The Most Popular Female Teen Idol From The Year You Were Born


| LAST UPDATE 10/17/2021

By Genevieve Scott

Whether you were born in the '60s, 2000s, or any decade in between, this list of popular teen idols from years past will have you fangirling all over again! Get ready for some old pictures and a trip down memory lane.

Sandra Dee (1960-'61)

The beautiful Sandra Dee quickly became an adored star. Thanks to her role in the 1959 film Gidget, she helped kick off the teen beach movie craze of the '60s. Sandra's captivating acting skills made her a top 10 box office star from 1960-'63. 

Sandra Dee Teen IdolSandra Dee Teen Idol
Silver Screen Collection / Contributor via Getty Images

The Golden Globe winner was thought of highly by many. "She didn't have a bad bone in her body," said friend Steve Blauner. "When she was a big star in the pictures and a top-5 at the box office, she treated the grip the exact same way she treated the head of the studio...She wasn't phony," he told the Associated Press.

Shelley Fabares (1962-'63)

Singer and actress Shelley Fabares released several songs throughout her career. One of which was the catchy hit, Johnny Angel. It landed the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 and peaked at #41 in the United Kingdom. As some of you might remember, Fabares wasn't just a talented singer. She was also gifted in acting. 

Shelley Fabares Pop IconShelley Fabares Pop Icon
Silver Screen Collection / Contributor via Getty Images

Shelley spent several years as a star on The Donna Reed Show. From 1958-'65, she was widely known as the show's character, Mary Stone. And, she must have done something right throughout the years! According to IMDb, she won a Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the production.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Joey Heatherton (1964)

Feeling nostalgic yet? Actress, dancer, and singer Joey Heatherton started as a child actress. In 1959, at just 15 years old, she became the understudy in the original production of The Sound of Music. She became known for several titles throughout the years, but first, she appeared in her Father's show, The Merry Mailman

Joey Heatherton Teen IdolJoey Heatherton Teen Idol
Silver Screen Collection / Contributor via Getty Images

According to IMDb, Joey is most well-known for her roles in Cry-Baby, Twilight of Honor, and My Blood Runs Cold. It was for these roles and more that the blonde beauty was nominated for several awards. Although she did not win, she was in the running for 1 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer and 2 Golden Laurel Awards.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sally Field (1965-'67)

The accomplished actress-turned-director Sally Field had her first screen appearance in the TV series, Gidget. She starred in the series for 2 years before diving into movies. The Way West and Night Gallery are among her most well-known films from back in the day. Sally remains a staple in Hollywood today. 

Sally Field Teen IconSally Field Teen Icon
Aaron Rapoport / Contributor via Getty Images

She has since become an Executive Producer of several titles. Her producing accomplishments include the documentary, The Lost Children of Berlin and 22 episodes of the TV series Brothers & Sisters. According to IMDb, the famous female icon has won 2 Golden Globes, 2 Academy Awards, and 4 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Peggy Fleming (1968-'69)

Figure skater Peggy Fleming took over the late '60s on ice. In 1968, she won the gold title of Olympic champion, but that's not all! Fleming made skating her passion in life. In 1967, she was named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. And, a year later, she won 1st place in 3 events in the Winter Olympics.

Peggy Fleming Teenage StarPeggy Fleming Teenage Star
Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images

Fleming has dedicated her life to the skating world since her big wins. For the past 20 years, Peggy has been a TV commentator in figure skating. She has worked several Winter Olympic Games and even played a Blades of Glory judge in 2007! Next up, a '70s teen icon that remains widely famous today.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Ali MacGraw (1970)

The gorgeous Ali MacGraw spent her early career working for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue as a photo assistant and fashion model. But, it was her 1969 role in Goodbye, Columbus that helped the world learn her name. MacGraw won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer, and the next year brought even more winnings.

