Sweet Dreams to Stardom

Posted June 11, 2020 by Brin in 80s & 90s Young Adult Rewind, Discussion Posts, Sweet Dreams / 0 Comments

sweet dreams to stardom

Sweet Dreams to Stardom

I have done similar posts about famous people appearing on young adult book covers (see posts here and here) but I thought it would be fun to do a post focusing on the Sweet Dreams series of romance books.

When researching the aforementioned posts, I noticed that there were a lot of familiar faces on Sweet Dreams covers though I couldn’t corroborate most of them. There are some I am sure about, and some I am only mostly sure about haha!

Some of the familiar faces are virtually impossible, of course, as many of the books came out when the actresses were too young to have modelled for them. Still, it is fun to speculate!


sweet dreams to stardom

1. & 2. Jeanne Tripplehorn

P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin was the very first Sweet Dreams Book and it was also unusual in having a follow-up Falling in Love Again (only a few of the titles have that distinct honour). I have always felt that the girl featured on the cover for both of these looks so much like a young Jeanne Tripplehorn. I’m not sure if she did any modelling in the early 1980s but I would put good money on this being her (or a very close doppelganger!)

jeanne tripplehorn

Jeanne Tripplehorn is known for her role in Basic Instinct (where the above GIF is from!) and the HBO series Big Love. She also co-starred in that well-known flop Waterworld with Kevin Costner. She was a stage actor before her film/television career and it’s possible that she may have done some model work on the side but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

3. Laura San Giacomo

Laura San Giacomo is probably best well-known for the sitcom Just Shoot Me but I remember her best from the miniseries The Stand and for being Julia Roberts’ roommate in Pretty Woman (from which the below GIF is from). I’m not fully confident that this is her on the cover of Laurie’s Song by Suzanne Rand but the girl on the cover does bear a certain resemblance…

laura san giacomo

Some other folks have put forward the supposition that it is actually Mia Sara (from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Legend) and I can kinda see her too. It could of course be neither!

sweet dreams to stardom

4. Courteney Cox

This is without a doubt 100% Courteney Cox on the cover for The Last Word by Susan Blake! I know Cox did model in her younger days and she appears on several other young adult book covers around about the same time. She looks just the same here as she did in the Bruce Springsteen video for Dancing in the Dark! It was a few years before she made it to the big leagues in the series Friends.

courtney cox gif

I also remember Cox from the Cocoon sequel, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and the Scream series (oh… and Masters of the Universe haha!))

5. Jennifer Connelly

Another one I’m completely convinced on, Jennifer Connelly was a well-used model in the early 1980s appearing on Sweet Dreams, First Love from Silhouette, Wildfire, Caprice, and various other young adult imprints. I also saw a clip from Jimmy Kimmel where she discussed these (you can see this here if you are so inclined).

jennifer connelly

The cover for The Two of Us by Janet Quin-Harkin features a young, fresh-faced Connelly (looks around about the time she appeared in Labyrinth).

6. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe

I have no confirmation on this but c’mon, that has to be Jodi Lyn O’Keefe on the cover of Follow Your Heart by Bette Headapohl. The timeline fits (this particular title is the very last Sweet Dreams title ever released and it was put out in 1995) and O’Keefe was a teen model before she became an actress so it all works out.

jodi lyn o'keefe

Her first television gig was in 1995 (a small recurring role on Another World) and she went on to star in Nash Bridges from 1996 until 2001. I first saw her in the teen movie She’s All That in 1999 and then Whatever it Takes in 2000. She also had a regular gig in the series Prison Break (I am actually currently re-watching the series where she first appeared – season 3 – coincidentally).

sweet dreams to stardom

7. Lisanne Falk

I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Lisanne Falk outside her role in Heathers (as Heather McNamara – probably the ‘nicest’ of the three titular characters). She was a child/teen model though and it is clearly her on the cover of Thinking of You by Jeanette Nobile.

lisanne falk

She seems to have given up on acting (she has no credits past 2002) but aside from Heathers she also appeared in Less Than Zero and Say Anything so did have a somewhat thriving career at one point.

8. Paula Barbieri

Paula Barbieri is a former model and actress and appears on the cover of Wrong For Each Other by Debra Spector. She appeared in a variety of low-budget movies that went straight-to-video in the early to mid 1990s such as The Dangerous and The Misery Brothers (nope, haven’t heard of them either!)

paula barbieri

She is probably best known for being the girlfriend of O.J. Simpson at the time of the murders (you know which ones).

9. Sandra Bullock

I’m not wholly convinced about this one but the girl on the cover of The Boy She Left behind by Suzanne Rand does bear a passing resemblance to Sandy B. if you squint a certain way (and the girl certainly seems to share Bullock’s distinctive chin!) I haven’t ever seen anything about her modelling before she made it as an actress but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

sandra bullock

I first saw Bullock in films such as Speed and While You Were Sleeping (one of my favourite underrated rom-coms – fight me!!)

sweet dreams to stardom

10. Thora Birch

This one is impossible because Kiss Me, Creep by Marian Woodruff was released in 1984 and Thora Birch was only born in 1982! Still, the girl on this cover does bear an uncanny resemblance to a young Birch! It cannot be her though but it’s a pretty good likeness, all the same.

thora birch

Thora Birch was a child actress starring in films like All I Want For Christmas, Hocus Pocus and Now and Then. She then graduated onto more adult roles such as in American Beauty and Ghost World. Her career seems to have stagnated though which is a shame because she was a decent actress.

11. Meredith Salenger

The girl on the cover of Princess Amy by Melinda Pollowitz really is a dead ringer for actress Meredith Salenger! I don’t think it is actually her but they look really similar!

meredith salenger

Meredith Salenger made a name for herself in films such as The Journey of Natty Gann, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (with River Phoenix), and Dream a Little Dream with the two Coreys. I remember her best for a guest starring role in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer though!

12. Anna Passey

This one is a bit of a joke, considering the actress wasn’t born until 1990 but tell me that the girl girl on the cover of Almost Perfect by Linda Joy Singleton doesn’t look exactly like Anna Passey (who plays Sienna Blake in UK soap opera Hollyoaks)?

anna passey

I own this book and the resemblance struck me right away. It isn’t her, obviously, since this book came out in 1992 so she would have a toddler at the time! Still, pretty funny nonetheless… 😉


Well folks, hope you enjoyed this post! Again, I want to thank Nerdalicious, and Cliquey Pizza – their sites have been great sources for retro young adult titles and their previous posts about well-known faces on book covers inspired this and my earlier posts mentioned in the first paragraph. 💜💜


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