About What the Hell Happened

About What the Hell Happened

The “What the Hell Happened” series started when I caught the Day of the Dead remake on cable.  Since the movie had never received a theatrical release, I entered with extremely low expectations.  But somehow, the movie failed to live up to my low standards.  My mind wandered.  All I could think was “What the hell happened to Meena Suvari?”

I started wondering what had happened to other actors I used to follow.  How had Michael Keaton gone from playing Batman to semi-retirement?  How did Oscar nominee Elisabeth Shue end up slumming it in a Piranha remake?

As I worked my way through the series, I learned about Val Kilmer’s weight gain, Rick Moranis’ personal loss and Kathleen Turner’s illness.  I discovered how many actresses were victims of bad plastic surgery like Meg Ryan.  All that, and Steve Guttenberg.

Eventually, the series became more popular than I could have ever imagined.  In an effort to give readers more of what they wanted, I decided to expand the scope of the series.  Originally, I was very selective when choosing subjects for WTHH.  Candidates had to be A-list actors who had disappeared from the spotlight.  Also, I would only write about actors and actresses I had actually been a fan of.

Little by little, I loosened those criteria.  I started writing about actors who had shown promise but never achieved A-list status.  This allowed me to write about some of my favorite actresses like Penelope Ann Miller, Bridget Fonda and Mira Sorvino.  I also started writing about actors who are still in the public eye but aren’t as big of stars as they used to be.  This let me cover working actors like Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey and Chevy Chase.

Finally, I decided it was okay to write about actors I was never especially fond of.  This made Steven Seagal eligible.

There have also been some changes regarding the scope of each article.  When I started, the articles were much shorter.  I hit the highlights and lowlights of the subject’s career.  Their personal lives were only commented on if it had a direct impact on their career.  TV guest spots and direct-to-video movies were usually omitted.  But as I have written the series for the last several years, I have come to appreciate that those things are important to painting a full picture of the actor’s career.  While no article is ever likely to be 100% comprehensive, I now try to include relatively obscure projects along with the ones everyone is familiar with.

I will be the first to admit that the title of the series sometimes requires interpretation.  It’s a little weird to ask what the hell happened to an actor who is currently working.  And frequently the answer to the question isn’t all that compelling.  A lot of times, an actor just got old.  Or they decided to concentrate on their families or personal lives.  Sometimes they just decide staying on the A-list is no longer worth the effort.

At this point, the series is intended to be a career retrospective.  Sometimes I am dissecting a train wreck like Sean Young or Mel Gibson.  Other times, I’ll look at squandered potential like Nicolas Cage or Heather Graham.  Some careers will be long and distinguished.  Others will be relatively short-lived.  All that is needed is a rise and a fall.

Frequently, the mild profanity in the title puts fans of the subject on the defensive.  While I respect the passion of these fans, I think their anger is usually misplaced.  The fact that these actors have been selected for a retrospective means that they have achieved a level of greatness that merits such treatment.

The articles are written with what I hope is a humorous tone.  I do crack wise at the expense of the celebrities.  But I figure these guys can take it.  All of my jokes are intended in the spirit of good fun.  If articles ever veer into being mean spirited, that is a failure on my part.

I hope you enjoy looking back at these careers with me.  If you do, please be sure to let me know in the comments section.  If you don’t, let me know that too.  Although I appreciate constructive criticism much more than a drive-by “You suck”.  The comments sections of these articles have been lots of fun.  I have enjoyed long conversations with several like-minded readers over the years.  I have even made friends with movie lovers around the world.

Also, if there is a subject you would like to see covered, let me know.  I have taken several suggestions since starting the series.  Be sure to vote in the poll to select the next candidate.  I frequently let the poll guide me when choosing who to write about next.

As always, thanks for reading.  Hope you stick around.

More “What the Hell Happened?”

Karen Allen   Tim Allen   Rosanna Arquette   Kim Basinger

Tom Berenger   Elizabeth Berkley   Michael Biehn   Thora Birch

Orlando Bloom   Matthew Broderick   Nicolas Cage

Neve Campbell   Jim Carrey     Phoebe Cates   Lacey Chabert

Chevy Chase   Kevin Costner   Cameron Crowe   Joe Dante

Geena Davis   Rebecca De Mornay   Matt Dillon   Kirsten Dunst

Emilio Estevez   Colin Farrell   Linda Fiorentino   Bridget Fonda

Brendan Fraser   Edward Furlong   Mel Gibson   Cuba Gooding Jr.

Heather Graham   Jennifer Grey   Melanie Griffith

Steve Guttenberg   Linda Hamilton   Daryl Hannah   Josh Hartnett

Anne Heche   Katherine Heigl   Helen Hunt   Elizabeth Hurley

Jeffrey Jones   Ashley Judd   Michael Keaton    Nicole Kidman

Val Kilmer   Jude Law   Martin Lawrence   Kelly LeBrock

Jennifer Jason Leigh   Lindsay Lohan   Ralph Macchio

Tobey Maguire   Kelly McGillis    John McTiernan

Penelope Ann Miller     Demi Moore   Rick Moranis   Eddie Murphy

Mike Myers     Judd Nelson   Edward Norton     Jason Patric

Michelle Pfeiffer     Freddie Prinze Jr   Keanu Reeves

Ivan Reitman     Molly Ringwald     Kurt Russell   Rene Russo

Meg Ryan     Winona Ryder     Arnold Schwarzenegger

Steven Seagal     Ally Sheedy     Elisabeth Shue

M Night Shyamalan     Alicia Silverstone     John Singleton

Christian Slater   Wesley Snipes     Leelee Sobieski     Mira Sorvino

Sylvester Stallone   Sharon Stone     Madeleine Stowe

Mena Suvari     Hilary Swank   Lea Thompson     Uma Thurman

John Travolta     Chris Tucker   Kathleen Turner     Liv Tyler

Jean-Claude Van Damme     Damon Wayans     Robin Williams

Debra Winger   Reese Witherspoon     Sean Young     Billy Zane

Renee Zellweger


  1. Two actresses in desperate need of WTHH posts: Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner. Berry hasn’t had a real hit in… Ever? And neither has Garner, who has lately been riding the success wagon of husband Ben Affleck.


    • Jennifer Garner’s Movie Career Is Not in the Toilet:

      “Butter bombs, Jennifer Garner’s track record worsens,” intoned the headline on Yahoo! Movie Talk before writer Meriah Doty delivered a whole spiel about Garner’s tumble from box-office royalty.

      The post left me in a daze. First, this isn’t 2006. Garner hasn’t been a matinee darling for years, nor has that been expected of her. Second, if profitability alone contributed to lengthy, rewarding careers then Michael Bay would be muttered in the same breath as Scorsese and Allen.

      Doty sees things a little differently. “Garner was on a roll from 2001 to 2004, most notably starring in Daredevil with her now-husband Ben Affleck—a film that opened to more than $40 million,” she writes. “For the sake of her career, she should appear onscreen with Affleck again.”

      This conveniently glances over the fact that Daredevil was a relentlessly awful movie, even by the generous standards of comic book adaptions. It was another in an inglorious line of creatively bankrupt turkeys that Affleck made in his failed 1998 to 2004 quest to become Generation X’s William Holden. He remedied that problem by directing films (Gone Baby Gone, The Town) devoid of affiliations with toymakers or fast-food empires. So Affleck, whose highly anticipated Argo opens Friday, should ask Garner to don Spandex and battle bad guys.

      He clearly has no other choice.

      All too often people use the box office as unassailable proof of an actor’s career: More money means that more people saw your movie. That’s one way to measure success, I guess. But, in my opinion, an actor’s success can be determined by answering a basic question:

      Are we happy to see you?

      In the case of Garner, the answer is yes. She brought the heart and soul to the shrill Juno and lent a touch of class to a Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy (2009’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past)—which is like splitting the atom with children’s scissors. Most importantly, seeing her in trash like Valentine’s Day and that totally unnecessary Arthur remake nearly brought tears to my eyes. She deserved so much better.

      Seeing a quality performer like Garner—and, yes, I plan to see Butter, a political satire—is like reuniting with a longtime friend: You’re too engrossed to care about the car they drive or whether they’re treating for dinner. Even though Maggie Gyllenhaal’s edgy days have waned, I love her because she always plays a character, not a persona. Ditto Michelle Williams and Richard Jenkins. It’s great to see Michael Shannon becoming Christopher Walken with range.

      Conversely, there are actors whom I once liked that I’ve just about written off, like that buddy with a fixation for trashy 21-year-olds and Ed Hardy couture. Lindsay Lohan was a genuine talent before her personal life turned her into a pod person. Kate Hudson beguiled me in Almost Famous before spending the next decade irritating her way toward stardom. Jennifer Lopez and Bruce Willis decided it was in their best interest to become commodities.

      Jennifer Garner is doing just fine, thank you. These actors, however, are in danger.

      1. Adam Sandler (when he’s not working with Judd Apatow): When you watch the comedian’s early efforts like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, what’s amazing is how unabashedly, refreshingly weird they are. Sixteen years after exchanging blows with Bob Barker, Sandler has become domesticated.

      2. Robert De Niro: I remember when a De Niro performance was an event, like watching Dwight Gooden pitch. Now, it seems like he plays only cops or ironically funny tough guys. Happy Endings Playbook may provide a spark for Dustin Hoffman-like adaptability.

