Not everyone in Hollywood lasts forever. There are some actors who were considered by many as rising stars during one shining moment of their careers, only to vanish into obscurity for some unknown reason.
Every actor or actress featured in this list was cast in a movie that was predicted to be a big hit or was glorified as the next superstar. Sadly, things didn’t pan out the way they wanted them to. Read on to discover what they did to break their Hollywood fortunes!
In 2008, Taylor Lautner became an instant hit for his portrayal of Jacob Black in the Twilight Saga series. In the first film, Taylor was already attracting a large crowd of fans, thanks in great part to his strong, manly appeal.
After the showing of New Moon, Lautner went from an actor of small parts in TV shows and commercials to an instant teen idol. He was especially venerated by teenagers because of his fresh physical attributes, becoming a sex symbol. But after his successful stint with The Twilight Saga, no one was gasping at his screen appearance anymore.
In 2011, Shailene Woodley was cast in the film, The Descendants. Her acting garnered solid reviews from critics and numerous awards. She was hailed as one of the 55 faces of the future in Nylon magazine's "Young Hollywood Issue.” After her success in The Descendants, the American actress was cast in 'The Divergent' series.
Because of subpar box office ratings in its third sequel, Allegiant, the studio made preparations to complete the series on TV. Shailene Woodley was not comfortable with the prospect of stepping down from the big screen to TV and withdrew from the show, but then strangely decided to accept a role in HBO’s 'Big Little Lies'.
Carrie-Anne Moss became a Hollywood star when she played Trinity in the Sci-Fi action thriller, The Matrix (1999). The film went on to make a whopping $460 million gross earnings worldwide and was widely celebrated by critics. Before her successful stint in The Matrix and its sequels, Moss said her acting career was pretty much non-existent.
The movie propelled the actress into worldwide recognition, but Carrie-Anne’s portrayal of Trinity in The Matrix Trilogy proved to be the defining moment in her career. And perhaps the only one that she will be remembered for as an actress. Today, she usually bounces from one Netflix Marvel show to the next, the latest being her character in Jessica Jones.
The famous Fox T.V. series, The O.C. became an instant hit and made Mischa Barton even more famous for her performance of the character Marissa Cooper. The British-American actress received a number of Teen Choice Awards. Mischa eventually left the show after its third season finale in May 2006.
Mischa Barton was also crowned by Glamour magazine as the "Next Big Thing" and hailed by Entertainment Weekly as the “It Girl” of 2003. Ever since she departed The O.C. during its pinnacle of recognition after the third season, she has made public gossip for her legal issues and impulsive actions.
In 2006, Taylor Kitsch played Tim Riggins in the NBC sports drama T.V. series, Friday Night Lights. Kitsch appeared in the show for five seasons, garnering international recognition from critics and nearly eight million viewers. He was also chosen to portray the iconic character, Gambit, in the X-Men franchise spinoff, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
If you look at Kitsch’s track record, it’s obvious that there’s someone in Hollywood who was determined to make the actor a star. He was the main highlight in John Carter, Battleship, True Detective and Savages. Sadly though, all those prestigious films failed to make him the next Johnny Depp.
Megan Fox became a staple in the TV sitcom, Hope & Faith. In 2004, she achieved her first film appearance in the teen comedy, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and a breakout performance in 2007 in the hit action film, Transformers. She was also in the Transformers sequel, Revenge of the Fallen.
But Fox was cut from the rest of the sequels after the second movie. Apparently, she likened Michael Bay, the director of the Transformers movies, to Hitler in an interview, and that became the end of her role. Outside her supporting role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Megan’s future appears bleak.
Alex Pettyfer had a breakthrough role in 2006 in 'Stormbreaker'. For his performance in the film, Alex received a Young Artist Award nomination and an Empire award. The British-American celebrity also featured as a model in a number of Burberry advertising campaigns.
After co-starring in the movies 'Magic Mike' and 'I Am Number Four', Alex Pettyfer was poised to be the next Hollywood heartthrob. But everything quickly crumbled after he made a few interviews where he appeared arrogant and ungrateful. Today, the once promising actor is now practically an afterthought.
Minnie Driver received an Academy Award nomination for her role in 'Good Will Hunting', in 1997. She also garnered an Emmy award and a Golden Globe award for her efforts in the TV series, 'The Riches'. The English-American actress has performed in numerous films and shone brightly as Fiona Bowa on the NBC sitcom, About a Boy.
Given the various awards and accolades that were given to her following her performance in Good Will Hunting, there was plenty of hype that surrounded Minnie Driver during that time. She wasn’t able to live up to it, though, and has never really established herself as a household name. Today, she stars in the T.V. show, 'Speechless'.
Armie Hammer became popular for his role in 'The Social Network' film and is best known for portraying lead character roles in the films 'The Lone Ranger', 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' and 'Mine'. He was nominated for a SAG award for his role in the biographical movie, 'J. Edgar'. The American actor also enjoyed acclaim from critics and several nominations, for his part in the film, 'Call Me by Your Name'.
With his good looks and charm, Armie Hammer had the makings of a prominent lead actor in films but, as it turned out, he was only best suited for supporting roles. He had his chance to be the main man but didn’t quite succeed, and it’s maybe safe to say that his window of opportunity has closed permanently at this point.
Brandon Routh was determined to be an actor and eventually secured various roles in numerous TV series, like 'Gilmore Girls', at the start of 2000. The American actor made frequent appearances in the NBC series, 'Chuck', and later played supporting roles in the films 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' and 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'.
In 2006, Brandon Routh was cast as “The Man of Steel” in Bryan Singer’s movie, 'Superman Returns'. There were plenty of lofty expectations for the actor after succeeding in the iconic role from the late Christopher Reeve. In the end, the movie turned out to be a bust, and Brandon Routh has now been demoted to a lesser superhero role, in the TV series, 'Legends of Tomorrow'.
