30 Celebrities We Really Miss

You know the feeling. You're watching some '90s classic on cable when suddenly it hits you: What happened to these people?
As much as we love our Lupitas and Channings, there are certain stars who stole our hearts and then just kind of faded away. Some have retired. Some have moved on from the business. Some are doing bit parts or working on lesser-known projects that you might not have heard of. Some, thankfully, will soon be getting the face time they deserve. All of them are actors we really want to see more of.
From '90s and '00s heartthrobs to onetime It Girls to veteran actors enjoying retirement, these are the famous faces we just can't forget. Please pay attention, casting directors.
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Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEImages.
Vanessa L. Williams

It's been about two years since the Ugly Betty star had a meaty TV role, which is two years too long. The singer/actress had a short stint on Broadway in After Midnight this year, but now it's time for her deliciously catty persona to come back to primetime.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Jack Nicholson

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Even so, we're lucky if this semi-retired acting legend even shows up to the Oscars these days. His last film? The critically panned How Do You Know from 2010.
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Lauren Ambrose

It's criminal that Six Feet Under's Claire Fisher isn't still wowing us every single Sunday night. Aside from guesting in two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit last year, the actress has been keeping a low-key profile since having her second child in 2012.
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Photo: Dan Wooller/REX USA.
Claire Forlani

With roles in Mallrats and Meet Joe Black, this English beauty was a total late-'90s It Girl. Alas, she's spent the past few years guesting on procedurals like CSI: New York and NCIS: Los Angeles. Hollywood, make your move.
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Photo: Manuel Romano/REX USA.
Meg Ryan

It's probably a good thing that Greta Gerwig won't be swapping mumblecore for CBS's How I Met Your Father. The network passed on the pilot, which would have brought Meg Ryan on as the future-Gerwig narrator. Instead, we'll have to wait for 2015's Ithaca, when the onetime America's Sweetheart reunites with Tom Hanks for her directorial debut.
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Gene Hackman

We refuse to let Popeye Doyle's final film be 2004's Welcome to Mooseport. Retirement can't be that fun, can it?
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Lucy Davis

While Martin Freeman is killing it in Fargo, Sherlock, and The Hobbit, his soul mate from The Office has been a bit MIA. The British star's most recent IMDB credit is a guest role on Gay of Thrones this year. That's not a typo.
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Rubén Blades

We get it. When your other job titles include activist and singer/songwriter, it's easy for acting to fall by the wayside. Though his screenwork isn't as prolific as it was in the '80s and '90s, Blades had roles in 2012's Safe House and 2013's The Counselor. He also released a new album this year, which will hopefully free him up to take on more film roles. Yes, we're just really greedy when it comes to this guy.
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Chad Michael Murray

This former One Tree Hill heartthrob isn't exactly short on work, with recent roles in Fruitvale Station and Chosen. Still, we'd love to see him get his own McConaissance. Or, heck, even a guest role as Olivia's new love interest on Scandal?
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Olivia Thirlby

We've been waiting since Juno for this indie-leaning actress to make it big. A lead in the 2012 Dredd reboot, however, isn't exactly what we had in mind. Perhaps her role in Kevin Hart's The Wedding Ringer next year will shake things up?
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Patrick Fugit

You don't really need another reason to see Gone Girl, but here's one anyway. The Ben Affleck thriller marks the return of Almost Famous lead Patrick Fugit, who has been lying a little too low for our liking. And, yes, he cut his hair.
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Andie MacDowell

Her daughter Margaret Qualley is starring on HBO's The Leftovers, but you'll have to go to the Hallmark Channel to see Mama MacDowell. The former model and '90s leading lady can be seen on Cedar Cove, a drama/romance about a small-town judge. We're sure it's lovely, but it's no Groundhog Day.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Shalom Harlow

Despite showing promise in films like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Vanilla Sky, this model-turned-actress hasn't been in anything this decade. Humph.
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Photo: Oscar Gonzalez/REX USA.
Tim Robbins

