10 Forgotten Celebrities Who Made a Major Comeback That Even They Didn’t See Coming
Hollywood is a non-stop machine that’s constantly changing. New stars seem to be getting put on the map nearly every day, often replacing some familiar faces we’ve grown to know and love. Some entertainers occasionally see their stars fade through no fault of their own. However, true talent always triumphantly comes back into the spotlight, reminding us exactly why we fell in love with them in the first place.
Here are 10 celebrities who caught their lucky break and returned to Hollywood shining brighter than ever.
1. Brendan Fraser
Fraser was one of the most popular leading men of the ’90s, with films like George of the Jungle (1997), Blast from the Past (1999), and The Mummy (1999) under his belt. His streak lessened in the 2000s when he continued to appear in The Mummy sequels and was one of the many stars of the Oscar-winning film Crash. Over time, Brendan’s career was reduced to smaller movies and occasional appearances on small TV shows. That was until Darren Aronofsky gave his career a whole new life.
In 2022, Brendan Fraser burst back into the scene with a spectacular performance in The Whale (2022). The actor was widely praised by critics and is set to be one of the front-runners for the Best Actor title at the upcoming Academy Awards 2023. He has already taken home a Critics Choice Award, and he didn’t leave a single dry eye in the house with his acceptance speech: “It took me 32 years to get here.” And we know he has more awards awaiting him in the future.
2. Winona Ryder
In the ’80s and ’90s, Ryder found fame as a scream queen in movies like Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1988), Dracula (1992), and more. Since then, she’s regularly appeared on our screens, but more as a secondary character, with little to no memorable roles. That was until Netflix gave Winona’s career a second chance by casting her in Stranger Things. As one of the few adults on the show, Ryder shines thanks to her chemistry with co-star David Harbour.
You can look out for Winona in the upcoming remake of Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, where she’s set to appear alongside stars like Jamie Lee Curtis, Jared Leto, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, and more. The movie is coming out in the summer of 2023.
3. Michael Keaton
Keaton had a very eventful decade during the ’80s. At the time, his career was booming. He starred in Mr. Mom (1983), Beetlejuice (1988), and, notably, played the famous comic book character Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), as well as its sequel. However, by the time the 2000s rolled around, the actor was seen less and less. Finally, in 2014, he reminded everyone of his talent with his lead role in the Oscar-winning movie Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) and repeated history in 2015 with Spotlight (2015).
Michael Keaton still regularly appears in critically-acclaimed and mainstream movies and shows no signs of stopping, which we’re happy about. Interestingly, Keaton is supposed to return to his Batman role in the upcoming film The Flash, and we can’t wait to see it.
4. Macaulay Culkin
The story of Macaulay Culkin is a sad one. As we all know, he was one of the most promising child stars after the Home Alone movies, My Girl (1991) and Richie Rich (1994). Unfortunately, that’s when Culkin’s career peaked, and the star went into hiding, apart from a few rare minor appearances in certain films and TV shows. But now it seems that Macaulay is feeling more confident as he is slowly but surely ramping up his acting gigs. He even starred in one of the hit show American Horror Story seasons.
Culkin is currently working on a biographical piece titled Macaulay Culkin’s Midlife Crisis, which will follow his international journey of self-discovery. We have a feeling it’s going to be quite enlightening and entertaining.
5. Jennifer Coolidge
Coolidge started her career as a perpetual supporting actress. She’s best known for her roles in the American Pie and Legally Blonde movies in the late ’90s — early 2000s and many other similar comedies in the following years. But Jennifer’s time to shine arrived in 2021 when she landed her most successful project yet, the acclaimed TV show The White Lotus.
The show already brought Jennifer an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a Critics Choice Award, making her one of the hottest Hollywood commodities of the early 2020s. We’ll keep an eye on Coolidge’s career and can’t wait to see what’s next for her.
6. Hayden Christensen
Christensen was the talk of the town when he was cast as Anakin Skywalker, better known as Darth Vader, in the Star Wars prequels at the beginning of the 2000s. Sadly, the character’s shadow was too big to shake off, and Hayden hasn’t been able to find traction in Hollywood ever since. In 2022, the actor got a chance to return to the famous franchise and was welcomed with open arms. He reprised his role as Vader in the series Obi-Wan Kenobi and is also set to continue in the highly-anticipated show Ahsoka. We hope this is an excellent start to the rest of his career.
7. Lindsay Lohan
The charming Lindsey first caught everyone’s eye by playing twins in The Parent Trap (1998). She then became every teenage girl’s idol by leading movies like Freaky Friday (2003), Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Mean Girls (2004), and more. By 2010, Lohan’s name was primarily featured in the tabloids. Finally, in 2022, her fans were overjoyed to see her in the Christmas rom-com Falling for Christmas (2022), which meant that we now have our favorite romantic female lead back.
8. Ke Huy Quan
You were right if you watched Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2022 and thought the male lead looked familiar. Ke Huy Quan is remembered mainly for his role as Shortround in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and as one of The Goonies (1985).
Fast forward to 2023, when Quan accepted a Golden Globe for his triumphant return to Hollywood. He emotionally recapped his career by saying: “For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer.” We’re happy he was wrong. Welcome back!
9. Paris Hilton
It seems that the 2000s can be summed up by noting only one name — Paris Hilton. The famous heiress took over reality TV with The Simple Life and Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. Then, suddenly, Hilton decided to follow her other passion and started to DJ. However, it seems that the star in her wanted more and she returned to her roots with shows like This is Paris and Paris in Love, which focused on her wedding, reminding everyone exactly why she should be considered the queen of reality TV.
10. Jamie Lee Curtis
We’re finishing our list with the ultimate scream queen, who’s carried her legacy for over 5 decades. Jamie Lee Curtis is best known for her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween movie franchise. It all started in 1978 and lasted all the way to 2002 when she made her last appearance in the original horror franchise. After that, Curtis mostly appeared in comedies, taking a break from the spotlight.
That was until 2018, when a Halloween remake reignited her career, bringing along with it acclaimed roles in Knives Out (2019), Everything Everywhere All at Once, and 2 more Halloween sequels. And even though the Halloween franchise seems to be over for Curtis’ career, we hope to see more of her in other roles.
Which one of these stars were you happy to see get a second chance? Which of your favorite past celebrities would you want to see return?