      3. Eddie Murphy: Tower Heist should have reintroduced us to the profane, poetic Murphy of Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop. Instead, we see a performer trapped in the polished, family-friendly cocoon he’s resided in since the mid-1990s.

      4. Zac Efron: I give him credit for trying to shake the awkward, teenage blues associated with High School Musical. But, man, Sisyphus had it easier. Efron’s stubble was the most emotive part of his performance in The Lucky One, and watching director Lee Daniels move the action away from Efron—who’s only the main character—in The Paperboy is painful.

      5. Tom Cruise: The personal has bled into the professional. He needs to take two to three years off so we can appreciate him. Then, Cruise can make a splash in some indie darling with wide appeal like The Artist. That will lead to the inevitable Entertainment Weekly cover story entitled “Cruise in Control!” or “Back to Being a Top Gun.”


      • 10 Actresses Who Could Use a Career Reboot:

        7. Jennifer Garner

        I can hardly think of an actress who seems like she’s going through the motions more than Jennifer Garner. She almost literally burst onto the scene in Alias, and seemed destined to be a huge crossover success. She upped her cred with the nerd crowd as Elektra, and captured hearts with 13 Going on 30. But after that… remember Catch and Release? Neither does anybody else. The Kingdom? Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? The Invention of Lying? Arthur?

        Jennifer seems to have a knack at choosing projects that everyone will forget in a few months (or remember for all the wrong reasons). Her upcoming release of The Odd Life of Timothy Green promises not to reverse that trend. The only memorable work she has put in since Sydney Bristow hung up her pink wig is actually one of my favorite supporting performances in recent memory: her achingly tough-yet-tender performance in Juno. Diablo Cody may have written the arc, but boy, did Jennifer bring it to life. It turns her tough girl image on its head by the end, when the hardest exterior gives way to reveal deeper desires. After that, I thought it was surely nowhere but up for her. I was wrong.

        Is there hope for her yet?: I was ready to give up on Jennifer until I saw her hysterical performance in Butter, a film that she produced herself. This tells me two things: first, that she still has sides of her talent that we haven’t seen. This character is so out of left field from what we have seen her do before, but doesn’t lose the charisma we know her to have. Second, it shows that she has finally taken her career into her own hands. Gone are the days of backing up Russell Brand and Ricky Gervais. She is, without question, the lead of this film, and even amidst outstanding supporting performances, she never loses her footing. She knew this would be a good role for her, so she made the project happen.

        My suggestion: Aside from BUTTER, her IMDb page doesn’t reveal much else in her immediate future, which is probably a good thing. She can carefully select (and hopefully produce) her own roles, and take a stronger hand in shaping what we know can be a fruitful career.


    • Mary Stuart Masterson has spent most of the last 4 years starting a family. She has had 4 children in about 3+ years, a son 11/2009, twins daughter & son 8/2011 & son/daughter ? in 10/2012 with husband Jeremy Davidson. SKoW yeah!

      She has done readings (5/2013)
      “Jesus Is Waiting” has only oblique religious implications, in this characteristically serio-comic tale of failed love and self-discovery by Amy Hempel. It’s the title of a recording by the Reverend Al Green, given to the narrator by “the man who won’t speak to me.” She’s taken to the road to get away from herself, but, as she observes ruefully: “The geographic cure, these bouts of driving, with the age-old bit built in: ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’”

      The reader of “Jesus Is Waiting” is Mary Stuart Masterson. LISTEN TO THE SHOW at:

      She is scheduled to appear at the Arthouse Film Festival starting September 30, 2013 more at this website:


      • Good stuff. I was a big fan of MSM back in the day. Much like Bridget Fonda and the similarly named Mary Louise Parker, I kept waiting for them to become big stars. MLP eventually reached some level of success on TV. But the other two went the family route.

        Eventually, I want to cover all of the actresses in the Western, Bad Girls.


    • 10 Actors Who Completely Wasted Their Careers:

      3. Halle Berry

      When Halle Berry became the first African American to be awarded a Best Actress Oscar in 2002, it seemed like the gorgeous actress had cemented her role as a performer and sex symbol. In the years preceding she starred in the first X-Men movie and helped sell millions of tickets to Swordfish simply because she appeared topless in it.

      When Berry followed Monster’s Ball with the box office hits Die Another Day, X2: X-Men United, and Gothika her position on the A-list seemed secured, and there was even talk of her starring in the first James Bond spinoff movie starring her Die Another Day character.

      However, Berry obliterated her reputation by starring in the critical and commercial failure Catwoman in 2004, and then after the third X-Men movie in 2006, Berry did not have a major box office hit until 2013′s low-budget The Call and most of her movies, like Things We Lost in the Fire, Cloud Atlas, Dark Tide, and Movie 43, were major bombs. She is set to co-star in another X-Men movie later this year, which seems to be the one thing that has worked for her career this century.


      • 10 Actresses Whose Careers Went Downhill After Winning An Oscar:

        Halle Berry

        Oscar Win: Best Actress, Monster’s Ball (2002)

        The only thing that keeps Halle Berry from being on the top half of this list is the success she’s had with the X-Men series. When she’s not portraying Storm, she’s starring in Gothika, Perfect Stranger, New Year’s Eve, The Call, Movie 43… and then, of course, there’s Catwoman. Almost all of the films she’s made in the past decade have been poorly received with disappointing box office figures. When will she fire her agent?

        Better yet, was Halle Berry ever a great actress to begin with? Despite becoming the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for a leading role, there was a great amount of controversy surrounding her role in Monster’s Ball. A number of notable detractors of the film, including actress Angela Bassett, have said that the film was stereotypical and demeaning towards black women. Nowadays, people have started to wonder if Halle Berry really deserved the golden statue.

        She would have silenced the haters if she had continued success after winning, but that has not been the case thus far. With only X-Men: Days of Future Past on the horizon, it does not seem as if Halle Berry will change people’s minds anytime soon.


  2. Indeed, the only film that Garner has been in that I liked was “Catch Me If You Can” (“13 Going on 30” didn’t do anything “Big” didn’t do better)


  3. Two names I think are worth mentioning: Chow Yun-Fat and Hillary Swank.

    Chow Yun-Fat had a huge film career coming out of Hong Kong. He was one of Asia’s biggest movie stars. He emigrated to America in hopes of sustaining a viable film career in America. Unfortunately, Chow’s film career in Hollywood never quite took off. Some attributed it to Chow’s limited knowledge of English. Others believe it was outright racism; even though the United States likes to think of itself as a progressive country, the reality is, Asian and Asian American men seldom get cast to play leading men unless it’s a martial arts movie. I consider Chow to be one of the most charismatic actors whose presence always lights up the screen. But for whatever reason, his charisma never really translated well w/ American audiences. Of course, another possibility is that Chow simply made some poor decisions in choosing which roles to accept. He portrayed Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, and it was an epic disaster on his part. He also starred in Bulletproof Monk, which is considered among the worst movies ever made. And he also had a supporting role as Roshi in Dragonball: Evolution. Really Chow, WTF? He looked downright humiliated in that role and honestly, he sounded like he was drunk when he played that character. It’s obviously he was ashamed to be in that movie. I remember reading an interview where Bob Hoskins admitted he was drunk throughout filming his role in the Super Mario Bros. movie. I suspect Chow was doing the same thing to get through filming Dragonball: Evolution.

    Frustrated with his lack of options in Hollywood, Chow moved back to Hong Kong to try and resuscitate his film career. Although he had a couple of modest hits, Chow’s film career was never the same. His last real big hit was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, one of the biggest films internationally. But that was some 13 years ago. Chow never quite could keep up the momentum.


    • Good points on Chow. I could see doing a full write-up eventually. Although I think you did a pretty thorough job with his US career.

      Swank has already been covered here. Hope you like it.


      • Excellent article on Hilary Swank! Very comprehensive read.

        a few other names I’ve came up with: Clive Owen, Josh Hartnett, and Michael Pare.

        I think Clive Owen would be an excellent choice. He had leading roles in a number of box office flicks in the mid 2000s ranging from King Arthur to The International. However, in the last several years, the only films I can think of which he appeared in were Intruders and Elite Squad. And neither film exactly lit up the box office. He hasn’t been in any noteworthy films in these last several years.

        Ditto for Josh Harnett. he made his film debut in Halloween: H20, then landed a breakout role in The Virgin Suicides. Like Clive Owen, Hartnett had starring roles in numerous Hollywood blockbusters in the early to mid 2000s. However, his last theatrical film was apparently 30 Days of Night. and that was back in 2007!

        Michael Pare had potential leading man status, appearing in such films as Eddie and the Cruisers, Streets of Fire, and The Philadelphia Experiment. Nowadays, he’s relegated to appearing in junk directed by the likes of Albert Pyun and Uwe Boll! With the exception of supporting roles in The Lincoln Lawyer and Gone, most of the films Pare has appeared in in the last two decades were straight to video junk.


        • Thanks. Glad you liked it.

          Those are three really good suggestions. Hartnett in particular is one I have been meaning to write-up. Next time I am looking for names to add to the poll, I’ll remember these three guys.


        • I think I previously suggested that Josh Harnett be considered for a future WTHHT in the comments section for his “Pearl Harbor” co-star Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s WTHHT.

