First of all, let us say that “failed celeb” is a bit of an oxymoron. Those two words totally contradict each other, which we realize. Kudos to anyone who becomes so popular that millions of people know their name. Every person on this list was, and is, a huge success, and some of them may even be legendary. We all hope to become rich and famous in our own lives, but if we can’t, it sure is interesting to watch those who can. And as we watch we tend to notice upward and downward trends in their careers. Mind you, these people, even when they fail, are still way richer than most of us will ever be. That’s why we like to pick on celebs. We watch them so closely, we feel like we kind of know them, and then we get jealous, so we have to say they suck, just to rationalize our own insignificance. It’s human nature.
Certain celebs, however, are off limits for this list. They’ve been picked on enough already. Everybody knows they’ve been through some major drama. Lindsay Lohan, for example. She was skating across the lake of fame at record speed, and then boom, she fell through thin ice. Or Amanda Bynes, this poor girl never even reached that high, but her youth, pretty face and potential deflated as fast as a beach ball and a chainsaw.
But we don’t want to get too critical here. This is all for fun. We all make decisions everyday, and we all make mistakes. Comparing our mistakes that cost $500 to a celeb mistake that cost them $5M is actually very similar in relation to our incomes. And it doesn’t even matter how much money we all have, because as we’ve seen, celebs can be unhappy and reckless, no matter how much cash they possess. So be happy with what you have. Enjoy the little things in life, and laugh more at famous folks you’ll never meet. You know they’re already laughing at us.
15 Tom Cruise - Chose Scientology
Tom Cruise was the end all be all of fame in Hollywood. The dude was on top of the world. He had Risky Business, then Top Gun, Rain Man, Cocktail, and A Few Good Men. The guy could do it all. Everything he touched turned into gold. And then there was a little lull for a while, but guess what? Dude came back with the Mission Impossible franchise and started killing it again. But then something weird happened. Cruise had divorced Nicole Kidman, another odd duck, and next thing you know he married Katie Holmes. Then, nearly six years later, an unreal story hit the news. Apparently Holmes snuck out of the house with daughter Suri in tow. Nobody sneaks away unless something super creepy is going on, right? Holmes feared her own, and especially her daughter’s involvement within the depths of the Church of Scientology. Tom is the spokesperson of the new age religion, and even losing his own family didn’t make him renounce his beliefs. Tom Cruise’s credibility sank, and we haven’t looked at him the same since.
14 Kristen Stewart - Cheated
Everything was gravy for Kristen Stewart back in the Twilight days. She had a series of movie paychecks coming in and the cool part was she didn’t even have to act well. All she had to do was show up and mumble some stuff and look around in wonder with those big beautiful eyes. On top of that, she got to work closely with her handsome boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, who played her male lead counterpart. The public loved them and even christened them as Robsten (alongside other since extinct combo-monikers like Bennifer and Brangelina). Was it the combo-moniker curse? Whatever it was, Robsten was not meant to last. Kristen was cast in Snow White and the Huntsman, and was soon caught on camera fooling around with the director of the film. The public was aghast. How could that evil girl cheat on that sweet boy? Kristen has been cast in many projects since her cheating scandal, but hasn’t been in any blockbusters, and maybe she never will.
13 John Travolta - Dosed at Oscars?
Okay, this guy had been through the ringer a few times, and somehow he always winds up on top. His resilience in Hollywood is unmatched. The guy was king back in the Grease days, then he fell off for decades, only to return with Pulp Fiction. And I don’t really know what happened after that, but damn the dude got weird. All of the sudden there were rumors spreading that he is bald and hiding it, and gay and hiding it, both of which are perfectly normal, so why hide it? Were his homophobic Scientology ties preventing him from coming out? Then, remember the 2014 Oscars faux pas? Dude went up on stage, and was definitely high on something. He walks up and presents Idina Menzel as Adela Dazeem. How did he screw up a name that bad? Who does that? Next thing you know, at the Oscars the following year, he is on the red carpet absolutely creeping on Scarlett Johansson. She defended him afterwards, but a picture tells a thousand words, girl. We know what happened. And the public was not impressed.
12 Nicolas Cage - Odd Purchases
So while we’re on the topic of dudes that went whacko in Hollywood, let us include the name Nic Cage. Here’s another guy, much like Tom Cruise, who could do no wrong. He had a steady list of blockbusters in the late 90s like Con Air, The Rock, City of Angels, and he even won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1995. Then he had a lull, but came back with National Treasure, and things were looking up. Then Nic Cage went crazy. He divorced Lisa Marie Presley after a few months of marriage. Then he married again, and had a son, Kal-El, named after Superman’s dad. Then he started buying weird stuff like dinosaur skulls, an island, albino cobras, multiple yachts, a shark, a crocodile, an octopus, a haunted house, and a burial plot with a huge cement pyramid. After all that crazy spending, the IRS came knocking and he owed $6M. He sues his accountant, who counter-sues, saying the actor is nuts. Then his wife gets caught cheating on him and he hides their separation from the public for months. He keeps working all the while, but his movies get worse and worse and the blockbuster scripts don’t even consider the poor guy.
