While lots of Hollywood stars have collections of expensive supercars and luxury SUVs, not all celebrities feel the need to spend their cash on vehicles. Sometimes, the famous faces of Hollywood are just as happy driving an old beater around as long as it can still get them from A to B.
That is particularly true for celebrities who have been famous for decades and who no longer feel the need to show off how much they earn by splashing out on extravagant cars. And it is even more true for movie stars whose best years are behind them, such as some of the names on the list below who were famous in the 1990s, but who have sunk into Hollywood oblivion since.
Not all 90s movie stars have disappeared from the silver screen, however. Some have reinvented themselves by taking on different roles or embracing new TV roles which are just as challenging and as lucrative as the film industry used to be when they were in their 1990s heyday.
Some of the actors on the list below are still making movies, but choose to drive low-key vehicles in order to save the environment. Hybrid vehicles, especially the Toyota Prius, are becoming a common sight in Hollywood, despite the fact that this means even ordinary motorists can easily afford to buy the same cars as their 1990s movie heroes.
Australian actor Eric Bana started his career on television in his home country in the mid-1990s, before being cast in 1997 in the role that would make him famous around the world; Mark “Chopper” Read. The film Chopper was a biopic about the controversial and violent life of the notorious Aussie criminal and Bana won several awards in his native country for his portrayal. Although he has gone on to more successful Hollywood roles, Bana still has a reminder of those early days in the shape of a 1970s Ford XB Falcon, which was the first car he ever owned.
There are few 1990s Hollywood stars who have experienced such a dramatic fall from grace as Australian-born actor Mel Gibson. His run-ins with the law have led to roles drying up, which also goes a long way to explaining why his current car collection consists of a Smart Car and a beat-up Toyota Cressida, which was only built between 1988 and 1992. At the peak of his career, Gibson could secure millions of dollars per movie, including many of the box office smashes which he made in the 1990s, including Braveheart, Ransom, and Bird on a Wire, as well as the third and fourth installments of the Lethal Weapon series.
Cameron Diaz is one of the many Hollywood stars who is doing their bit for the environment by driving the most popular hybrid car in the world, the Toyota Prius. They may not be the most expensive vehicles but they get great fuel efficiency figures and cut down on the carbon footprint of their drivers significantly. Diaz may well have been inspired to drive a Prius by her ex-boyfriend and now good friend, Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been a long-time campaigner on environmental issues. The former model has enjoyed plenty of movie success in the years since the 1990s but her big break came in The Mask, starring opposite Jim Carrey.
Clint Eastwood had been famous long before the 1990s, with his big break coming in the late 1950s, when he starred in the TV series Rawhide. This led to several roles in Western movies, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and the musical Paint Your Wagon. The 1990s was the decade when Eastwood’s career behind the camera took off, including winning an Oscar for directing Unforgiven. However, despite continued success behind and in front of the camera since the 1990s, Eastwood still drives a beat-up and battered GMC Typhoon, which was only sold for two years in 1992 and 1993.
Another movie star who made his debut before the 1990s but who could probably consider that decade to be his most successful is Tom Hanks. The double Oscar winner got his big break in the 1984 comedy Splash, with Darryl Hannah, before going on to secure back-to-back Oscar wins in 1993 and 1994 for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump (and securing another Best Actor nomination for Saving Private Ryan before the 1990s were over). Hanks, who has continued to enjoy a successful Hollywood career, nevertheless prefers to drive around Hollywood in his custom, electric-powered Scion xB, a peculiar compact car made by Toyota for the US market.
From two iconic movie stars whose successful 1990s were simply the high point of a long career to an actor who has struggled to replicate the success he enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s. John Goodman is best known for playing husband Dan on the long-running sitcom, Roseanne, and was due to be part of the comeback show in 2018 before it was pulled due to controversial remarks made by his co-star, Roseanne Barr. Goodman also starred in The Big Lebowski and King Ralph in the 1990s and has been a long-time fan of Ford pickups, currently driving a 1997 Ford F-150.
The Nissan Titan is one of the cheaper pickup trucks on the market, ideal for those motorists who need to watch the pennies—but not an obvious choice for one of the most critically successful actors of the last thirty years. Sean Penn got his big break in 1981 in the classic coming-of-age comedy Fast Time at Ridgemont High but it was in the 1990s that he enjoyed some of his greatest successes, including Carlito’s Way, Dead Man Walking, and the Woody Allen film, Sweet and Lowdown. Penn also owns a much more expensive customized Ford Mustang but his Nissan Titan is a much more practical way to get around.
