Celebrities, including actors, musicians, politicians and other people of interest are famous as long as they are interesting and/or loved. Some celebrities maintain their fame and the love of the people their entire lives. Others fall into a very slow spiral to anonymity. But there are those that lose their fame pretty much all at once when they do something so crazy or so hated that it completely turns off virtually everyone in the world! It is unfortunate that one mistake could define a person’s fame and notoriety. But the people giveth and the people taketh away when it comes to celebrity status.
In some cases, these celebrities showed a severe mental breakdown. They may have had a change for the better, but their time in the spotlight has simply not returned. Other cases involve just a plain and simple rant that shows true colors that the world may not have known about. These celebs all have the burden of having a specific moment that they can attribute to the beginning of the end of their fame and often fortune. So of all the celebrities that fall into this category, here are the 15 that lost their celebrity in a fast and big way!
15. Michael Richards
Michael Richards is best known in his role as the wacky neighbor “Kramer” on the smash hit sitcom Seinfeld. After the show went off the air, Richards got into stand-up comedy. Being Kramer made him an incredibly popular figure on stage and while his acting roles were limited, he had a good thing going. That is until at one particular show at The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, it all came crashing down. When a group of people came in to order drinks while in the middle of his set, they got a little loud angering Richards. He referred to the man as the “N word” and this continued as a back and forth until the whole thing fell apart with people leaving and booing. While he has apologized publicly multiple times, he has admitted that the incident still haunts him.
14. Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes is known for his work in many different films. Early in his career, he was notable as Willie Mays Hays in Major League and Major League II. Later, he was the starring role in Blade and its subsequent sequels. But when filming Blade: Trinity, he went a ways off the deep end. While on set, his behavior became very erratic. He stayed in his trailer smoking weed all day long and only allowed communication with the director via post-it notes. His behavior continued like this and word got out very quickly both in and out of Hollywood. Things kept getting out of hand with a conviction of income tax fraud in 2010. But things haven’t been the same for Snipes since Blade: Trinity and while he is still doing some work, his career hasn’t rebounded as he would like.
13. Mel Gibson
Actor Mel Gibson has said some rather radical things in his career. He has made some radical statements about non-Christians as well as African Americans. Many of the things he has said over the years has been as a result of heavy alcohol use. Nevertheless, he has made many statements that indicate a more polarized approach in his Christian faith. Gibson’s views were tolerated by Hollywood for a while, but when he was arrested for DUI in 2006, he erupted to the arresting officer (who happened to be Jewish) into an anti-Jewish tirade that went public and caused Hollywood to completely shun him. He has done work after this and don’t worry, his fortune is still substantial, but his name is still pretty much associated with hatred and bigotry with the general public.
12. Howard Dean
Howard Dean is a former Governor of Vermont, past Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2004. Dean was poised for months to be the man who could unseat President George W. Bush. He was unmatched in fundraising and had a commanding lead until a surprising third place performance in the Iowa Caucuses. In his speech that evening he delivered a speech that has defined how he will be remembered in history. In trying to remain positive and keep the energy level high, he let out a scream that has been called the “Dean Scream” and quickly went viral via media outlets. That one moment began the ending of his campaign and while he has had tremendous political success after this, it has all been behind the scenes, away from the public spotlight.
11. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes began as a child actress as one of the stars of Nickelodeon’s All That. She went on in her teenage years to have a significant acting career. In her early 20s, she got some of her largest roles and was one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood. But her behavior began to get very erratic with legal troubles beginning in 2012 when she was charged with DUI and then later a hit and run accident. But the world decided poor Amanda may not be cut out for celebrity when in 2014, she was placed under a psychiatric hold when she Tweeted out that her father sexually molested her when she was young (a completely false claim). She then retracted the statement, Tweeting that he implanted her with a microchip in her brain that made her say that. Amanda has retired from acting, but unfortunately, is most remembered for her sad breakdown.
10. Josh Duggar
The Duggar family is famous for their long running series 19 Kids and Counting which aired on the TLC network. The Duggar family is known for high moral fiber and juggling the impossible task of managing a family of 19 children. They are devout Christians and have taught their children conservative Christian values. Josh is the oldest child in the family and the first to marry. In 2015, it became public that in his youth, he molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters! As an adult, it was discovered that he had a secret Ashley Madison account (as part of the massive Ashley Madison hack). Not only did he ruin his own reputation and image, but his misdeeds and infidelity tarnished the image of his parents as well, virtually overnight.
9. Paula Deen
Paula Deen is proof that a whole lot of noise can do a great deal of damage. The celebrity chef is known for her thick Southern accent and a variety of expressions such as “butter makes everything better!” In the summer of 2013, Deen was sued by a woman named Lisa Jackson for racial and sexual discrimination. The suit was dismissed and could not be refiled in another court, indicating a complete lack of foundation that Deen committed any wrongdoing. But statements she made in her deposition became public where she admitted to using the “N word” in the distant past, but no longer. This admission became all anyone could talk about and caused her to lose a great number of endorsement contracts, as well as her show with Food Network.
8. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was one of the top athletes in the world and the number one golfer in the world for several years in the 2000s. On top of his game and on top of the world, there was nothing that could stop Woods. But all of his confidence made him cocky and he felt that he could do whatever he wanted. In December of 2009, Woods left a voicemail that went public and would confirm that he was having an extramarital affair. Soon after, multiple women came forward claiming that Woods had sexual relations with them. He took a break from professional golf and lost a great number of his endorsements. Woods made a comeback to golf and is still a phenomenal player, but nothing like he once was. In almost an instant, it all came crashing down, thanks to the voicemail heard around the world.
7. Andy Dick
Andy Dick is a comedian and actor that has done a little bit of everything. He is brutally honest and enjoys trying to shock audiences. As a former television show host, actor and stand-up comedian, Dick is no stranger to the large and small screen. He has long struggled with drug and alcohol use, but advocates for sober living. Dick has gone to rehabilitation programs many times to get assistance with his sobriety. But while all of this is forgivable, he has proven himself over the last few years to be wildly unpredictable. He has made racial and ethnic slurs, even referring to radio host Howard Stern as a “hook-nosed Jew!” With Andy Dick’s unpredictability, Hollywood wants less and less to do with him, as does the public in general.
6. Ashlee Simpson
Ashlee Simpson is the sister of Jessica Simpson and a singer, songwriter and actress. Ashlee had made a name for herself in her own right as a musician. But when Ashlee went on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest, everything made a 180 degree turn. Her second song was supposed to be “Autobiography,” but the first song she did, “Pieces of Me” began playing again. Her voice was heard singing, showing that it was clear that she was lip syncing! Instead of staying, she danced a jig and left the stage, sending them to commercial. Later, she claimed that due to acid re-flux, she was advised to lip sync. There was plenty of media backlash from the appearance and her odd reaction on stage. After this one moment, her career had a major slowdown that almost came grinding to a halt.
5. Rick Perry
Rick Perry was another former Governor that made a run at the Presidency. He was a popular choice early on in the campaign for the Republican nominee in the 2012 Presidential race. With lots of money supporting his campaign and a great deal of momentum, he was a favorite going into the first debate. But it was in the first debate when responding to a question where he drew a blank and froze that it all fell apart. After this lackluster performance, his polling performance began to slip and trail behind other candidates, eventually leading him to suspend his campaign. He is the current Secretary of Energy and has gone on to have a lot of political success, but he will long be remembered for his stumbling on that debate stage.
4. Manny Pacquiao
Famed boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao was on the card to fight the heavyweight champion of the world just a few short years ago. He was a household name for a period of time and was an inspiration to many. Today, Pacquiao is a Senator in the Philippines. In February of 2016 however, Pacquiao made a statement that sent him several steps back in the public eye. He is an ardent Christian and while he supports the rights of the LGBT community, he does not believe in same sex marriage. When he stated that they are worse than animals, because animals do not usually have mating of the same sex, the world went wild! Nike pulled their endorsement of Pacquiao and while he did issue an apology, he is still working on the damage control.
3. Brian Williams
Brian Williams was the host of NBC Nightly News, which was considered the top anchor job for the network. It’s kind of like being the Captain of the Starship Enterprise. But when Williams got caught in a lie about his involvement with a helicopter under attack in Iraq, the world was forced to question anything he said. Suddenly, Williams was suspended from the network without pay and upon his return, was sent down to the minor leagues so-to-speak. Williams returned to work as the chief anchor for MSNBC, an obvious demotion from the NBC Nightly News program he was anchoring previously. Nevertheless, he is working to rebuild his reputation and trust with the public. While he may not be permanently in the dog house, it certainly did set him back.
2. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl soared to stardom as one of the leading cast members of the hit series Grey’s Anatomy. But as is the case with so many other stars, Hollywood giveth and Hollywood taketh away. She left the show thinking that she had a much brighter career in films. It turned out that this particular career move would not be the best play in the long run. She made some comments that were taken by co-stars and others in the business the wrong way and before you know it, she was branded as difficult. When word like that gets around, good scripts start drying up quick and that’s how careers fade. Katherine fell from grace somewhat quickly. She’s still working and trying to get her second chance (which may wind up happening), but it certainly is no picnic.
1. Shia LaBeouf
So former child star Shia LaBeouf was most recognizable for his role in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens. He also starred in the Disney movie Holes as a youngster. But Shia has gone on to prove himself as having quite a lot of acting talent as an adult. Starring in Disturbia, Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, among other big budget films, LaBeouf proved that his talent went well beyond being a cute kid. But as of about 2007 and beyond, he started seeing more and more trouble with the law. He would be quite disorderly in public and kept getting mentioned in the media for rowdy behavior. After his “Just Do It!” YouTube motivational speech, people just started thinking this guy is nuts. Every time he opens his mouth, it’s just a little over the top and tends to turn people off.