Hollywood loves its divas. Even when their demands drive everybody crazy, there’s something about a starlet who knows what she wants and how to get it. The 90’s ushered in a new crop of divas (and divas in training). In the October 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Stephen Rebello ran through some of Tinseltown’s most fabulous actresses. Some were on their way out while others were ascendant. Find out how the biggest divas of the decade lived twenty years ago.
Mark Harmon is 66 today. He was the son of 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon, and started at quarterback for UCLA for two seasons in the early 1970s. He got his first acting job through his older sister Kristin, who was married to Ricky Nelson—he made a guest appearance on Ozzie’s Girls. During the 1970s he made a number of guest appearances on series like Adam-12, Laverne & Shirley, and Police Woman, and was an Emmy nominee for the TV movie Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.
In the 1980s Harmon had a short run as a major film actor, starring in films like Summer School, The Presidio, and Stealing Home. But mostly he has worked on television. The first couple of times he landed a regular series role, the series ended up canceled after no more than a season, but eventually he got some more successful gigs. Medical dramas have been pretty good to him, as he was a regular on St. Elsewhere in the mid-eighties, and on Chicago Hope in the late 1990s. But his most successful TV role, one he’s played for nearly 15 years, has been as the Marine Scout Sniper turned criminal investigator Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS.
Salma Hayek came to Hollywood in 1995 with Robert Rodriguez’s action flick, Desperado. For the next couple of years, her movie roles played up her sex appeal. With the romantic comedy, Fools Rush In, Hayek wanted to show she was capable of more than heating up the screen. In the Ferbruary 1997 issue of Movieline, Hayek explained shared her thoughts on the Hollywood party scene, how she cried while filming her love scene with Antonio Banderas and paid costar Matthew Perry some backhanded compliments.
Salma Hayek celebrates her 50th birthday today. Hayek began working in Mexican film and television in the late 1980s. Her first work in American film came from producer-director Robert Rodriguez; Hayek has made several films with Rodriguez, including From Dusk till Dawn and The Faculty. And before those came the film that gave American audiences their first look at her—her very first scene in that film shows her ability to have an impact on people (and vehicles):