Top Television Stars of the 90s

The 90s were a special time for TV, giving us some unforgettable shows and stars. From hilarious sitcoms that made us laugh to thrilling dramas that kept us on the edge of our seats, this decade had it all. In this article, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to talk about the top television stars of the 90s. These are the actors who became our friends, heroes, and sources of inspiration through their roles on the small screen.

Whether they were dealing with the ups and downs of friendship in a New York City coffee shop, solving supernatural mysteries, or making us laugh at their home improvement fails, these stars have left a lasting mark on TV history. Join us as we celebrate the talents that made the 90s a golden era for television.

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc became a household name in the 90s as Joey Tribbiani, the lovable and dim-witted aspiring actor on “Friends.” His character’s catchphrase, “How you doin’?” became iconic. LeBlanc’s portrayal of Joey was so beloved that it led to a spin-off, “Joey,” proving just how much fans adored his character. Matt’s charm and comedic timing made Joey one of the most memorable characters in TV history.

Interesting Facts:

  • Motor Enthusiast: Matt LeBlanc is a passionate motorbike and car enthusiast. His love for vehicles was not just limited to his character Joey’s scenes in “Friends” but extended to real life, where he even hosted the popular automotive show “Top Gear.”
  • Award Winner: He won a Golden Globe for his work on the TV show “Episodes,” where he played a fictionalized version of himself, showcasing his range beyond the comedic role of Joey Tribbiani.
  • Diverse Roles: Before his breakout role in “Friends,” LeBlanc appeared in a Heinz Tomato Ketchup commercial, which was aired during the Super Bowl and helped launch his career in the early ’90s.

Jason Alexander

As George Costanza in “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander brought to life one of television’s most hilariously neurotic characters. Alexander’s George was a man of many schemes and complaints, making viewers laugh with his ridiculous situations and relatable insecurities. Despite his flaws, George became a character that fans couldn’t help but root for, thanks to Alexander’s brilliant performance.

Interesting Facts:

  • Broadway Star: Before becoming known as George Costanza, Jason Alexander was a successful Broadway actor, winning a Tony Award in 1989 for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his role in “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.”
  • Voice Talent: Alexander has lent his voice to several animated series and movies, including “Duckman” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.
  • Directorial Ventures: Beyond acting, he has directed episodes of “Seinfeld” and other TV series, including “Everybody Hates Chris,” demonstrating his talent behind the camera as well.

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry’s role as Chandler Bing on “Friends” gave us some of the best one-liners and sarcastic comments in TV history. His portrayal of the witty and sometimes awkward Chandler made him a fan favorite. Perry’s chemistry with his castmates, especially his on-screen roommate Joey (Matt LeBlanc), was a significant part of the show’s success.

Interesting Facts:

  • Tennis Prodigy: In his youth, Matthew Perry was a nationally ranked junior tennis player in Canada, showcasing his athletic skills before he chose to pursue acting full-time.
  • Writer and Producer: Perry has worked as a writer and producer on shows like “Mr. Sunshine” and “The Odd Couple,” highlighting his talents off-screen and his deep involvement in the creative process.
  • Addiction Advocacy: Having battled addiction himself, Perry has become an outspoken advocate for drug rehabilitation and recovery programs, using his platform to help others struggling with similar issues.

Tori Spelling

Tori Spelling starred as Donna Martin in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” a show that defined a generation. Her character’s journey through high school and into adulthood, tackling issues like teenage pregnancy and drug use, resonated with many viewers. Spelling’s portrayal of Donna’s innocence and growth made her a beloved character among the show’s fans.

Interesting Facts:

  • Author: Beyond acting, Tori Spelling has authored several books, including her autobiography “sTORI Telling,” which was a New York Times bestseller, showcasing her talent as a writer.
  • Reality TV Star: Spelling has starred in several reality TV shows that focus on her life, family, and business ventures, including “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” offering fans a glimpse into her personal life.
  • Fashion Designer: She has ventured into fashion, designing jewelry and clothing lines, further expanding her career beyond television and showcasing her creative talents.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston’s role as Rachel Green on “Friends” made her an international star. Her character’s style, particularly “The Rachel” haircut, became a 90s fashion icon. Aniston’s performance, from Rachel’s comedic moments to her emotional depth, showcased her range as an actress and cemented her status as a television legend.

Interesting Facts:

  • Emmy and Golden Globe Winner: Aniston has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as Rachel Green on “Friends,” affirming her status as a critically acclaimed actress.
  • Film Production: Aniston co-founded the film production company Echo Films, through which she has produced several projects in which she also starred, highlighting her skills beyond acting.
  • Philanthropy: Aniston is involved in various philanthropic activities, including work with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and advocacy for breast cancer research, showing her commitment to giving back.

Jane Leeves

As Daphne Moon on “Frasier,” Jane Leeves played the quirky and lovable English physiotherapist with a psychic touch. Her character’s relationship with the Crane family and eventual romance with Niles was a core storyline of the show. Leeves brought charm and warmth to the role, making Daphne a memorable part of the “Frasier” family.

Interesting Facts:

  • Dancer Background: Before her acting career took off, Jane Leeves worked as a dancer, notably appearing in the music video for “The Meaning of Love” by Depeche Mode, showcasing her diverse talents.
  • Highest-Paid British Actress in the US: At one point during “Frasier,” Leeves was reportedly the highest-paid British actress on television in the United States, a testament to her success and popularity.
  • Voice Acting: Leeves has lent her voice to various animated characters, including roles in “James and the Giant Peach” and “The Penguins of Madagascar,” displaying her versatility as an actress.

