At some point in time, I was a fan of everyone on this list. These celebrities were interesting to me, either by way of looks or raw charisma. They drew in not only me but the masses loved them. Sadly enough, these actors, artists, talk show hosts, and athletes are now “washed up” in the sense that they have pretty much exited the limelight. Many left voluntarily to pursue other priorities in life. Others committed outrageous mishaps that they could never recover from in the public eye. Those famous celebs are seen by most as self-destructive, ending their career early as a result of careless run-ins with the law.
However, looking back at the names with almost a sense of nostalgia on my list, I could not bear to trash these once talked about celebrities mercilessly as many tabloids do. In this piece you will find a trace of endearment on each celebrity that grabbed the attention of the public, especially the 80s children. Did you ever sit and ask yourself: "WHAT HAPPENED to them?" Well, here you go.
15 Calista Flockhart
Calista was born in the small town of Freeport, Illinois (two hours west of Chicago) and then moved around quite a bit growing up. When she was in high school, she was part of the cheerleading squad and then headed off to Broadway after taking acting classes at Rutgers University. She took on small roles in different soap operas in the early 90s.
Years later, she was persuaded by a friend to audition for the Ally McBeal role, which she ended up landing, and became a hit sensation. The same year the show ended in 2002, she and Harrison Ford became a couple before getting married in 2010.
Calista’s latest major acting role was in a TV series titled Brothers and Sisters, which aired for five seasons. She's also seen on Supergirl. Since she adopted her son, Liam in 2001 however, her main focus has been geared towards raising her child.
14 Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas was once popular as a child star on the 1991 TV show, Home Improvement, when he played the middle son named Randy Taylor. He basically disappeared from the public's eye beginning in 1998, to embark on a lengthy period of educational achievements from different universities and also have a chance to travel. He started acting at the age of 8 years old and was ready for a break.
In 2000, Jonathan began at Harvard University studying Philosophy and History. Afterwards, in 2010, he also graduated from the Columbia University School of General Studies. In more recent years, Jonathan directed and wrote scripts, and is known for being a prolife activist.
Coolio, aka Artis Leon Ivey Jr., the well known artist, musician, actor and record producer, had a Platinum album in 1994 titled Takes a Thief. Which was No. 8 on the Billboard Charts. A year later, "Gangsta's Paradise," on the soundtrack to the movie Dangerous Minds in 1995 was also a hit. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for the Best Rap Solo Performance on the single “Gangsta’s Paradise.” He was also named Favorite Rap/Hip Hop artist in the same year for American Music Award.
Coolio did reality shows for awhile, such as Coolio's Rules and appearing on Celebrity Big Brother. He is also known for his cooking skills, and even had his own online cooking show in 2008 called Cookin’ with Coolio. This multi-talented artist may no longer be noticeably in the spotlight, but he has been known to raise thousands of dollars for his charity, the Music Saves Lives organization, and is a spokesman for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. He is best known for his original rap lyrics and unique hairstyle.
12 Brendan Fraser
Hollywood seems to have forgotten about Brendan Fraser, although in past decades he has been in numerous films playing various roles. He started traveling internationally at an early age, as an early teenager in Seattle, Washington, at the Cornish College of the Arts. In 1991 the movie Dogfight gave him his first break. The following year, he starred in Encino Man and School Ties. In School Ties, he acted with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. During the next few years he was in smaller films until 1999, where he started the well-known series, The Mummy.
He continued to take roles in both movies and TV series. However, in 2010 and 2012 Brendan quit his acting roles at the time due to legal disputes. In 2013, five years after his divorce with the actress, Afton Smith, Brendan became involved with her in a legal battle regarding him continuing to pay hundreds of thousands to her in support.
11 Ricki Lake
Ricki Lake’s popular talk show from 1993 - 2004 lasted over a decade, but her attempt at a second talk show in 2012 ended in a quick span of a year. In 1989 Ricki struggled to land small roles in films and TV series. The fact that she was known as the “fat girl” helped her land these earlier roles for awhile, but when it became a struggle to land more roles, she went on a strict diet and exercise plan. Later she played the role of Tracy Turnblad in the popular comedy Hairspray (1998), and moved to Los Angeles from New York.