Ali MacGraw Teel IconAli MacGraw Teel Icon
Silver Screen Collection / Contributor via Getty Images

In 1970, Ali's Love Story won her a second Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture. "There's so much craziness that comes along with being a movie star," said MacGraw. "Unless you've spent your whole life waiting to be the center of attention, it's pretty terrifying." Luckily, she overcame and has continued her career.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Maureen McCormick (1971-'72)

You might recognize this charming face as Marcia Brady from the ABC sitcom, The Brady Bunch. Maureen was among several child stars of the show from 1969-'74. She was also featured in the many Brady Bunch spin-offs that followed. But, this was just the beginning for young McCormack.

Maureen McCormick Teen IdolMaureen McCormick Teen Idol
Silver Screen Collection / Contributor via Getty Images

In the '90s, she ventured into stage acting. The young actress appeared in shows such as Peter Pan and Grease. But even that wasn't the end of the line. Maureen was later nominated for 4 and won 1 TV Land Awards. Her big win for Popular Culture Award came in 2007. Next on our list is another child actress.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Susan Dey (1973-'74)

Susan Dey began her public career as a model. At the ripe age of 17, she turned to acting. Susan is known by many as Laurie Partridge from The Partridge Family. She starred in the series from 1970-'74 and was even nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Susan Dey Teenage StarSusan Dey Teenage Star
Ron Galella / Contributor via Getty Images

Around this time Susan released her first publication called Secrets on Boys, Beauty, and Popularity. In later years, Dey went on to star in the TV series L.A. Law and L.A. Law: The Movie. This time around, she was nominated for and won a Golden Globe Award! Susan was awarded the Best Actress in a TV Series Drama.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Carrie Fisher (1975-'76)

It might be harder to recognize this next beauty without her classic space-bun look! One of the late Carrie Fisher's most award-winning and memorable roles was Princess Leia in Star Wars. The successful actress was the daughter of the famous Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Carrie Fisher Popular IconCarrie Fisher Popular Icon
Lynn Goldsmith / Contributor via Getty Images

Carrie won many awards throughout her life. Some of which included a President's Award and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2018, Fisher won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Fantasy Actress. Can you guess what movie it was for? That's right, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Valerie Bertinelli (1977-'78)

The One Day At A Time actress Valerie Bertinelli starred in the TV series from 1975-'84. While Valerie gained fame, viewers fell in love with her cheery personality. For this role, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Series in 1981. But that's not all! She won a second Golden Globe the next year.

Valerie Bertinelli Pop IconValerie Bertinelli Pop Icon
Harry Langdon / Contributor via Getty Images

In later years Bertinelli started her very own cooking show called Valerie's Home Cooking. The show brought her many delicious meals and 2 Daytime Emmy Awards! She remains a successful actress to this day and even birthed a now-famous son, musician Wolfgang Van Halen.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Jodie Foster (1979-'80)

Jodie Foster entered the spotlight as a child model at the age of 3. After growing out of childhood and into adolescence, Foster landed her breakthrough role. In 1976, she starred in the psychological thriller, Taxi Driver. After realizing this was the right path for her, Jodi went on to have a successful Hollywood career.

Teen Star Jodie Foster Teen Star Jodie Foster
Images Press / Contributor via Getty Images

Per IMDb, Jodie is regarded as one of the best actresses of her generation. As an aside, People Magazine named her The Most Beautiful Woman in The World in 1992. Not a bad title to have! Foster has earned 2 Academy Awards, 3 Golden Globes, and 4 Jupiter Awards so far in her career. And, we can't wait to see what's next! 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Brooke Shields (1981-'82)

Brooke Shields began her career as a model. In fact, in 1980, at just 14 years old, she became the youngest model to appear on the cover of Vogue. Previously, the brunette beauty had her breakthrough movie role in 1978's Pretty Baby. But, soon after, she gained attention for 1980's Blue Lagoon and 1981's Endless Love.

