Celebrity is an interesting thing. Once you’ve achieved it, losing it can be more difficult than some would ever imagine. You may no longer be nearly as celebrated as you once were, but in a lot of cases, people still give chance after chance to reclaim the glory you once held so dear. If nothing else, the corporate structure of the entertainment industry today will try everything they can to make money off the fans you’d accumulated at one point in your life.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll remain on top of the world however, and for this list we’ll be looking at celebs whose best days are behind them. In order to make our list, you need to have been a big star at one point in your life. Your time at the top of the heap doesn’t necessarily need to have gone on for a long time but we certainly gave figures who spent an extended amount of time on top of the world a premium.
22 Angelina Jolie
A woman that seems to ooze sexy from her every pore and doesn’t suffer fools in the slightest, Angelina is one of the biggest stars since the turn of the millennium. Building steam in the late nineties with her roles in Gia and Girl Interrupted, her films Wanted, Tomb Raider, Salt, Kung Fu Panda Mr. & Mrs. Smith and even the more recent Maleficent, were box office behemoths.
20 Taylor Kitsch
It seems like Hollywood has an actor they desperately want to make into a big star with each generation. This time around there seems to be a couple of young men who’ve had their kick at the bucket, Jai Courtney, who we left off the list thinking Suicide Squad may finally get it done, and our 20th entry. Made famous after starring on the critically acclaimed football series Friday Night Lights for several seasons, Taylor was tapped to star in a slew of major movies. We’re guessing he thought the best was yet to come but it turns out he’d already peaked as he starred in one stinker after another.
19 Michael Cera
18 Justin Long
17 Lindsay Lohan
It may be hard to remember now but there was a time where Lindsay Lohan was a multi-faceted breakout star whose music was popular and seemed to be the go-to actress for casting directors. Oh, how things have changed. Starring in movies like Freaky Friday, The Parent Trap, Herbie: Fully Loaded and the classic teen film Mean Girls, she was on her way to becoming a bankable star. Additionally, at her zenith, she released two albums which earned her gold and platinum status.
16 Orlando Bloom
One of the stars of two of the biggest franchises of all time, Orlando only needed a few outside of them to become one of the biggest stars in years. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly have the Midas touch when it came to picking his other projects. Made a star after playing Legolas in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he transitioned to the immensely popular Pirates of the Caribbean films once those films came to an end.
15 Megan Fox
Made a star when she was cast by Michael Bay in the Transformers franchise, as the female lead, Megan clearly owed her notoriety to the rather suggestive way in which Bay shot her body. After appearing in the second film in the series, Megan and Michael came to odds and publicly took shots at one another, including Ms. Fox comparing her director to Hitler, which led to her departing the series.
14 Jessica Alba
Looking at Jessica’s filmography, it is actually pretty shocking that she ever became a star at all. Jessica has acted in thirty-six movies to date and her only films that have significant amounts of fans seem to be Never Been Kissed, where she played a small part, Idle Hands, Sin City, and Machete. We suppose that you could argue that her Fantastic Four films have her defenders but they are wildly outnumbered by people who were extremely disappointed in them.
13 Al Pacino
The winner of an Oscar, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmys, a British Academy Film Award, four Gold Globes, A.F.I.’s Lifetime Achievement Award and other accolades, people seemed to like Al’s work. The Godfather Trilogy, Scarface, Dog Day Afternoon, Glengarry Glen Ross, Scent of a Woman, Heat, Donnie Brasco, Any Given Sunday, Insomnia, all right we get it, he’s been in some awesome movies.
12 Robert De Niro
It is painful for us to include this master thespian on this list but there is no way we could keep him off. One of the most respected actors of all time, seeing his name on a poster in between 1973 and 1997 was a really good indication that the movie in question had a great shot at being awesome. Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, Brazil, Midnight Run, Goodfellas, Backdraft, Cape Fear, This Boy’s Life, Heat, Wag the Dog, need we say more?
11 Mike Myers
This former Saturday Night Live star, Mike has managed to pull off the incredible feat of creating four massively popular and unforgettable characters. Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, and Shrek are all figures that are instantly recognizable and even when you hear them only the odds of knowing who you are listening to is amazingly high. Hell, you can even toss in Fat Bastard, Goldmember and his characters from SNL, So I Married an Axe Murderer, 54, and Mystery Alaska to the pile of beloved figures he’s created.
10 Gerard Butler
Where have all the action stars gone? Sure, we love The Rock as much as anyone and there are a few other young men like Vin Diesel and Jason Statham that are pretty great but this generation isn’t stacking up. For the briefest of moments after 300 was released, we thought we may have gotten the answer to our prayers in Gerard Butler whose performance as Leonidas, King of Sparta was awesome.
