Hollywood is similar to a roller coaster for many actors. For some, they toil endlessly for years at the bottom, hoping for that breakout role that puts their names on the map. If they are lucky, they get to star in something that changes their entire lives and careers. One good project can lead into another good project which can lead into several more projects until the point where the actor has to hire a team of people just to manage their schedules. They end up getting whatever table they want at restaurants. They fly across the world, hobnob with other famous people, and have the most difficult time deciding between a 30,000 or a 40,000 square foot home. For some, life is really good on the way up.
But there is a reason that theme parks do not take pictures of people when they are going up a roller coaster; only down. The reason is because when people are going down a roller coaster, they look like they have caked their pants after having seen a ghost at the same time. It is a terrifying thrill that is not for the faint of heart. In Hollywood, that downswing can feel similar.
Because Hollywood is kind of a small town and because there is so much money to be made, rumors, poor people skills, and bad projects can combine together to blacklist an actor from ever making anything worthwhile. For an unlucky few, their misfortunes have been so bad that they end up on lists like these. Enjoy 15 celebrities who have been blacklisted from Hollywood.
15. Mel Gibson
Have you ever had the friend that always does things that are just not in his best interest at all? For example, you may have a buddy whose girlfriend just absolutely adores him. She buys him things. She wants to have his kids. She will completely devote her life to being your best friend’s girl. If she’s smoking hot on top of it, it would be crazy for that guy to dump her or do anything so stupid it causes her to dump him. But inevitably, he does something like send pictures of his junk to a former classmate or get drunk and run his car off the road, effectively ending the relationship. For Mel Gibson, he is the best friend and his career is the girlfriend.
Mel Gibson was once one of the hottest actors that Hollywood had ever seen. He had a sense of humor about him that touched ever part of the funny bone. He had a charm on screen that made acting seem natural. He could also command millions at the box office. To illustrate this point, he made $30,000,000 for just starring in Lethal Weapon 4; the least lethal of them all. He could buy a small island with his money. In fact, he did just that in 2004, buying a private island in Fiji.
Then he decided to make The Passion of the Christ. Then he discussed how he hated stem cell research. Then he got caught drunk driving. Then, he ended up on this list. At this point, Mel Gibson went from hero to zero really quick.
14. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Perhaps the sun and maybe some distant star were as hot and as bright as Sarah Michelle Gellar was throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s. Just take a look at her filmography and it will speak for itself. For anyone over 30, they distinctly remember her as Helen from I Know What You Did Last Summer, Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, and even as Daphne in those Scooby-Doo remakes. There were few people that could perform roles like her.
But since about 2007, something strange seemed to happen. Not only did the quality of her film roles start to decrease, but their popularity as well. Between 2007 and 2009, Gellar released a string of movies that either had a really limited release or went straight to video. She had a few cameos on television shows, but it was nothing like before. Rumor has it she is making a television reboot of Cruel Intentions, but this is only assuming that Hollywood will let her through the door.
13. Scott Baio
Actors usually fall into one of three categories. The first, and most notable, category is film actor. These are guys like Denzel and Brad Pitt. These guys are so popular, that if they wanted their hotel room to be completely made out of pizza dough a studio executive would make it happen. Then there are the stage actors. These are the actors a few artsy-fartsy people know about. But some of them hit it big like Lin Manuel Miranda who wrote the hit Hamilton. Finally, there are the television actors. Long derided for being on the small screen, television actors are looked upon the most poorly. Things have changed lately since movies have become less popular and less profitable, but for decades, this stereotype rang true.
This didn’t matter to Scott Baio. The Brooklyn-born actor hit it really big on television on not just one show, but several. If you ask your mom or your older sister, she will remember him as Chachi on Happy Days. Then, your uncle probably remembers him as Charles on Charles in Charge. Most actors cannot even get a good commercials and Baio was churning out long-running shows like Taco Bell churns out bean burritos. For Scott Baio, he virtually owned television before they became HD.
But ever since 1990, Hollywood has turned its back on Baio. At this point, he may need to eat an octopus live on stage to get any attention. He’s tried to hit virtually every demographic to see what sticks, but nothing’s happening. His last project was playing a fairy god parent named “Foop” in 2014. God help him. Here’s hoping that he saved his money.
12. Macaulay Culkin
With all due respect, Culkin may be less of a case of being blacklisted from Hollywood and more of a case of him blacklisting Hollywood himself. Part of the reason is because of Culkin’s very sad, very tragic transition into adulthood. Couple that bad transition with it happening in front of the whole world, you’ll have one screwed up actor which is saying a lot because most of them are kind of screwed up anyway.
For those too young to remember, few people had the kind of shine that Culkin did back in the 1990s. Starring in the Home Alone series, Culkin was not only paid a ton of money, but for the rest of his life he can say he acted alongside Hollywood veteran Joe Pesci. The problem is now that if he saw Joe Pesci in a restaurant and tried to say hi, Pesci, like the rest of Hollywood, would pretend like he didn’t know him.
Part of this is Culkin’s fault and part of it isn’t. Culkin has gotten in some trouble with the law for having some controlled substances on him back in 2004. This is in addition to his weird friendship with Michael Jackson, his substance use, and time between his major hits, and you’ll have no on in Hollywood willing to pick up the phone.