By the time 1993 came around, Ricki had lost about 50 pounds. At 25 years old, Ricki started her talk show on dating and relationships, which became a huge hit for 11 seasons. She was the youngest talk show host ever. During her show, Ricki was known for her bold topics that included teenage pregnancy and infidelity in relationships. She chose strongly opinionated audience members to speak on the talk show to make it fun and interesting for viewers.
10 Jim Carrey
From 1990 – 1995 Carrey played the role of Fire Marshal Bill on In Living Color, which was his first big acting role. We barely see him anymore in movies, although he had a great start and ongoing career in the 90s. Many miss him and his silly sense of humor in movies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, The Cable Guy, Liar, Liar, Me, Myself and Irene, Bruce Almighty, and others. He also starred in a few dramedies such as The Truman Show. His last worthwhile movie was True Crimes, but it is still difficult to catch him starring in movies or roles the way he used to. Most fans watch his older movies over and over.
9 Jaclyn Smith
Smith began dancing at the early age of 3, and performed in Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She was on the Charlie's Angels TV series that aired for five seasons beginning in 1976 as Kelly Garrett. In 1980 she received a Golden Globe for Best actress. During the 1980s to 1990s, Jaclyn starred in several different mediocre TV movies. Jaclyn was named one of the “Most Beautiful People in the World” two different times by Harper's Bazaar, TV Guide and People Magazine. She also created a new scent for a fragrance with Max Factor in 1989. In the same year she received a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She battled breast cancer in 2003, and is rarely featured in articles now.
More recently, she designed her own clothing and accessories line for Kmart and Home Collection in 2008. She and Jose Eber, her hairstylist, designed hairpieces and wigs for the retailer Paula Young.
8 Paris Hilton
Paris has been known as an actress, model, reality star, singer and writer. She was born in New York City but grew up in Beverly Hills, CA. Her mother, Kathy Hilton was an actress, and her father, Rick Hilton was a businessman. Paris Hilton has a DJ job now, and she was the one to help make her friend Kim Kardashian, famous. Paris created 17 product lines and 50 stores in her name. Nowadays we seldom hear about Paris as much as before, as she has taken a step back. She says she is working on secret tech projects right now.
In 2006 Paris got caught with reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, and speeding all within a few months of time. She ended up having to go to jail. Then in 2010, she ran into legal troubles again when she was found with an illegal substance at the FIFA World Cup, and then soon after, had possession of marijuana. The following month she was caught with 0.8 grams of cocaine in her car while drinking and driving. As a result she was charged with a big fine and community service, and also had to go to a drug abuse rehabilitation center.
7 Sarah Michelle Gellar
In 1993 she started acting in the Soap Opera, All My Children. Sarah Michelle Gellar was then in several movies - Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, The Grudge, and more..
In 2002, Sarah Michelle Gellar got married to Freddie Prinze Jr., whom she had met while filming I Know What You Did Last Summer. They had a daughter in 2009 and a son in 2012. In 2003, Sarah Michelle finished her leading role as Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer after 6 seasons.
Lately, she remains close friends with Shannen Doherty, who has been battling cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment. Sarah Michelle is also an advocate for children and hunger organizations. Last year she co-founded a startup company called Foodstirs that sells baking kits and healthier ingredients made from scratch by the founder online. She enjoys baking herself in her own kitchen with her kids, and thinks it is a great way to spend family bonding time together.
6 Lindsay Lohan
As a child, Lohan was in over sixty television commercials. Her father, Michael was a child actor who later delved into different fields of work. Dina, her mother was a former Rockette dancer and Wall Street Analyst. She also became Lindsay’s manager.
In 1998 Lindsay starred in Parent Trap. Five years later, playing the teenage daughter Anna Coleman, in Freaky Friday (2002) gave Lindsay a lot of celebrity attention. In 2004 she starred in the film, Mean Girls. Lindsay Lohan’s popularity soared with modeling, acting and singing, but as she grew older she began going downhill with DUI charges as well as drug and probation issues. She got jail time and went through rehabilitation. She stole a necklace from a jewelry store in 2011, and with the demise of her career, there is no debate that the majority of directors and fans can no longer view her in the same light again. The last movie that she has been filming is titled The Shadow Within. Surprisingly, she may be trying to make a comeback in spite of her notorious past.