Leelee Sobieski was once considered to be cast as the character Claudia, in the movie 'Interview with the Vampire', but ultimately lost to Kirsten Dunst. Later on, the American actress would be seen in various films, like 'The Reunion', 'A Horse for Danny' and 'Jungle 2 Jungle'.
During her mid-teens, she rose to prominence and was considered as an up and coming superstar following her performances in 'Deep Impact', 'Eyes Wide Shut' and TV’s 'Joan of Arc'. But over the years, she wasn’t able to fly any higher and was even nominated for a Razzie Award! Today, many don't even know who she is.
Sam Worthington gained world recognition after he was featured in numerous minor roles in Hollywood films, like 'The Great Raid'. He also auditioned to play the iconic role of James Bond in 'Casino Royale', but ultimately lost to fellow British man, Daniel Craig.
Sam Worthington enjoyed a breakout in his Hollywood career after he was cast as the main star in 'Avatar', one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. He followed that up with a couple more blockbuster appearances, as the leading man in 'Clash of the Titans' and 'Terminator Salvation'. Surprisingly, Worthington never became a staple name of the big screen.
Chad Michael Murray
In 2003, Chad Michael Murray landed the lead role of Lucas Scott in the hit WB TV series, 'One Tree Hill'. The series was the network’s most popular and highest-rated series in its broadcasting history. For his role in One Tree Hill, Chad Michael Murray managed to collect plenty of accolades and even created a book series.
The American actor also secured a number of notable deals, like an endorsement contract for MasterCard, KMart, Cingular Wireless and the Chevy Cobalt. However, Murray failed to take full advantage of his popularity to elevate his celebrity status. As happens with all teen idols, Chad Michael Murray and his fan-base aged, the young fans lost interest and CMM faded from the spotlight.
Hannah Dakota Fanning became an established Hollywood star when she was seven years old, after playing the role of Lucy Dawson, in 'I am Sam'. For her performance, the young actress was awarded a SAG award nomination at just 8 years old, making her the youngest nominee in history. She also starred in numerous other films, like 'Uptown Girls', 'Man on Fire', and 'War of the Worlds'.
Dakota Fanning is a true prodigy, who shone at an age when most of us were still sitting in school learning how to read and write. However, transitioning your career towards more mature roles can be quite challenging, as made apparent in her subpar performance as Cherie Currie in The Runaways. The verdict is still out on whether the general audience will continue to portray more mature roles, but her acting in The Alienist wasn’t all that promising.
Phoebe Cates immediately went into acting after she decided to move on from modelling, and made her debut as an actress in May, 1981, in the film, Paradise. The movie had the same plot as The Blue Lagoon, and the former model, now turned actress, portrayed a number of nude scenes in it, even though she was still a minor (17 years old). Phoebe also had a talent for singing, and was the voice behind the main theme song of Paradise.
Eventually, in 1982, Phoebe Cates was cast in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which Rolling Stone magazine called "the most memorable bikini-drop in cinema history." That one scene alone was more than enough to turn an entire generation of young male moviegoers into actual fans. The actress also made an appearance in a couple of Gremlins films. Sadly Cates became somewhat of a movie wallflower and eventually decided to retire from acting.
Emile Hirsch's first film appearance was in 2002, in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, which he followed up with The Emperor’s Club in the same year. Two years later, he appeared in hits like The Girl Next Door, Imaginary Heroes, Lords of Dogtown and Alpha Dog. In 2007, Emile Hirsch made a break out performance in Into the Wild. The role garnered him a Screen Actors Guild nomination for best actor.
With Into the Wild, Hirsch became an instant hit and somewhat of a hipster icon in Hollywood. Following his success in Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch landed the main role in Lilly and Lana Wachowski's Speed Racer, which premiered in movie theaters on May 9, 2008. His performance in the movie, though, failed to catapult his career to the next stage and after that, the American actor settled for minor roles in lower-profile projects.
Before Hollywood, Ozzie-born Eric Bana starred in the Australian sketch comedy series, Full Frontal. He started attracting Hollywood interest after his part in the war film, Black Hawk Down, in 2001, and the lead title in Hulk, in 2003. Since then, he landed prominent roles in various movies like Troy in 2004, and blockbusters like Munich, in 2005, Star Trek in 2009, and Deliver Us from Evil in 2013.
Following heavy disappointments with Hulk and Troy, critics were in doubt on Eric Bana’s bankability in high-profile films. The Hulk character concept, for one, was rebooted a number of times, although Eric’s performance was not at fault. Since the two big movie busts, Bana has made memorable supporting appearances in Star Trek and Hanna, although he deserves to be a prominent leading actor.
Fairuza Balk’s first performance major appearance in a Hollywood film happened when she was chosen to play the role of Dorothy Gale, in Walt Disney’s Return to Oz. After her performance in the movie, the American Actress played numerous other minor characters, like Hubble in The Worst Witch. In 1993, she received an Independent Spirit award as best actress for her part in the film Food Lodging.
Fairuza Balk wasn’t even in her teens when she was cast as Dorothy, in Return to Oz, which, for many moviegoers, was a bit unusual. The American actress was exceptional in her performance, though. As she was, once again, as the power-crazy witch, Nancy, in the film, The Craft. This film was supposed to make her the perfect actress for goth characters. It didn’t turn out quite how many expected though.
When Garrett Hedlund was 18 years old, to Los Angeles, so he could pursue his dream of acting. He made his first appearance in Hollywood films in the movie, Troy, as Patroclus. Then, in 2007, he co-starred with Lindsay Lohan, Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman in Georgia Rule. The latter movie, though, was dubbed by critics as a bust after failing to exceed box office expectations, only generating a lifetime gross of $41 million.
Garrett Hedlund had a successful performance as the title character in Tron: Legacy, but after, reportedly declined the roles of Finnick in the sci-fi movie series, Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey. After the two films went on to become blockbuster hits, it seemed that it was a bad decision for Garett to turn down those roles.