11. Katherine Heigl
A lot of actors end up screwing up their careers through things most people do anyway. It’s just that they are actors and being a public figure comes with a bit of a loss of privacy and screwing up has major consequences. For example, a whole ton of people like to go out, get high, get drunk, and then crash on their friend’s couch. The problem is that if you are a famous actor, then those little tidbits are going to be spread all over the gossip sites and you will have some jerk writing about your fall from grace in a list on a website.
The problem for Katherine Heigl is that she kind of submarined her own career and was not necessarily the victim of bad press. Now, people in Hollywood are willing to put up with a lot from actors. They are artists so they can tend to be kind of a pain in the ass and do really stupid things, but if they bring in the big bucks, all is forgiven. For Heigl, who starred in the hit movies Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, and The Ringer, she was becoming one of Hollywood’s “it” girls in the early 2000s.
But then she opened her mouth. After starring in several movies, rumors started swirling that she began slamming the movies, which is not good for a Hollywood executive trying to make a fortune. Apparently, Hollywood is a bit sensitive to these things and have decided to keep her on the outside looking in.
10. Freddie Prinze, Jr.
The funny part about Freddie Prinze, Jr., aside from the shape of his head, is that his career almost exactly mirrors his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar. In late 90s and early 2000s, Freddie was the talk of the town. He starred in virtually every teenager/romance/comedy movie that Hollywood could think of. With his natural good looks and charm on the screen, it was easy for Hollywood producers to just throw money at him.
But just like Gellar, Freddie has been blacklisted almost entirely from Hollywood. In fact, Freddie’s last film was a movie called Delgo, which came out in 2008. It is described as a computer-animated adventure romantic comedy fantasy film. They obviously didn’t pick one genre and stick with it. Having grossed only $700,000 at the box office, Freddie’s last big acting gig was the nail in his coffin. At least he has Gellar by his side.
9. Cameron Diaz
The trouble with really beautiful women and the big trouble with really beautiful celebrities is that they can seem almost unapproachable. Imagine seeing Rihanna or Taylor Swift at the mall. Most guys would probably throw up on their shoes before they would ever dare start a conversation with her. Science has shown that men’s brains actually become less efficient whenever there are beautiful women around. Beautiful women can be intimidating to the average guy. Very intimidating.
This is what made Diaz throughout the 1990s and early 2000s so appealing. She had a natural charm about her that just made all of her characters seem beautiful but approachable; a wicked combination. The problem for Diaz is that since about 2005, the quality and quantity of roles she has been in has almost completely evaporated and it is hard to explain why. It seems like her inability to select good roles has led to a very quiet life in Hollywood.
8. Isaiah Washington
Everyone has that guy or woman who is kind of a jerk at work. Perhaps they were picked on as children. Maybe their mom doesn’t like them too much. Maybe their mom thinks they are great and they have never had to consider their flaws. Whatever the reason, you just kind of expect that they are going to say and do kind of stupid stuff from time to time. So long as they do not say anything sexist, racist, or homophobic, then peace can be kept.
Nobody told that to Isaiah Washington. As mentioned earlier, actors can be a bit odd in their working environments. They’re artists and everyone gets that. The problem is that many artists also tend to be gay, just like Isaiah Washington’s Grey’s Anatomy co-star T.R. Knight, whom Washington called a very offensive word on set. The bigger problem was that Knight hadn’t come out of the closet. So, he had Washington to thank for that.
It wasn’t too long before he was let go from the show. Ever since then, he has only made some cameos on Law and Order and has a small role on The 100. At least Washington knows now that outing a co-worker will keep you blacklisted in Hollywood.
7. Stacey Dash
For those who are over 25, you remember Stacey Dash. When you weren’t pretending that she was your imaginary girlfriend, chances are you were watching her in outshine everyone else in the movie Clueless that was released back in 1995. She even made a cameo appearance in a Kanye West video in 2004, reminding everyone that she is still hotter than everyone else on her worst day. Everyone loved Stacey Dash, even Hollywood.
This was until she started talking about her political views. Not only her political views, but unpopular, conservative political views. For those who have never been to Hollywood, it is the bastion of liberal ideals. Dash, having said that transgender rights infringe upon her own and that people of Middle Eastern descent should be banned from immigrating into the U.S., is showing the world that maybe what’s inside is a bit uglier than what is on the outside. What’s the proof that Hollywood has blacklisted her? She had a role in Sharknado. Enough said.
6. Catherine Zeta-Jones
For years, Zeta-Jones has played into the “exotic foreigner” fantasy that many men have. With her British accent and dark features, Zeta-Jones is the kind of girl that world leaders will nuke another country just to have. Hollywood was well aware of this as well, having cast her in movies where she played the tough, but beautiful heroine in movies like The Legend of Zorro and Entrapment.