Teen Icon Brooke ShieldsTeen Icon Brooke Shields
CNP / Contributor via Getty Images

Hollywood fanatics quickly fell in love with Shields as she took on more roles. During her career, she has been nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in 1996-'97's Suddenly Susan. Throughout it all, she wrote about her experiences in 5 books published between 1978-2014. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Winona Ryder (1983-'84)

When Winona was just 12 years old in 1983, she enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater. It was there that people began to fall in love with her. "Winona was so smart. She was a prodigy. From a very young age, she was an old soul. She was really sophisticated intellectually," said Denise Si Novi, Producer of Heathers.

Teenage Icon Winona RyderTeenage Icon Winona Ryder
Aaron Rapoport / Contributor via Getty Images

According to IMDb, Winona became best known for her quirky roles in earlier films. This included titles such as Lucas, Beetlejuice, and Heathers. Later, Ryder won her first Golden Globe Award. In 1993, she was awarded Best Supporting Actress for The Age of Innocence. The mid-'80s was full of rising stars!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Lisa Bonet (1985-'87)

Doe-eyed Lisa Bonet competed in beauty competitions and filled guest spots on TV series before landing her signature role. You might recognize her as Denise Huxtable from the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show. Lisa starred in the show from 1984-'92, which helped her name and her face soar into viewers' hearts.

Lisa Bonet Teenage StarLisa Bonet Teenage Star
Lynn Goldsmith / Contributor via Getty Images

Bonet played the same character in A Different World from 1987-'93. The same year she began this title, she also starred in the movie Angel Heart. It was for this movie that she won Best Young Female Superstar in a Motion Picture in 1988. To this day, Bonet still holds the hearts of her fans, just like our next teen idol!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Alyssa Milano (1988-'89)

Many know the adorable Alyssa Milano for her roles in Who's The Boss?, Melrose Place, and Charmed. In 1985, the actress won 2 impressive awards. A Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress in TV Series for Who's The Boss?; and Best Young Female Superstar!

Alyssa Milano Teen IdolAlyssa Milano Teen Idol
Ron Galella / Contributor via Getty Images

She was undoubtedly considered a superstar by many fans. Around the time of her skyrocket to teen idol status, Alyssa won a whopping 3 Kid's Choice Awards for Favorite TV Actress. To this day, Milano continues to memorize scripts and wow fans on the big screen.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Christine Taylor (1990)

Christine Taylor began acting on the Nickelodeon Children's TV series Hey Dude. She later channeled her best Maureen McCormick energy. Taylor played Marcia Brady in 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie and the following year's A Very Brady Sequel. Is anyone else envisioning the colorful grid screen in their mind's eye?

Teenage Icon Christine TaylorTeenage Icon Christine Taylor
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor via Getty Images

In later years, Taylor starred in several comedies. On her list of knee-slapping films are 1998's The Wedding Singer and 2001's Zoolander. In recent years, the accomplished actress starred in 2020's Friendsgiving, showing fans that she's still got it. So, are you ready to re-live the rest of the '90s most popular teen icons?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Christina Applegate (1991)

As a child actress, Christina Applegate played Kelly Bundy on the Fox sitcom Married...With Children from 1987-'97. In later years, Applegate created a comfortable spot for herself in the higher ranks of Hollywood life. She went on to win many awards during her career.

Christina Applegate Teenage IdolChristina Applegate Teenage Idol
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Contributor via Getty Images

In 1991, Applegate starred in Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead. In the following years, Christina earned herself 15 sparkling awards, according to IMDb. On that list is 2 People's Choice Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. Next up is an actress who spent much of her time in school hallways.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tiffani Theissen (1992)

Saved By The Bell star Tiffani Theissen spent many years on screen in Bayside High. From 1989-'92, fans fell in love with her style, big hair, and fun friend group. In later years, Theissen was nominated for 6 awards, including a Young Artist Award and a Teen Choice Award.

Teenage Icon Tiffani TheissenTeenage Icon Tiffani Theissen
Ron Davis / Contributor via Getty Images

For everyone who has gone through a Saved By The Bell withdrawal over the years, Tiffani still acts today! In fact, she appeared in a 2020 reboot of the show. Theissen stars alongside the original cast in the Saved By The Bell 20-episode remake. Who else is ready to binge watch?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tatyana Ali (1993)

Tatyana Ali began her acting career on Sesame Street at the age of 6. Soon after, she starred alongside Will Smith in NBC's Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as the adorable Ashley Banks from 1990-'96. According to IMDb, she appeared in nearly 40 films between 1987-2019.