11 Brendan Fraser - Bad Divorce
Again, here’s a guy that had Hollywood in the palm of his hand at one point in his career. He came onto the scene in the unlikely comedy hit, Encino Man, starring Pauly Shore and Sean Astin. But what catapulted Brendan into stardom was The Mummy trilogy, in which he played the Indiana Jones styled lead Rick O’Connell. Then his personal life took a turn for the worse. Brendan’s wife, who he had met years ago, and had three sons together, wanted a divorce. So they sold their home and then forced Brendan to pay an extremely high alimony of $900K a year. That’s a lot of cash for a guy whose career is in the crapper. Not only does the poor guy have to try his best to land a role with producers and casting directors, but he also has his money-hungry ex breathing down his throat, and accusing him of hiding assets. Obviously some of this stress must have affected his meetings and auditions, as the man surely came off as desperate.
10 Jessica Biel - Bared All
There is no denying that Jessica Biel is one hot momma. She and Justin Timberlake had a son with a normal name, Silas, and Jessica snapped right back into shape, looking as svelte as ever like a month after giving birth. Sure, she looks amazing, but what about her acting career? Well, she’s not standing on the red carpet in her own right, JT brought her along, because Biel's acting days are in the dumper, folks. At one point Biel had the perfect trajectory all lined up. She was the breakout star of 7th Heaven and everything was looking great. Then she got naked for since defunct Gear magazine. The problem was she was only 17. The WB/CW execs didn’t like that much and wrote her off the show. But somehow, Biel miraculously managed to get her stuff together and was invited back to the show three years later. Things were going great again. Guess what? Time to get naked. In Powder Blue, Biel played a stripper with a fetish for melted wax, and giving awkward hugs in the middle of a lap dance. That’s not good. Maybe she’s just too pretty to act.
9 Katherine Heigl - Ego Took Over
The word on the street is that Heigl has a huge ego and is very difficult to work with. I realize that most of these celebs must have huge egos. You have to believe in yourself like crazy in order to pack up your bags and head off to Hollywood, while aunts, uncles, parents, siblings and grandparents shake their head like WTF. Then you get rejected repeatedly, and your ego has to keep marching on blindly, and maniacally, until you finally succeed. And that’s what Katherine did. She had a great gig on Grey’s Anatomy and the whole country fell in love with her. Then she lucked out when Anne Hathaway passed on Knocked Up, and Heigl nabbed the role. Then her ego started to swell. She complained about working on Knocked Up, and basically said the script sucked. Then she won an Emmy for Grey’s and the ego swelled more. She left the show alleging that she was getting written out, while show producers argued that she had requested a lighter workload. Then she did a couple more movies that sucked, especially One for the Money, which grossed negative $4M. She ended up voicing Nut Job with floundering Brendan Fraser. Now she’s back on TV in Doubt, and getting awful reviews.
8 Kevin Costner - Chose Really Bad Scripts
Talk about going from king of the mountain to king of the crapper. Kevin Costner was on top of it all in the late 80s. He did The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and then starred in, produced and directed the monumental Oscar winning film, Dances With Wolves. If you haven’t seen this movie check it out, it’s one of the timeless greats. Costner kept sailing with his awesome follow up, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Then came JFK, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp. Then Kev tried producing again, this time with a colossal budget and a really bad script. It was ahead of its time with the whole future dystopia idea, but nobody was feeling the man with gills factor, and Waterworld sunk. The most expensive film ever, at the time, it was not profitable. Costner followed up with good reviews in Tin Cup but then his career took a huge slide, capped with 3000 Miles to Graceland, one of the worst films ever. The biggest reason this movie sucked was because Costner plays a bad guy. Bad move. Don’t make a career out of being good and then switch over. He disappeared for years and only resurfaced recently.
7 Arnold Schwarzenegger - Knocked Up Nanny
Everybody knows this guy. He’s the action legend, who was on top of the box office like a boss. He’s the Terminator. Enough said. Then what happened? Well, he was married to Maria Shriver, a Kennedy, so of course he’s going to get into politics. After a circus of a recall election, he became the Governor of California. Then, as we all learned from this past election, Hollywood is intense, but you get in that political game and the magnification increases tenfold. And guess what? Somebody found out that Arnie had an illegitimate child. And not just with some girl he met on Venice Beach back in the day-- with the family nanny. This boy was around, and even played with his and Shriver’s son. So yeah, Maria was pissed, and sent Arnie to the curb. But wait, get this, Arnold and Maria are still, six years later, NOT divorced. We don’t know if it’s tough splitting up their assets or what, but weird just got weirder, and Schwarzenegger’s reputation has suffered.