          And speaking of Clive Owen:
          10 Actors Who Are Box Office Poison:

          Notable Flops: Elizabeth: The Golden Age ($74.2m against $60m), Shoot ‘Em Up ($26.8m against $39m), The International ($60.1m against $50m), Duplicity ($78.1m against $60m), The Boys Are Back ($3.1m against $16m), Trust ($120k against $4m), Killer Elite ($56.3m against $35m), Intruders ($3m against $13m) and Shadow Dancer ($330k against roughly $6-7m).

          Despite being a talented and likable actor, Owen just doesn’t seem to be able to light up the box office; even when working with exceptionally talented writers, directors and co-stars, everything he’s in just seems to flounder financially, and it doesn’t really make a lot of sense (to me, at least). The fact that he’s weathered so many flops and continues to get work, then, is undeniably impressive.


        • For some reason or another, Clive Owen’s name is synonymous w/ the term “box office poison”.

          Dougray Scott is one name that I would suggest for a WTHHT. He had first gotten noticed as the male lead opposite Drew Barrymore in “Ever After” followed by his turn as the bad guy in “Mission: Impossible 2”. When he was cast to play Wolverine in the first live-action X-Men film, it seemed like Scott was well on his way to becoming an A-list star. But unfortunately, production for “MI2” went over-schedule and Scott was forced to vacate the role. Of course, a then unknown Hugh Jackman gets the Wolverine role instead and subsequently becomes a huge star. Meanwhile, Dougray Scott is left toiling away in TV movies, short-lived TV series, little seen movies in general, and a single season stint on “Desperate Housewives” just as the show was beginning its long descent in ratings and buzz:


        • Yeah, Scott got screwed. However, it’s probably for the best. He has 1/2 the charisma Jackman does.


  4. Tarik Jackson

    PLEASE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME, what happened to Eric Roberts?


  5. Was Eric Roberts A list other than being known as the brother of? If memory serves… it may not…. he didn’t pursue an acting career with the same zeal as Julia.


    • Well as I know Julia, at the beginning of her carreer was known as “the sister of Eric”. In late 70’s-early 80’s Eric Roberts was a rising star, he also received an Oscar nomination. Many say that Julia started her carreer after seeing her brother rise.
      Ironically, 25 years ago Julia was only known as being “the sister of…” now it’s Eric known only because he’s “the brother of…”


      • 10 Hollywood Career Paths Nobody Saw Coming:

        9. Eric Roberts – From Early Oscar Nominee To B-Movie Star…With Occasional Exceptions

        Eric Roberts’ career began pretty well, with him scooping an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in one of his very first film roles, the entertaining 1985 thriller Runaway Train. Roberts has never been able to return to the same level of greatness, though, and has spent the majority of his career floating around in the B-movie, TV-movie and even the straight-to-DVD market, with him being cast every so often in a high-profile film, such as A Guide to Recognising Your Saints and most memorably, The Dark Knight as Salvatore Maroni.

        It’s as though every few years, someone remembers that Roberts is a good actor and decides to do something with him; otherwise he’s resigned to making dreck like “Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft”. Take a gander at his current filmography, which has over 50 projects awaiting release; how the Hell does the guy do it!?

        4 Actors Rescued From Obscurity By Christopher Nolan:
        3. Eric Roberts – The Dark Knight (2008)

        Eric Roberts is somebody who, for most of his career, has lived in the shadow of his sister Julia, who was one of the world’s most recognisable actresses in the nineties and early noughties, though her output has dwindled in recent years.

        Nominated for two Golden Globes and an Oscar in his early career, Eric’s acting output was frequent throughout the eighties and nineties, though the quality of his roles began to decrease as problems with his drug use became apparent.

        In the noughties, he’d been relegated to obscure productions and one-off guest appearances in an assortment of television shows, including the likes of CSI: Miami, Heroes and The L Word. 2008’s The Dark Knight became his first major film for several years.

        His character, seedy gangster Sal Maroni, was a good fit for Roberts, whose fate was left ambiguous towards the end of the film. Following its release, he remains an occasional fixture on television, having appeared in shows ranging in nature from Chuck to Celebrity Rehab, the latter of which saw him attempt to combat his drug addiction once and for all.

        Despite his own setbacks, Roberts’ legacy lives on in the form of his daughter, Emma, who has appeared in a number of films in recent years, Scream 4 chief amongst them, and may become a regular on television screens come the end of the year if her Fox pilot, Delirium, is picked up.

        On a footnote, The Dark Knight also featured appearances from two other once prominent actors in smaller roles. Anthony Michael Hall, a member of the 80s ‘Brat Pack’, appeared as television host Mike Engel, whilst Michael Jai White, the first black actor to portray a superhero in 1997’s Spawn, appeared as a gangster named Gambol.


      • And ironically, Julia herself has a bit of a “difficult to work with” reputation:

        6. Julia Roberts

        I was surprised to learn this one, given that I always presumed Julia Roberts would be kind of down to earth in real life, given the kinds of characters she’s played (yes, it was her turn as a prostitute in Pretty Woman). And yet, looking back across the span of her career, I was shocked to see that she’s got a reputation as a diva. To the point in which even the likes of lovely old Steven Spielberg reached breaking point: whilst filming Hook, the cast and crew apparently nicknamed her “Tinkerhell” and the director cut down her part greatly as a result.

        To be fair, she’d apparently gone a bit insane at the time, having recently split from her boyfriend, but c’mon, you’re in a Spielberg movie, Julia – don’t annoy one of the most influential men in Hollywood! Relationship issues or not, though, that wasn’t a one-off occurrence: Roberts has also been called out for her inability to work with other woman (Cameron Diaz, to name one example). Apparently it’s a pretty well-known fact that she’s difficult to work with, anyway, so I’ve apparently been living in some sort of dream world where she’s a friendly prostitute with a heart of gold. A man can dream.


    • By the time Julia came on the scene, her brother had her shot and blew it. But round about Star 80, Roberts had a very promising career.


    • I think Eric Roberts had some problems with substance abuse, and that kind of derailed his career in the ’80s. (He starred in “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “Runaway Train.”)


      • That’s my understanding as well.


      • Perhaps another problem of Eric Roberts’ is that when you get right down to it, he’s a very hammy actor (especially in his early roles in which he really needed to tone down things down by about half). You can make the argument that “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “Runaway Train”, which are generally considered his best movies, were good or great movies in spite of him, not because of him.


  6. Read a few days back that Katherine Heigl’s planning a return to the tube nearly 4 years after
    bolting Seattle Grace……..outta do a part on her at some point on her rise and fall after poor
    choices,not to mention a big mouth,BTW!!!


  7. I love this idea! I want to know what the hell happened to Shelley Long, Jeffrey Jones, and Billy Dee Williams?!


    • Shelley Long is on my list. But she does pop up on Modern Family if you’re looking for her. Billy Dee is still one cool customer. Look for him to make an appearance in the next article. He’ll get his own sooner or later.

      And Jeffrey Jones – well – we’re not allowed to talk about him…

      All kidding aside, Jones got himself into some pretty serious legal trouble that sunk his career forever. Some day, I may write about it. We’ll see.


      • I forgot about Jones’ legal battles! He and Wesley Snipes. Ha.

        I write a column on my blog called BAD CINEMA where I take awful movies and desecrate them – or revel in their awfulness. You may enjoy. Keep up the good work!


      • Yeah, Jeffrey Jones absolutely deserves a WTHHT (I mean, we “talked” about the creepy stuff that John Travolta has been accused of doing, so why not Jeffrey Jones). I think that I suggested it in the comments section for Matthew Broderick’s (his “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” co-star) WTHHT. I thought that maybe he was more than likely ineligible because really considered more as a character actor than a A-list, leading man/box office draw.

        Shelley Long without a doubt deserves a WTHHT also. She’s kind of an obvious example (just like David Caruso w/ “NYPD Blue” and McLean Stevenson w/ “MASH” for example) of why actress and actors shouldn’t leave a hit TV show so soon to pursue bigger aspirations. There have also been rumors that Shelley Long has in the past been very difficult to work with.

        As for Billy Dee Williams, I really don’t have a clear idea right now regarding why perhaps he didn’t have a more successful leading man type career (he of course peaked w/ his turn as Lando Calrissian in the “Star Wars” sequels). Somebody on BDW’s IMDb message board that “Nighthawks” (the film that he did w/ Sylvester Stallone) didn’t really help his career post-“Empire Strikes Back” all too much. This article from 1989 (around the time he appeared as a pre-scarred Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s “Batman” was released) puts things into some perspective:
        But there is the issue of the career that got away.

        “Well, the unfortunate thing is, in this society, men of my hue and color, and if you`re nice-looking on top of it, and you`re a real person, a sensitive person-in other words you`re not a comedian-it`s very difficult,“

        Williams said.

        The most recent blow was when he tried to get support in France for a movie he wants to make about the French writer Alexander Dumas.

        “A lot of people don`t realize he was a mulatto,“ Williams said. “But in France they said they didn`t want a black man playing the character, so I said to myself, `What do I do?` What do you do? It`s like beating your head against the wall.“


      • Shelley Long’s “Irreconcilable Differences” co-star Ryan O’Neal really deserves a WTHHT now that I think about it. O’Neal was if I’m not mistaken, one of the top leading men (w/ an Academy Award nomination under his belt) in Hollywood during the 1970s. But it seems like drugs, drinking, the naturally negative feedback from punching out his son Griffin in the teeth (and just flat out being seen as a bad father period), his ego, and being nasty to people in general is what did him in.