Jai Courtney’s first acting stint was in 2005, in a short movie entitled, Boys Grammar. In 2008, he was cast in the Australian series, Packed to the Rafters. He then graced the set of the comedy film, To Hell & Bourke, and had a number of different roles in several short films as well. When it comes to Hollywood movies, Jai Cortney has performed numerous roles. The Australian actor performed as Eric, a leader in the Dauntless faction in the film, Divergent, in 2014.
Jai Courtney has been continuously featured in big franchise films alongside Hollywood icons including A Good Day to Die Hard with Bruce Willis, Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise and Suicide Squad with Will Smith. However, if you presented the majority of movie-goers with a picture of the Australian actor, they wouldn’t know what his name is, even though they know that he’s the actor who starred as Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad.
The English actress landed a breakthrough role when she was chosen to play Strawberry Fields, the leading lady of Daniel Craig in the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, in 2008. Aside from James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Gemma Arterton was also involved in several blockbuster Hollywood movies, such as the Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2010, as well as Byzantium and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters in 2013.
Without a doubt, Gemma Arterton looks like a goddess, and has an ethereal feel and glow to her, much like Liv Tyler. For this, and for many other reasons, the English actress was selected to perform prominent roles in big Hollywood films like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Clash of the Titans and Byzantium. If she has any plans of becoming a star in this era though, she must prove that she can land a blockbuster film all by herself.
Known for her star performance in Cameron Crowe's Say Anything, in 1989, the British-born American actress continued to secure roles throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s, including prominent roles in Wayne's World in 1992 and One Night Stand in 1997. Outside the world of acting, she is also an avid painter and an accomplished author, having penned a number of children’s books. In 2006, she was ranked #84 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Teen Stars.
Ione Skye will always be remembered as the girl in the movie Say Anything, whom John Cusack lambasted with the words “In Your Eyes” from a boombox. Following that legendary performance, however, the British-American actress, for some reason, was never able to reach her potential and elevate her status as a Hollywood superstar.
Jami Gertz was a child actress in a single episode of Diff'rent Strokes, alongside Andrew Dice Clay. The American actress also made recurring appearances on The Facts of Life, as Blair's friend and schoolmate, Boots St. Clair. Her Hollywood debut came in 1981, in the romantic movie, Endless Love, which was immediately followed by a co-starring role in the TV series, Square Pegs.
The actress garnered critical acclaim when she took a starring role in the 1987 film, Less Than Zero, as the friend of a hopeless substance addict portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. She was also the star (literally) in the 1987 movie, The Lost Boys, playing the character, Star, the "half-vampire" girlfriend. Following her breakout roles in Less Than Zero and The Lost Boys though, she has been featured mostly as a guest and supporting actress on TV.
Julia Ormond made her acting debut on British TV in the 1989 serial movie, Traffik, involving the notorious heroin underground business from the Far East to the cities of Europe. The English actress entered celebrity status when she played in a string of notable 90s films like Legends of the Fall, and First Knight. She also received an Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her performance in the HBO film, Temple Grandin, back in 2010.
Following her portrayal of the main character in the film, Sabrina, there were a lot of movie pundits who believed that Julia Ormond was going to take the big screens by storm. As it turned out though, Ormond took minor roles and was always cast as the “second girl” in every movie after Sabrina.
After playing small roles in the films, The Horse Whisperer and Remember the Titans, Kate Bosworth got the breakthrough role in the box-office hit, Blue Crush. The movie garnered positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and raked in a total of $40 million at the United States box office. Following her success in Blue Crush, Bosworth accepted the lead role of the low-budget film, Wonderland, in 2003, alongside Val Kilmer.
In 2006, she was poised for another prominent role in a promising movie, Superman Returns. The American actress played the iconic, tough-as-nails reporter, Lois Lane, in the superhero movie, but after the film failed to meet expectations, Bosworth’s career took a step back. Today, Kate Bosworth still performs in films and movies but has never since had the chance to play in a high-profile project.
The American actor and model got his Hollywood debut in the film, Stick It, in 2006 and is best known for his portrayal of Emmett Cullen in The Twilight Saga film series, starting from 2008 and continuing into 2012. Since then, he has played notable roles, including Poseidon in the 2011 film Immortals, Tarzan in the 2013 animated film Tarzan, John Smilee in The Expendables 3, and Hercules in The Legend of Hercules.
Kellan Lutz has the body of a God, which is why he was the star of The Legend of Hercules, Tarzan and the powerful Poseidon in Immortals. Aside from showing off his stunning muscular physique though, Lutz hasn’t really done much to impress pundits and moviegoers. He probably needs to excel in a role where he isn’t topless, perhaps in a classy suit.
Saoirse Ronan rose to prominence for her portrayal of a gifted teenager in the movie, Atonement, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The Irish American actress followed up her successful showing in Atonement, with a star performance as a murdered girl searching for justice in The Lovely Bones, an assassin in Hanna, a vampire in Byzantium, and a baker in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Despite her now numerous nominations and awards for Brooklyn and Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan never became a household name, probably because of her very name itself. It’s really hard to pronounce her name compared to other notable household female stars, like Jennifer Lawrence, for instance. Could it really be that simple? It sounds like it could be.
Sean Young started her career in the film industry in 1980 with the movie Jane Austen in Manhattan. The American actress then landed a leading lady role alongside Harrison Ford in the classic science fiction movie, Blade Runner, in the following year. After her performance in Blade Runner, she starred in various other films, including Dune, No Way Out, Wall Street, Cousins, and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Things were looking good.
That was until she turned up at Tim Burton’s office in a Catwoman getup in an attempt to persuade him to offer her the role in Batman Returns. Young’s weird conduct in public during industry events made things even worse. On February 26th, 2012, while Hollywood stars were enjoying an after-party for the 84th Academy Awards, Young was arrested and forced to vacate the party because she didn’t have a ticket for the event.