6 Mel Gibson - Made Hateful Slurs
So what did old Mel actually say that pissed everybody off so much? You ready? You sure? Here it is, quotes courtesy of Gawker. “I will report her to the f**king people that take f**king money from the wetbacks.” Okay. Yikes. He must have voted for Trump. Next: “You look like a f**king pig in heat, and if you get r*ped by a pack of n*ggers, it will be your fault.” Wow, that one was even worse. One more: “They take it up the a*s. This is only for taking a sh*t.” Well, he bashed the gays now too, anybody else? “F**king Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Okay, last one: “What do you think you're looking at, sugar t!ts?” That’s about everybody, right? Everybody except pompous white dudes, and surprisingly Asians. The guy was, and still is a total jerk, and his career suffered for years. But he’s back and here to stay thanks to Hacksaw Ridge. It’s awful that someone so bad can end up on top.
5 Katie Holmes - Married Tom Cruise
Now this poor girl just loved Tom Cruise her whole life. She was even interviewed by some teeny-bopper magazine back in the Dawson’s Creek days and said she had a crush on him. Then she got married and thought she was all set. She had married her childhood crush. How perfect is that? But, wait, how does that old saying go? Never meet your heroes? Well, old Tommy turned out to be a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There were warning signs but she ignored them. Like, why was he jumping on Oprah’s couch all crazy? And when Katie got pregnant he purchased an ultrasound machine. Who does that? What was he doing? Spying on the fetus like everyday? I’m thinking he was pretty dishonest with her about his devotion to the whole Scientology thing too, all along. Because once things got serious, she split. But her career suffered for having anything to do with the crazy nut.
4 Renee Zellweger - Had Surgery?
Remember Dazed and Confused? Well, maybe not, since many of the film’s biggest fans are high during its viewings. But you surely remember the legendary Matthew McConaughey line, “I get older and they stay the same age.” It’s a classic line and Matt’s delivery is perfection, but what many people don’t realize is that the young blonde who walks past Matt in that scene is a young, hot Zellweger. The feisty little blonde was cute as a button. We fell in love with her in Jerry Maguire and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Then something really weird happened. Pictures went viral of Renee not looking like Renee. Her once beautiful face seemed altered, a lot. Fans and haters alike agreed that she had a botched surgery, and her face was nearly unrecognizable. Then things got weirder. Instead of owning the change, like hey, it happens, Renee vehemently denied having any procedures done. Then everyone was even more shocked, and worse they felt lied to. She had lost her face and our trust.
3 Tobey Maguire - Did Spider-Man 3
Alright, the first one was great. The second one was good. But the third was a turd. Remember that “Evil Dance” montage when Peter Parker is strutting around, pointing fingers at hotties on the street and spreading his pheromones around, or something? What was that? God, it was awful to watch. It’s a miracle he ever got a job after that. And it’s too bad, because he’s the kind of guy that you want to see win. He’s kind of mousy and has that feeble, crackly voice, but he seems like an honest, normal type of dude. He tried to comeback but that Black Spidey scent was still in the air, I suppose. He showed up with his old buddy Leo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby, but even the legendary role of Nick Carraway, a character Tobey was born to play, didn’t work out as well as we all had hoped. Now he’s getting a divorce. Ouch. Poor rich guy.
2 Taylor Lautner - Switched Genres
Okay, maybe his first costly bad decision was not taking like a bajillion acting lessons. The guy was relying 100% on cuteness. That was it. That’s all he had going for him. And in the Twilight flicks he survived well on cuteness alone. He was the tween drama king. But cuteness doesn’t work everywhere. When Taylor changed up his game and decided to be an action hero, that was a bad move. He went from supporting role to straight up Rambo-style hero. Maybe it was too much too soon, and Abduction flopped. Now what? The next bad decision was pairing up with Adam Sandler. Love him or hate him, Sandler is an icon of comedy. But Adam was brought up in the game, kid. He was a stand-up. He worked on SNL and cut several comedy albums. Lautner is not funny. Comedy is even harder to pull off than tween drama or action. He’s tried it all, but Lautner really can’t do anything well. Plus there’s a rumor that he’s a born again virgin? Come on. What the hell is that nonsense, Taylor?
1 Jennifer Love Hewitt - Recorded Music
Here was a hottie that made all other late 90s hotties run. There was no competing with Jennifer Love. She had it going on. That movie Can’t Hardly Wait had every dude in love with her, except for dudes that were already in love since Party of Five. Then she did I know What You Did Last Summer and her career took off like a rocket. Then John “The Player” Mayer wrote “Your Body is a Wonderland” about her fabulous physique. But then what happened? Love started doing music too. Getting way too into it. “BareNaked” made it to number 31 on the Top 40, but she was wasting her time. Acting gigs were passing her by, and the next thing you know, she’s doing sequels, and then the hideous Garfield movie, and then boom, she’s back on TV again already. She could have been a film star, but she had to start singing. She’s had a successful career, but it could have been way better. But we still love her. We love all celebs. Except for Mel Gibson.
Sources: Dailymail, UsMagazine, Wikipedia, Gawker