        Also, there was the questionability over whether or not O’Neal was really a great actor to begin with (most infamously, his performance in “Tough Guys Don’t Dance”):

        The Orlando Bloom of his day, Ryan O’Neal had the looks to be a movie star but none of the talent. Overbearingly earnest and flat as a pancake, O’Neal had a brief stint as a star before Hollywood figured him out and he disappeared into drunken oblivion. Nonetheless, Ryan O’Neal, the Ryan O’Neal responsible for this moment of cinematic hideousness, had time to pop out one good performance.

        Paper Moon is a classic depression-era comedy from director Peter Bogdanovich about a conman posing as a bible salesman. Playing Moses Pray, O’Neal’s artificial acting style is put to good use by Bogdanovich, who moulds the actor into a dashing silhouette of ’30s Hollywood cinema. O’Neal never fared well in serious roles (Barry Lyndon aside), but Paper Moon shows his flair for comedy. It also shows how well he does when he stops taking himself seriously – as a smarmy, conniving drifter, Paper Moon makes a case for O’Neal being a canny comedian that foolishly spent a career trying to be a serious actor.


        • He was all the rage after “Love Story” came out in 1970, followed by “Paper Moon” and then gradually fell off the radar through the rest of the decade. Females of all ages everywhere swooned over his role in LS but I think the MAD magazine parody was better than the movie.


        • O’Neal definitely fits the bill. Lots of juicy stuff to get into. I like the line that he was “the Orlando Bloom” of his day, but really that’s not fair. Bloom would likely kill for the kind of success O’Neal had.


        • O’Neal had a lot of charm and could kill with romantic/light comedy roles- the lovable conman in Paper Moon was maybe a career high.

          He basically disappeared when the Eighties hit- a Seventies Guttenberg?

          In the early-mid Eighties people like us might have written that he was due for a comeback- it never happened.

          I just think he was blown away by the Pacino/DeNiro/Hoffman class- his train wreck of a personal life couldn’t have helped.

          Oh- one of his attempts was Tough Guys Don’t Dance- which has a famous scene where O’Neal messes up an emotional scene- and Norman Mailer kept it in- because- well- we was Norman Mailer.


      • 9 TV Stars Who Horribly Botched Their Big Leap Into Films:

        Shelley Long

        Cheers was one of the highest-rated television series when its fifth season ended in 1987. It was at that point that lead actress Shelley Long decided to leave the series. Cheers would go on to run six more seasons to critical acclaim and huge ratings.

        As for Shelley Long? She had a budding movie career while she starred on Cheers, appearing in the popular comedies Irreconcilable Differences, The Money Pit, Outrageous Fortune, and Hello Again, which explains why she thought leaving the show was a good move. However, after leaving Cheers Long turned down a number of high profile movie roles she was offered, including the lead role in the box office hit Working Girl. Her first post-Cheers film, Troop Beverly Hills, failed at the box office and she did not appear in a hit until 1995′s The Brady Bunch Movie. The Brady Bunch sequel was not as big of a success, and a second sequel ended up airing on television, like most of Long’s other movies.

        Long reprised her Cheers role in the series finale and appeared in four episodes of the spinoff Frasier. While Long has worked steadily in made-for-television movies, she never landed the movie stardom she expected after leaving Cheers.


  8. “You have to wonder why Gene Kelly wanted Gene Kelly in a disco-tinged roller derby musical. What a way to go!”
    I remember reading somewhere that Astaire and Kelly were thrilled by the success of Grease- they thought the musical was back.

    Kelly probably jumped (hopefully not on skates- although he could probably pull it off) to star with ONJ.


  9. What the Hell Happened To…? 12 Movie Actors/Actresses Who Are M.I.A.:

    DAMON WAYANS. The early ’90s were very good to Mr. Wayans, what with Last Boy Scout and Mo’ Money cleaning up at the box office. These days, he seems content letting his son, Damon Wayans, Jr. (Happy Endings) take the spotlight. He had a solid TV run with My Wife and Kids, but hasn’t been seen in movies since 2003’s Marci X.

    LORI PETTY. She never really recovered after Tank Girl, well, tanked. Had a stint on TV’s Prison Break back in ’09, but not much else since then. Well, she’ll always have Point Break and A League of Their Own. Okay, fine. Free Willy too.

    KID ‘N PLAY. I just bought Class Act on DVD thanks to Warner Archive. Sure, Kid ‘n Play seem like a relic of the early ’90s, but their boyish charm and energetic rap could surely make a comeback. Kid (Chris Reid) has actually been fairly productive as an actor, voicing video game characters and appearing in TV shows.

    MARY STUART MASTERSON. With a resume that includes Some Kind of Wonderful and Fried Green Tomatoes, you’d think Masterson could enjoy the same kind of career that the other 3-named Mary (Mary Louise Parker) has. But, other than a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU, and an appearance on the now-defunct Touch, she hasn’t had much success. Here’s hoping she finds her own “Weeds.”

    JOE PESCI. One of the great character actors of our time. He popped up briefly to star with Helen Mirren in 2010’s Love Ranch, and Robert DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd before that. Otherwise, he’s probably content just sitting back and enjoying his residuals as a producer of the musical, Jersey Boys.

    ANNABELLA SCIORRA. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle star had a memorable turn as Tony Soprano’s girlfriend a decade ago, earning an Emmy nomination in the process. She continues to make TV appearances – an episode of CSI here, an episode of Blue Bloods there, but no movies since 2006.

    EMILIO ESTEVEZ. Emliooooooo! Though he hasn’t acted much for quite a while now, he has been honing his craft as a director. His last project was 2010’s The Way, which he directed and starred alongside his dad, Martin Sheen.


  10. What Happened To…?

    Minnie Driver

    When Minnie Driver appeared in Circle of Friends in 1995, she showed so much promise as a young unknown actress. She was luminous as the unconventionally pretty girl in a story about first love and enduring friendship. Driver portrayed Benny with a naturalness and honesty that made the character endearing, touching and funny, and that role opened many doors for Driver who followed it up with several other noteworthy appearances in the late ‘90s.

    She was a tour de force then and seemed poised to become the next “it girl” thanks to a captivating screen presence and proven versatility as an actress. She shone in Circle of Friends, tickled our funny bones in Grosse Pointe Blank, held her own in the male-centric thriller Sleepers alongside Hollywood heavyweights Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro, and earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Good Will Hunting.

    After that strong string of good films, Driver’s filmography suffered from a string of mediocre films like Hard Rain and Return to Me. Rather than continue the upswing, her film choices took a nosedive and her movies failed to become commercial successes. She turned to television for a time with a guest starring role in Will and Grace and a full-time stint on the short-lived TV series The Riches.

    Driver’s got skills that go way beyond acting. She’s a talented songstress too. She’s got a lot going for her, but she kind of faded to the background as other actresses of her generation began to emerge (Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale). Many of the strong lead roles for women in film went to them and Driver was more often seen in straight-to-DVD releases or in modestly commercial vehicles. Driver deserves some good scripts and another chance to shine and hopefully she’ll land a plum role before “The Kates” soon.

    Career Highlights: Circle of Friends (1995); GoldenEye (1995); Sleepers (1996); Grosse Pointe Blank (1997); Good Will Hunting (1997); An Ideal Husband (1999); Owning Mahoney (2003); The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

    Low Points: Hard Rain (1998); The Governess (1998); Return to Me (2000); Beautiful (2000); Slow Burn (2000); High Heels and Low Lifes (2001); Hope Springs (2003); Ripple Effect (2007)

    Last Seen on the Big Screen: Barney’s Version (2010)

    Where will you see her next?: Goats (2011)


    • “Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale”

      The Kates?? What wag came up with that? When have Beckinsale and Blanchett been said in the same sentence? Not after Elizabeth-certainly not after Van Helsing!

      Any idiot with a computer I guess-


    • Ooooh! Noooo! Minie Driver, the broad with the oven-sized yap?! I thought her miscast in “Good Will Hunting” and in anything else she might have done.


      • lol – Damon dumped her and so did Hollywood. She had a rough go of things. Great suggestion.


        • AH, I recall when Minnie D was an It Girl! Not sure what happened, but she stopped being visible in films, then had a child and transitioned to/revived her musical career. And it’s not just an actress dabbling, Minnie D really IS a fine singer and decent songwriter! (I read something online that Damon had her “blacklisted,” whatever that means.)


        • I have seen that too. Apparently things ended badly between them.


    • Actors Hollywood Tried to Make Happen: Indiewire’s List:

      Minnie Driver is sort of like the Abbie Cornish of the 90s. It’s like the movie Gods hated her or something but nothing ever worked out for her. An Ideal Husband was probably her best movie but she was barely in it. Tarzan was the most successful one but it was animation. Her first big budget action movie was shelved for ages and it bombed at the box-office. The only time she had to carry a movie on her own was that beauty pageant comedy that was absolutely ravaged by critics. And her random Oscar nod was eclipsed in the tabloids by Matt Damon dumping her live on Oprah and her having to see him win the Oscar.

      Light a candle for poor Minnie.


  11. Whatever Happened to Eric Bana?

    Remember when Eric Bana was the Next Big Thing? Or the Next Incredible Hulk? He seemingly came out of nowhere—well, the Australian stand-up comic scene (who knew there was one?)—to get cast as Bruce Banner in Ang Lee’s shoulda-been-great 2003 snoozer Hulk. Prior to that, he’d only been known Stateside for a role as a soldier in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down, but the real star of that movie was a helicopter—who could tell the actors apart? He’d also made a splash Down Under as a notorious Aussie criminal in Chopper (and no, the title doesn’t refer to a copter), but that movie barely made a dent in the domestic box office.