Tatyana Ali Teenage Star Tatyana Ali Teenage Star
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer via Getty Images

But, the young and talented Ali was not just an actress, she also sang! In 1998, Tatyana released her first studio album, Kiss The Sky. If you're secretly tapping back into your memories of dancing around blasting '90s music on your hot pink boom box, don't worry, we're right there with you!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Drew Barrymore (1994)

According to IMDb, the beautiful Drew Barrymore landed her first acting gig as a child actor in 1982's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. She's known by many for her roles in 50 First Dates and Charlie's Angels. Throughout her career, Barrymore transitioned from actress to screenwriter. Then, from writer to film director, to a producer!

Teenage Icon Drew BarrymoreTeenage Icon Drew Barrymore
Jean-Paul Aussenard / Contributor via Getty Images

In 1999, Drew won Hollywood Film Festival's Actress of the Year. And, in 2004, she received her very own Motion Picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! In total, Barrymore has received 59 nominations and an amazing 34 wins in her booming career, according to IMDb.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Alicia Silverstone (1995)

Alicia Silverstone began acting in 1992 and still acts to this day. In 1993 she had her film debut in The Crush. A year later, Alicia won MTV's Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performace, and the rest was history! In 1995, she appeared in yellow plaid in the hit film, Clueless.

Alicia Silverstone Pop Star Alicia Silverstone Pop Star
Ron Galella / Contributor via Getty Images

In 1996, Alicia won the Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture Award for her hilarious role in Clueless. Per IMDb, Silverstone has received 16 nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination. And, she has added 15 wins to her resume too! She, along with the next blonde beauty, keeps us laughing from opening to ending credits.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Reese Witherspoon (1996)

According to IMDb, this Legally Blonde star has racked up a total of 55 wins and 114 nominations so far in her acting career! Rising to fame from a young teen, in 2006, Reece won her first Oscar for 2005's Walk The Line. Before our eyes, Witherspoon transitioned from a cute kid to a talented actress, to a Producer.

Reese Witherspoon Teenage PopularReese Witherspoon Teenage Popular
Pool BENAINOUS/REGLAIN / Contributor via Getty Images

In 2014, Reece starred in and helped to produce the film Wild. The movie follows the "Chronicle of one woman's one thousand one hundred mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy," according to IMDb. We don't know about you, but it's already on our watch list!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Jennifer Love Hewitt (1997)

Jennifer Love Hewitt began her acting career in Fox's show Party of Five. She starred in the show from 1995-'99. According to IMDb, Hewitt has earned herself 10 wins and 25 nominations so far in her career. She, like Witherspoon, has also expanded her career into the producing realm.

Jennifer Love Hewitt IconJennifer Love Hewitt Icon
Ron Galella / Contributor via Getty Images

Jennifer has produced 3 TV series and several films, including Time Of Your Life. According to IMDb, the production spanned from 1999-2000. You might remember Hewitt for her roles in I Know What You Did Last Summer, and its sequel, as well as The Tuxedo, and Heartbreakers.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Aaliyah (1998)

Aaliyah is best known for being a pop star singer and actress. At just12 years old, she signed to Blackground Records Label. Soon after, she released her debut album called Age Ain't Nothing But a Number. The album was listed #24 on the Billboard 200 Chart and sold 74,000 copies in the first week!

Teen Pop Star AaliyahTeen Pop Star Aaliyah
KMazur / Contributor via Getty Images

Aside from being a well-known singer, she is also fangirled over for her movie soundtrack contributions. Of which has 27 credits in total! According to IMDb, Aaliyah has won 7 awards, including 2 American Music Awards for Favorite Soul and R&B Female Artist.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Britney Spears (1999)

Oops...she did it again! Britney Spears has been referred to as the "Princess of Pop," according to several sources. The widely-known popstar is credited with influencing the revival of teen pop during the late '90s and early 2000s. At the young age of 15, Spears signed with Jive Records.

