22 Actors Who Went From Stardom to Obscurity

Home Alone 2 Lost in New York, Macaulay Culkin

Fame can be fleeting for some actors. One breakthrough role and Hollywood dubs them “the next big thing,” but that buzz can fade away. People in an online entertainment forum discussed the actors who went from being hot in the business to fizzling out, and we added some names, too.

1. Mike Myers

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Mike Myers
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Thanks to his parts as Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers and Shrek, Mike Myers was a Hollywood fixture in the late ’90s and early 2000s. While he's appeared in roles since then, they've been quieter ones and he hasn't been quite as prolific. He's officially in the, “wow, that's a blast from the past” phase of his career. 

2. Macaulay Culkin

Home Alone 2 Lost in New York, Macaulay Culkin
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

After becoming one of the best child stars ever, Macaulay Culkin ended up largely chilling on the acting from t, and we can't blame him. He pops out for stuff from time to time, but you should't expect to see him in a string of huge releases. 

3. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in Home Improvement (1991)
Image Credit: ABC.

Where did JTT go after Home Improvement? The child star was the celebrity crush of tweens across the country, and yet… what do we even know about him now?

4. Amanda Bynes

What a Girl Wants Amanda Bynes, Hunt Lowry
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Amanda Bynes was the princess of Hollywood when she was young. However, after dealing with mental health issues quite publicly, she removed herself from the spotlight. 

5. Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Will Smith's son landed some prominent roles early in his career, but it never entirely took off. He has found some success in music since the acting fizzled out.

6. Taylor Kitsch

Taylor Kitsch Waco
Image Credit: SHOWTIME.

Despite Hollywood's attempts to make him the next big star, moviegoers sent a clear message at the box office. While he's no longer the next big thing, he's still a working actor.

7. Jon Heder

Jon Heder Napoleon Dynamite
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

After breaking out with Napoleon Dynamite and Blades of Glory, Jon Heder seemed like the next prominent comedic actor. After some poor showings at the box office, he's lost his top-billing status.

8. Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner Hawkeye
Image Credit: Marvel.

We're not saying Jeremy Renner hasn't enjoyed a fruitful acting career, appearing in major franchises such as The Avengers and Mission Impossible. Don't forget, though; he was tapped as the lead in 2012's The Bourne Legacy, and that didn't work out.

9. Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington Avatar
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Sam Worthington may be the lead in the Avatar films, but moviegoers struggle to name his other works. He is set to appear in upcoming Avatar sequels, however.

10. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Jerry Maguire
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

Many argue that Gooding Jr. peaked as a football star in Jerry McGuire. Will his star rise again with future projects? Time will tell.

11. Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol The Notorious Bettie Page
Image Credit: HBO Films.

One fan in the forum noted how Gretchen Mol went to their middle school, and she came back to talk about being an actress. “Everyone thought she was poised to become the next major A-lister. Then she vanished, and I never heard anything about her again,” they explained.

12. Elisha Cuthbert

Elisha Cuthbert Happy Endings
Image Credit: American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

After breaking out in the television series 24, Elisha Cuthbert landed starring roles in the film industry, but nothing seemed to work out. Fans loved her role in Happy Endings, but the show was canceled.

13. Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth Independence Day: Resurgence
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

After appearing in The Hunger Games franchise, Liam Hemsworth hasn't lived up to the impossible standards of his brother Chris. He's set to appear in The Witcher, taking over the role previously played by Henry Cavill. 

14. Taylor Lautner

Taylor Lautner
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

He won over the hearts of fans as Jacob Black in Twilight. Once the Twilight series ended, Lautner has been mostly out of the spotlight.

15. Alex Pettyfer

Alex Pettyfer In Time
Image Credit: New Regency Productions.

Pettyfer starred in several films in the late 2000s and early 2010s, most notably I Am Number Four, but failed to break out as a mainstream success.

16. Leelee Sobieski

Leelee Sobieski The Wicker Man 2006
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Sobieski enjoyed a steady career for over two decades before retiring from acting in 2012. She went on to focus on an art career as a painter and sculptor.

17. Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel The Thing About Pam
Image Credit: NBC Universal Media LLC.

Duhamel broke out with his role starring in the Transformers franchise but failed to jump as a major Hollywood star despite his best attempts.

18. Nikki B Nikki Blonsky Huge

Image Credit: Disney Enterprises.Blonsky broke onto the scene with an incredible performance as Tracy Turnblad in 2007's Hairspray remake. She was tapped as a major star in Hollywood, but sadly that never materialized.

19. Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale Picture This Robbie Amell
Image Credit Metro Goldwyn Meyer.

After the release of High School Musical, many viewed Tisdale, not Zac Efron, to be destined for major Hollywood success. Sadly, it never came to fruition for her.

20. Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher Andy Samberg Hot Rod
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

After working for a decade as an actress, Fisher enjoyed her first mainstream success with 2005's Wedding Crashers and had a scene-stealing performance. Her star may have fizzled slightly, but she's still been in several roles over the years.

21. Josh Holloway

Josh Holloway Yellowstone
Image Credit: Paramount Network.

After the success of Lost, Holloway seemed destined for stardom, but it never really came together. While he's had steady work in the industry, nothing matches his performance as James “Sawyer” Ford.

22. Brandon Routh

Brandon Routh Legends of Tomorrow
Image Credit: Berlanti Productions.

Despite playing Superman in 2006's Superman Returns, Routh may be better known for his cameo appearances in Zack and Miri and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Source: Reddit.

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