Stephen Dorff began his acting career during the late ’80s, securing only small roles at first, including guest performances on TV shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Blossom, Roseanne, and Married... with Children. The American actor’s first major role came in The Gate, in 1987, a horror movie involving a boy who, together with his friend, uncovers a mysterious hole in his back yard which later turned out to be a gateway to Hell.
Now in his mid-forties, it may be too late for Dorff to take his career to the next level. He is making somewhat of a comeback though, in HBO's series True Detective, where he stars as Detective Roland West, alongside award-winning actor Mahershala Ali, who plays the lead role and West's partner, detective Wayne Hays.
Before her life as a Hollywood actress, Canadian-born Estella Dawn Warren was a synchronized swimmer. She was quite the swimmer as well, being a member of her country’s national team and a winner of three national titles. Aside from that, she’s also a successful model who has been featured in prominent publications, like Sports Illustrated, and in advertising campaigns for notable brands, such as Perry Ellis and Victoria's Secret.
Later on, she started acting and became the star of a number of films, like Tim Burton's 2001 re-adaptation of the movie Planet of the Apes, and in hit TV shows such as Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Beauty and the Beast.
Anne Celeste Heche rose to mainstream popularity after performing a dual role in the soap opera, Another World, and in various movies like Donnie Brasco, Volcano, Six Days, Seven Nights, and Return to Paradise. In 2004, the American actress won a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her part in the movie Gracie's Choice, and a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in Broadway's Twentieth Century.
After her famed relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres though, Anne Heche’s career suffered a major decline. Her reputation took a further hit when the public found out that she was suffering from some kind of mental illness. Heche revealed on national TV that she had an alter ego who was God’s daughter and Jesus Christ’s sister, named "Celestia". Apparently, the alter ego also communicated with Aliens. In August 2022, Anne tragically passes away.
Linda Fiorentino landed her first acting role in 1985 when she was chosen as the lead star in the coming-of-age movie, Vision Quest. Soon after, the American actress garnered critical acclaim for her play in the action movie “Gotcha!”. Following her success in Vision Quest and Gotcha, she continued to star in various films, such as After Hours, Queens Logic and Jade.
Linda Fiorentino’s acting career rose to new and greater heights when she starred in the sci-fi action comedy film, Men in Black, followed by other prominent movies like Dogma, Where the Money Is, and Liberty Stands Still. She received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, the London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actress of the Year, and a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her play in the 1994 movie, Last Seduction.
Thora Birch became an instant star in her very first film appearance on the movie Purple People Eater, in 1988, for which she garnered a Young Artist Award for "Best Young Actress Under Nine Years of Age". She would then reinforce her status as a child star with outstanding performances in a number of films, such as All I Want for Christmas, Patriot Games, Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble, Now and Then, and Alaska.
Hailed as an indie-film heroine for her performance in Ghost World and American Beauty. Thora Birch received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in the former and a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the latter. Unfortunately, she didn’t go beyond that. And as it turned out, Ghost World supporting actress, Scarlett Johansson, became an even bigger star than her!
During the early ’90s, Danny Masterson got a role in Beethoven's 2nd and starred as Justin in Cybill. Following his star performance in Cybill’s third and fourth season, the American actor opted to end his stint with the show and audition for a role in a show initially titled Teenage Wasteland, which eventually was renamed to That '70s Show.
Danny Masterson’s role in That '70s Show propelled his career to stardom, giving him the freedom to practice other ventures in-between filming. Following the show's conclusion, he starred in a number of films, like Yes Man and The Bridge to Nowhere, and had guest appearances in Punk'd and MADtv. Masterson never became a staple name in Hollywood though. Aside from DJing, he co-stars in the Netflix comedy series The Ranch.
Edward Furlong received a Saturn and MTV movie award for his exceptional portrayal of the character John Connor, in the science-fiction action film Terminator 2: Judgment. A year later, he garnered yet another Saturn Award nomination for his performance in Pet Sematary and his first Young Artist Award for his work in A Home of Our Own, alongside Kathy Bates, and shared an ensemble nomination with the cast of the film as well.
But similar to his character in Terminator, Furlong was a troubled young man in real life, and his alcoholism and drug addiction ruined his promising career start. The American actor was apprehended by police officers twice for substance abuse, and on May 13th managed to escape jail sentence following a rehab program agreement that lasted for 90 days. Furlong has been in prison for a total of 61 days.
Erika Christensen has worked in various films throughout her career as an actress, including roles in Traffic, Swimfan, The Banger Sisters, The Perfect Score and more. For her role in Traffic, she was awarded the MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. She also received a Gracie Award for her role in the NBC family drama series, Parenthood.
Though many will best remember Erika Christensen as the fanatical character in Swimfan. Following her various awards and accolades for her role in Traffic and Parenthood, her career became somewhat stagnant. Today, Christensen stars on ABC’s drama series Ten Days in the Valley, together with Kyra Sedgwick.
Hayden Christensen started acting when he was still a 12-year-old boy. A t 13 he gained attention for a small role in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness, landing him gigs in Goosebumps, The Virgin Suicides, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. His part in Life as House earned him a Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, as well as the National Board of Review's Award for Breakthrough Performance of the Year.
As the lead character and protagonist Anakin Skywalker, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, he got Best Actor and the Cannes Film Festival Revelation Award. Sadly though, Anakin’s dull dialogue and awkward vibe with the character Amidala, played by Natalie Portman, wasn’t enough to propel his career outside the fantasy world of Star Wars.
Joey Lauren Adams
Joey Lauren Adams made her film debut in 1997, for a minor role in the horror movie, Exorcist II: The Heretic. The American actress then rose to stardom in a major role in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused, portraying the character Simone. In the same year, she was cast in the Saturday Night Live spinoff film, Coneheads, as Connie Conehead's friend.
