Although it seems like they happened only yesterday, the 1990s have become an era characterized by utter nostalgia. It was a phenomenal time for television, marked by a wide variety of legendary sitcoms, dramas, and sketch shows that have forever ingrained themselves in our collective consciousness. While many of the actors from these series have gone on to achieve even greater notoriety in recent years, other 1990s TV performers have kept incredibly low profiles during the intervening years. That raises a major question: What happened to them?
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 12 notable 1990s TV actors in order to shed some light onto their current whereabouts. Check out the article and let us know if any of your favorite performers from that legendary decade made the cut. Now let's get the ball rolling with one of the most iconic sitcom neighbors of all time...
Michael Richards, Seinfeld
Out of the four central members of the Seinfeld ensemble, Michael Richards arguably went on to experience the least prolific career following the finale of the iconic NBC series. Aside from a brief stint as the headliner of the short-lived series, The Michael Richards Show, Richards kept a relatively low career profile until he found himself swept up in controversy at a comedy club in 2006. During this incident, he was recorded screaming racial expletives at a member of the audience. He more or less retired from public life after that, only returning to the spotlight occasionally to reunite with his former Seinfeld co-stars on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. No matter what he does in the future, we'll always remember him as the fast talking neighbor of Jerry Seinfeld.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Home Improvement
As far as 1990s teen idols go, you would be hard pressed to find a bigger name than Jonathan Taylor Thomas. The former child actor skyrocketed to stardom as middle child, Randy Taylor, on the hit sitcom Home Improvement, and even provided the voice for Simba in the 1994 Disney classic, The Lion King. Thomas has remained somewhat active as a performer in the years since Home Improvement came to an end (he even reunited with Tim Allen for several episodes of Last Man Standing), and while he does occasionally pop up in small screen guest roles, he has very clearly left his days in the spotlight behind.
David Faustino, Married... With Children
Although David Faustino has continued to act since his days on Married... With Children, he has not taken on a single character that has matched the iconography of real life Bart Simpson, Bud Bundy. Regardless of that fact, Faustino has remained a fairly prolific B-movie actor, and even recently appeared in Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, which premiered earlier this year. In addition to his continued acting career, he has also developed a very thorough voiceover resume (with credits on shows like American Dad and Batman Beyond) and he has even dabbled in the music industry under the rap name, D'Lil.
Kel Mitchel, Keenan & Kel
While Keenan Thompson has spent the last 13 years cashing a consistent Saturday Night Live paycheck (he has the third longest tenure of any SNL cast member to date) Kel Mitchell has experienced a much more eclectic career. The more manic and energetic member of the Keenan & Kel duo, Mitchell has made a number of guest appearances on a wide variety of TV series over the years, ranging from cartoons to sitcoms, and even variety shows. In 2015 returned to his home turf on Nickelodeon, where he currently plays the role of Double G on the sitcom, GameShakers.
Tiffani Thiessen, Saved By The Bell
Little known scientific fact: Kelly Kapowski is the girl responsible for roughly half of all male puberties between 1989 and 1992. After becoming iconic for her role as Saved By The Bell's favorite cheerleader, Tiffani Thiessen went on to the equally iconic Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 until 2000. Following that, she spent the better part of the last two decades performing guest stints on a number of series -- even going so far as to reprise her role as Kelly Kapowski for a 2015 sketch on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. These days she spends her time hosting a Cooking Channel show called Dinner at Tiffani's.
Jaleel White, Family Matters
Although there's little doubt that Jaleel White will forever be associated with the role of Steve Urkel -- Family Matters' dorky protagonist who constantly questioned whether or not he "did that" -- White has still managed to experience a very strong career over the years. Growing up in a major way, the actor has made numerous appearances on more mature shows like NCIS, Castle, and House. However, despite his consistent presence on the small screen in the years since Family Matters ended, he has not taken on any major roles that have matched the iconography of Steve Urkel.
James Michael Tyler, Friends
For ten years the core ensemble of NBC's Friends assembled regularly at New York City's Central Perk coffee shop, and James Michael Tyler's Gunther was always there to take their orders -- primarily because of his obsessive love for Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green. Despite the fact that Tyler is the most frequent guest star in the NBC sitcom's history, he doesn't have too many other notable acting credits to his name outside of a 2005 guest stint on Scrubs, as well as an episode of Matt LeBlanc's new series, Episodes. Overall, he seems to be living a generally quiet life these days, and he often makes regular appearances at replica Central Perk coffee shops on the anniversary of Friends.
Michael Fishman, Roseanne
Michael Fishman took a serious hiatus from the Hollywood scene following his tenure as D.J. Conner on the hit sitcom, Roseanne. After remaining relatively inactive for several years, he returned to the entertainment industry in 2006 with aspirations to spend more time behind the camera, rather than in front of it. Although he continues to act every now and then, Fishman has become much more of a behind-the-scenes player, with numerous credits for set design, production design, and many other technical jobs on a wide variety of movies and TV series. True to his Roseanne roots, he prides himself on his blue collar background.
Mackenzie Rosman, 7th Heaven
After appearing in 235 episodes of 7th Heaven as Ruthie Camden, Mackenzie Rosman continued to perform in a number of films and television series -- albeit with far less frequency than many of her former co-stars. Although she continues to model and act -- with credits on shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager -- she has generally remained far less active than other 1990s TV performers on this list. In her spare time she has become known for her philanthropic work helping abused children, as well as raising money to combat cystic fibrosis.
Maggie Wheeler, Friends
Despite the fact that Maggie Wheeler lost the role of Monica Geller on Friends to Courtney Cox, she eventually went on to achieve her own level of iconography as Chandler's on again off again love interest, Janice. After Friends ended in 2004, she then took a number of high profile guest spots on plenty of insanely popular series, such as Archer, How I Met Your Mother, Hot in Cleveland, and Californication. She remains an active television actress to this day, but we will always remember her for Janice's iconic, nasally laugh.
Danny Tamberelli, The Adventures of Pete & Pete
If you were a kid during the 1990s, there's a very real possibility that Danny Tamberelli represented a major part of your childhood. Gaining notoriety on The Adventures of Pete & Pete, the former child star would go on to become a central fixture on the 1990s Nickelodeon lineup by making numerous appearances on shows like Figure It Out and All That. In the years following his Nickelodeon career, Tamberelli has shifted his focus towards music, as well as sketch comedy and voiceover work. His most notable role in recent years came when he provided the voice and physical likeness for Jimmy De Santa in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V.
David Hyde Pierce, Frasier
Even after eleven years (and four Emmy wins) on the hit NBC series, Frasier, David Hyde Pierce has remained a consistent presence in Hollywood. The man who played Niles Crane has gone on to become a prolific voice actor whose work includes _The Simpsons (_as Sideshow Bob's brother, Cecil),and _Hellboy_ as the uncredited voice of Abe Sapien. He's also an accomplished stage actor, having garnered several Tony nominations (and one win) in the years since _Frasier_ came to an end. Outside of his pursuits as an actor, Pierce has also become known for his charitable work to help fight Alzheimer's.