busted onto the scene with her self-titled debut album in 1990. Rarely before had we seen such an attractive young woman with such a powerful and melodic voice combined together in one amazing package. Six more albums in the decade made sure that she was never far from our mind.
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Beginning with her role as Heather Duke in the film Heathers in 1989 Shannen Doherty intrigued us with her ability to play the bad girl. Four years as Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210 solidified that intrigue. Unfortunately we had to wait until 1998 to see her on TV again when she starred on Charmed with another name further down this list.
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Cameron Diaz blew us away when we saw her play Tina Carlyle in the 1994 film The Mask alongside Jim Carrey, but it wasn't until the film There's Something About Mary in 1998 did she become a true household name. By the time she played Christina Pagniacci in Any Given Sunday we were hooked.
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Jenna Jameson became an adult film star in 1994. She went on to win 11 AVN Awards in the 1990's, founded ClubJenna in 2000, and in the process became arguably the most famous adult film actress in the history of the business. Needless to say, she caught our attention.
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Uma Thurman began to make us curious about her in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, but in 1994, playing Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, Uma started to become an actress we sought out. Luckily for us she also starred in Beautiful Girls, Batman & Robin, and The Avengers in the 90's so we didn't have to look far.
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Do we really need to tell you why we were so fascinated by Kate Winslet in the 1990's? For her role in Sense and Sensibility, of course! Just kidding, it was a tiny little film called Titanic. You may have heard of it.
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Bridget Fonda, daughter of Peter Fonda, was a part of 26 films in the 1990's. Think about that for a second. 26 films - in one decade. Our favorites were Single White Female, Point of No Return, Jackie Brown, and Finding Graceland. Unfortunately she must have shot her wad in the decade because she hasn't appeared in a single acting role on TV or film since 2002.
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Jennie Garth was one of the "three Kellys" triumvirate of crushes in the 1990's when she played Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210 for the entire decade. She also threw in a few appearances on Melrose Place in 1992 to make our Monday nights even more complete for awhile.
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Ashley Judd went from just being Naomi Judd's daughter to being an actress we really wanted to see after she appeared in Norma Jean & Marilyn in 1996. If you've ever seen the movie you know exactly why that is.
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Hard to believe that Nikki Cox is only 34 years-old because her show Unhappily Ever After aired from 1995 to 1999, which put her right in the wheelhouse for young men across the nation. She even almost made The Norm Show watchable for a couple of years.
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The 90's queen of the View Askewniverse, Joey Lauren Adams and her raspy voice made her one of our favorite actresses as she appeared in Dazed and Confused, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Big Daddy throughout the 1990's. (Especially in Chasing Amy.)
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Anyone that was lucky enough to catch Sherilyn Fenn in Two Moon Junction in 1988 was thrilled to see her appear in this new TV series Twin Peaks in 1990. Unfortunately that only lasted a year, but she did do the controversial Boxing Helena as well as play Liz Taylor in a TV miniseries to help remind us of her ridiculously hot pictorial for Playboy in December of 1990.
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Vivica A. Fox jumped off the screen as Will Smith's love interest in the 1996 film Independence Day. Then she cracked us up as Jamie Foxx's love interest in Booty Call in 1997. By that point we simply couldn't get enough Vivica A. in our lives.
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Back in the 1990's Halle Berry wasn't the big star she is today, but we could see it coming. Appearances in the films like Jungle Fever, The Last Boy Scout, Boomerang, The Flintstones, and Bulworth made that obvious. She also married to Braves outfielder David Justice in 1992, which got everyone's attention. Sadly, they divorced in 1997.
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Young men of America hated to admit it, but there was actually a reason to watch a couple of shows more targeted towards girls than boys in the 1990's as Melissa Joan Hart starred in Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch for almost the entire decade.
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Fran Drescher was every male's favorite nanny for six years in the 1990's. And not just because we previously saw her topless in the 1990 film Cadillac Man. Okay, maybe that was part of the reason.