A couple of years later, Joey Lauren Adams starred in Mallrats, which was written and directed by Kevin Smith. Following the film's production, Adams and Smith started a relationship, and this became the inspiration for the former’s next movie, Chasing Amy. Adams became somewhat of an indie-film hit for her work in Chasing Amy, but sadly, it proved to be the end of the road for her career as a Hollywood star.
Josh Lucas started acting in films and TV shows when he was still a 19-year-old teenager after he relocated to Hollywood following his graduation from high school. The American actor was featured as a guest star on a number of TV sitcoms during his 20’s, such as Fox's True Colors and Parker Lewis Can't Lose, the family drama Life Goes On, and CBS's Jake and the Fatman.
Lucas entered the international stage after his performances in Sweet Home Alabama, A Beautiful Mind, and the character Glenn Talbot in Hulk. He enjoyed further global recognition in a string of leading roles in films like Glory Road, Poseidon, and Stealth. Nevertheless, none of those films managed to transform him into a true icon on the big screen. Josh Lucas currently stars in the police procedural, The Mysteries of Laura.
After a bunch of teen dramas, the American actress enjoyed a breakthrough in her career after she was chosen to play the role of a cheerleader who became an adventurer, Andrea "Andy" Carmichael, in the 1985 movie The Goonies. Green achieved even more global praise after she starred in the film Lucas, in 1986, as the focal point of a love triangle between Corey Haim and Charlie Sheen’s characters.
Her next film though, Three for the Road, ended poorly even though she co-starred with Charlie Sheen and Alan Ruck. Kerri Green made an appearance in an episode of Heat of the Night, two episodes of the television sitcom Mad About You and worked on an indie-film called Blue Flame.
Before he started performing for Hollywood films, Mike Vogel was a model for Levi’s. Later on, he caught the eye of talent scouts and was cast in the TV series Grounded for Life for recurring roles between 2001 and 2004. He made his film debut in Grind. The American actor and former model landed his next role as Heath in the TV remake of Wuthering Heights, which aired on MTV just a month after Grind's release, in September 2003.
Mike Vogel’s biggest hit as an actor was with the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 2003, which garnered high box office ratings. Vogel is certainly an actor on the rise, but will he shine even more or become an unfortunate addition to the long list of Hollywood busts? He currently stars on NBC’s new military drama series, The Brave.
Nick Stahl began as a child actor, garnering acclaim for his work in the 1993 movie The Man Without a Face, alongside Hollywood legend Mel Gibson. Compared to other child stars who became “one-hit wonders”, Stahl managed to transition into his adult career pretty well, with performances in prominent movies like The Thin Red Line, In the Bedroom, Bully, Sin City and more.
Unfortunately, on December 27th, 2012, Stahl was apprehended by police officers at an adult film store in Hollywood, California due to performing lewd acts. A year later, he was arrested for carrying methamphetamine. During an interview at the Dallas Comic show in 2017, the American actor shared that he has taken time to focus on family and sobriety but has plans of making a comeback soon. Let's see what happens.
Topher Grace is best known for his performance as Eric Forman in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show. Aside from that, he’s a familiar face in numerous Hollywood films, like Eddie Brock and Venom in Spider-Man 3, Pete Monash in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! He is also featured in other films, such as Traffic, Mona Lisa Smile, Valentine's Day, Take Me Home Tonight, The Big Wedding, War Machine, and Under the Silver Lake.
Just like his That ’70s Show co-star, Danny Masterson, Topher Grace failed to launch his career despite having prominent roles in blockbuster hits like Spider-Man 3, Predators and Interstellar. You can call it a That’ 70s curse or something, but Grace, for some reason, never became a true star in Hollywood, even though he should have been.
The American actress is widely recognized for her performance in numerous films, like The Godfather Part III, Single White Female, Singles, Point of No Return, It Could Happen to You, and Jackie Brown. Bridget Fonda earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for performing Mandy Rice-Davies in the 1989 film, Scandal, and was the voice of Jenna in the 1995 animated film, Balto.
As the daughter of Peter Fonda, niece of Jane Fonda and granddaughter of Henry Fonda, Bridget Fonda also comes from a line of film royalty. She eventually took a different route though, tying the knot with Danny Elfman and channeling all her time and energy on rearing her family. Today, the once-promising actress is retired and walks on the red carpet only when she’s around her husband Danny Elfman.
Ilan Mitchell-Smith wasn’t fond of acting at first – he was an avid ballet dancer! He practiced from a very young age and was even awarded a scholarship to perform with the School of American Ballet. A few years later, he ended up in the e teen classic Weird Science, by John Hughes. The movie revolved around a couple of teenage nerds who created a woman of their liking because they were incapable of having girlfriends.
Following his success with Weird Science, Mitchell-Smith continued to star on a number of other movies and TV shows, particularly The Chocolate War and Superboy. Both films, however, failed to generate the same amount of praise from fans and critics. He then made the decision to permanently retire from acting in 1991. Today, the once-famous actor is now a professor at California State University, Long Beach.
A gifted wrestler during his high school and college days, Michael Schoeffling collected medals from numerous different national and international competitions. His wrestling prowess was put on display when he was cast as “Kuch” in Vision Quest, where he engaged in a wrestling duel with Matthew Modine, his friend in the film.
Michael Schoeffling is best known for his role as Jake Ryan, the high school hunk who chose Molly Ringwald’s character over his famous girlfriend in the film Sixteen Candles. He pursued various movie roles a few years after Sixteen Candles and appeared opposite Winona Ryder in Mermaids. Then out of the blue, he vanished from TV and the big screen, tied the knot with a model, had kids and went on to live the simple life of a carpenter.
The Canadian actor gained recognition in the comedy series Second City Television during the ’80s and soon after, starred in a number of Hollywood movies including Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and The Flintstones. In 1997, Moranis quit acting to focus on his two kids, as a widowed husband and single father. Since his long sabbatical, he has not made a single appearance.