    Still, Hulk was enough to put Bana on Hollywood’s A-list for a while. He donned a toga with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom (remember him?) in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy, and —in his finest U.S. screen work to date—played a coolly efficient Israeli assassin in Steven Spielberg’s underrated Munich. His luck started to change, ironically enough, with Lucky You, his long-delayed poker romance with Drew Barrymore, which crapped out at the box office.

    He got sidetracked into a couple of chick-lit adaptations that did middling business at best—The Other Boleyn Girl and The Time Traveler’s Wife—and failed to cash in on a couple of big opportunities in the summer of 2009. It must’ve seemed like a good idea at the time to play Nero, the villain of J.J. Abrams’ astronomically successful Star Trek reboot, but he was so buried under prosthetics that he was impossible to recognize (Ricardo Montalban would’ve never allowed that!). And a return to his comedic roots as a vengeful husband in Funny People led nowhere, as nobody else in the Judd Apatow’s cancer dramedy’s cast attempted to embody the title.

    After 2011′s teen-assassin opus Hanna failed to jumpstart his career, Bana’s reaching back to his Chopper days with the enjoyably lurid crime drama Deadfall, now available on VOD in advance of its theatrical release next month. Adopting an Alabama accent, Bana pleasingly chews the scenery as Addison, a casino robber who goes on the lam with his incestuously close sister, Liza (Olivia Wilde, who goes wild once again after her turn as a bisexual pole dancer in the criminally overlooked Butter). They split up, and Liza hooks up with an ex-con Olympic-medal winning boxer (Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam), who takes her home to meet his parents (Kris Kristofferson, who may in fact be carved out of wood at this point, and Sissy Spacek). When Addison all-too-conveniently shows up at the folks’ house just in time for a holiday dinner, the result is the Worst. Thanksgiving. Ever.

    There’s also a silly subplot about a local deputy (the perenially miscast Kate Mara) trying to prove herself to her sheriff dad (Treat Williams), but on the whole, Deadfall is a fun B-movie, especially for fans of snowbound crime sagas like A Simple Plan or Fargo (though not as overtly comedic as the latter). It will not, however, reverse Bana’s career freefall. Maybe one of his next films—the terrorism-themed courtroom drama Closed Circuit (with Rebecca Hall) or the Black Hawk Down-esque wartime actioner Lone Survivor (with Mark Wahlberg)—will do the trick. Otherwise, he’d better hope Mark Ruffalo pulls an Ed Norton and alienates the folks at Marvel so he can get another shot at transforming himself into a box-office Hulk.

    Eric Bana: What went wrong? Post your theories!


  12. “It must’ve seemed like a good idea at the time to play Nero, the villain of J.J. Abrams’ astronomically successful Star Trek reboot, but he was so buried under prosthetics that he was impossible to recognize”

    Ha- I didn’t realize he was in it until reading a review a couple days after I saw the film!


    • Also, that character’s motivations made no sense whatsoever. He’s out for revenge so he sits around doing nothing for 20 years while baby Kirk grows up. At any point, he could have warned his planet to take precautions to prevent it from being destoryed instead of waiting 20+ years for revenge on Spock – a guy who was obviously trying to help but made a catastrophic (and very un-Spocklike) mistake.


  13. I was about to go vote in the polls again.. for Keanu Reeves and then realized.. he has not dropped off the radar, in fact he has a recent documentary (“Side by Side”) about film making that I am dying to get ahold of.
    so, another direction. “Pacific Heights” has been on cable and I watched parts of it again. Melanie Griffith and Michael Keaton have their own WTHH posts…. how about Matthew Modine? Talented and hunky. Poised to make A list, did he ever? Works, as so many others, but not A list now.


  14. I think I’ve spent the last few hours going through your “What the Hell” list – it’s all excellent and I thoroughly enjoying devouring every bit of it. Would Adrien Brody count for your list? It’s like winning the oscar for The Pianist was the peak of his career and also the beginning of the end. Other suggestions: Halle Berry, Rob Schneider


    • I love to hear it when someone discovers the series and goes back and reads a bunch of older articles. That is exactly what I would do. So if others are enjoying the series the same way, that means it’s working. Thanks!

      Adrien Brody and Halle Berry are on my short list. Schneider will probably take me a while to get to.


  15. You’ve already mentioned ’bout Kurt Russell………how’s ’bout mentioning his longtime
    squeeze Goldie Hawn,who’s been MIA from the big screen the last few years,BTW!!!!!


    • I actually had Hawn on my short list for a while. But I realized two things. One, her box office track record is actually amazingly consistent in spite of the fact most of her movies are terrible. And two, she walked pretty much walked away after having a remarkably successful career.

      I’ll probably still write her up eventually. But the story didn’t seem as juicy as I hoped. So I back-burnered her. The list of actresses I plan to cover some day is long and she’s definitely on it.


      • Goldie Hawn probably has had one of the most remarkable careers in Hollywood for an actress. She lasted forever (1968 to what- 2000? ) It seems spiteful to blame her for Town and Country.


        • I don’t think anyone blames her for doing Warren Beatty a favor. Beatty owns T&C 100%.


        • You outta do something on Beatty down the road,since it’s been like a dozen years
          since T&C and he’s basically taken a back seat to spouse Annette Benning,BTW!!!


        • I was just thinking that this morning. He’s on the list.


        • It seems like Warren Beatty (the failure of “T&C” was pretty much entirely his fault) is pretty much fully retired from filmmaking/show business. Beatty could have moved back into the spotlight after Quentin Tarantino offered him the title role in “Kill Bill” but he turned it down. I couldn’t be that surprised because Warren Beatty is pretty known for wanting to control his films. So in effect, it looks like Beatty’s lack of output in the last decade is by choice.


        • Yeah,no wonder no sane filmmaker nowadays would wanna deal with Warren’s massive
          ego & demands,to be honest!!!!


  16. Some suggestions I would like to include would be Linda Fiorentino. After working with the likes of filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin and Mike Nichols, she basically pretty much disappeared after 2002’s “Liberty Stands Still”, co-starring WTHH alumni Wesley Snipes, which pretty much went straight to DVD, plus it was also revealed by Kevin Smith on the DVD commentary for “Dogma” that she was very difficult to work with and on some days on the set of that movie, wasn’t even speaking to him. That’s one of my picks.

    Another one would be Tom Sizemore. He has been in a ton of very popular movies throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, but then his career went into shambles thanks to his drug addiction and turbulent relationship with Heidi Fleiss. What do you think of these choices?


    • Excellent suggestions. I will admit, I keep forgetting them both. I’m going to have to actually write down my list and make sure to include them both.

      I will say this though. Smith has feuds with a lot of people. And the common denominator in those feuds is him. Not that he is the only one saying Fiorentino is difficult. But I’d seriously have to consider whether or not I wanted to work with a guy who talks so much trash so publicly.


    • Re: Linda F — time & time again, some actors think they’re “indispensable” and then they find they are (sadly) dispensable. The role’s not big enough, the money’s not big enough…forgetting that a little of something is better than a lot of nothing…or better than appearing in direct-to-DVD crap. (I must mention: Not ALL d-2-DVD films are crap, but experience has taught me that lots of them are.)


      • I have been out looking for some more concrete evidence of Fiorentino being difficult. The Smith stories are well documented, but everything else is speculation. It’s one of those things where you hear something enough, you start to believe it. The fact that her career flamed out and she didn’t come back to MIB2 all seem to support Smith’s claims that she is difficult. But my problem is Smith tends to be full of shit. He makes most of his money trash talking famous people who have upset him. So I don’t put a whole lot of stock in anything he says.

        Odds are, the rumors are true and Fiorentino was a pain in the ass. But I wish I had something other than Smith and speculation to go on.


  17. A suggestion: She was sort-of A-list very briefly, but then she seemingly fell…etc.:

    Another guy that made lots of decent-to-dandy movies and some crap…haven’t seen him ’round in a bit:

    As for who “killed” Kath Heigl’s career, she can look in the mirror. I know someone that worked on one of her movies (in the crew, not an actor) and he says, like so many other people, that she was a mega-bitch. She talked **** on the two things that “made her,” namely “Grey’s” and “Knocked Up.” BEFORE those, KH was starring in crap like “Bride of Chucky.” I rest my case.


    • I’ve in Val Kilmer’s WTHHT article, suggested Edward Norton as a future subject. Him not being invited to reprise his role as Bruce Banner in “The Avengers” (due him allegedly being a headache to deal w/) would make for good reading. Plus, Norton recently hosted “SNL”, so he’s quite “relevant” these days regardless.


    • I have come close to writing up Norton a few times. And whenever I get ready to do so, he pops up in a relatively high profile project. I might just do his article next before he shows up in something else.

      Perez could be interesting. I know she plays Click the Camera on Dora the Explorer these days.


  18. I got some more names I can come up with for the series of articles and they are:

    Stephen Dorff – Made his film debut at 14 with the horror movie “The Gate”, did guest spots on TV shows throughout his teen years and did a couple of little-seen features when he reached his 20s, before getting a big boost by playing Deacon Frost in “Blade”, for which he won an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain. And then he squandered his potential thanks to his bad boy behavior, done tons of crappy films like “Fear Dot Com”, “Cold Creek Manor”, “Alone in the Dark” and “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” and has made mostly straight to video features since.