9 Nicolas Cage
Listen, we died laughing when we saw that video that went viral of all of Nic Cage’s most over-the-top acting moments, but if you weren’t around in the eighties and nineties, it may lead you astray. Although it is clear that a lot of his roles have some pretty crazy moments, we need to all remember that Nicolas was entertaining as all hell in a bunch of movies. Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Leaving Las Vegas, and Adaptation has our favorite acting of the man’s career. On the other hand, we love the awesome action he helped bring to life in The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air and even in the National Treasure movies.
8 Eddie Murphy
At one time, Eddie Murphy was one of (if not) the best figures in all of comedy. Receiving huge laughs on Saturday Night Live, he left for the greener pastures of Hollywood while releasing two gigantic stand up specials that just killed. 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, Coming To America, The Nutty Professor, and DreamGirls were all huge due to the involvement of Eddie Murphy. Hell, the dude even released a hit single called Party all the Time, if there is better proof of how gigantic he was at the time, we can’t think of it.
7 Johnny Depp
For those of us who remember the days when Johnny Depp was one of the most talented and interesting actors in the world, watching most of his recent work is awfully sad. Gone are the days of Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Blow, seemingly never to return. Johnny previously seemed to pick his projects by looking for the roles that would challenge him and delight his fans the most.
6 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen may be a cockroach who seems to rebound no matter how hard he falls but we can’t see him coming back from his explosive Two and Half Men departure. The son of Hollywood heavyweight Martin Sheen and brother of Emilio Estevez, it is arguable that for a long time Charlie’s career eclipsed his successful family. The star of Platoon, Wall Street, Young Guns, Major League and its sequel, Hot Shots, and its sequel, and Rated X, Charlie played a major part in some classic films. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame, however, came from his 2 season run on Spin City and 8 seasons of Two and Half Men, which despite having a bevy of haters, was one of the highest rated shows on television.
5 Kristen Stewart
An actress who had put together a pretty nice little career for herself by appearing in Zathura, The Messengers, In the Land of Women, and Into the Wild, Kristen’s defining role began in 2008. Cast as Bella Swan in the Twilight series of films, she became an international superstar overnight after the first film and remained that way as another four came out. A star of the big screen and beloved off of it, her on again, off again relationship with her co-star Robert Pattinson had their combined fans swooning.
4 Katherine Heigl
The story of Katherine Heigl’s career is a pretty bizarre one. First becoming beloved for her role in a teen drama, sci-fi series Roswell, she was really made into a star due to her part in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Leaping to the big screen, she played the female lead in Knocked Up, a film that was written, produced and directed by the comedy star-maker Judd Apatow. An opportunity that should’ve led to Katherine being offered leading roles in a lot of films; the hit comedy actually began the decline of her career due to off-screen drama.
3 Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is the one star on this list that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint what his downfall sprung from. Reaching the highest peaks of his career in the nineties due to starring in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, The Truman Show and others, he still makes good movies today. He was really good in Kick-Ass 2, I Love You Phillip Morris was extremely affecting, Yes Man and Bruce Almighty were funny and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is probably his greatest role.
2 Bruce Willis
Of all of the people on this list, Bruce seems to be the man who could reclaim his former glory the easiest but given his recent behavior we’re sure the world had better not hold its breath. The star of one of the most beloved films ever Die Hard, Bruce became a huge action star that seemed to be able to write his own ticket in Hollywood. Appearing in great movies like the first two Die Hard sequels, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Sin City and many others, he seemed untouchable.
1 Adam Sandler
Adam may sleep well at night on a pile of money but we can’t imagine the world in which even he is at all happy with his output over the last decade. After putting out films like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Punch-Drunk Love, and 50 First Dates, he had proven himself to his bosses and audiences. Seemingly able to get any movie he wanted made due to the fact that he’d reliably made money for the companies that bankrolled him, he could have given original stories and creative people chances.
Instead, he seems to have decided that he would use his new-found clout to get all of his comedy buddies jobs, spend time with beautiful actresses and get paid to travel to the world’s most beautiful locales. He’ll make sure a movie gets made in the process but we’re hoping quality control is no longer a concern because the alternative is that he actually thinks these movies are good. He couldn’t possibly think Pixels or The Cobbler or Blended or That’s My Boy or Jack and Jill or Bedtime Stories were actually good right?
Sources: HuffingtonPost, IMDB, Collider
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