Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, chances are you’ve seen the heartwarming vision of Brendan Fraser getting emotional amid a standing ovation for The whale at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. The clip went viral as fans of the 90s star around the world celebrated the return of the beloved actor who, through family comedies, action blockbusters and fantasy adventures, has come to mean so much to so many people.
However, Fraser isn’t the first actor to experience the full extent of Hollywood’s ups and downs and come out on top. Some actors, like Fraser, found themselves on the wrong side of bad luck. Others have had all-too-well-documented personal battles that have seen them fade from the limelight, while some have simply fallen victim to the ruthless nature of the film industry. One thing they all have in common is that they knew how to make a comeback, and fans have been enjoying their career covers ever since.
The reaction of social networks to the now famous video of Brendan Fraser at the Venice Film Festival proved that the actor’s stardom of the 1990s and 2000s had not been forgotten. With The Mummy trilogy among his best-known works, Fraser seemed to suddenly disappear shortly after the release of the third installment in 2008.
Hit by a series of health problems, the death of his mother and a divorce, Fraser put his acting career on hold during a struggle with depression. The few roles he got in the 2010s didn’t amount to much, but that all seems to have changed and fans couldn’t be happier for him. He’s being touted as a real chance to earn an Oscar nomination for his performance in The whale and must appear in The Moonflower SlayersNext year. All we can say is long live the “Brenaissance”.
Neil Patrick Harris
Although he is now better known as Barney Stinson from how I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris started his career as a main character in Doogie Howser MD From 1989 to 1993, the sitcom followed the child genius as he dealt with typical teenage issues while working as a licensed doctor.
Beyond a few minor television appearances, Harris all but disappeared from our screens and was considered another one-hit wonder. But then he revived his image with a delightfully extreme portrayal of himself in Harold and Kumar go to the white castlebefore immortalizing itself in television history with the legendary performance of Barney Stinson.
With her first major appearance as Gertie in AND the extra-terrestrial when she was only seven years old, Drew Barrymore quickly became one of the biggest child stars of the 80s. Unfortunately, like many famous child actors, drug addiction and hard partying soon began to plague her, becoming a popular topic in the media and seeing her placed in rehab. detox at the age of 13.
Unlike many child actors, Barrymore made a seamless transition to adult roles, reestablishing his image with a string of acclaimed performances in the 1990s before reasserting himself as a box office draw card in the late 1990s. 90s and early 2000s with movies. As The Wedding Singer, never been kissedand charlie’s angels. Since then, she has remained a major figure in Hollywood.
Given that he is one of the most famous figures in the history of cinema, it seems unthinkable that there was a period when Marlon Brando was almost forgotten. After bursting onto the scene with her performance in A tram called Désir in 1951, the actor became one of the biggest stars of the decade with leading performances in At the water’s edge, The wildand Julius Caesar.
But his career came to a halt in the ’60s as he became disillusioned with Hollywood and uncharacteristically signed a long-term contract with Universal Studios that produced five box office flops. It had been well over 10 years since his last success when he made his iconic return as Vito Corleone in The Godfatherin 1972.
After an outstanding performance in Dazed and confused, Matthew McConaughey spent much of the 90s establishing himself as a versatile actor with roles in a wide range of genres. By the time the 2000s rolled around, he had been pigeonholed as the lover of fluffy romantic comedies and strayed from the A-list he seemed destined for.
In the early 2010s, however, he made a decisive shift towards more dramatic material, appearing in Lincoln’s lawyer, joe the killerand Mud before finally striking gold with an Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Cluband his Emmy-winning display in real detective. Although he has featured in some flops since, he still appeared in acclaimed triumphs such as Interstellarand Gentlemen.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Joaquin Phoenix became a successful child actor in his early teens. Sadly, his career decline is a tragic story tied to the death of his brother in 1993 and the ensuing media hysteria, which he and his family moved to Costa Rica to get away from.
He made his return to the cinema in 1995 die forand appeared in an interesting lineup of films in the late 90s before landing his starring role in Gladiator in 2000, for which he earned his first Oscar nomination. He has since become one of Hollywood’s most esteemed actors, earning three more Oscar nominations and winning his premiere for his performance in Joker.
After rising to fame in the late 80s, winona ryder dominated the ’90s as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, appearing in everything from Tim Burtonfrom quirky gothic tales to horror blockbusters, hard-hitting dramas and romantic epics. Yet his career was nearly wiped out following a high-profile shoplifting scandal in 2001.
Ryder went on hiatus soon after, waiting until 2006 to return to the screen via independent films The Darwin Awardsand A dark scanner. While she excelled in supporting roles in films such as star trekand Black Swanit wasn’t until 2016 that she reentered the mainstream consciousness, starring in the first season of stranger thingswhich became a hit series.
Of Batman at beetle juice, Michael Keaton was one of Hollywood’s biggest and most bankable stars of the 80s and 90s, but his box office luck dried up around the turn of the century. Beyond the voice of secondary characters in animated films Cars and Toy Story 3Keaton struggled to find successful projects for over a decade before finally striking gold with a beautifully self-aware performance in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
The Oscar-winning comedy-drama sparked a comeback for Keaton who appeared in Projector – another Best Picture winner – in 2016. It has been able to garner both box office success and critical acclaim since its comeback, with notable appearances in Spider-Man: Homecoming, The founderand the Oscar-nominated drama The Chicago 7 Trial.
With Saturday night fever and Fat released in the late 70’s John Travolta was a hot property in the 80s, but failed to capitalize on its stardom initially. He appeared in Brian de Palmait is Switch off in 1981 which was critically acclaimed but flopped at the box office before embarking on a string of commercial and critical failures over the decade.
To rub salt in the wound, he also declined leading roles in american gigolo, An officer and a gentlemanand Splash, all of which became box office hits. It was only in 1994 that Quentin Tarantino – who adored Switch off – throw Travolta in pulp Fictionthat the actor’s career was revived. He received an Oscar nomination for his performance and has been working steadily ever since.
Robert Downey Jr.
Today, Robert Downey Jr. is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, but there was a time when it seemed like his real-life adventures cost him his career. He emerged in the 80s as an up-and-coming talent and gradually built a career over the next decade, including earning an Oscar nomination for his performance in Chaplin.
A series of addiction issues and legal issues plagued his career from 1996 to 2001, however, costing him work and making him an uninsurable commodity for the studios. It was Mel Gibson who helped him resume his career, landed him a role in The singing detectivein 2003. Downey Jr. then starred in Kiss Kiss Bang Bangand Zodiac before his crescendo return in 2008, earning another Oscar nomination for Thunder in the tropics and, of course, making his first appearance as Tony Stark in Marvel’s Iron Man.
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