While many celebrities have been in the spotlight for most of their lives, there’s a long list forming of those who have disappeared. Not in a literal sense, but vanished from Hollywood. Whether it’s wanting a change in career, they’ve had enough of the limelight, or they just fizzled out, some celebrities have gone from super-stardom to not even making the tabloids. Sure, we’ve seen them here and there on the red carpet, or maybe they have shown up in a small part on a movie or commercial. But even with these small roles, it’s nothing compared to the careers they’ve had in the past.
Once big stars winning awards, scoring huge movie and TV roles, and gracing their presence on posters on many teenagers’ walls, we are left wondering “where did they go?” It’s as though they catapulted to stardom and then faded just as fast. As a result, we can’t help but wonder what happened to some of our favorite actors.
Below are 15 celebrities who have fallen off the radar without much explanation at all.
15 15- Rick Moranis
A fun comedian in the 80’s and 90’s, Rick Moranis wasn’t your typical leading man. He was quirky and nerdy, which helped highlight his memorable roles in the classics “Ghostbusters” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Once his wife passed away from cancer in 1991, Moranis began taking less and less roles as he was now a single parent. What started out to be a little break at first, turned into a longer break, which resulted in Moranis not missing Hollywood much at all.
14 14- Scott Wolf
After becoming a teen sensation from his role in Party of Five, Scott Wolf has landed only a few roles since the series ended. And that was a while ago. He had a couple of movie spots, but most of those didn’t top the charts so to speak. Needless to say, former pretty boy big star didn’t really become as big of a star as many thought. However, Scott has been succeeded well in his personal life as he is married to his long-time love Kelley Limp who’s an alumna of MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans.
13 13- Topher Grace
We can’t forget Topher Grace! He was the go-to guy for roles there for a minute, especially following his part in the super popular show That 70’s Show. But then his once-promising career went off the rails, and pretty fast. Grace was the first main character to leave That 70’s Show, departing before the show ended. He quickly carried on his Hollywood stardom to the movies and starred in a few pretty decent ones. But then his career just stopped. It seems as though most of his co-stars from That 70’s Show went on to become huge stars. Look at Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Laura Prepon?!?! So where did Topher Grace go?
12 12- Helen Hunt
Best known for her roles in the hit blockbuster Twister and the super-popular TV comedy Mad About You, Helen Hunt once dominated the big screen. But since the early 2000’s her career has fizzled. Flat out fizzled. Hunt practically grew up in Hollywood as she started acting in the early 1970’s at the age of 10. She continued to gain tons and tons of roles in TV and film, but it seems that after starring in What Women Want, Hunt evaporated from the scene. Many attribute her slow-down to wanting to start a family, and in fact once she had a daughter Hunt took a step back from her career. For someone who has tons of awards and has been acting for decades, I think it’s safe to say she deserves a break.
11 11- Fred Savage
For someone that dominated the 90’s he sure disappeared pretty quick. Famous for playing Kevin in The Wonder Years, Fred Savage mostly works behind the scenes these days. After The Wonder Years ended, Savage graduated from college and married his longtime love Jenny Stone. Savage’s acting career slid south, as he only landed a few acting roles here and there. However, he went on to embrace his directing skills, which helped him stay a part of Hollywood. According to “fame10.com” Savage has directed many episodes on a number of popular series such as Boy Meets World, Drake and Josh and Hannah Montana. He’s also had the honor of directing in the big screen with the film Daddy Day Camp, however since that film we haven’t seen or heard much from him.
10 10- Rachael Leigh Cook
Gracing the covers of tons of magazines in the 90’s and starring alongside Freddy Prinze, Jr in She’s All That, and rocking it out in Josie and the Pussycats, Rachael Leigh Cook has since vanished from the big screen. She’s had a small number of roles in films and indie flicks, and TV shows since, but that’s about it. She basically vanished from the radar and the media seemed to abandon her as well. Cook is currently married to The Vampire Diaries star Daniel Gillies, and has gotten involved in philanthropy work. Cook and Geena Davis partnered up with a few other organizations to let girls know that what they see on TV or magazines isn’t real.
9 9- Luke Perry
Luke Perry most famous for playing bad-boy Dylan McKay in the 90’s hit Beverly Hills, 90210, has pretty much fallen completely off the Hollywood scene. Having had a few appearances in shows like Will & Grace, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Windfall, he hasn’t had any other defining roles. Looks like Beverly Hills, 90210 took ahold of him and he will always be remembered, even if a couple of decades later, for his character.
