Hollywood is pretty fickle. There are stars who constantly grace the red carpet, even though many people wonder how these celebrities got famous in the first place. There are also actors who are pretty decent performers, but can’t seem to get work after their debut roles. Of course, some of these celebrities don’t leave Hollywood without a fight. A number of these celebrities have starred in other movies since their big breaks, but the films just haven’t gotten much buzz. Some of these one-hit wonders get reality shows that end up being short-lived. Others agree to star as cast members in other reality shows, which also doesn't always last long.
There are also a few one-hit-wonder celebrities who accept the fact that Hollywood is no longer interested, and go on to live pretty normal lives. Sure, they’re sometimes recognized in public, and they often take the opportunity to take pictures and interact with fans who remember them from “that one movie.” Sometimes, the fans they’ve taken photos with will post the images on social media, and semi-revive the celebrity’s career for a short period of time.
Ever wonder what happened to the star you never saw again? Here are 12 celebrities that were dumped after just one major role.
12 Jonathan Bennett
He was the dreamy guy in the movie Mean Girls that Lindsay Lohan’s character had a huge crush on. Most people thought Bennett’s role in the movie was going to catapult him into stardom, but that didn’t quite happen. It’s been about a decade since Mean Girls made its big-screen debut, and since then, Jonathan Bennett has been in around a dozen movies. The only problem is, we’re pretty sure you’ve never heard of them. There was, however, a time when Bennett was one of the “stars” on Dancing With the Stars. During his time on the show, his partner Julianne Hough accidentally revealed to the world that Bennett was gay. Even this big news didn’t keep him in the spotlight for long.
11 Brandon Routh
Superhero movies have been popular in the box office for quite some time, but it wasn’t always that way. In 2006, the movie Superman Returns was released as an attempt to bring one of the most popular DC comic book characters to life. However, the film didn’t do so well; it only made $200 million domestically, and cost $270 million to make. Brandon Routh was the star of the movie, and his success in Hollywood has mimicked the success of the movie. Routh likely thought he was going to have a lucrative career similar to Christopher Reeves, who will always be known for playing Superman on screen. Brandon Routh seems to have given up on movies, but he can be seen on some television shows like Arrow, and its spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow.
10 Linda Blair
If you remember being completely spooked by the 1973 movie The Exorcist, you likely remember Linda Blair. Blair was just a teenager when she got the part, but her role in the film was so iconic that it’s no surprise that the rest of her career has paled in comparison. The sequel to The Exorcist, Exorcist II: The Heretic was released four years after the original movie, and the reviews weren’t so good. For years, Linda struggled to get roles that would show off her acting talent. She got roles in the 1980s and 1990s on television shows like Murder, She Wrote and Married…With Children, but her career was never the same.
9 Louise Fletcher
As any actor knows, being an Oscar winner can certainly propel your career. However, achieving such great acclaim early in one’s career can also be a detriment. Louise Fletcher knows this first hand, and she’s still known for her award-winning role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Fletcher would later star with Linda Blair in her next movie, Exorcist II. It became clear after a few years that Louise wasn’t going to find more success in the movies, so she turned to television. Fletcher has appeared in popular shows like ER, and also had roles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Private Practice, Heroes and Shameless.
8 Danny Lloyd
Danny Lloyd is a former child actor who is known for his role as the little boy with psychic abilities in The Shining. Many fans of the movie wish that Lloyd would have stayed in the business, because he was pretty talented, and was pretty talented at pretending to be scared out of his mind. Those who are familiar with The Shining likely remember Danny Lloyd riding around the hotel vividly, and the way he’d utter “Redrum.” Danny’s reactions when his father in the movie (played by Jack Nicholson) went completely psycho. It’s also pretty surprising (and impressive) to know that the director of the film didn’t let Danny know the movie’s genre until filming had wrapped. That’s probably why Lloyd is so well-adjusted. He’s no longer an actor, and is now a biology professor.