Once upon a time, it seemed like Robbins was in everything — even Anchorman. Now, not so much. His last big film, Thanks For Sharing, was shelved for a year before being released in 2013. Hopefully, his star will rise again thanks to three projects lined up for 2014.
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Photo: Rob Latour/REX USA.
Shannyn Sossamon

She's no longer rocking out with Warpaint, and her last big acting stint was a gig on Mistresses. But, wouldn't you just love this stunningly beautiful star from A Knight's Tale and The Rules of Attraction to land something big?
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Photo: M. Germana/Rex Usa.
James Duval

You no doubt recognize this guy from Independence Day, Donnie Darko, and Gregg Araki's art-house films. These days, he's still acting, but not necessarily in anything you've heard of, sadly.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Leisha Hailey

This actress/musician is one of the many L Word stars we miss seeing on a weekly basis. Hailey has been touring with her band, Uh Huh Her, but we're holding out hope for a new TV gig.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Larenz Tate

Fingers crossed that Tate's stint as his Crash costar Don Cheadle's brother on House of Lies is a sign that the '90s dreamboat is back in business. Rumor has it that the Love Jones star may even be headed to Scandal. C'mon, Shonda.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Lisa Bonet

Did you ever think you'd see the day when Lenny Kravitz was acting and Lisa Bonet wasn't? Though her ex, her daughter Zoë, and her husband, Jason Momoa, are all getting regular Hollywood work, the artist formerly known as Denise Huxtable has been avoiding the limelight. Unless you count a couple of episodes of Drunk History, of course.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Richard Schiff

West Wing's Toby Ziegler got such a bum rap in the show's final seasons that it seems only fair this Emmy-winning actor get his due. He basically vanished from The Mindy Project, but hopefully his new role on TNT's Murder in the First sticks.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Michael Wincott

Anyone else get super excited when this British baddie resurfaced in this summer's 24 reboot? More, please.
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Photo: Peter Brooker/REX USA.
Skeet Ulrich

If Stephen Dorff can carve out a legit post-'90s comeback, surely this bad-boy crush can, too. Billy Loomis 4EVA.
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Zhang Ziyi

After starring in major films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, this beauty moved onto roles in her native China. How are you with subtitles?
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Selma Blair

We'd like to see fewer paparazzi photos of Selma Blair shopping with her young son and more actual Selma Blair screen time. The Cruel Intentions actress has mostly been sticking to voice work and smaller projects since leaving Anger Management after a dispute with its star, Charlie Sheen.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BeImages.
Sean Patrick Thomas

Speaking of Cruel Intentions stars we miss, Sean Patrick Thomas has been noticeably absent from films lately. Despite roles in Ringer and American Horror Story: Asylum (both in 2012), his only film since 2008 was a video-on-demand flick released this year. We're still saving the last dance, though.
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Ben Chaplin

This Brit stole our hearts in The Truth About Cats And Dogs. After a handful of hits, the actor has been focusing on films and theater work in his native England. Our loss, their gain.
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Photo: Jim smeal/BeImages.
Alison Lohman

The star of Big Fish and White Oleander has traded Hollywood for parenthood. Lohman welcomed her first child in 2010 and hasn't worked since.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BeImages.
Melora Walters

If you've seen Magnolia, Boogie Nights, or Big Love, you know what this quietly powerful actress can do. Paul Thomas Anderson cast her in a voice role for The Master, but it'd be nice to actually see her in one of his ensemble pieces again.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BeImages.
Sherilyn Fenn

Since her Twin Peaks heyday, this brunette bombshell has occupied herself with bit parts on TV and a slew of films we've never heard of. Time to get involved, David Lynch.
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Photo: Erik Pendzich/Rex Usa.
Eliza Dushku

Joss Whedon's girl wonder has been sticking to smaller films and voice work in recent years, with reports suggesting that she's taking time off to attend college. Hurry back, badass.