He has done a few voice-overs for select animated films, most famously Disney's Brother Bear, in 2003. He also did some comedy albums and participated in fan events. Numerous fans, viewers and film personalities around the world continue to knock on the actor’s door hoping that they can convince him on making a Hollywood comeback so he can continue his legendary legacy, but it seems they haven't had much luck.
Throughout her career, Shelly Duvall gained significant praise for her depiction of numerous eccentric roles. The American actress started her path to Hollywood prominence in several Altman films during the 70s, including Brewster McCloud, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Thieves Like Us, Nashville, and 3 Women, for which she garnered a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress.
After her breakthrough performances, Shelly Duvall suddenly disappeared, not only from the big screen but from public view as well. In November 2016, USA Today revealed that Duvall was apparently battling a mental illness that prompted her to go into isolation. Later that month, she made an appearance on an episode of the TV show Dr. Phil and looked nearly unrecognizable while she was discussing her battle with mental illness.
Helen Slater first started her career as a movie star in ABC’s Afterschool Special Amy & the Angel, which was broadcast in 1982. The movie was the only time Slater would be brunette. In 1984, Helen Slated was picked to play Selena, in the TriStar release of Supergirl. The movie featured heavyweights like Mia Farrow and Peter O'Toole. In the end, though, SuperGirl garnered varied reviews and didn’t fare well in the box-office.
The movie was believed to be the cause of why DC killed the original comic’s character Supergirl/ Kara Zor-El in 1985, While Slater's portrayal of the character was not given most of the blame for the movie’s poor results. After a frustrating stint with Supergirl, Helen Slater made an appearance in Ruthless People and a few other small roles before surprisingly working with the TV series Supergirl as Kara Danvers, Supergirl’s mom.
Shiloh Fernandez finally made his TV debut in 2006 on an episode of Cold Case. He later made his film appearance when he was chosen to perform the character of Edgar in Interstate. The American actor secured his first staple role in Jericho as Sean Henthorn, from 2006 to 2007. Although the series was shut down after just a single season, fans succeeded in lobbying for its comeback only to see it get shut down again permanently.
Shiloh Fernandez belonged to a class of heartthrobs at the onset of 2010 who were heavily endorsed as the next superstar. Fernandez failed to land the lead role of Edward in Twilight, which was given to Robert Pattinson but made appearances in several films like Red Riding Hood, Evil Dead, Jericho and United States of Tara. He is still waiting for that breakthrough role that will catapult his career to stardom.
Tripplehorn’s movie career started with Basic Instinct in 1992, as a police psychologist. She became a star on TV with her performance as Barbara Henrickson, in the HBO drama series, Big Love, and as Dr. Alex Blake on the CBS investigative crime drama series, Criminal Minds. The American actress was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the 2009 HBO movie, Grey Gardens.
Jeanne Tripplehorn has appeared in numerous films that you’ve probably watched already, but there’s not a lot of people who genuinely recall her name. Today, the majority of her acting exploits involve supporting roles, after she failed to secure that elusive leading-lady status.
At the start of the ’90s, the American actor began enjoying significant success in his career as an actor, appearing in prominent movies like Fried Green Tomatoes, School Ties and Scent of a Woman, alongside cinema legend, Al Pacino. In 1992, he was included in the list of 12 Promising New Actors of 1992, in John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 44.
Chris O’Donnell portrayed superhero sidekick Robin in the two worst Batman movies of all time. However, the actor managed to bounce back from the travesty and became a leading man in rom-coms and films like The Three Musketeers. While his career on the big screen doesn’t seem to hold much promise, his career in TV series may have plenty to offer. Today, he currently stars as Agent G. Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles.
Lori Petty got the breakthrough role she was waiting for when she was cast alongside Richard Grieco in Fox’s Booker. In the 1991 action thriller Point Break, she portrayed the surfer who gave Keanu Reeves valuable surfing lessons. In 1992, the American actress appeared in A League of Their Own, opposite Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna.
In 1995, Lori Petty was chosen to play the title role on the movie adaptation of the British cult comic book, Tank Girl. Aside from that, she also performed in numerous other films, such as Free Willy, The Poker House, and In the Army Now. Today, Lori Petty enjoys regular appearances as an inmate on Orange Is the New Black, but it’s unlikely that she will be appearing on the big screen anytime soon.
As a star in some major hits like "American Pie" and "The Big Lebowski", it looked Tara Reid was on her way. Unfortunately for her, Tara had trouble keeping up with the pressure and turned to late nights and partying.
The wild nights put a bump in her career and now we're seeing her on bad reality shows like "Marriage Boot Camp." Would have her career played out a little differently? Perhaps. She was always Kevin's golden girl in the beloved teen movies.
During the 90s Shannen Doherty became a household name, thanks to the show "Beverly Hills 90210." She then appeared on "Charmed" and it further upped her status. But after heated behind the scene clashes, Doherty started to crumble under pressure until she was eventually written out of the show.
Her bad reputation followed her throughout her career and the offers began to dry up. The actress continued with sporadic televisions appearances and the occasional TV movie. Unfrotaunetly, the Charmed actress was never able to bounce back.
Arguably one of the greatest stars of "Friends", Lisa Kudrow, unfortunately, did not get as much spotlight as Jennifer Aniston post-show. She had a few roles here and there in films like "Analyze This" (and "Analyze That") and also starred in the comedy aptly named "The Comeback." It was a little too on the nose and didn't quite catch and certainly contributed to her lack of success.
In recent years Kudrow has starred in the hit web-series turned Showtime TV series "Web Therapy" in which she plays a wannabe therapist for LA who is mostly concerned with her own issues. The recent success has given her sort of another wave.
Our favorite child star Macaulay Culkin had an incredibly promising career. Having burst onto our screens in the Home Alone films ("Ri¢hie Ri¢h" and more), Macaulay Culkin was Hollywood's golden kid. As we've seen with numerous child stars, making the transition into adulthood isn't always easy.