    Martin Lawrence – He first gained promise as a comedian, had a popular sitcom on FOX in the early to mid-90s and landed his breakthrough film role by being paired up with Will Smith in “Bad Boys”. And while he continued working, most notably with the “Big Momma’s House” films, most of his flicks have gotten very low ratings from critics, have done only moderately at the box office, and gained some inappropriate behavior including his infamous opening monologue on Saturday Night Live on female genitalia, run-ins with the law and being accused of sexually harassing one of his female co-stars. I bet these would make interesting pieces for you.


    • In one of the past WTHHT articles, I vaguely recall LeBeau calling Stephen Dorff a “poor man’s Ethan Hawke”.

      I think I’ve in the past, also suggested Martin Lawrence get a WTHHT as well as his “Wild Hogs” co-star Tim Allen (since John Travolta has already gotten one of course):

      He killed it in the 90s. From Martin to Bad Boys and everything in between, Martin Lawrence found fame and fortune in comedy, but we have to admit that when the Big Momma’s House years rolled in, Lawrence definitely was knocked down the Hollywood totem pole. Instead of sleek, interesting humor, Lawrence found himself doing characters that just didn’t have the same spirit as the roles he had previously created on television and in his other films. Can he get back on top? Drop Big Momma and then maybe you’ll have a shot.


      • I like making fun of Dorff. Of course, I also like making fun of Ethan Hawke. I think, if memory serves, that was the Reese Witherspoon article.

        Yeah, I should get to Lawrence sooner rather than later. I may have to bump him up in the batting order.


    • Great suggestions. I have considered both and I’m sure I will get around to them both in time. Lawrence in particular is probably overdue. I’ve been reading a lot about “Young Hollywood” in the 90s recently, so Dorff is on my mind right now. And of course those vapor cigarette commercials he’s doing. I’d really like to dig in to that era more.


  19. Here’s a follow-up on Mary Stuart Masterson. She will be a guest star on “The Good Wife” episode scheduled for Nov 24. Her last TV appearance was on the Sept 9, 2012 episode of “Touch” with Keifer Sutherland. She appeared with Keifer in her first movie “At Close Range” back in 1985. She delivered her fourth child in Oct 2012.


    • Cool. Thanks for the update.


      • I just bought one of my all-time favorite movies on Blu-ray, the cinematic classic Jaws, which made me wonder to myself the all-important question: What The Hell Happened To Richard Dreyfuss? He starred in some of the biggest, most iconic films of the 70’s: American Graffitti, which was not only one of the biggest hits of ’73 but a pop cultural phenomenon. Then in ’75 came Jaws, which broke box office records and became the biggest grossing blockbuster of all time at that time. If it’s possible, he even outdid himself in ’77, when he starred in Close Encounter of the Third Kind, which was the 2nd highest grossing film of the year only behind Star Wars, then starred in The Goodbye Girl, which was the 5th highest grossing film of the year giving him two of the biggest films of 1977, and on top of that he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Goodbye Girl at the age of 30, becoming the youngest actor ever to do so back then. After all that, he must’ve seemed poised to become one of the biggest stars on the planet. Then, poof, a few box office bombs later his career went up in smoke, and his career was over. Then, almost a decade later in ’86, he had a surprise comeback with the hit Down And Out In Beverly Hills, and he was a star again with more hits like Stakeout, Always, What About Bob, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Stand By Me (ok, that last one’s just a cameo but I love that movie, plus I think it helped add a bit of good will to his comeback momentum).

        I’ve always wondered how someone went from starring in several of the most seminal films of the 70’s with a red-hot career just so quickly disappeared, but then had that rarity in Hollywood: a comeback. I think Dreyfuss would make a fascinating write-up Lebeau.


        • Post-Oscar Underachievers:15 Academy Award Winners Whose Follow-Ups Did Not Hold Up:

          Richard Dreyfuss was awarded an Oscar for Best Actor in 1977 for the The Goodbye Girl. From there he became Hollywood’s perennial everyman actor up through the mid-90s. A string of poorly received comedies like Krippendorf’s Tribe and The Crew led him away from the A-list in the latter part of the decade. After a brief hiatus, Dreyfuss re-emerged as a character actor whose appearances range from Oliver Stone’s W. to horror camp like Piranha 3D. The latter film saw him reprise a role that, for most people, dwarf his achievements in The Goodbye Girl– Dreyfuss appears in a cameo as none other than shark scientist Matt Hooper from Jaws.


        • Love Jaws. Love Dreyfus. He’s so prickly. You’re right, he would definitely make for a great article.

          I will have to keep him in mind in the long term. He’s a little outside of my sweet spot. Once you start getting back into the dark ages of the 70s, things like clips and photos become harder to come by. Which is one of the reasons I tend to focus on people from the 80’s and 90’s.

          I’m sure you have seen some of the footage of interviews Dreyfus did after filming Jaws prior to its release. He trashed the movie. He blamed the studio and praised Spielberg. But man, did he ever bite the hand that fed him. That’s the sort of behavior that probably contributed to him not being a bigger star.


        • I think you can argue that Dreyfuss was as big- or even bigger star- than you could normally expect. The Seventies was the Golden Age of non-traditional leading men- Dreyfuss, Hoffman, Donald Sutherland -even Pacino and Jack Nicholson might have been character actors in a different time.

          Lets face it- if Keifer looked like his dad- I doubt he would have been the lead in 24.


        • I would love to see one on Dreyfus!


        • He’s come up from time to time. He’d be a monster article. For one, he’s had a very long career. But also, he loves to run his mouth.


  20. Since you did articles on both Mel Gibson and Rene Russo, how about some features on their Lethal Weapon co-stars Danny Glover and Joe Pesci?

    You know what I think could be the reason for their downfalls from Glover to doing mainly supporting roles and activist work, and Pesci only showing up occasionally on the big screen following the fourth film in the series? Gone Fishin’ happened. That film’s failure probably could be the reason we rarely heard from them nowadays.


  21. He was also in the sequel to “Wall Street”, and I thought he was a tad miscast. Then again, it was hard to connect to “Money Never Sleeps” when the original WS was so good.


    • Money Never Sleeps was terrible. Some nice shots, but that’s about it. The original was a classic. I think Oliver Stone might be due for a WTHH because he definitely lost his vision at some point in his patchy career and started churning out movies without a backbone (W, anyone?) and pointless sequels to great movies, such as Money Never Sleeps.


      • He’s come up before as well. Jeffthewildman has been the guy for WTHH on directors. He’s working on a different director first. But Stone is definitely on the short list.


  22. I am surprised he has never been brought up yet, but how about Edward Furlong?

    From the highs of Terminator 2 and American History X to working with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Edward Norton, he seemed to have it all in his professional life. But after the 90s comes loads of drug problems, run-ins with the law and custody battles with his ex-wife over their young son causing his work level to go increasingly short, Furlong is definitely pure what the hell happened for this site.


  23. Shia LaBeouf Announces Retirement From Public Life:

    Post by Radio Clash

    It’s astonishing how big of a stock drop this guy suffered. No one was calling him the next Brando or anything, but a little after Even Stevens wrapped up he seemed to be getting OK buzz after A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints and Disturbia. Then he became the go-to deuteragonist no one asked for in a number of franchises (Indy, Transformers, Wall Street) and then his ego blew up.


    • It took Charlie Sheen many years to become the “Charlie Sheen” train-wreck as that we now know…Sheedy La Beef did that in a fraction of the time.

      I can’t recall who said this but it sort-of fits: Some young actors think they’re the next James Dean but what they REALLY are is the next Troy Donahue.


    • After the whole plagiarism thing and the sky-writing a week or so ago, I started kicking around WTHH to LaBeouf. He’s a nut even by WTHH standards.


      • The sad thing about LaBeouf is that he was clearly favored by Hollywood for great things- Indiana Jones, Transformers, Wall Street. Pretty good roles.

        He could have easily done some respectable indy films- and the occasional blockbuster to keep him at Malibu.

        He basically had it- but this meltdown is at Christopher Jones levels now-

        What a waste-


        • Maybe LaBoof is just another jerk that started to believe his own bullsh*t and thought he could get away with anything because he’s a “stah.”


        • That seems to be the consensus.

          I wonder if he will be involved in Indiana Jones 5 (assuming one gets made). His comments on the last one could make for a tense set.


  24. 10 Actors Who Completely Wasted Their Careers:

    2. Shia LaBeouf

    After rising from a troubled childhood in poverty and becoming a teen star on the Disney Channel series Even Stevens, Shia LaBeouf appeared to be the subject of an inspirational success story. His first major role as an adult was the thriller Disturbia, and LaBeouf next starred in Michael Bay’s huge budget blockbuster Transformers, which set his career wheels in motion.

    Transformers producer Steven Spielberg was so impressed that he cast LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and publicly touted LaBeouf as the next big thing even if most audiences and critics didn’t agree.

    Numerous legal troubles made it clear that LaBeouf had personal issues, and his biggest issue was his mouth. He criticized both the Transformers movies and his Indiana Jones movie, earning the ire of the Hollywood heavyweights who had supported him. He was then fired from a Broadway play only weeks before the opening for his erratic behavior during rehearsals and publicly clashing with co-star Alec Baldwin.

