There are celebrities in Hollywood who have stood the test of time. I’m thinking of people like Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, and Robert De Niro. The people on this list are not those people. The people on this list had their time in the limelight. They acted their little tushies off, and then they pretty much disappeared for the spotlight.
Keep reading to find out why some of your favorite actors from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s just aren’t around anymore.
Colleen Haskell became famous after appearing on the first season of Survivor. She got the most attention of any of the contestants, probably because of her conventional good looks.
Colleen guest stared on a few sitcoms and even starred in a 2001 movie with Rob Schneider called The Animal. That was the last movie Haskell ever made. It did okay at the box office, but apparently, it didn’t do well enough.
Chris O’Donnell was all over the place in the mid-’90s. He played a rugby-playing medical student in Circle of Friends and a man patiently waiting on the sidelines in Scent of a Woman.
O’Donnell was a solid choice to play Robin in 1995’s Batman Forever. He played Robin again in that movie’s sequel. Even though that movie did well financially, it was so universally disliked that Warner Bros canceled plans to turn the series into a trilogy. O’Donnell stayed off the big screen for a few years after that.
In 1993, character actor David Caruso played Detective John Kelly ABC’s NYPD Blue. Caruso thought he had it made. He was on a hit TV show, so it would be easy for him to branch out and move on, right? Wrong.
He starred in two underwhelming crime thrillers before he disappeared from the public eye. Caruso didn’t get another gig for two years, then appeared in a few little-watched movies. He was in CSI Miami in 2002, and that’s about it.
Canadian actor Hayden Christensen thought he had landed the role of a lifetime when he was cast as a young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. Unfortunately, the writing in the Star Wars prequels didn’t do him any favors. I don’t think anyone could have walked away from that movie unscathed.
He appeared in a few other low budget films since then, but so far nothing noteworthy. Hayden bought a farm in Uxbridge, Ontario, and now he’s learning about livestock.
Amanda Bynes didn’t leave the public eye because of a movie flop— it was more because of a temporary mental flop. Bynes’ movies were doing really well, and fans seemed to love seeing her on screen. After The Amanda Show, she starred in a few romantic comedies including She’s the Man and What a Girl Wants.
Unfortunately, all of the attention was too much for her to handle. She turned to drugs and suffered something of a mental breakdown. Thankfully, Amanda seems to be doing better now and I hope we see some more work from her sometime soon.
For a while there, it seemed like Eddie Murphy was absolutely everywhere. You couldn’t see a kids’ movie without hearing his voice or seeing his face. This man reigned as the king of comedy in the early 2000s.
Then, all of a sudden, he took a step back. He could tell that his star power was waning. He told the press, "I think my cool and edge are gone … Whatever my edge or cool was back then, I’m onto some other area. I don’t know what it is."
Brandon Routh certainly looks like a superhero, but his career didn’t exactly take off like one. When he was cast as Superman in Superman Returns, he probably thought he was headed for superstardom.
The movie was supposed to be a huge blockbuster, but it didn’t make as much money as producers expected. Routh didn’t show up in another movie for two years, and all of his subsequent roles were small guest parts.
Megan Fox was at the top of her game after the first Transformers movie. Then rumors started to spread about Fox’s temperament on set. Apparently, she was difficult to work with, which is probably more of a reflection of the expectations Hollywood puts on women more than anything else.
Her movie Jonah Hex didn’t do very well at the box office. She took on some smaller roles, and then pretty much disappeared altogether.
Taylor Lautner was slowly inching his way up Hollywood’s ladder when he was suddenly cast as Jacob, the teenage werewolf, in the infamous Twilight series. While his decision to take on the role of Jacob Black probably earned him a lot of money, it also cost him some respect.
Taylor has been slowly trying to rebuild his reputation as a serious actor by taking on small roles in well-received television shows.
Kevin Spacey was an acting powerhouse. He won two Oscars, starred in a whole bunch of excellent movies, kept his private life out of the public eye, and was regarded as one of the best actors in the industry. When House of Cards came around, fans were excited to see him on their small screens.
Then the #MeToo movement happened and Kevin Spacey’s sordid past was exposed. Apparently, he had something of a reputation for assaulting young men. I don’t think he’s going to get hired again any time soon.
Mischa Barton’s name was everywhere after her role on The O.C. boosted her to the top of Hollywood’s “It List.” She wasn’t able to make her stardom last beyond The O.C., though.
For Mischa, staying on top was much harder than getting to the top. She’s actually appeared in quite a few low budget horror movies since The O.C. ended, but you probably wouldn’t have seen those movies unless you’re a diehard horror fan.
Julia Stiles was the woman who every ’90s girl wanted to be. She was a smart, sassy, no-nonsense type with a soft side that only became apparent if you broke down her walls. She was intoxicating— and then she was gone.
It’s possible that Stiles just aged out of her typecasting. She had a small role in Silver Linings Playbook, but we haven’t really seen her since. I hope she makes a comeback soon.
It seemed like Italian actor Roberto Benigni was going to do great things after the commercial and critical success of Life is Beautiful. He had a unique point of view and heaps of talent, and the whole world seemed to like his vibe. He even won an Oscar for his work.
Then he starred in a live-action adaptation of Pinocchio that didn’t make much sense. He was 50 years old at the time andPinocchio’s whole schtick is that he wants to be a real boy— not a real middle-aged man.
In the ’90s, Brendan Fraser was the action hero we never knew we needed. He was poised to rise to the same status as actors like Harrison Ford and John Wayne. Then he just sort of fizzled out. Sequels may have been his downfall. Also, he was in the movie Crash, which actually won an Oscar, but lost at pretty much everything else.