After battling it out with stardom, Culkin got swept up into the dark side. Soon the actor was in a downward spiral and was even arrested for drugs. The former child star appeared in minor roles on televisions such as "The Jim Gaffigan Show" and "Robot Chicken."
After starring in leading roles in numerous rom-com, you would think that Katherine Heigl would be one of the biggest stars today. Sadly it is not the case and the actress did not end up going where we all thought she would. There are various explanations for her lack of success, and some, quite frankly, are a little disappointing.
During her days on "Grey’s Anatomy," she publically declined to enter the Emmy race due to thinking that she was not up to the competition. Shortly after that, she was written out of the series. On another occasion, while promoting the hit film "Knocked Up", Heigl accused the film of sexism. These things and some on-set disputes made a little difficult to work with and the actress's trajectory slowly started to change.
It's hard to maintain success in Hollywood. You can be in one day and out the next. No one knows this better than Sharon Stone. After her role in Basic Instinct, Stone's hot streak started to cool down. Unable to pick films that served her well, the actress began getting plagued with terrible reviews.
Stone then turned to 'old faithful' and starred in the "Basic Instinct" sequel in 2006. That didn't do much for her career. Today the actress is mostly remembered for that and her famous leg scene.
Another "American Pie" star that didn't quite hit the big leagues. Chris Klein made a great impression after his stint in the teen movie franchise and went on to star in more challenging roles like in films "Election" and "American Dreamz."
It seemed like he was on the right path when all of a sudden, his personal life got in the way and was arrested for a DUI. After that, Klein suffered the curse of a string of terrible roles like "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li." Sorry, Chris.
Actress Tiffani Thiessen was perhaps never thought of as a major Hollywood star, but there was a time, during the 90s, that she was one of TV's hottest actresses. Her time on Saved By the Bell earned her spots on countless magazine covers, making her for the teen It girl for some time, not to mention her time on "Beverly Hills, 90210."
Did you know that the actress was even supposed to play Rachel on Friends? Yep! Thiessen was pretty close to getting it at one point and even read with the whole cast. Of course, that rejection led her to Beverly Hills. Ultimately, the actress didn't manage to break out of the mold of a mild TV soap star.
Actor Isaiah Mustafa shot to fame in the series of quirky Old Spice Ads. His humoristic manner and incredibly good looks seemingly made him a shoo-in A-list roles. Mustafa at one point even seemed to be pretty close at one point as one of the candidates for "Luke Cage."
Unfortunately, the part ultimately went to Mike Colter. While Colter's career sky-rocketed, Mustafa's stayed pretty stagnant and now he is just the Old Spice guy. We hope things turn around.
Another one of the "almosts." Liv Tyler's transition from the teen cult hit "Empire Records" to bigger roles looked promising, The actress was even once considered as a leading lady who would soon join the ranks of Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep.
While the actress even went on to star in major blockbusters like Armageddon and the Lord of the Rings movies, she never quite received that status. Perhaps she never challenged herself to meatier roles. At least she settled comfortably in TV, on the HBO series "The Leftovers."
Shannyn Sossamon starred as the beautiful pixie dream girl in the raunchy comedy "40 Days 40 Nights" along-side Josh Hartnett and immediately stole hearts. Shortly after she beat out Kate Hudson for the role of Joceyln in the film "A Knights Tale." It seemed she was pretty much on her way.
She then got a leading role in "The Rules of Attraction" and received rave reviews. Sadly after that, her reunion with Ledger in the film The Order was a total flop and contributed to her downfall. Sossamon then took a break from acting and focused on motherhood. Who knows, maybe things will turn around!
The hottest teen star of the 90s and viewed as the more pristine Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes' career was on fire. With films like What a Girl Wants, "She's the Man", and "Sydney White", Bynes seemed destined for bigger things.
The transition did prove easy for Bynes who, instead of climbing up the film ladder, ended up getting in more and more trouble with the law. After some displaying some odd behavior on social media, the actress soon added from the spotlight. To be fair, she has expressed some battles with mental illness. We hope things turn around for her.
At one point a rising star, Rosanna Arquette fell victim to the infamous Hollywood blacklist, and career was cut short. In fact, the whole Arquette family was a household name.
While her siblings David and Patricia were getting ahead, Rosanna's career began to wane and she turned to smaller and smaller roles over the years.
The groundbreaking horror film "Scream" gave was a springboard for quite a few big names today. Well, a lot of them have since faded, and one of them is Skeet Ulrich. The hunky teen form the notorious slasher film was on the road to being the hotshot new eye candy. Move over 90s Leo DiCaprio. There was a time it was all about Ulrich. Contrary to popular thought, the actor's hot streak was terribly shortlived.
The unforgettable movies followed the slasher king around until he had to submit to mediocre television roles. In 2006, the actor starred in the show "Jericho" which got canceled after 2 seasons. Recently, Ulrich got a little break on CW's "Riverdale." He'll never be what he once was, but at least it is something.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
After "Heartbreakers" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer", Jennifer Love Hewitt was pretty darn huge. She was raking in cash as a teen queen and on the verge of entering a new more mature genre. Looks like it didn't quite happen and after struggling to find roles that would serve her well, Hewitt just fell off the radar.
In 2012, she decided to focus on family. She has promised her fans that she will be back at some point, but so far we've only seen her on the show "9-1-1."
The versatile actress, Claire Forlani wowed us in just about everything. Turns out that beauty and talent can only be so shortlived and the offers dried up too quickly. Perhaps she was just too good to be true. The British beauty just couldn't quite find her niche in Hollywood.
Even in leading roles in "Green Street" and "Mallrats" and even "Meet Joe Black" alongside the one and only Brad Pitt, Forlani ultimately was destined for bad TV shows and failed films.
Everybody thought Leeloo from the "Fifth Element" would be the next go-to action star. Milla Jovovich certainly proved herself in both "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" and "Resident Evil."
