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She Played Jennifer in "Back to the Future." See Claudia Wells Now at 55.

The young star walked away from Hollywood not long after.

She didn't stick with the franchise long enough to get to time travel, but fans of the first Back to the Future movie will certainly remember Claudia Wells as Jennifer Parker. Wells appeared in the first film of the franchise as Marty McFly's girlfriend in 1985, but she was replaced by Elisabeth Shue for the two sequels, which gave Jennifer more screentime and allowed the character to hop into the time-traveling DeLorean herself.

If you haven't heard much else about Wells' career, that's because she stepped back from acting soon after Back to the Future was released. But she returned to performing in 2008 and has appeared in a number of projects since. She's also remained involved in the world of Back to the Future and stills connects with fans to this day. Read on to learn more about Wells' life in 2022.

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She quit acting for a personal reason.

Claudia Wells and Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future"
Universal Pictures

Back to the Future was Wells' first feature film. She had previously acted on TV and in TV movies, including the Herbie, the Love Bug series and the sitcom Off the Rack.

The young star continued acting for a year following the release of Back to the Future, including on the TV adaptation of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But she left the cameras behind because her mom was battling cancer.

"I was supposed to be in them," Wells told Yahoo! of the Back to the Future sequels in 2012. "And from what I was told, it was a much bigger part than it ended up being. But my mom got sick. She got cancer. And there was so much stuff going on at home, I just I needed to focus on one thing, so actually I turned them down."

She's owned a clothing store for years.

John Davis and Claudia Wells at the premiere of "Crimes of the Heart" in 1986
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Wells opened Armani Wells, a high-end men's resale clothing store, in 1991. She told Yahoo! that her plan was to open the store so she could have a "solid business base" and be able to be "choosy" when she got back into acting.

In a 2018 interview with Amblin Road, Wells explained of skipping the sequel movies and opening her store, "Life is what it is. I would not have had the son I have now if I had done it. I have had a store for 27 years that I would not [have] had. I have a business sense I would not have had because people would [have] kept running my life if I did the films. I realized I have a business mind and a strength I didn't know I had."

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She returned to acting in 2008.

Claudia Wells at the premiere of "Love on the Rock" in 2021
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Wells ended her acting hiatus 22 years after she first stepped away with the 2008 movie Still Waters Burn. In the interview with Yahoo!, she said she considers roles if they're brought to her.

"I'm basically in a position where if people come to me, I'm completely open to it, but I don't really have the instincts to go out and hunt it down," she explained.

Wells has continued acting consistently since her comeback, appearing in a mix of movies and short films. She also voiced the character Jennifer for a Back to the Future game.

She loves meeting Back to the Future fans.

Claudia Wells at Unicon 2021
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Wells frequently attends fan conventions where she's able to meet up with Back to the Future's biggest fans, and she shares all the details about her appearances on Instagram. In a 2021 interview with Mario Lopez, she opened up about one year that was particularly busy for conventions: 2015, the year Back to the Future II takes place.

"2015, I traveled all over the world," Wells said. "Straight back to back to back to back doing comic cons and appearances. It was just amazing."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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