Ted Danson

Ted Danson’s portrayal of Sam Malone, a former baseball player turned bartender in “Cheers,” won hearts and laughs alike. His character’s flirtations and wit made the bar “where everybody knows your name” an iconic TV setting. Danson’s performance helped “Cheers” become one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time.

Interesting Facts:

  • Environmental Activism: Danson is a passionate environmental activist, co-founded the organization Oceana, which works to protect and restore the world’s oceans, reflecting his commitment to environmental causes.
  • Author: Along with his advocacy, Danson has co-authored a book titled “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them,” aiming to raise awareness and inspire action for ocean conservation.
  • Longevity in Television: With starring roles in “Cheers,” “Becker,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and “The Good Place,” Danson has had one of the most enduring careers in television, spanning over four decades.

Kelsey Grammer

Kelsey Grammer starred as Frasier Crane, first on “Cheers” and then on “Frasier,” one of the most successful spin-offs in television history. Grammer’s portrayal of the pompous but endearing psychiatrist won him critical acclaim and several awards. His character’s sophisticated humor and personal growth over the years made Frasier a TV icon.

Interesting Facts:

  • Opera Singer Training: Grammer was trained as a classical singer and initially planned to pursue a career in opera before shifting his focus to acting, which adds a unique layer to his performances, especially in theatrical roles.
  • Multiple Emmy Awards: He has won multiple Emmy Awards for his role as Frasier Crane, showcasing his talent and making him one of the few actors to win Emmys for playing the same character in three different TV shows.
  • Voice of Sideshow Bob: Grammer is also known for voicing the character Sideshow Bob on “The Simpsons,” for which he has received critical acclaim, including an Emmy Award, showcasing his versatile vocal abilities.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld played a semi-fictional version of himself in “Seinfeld,” a show famously described as “about nothing.” His observational humor about everyday life turned mundane scenarios into unforgettable comedy. Seinfeld’s knack for finding humor in the ordinary made the show a cultural phenomenon and defined a new era of sitcoms.

Interesting Facts:

  • Stand-up Success: Before “Seinfeld,” Jerry was a successful stand-up comedian, and he continues to perform stand-up, including his web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which combines his love for cars with his comedic talent.
  • Author: Seinfeld has authored several books, including “Seinlanguage,” based on his stand-up material, and “Is This Anything?”, a compilation of his favorite material over five decades.
  • Philanthropy: He is actively involved in charity work, including the GOOD+ Foundation, which he supports alongside his wife, Jessica Seinfeld, focusing on providing essential items for families in need.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

As Buffy Summers in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Sarah Michelle Gellar became a symbol of strength and empowerment. Her character balanced the challenges of being a teenager with the responsibilities of fighting supernatural forces. Gellar’s performance was groundbreaking, inspiring a generation of fans and future storytellers.

Interesting Facts:

  • Black Belt: Gellar holds a black belt in taekwondo, which she earned while filming “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” showcasing her dedication to the physicality of her role.
  • Entrepreneur: Beyond acting, she co-founded Foodstirs, a company that produces baking kits and mixes for families, reflecting her interest in healthy and creative family activities.
  • Voice Acting: Gellar has also done voice work, including starring as Teela in the “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” series, demonstrating her range as an actress beyond live-action roles.

Will Smith

Will Smith’s role in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” showcased his charismatic and comedic talents, making the transition from rapper to actor seem effortless. His character’s journey from the streets of Philadelphia to the mansions of Bel-Air offered plenty of laughs and heartwarming moments, cementing Smith’s status as a beloved TV star.

Interesting Facts:

  • Music Career: Before his acting career, Smith achieved fame as a rapper known as The Fresh Prince, winning the first-ever Grammy awarded in the Rap category in 1988.
  • Oscar Nominations: Smith has been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, showcasing his range and talent as an actor in films spanning various genres.
  • Philanthropy: Smith and his family are known for their charitable efforts, including the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, which focuses on youth in urban inner cities.

Tim Allen

Tim Allen’s portrayal of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor on “Home Improvement” resonated with audiences for its humor and relatable depiction of family and fatherhood. His character’s obsession with power tools and “more power” catchphrase became synonymous with the show, which balanced slapstick comedy with moments of genuine warmth.

Interesting Facts:

  • Tool Man in Real Life: Allen has a genuine interest in tools and cars, mirroring his character in “Home Improvement.” He also works on restoring classic cars as a hobby.
  • Voice of Buzz Lightyear: Allen is also famous for voicing Buzz Lightyear in the “Toy Story” franchise, bringing one of Pixar’s most beloved characters to life.
  • Stand-up Comedy: Before his television and film career, Allen was a successful stand-up comedian, a skill that helped shape his comedic timing on “Home Improvement” and beyond.

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr starred in “Roseanne,” a sitcom that broke new ground by portraying a working-class American family dealing with real issues. Barr’s portrayal of Roseanne Conner was pioneering, offering a raw and humorous look at the challenges and joys of family life. Her performance made “Roseanne” a critical and commercial success, showcasing Barr’s significant impact on television.

Interesting Facts:

  • Stand-up Comedy Roots: Barr began her career in stand-up comedy before transitioning to television, which helped shape the candid and groundbreaking humor of “Roseanne.”
  • Presidential Candidate: In 2012, Barr ran for President of the United States as the Peace and Freedom Party’s nominee, showcasing her willingness to engage in political and social issues.
  • Writer and Producer: Beyond acting, Barr has been actively involved in writing and producing, including her work on “Roseanne,” where she aimed to depict a more realistic portrayal of the American working-class family.


These television stars from the 90s not only entertained millions with their memorable performances but also left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. From groundbreaking roles to off-screen achievements, their contributions continue to resonate with fans around the world. Their diverse talents and dedication have made them unforgettable icons of a vibrant decade in TV history.

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