Becoming an A-list star is no walk in the park. Very few celebrities ever achieve A-list status and even fewer celebs are able to maintain their star status through the duration of their career once they have achieved it. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and good judgement for an actor to stay relevant in the entertainment industry. By putting out a combination of critically acclaimed films and box office hits, top Hollywood actors prove that they’re not only bankable, but they’re also on top of their craft. However, there’s so many things that can jeopardize an actor’s ability to put out critically acclaimed films and box-office hits, such as; choosing the wrong roles, getting caught up in legal and personal issues, delivering poor performances, and failing at the box office. These circumstances can quickly turn any A-list star into an irrelevant, has-been. After all, in Hollywood, nothing is guaranteed and everything can change in an instant. One week, an actor can be considered the biggest star in the world and the next week, they’re stuck making straight-to-DVD films and trying to make ends meet. These actors were once considered A-list stars, but thanks to their actions – they’ve killed their own careers.
12. Tara Reid
In the late 90s, Tara Reid was an up and coming star and was positioned to be the next ‘It’ girl in Hollywood, with films like Urban Legend, American Pie and American Pie 2, on her list of accomplishments. Although she never became an A-list star, her career seemed very promising. However, a series of factors seriously jeopardized any chance she had at a budding career. First and foremost, her reckless partying tarnished her short-lived good girl image and then, a couple of botched plastic surgeries, including breast implants and liposuction, destroyed her cute, girl next door look. The nail in the coffin of Reid’s career was a series of box office flops, including Josie and the Pussycats, My Boss’ Daughter and Alone in the Dark. These days, you can catch Tara Reid on the Syfy network, starring in the infamous, Sharknado films.
11. David Arquette
David Arquette got his start in Hollywood with a role in the 1992 comedy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and from there, went on to score roles in popular films throughout the 90’s including, Scream, Never Been Kissed and Scream 2. He even married Friends‘ star Courteney Cox in June 1999, which further propelled him into the spotlight. Arquette appeared to have a bright career ahead of him, however an addiction and a series of box office flops quickly dimmed that bright future. His films in the early 2000’s, including Ready to Rumble, See Spot Run and Eight Legged Freaks, were panned by the critics and bombed at the box office. In 2010, Courtney Cox announced that the two were separating and one year later, David checked himself into rehab for alcohol and substance abuse.
10. Halle Berry
Halle Berry got her big screen breakthrough in the 1991 film, Jungle Fever and the following year, she was cast as Eddie Murphy’s love interest in Boomerang. Throughout the 90s, she continued landing roles in film and television, but it was in 2000 that Berry received her big box office success as Storm in X-Men. In 2002, Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to take home an Oscar for Best Actress, for her performance in the romantic drama, Monster’s Ball. Thanks to her box office success, Halle was one of the most recognized and highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. However, after taking home her Oscar something happened, something now known as the ‘Halle Berry Effect.’ Berry returned to the X-men franchise in 2003 and 2014, but aside from that, she’s had little success in film following Monster’s Ball, aside from the 2012 film, Cloud Atlas. Following X2: X-Men United, she made two immediate career missteps, Gothika and Catwoman, which were both critically panned and box office flops. Perfect Stranger, The Call, Frank & Alice and Dark Tide had the same fate as Catwoman and Gothika. Halle Berry, an Oscar winner and once one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, is now starring in the CBS network drama, Extant.
9. Katherine Heigl
In 2009, Katherine Heigl was Hollywood’s golden girl, with a starring role in the hit TV show, Grey’s Anatomy and lead roles in several huge box office films including, Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses. Hollywood’s golden girl quickly turned into Hollywood’s most hated girl, when Heigl burned several bridges and tarnished her reputation through comments made in interviews. First, Heigl called Knocked Up sexist, the film that really put her on the map. Then, in 2008, Katherine withdrew her name from consideration for an Emmy award, because she believed the writing for her Grey’s character was not deserving of a nomination. Finally, it became widely known that Heigl was difficult to work with due to her diva-like behavior. Katherine Heigl’s reputation was not only known throughout Hollywood, it was known throughout the world. Her films Killers, Life as We Know It, One for the Money and The Big Wedding were box office flops, and the public made it clear they weren’t willing to pay to see Heigl anymore.
8. Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.’s first major role was in the 1991 box office surprise, Boyz in the Hood. He went on to land supporting roles in major films like, A Few Good Men and Outbreak, but it was his role in the 1996 box office smash, Jerry Maguire that elevated Cuba to superstar status. However, in the next ten years, Cuba starred in 20 films and of those, only one was critically acclaimed; the 1997 movie, As Good as it Gets. Gooding’s days of critical acclaim were behind him and he hit his lowest point with the back-to-back release of Boat Trip and Snow Dogs, ruining any credibility he had left as an actor. It wasn’t until 2013 that Cuba gained some of his credibility back with a small role in the critically acclaimed film, The Butler. Although Cuba has struggled with picking the right roles, he has what it takes to rise to the A-list ranks again. The highly anticipated series, American Crime Story debuts in 2015 and Gooding’s role as O.J. Simpson may be substantial enough to revive the career that’s essentially been dead since 1997.
7. Mike Myers
Mike Myers got his career start on Saturday Night Live in 1992, and like few people, he was able to translate his SNL success into a film career, starting with the comedy Wayne’s World. Myers became most known for the Austin Powers films and his voice work for the title character in the Shrek franchise. Between Austin Powers and Shrek, his films had grossed more than $1 billion and Myers was a bankable comedy titan. Although Myers’ 2003 film Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat was a flop, it was the 2008 film, The Love Guru, that was such a failure, it made Mike Myers step away from the spotlight. Since 2008, Myers has only made a cameo in Inglourious Bastards and did the voice work for the fourth Shrek film. Other than those projects, Mike Myers has fallen off of the Hollywood grid.
6. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler came on the scene in 1990, as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Sandler was able to parlay his success on SNL into film in 1995, with the comedy Billy Madison. For the next twelve years, Sandler put out a number of box office hits, including Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, Big Daddy and 50 First Dates. However, starting in 2008 with You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Sandler jumped on a new path – and that path was lined with box office flops and critically panned films, from Grown Ups to That’s My Boy to Jack & Jill and more. Sandler’s reputation for making awful films has become so prevalent that even Sony Pictures was tired of bad Adam Sandler movies. Sony’s feelings about Sandler were released during the Sony hack in late 2014, and the revelation gave the public and Sony something in common.
5. Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger first gained widespread attention for her role in the romantic-comedy sports film, Jerry Maguire, opposite Tom Cruise. Following her huge success, Zellweger starred in a couple of critically acclaimed independent films, and then in 2001, she hit it big with the lead role in the film, Bridget Jones’ Diary, which was adored by critics and audiences. Now an A-list star, Renee starred in several box office hits, and even earned herself a Golden Globe for her role in Chicago and an Oscar for Cold Mountain. However, her road to success took a major turn with a series of box office flops and critically panned films, including Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason, New in Town and Case 39, which was released in 2010, and was the last film Zellweger starred in. As of now, the only thing Renee has in the works is the third installment of Bridget Jones, which is rumored to release sometime in 2015, and might be just what Renee needs to revive her career.
4. Eddie Murphy
In the 1980’s, Eddie Murphy was in the fast-lane to super stardom. He got his start in showbiz on Saturday Night Live in 1980, and after four years, Murphy was able to cross-over to the big screen. However, it was the 1984 film, Beverly Hills Cop that made Murphy a box-office superstar and an international celebrity. However, starting in the late-80’s, Murphy’s choice in scripts resulted in a spotty mix of hits and misses. Coming to America (1988) was a box office hit, while The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) bombed. The 1996 hit film The Nutty Professor, gave Eddie back his credibility as a comedic actor that could draw audiences. However, the spotty mix continued – except this time the misses far outweighed the hits. Films like, The Haunted Mansion, Showtime, Meet Dave, Imagine That, I Spy and A Thousand Words were huge box office flops. Eddie hasn’t put out a film in 3 years and it appears his career is officially dead. However, he has revived his career twice before, so there’s always a possibility.
3. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan captured audiences at the young age of twelve, as the star of the hit film, The Parent Trap. She went on to star in a couple of other movies as a child star, but it was the 2003 box office hit Freaky Friday that made Lohan a break-out star. Her next film, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen wasn’t a success, but critics were still impressed with her acting skills. In 2004, Lohan landed the lead role in Mean Girls, which was a box office hit and went on to become a cultural phenomenon. The film made her one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood, and she went on to star in number of films in the next couple of years, including Herbie: Fully Reloaded, Just My Luck, Bobby and A Prairie Home Companion. However in 2007, Lohan’s personal life took a turn for the worse due to alcohol abuse, drug problems and legal issues. Lohan’s personal troubles severely impacted her career – the once sought after actress had a slew of box office flops and then, was stuck making made-for-TV films. To this day, Lindsay has still been not been able to revive her career.
2. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson became an international star after the release of one of his first films, the 1979 small-budget movie, Mad Max. Between the Mad Max franchise and the Lethal Weapon films, Gibson was well-known as a leading A-List, action star. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Mel expanded into other genres (What Women Want, Signs and The Patriot) and other film professions, including director and producer. In 1995, Gibson produced, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed film, Braveheart, which went on to win Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. Although it faced much controversy, Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, to which he wrote, directed and produced was a box office hit, grossing more than $600 million worldwide. Between acting, directing, producing and writing, Mel Gibson seemed to be an unstoppable Hollywood force. However in 2006, he came under fire for making a slew of anti-Semitic remarks to a police officer after being charged with drunk driving. Not long later, Mel was recorded during a domestic argument with his then-girlfriend, Oksana, in which he lashed out on her verbally with insults and racial slurs. Since the outburst controversy, Hollywood’s once-leading man has struggled to remain relevant, and his films, Edge of Darkness, Get the Gringo and The Beaver, have bombed at the box office.
1. Nicolas Cage
At one point in time, Nicolas Cage was one of the biggest and most respected stars in Hollywood, but now he’s considered one of the biggest jokes in Hollywood. How exactly did he go from A-list star to D-list celeb? Cage came on the screen in the 1980s, with critically acclaimed films like, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Moonstruck and Raising Arizona. In 1995, he received an Academy Award for his performance in Leaving Las Vegas, and then began gaining the attention of audiences all over the world with roles in blockbuster films like, The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds and National Treasure. Cage’s films continued to dominate the box office throughout the 2000s, until 2009 when issues in Cage’s personal life affected his choices in film role. It was around that time that tabloids reported Nicolas was in hot water with the IRS for millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Between 1996-2011, Cage had earned over $150 million from acting alone, and was financially set for the rest of his life – except he blew his fortune on houses all over the world, yachts, a jet, 9 Rolls Royces, 30 motorcycles, a castle, an island and even a pyramid. Due to financial troubles, Nicolas Cage began accepting every role he was offered, which may have paid the bills, but did nothing for his career. Box office flops like Trespass, Drive Angry, Seeking Justice, Stolen, Left Behind and Rage, redefined Nicolas Cage’s career and reputation, from A-list star to D-list celeb.
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