8 8- Andrew Keegan
Another teen heartthrob from the 90’s, Andrew Keegan was an in-demand actor for a few years. He had re-occurring roles on many popular 90’s hits such as Full House, Party of Five, 7th Heaven, The Amanda Show and Step by Step (to name a few). He broke out into the film industry for a hot minute, but then disappeared. It looked like he had a lot going for him when he starred alongside Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You. However, he seems to fly under the radar now more than anything.
7 7- Adrien Brody
It seems like after The Pianist in 2002, Adrien Brody went poof. According to “reddit.com” Brody fires his agent, and makes a few switches within the Hollywood business arena. This may have hurt him as he’s only landed a few low-budget gigs since. Having been highly sought-out and even winning an Oscar, it looked as though Brody was going to go far, and his career was going to sail sky-high. In fact, Brody was the youngest winner of the Academy Award “Best Actor” award. Bottom line, for a man who has this unique title and was involved with a couple of blockbuster hits, his career has clearly taken a free-fall.
6 6- Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Everyone knows him as the Academy Award winner who famously said “Show me the money” in 1996’s hit Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding, Jr has pretty much gone bye bye. He stared in a few films in the early 2000’s, but following a few films that went straight to DVD, we haven’t seen much of Cuba Gooding, Jr. His career began in the 80’s and he got his big break when he landed the lead role in Boyz N the Hood. Then add on mega-hits like A Few Good Men, Outbreak, and Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding, Jr’s career was looking good. However, it all just seemed to stop, and his movies following his 90’s success have since proved unworthy. For someone who was an A-lister on the rise, it all seemed to go downhill for him.
5 5- Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Every 90’s girls crush, teen heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas turned his back on fame in 1998 to focus on academics. This teen idol, best known for his role as the middle son in Home Improvement, decided to leave the show to study Philosophy at Harvard University. He also spent a year studying abroad at St. Andrews University in Scotland and graduated from Columbia University in 2010. According to “fame10.com,” JTT says he’s no longer interested in acting, however he is going to dabble in directing and writing scripts.
4 4- Mara Wilson
Best known for playing the adorable “Matilda,” Mara Wilson quit acting at a young age. Even though she captivated audiences in a few family-friendly films, including Mrs. Doubtfire, Wilson decided to leave showbiz behind. According to “popcrush.com,” she explained her reason for leaving Hollywood by saying “film acting is not very fun. Doing the same thing over and over again until, in the director’s eyes, you ‘get it right’ does not allow for very much creative freedom.” Wilson went on to study art at New York University and according to US Magazine, she now works as a playwright. She’s not shy to reiterate that she’s totally done with acting, as she says she “doesn’t have any plans to pursue film acting. It’s not my ‘thing’ anymore.”
3 3- Chuck Norris
Every man wants to be him, every woman wants to be with him. We are talking about Chuck Norris., who’s best known for his role as Walker on “Walker, Texas Ranger.” Aside from a gazillion internet memes, “Chuck Norris Facts” and the occasional TV infomercial, he has basically vanished once the show ended in 2001. Chuck Norris has shown that he wants to move away from Hollywood and focus on more political issues. For example, he’s a writer for a conservative blog, raised money for various political candidates, and has worked with many military charities.
2 2- Mischa Barton
After her famous run on the successful teen drama, The O.C., Mischa Barton was set to be a breakout star. But then once the show ended so did her career. Surely the DUI in 2007 and a “breakdown” in 2009 didn’t help, and according to People Magazine, Barton had a “full-on breakdown” and was under “enormous pressure.” Since getting healthy and focusing on positive things, Barton now focuses on her make-up collection and handbag line. However, when it comes to Hollywood her career has taken a dramatic downward spiral to a bunch of nothing.
1 1- Macaulay Culkin
Once the ultimate childhood star of the 90’s, Macaulay Culkin’s career fell faster than it rose. Other than being in the tabloids for his drastic appearance changes, Macaulay Culkin has been gone from Hollywood for at least 9 years. Having achieved success at an incredibly young age, and best known for his role as Kevin in the Home Alone films, Culkin is basically only seen in a few magazines here and there. And when he’s seen it’s not all that positive, as he’s been busted for drugs in the past and according to TIME Magazine, he’s an “odd bird now.” Granted, his younger self appears on every TV each year at Christmastime, but that’s the most attention he gets.