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Christy Turlington was a sexy staple of Calvin Klein ad campaigns for 20 years beginning in 1987. She was one of the most recognizable models of the 1990's, which is a reason why she joined Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, and Claudia Schiffer in the ill-fated Fashion Cafe venture. Her appearance in George Michael's "Freedom '90" music video is also a reason we still have fond memories of that decade.
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Winona Ryder was already on our radar after playing Veronica Sawyer in the 1988 film Heathers, but it was in the 1990's that Winona really shot to stardoom with roles in Girl, Interrupted, Alien Resurrection, Reality Bites, Dracula, Mermaids, and Edward Scissorhands.
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Lara Flynn Boyle first came to our attention as one of the many fine females working on the show Twin Peaks in 1990 and 1991. Sadly the show didn't last, but we still were able to catch her in films like Wayne's World and The Temp, as well as on the TV drama The Practice from 1997 to 2003.
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Salma Hayek busted on to the scene with her smoking hot role alongside Antonio Banderas in the 1995 film Desperado. She followed that up with an equally sexy appearance in the 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn and we've been smitten ever since.
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The ONLY reason a guy would tune in to Full House between 1988 and 1995 was one Lori Loughlin. She was a demographics buster on that show. Then when the show ended we suddenly became fans of the show Hudson Street for a couple of years where she almost made Tony Danza an afterthought.
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Tyra Banks was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005 and the first African American woman to grace the covers of GQ, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and the Victoria's Secret catalog. Pretty easy to see why we were huge fans of hers in the 1990's.
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Buffy the Freaking Vampire Slayer, baby. Toss in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, and Cruel Intentions and you've got a full-fledged Sarah Michelle fanboy on your hands.
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French modeling legend Laetitia Casta was another one of those smoking hot GUESS? Girls in the 1990's. Please tell me you remember or at least know about those seriously sexy ads? Then she became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 1998 and the rest is history.
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Why is Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, ranked so much higher than Victoria Beckham? Well, there was the little thing about her having shot many (and we mean many) nude photos before joining up with Posh, Baby, Scary, and Sporty.
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Keri Russell first caught our eye on the short-lived show Malibu Shores in 1996, but it was Felicity Porter from 1998 to 2002 that planted her firmly on our radar. Anyone out there remember what a scene she caused when she cut off her long, curly locks? You'd have thought the world was coming to an end.
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Heather Graham blew our minds as Mercedes Lane in the 1988 film License to Drive with The Coreys, then she rocked our minds again when she showed us everything she had in the 1997 film Boogie Nights. Seeing her looking like a 1960's smokeshow in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999 was just the icing on the cake for Heather's epic decade.
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The 90's were a very good decade for Nicole Kidman. You had the films Days of Thunder in 1990, which led to being married to Tom Cruise from 1990 to 2003, then Malice, To Die For, Batman Forever, and Practical Magic. But the topper, oh yes, the topper was Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. Like I said, it was a very good decade for Nicole Kidman.
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Angelina Jolie barely squeaks onto this list, but anyone who watched Gia in 1998 knows that without that role Angelina Jolie may not have had the career that she ended up having. It truly made her a household name...at least in households with men in them.
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Yasmine Bleeth was the hottest teenage star on daytime TV when she appeared on Ryan's Hope from 1985 to 1989 so she already had our attention when the 1990's began. Then she moved over to One Life to Live for a couple of years, and wouldn't you know it, but our dreams came true when she ended up playing Caroline Holden on Baywatch for four years!! Two more years on Nash Bridges from 1998 to 2000 and that was pretty much it for her acting career. We'll always have the 90's though.
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Tia Carrere was pretty much an unknown when she appeared in the 1992 film Wayne's World, but by the time Wayne's World 2 rolled around the next year we were hooked. Unfortunately she didn't have a lot of success after that until landing a starring role on the TV series Relic Hunter from 1999 to 2002. We were so glad to see her again.