Unfortunately, even with all the talent, box office success and those tough girl looks, the actress didn't quite see her full potential and has since faded away from the screen. At least we will always remember her in those roles.
Heather Graham was the beautiful woman you saw alongside many major stars like Johnny Depp and John Travolta throughout the early 2000s. She was even the supporting role in the comedy hit "Austin Powers 3", a role that certainly showed off her comic flair. Sadly, fans and Hollywood spat her out too soon, even though she looked like she had real potential.
The actress hasn't been spotted in anything worth for over a decade. In 2014 she made some TV appearances and minor roles in "Get Shorty" and "Flaked."
At just 29 years old, Adrien Brody became the youngest man ever to win an Oscar in the history of the Academy Awards. Sometimes, when that much success is thrown at you too soon, you can run out of steam very quickly. After his amazing performance in "The Pianist", he went AWOL.
Where has he been? Apparently he's been busy painting. Well, he did come back for a little bit in "Peaky Blinders", but does he have the same status as he did? We're not sure.
The ever-charming manic pixie dream girl, Zooey Deschanel was our indie darling. She then gained TV fame as Jess in "The New Girl", which pretty much was the same role she was accustomed to. But it's clear that fans quickly got tired of the bespectacled quirky girl and moved on.
The actress hasn't appeared in a lead role for a decade now and apparently has been raising her two children. You can now catch Zooey in the odd commercial here and there. "500 Days of Summer" is now just a distant memory.
Throughout the 90s, Andie MacDowell was in just about every romantic comedy released. There was also "Groundhog Day", "Hudson Hawk", "Michael", and "Crush." Unable to stay in the spotlight, the Southern belle just disappeared off the face of the earth.
Luckily she has passed the baton to her daughter Margaret Qually who can now be seen in Once Upon a "Time in Hollywood", "Seberg", and a string of cutting edge indie films.
After phenomenal work in "Inception", "50/50", "The Dark Knight Rises", and, "(500) Days of Summer", actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt just stopped showing up. We were all rooting for him the actor showed talent in highly-charged blockbusters and tender indie films. Still, he never became the Holywood leading man.
Since 2016, the actor has only done a little voice-over work and appeared in a short film. Time will tell whether or not this is a goodbye or just a short-term break.
How did it go wrong? Farrell possessed all the goods to make him a total A-star. The Irish actor gave fantastic performances in films like "American Outlaws", "Minority Report", "Phone Booth", and "In Bruges." He even had his moment in comedy in "Horrible Bosses."
A couple of flops later, and a bit of substance abuse, Farrell didn't quite make the cut to the Leos and Brad Pitts of our time. Maybe he can turn things around, but at this point in his career, we are doubtful.
Gretchen Mol started out seriously promising and was churning out the hits. With big-time films like “Rounders”, “Celebrity”, “Donnie Brasco” and “Music from Another Room” she was everywhere. By 1998 Mol was on the cover of Vanity Fair and was dubbed the “It Girl of the Nineties.”
Despite the media madness, Gretchen sort of just fell off the radar. It almost felt like for a moment that press created the buzz just to sell her. The fans didn't buy it and Gretchen Mol was no longer.
Like a more suave Colin Farrel, and also with a similar narrative, Clive Owen shot to stardom as another British adonis in Hollywood. The actor was leading action-packed and critically acclaimed actions and dramas, but then swiftly settled into smaller niche films. Instantly he went from the next possible on the verge A-lister to hardly seen.
One's status can change ever so quickly and drastically in Hollywood. You never know where you're going to end up. This year he did land the role of Bill Clinton in American Crime Story, but we have yet to see that so our opinions are subject to change.
With the chiseled jaw and blond hair, Ryan Reynolds was a shoo-in for the typical A-lister. After action-packed films like “Blade Trinity” and romantic comedies like “Just Friends” and the “The Proposal”, and even blockbuster hits like 2011's “Green Lantern.”
Still, even with an impressive resume, Ryan Reynolds has been teetering on megastar success for since his stint on the 1998 ABC sitcom "Two Guys And A Girl”. Years later, Reynolds never really made the leap to meatier or weightier roles and will forever be the funny and charismatic guy.
"Slumdog Millionaire", one of the most widely praised films to have ever been made could have had a very different look. The film turned Dev Patel into a household name and while we all love Dev, we could have been uttering another name form our lips over that film,. That's right. Riz Ahmed was in the running to be Jamal Malik in the Dany Boyle film.
According to insiders, Ahmed went a touch overboard while auditioning. Fortunately, as we know, he did end up portraying the brother. Still, the actor never reached his full potential. At least he had a shot though. It's probably the film that would have turned Ahmed into a huge star, unfortunately, he is still there, teetering on the edge.
From Pussycat Dolls to the big screen. Nicole Scherzinger would have been an even bigger star ever. Keyword —"would." Unfortunately, after her musical stint with the pop group, Nicole didn't quite make it all the way. At least not all the way to the Baywatch. Fans were momentarily eager to see her in the Baywatch movie but then it just didn't happen.
That's what happens when you get a little too big. The bubble can burst at any minute. What's with Scherzinger nowadays anyway?
January Jones, AKA, Betty Draper from "Mad Men" never quite seemed to transcend her iconic TV role from the hit show. While the actress has managed to get parts since she hasn't really achieved success changing her status to a serious Hollywood actress. Even though Hollywood initially wanted her to be.
This is partly due to her supposedly stuck up attitude, making her unapproachable. That probably explains why she didn't get the role she once really wanted: The role of Violet Sanford in "Coyote Ugly."
As a Marvel favorite, "Hellboy", or Ron Perlman, fans couldn't wait for the third installment of the beloved comic adaptation. But then, after a sudden twist of events, it all fell through and Ron Perlman lost out.
Perhaps we all misread the fan response? Perhaps everyone was in fact rooting for someone else? There was some talk of Perlman even landing the role of Cable in Deadpool 2, but again he lost. Are we over Ron Perlman? Seems so.