The “where are they now?” question is all too common in Hollywood. Generally, it’s a question reserved for child stars, stars of television sit-coms, or C-list supporting film actors that would almost never be expected to land a lead role. It isn’t too often that an Oscar winner or a highly respected actor just seems to disappear.
Generally, when a big name disappears it can be attributed to poor choices in the films they perform in or poor choices they’ve made with drugs and alcohol. Sometimes an actor makes an effort to go back to a more private life. It might not be very common for A-lister to just disappear, but it does happen. Let’s take a look at ten celebrities that have disappeared from the spotlight.
10. Haley Joel Osment
For some time Haley Joel Osment was the “it” kid. Like most child stars, he started his career by appearing in commercials, followed by a move to television, and then into film. Osment kept himself relevant as he got older by not letting himself only play “the cute kid” or only play “the creepy kid”. As his career moved forward, his choices in movies seemed to favor more serious cinema as opposed to children’s fare. Unfortunately, in 2006 Osment saw a lull in his work after he was arrested on charges of marijuana and DUI it seemed he might be heading down the path that so many child stars seem to follow. Fortunately this seemed to be an isolated incident.
Osment has decided to actively pursue acting again and has seemed to stack up a fair number of projects for the future. It should only be a matter of time before we start seeing the accomplished actor on the screen once again.
9. Tara Reid
Tara Reid’s fall from the top is a rather depressing one. Nothing seemed to go right for her after landing a few major roles in popular films like American Pie and Van Wilder.
Tara was known in Hollywood as more of a pretty face over her acting chops. Knowing this, Tara underwent a number of plastic surgeries to look young and pretty in the Hollywood sense for as long as possible. After a botched breast enlargement and a botched contour job that left her stomach disfigured, Tara became more famous for her bad surgeries rather than her good looks or acting abilities.
Eventually, Tara took to excessive partying and was eventually given a show called Taradise where the very premise was to follow Reid around as she drank profusely and partied. Reid claims it was this show that effectively ruined her career.
Her most recent work includes a Syfy Channel television movie called Sharknado.
8. Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett is still around, but the reason you don’t see his face on the cover of every magazine and in several films a year anymore is by his own choosing.
Hartnett has said he became so big and well known as a heartthrob that he no longer felt comfortable in his own skin. He moved back to his home town in Minnesota for a while where he reconnected with his old friends and even paired back up with his high school sweetheart for a time.
Hartnett has decided to do smaller independent films as he actually has to fight to get the roles he wants. He says this is more rewarding since there was a time where if he had simply asked to be in a huge Hollywood movie he probably would have gotten the part. His low profile is simply a case of hitting the breaks for a while.
7. Freddie Prinze Jr.
“Whatever happened to Freddie Prinze Jr.?” is a phrase that probably goes through the head of many girls that were teenagers through the 1990’s. Prinze was once the go-to male lead for teen focused romantic comedies with lead roles in films like She’s All That and Down To You. While the genre of films Freddie was usually in aren’t universally loved, you have to admire why the guy doesn’t audition much these days: He and actress wife Sarah Michelle Gellar made a decision that one parent would always be at home with their children.
Prinze has taken small roles here and there in television, but for the most part his major role is that of stay-at-home-dad.
6. Frankie Muniz
Muniz had a serious winning streak going in Hollywood for a while. His stint as the titular character in the hit series Malcolm in the Middle and his other major role as Agent Cody Banks in two successful films about a kid secret agent have allowed Muniz to accumulate quite a bit of wealth.
Once Malcolm ended its run, Muniz decided to do other things with his new found free time. He is the drummer in a rock band, he drives a race car, and he is even looking into buying the Los Angeles Clippers once Donald Sterling puts the team up for sale following his lifetime ban from the NBA.
He might be off the radar these days, but he’s certainly stayed busy.
5. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Known as “JTT” on the cover of nearly every teen magazine through the 1990s, Jonathan Taylor Thomas decided at the age of 16 it was time to turn his back on fame. He says that he didn’t want to get caught up in the clubbing scene and it was just time to be around people his own age.
Thomas decided to use the time to educate himself and attended a number of schools that included Harvard and Columbia College.
He has taken a few parts in television shows but for the most part focuses on work behind the camera as a director and writer.
4. Mira Sorvino
Mira Sorvino did a few small roles here and there, but when she was cast as a supporting actress in the Woody Allen film Mighty Aphrodite, she became an overnight sensation. In her first major role, Sorvino won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a veritable plethora of other critic’s choice awards.
Unfortunately, overnight successes aren’t proven box office draws. After doing a few mediocre films, Sorvino seemed to find her way off of the A-list.
3. Neve Campbell
Between 1994 and 2000, Campbell was on a role. She was in the popular television drama Party of Five for six seasons and appeared in popular films such as The Craft and the Scream series. Aside from that, Campbell has been in a number of bombs, bad films, and smaller projects, which slowly weened her out of the spotlight. Campbell is still around and still actively works, but never seems to appear in anything that garners mass attention.
2. Chris Klein
Things were good for Klein up until about 2005. It was looking like he might even surpass actor Sean William Scott and become the biggest star to come out of the American Pie series, which is where Klein earned his big break. He took on many major roles in acclaimed films until starring in Rollerball. The film lost over $40 million at the box office and Klein was unable to find major roles ever since. Combine this fall from grace with being famously dumped by his fiancee Katie Holmes and an alcohol problem, and one can begin to see why Klein was never able to fully recover his career.
Klein scored a re-occurring role on the FXX series Wilfred and could possibly be due for a comeback.
1. Cuba Gooding Jr.
Gooding is a top-notch actor that just made some bad choices. After doing serious drama in films like Boyz n the Hood, Gooding snagged a role in the film Jerry Maguire and earned himself an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. After giving a very enthusiastic acceptance speech, many could see his charm and everyone wanted to work with him. Unfortunately, Gooding was all too eager to work with anyone that gave him a script.
After a long rash of appallingly bad films, Gooding started to do more direct-to-DVD work, effectively removing himself from the spotlight. However, after stints in films like Red Tails and The Butler, it’s entirely possibly for Gooding to salvage his career and hit the A-list once again. He certainly has the talent for it. A comeback will all depend on the rest of his film choices.