We see actors and actresses come and go, but oftentimes, there are those who stand out from the crowd, and “The Academy” takes notice. When referring to “The Academy,” we are speaking of those who are in charge of producing the Academy Awards, or The Oscars, in which it has been referred. When an actor wins an Oscar, we normally expect to see them around for a while, knowing that that person has excellent skills on screen, and can’t wait to see what movie they will be in next. Sometimes, however, a star will win the award and then just disappear, and we often wonder what ever happened to them.
10. Geena Davis
If you were around in the 1980s, you wouldn’t be able to watch television without seeing Geena Davis gracing the screen. There were many television shows in which she appeared, that most people don’t remember (or didn’t realize that it was her). She played Wendy Killain in Buffalo Bill, which was a series back in the 80s that lasted less than a year. She also appeared in Family Ties, Riptide, Knight Rider and Remington Steele. Geena had her own show called Sara, at a point in her early career. For years, she had been seen in many movies. She played the girlfriend of the human-hybrid fly (played by Jeff Goldblum) in the movie, The Fly. Geena was one of the main characters in Beetlejuice, and was also in Fletch, with Chevy Chase. In 1989, Geena won an Oscar (for Best Supporting Actress) in the movie, The Accidental Tourist. A few years later, she was nominated for her exceptional work in Thelma & Louise, but she did not win an Academy Award for that film. She was in movies and television shows for quite a few years after those nominations, but Geena Davis has been spending a lot of her “free time” trying to make a difference in the world. She started campaigning for women’s rights and has been involved in archery for quite some time, as well. She may be on television here-and-there, but she is hardly as famous as she once was. Not as many people know who she is, compared to her “glory days” back in the late 80s.
9. Timothy Hutton
Even though Timothy Hutton has been seen in multiple television shows and movies in the last thirty years, he is not even close to being as famous as he was back in 1981. Timothy was the youngest person to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the movie, Ordinary People. During that year, everyone thought that Timothy Hutton was the “next big thing,” even being nominated for Golden Globes for two television shows that were released in the same year that he won the Oscar. One part he was nominated for was for “Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film,” for the movie, A Long Way Home and the other was for “Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama,” in the television show, Taps.
8. Renee Zellweger
Before Renee Zellweger appeared as a single mom in Jerry Maguire, not many people had even heard of her. Most people will never forget (and often use) the line, “you complete me,” in which she stated to Tom Cruise’s character in the film. After the movie gained the public’s attention, Renee went on to star in several other movies; including Bridget Jones’ Diary, Nurse Betty and Chicago. She was nominated for an Oscar for Bridget Jones’ Diary and Chicago, but did not win an Academy Award until 2003, where she won Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain. After the awards, Renee went on to a few other films, including the sequel to Bridget Jones’ Diary, but we haven’t heard much else from her since. That is; unless you count a few weeks ago, where Renee suddenly appeared on television with an entirely different “look”.
7. Tatum O’Neal
At only nine years old, the entire world believed that Tatum O’Neal had a successful film career in front of her, in 1972. She had just finished filming Paper Moon with her father, Ryan O’Neal; who played her dad in the movie, as well. Two years after the movie had finished production, Tatum became the youngest person ever to win an Oscar. After captivating the world with her charm, Tatum went on to play in a few movies as a child, but not too many more after she became an adult. There were allegations against her father, according to a book Tatum had written once she had gotten older, and that may have had something to do with her hiatus from the film industry.
6. Adrien Brody
In 2003, Adrien Brody was so flabbergasted by the fact that he won an Oscar, that upon receiving his award; he placed a huge smooch on Halle Berry as she handed it to him. Before winning the Oscar for Best Actor in The Pianist, not many people had really heard of Adrien or had appreciated much of his work beforehand. Adrien was in three other movies before his groundbreaking film was released; Restaurant, Summer of Sam and The Thin Red Line, but nothing was as predominant as the character he played as the Polish musician in The Pianist.
After appearing in the multi-award winning movie, Adrien appeared in a few movies and hosted Saturday Night Live; which he was banned for wearing dreadlocks when he appeared on stage. Even though Adrien has appeared in several movies and had starred in various commercials, he basically has disappeared from the Hollywood scene. The actor has not won any more awards since starring in The Piano.
5. Mira Sorvino
In 1995, Woody Allen had written and directed the movie, Mighty Aphrodite. Before this film, Mira Sorvino was not really well-known, even though she had been in a few others. Mira won an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her performance, and her career pretty much exploded for a short time after that. She was seen in several movies that weren’t as well received, but was never nominated for another Oscar. Even though Mira is still an actress to this day, she basically sticks to television series and small parts in movies that aren’t as Oscar-worthy as her performance from almost 20 years ago, which makes her pretty much invisible by Hollywood’s standards.
4. Kim Basinger
If you remember seeing the Batman film from 1989, you probably remember Kim Basinger as the infamous reporter, Vicki Vale. For quite some time after Batman, Kim was pretty well-known, and had even won an Oscar for the movie, L.A. Confidential. She still acted (although we didn’t hear too much about her in the later years), but Kim decided it would be a good idea to buy an entire town in Georgia. So she did, and a few years later, had to start selling it off, piece by piece, after discovering that it wasn’t such a good investment. She ended up dropping out of a movie in 1993, and was later sued for doing so. She is still currently acting, but Kim hardly shows up in major films as much as she did in previous years.
3. Quinn Cummings
If you were around in the 1970s, you may remember a movie called The Goodbye Girl. Richard Dreyfus won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1977, for the film in which he acted alongside Quinn Cummings; who happened to be ten years old at the time. Quinn is the only person on this list who didn’t actually win an Academy Award, but she was nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role at a very young age.
For a few years after her Oscar nomination, Quinn continued to act in brief parts for television. She appeared in episodes of a few dramas and comedies in her younger years; including shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, Remington Steele and Family. In her teenage years, she appeared in an episode of Blossom and The Love Boat, which were incredibly popular during that time period.
After her teen years, Quinn decided she no longer wanted to be an actress and focused more on her own life and children. After having her first child, she was looking for something convenient to carry her child in, and created a chic, yet convenient tool called the HipHugger. She sold the company in 2006, and is now an accomplished author.
2. Mercedes Ruehl
“Who is Mercedes Ruehl?” is probably a question one might ask right now. In 1976, she played a girl in a casino in a movie called Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. Then in 1979, she portrayed a policewoman in a movie called, The Warriors, and then she appeared as a girl in a taxi in a movie from 1981 that nobody has probably ever heard of, either. After having more than her fair share of “extra parts,” Mercedes finally broke into the big movie scene, playing in Big with Tom Hanks, and performing in The Fisher King with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. The smaller parts must have paid off, because she won an Oscar for playing a woman named Anne Napolitano in The Fisher King. She had also won other awards for that same part; including Chicago Films Critics Association Award and Boston Society of Film Critic Award; all of which were for the “Best Supporting Actress.” After appearing in The Fisher King, Mercedes had many small parts in movies and television shows, but nothing was as efficacious as the part that she had played back in 1991.
1. Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Another actor that most people don’t really remember before seeing the movie, Jerry Maguire, is Cuba Gooding, Jr. He seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere and captured our attention from yelling the phrase, “Show me the money!” Apparently, this was such an awesome scene that the Academy took notice and he ended up with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the film. Cuba was in a few other films since his huge role in the blockbuster, but we don’t really see him around as much as we used to.