    But that was nothing compared to his latest scandal. A short film that LaBeouf directed was discovered to be almost entirely ripped off a comic by Ghost World creator Daniel Clowes. The fallout over the scandal and his mocking of Clowes by suggesting he would plagiarize his work again has led LaBeouf to claim that he is retiring.

    From having Spielberg as your #1 fan to being ostracized in five years – that’s a colossal career meltdown.


  25. Also check out Sienna Miller,who admitted she “burned a lot of bridges” & damaged a
    promising film career in this new Esquire chat!!!


    • On one level- Sienna Miller was a victim of the Double Standard. Male actors never get in trouble sleeping around- unless they are gay.

      On the other- she was just mind-blowingly naive/stupid. Women KNOW the Double Standard exists- they also know that women who steal boyfriends and husbands get lousy reputations.

      Frankly I dunno if she would have had a big career. She might have played girlfriends and femme fatales- then wives as she got older- but I never heard her described as a talented actress.


      • re: Women KNOW the Double Standard exists- they also know that women who steal boyfriends and husbands get lousy reputations.

        All she had to do was look at the careers of Kath Heigl and Meg Ryan…still, Sean Connery got into a bit of hot water many years ago when he said in an interview that it was sorta OK to smack ladies…and it didn’t seem to hurt his career all that much. Errol Flynn nailed many a gal and swung both ways too. So yes, there IS that double standard.

        As for Ms. Miller: Her star shone, but she acted the wild gal/wild woman-out-of-control and it caught up with her/bit her on the hiney…and even some male stars’ careers suffer a bit if they are perceived as “homewreckers” or abandoning their families. So don’t go blaming “bourgeois attitudes of Middle England or Middle America.” And while she was good as Edie Sedgwick, it’s not like Ms. Miller is another Merle Streep…and I’m ALMOST CERTAIN Ms. SM didn’t have to get a “day job” to make ends meet.


        • PS: About Ms. Miller: She’s a class act, she is:

          I’m an ex-Pittsburgh-er, and while the ‘burgh is indeed not NYC (and let’s not forget that NYC is mucho expensive, dirty, and surly), it’s not THAT awful — I STILL miss the pizza there!!! (She could’ve been stuck in McKeesport, for one thing.) it’s my understanding that Jamie Lee Curtis rather liked her time there whilst filming “Dominic and Eugene.”


        • Even if you think that, you have the good sense to keep it to yourself. No one wants to hear you complain about how you need “more glamorous movies.”


        • Its basically the exact opposite of the complaint many actors make- that they need a “real” or “serious” role. they don’t want to be looked at as models who speak, etc-

          Well- honesty can be refreshing- or not.


        • Meanwhile, I’m sure there were some actresses that would’ve LOVED to have “traded places” with Ms. Miller, not to mention many un-glamorous regular folk. I’m sure she was ensconsed in some nice hotel room and alla that big-star stuff.

          While yet I lived in Pittsburgh, a met a DJ in a little college-area bar and he told me that Jamie Lee Curtis used to frequent the place and told him she liked the ‘burgh.


        • Thing is, I don’t think most audiences were familiar with Miller as an actress. Most people only knew her as Jude Law’s arm candy/a tabloid celeb. Her career might have weathered the storm if she had more of an acting career prior to being in a scandal.


  26. Hitfix got some folks that are feeling the heat of late……


    • But didn’t Sholem Laboof “retire from public life” because he’d made a royal ass of himself one too many times? Why hasn’t Chawrley Estevez retired already?

      Kevin James has a movie career? Who’d o’ thunk it?

      Ryan who? I recall someone saying a-whiles back: Some of these new young actors think they’re the next James Dean but what they REALLY are is the next Troy Donahue. I rest my case…and for the record, I thought his “Green Lantern” movie was actually OK…not great, but OK.


  27. Well,so much for Shia’s so-called retirement…….


    • …and in the same article, it seems like America’s one-time sweatheart Meg Ryan is finding her way “back” as well. What th’ hell, publicly announcing one’s “retiring” is I guess another (slightly goofy or desperate) way of saying “Pay attention to me!” (To my knowledge, Linda Fiorentino issued no such “statement,” to the consternation of her fans.)

      Remember, Sheha: Somewhere there’s a 24-hour Walgreen’s wherein you can get arrested for being a jerk.


  28. What the Hell Happened to a lot of the WTHH threads? They are all 404.


  29. yeah, it was just the Leelee Sobieski one, and one other, I think, that I clicked on. The Leelee Sobieski one I linked to through my email, and it came up unsearchable…does not exist.


    • It does not. Yet. I had a panic moment there when it went live early. It’s more than halfway done. But probably won’t be ready for the public until later this week.

      I mean, I know nothing of an article on Leelee Sobieski. Who is she? 😉


  30. A few suggestions (Besides the aforementioned Warren Beatty and Rob Schneider)

    James Woods (although it could be argued that Woods has always been a character actor)
    Sylvester Stallone
    Antonio Banderas


    • The ONLY reason I have not written up Stallone is that his long filmography intimidates me. That’s a project!

      I agree with you about Woods. He’s a character actor.

      Banderas, I really hadn’t considered. But he’d make a good candidate.

      BTW, feel free to cover actors too. You’re not limited to directors. Do whatever you want.


  31. Thanks. I might tackle Stallone at some point. I got a basic plan for how to do him so that might work.


    • I have a name to throw in the ring that I don’t think has been suggested before: Drew Barrymore. There’s so much about her life story that’s interesting: after her huge breakout success in E.T., she frequented the famed Studio 54, smoking cigarrettes at 9, drinking alcohol by 11, smoking weed by 12 and snorting coke by 13, finally going to rehab by 14. So there’s definately some amazing scandal in her early life. But what would make her a great write-up also is how she turned not only her life around, but also her career. She did what so few child actors ever accomplish, which is have a successful career into adulthood, and she turned her career around in her 20’s by becoming an A-list actress in films like Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed and the Charlie’s Angels franchise (her famed cameo in Scream is really where that comeback started). Of course, her career has faltered in recent years which makes her eligible for WTTH status, but I think Barrymore would make an ideal write-up. What do you think, LeBeau?


      • I was kicking around names this morning and Barrymore was the one that excited me the most. I was thinking about starting an article on her this week actually.


        • Drew Barrymore does have an upcoming movie w/ Adam Sandler (her third movie w/ him following “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates”) called “Blended” (which on paper, given Sandler’s track record, might be a guaranteed hit). Unfortunately, like a lot of Adam Sandler’s movies (especially lately), it looks like it’s going to be an utter pile of crap:


        • What Went Wrong?: Vol. 48 – Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore Pairing Edition:

          In 1998 and then again in 2004, Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler teamed up for the hit films The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. Both winter releases made big money and drew positive notices for the chemistry of their leads. As an aside, The Wedding Singer is probably my favorite Sandler movie and while I don’t really like 50 First Dates, I can’t deny the charming leads or the legitimately good ending, even if the premise leaks a bit in the middle. After ten years apart, the two leads returned for Blended, released by Warner Bros. just last weekend. The film met with brutal critical reception and some of the worst box office returns of Adam Sandler’s lengthy and successful career. So, what exactly went wrong?

          Adam Sandler’s career has sagged for the past few years. His last legitimate hit was 2010’s Grown Ups, a film that doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation. Subsequent film work included the critically reviled Just Go With It (a minor hit, but it still grossed much less than numbers Sandler is used to), Jack and Jill (which grossed about half of what a mainstream Sandler comedy film usually does), and finally That’s My Boy, a filthier, R-rated comedy that paired Sandler with Andy Samberg and flopped immediately, grossing just 36 million domestically against a budget of 70 million dollars. Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, That’s My Boy, and Grown Ups 2 are all considered to be among the worst movies ever made, with the most vitriol directed towards Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy (my pick for the worst mainstream film of 2012).

          Meanwhile, Barrymore has kept somewhat of a lower profile in recent years. Her last true hit was 2009’s ensemble romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You, a critically savaged film that grossed about 93 million dollars but is remembered by absolutely no one (I had to look it up to make sure I wasn’t confusing it with any number of the other “multiple people have relationship difficulties” romantic comedies that became probably in the last 5 or so years). Barrymore has also done work behind the camera, directing the critical hit but commercial disappointment Whip It, which starred Ellen Page. Barrymore’s other high profile work includes the low grossing Big Miracle and the decently remembered (but still not a financial success) Going the Distance, which paired her with now ex-boyfriend Justin Long.

          When Blended was in development, it seemed Warner Bros. wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. The film was briefly retitled The Familymoon, which is about the worst proposed movie title since All You Need is Kill. Shot on a budget of about 40 million dollars, the film was released to overwhelmingly negative reviews, garnering a score of about 14% on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes and a MetaCritic score of 31, indicating universally negative reviews. Like previous “Adam Sandler takes a vacation and gets paid 20 million dollars” productions, critics described Blended as schmaltzy and Sandler himself as bored. Sandler, on a late night talk show, even admitted he does these kinds of movies just to take an extended vacation and get paid for it. Audiences have been reacting with decreasing levels of interests, as Blended opening against juggernaut X-Men: Days of Future Past with only a scant 14 million dollars, a far cry from the much larger openings of previous Sandler/Barrymore collaborations.