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Julia Roberts became America's Sweetheart in the 1990's with Steel Magnolias in 1989 and Pretty Woman in 1990. It really was her best decade for making films as at least eight more were big at the box office, closing out with Runaway Bride in 1999.
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Anyone male who watched Species in 1995 (Natasha Henstridge's first film, by the way) immediately wished for an alien invasion if the aliens were going to look like Natasha, which of course led to Species II in 1998.
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Neve Campbell made it okay for guys to watch Party of Five from 1994 to 2000, but they didn't have to since Neve also made classic films like The Craft, Scream, Scream 2, and all-time guy fave Wild Things in the decade as well.
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If we didn't already have a bit of a crush on Courteney Cox as Alex P. Keaton's girlfriend on Family Ties in the late 80's, we definitely had a crush on Monica Geller for Friends' six year-run in the 1990's.
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Tatyana Ali was the best reason for a young man to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996. Sure we liked Will Smith, but we didn't want to go out on a date with him.
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Four words: Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Sure she also made films like One Fine Day, Up Close & Personal, Dangerous Minds, and Frankie and Johnny in the 90's but she's the reason we still watch Batman Returns to this day.
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Elizabeth Hurley first came to our attention when we saw her on the arm of her then-boyfriend actor Hugh Grant. We were starstruck. Luckily for us she didn't stay on his arm, but rather decided to do some acting of her own in the first two Austin Powers films and alongside Matthew McConaughey in the film EDtv before the decade was over.
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What male that watched The X-Files for most of the 1990's didn't want to hang out with Special Agent Dana Scully? Gillian Anderson was arguably the sexiest redhead of the decade.
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Cindy Margolis was named Yahoo! Internet Life magazine's "Queen of the Internet" from 1996 to 1999. She even set a Guinness World Record as the "most downloaded" person in the final year of the decade.
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Kathy Ireland was so dominant in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that she appeared in it for 12 straight years scoring two covers, 1992 and 1994. She even dabbled in acting with a semi-memorable role in the film Necessary Roughness in 1991.
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Rena Mero, aka Sable, was only with the WWF for three years in the 1990's, but what years they were as her April 1999 issue of Playboy was one of the highest selling issues in the magazine's history.
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Teri Hatcher played perhaps the sexiest version of Lois Lane we have ever seen on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from 1993 to 1997. Of course, we all also remember her "they're real and they're spectacular" line from Seinfeld in 1993 as well. She even played a Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies topping off a huge decade for her.
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Jennifer Love Hewitt was an even better reason for a guy to watch Party of Five in the 1990's. Especially after she made I Know What You Did Last Summer and it's creatively titled sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
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Was there a hotter singer in the 1990's than Shania Twain? And we're not just talking about album sales, though those were pretty damn good as well with her three albums Come On Over, The Woman in Me, and Shania Twain all selling like crazy.
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Anyone remember Carmen Electra on MTV's Singled Out? How about Loveline? Okay then, how about on Baywatch? Ah, now your memory works just fine, doesn't it?
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Did you know Jennifer Aniston made her acting debut in Leprechaun in 1993? Apparently she was good enough in that classic to get her the role as Rachel Green on Friends in 1994. Thank goodness for bad horror flicks.
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Demi Moore reached her pinnacle in the 1990's both career-wise as well as physically. Granted we didn't get to see it in Ghost, but by the time Striptease and G.I. Jane rolled around in 1996 and 1997 there was no doubt that Demi had put in some serious time and money to become one of the biggest sex symbols of the decade.
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Anna Nicole Smith, before all her craziness with her TV show and marrying the near-death oil mogul J. Howard Marshall, was one of the sexiest women on the planet. She was the 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year and appeared in some of the sexiest print ads ever made for Guess jeans.
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We were shocked to see Elizabeth Berkley in the 1995 cult classic Showgirls, but it was Gina Gershon who stole the show in the film. It still to this day is the film she is most remembered for despite appearing in more than 30 since.
