10 Actors Whose Careers Collapsed Because They Accepted a Movie Role
Becoming famous is often very hard. And once you make a name for yourself, falling into oblivion is pretty easy. Some actors went from being everyone’s favorite icons to not even landing auditions. In many cases, that happened because they made a wrong choice during their career, but not only.
1. Geena Davis
Geena Davis was a model and began her career with Tootsie, which turned out to be one of the highest-grossing productions of that year. After that, new roles just kept coming her way. She appeared in several TV series and films, including Beetlejuice, Thelma and Louise, and got her first Golden Globe nomination for A League of Their Own. She also won an Oscar for The Accidental Tourist.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly for Geena. Nothing could bring her down except a movie directed by her then-husband. The film was called The Pirate and received negative critics; the monetary losses were catastrophic. After that, Geena paused her career. She gave it another shot and landed a few minor roles, but nothing was the same again.
2. Mike Myers
Mike Myers is a widely acclaimed comedian. He has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and has gone beyond acting: he has written and produced several movies too. Nobody can deny he is brilliant. And yet, not everything he’s worked on was successful.
Mike took part in several projects, but Saturday Night Live launched him to fame. Afterward, he wrote Wayne’s World, which had a sequel. His skyrocketed to the heights of Hollywood. And to top it off, he made the trilogy Austin Powers, a parody of James Bond.
But 2008’s The Love Guru flopped, he wrote and starred in it. After that, Myers quit cinema for a while. He only accepted a few small roles, mainly voicing cartoons such as Donkey in Shrek. Roles can truly change an actor’s life, as you can see.
3. Elizabeth Berkeley
If the name Elizabeth Berkeley doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because of Showgirls. Elizabeth came from working on a famous and beloved series, Saved by the Bell. People loved her and she could have thrived. Enter Showgirls, a movie that was supposed to spice up her career.
Instead, this pretty much ruined it, and she didn’t land any role after. Hollywood turned its back on her. Even the director shared a word on the matter, blaming himself for it. Fortunately for Berkeley, Saved by the Bell has a reboot in 2020.
4. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most celebrated basketball players. That fame is partly due to his sense of humor but also to the movies he played in.
Generally, he plays cameos or supporting roles, but at the beginning of his career, he starred in Steel. Things didn’t go well for him after that —at least in Hollywood— so he abandoned any hope of landing leading roles, and he now sticks only to small roles.
5. Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is best known for Full House and for starring with her twin sister in several films. In 2004, they made their last movie together.
Even so, Mary-Kate played small roles in a few TV shows. But in 2011, she played a supporting role in Beastly and then decided to leave acting to focus on fashion.
6. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson conquered fame after winning the first edition of American Idol. Thanks to that, her career took off, and due to her popularity, she was given the opportunity to make a movie.
From Justin to Kelly, however, flopped. It received terrible reviews, so Kelly decided to focus on music. Today, she hosts The Kelly Clarkson Show.
7. Lori Petty
Lori Petty could have been the ’90s It girl, but she agreed to appear in a movie that ended it all. She was in big-name films like Point Break with Keanu Reeves, Free Willy, and A League of Their Own.
Then, in 1995, she appeared in Tank Girl. From then on, she struggled to land a good role. She could only return to the scene with Orange Is the New Black.
8. Frankie Muniz
Frankie Muniz is best known for his role in Malcolm in the Middle, and also for Agent Cody Banks.
However, despite being so famous, the young actor didn’t land more significant roles and decided to focus on something he had been passionate about since he was a child: motor racing.
9. Chris Klein
Chris Klein had youth, charisma, and a smile that delighted everyone. Because of that, he appeared in very popular movies. He was on his way up, but things didn’t work out for him in the end.
That was largely due to his role in Rollerball, which was not only a flop but was also torn apart by critics. Since then, he’s only landed in supporting roles, such as the one he has in Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias.
10. Freddie Prinze Jr.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was the dream boy in many teen movies, from the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer to She’s All That.
However, after making Scooby-Doo 2 and its series, Freddie left the set. He has only been in a few productions in a supporting role and has also done voices for cartoons and video games.
Bonus: Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was the girl everyone was talking about in the 2000s. She was in every teen movie. She started her movie career in the film The Parent Trap. Later on, she made popular movies like Mean Girls and Freaky Friday.
But after I Know Who Killed Me, she landed mostly minor roles. In 2022, she made a comeback to make Falling for Christmas.