Risen From the Dead
Forget Flatliners Hollywood's most amazing return from the dead in 1990 belonged to Patrick Swayze, who broke into the big time with 1987's Dirty Dancing then seemed headed for has-been city after starring in the dudly duo of Road House and Next of Kin. But his presence as the heavenly hunk in Ghost helped transform that film from mid-summer sleeper to top-grosser of the year.
Yes, She Can Talk
After one failed and highly publicized attempt as the host of her own talk show, Joan Rivers seems to have found her niche. Now the queen of the mid-afternoon airwaves, she presides over the syndicated Joan Rivers Show, which won an Emmy this year over a pair of competitors named Oprah and Phil.
Don't Be Happy, Worry
Three years after his last book, Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut made the best-seller list once more with the darkly comic novel Hocus Pocus. After removing the rose-colored glasses of the Reagan '80s, Americans seemed ready to view the present and future as something a bit more Vonnegut-wrenching
As a silver haired villain (Internal Affairs' awesomely bad cop) and an unlikable lover (the ice-cold corporate raider thawed by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman), Richard Gere jump-started a career that seemed to have run out of juice.
The Raitt Stuff
After 20 years of hard work, good albums, and little recognition outside the music industry, Bonnie Raitt won four 1990 Grammys, including Album of the Year for Nick of Time, in an unexpected near-sweep. Revitalized by the awards, Nick of Time went on to sell more than 2 million copies. Judging from the way she accepted her Grammys graciously and emotionally, Rails was ready for a thing called success.