If you think about it, we call celebrities “stars” for a good reason. Not just because they’re shining brightly, but also because their glow fades away with time. We call it the “fifteen minutes of fame”, but those minutes can sometimes last for decades, even after the star had been long dead. On the other side of the popularity spectrum, we have the so called “one-offs”, and they’re our today’s topic. Well, they’re not literally one-offs but it’s very close to that.
Either way, here are 9 celebs who lost their popularity after their big roles.
Edward Furlong (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991)
You probably remember him as the annoying kid from Terminator 2, who tried to bond with the literal killing machine… and succeeded. Yes, this dude played John Connor in the Terminator sequel, and even received an MTV Movie Award for that role. After that his most notable work was “American History X” with Edward Norton, but beyond that Ed’s career pretty much took a nose dive in the 2000’s, and he got into alcohol and drugs.
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991)
While we’re still on the subject of Terminator 2, here’s the liquid dude himself – Robert Patrick, who played the legendary T-1000 like a real champ. Although his film career didn’t stop there, as he’s currently starred in over 100 movies, none of them were “Judgment Day”.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (It Takes Two, 1995)
Oh yeah, those two are still kinda relevant but only thanks to their sister Elizabeth. 20 years ago they were the most popular child actors in the world thanks to movies like “It Takes Two” and “Parent Trap”. Almost 13 years ago in 2004 their career pretty much ended after a failed movie. Still to this day both sisters are great designers and probably the most famous twins on the planet.
Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix, 1999)
‘Member the good old Matrix movies? ‘Member that crush we all had on Trinity? Yeah, I ‘member. But what happened to Carrie-Ann Moss after The Matrix trilogy? Apparently, not much, but at least she has a recurring role on Netflix/Marvel shows, so that’s awesome!
Mark Hamill (the original Star Wars, 1977–1983, the new Star Wars 2016-2017)
Mark Hamill doesn’t need an introduction, and frankly, I’m not sure why he’s on this list, but any opportunity to praise the best voice actor in the world is fine by me! He’s Luke Skywalker, y’all, he’s the best, and I’m not even a Star Wars fan. Aside from that… huh, I guess I DO know why he’s on the list. He’s been type-cast since the 70’s. Funny how fame works like that sometimes.
Jake Lloyd (Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, 1999)
After, arguably, the worst Star Wars movie (Episode I) Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin, completely lost it. The actor even said his classmates picked on him because of how bad the movie was, basically turning his school life into hell. After he finished school, things went from bad to worse for him, as he delved into alcohol and crime.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997–2003)
Meet one of the most badass female actresses of the 90’s – Sarah Michelle Gellar, AKA Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This success was both a blessing and a curse, since the directors could no longer perceive the actress in isolation from the genre of youth horror films. Sarah also played Daphne in the Scooby Doo movies, which weren’t all that good either. Then the “Crazy Ones” happened, where she played Robin Williams’ daughter. But alas, the show was canned after the 1st season.
Wesley Snipes (Blade, 1998)
Hey, there’s another vampire slayer here – it’s Blade, played by Wesley Snipes! Frankly he was huge in the 90’s, but then unpaid taxes happened and the actor seems to have disappeared. Yeah, he went to the slammer for 3 years. He was then released in 2013, and since then he’s been teasing his return as the Daywalker.
Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone, 1990; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, 1992)
Arguably, the biggest 90’s star out there was the boy who made his family disappear – Macaulay Culkin. After Home Alone, he became one of the most successful child actors, and rightfully so. Years have passed and the roles became scarce. As an adult, Culkin lived through the death of both his sisters, and divorced his wife, which in turn probably got him addicted to antidepressants, and eventually got him in trouble with the police.
Currently he only does cameos and works as a DJ. Also, have you heard of The Pizza Underground? That’s his band! Go check them out.