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Back in the day there was no chance that any male in his teens was going to miss an episode of Charles in Charge in the late 1980's and that was simply because of Jamie Powell aka Nicole Eggert. It was with unbridled joy that we watched as Nicole made the move two years later to Baywatch playing Summer Quinn for three wonderful seasons.
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Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 in 1989 set the scene for what was going to be a very good decade for Michael Jackson's little sis. Of course we already had a crush on her from her roles on Diff'rent Strokes and Fame in the 80's. Seeing her all grown up and killing it the way she was, how could we not be enamored?
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Alicia Silverstone (along with the aforementioned Liv Tyler) blew us away with her appearance in the 1993 music video for the Aerosmith song "Crazy," but that was only due to the fact that in her movie debut The Crush in 1993 she played one of the sexiest Lolita characters ever to appear on film. After playing Cher Horowitz in Clueless in 1995 and Batgirl in Batman & Robin in 1997 her place in our collective memories was carved in stone.
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Heather Locklear already had a pretty good decade in the 80's with her role on Dynasty, but it was her portrayal of Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place from 1993 to 1999 that introduced her to a whole new set of young males who suddenly found themselves as fans of primetime soap operas.
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Like Heather Locklear, Cindy Crawford also had a pretty good decade in the 1980's, but it was in the 1990's that she truly became a household name due in no small part to this Pepsi commercial. She even made us almost care about fashion when she hosted MTV's House of Style from 1989 to 1995 and definitely made us care about Playboy when she posed in her second pictorial for the magazine in 1998.
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Sharon Stone could have stopped making movies after her appearance in the 1992 film Basic Instinct and we'd still remember her fondly to this day.
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The same goes for Denise Richards after her appearance in the 1998 film Wild Things. Though Starship Troopers in 1997 and her appearance as Russell Dalrymple's daughter on Seinfeld in 1993 were also pretty good.
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Remember those super hot Guess? Jeans ads that we mentioned in Victoria Silvstedt, Laetitia Casta, Anna Nicole Smith's profiles? Claudia Schiffer was the one who made them famous first.
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Three words: Xena: Warrior Princess.
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The only person who had our attention more than Kathy Ireland when it came to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was Elle Macpherson who graced a record five covers including one in 1994, which was also the year she made the hot film Sirens and appeared in one of the greatest issues of Playboy ever published.
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Pamela Anderson in the 1990's: Playboy, Home Improvement Tool Time Girl, Baywatch, Barb Wire, and finally Pam & Tommy Lee: Stolen Honeymoon. That's a full decade right there.
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Jenny McCarthy was the 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year, which, along with her wacky personality, led to being the host of the MTV game show Singled Out in 1995, which led to her own sitcom on NBC, Jenny, in 1997. How she never appeared on Baywatch is still a mystery to this day.
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Alyssa Milano came of age as Who's the Boss? completed its run in 1992 and wowed males everywhere when she showed a whole lot of skin in the 1995 film Embrace of the Vampire and the 1996 flick Poison Ivy II: Lily. A two-year run on Melrose Place followed up by a starring role on Charmed and there were very few women we crushed on more than Alyssa Milano in the 1990's.
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The second Kelly of the 1990's Kelly Triumvirate of Hotness, Christina Applegate, aka Kelly Bundy, ruled the hearts of men like few others until 1997 when Married... with Children finally ended its run. Luckily we didn't have to wait long to see her again as she also starred in her own sitcom on NBC, Jesse, from 1998 to 2000.
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The number one Kelly in the 1990's Kelly Triumvirate of Hotness was none other than Kelly Kapowski, known then as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, of Saved by the Bell and Saved by the Bell: The College Years. But she didn't stop there as when those shows ended in 1994 she immediately jumped onto Beverly Hills, 90210 as Valerie Malone from 1994 to 1998 to continue her dominance as arguably the most crushed on woman of the entire decade.
Photo credit: Tiffani Thiessen image by Featureflash/Shutterstock
(Previously published on May 8, 2013.)
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