Britney Spears Teenage IconBritney Spears Teenage Icon
Jeff Kravitz / Contributor via Getty Images

Her first studio albums, 1999s Baby One More Time and 2000s Oops... I Did It Again, were certified diamond in the US. Since then, she has sold over 100 million records worldwide, including 70 million in America. According to IMDb, this made her one of the world's best-selling female album artists of the 2000s!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Christina Aguilera (2000)

The spunky Christina Aguilera released her first hit song, Genie In A Bottle, in 1999. Before she could blink, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and charts in 20 other countries around the world. The iconic pop star received a Motion Picture star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2010.

Christina Aguilera Pop IconChristina Aguilera Pop Icon
Bob Berg / Contributor via Getty Images

Since her rise to stardom, Christina has won 5 Grammy Awards and has been named #58 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time list. "[Aguilera] has had the finesse and power of a blues queen ever since she was a child star," said Rolling Stone. There's no denying dance moves when one of Aguilera's older songs play.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Destiny's Child (2001-'02)

R&B icons Destiny's Child was formed in 1997. Members have changed throughout the years. But, the most consistent included Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. Billboard described the group as "Defined by a combination of feisty female empowerment anthems, killer dance moves, and an enviable fashion sense."

Destiny's Child Teenage IconsDestiny's Child Teenage Icons
KMazur / Contributor via Getty Images

The accomplished girl group's trophy case included 3 AMA's, 2 BET Awards, 4 Billboard Awards, and 2 Grammys. No wonder their songs are still stuck in our heads! Following their disbandment, MTV's James Montgomery said, "They left a fairly sizable legacy behind" as "One of the best-selling female pop vocal groups in history."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Mandy Moore (2003)

Singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore began making her own music at the age of 13. Her first single, "Candy" was released in 1999 and had us dancing around our bedrooms all night. "Candy" landed at #88 on Billboard Hot 100 and later peaked at #41. In the media, her voice was compared to Christina Agulera and Britney Spears.

Popular Icon Mandy MoorePopular Icon Mandy Moore
RJ Capak / Contributor via Getty Images

Moore won several awards in the early 2000s. She took home several awards in 2001 and 2002, including the Young Hollywood Award for Unstoppable Vision and the Young Hollywood Award for Superstar of Tomorrow. Even back then the industry knew Mandy would rise through the industry as a teen icon turned Hollywood star.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Megan Fox (2004)

The beautiful Megan Fox entered Hollywood with her 2002 film debut, Holiday in the Sun. According to IMDb, Fox has collected 31 nominations, and 10 wins so far in her career. Among those wins are several Teen Choice Awards and many pre-teen hearts in the palm of her hand.

Megan Fox Teen Icon Megan Fox Teen Icon
Evan Agostini / Staff via Getty Images

2004 was undoubtedly a big year for this star-bound celebrity. Megan appeared in several movies and TV episodes, including Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen alongside Lindsey Lohan. Though she was just a teenager herself, Fox made her mark in the industry that has remained through the years.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Hilary Duff (2005)

Many know this next teenage icon as Lizzie. At her start, Duff gained the Hollywood persona of Lizzie McGuire, a teenager that many could relate to. Lizzie McGuire premiered in 2001 and quickly became a hit with an estimated 2.3 million viewers per episode. Her quick rise to fame helped her become labeled as a teen idol.

Pop Icon Hilary DuffPop Icon Hilary Duff
Gregg DeGuire / Contributor via Getty Images

In 2005, Hilary released "Beat of My Heart" and "Wake Up." They became the songs of choice for pre-teens around the world. Duff, like many of the women on this list, inspired fans by being themselves. Many are still hard at work on their crafts while we reminisce about dancing around to each decade's greatest hits and flicks.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below