Mark Wahlberg started the 1990s as a music star, better known as Marky Mark, who scored hits such as "Good Vibrations" and "Wildside" with his backing group, The Funky Bunch. By the end of the decade, however, Wahlberg had made the move into acting, taking the lead role in Boogie Nights, a controversial film about the adult film industry in the 1970s, as well as co-starring with George Clooney in Three Kings. These days, Wahlberg continues to act but also has four children to take care of, which is why the Toyota Sienna minivan is a great choice for the Hollywood star, despite its lack of street credentials.
Pickup trucks seem to be surprisingly popular among a certain type of Hollywood star, particularly those who tend to try and avoid the limelight and celebrity parties in favor of dedicating themselves to their art. Christian Bale, perhaps most famous for playing Batman in the Christopher Nolan movies, drives a Toyota Tacoma, which is about as understated as pickup trucks can get, with even top-of-the-range models costing around $50,000. Bale made his debut as a child in the 1987 film Empire of the Sun, but his 1990 movie successes included Little Women, The Portrait of a Lady, and Velvet Goldmine.
Winona Ryder has recently enjoyed something of a resurgence in her acting career thanks to the Netflix series Stranger Things but there is little doubt that her biggest successes came in the 1990s. After getting her big break in Beetlejuice in 1988, Ryder went on to star in iconic 90s films such as Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Reality Bites, The Crucible, and Girl, Interrupted. Like many Hollywood stars who own a Toyota Prius, Winona Ryder has also chosen an environmentally friendly car, albeit a slightly more luxurious model. Nevertheless, the Lexus ES Hybrid which she drives costs just over $40,000, a fraction of what many Hollywood stars spend on vehicles.
Matt Damon is another Hollywood star who prefers to drive sensible SUVs rather than stylish and expensive supercars. The actor and writer drives a Toyota Sequoia, a full-size SUV which has a starting price of $50,000. Damon, who is better known to modern movie-goers from the Jason Bourne trilogy of movies, as well as the Ocean’s Eleven series, got his first starring role in 1997 in The Rainmaker, an adaptation of a John Grisham novel. The same year, he wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting, a film for which he and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Former ER star and Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney definitely takes the prize for driving the weirdest car on this list, a Tango 600. This is an ultra-narrow electric vehicle for two passengers, one seated behind the other, which was designed for commuting, though only 20 models ever made it to the US. Clooney also owns a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a 1958 Chevy Corvette convertible, but his Tango 600 is certainly a unique, if unorthodox, set of wheels for a Hollywood star. After making his name in the medical drama ER, Clooney also starred in 1990s films One Fine Day, From Dusk Til Dawn, and Out of Sight.
Comedic actor Adam Sandler also writes, directs, and produces and has appeared in more than 60 films throughout his career. His net worth is estimated at $340 million yet he drives a Cadillac CTS sedan, which sells for around $50,000. It's not the cheapest or most ramshackle car on this list, but it is far from the type of vehicle you would expect someone as successful as Sandler to be driving. He made his debut in the 1989 film Going Overboard, which he also wrote, with several 1990s hit movies following, including Coneheads, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and The Waterboy.
And so we come to yet another Hollywood star who thinks green when they buy their cars. Susan Sarandon is as noted for her political and social activism as she is for her acting career, so it makes sense that she would choose an environmentally friendly set of wheels like the Toyota Prius. Perhaps Sarandon’s most iconic role came in 1975 when she starred as Janet Weiss in The Rocky Picture Show but she enjoyed just as much success in the 1990s, thanks to films like Thelma & Louise, The Client, and Dead Man Walking, for which Sarandon won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Actress.
Harrison Ford is another Hollywood star who got his big break in the 1970s. In his case, it was in the first Star Wars film (at least as far as the release date is concerned) A New Hope. He has now reprised his role as space smuggler Hans Solo in the recent Star Wars reboot, which was met with critical as well as box office success. Ford, who starred in 90s hits including Patriot Games, The Fugitive, Air Force One and Clear and Present Danger, drives a Mercedes E-Class wagon. Costing just $45,000 for the most basic models, this is a far cry from the fictional vehicle most associated with the actor, the ramshackle space ship Millennium Falcon.
