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Whatever Happened To Denise Richards

Actress, model and former Bond girl, there was one point in time where it seemed Denise Richards’ star would never fade as she was in the biggest films and constantly in demand for acting and modeling work with everyone wanting her to be the face of their brand. These days, however, although still a presence, ou don’t tend to hear so much about her.

Here we chart the career of Denise Richards and see exactly what she has been up to.

Early 90s

Starting out her acting career in low-budget films and with small parts on television in the early 90s, In 1986, she appeared in the Double music video: “The Captain of Her Heart,” when she was 15 years old which led to guest appearances on shows such as Saved By The Bell and Married …With Children.

With only short appearances (one just being a 5-second walkthrough) they led onto steadily more substantial things and a few television movies came her way as well as cropping up in Beverley Hills, 90210.


In 1993, Denise had a small appearance in an episode of Seinfeld where she played a Molly Dalrymple in the episode “The Shoes” and, although it was only a small part in a single episode, appearing in the world’s biggest comedy show at the time was a big deal and caught the attention of the right people as Denise began to push for greater things.

That same year she also appeared in an episode of The Ben Stiller Show as well as a few other tv show episodes.

Melrose Place

After a few years of bit parts and one-off roles, Denise landed a 3 episode guest arc on the primetime soap opera Melrose Place in 1996 as Brandi Carson. This sort of role in a primetime slot was a  huge boon to her career as she became a recognizable actress whose character had their own story arc and progression giving her something to get her teeth into and show off her chops.

She would also appear in two TV films that year as well.

Starship Troopers

Denise’s breakout role came in 1997’s  satirical military science fiction action film, Starship Troopers which did moderately at the box office but garnered Oscar nominations for its visual effects and gained a cult following that would mean VHS sales, reruns and TV syndication of the movie would make it a greater success.

It was recognition for Richards’ role that boosted her into the limelight and suddenly made her a hot property in Hollywood.

TWINE & Drop Dead Gorgeous

After appearing in yet more Hollywood films, such as 1998’s Wild Things which drew praise for her interpretation on a challenging role, 1999 was a big year for Denise as she landed the much coveted and iconic position of being a Bond girl in the unstoppable James Bond Franchise. Playing Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough, she drew mixed reactions from critics and audiences but it made her a household name.

Later that year she would appear alongside Kirsten Dunst in Drop Dead Gorgeous that received great praise for her role despite the film being fairly negatively critiqued overall. 

Marriage & Friends

In 2001, Richards became engaged to actor Charlie Sheen, someone she had first met back in 1991 when they both appeared, very briefly, in the film Loaded Weapon 1. The pair would marry the following year and go on to have two children together. In the same year as her engagement to the star, Richards appeared in Friends as Ross and Monica’s cousin.

This meant that, yet again, she was appearing in the world’s biggest sitcom on television at the time.


A young, beautiful starlet who was making a name for herself on the world stage, Richards would cement herself as a sex symbol by posing for Playboy magazine in 2004, later saying of the experience:

“I wanted to encourage women that it’s OK to embrace your sexuality even though you’re a mom […] At the same time, I was having some problems in my marriage [to Charlie Sheen] and I didn’t feel sexy and felt I had to prove something.”

The same year she would cameo in her husband’s hit show Two and A Half Men and two films.


A year later, in 2005, Richards filed for divorce from Sheen although they did briefly reconcile and seek marriage counseling, it was not meant to be and proceedings went ahead in 2006. The pair had a tumultuous relationship during their marriage that would also characterize their divorce with arguments over their children and very public slagging matches.

The pair would go on to repair much of the civility between them but not before many highly publicized falling outs.

Reality Show

After her divorce, Richards did not appear in a serious TV or film role for nearly 3 years and in 2008 appeared in the films Blonde and Blonder and Jolene but what caught most people’s attention was her reality show Denise Richards: It’s Complicated which followed the fallout of her divorce and her life around that.

It caused much controversy and more fighting between her and Sheen due to her inclusion of their children in the show and lasted only two series.

Blue Mountain State

After the end of her own reality show, Richards remained on television through appearing on  Dancing With the Stars whilst she went on to make the films Finding Bliss and Deep In The Valley. However, in 2010, she returned to a regular television role when she appeared as Debra Simon in the sitcom Blue Mountain State.

Running for 3 seasons it was a comedy about a fictional university and their football team.

30 Rock & Anger Management

2012 was a busy year for Denise but she found time for a guest appearance on the smash-hit sitcom  30 Rock for a couple of episodes that saw her play a fictionalized version of herself. Later that year she would also go on to appear in Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management  for 2 episodes as well which signaled a thawing in the pair’s frosty relationship up until then and showed both had moved on and still had a sense of humor about the situation.

Films like Madea’s Witness Protection and Freeloaders also rounded off her output for the year.


2013 once again saw Denise return to a regular role on television as she joined the main cast for teen mystery drama Twisted  as Karen Desai  for its 19 episode run. When it came to an end in 2014, Richards would go on to do a few television movies as well as some other films that would not generate the success that other projects previously had done for her.

2015 saw her first direct-to-video film in Christmas Trade.

Current Projects

Currently filming the pilot for upcoming TV project Rock In A Hard Place which is a cable series produced by Rat TV about an aging rock star who ends up broke and having to move in with his elderly mother. Not yet completed yet, there is hope that it will be picked up for a run which will give Richards yet another recurring role on television.

As is yet, nothing is certain and the star will be hoping for the success of her earlier career.