Movieline Magazine “Nipped in the Bud” Actresses Circa 1990

movieline magazine Nipped Cover

Back in 1990, Movieline Magazine ran an article about 8 actresses whose acting careers had been cut short.  It was their version of What the Hell Happened.  Ironically, the same issue featured a cover story on the rise of Winona Ryder and a pictorial with a hot up-and-coming actress named Penelope Ann Miller.  Oh, hindsight, you make everything funny!

Here’s a look at the actresses Movieline Magazine said were “nipped in the bud” in 1990.

It’s the oldest story in Hollywood, the tale of an unfulfilled promise. “I coulda been a contender,” wails Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront–and so, it seems, the following eight actresses coulda been stars but had to settle for a spot far further outside the winner’s circle than was initially predicted. By no means down for the count, all nevertheless share the experience of missing the moment that might have made all the difference. We asked four writers to tell us how they did it.

de mornay - feds


It’s harder for women, nowadays. In their hit Risky Business, Rebecca DeMornay and Tom Cruise demonstrated enough sexual chemistry to leapfrog over the competition and become overnight stars. They also became an item. With all of Hollywood courting them, both picked very badly, choosing to demonstrate their range, lest anyone mistake them for sex objects: Cruise played a sprightly forest-dweller in Ridley Scott’s lamebrained Legend, and DeMornay portrayed a rock-singing newlywed in the Hal Ashby/Neil Simon rock ‘n’ roll dramedy, The Slugger’s Wife.

Facing his-and-her mega-flops, the couple broke up around this time. In an era dominated by projects with starring roles for males, Cruise got another shot at carrying a big studio picture, but DeMornay did not. Had they stayed together and remained the paparazzi’s darlings, his continued heat might easily have helped her at this crucial career juncture. Without Cruise, she became just another beautiful blonde actress in a town filled with them, and at a time when there are ever fewer roles for women, even the slightest slip gives the all-important edge to the competition. Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer grabbed the spotlight and DeMornay found that it’s tough to get back on top. Even her about-face as a demure ingenue in The Trip to Bountiful failed to get the excitement going again. One project that might have helped was Roger Vadim’s remake of his own And God Created Woman–he had, after all, made sex stars out of Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda–but the resulting bomb, instead of raising eyebrows and/or temperatures, showcased DeMornay’s far-from-memorable rock ‘n’ roll singing.Lately she’s made films you’re likely to find on video shelves, such as Dealers and Feds.

Lebeau’s Note: Two years later, De Mornay had a comeback with The Hand That Rocks the Cradle before being nipped in the bud a second time.



Posted on February 4, 2014, in Movieline Articles, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Thank you for posting this.

    I’m not sure if most of these actresses could have been stars even with good luck/material/direction. many were not particularly tanelted in the first place.


    • Some of them were pretty faces. Bo Derek was more icon than actress. I think she had the career she should have had. Probably bigger than she should have had. TV/modeling seems like the right place for Brooke Shields. She continues to be relevant even if she was never a movie star. The one on the list that I think was criminally cut short was Lea Thompson. She should have been a huge star. Note to self: What the hell happened there?


  2. Re: Brooke Shields. Some friends and I were discussing on another movie site, the fact that next weekend is remake release weekend. You have Robocop, About Last Night and Endless Love all up for release. Of those pictures Robocop is easily recognizable and About Last Night is a remake of a cult followed film based on a David Mamet play. But Endless Love Love has been pretty much forgotten by most of the general public. The song by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross has had way more staying power.


  3. John Derek’s first wife Pati Behrs, mother of his children, had a completely different look than the later wives. Older than him too. It was actually his only marriage to get significant press at the time. Much later when Bo became a star, photographs of Pati were conveniently absent from a lot of editorials who were trying to present this absurd idea that all his wives were look-a-likes.

    No resemblance to the other wives whatsoever. Linda and Bo were the only two who shared a resemblance in my opinion. To say Urs looked like either of them is really stretching it.


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