7 Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill is proof that even if you’re part of one of the most popular movie franchises ever, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be a movie star. Hamill is most well known for playing the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. After his performance in the cult classic, he tried to find more success in the business, but didn’t have much luck. He starred in the sci-fi project Guyver, in 1991, but no one seems to remember that. However, over the last 30 years or so, Mark Hamill has been able to stay in Hollywood as a voice actor for a number of kids’ shows. For instance, he voiced the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. Hamill is also in The Force Awakens, the J.J. Abrams’ sequel to Star Wars.
6 Wes Bentley
If you enjoyed movies about emo teenagers at a time when you could directly relate to them, you probably know who Wes Bentley is. He starred in the drama American Beauty in 1999, but we haven’t heard much from him since. Soon after the release of the film, Bentley was off the scene, largely because of his nine-year drug addiction, which included heroin and cocaine. After getting clean, Wes landed small roles in big movies like The Hunger Games and Interstellar. It seems that Hollywood is trying to give Bentley a second chance, since he’s also appearing in the anthology series, American Horror Story.
5 Aries Spears
Remember the guy who played Cuba Gooding Jr.’s friend in Jerry Maguire? His name is Aries Spears, and it seems like mainstream media hasn’t heard much from him since this role. The comedian and actor has also had parts in other movies, such as Malcom X, Why Do Fools Fall In Love? and House of Angels, which he starred in when he was just 17. Spears realized he had the ability to make people laugh when he was just 14, which led him to produce hilarious comedy sketches and impressions on the variety show, Mad TV. He also starred opposite Glenn Frey in the movie South of Sunset. It’s been years since Hollywood has seen him, even though most of his fans probably thought his role in Jerry Maguire would do more for his career.
4 Patrick Fugit
Remember when the adorable teen Patrick Fugit, starred opposite Kate Hudson in the movie Almost Famous, in 2000? That’s probably the last time you’ve seen him. Fugit’s performance in the Oscar-winning movie about director Cameron Crowe’s life was stellar, but after the film, he had a hard time finding work. Patrick did appear in smaller movies like Saved! And White Oleander, but he still didn’t achieve the success that came with his first movie. It looks like the almost-famous Fugit is still trying to make a comeback, since he recently appeared in Gone Girl, so he’s not giving up just yet.
3 Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone was just 19 years old when she made her big-screen debut in the 1995 movie Clueless. Virtually every kid who grew up in the 1990s spent a good portion of their time quoting lines from the movie. Everyone thought Silverstone was going to be the next Hollywood darling, but it didn’t quite work out that way. Two years after Clueless was released, Alicia starred in Batman & Robin, and critics weren’t too kind about her performance. She went on to star in the 1999 romantic comedy Blast From The Past, and the reviews weren’t much better. The Golden Globe-nominated actress made the news again a few years ago when revealed that she feeds her son, Bear, mouth to mouth. That’s not exactly good press, but maybe it will help her get back into the movies at some point.
2 Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. has had career luck that is similar to Louise Fletcher’s, in that he won an Oscar, but that didn’t guarantee he’d get great roles afterward. Gooding’s performance in Jerry Maguire in 1996 was stellar, but after the excitement of this role, he didn’t quite make great choices when picking roles. He starred in Boat Trip in 2003, which only made about $8 million. A few years later, Gooding landed a starring role in Daddy Day Camp, the sequel to Daddy Day Care. He then starred with Eddie Murphy in the 2007 movie Norbit. Cuba Gooding is now the winner of several Razzies, and it seems like no one remembers that he once won a prestigious award for acting.
1 Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon Elizabeth will always be known as the hot girl who starred in American Pie and became a sex symbol overnight in 1999. She was the foreign exchange student who Jason Biggs’ character was completely in “love” with. However, the actress, who is a native of Texas, learned that Hollywood can fall out of love with actors pretty quickly. She appeared in American Pie 2 in 2001, and American Reunion in 2012, the sequels to American Pie, but these movies are pretty much the only way she’s stayed relevant. Elizabeth also starred in the (terrible) romantic comedy A Novel Romance, in 2011, and in the Christmas film Golden Winter with Haylie Duff.