Everyone has seen a performance in a movie that leaves you shaking your head. As you walk out of the theater or turn it off in your living room, you vow never to watch that actor again. Well, what if everyone who watched it left that movie thinking that way? What if the studios and filmmakers were left feeling that way? That’s basically what happened to these poor list members. They’ve been abandoned, forgotten about. Some have managed to keep the embers of their careers glowing, but they’re certainly not the burning flames they once were. Sometimes we ignore them because we’re embarrassed about their acting ability. Other times, it’s because we’re afraid their terrible acting might rub off on us, like being untalented is somehow contagious.
Some of the members on this list saw their careers crumble, not necessarily because of a poor performance, but because the movie itself ruined it for them, changing the perception of the actor forever. Many may have been unworthy of their initial popularity, and their big failure was simply bringing them back down to where they belong. Whatever the reasons for their career collapse, for all of the members on this list, one film was really to blame, sometimes two, but mainly one film. This one film (but in some cases two) that was (or were) the straw (but also the straws) that broke the camel’s back. One role to ruin them all. One role to blind them. One role to… Alright, let’s look at these disastrous career choices: 15 roles that ended an actor’s career.
15 Hayden Christensen – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
14 Alicia Silverstone – Excess Baggage
13 Tom Green – Freddy Got Fingered
12 Demi Moore – Striptease
11 Chris O'Donnell – Batman & Robin
10 Taylor Lautner
9 Lindsay Lohan – I Know Who Killed Me
8 John Travolta – Battlefield Earth
7 Cuba Gooding Jr. – Boat Trip
6 Eddie Murphy – Norbit
5 Kevin Costner – Waterworld/The Postman
4 Halle Berry – Catwoman
3 Sean Connery – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
2 Mike Myers – The Love Guru
1 Charlie Chaplin – The Great Dictator
In Charlie Chaplin’s final major American performance in The Great Dictator, a film which parodied Adolf Hitler, Chaplin concludes the film with a 5-minute dialogue in which he breaks character and the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience, pleading to them to stand up against war and fascism. This connective tissue between the actor and his politics was the beginning of the end for Chaplin. What followed was a series of accusations from the FBI, a few personal scandals, and another film, Monsieur Verdoux, that voiced Chaplin’s politics once more, spelling the end of Chaplin’s popularity in America once and for all. Monsieur Verdoux was met with a chorus of boos when it debuted and he was accused of being a communist henceforth. The man who created “The Tramp,” one of the most important figures in the history of film, would leave America in 1952 and not return again until his honorary Academy Award in 1972.
Sources: Wikipedia; Rotten Tomatoes; IMDB
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