The trouble for Zeta-Jones is that the gap in her roles, especially in film, gets bigger every single year. Part of it is her age. She is 46 now and no longer the hottest thing in a town where women are ignored once they hit 30. Another part of it is that she has chosen to lead a more quiet life with her zillion-year old husband Michael Douglas over the past few years. Another big reason Zeta-Jones has been blacklisted is probably that Zeta-Jones reportedly struggles with bipolar disorder, likely making it difficult for anyone in Hollywood to call her agent for a job without worrying about her behavior on set.
5. Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Nobody said that former Calvin Klein underwear models have a ton of sense. Face it, they are underwear models, not representatives of the United Nations. Their job is to look good in front of the camera and Sabato, Jr., in his early years, managed to do just that. His modeling lead him to be discovered as an actor, starring in shows like Melrose Place and General Hospital. Don’t worry if you have never seen those shows. Most men haven’t. However, those shoes almost certainly defined 1990s television.
Instead of taking the money he earned and all of the women he could sleep with and moving quietly into seclusion in Hollywood, Sabato, Jr. has decided to turn things up a notch and make everyone a bit uncomfortable. This is not just for his outward support for Donald Trump. This is for his oddly narcissistic way of behaving. He has been a bit of a reality show whore for the past 11 years, starring in shows like Celebrity Swap My Wife and Dancing With the Stars. Combined with shows under his belt that already immediately lose respect in Hollywood with his relationship with one of the most despised men on the planet, production studios in Hollywood may hit “decline” when his agent calls.
4. Thora Birch
A lot of people have been fired from jobs before. In fact, most states have something called “at-will” employment. This means that even one of the highest paid people at your job can be laid off at any time for almost any reason or no reason at all. Unless they are a part of a union or have a contract, it can be really easy to fire that person. In Hollywood, firing people is so common that it is really difficult as an actor to have any kind of security. That is, of course, until you make it big like Thora Birch. Having played a major role in the film American Beauty back in 1999, Birch could pretty much guarantee she would never be fired from that point forward.
Until she was fired in 2010. Birch was in an off-Broadway Dracula remake and the producers decided that they did not want her anymore. This was just the tipping point in a long and tumultuous relationship with Hollywood where young stars are often chewed up and spit out without any mercy. Most of it has been Birch and her former porn-industry parents causing a bunch of trouble for her with the rest of the crews she works with. For now, Birch may need to get a new team or find a new industry.
3. Jim Caviezel
There are a few roles that actors are troubled playing. The reason is because that person becomes known for that role forever and is often compared to everyone else that played that role for well beyond the rest of their lives. For example, Tom Welling, star of the show Smallville, has done a bunch of other work, but because he looks like Superman, he will forever be known as Superman. For those who want to play Jesus Christ, that same kind of typecast will follow them the rest of their careers.
Unless you are Jim Caviezel and your faith is so strong, or your bank account is so empty, that you are willing to take on a role as Jesus Christ in a movie that caused such an uproar, that it ruined not one, but two people’s careers on this list. Starring in the Passion of the Christ as the Big Man himself, Jim Caviezel was virtually unknown before that role. The problem is that his starring in that role has kind of kept him unknown ever since. It is ironic that when he looks at his future, Caviezel puts his head in his hands and prays to Jesus Christ that Hollywood will stop blacklisting him.
2. Brendan Fraser
Few falls from grace have been so intense and so inexplicable as Brendan Fraser‘s. Throughout the early 1990s and well into the 2000s, Brendan Fraser was the hottest name in Hollywood. Fraser had the ability to go from making cool cult films like Glory Daze with Ben Affleck to blockbuster films like The Mummy with no issue. With that kind of range, it was no wonder that he has starred in more movies than an adult film actress. His pay checks were so big, that he could probably just pay someone to stand in for him and there was nothing that Hollywood could do about it.
Fast forward about 12 years since Fraser’s latest hit, Crash in 2004, and you will find that Hollywood has given a big middle finger to Fraser. Well, that would not be fair to say because Fraser has certainly been acting, but in terrible movies. So, it is more that Hollywood has less blacklisted Fraser and has seemed to have purposely put him in low budget, low quality, uninteresting movies for over a decade. It is hard to explain why this happened, but here is hoping that Fraser can find happiness off-screen.
1. Tobey Maguire
People seem to forget that video games are basically movies that people can interact with. Having evolved from the simple days of Super Mario Bros., video game titles have turned into big budget, high quality productions that can immerse a gamer directly into the world they create. Marrying game developers with Hollywood has been a super smart thing allow some game companies to make billions of dollars in the process. For an actor, having a voice or face on a video game is akin to starring in an actual movie. For Tobey Maguire, he managed to not only star in big budget movies, but also star in the big budget video games based on those movies. Of course, this is a reference to his role as Spider-Man in the video game/movie creations, putting an exclamation point on a rising career.
But that’s it for Maguire. Yes, he has starred in a bunch of other movies and television roles over the years, but most of his roles have been criticized heavily because he is often unbelievable as whoever he is playing. Even in the video game version of Spider-Man, game nerds could not help but say that even in a fantasy video game they could not buy Maguire as Spider-Man. It is probably why a shift has been made to other actors to play that role and it seems like Maguire could not capitalize on the amazing opportunity to continue to be a part of the lucrative and expanding Marvel Universe.
Hollywood: There’s no business like show business.