Harrison Ford may have brought Hans Solo to life but Pierce Brosnan got the chance to play one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood, James Bond, albeit for only three movies between 1994 and 2005. The 1990s were the high point of Brosnan’s career when he also starred in Mrs. Doubtfire, Dante’s Peak, and a remake of the Steve McQueen classic, The Thomas Crown Affair. James Bond may be famous for his love of Aston Martin cars but in real life, perhaps the most unusual car in his collection is a 1971 Ford Anglia which has seen better days.
Friends star Matt LeBlanc has now taken over presenting duties on the popular BBC motoring show, Top Gear, so it would be reasonable to expect that he might well drive a pretty impressive set of wheels. While LeBlanc does own supercars made by Porsche, Ferrari, and an iconic Fiat X1/9, he also owns a Ford Focus, which is his everyday car, and one which looks very out of place in the streets of Hollywood. As well as starring in over 200 episodes of Friends between 1994 and 2004, LeBlanc also starred in a big-screen remake of the TV series Lost in Space in 1998.
When you have a reputation as one of the toughest guys in Hollywood, there is only one car you can drive: a rough-and-ready Ford F-150 pickup truck. Seagal bought his black Ford F-150 in 2012, but it is still one of his favorite cars to drive and perfect for a guy of his size and stature! Seagal’s career took a nose-dive at the end of the 1990s, with the actor and martial arts expert only getting cast on straight-to-DVD B-movies. But at the height of his fame, he was one of the most successful of Hollywood's action heroes, starring in Under Siege in 1992, On Deadly Ground in 1994, and Executive Decision in 1996.
Just as Steven Seagal was one of the movie industry’s tough guys in the 1990s, so Whoopi Goldberg was one of the most original, unusual, and quirky actresses in 1990s Hollywood. Goldberg, who started out as a stand-up comedian, made a very successful move into acting with the 1985 film The Color Purple, for which she won a Golden Globe for best actress, before going on to star in Ghost, Sister Act, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Goldberg’s favorite car is just as quirky as her personality: an elegant but endearing Volkswagen Beetle from the late-1990s which she still drives today.
Julia Roberts enjoyed a hugely successful decade in the 1990s, though she had to wait until 2001 to win her first Oscar for her leading role in Erin Brockovich. This movie told the real-life story of an ordinary mom who took on a multinational corporation which was polluting the water in nearby towns—and it seems that Roberts has been inspired by her most successful role, as she currently drives a hybrid Toyota Prius. Some of her successful films were released in the 1990s, such as Pretty Woman, Hook (in which she played Tinkerbell), the Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You, and Notting Hill.
The Dodge Challenger is one of the most iconic muscle cars, though new models have a starting price of less than $30,000, which makes it a cheaper option for celebrities. Ben Affleck is one Hollywood star who likes to drive Detroit cars, also owning a much more expensive vintage Chevy alongside his modern Dodge Challenger. Affleck made his Hollywood debut in the 1993 classic Dazed and Confused before going on to become a regular actor in the films of director Kevin Smith, as well as picking up an Oscar in 1998 for the best original screenplay for Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote with Matt Damon.
Selma Blair had picked up a few small roles in film and TV before her big break came in 1999, playing the innocent Cecile in Cruel Intentions, which was the teenage remake of Les Liaisons Dangereuses—although Blair was 27 by the time the film came out! Blair, who revealed in 2018 that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has always been one of the shyest and reticent Hollywood stars and drives an Audi Q5, a stylish but understated car that costs less than $50,000. This compact crossover SUV is more likely to be driven by soccer moms than Hollywood stars.
The Audi A6 is an executive car with a starting price of under $50,000, which is cheap as far as Hollywood stars are concerned. Despite the relatively small price tag, however, the Audi A6 is still a stylish and comfortable saloon and is the motor of choice for Hollywood star Sandra Bullock. The actress made her debut in the long-forgotten Love Potion No 9 in 1992 but went on to star in much more successful movies such as Demolition Man, Speed, and While You Were Sleeping. Bullock’s career has only gone from strength to strength since the 90s, including a Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side in 2010.
In 2011, Matthew McConaughey starred in The Lincoln Lawyer, an adaptation of a John Grisham novel about legal eagle Mickey Haller who runs his practice from the back seat of his Lincoln Continental. The True Detective actor has also featured in commercials for Lincoln cars, so when it comes to his own vehicle, there was really only one make he was going to choose. McConaughey drives a Lincoln MKX, a crossover SUV which sells for around $50,000. He got his big break in the 1992 Richard Linklater film, Dazed and Confused, before going on to star in other 1990s classics including the sci-fi drama Contact.
Sources: Auto Trader, Classic Automobiles, Art of Gear, Top Speed