5 Groove Theory
Groove Theory was formed by Amel Larrieux and Bryce Wilson in 1993. Bryce was also a songwriter, actor and producer. The duo’s debut album was released two years later. Their musical genre was harder to pinpoint than most artists – to listeners it sounded like a combination of Soul, R&B and Smooth. Unfortunately, they split up in 1999, and Mekada Davis took Amel’s place as female singer. The Answer, the second album that never ended up getting released, had a bit of a more contemporary R&B vibe to it. Since the recordings have stopped, Bryce and Mekada have collaborated in writing songs for popular artists like Beyonce. Bryce took a role in Beauty Shop, which featured Queen Latifah.
Amel made a comeback in 2003 with her husband Laru, and released some albums and songs under Blisslife records, an Indie label.
4 Ja Rule
In 1994, 18-year-old New York City-born rapper/actor Jeffrey Atkins joined Cash Money Click and signed his first contract in an album that never got released due to him losing his publishing rights. It was not until four years later that he got with Def Jam Records on Jay Z's single, which ignited the start of his fame. Ja was part of Def Jam’s Hard Knock Life Tour. He was huge up to about 2004, and released an album every single year. Starting in 2000 he took on some small acting parts. He was in quite a few films which included his debut Turn it Up, and 2001’s The Fast and the Furious.
Ja Rule ran into major trouble with the law in 2007 and 2011 - 2013. Once he was released from jail, he became spiritual while attending church in NYC. One of the traits that is unforgettable about this rapper is his extremely deep voice in songs that made him stand out.
3 Renee Zellweger
Renee Zellweger’s fame began with movies in the early 90s. She continued to star in several different movies until 2005. Her debut film where she played a small part was in 1993 in Dazed and Confused, but most say her biggest successful acting role was in Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise, for which she won “Best Breakthrough Performer.” In 2001 Renee starred in Bridget Jones’s Diary, and three years later in the sequel. The first movie drew highly favorable attention, but the sequel not as much. She won three Golden Globe Awards and was among the highest-paid actresses.
A surprising fact is that Renee is originally from a small town in Texas where there was no cable television or movie theater when she was growing up. It was not until she attended the University of Texas in Austin that she viewed her first film, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio, Film, and Television. Renee was an actress that was able to play a range of different roles without much difficulty.
Although it took a while, she reprised her role as Bridget in Bridget Jones's Baby (2016), which is the third instalment in the Bridget Jones franchise.
2 Megan Fox
As a teenager Megan won modeling awards, so she decided to drop out of high school in Tennessee and move to Los Angeles, where she pursued acting. Her first comedy movie, Holiday in the Sun, in 2001, was her break in the acting scene. The next year she did a couple more films, and in 2004 she guest starred in Two and Half Men, the much-watched CBS comedy. She also played Faith Ford’s daughter in Hope & Faith on ABC for season 2 and season 3.
Megan's rapid popularity seemed to decline quickly when she was said to be fired from the Transformers series after Transformers 2 (2009), and many former fans talked about her in an unfavorable light. It is unclear whether she was let go or left on her own, but both the director, Michael Bay and Megan deny that she made any negative comments to the press about him. This was the same year that Megan made the “Sexiest Women Alive” list in FHM Magazine and topped first on “The 25 Hottest Actors under 25” list on Moviefone, not to mention other similar lists.
Compared to some of the former movies that she has starred in that were actually good, Megan Fox's 2014 - 2016 movies list seems pretty lame - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Zeroville, a poorly put together dramedy.
1 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan’s real name is Terry Jean Bollea. In the early 1980s, Hogan was widely known for being a 12-time wrestling Champion. Despite his earlier fame, due to his racist comments and homophobic slurs, his sponsors stopped doing business with him. There was a scandal tape in 2012 and racial rants caught on tape.
Earlier this year, Hogan was awarded $115 million from Gawker for the invasion of privacy case in the release of his explicit tape. This amount is actually $15 million higher than what Hogan requested to be paid, and does not include punitive damages.
How many fans and former fans of Hulk Hogan’s wrestling days would have imagined what public disgrace and drama he would be in decades later? Often with the discovery of what happened to these washed up celebrities comes a harsh reality of true character that is like watching a piece of twine unravel in front of the fans.