Fraser doesn’t really look like an action hero these days, but he’s still working on some significant TV projects.
Tank Girl was the perfect project for Lori Petty. It’s just that the movie itself wasn’t as well made as it could have been. Basically, it was a mess. It barely earned $4 million at the box office and it cost $25 million to make.
Petty had a hard time recovering after that movie flop, but many, many years later, she landed a role on the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.
Who is this guy again? Oh yeah, he was in Full Metal Jacket. After being in a whole bunch of really good grown-up movies, Carolco Pictures decided to put him in a pirate movie. The thing is, people weren’t really into pirate movies in 1995. It would take Johnny Depp and some Disney money to make people excited about sailing the seven seas.
The movie made barely any money at the box office and Modine didn’t make another movie for two whole years.
Wesley Snipes was a man of many talents back in the day. He was never typecast and he was able to play all sorts of different characters, from a jazz musician to a drug kingpin to a sci-fi villain to a drag queen. This man could seriously do it all.
Then Snipes was convicted of tax evasion and he spent some time in prison. His career never fully recovered after that.
So, Madonna hasn’t exactly disappeared, but her acting career definitely has. When was the last time you saw Madonna in a movie?
Madonna starred in a bunch of movies back in the day, including Evita and A League of Their Own. Those movies did pretty well, but she also starred in flops like Shanghai Surprise, Swept Away, and The Next Best Thing. Let’s just say that she’s much better at the whole singing thing she has going on.
Jenny McCarthy was a pretty big star in the ’90s. She was the host of MTV’s Singled Out, and she was pretty successful as a model. She tried her hand at acting with roles in films like BASEketball and Scream 3.
Her movies weren’t very well received and she’s struggled to stay on top of the Hollywood game ever since. Her cousin, Melissa McCarthy, is doing quite well on the big screen.
Dana Carvey was a huge star on Saturday Night Live. He created some unforgettable characters and he was a huge part of the success of the show in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Like many SNL alums, he decided to pursue a movie career after he left the show.
His movie, Master of Disguise, wasn’t very well received by critics. All of his subsequent roles have been cameos and voice-overs.
You probably know Jessica Simpson best as a pop star or a reality star, but she did try to transition into acting at one point in her career. She played Daisy Duke in a Dukes of Hazzard remake and she tried her hand at a couple romantic comedies.
Ultimately, it didn’t really pan out and Jessica decided to give up on her dreams of becoming a movie star. She’s still a star in her own right, though.
At the beginning of her career, Lindsay Lohan looked like she was set up perfectly for a life of movie success after movie success. As a child actress, she stole our hearts in The Parent Trap. Then she made us laugh in Freaky Friday and Mean Girls.
Then she went down that same dark road as so many child actors before her. She turned to drugs, got lip fillers, and turned away from acting.
Michael Keaton is undoubtedly a talented actor. Just look at Beetlejuice and the first two Batman movies. Then, in 1998, he starred in Jack Frost. The movie was supposed to be about a dad who died in a car accident and then came back as a creepy snowman.
The movie (obviously) didn’t do so well, and it took Keaton a long time to return to the big screen. Luckily, he did return with box office hits like Birdman and Spotlight.
Jessica Alba was an audience favorite in the 2000s. She starred in a bunch of successful movies, and then she took a step back from acting to focus on family life. One of her last big movies was Sin City which didn’t do so well with critics.
The film made her a lot of money, but it didn’t do much to define her as an actress. Now Alba is more focussed on running her own beauty brand.
Alicia Silverstone became a household name after Clueless became a cult classic. She dominated pop culture in 1995, so much so that people would go around saying Cher’s catchphrases.
People liked her as Cher, but they didn’t like her as any other character. Every other movie she was in after Clueless was a complete flop. Eventually, Alicia just stopped acting completely (but not before taking on a role in the live action Scooby Doo movie).
Orlando Bloom was something of a heartthrob in the 2000s. He stunned us with his good looks as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings series. He also starred in Pirates of the Carribean, but in that film, he was largely overshadowed by Johnny Depp.
After starring in a few romantic comedies that didn’t do so well, Bloom took a step back from the spotlight. He also dated Katy Perry, so that’s something.
Jennifer Garner is the girl next door who is almost too perfect. Her winning smile and soothing voice made people absolutely fall in love with her. She had a few big hits with 13 Going on 30 and Daredevil, but after she married Ben Affleck, her career took a backseat to his.
Garner is still doing good work in Hollywood, but her career is nowhere as big as it used to be.
It took Armie Hammer a long time to recover from The Lone Ranger, the Johnny Depp film that was unsuccessful for so many reasons. First of all, it was culturally insensitive. Also, it just wasn’t very good.
After that film, Armie didn’t act for two years. Luckily, he’s been able to make a comeback. He starred in the Oscar-nominated film Call Me By Your Name, and he starred in a Broadway play called Straight White Men.
Paris Hilton tried to turn her reality star fame into movie star fame, and it just didn’t work out. Her first major role was in the House of Wax remake, which earned her a Razzie award that year.
She tried acting a few more times before she decided that the job wasn’t really for her. She’s still living the rich and famous lifestyle though, so it all turned out okay in the end.
Nicolas Cage is an intense actor who’s been in some majorly successful movies, including Raising Arizona, Adaptation, and Leaving Las Vegas. Nobody is saying that this man can’t act. The thing is, sometimes he acts too much. Nick, could you tone it down just a little bit? He probably can’t. That’s why he’s Nick Cage.
His most recent movies have opened to mixed or negative reviews. Hopefully, somebody will put his acting talents to good use in the future.