15 Washed Up Stars Who Revived Their Careers

We tend to make light of how difficult the acting profession is. It seems that every year, critics become more jaded and the entertainment industry becomes more of a cesspool of unoriginality. Because everyone's so busy pretending like we've seen everything already, Hollywood continues to search for the next big thing to refresh our interests. Most actors and filmmakers have a lane. The best of the best of these stars can switch lanes and reinvent themselves every so often, but most aren’t able to do this. Most stick to their guns and do what's within their reach. Over time, if we continue to see the same things from an actor, we get tired of their act. We call them washed up. It's cruel, but that's the way the game works. Once a career goes down the drain, it's almost impossible to resurrect, almost, but not quite impossible. The stars on this list are the ones who saved their careers when they were on the brink of total collapse.

Enough people have talked about these career comebacks. We've heard of the great John Travolta who had his career saved by Quentin Tarantino in 1994 with Pulp Fiction. Let's not forget that he sunk his career again a few years after that with Battlefield Earth though. We’ve sung the praises for Mickey Rourke who had a late surge in his career with Sin City and The Wrestler, though it seems like he's fallen back into his old pattern of picking subpar roles once again. What we've done here is try and find some more contemporary examples. Sure, we have some of the classic career revivals on here, but we also have many that people are still talking about today. Several on this list are currently in the midst of a career resurrection and we want to celebrate that with them. Here are 15 washed up stars who revived their careers.

15 Robert Downey Jr.

14 Matthew McConaughey

13 Mel Gibson

12 Ben Affleck

11 Alec Baldwin


10 Jared Leto

9 M. Night Shyamalan

8 Jennifer Jason Leigh

7 Sylvester Stallone

6 Neil Patrick Harris

5 Jason Bateman

4 Johnny Galecki

3 Ed O'Neill

2 Winona Ryder

1 Michael Keaton

In the late 80s through to the 90s, Michael Keaton was a name that everyone knew and loved. He was talented and his choices were diverse. Then, for about a decade in the new millennium, Keaton was gone. Well, he has gone from quality roles and quality films, for the most part. He would pop up here and there and, sometimes, he was decent, but then he'd be gone again. Then something amazing happened. Birdman came out and gave us a metafictional glimpse into the soul of Keaton, the one-time Batman, and people fell in love once again. Birdman won Best Picture and Keaton was nominated for Best Actor. The following year, 2016, Keaton was in Spotlight. Spotlight won Best Picture and Keaton was a driving force in the film. Now, with The Founder and Spider-Man: Homecoming on the horizon, we fully expect to see a dominant Michael Keaton that we've, once again, become used to seeing.

Sources: Wikipedia; IMDB; Dailymail

Give TheRichest a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Entertainment

15 Washed Up Stars Who Revived Their Careers