          Adam Sandler is rightfully a target of scorn and vitriol. He is a legitimately talented and charismatic comic performer who seems content to remain at the bottom of the barrel and collect his massive paychecks without putting one iota of effort into the movies he makes. This is the kind of guy who seems incredibly nice and fun to be around, and who makes movie stars out of his friends (Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, etc) but just can’t seem to care enough to make an interesting movie. What was the last funny thing he starred in? When was the last time anyone was excited about a new Adam Sandler movie coming out? What happened to the actor who gave so much comic energy to movies like Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, and Big Daddy? It would be nice to see that guy in another movie once again. Barrymore would be a more than welcome presence in it as well. Try harder, Adam Sandler. Quit letting us down.


      • Drew Barrymore — Queen of the Hangover Theater:

        Tomorrow, after much delay, the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy, He’s Just Not That Into You (she also produced), finally hits theaters, and nobody is particularly looking forward to it, if only because the constant television spots and the lame viral marketing has already turned most of us off before the movie has even been released. But then again, you never know with Drew Barrymore movies. She’s made a lot more bad ones (Lucky You, Fever Pitch, Duplex) than decent ones, but there’s nevertheless a comfortable presence about Barrymore. You usually go into one of her movies with low expectations, and come out at least somewhat satisfied. She’s a terrible actress, but she’s just bubbly and adorable enough to be charmingly inoffensive. And of the few lead actresses in romantic comedies, Barrymore is probably the most likable (not exactly a feat given her competition: Sandra Bullock, Katherine Heigl, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, et. al.). Indeed, she’s perfectly suited to cable — like Chris Farley, early Adam Sandler, Michael J. Fox, and early Michael Meyers, it’s hard to turn away from her movies when they pop up on TBS early Saturday afternoon after a hard-drinking night and the morning walk of shame. She doesn’t care about your bedhead, your halitosis, about the crusties around your eyes and the encrusties elsewhere. Barrymore doesn’t judge. She says, “Don’t worry about that repulsive guy you blew last night; if you want to compare romantic failures, let me remind you that I married Tom Green, for God’s sake!”


        • Instant Classic:

          My reluctance to see “Whip It” when it premiered stemmed from the great eye-rolling incident that occurred during the laughable fight scenes, crap acting, and misplaced nostalgia for retro sexism contained within the premise that women should follow the orders of a disembodied man, otherwise known as “Charlie’s Angels,” a mess of a project for which Drew Barrymore was an ardent enthusiast in order to get such tripe made in 2000 and again in 2003. If you cast an eye upon her film credits, each production seems chosen to appeal to men, whether towards straight guys in knuckle dragging comedies such as “Freddy Got Fingered”(2001) or gay guys in the camp-fest “Grey Gardens.” Whatever pleasure folks take in watching two delusional women tearing each other down escapes me altogether, and kept me from finishing the first one with no desire to watch the current adaptation. It’s a page from the “aren’t damaged women a hoot and therefore fabulous?” approach to women’s presence in entertainment. Don’t even get me started on Barrymore’s role in “He’s Just Not that into You,” one of the few projects she did for female audiences, but what was supposed to be a rom-com turned out to be a hate-com if such a category exists. When scripts like that arrive to your door, a thoughtful woman may want to recall Bobby Taylor’s PSA reminding actors stuck with crappy projects, “There’s Always Work at the Post Office” from the cinematic gem “Hollywood Shuffle.” Barrymore was hardly a hungry young ingénue when she signed up for the film. She could have taken a pass on such a blatant attempt to say women are horrible, masochistic, deluded, needy bitches.


      • 3 Ways Box Office Poison Drew Barrymore Could Make a Comeback:

        When Forbes magazine ranked actors and actresses who make the most money for the movie studios, Drew Barrymore found herself drowning at the bottom of the barrel. The financial magazine divided the earnings of the actress’s last three films by their operating income to determine how much the studios profited from — or lost money on — this once-glittery star.

        For every dollar the “Charlie’s Angels” actress was paid for her last three films, she earned only 40 cents for investors. Unfortunately, “Going the Distance” fell short, “Everybody’s Fine” wasn’t and “Whip It” took a beating.

        If the heiress to theatre royalty wants to rebound, she will have to make some drastically different career decisions. Here are three things she could do to make a comeback:

        Make a vampire movie

        Compared to Barrymore’s paltry pennies to a dollar, “Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart has raked in $55.83 for each dollar she was paid. We think the 36-year-old star would make a wicked werewolf and could up her earnings quotient if she hopped on the vampire trend.

        Get serious

        Barrymore won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her role as Little Edie in Grey Gardens. In this critically acclaimed HBO film, the “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” actress played the high society first cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. A skeptical L.A. Times TV critic Mary McNamara thought Barrymore would be too cutesy for the part and seemed pleasantly surprised to be wrong. “Her young Edie has just enough hint of otherworldliness and self-delusion to make her later Edie completely believable, and the Barrymore twinkle makes the occasional glimpses of Edie’s tamped-down sadness even more affecting,” she wrote.

        Make another “E.T.”

        We loved her as the adorable little Gertie in “E.T.” Why not make magic twice in an “E.T.” sequel? The original film was so successful, it surpassed even “Star Wars.” For 11 years, it was the top money-making movie of all time. A popular fan-made trailer to a fake “E.T.” sequel called ‘ET-X” shows a grown-up Gertie . Now if only Barrymore could convince Steven Spielberg to phone her and offer her a part in his yet-to-be-made sequel of this sentimental favorite.


        • 6 movie stars on the summer movie hot seat in May:

          (by Guy Lodge)

          Drew Barrymore didn’t go away, exactly, but she hasn’t been around much either. It’s over two years since we last saw her on screen in the save-the-whales family flick “Big Miracle,” in which her chippy, righteous activist role didn’t exactly play to her bubbly strengths – or to her usual fanbase. Her previous role, in 2010’s across-the-miles romcom “Going the Distance” did better in both respects: she was utterly winning in the kind of cheery date-movie vehicle that served her so well in the 1990s and early 2000s, but an unconvincing $17 million US gross suggested her audience might have moved on. Beyond ensemble appearances in the likes of “He’s Just Not That Into You” (comfortably in her wheelhouse, and a hit) and “Everybody’s Fine” (not so much), you have to go back to 2007’s “Music & Lyrics” to find a Barrymore-headlined comedy resembling her successes of old.

          Thanks to her storied child-star career, it may seem like Barrymore has been around forever, but she’s still only 39 – younger than, say, Jennifer Aniston, who keeps pulling crowds with lightweight comedy fare. Since we last saw Barrymore in a movie, she’s given birth to two children, so her brief hiatus is perfectly explicable. But it need only be temporary: she returns to our screens this month in “Blended,” and if she’s planning a return to the big-time, a third collaboration with Adam Sandler seems like a calculated move. The previous two – 1998’s “The Wedding Singer” ($80 million in the US) and 2004’s “50 First Dates” ($120 million) – stand among both stars’ biggest career hits, and the two have a playful chemistry that, as in the latter case, can power through weak material. (Which, not to be overly presumptuous or anything, “Blended” looks to be.)

          How much you’re looking forward (or not) to “Blended,” it isn’t being packaged in the same way that the previous two Barrymore-Sandler joints were. While they were sold as date movies, the romantic aspect bringing Barrymore’s female audience to Sandler’s broader brand of comedy, the marketing for “Blended” (title notwithstanding) places the emphasis more on the latter, targeting instead the crowd that turned up for “Grown Ups 2.” Whatever the implications about Hollywood’s gender imbalance, Sandler has retained more commercial clout than Barrymore; on the poster, his last name (in bigger type, incidentally) appears to quite literally be squashing hers, though the trailer treats them more equally. Barrymore seems to have been invited onto Sandler’s turf this time, but this is still a crucial film for her: if it doesn’t work, financiers will be even less likely to invest in a Barrymore vehicle on her own terms.

          Barrymore’s smart: she has an active producing career, and her award-winning TV turn in “Grey Gardens,” plus her charming 2009 directorial debut “Whip It!,” suggested plenty of options for her when even second-banana film roles are harder to come by. A more mature career phase beckons; how imminent it is might depend on the success of “Blended.”



          The Defendant

          The Case

          The Prosecution: Going the Distance, He’s Just Not That Into You, Everybody’s Fine, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Lucky You, Fever Pitch, 50 First Dates, Duplex, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Riding in Cars with Boys, Home Fries, Best Men, Wishful Thinking, Mad Love, Bad Girls, Poison Ivy

          Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, some people absolutely adore Drew Barrymore, however the prosecution has never understood the love for the actress, and with her films as of late being pretty disappointing (as well as appearing in plenty of garbage earlier in her career), we believe Miss Barrymore needs to spend some time in Movie Jail.

          The prosecution respects Miss Barrymore for overcoming her addictions and making the transition from child actress to adult actress, but we can’t respect Miss Barrymore for almost always playing a slightly different version of herself in her films, or for starring in some dreadful movies during her career, mostly romantic comedies/dramas. Everyone remembers The Wedding Singer or Never Been Kissed, but the actress has also appeared in several critically planned movies involving romance, like Mad Love, Wishful Thinking, and Best Men.

          Some may argue those films were when she was still trying to make a name for herself as an adult actress, but how about her more recent work in Going the Distance or He’s Just Not That Into You? Fever Pitch and 50 First Dates may not be as bad as those other two films, however they also aren’t fantastic either. What’s really unfortunate though is most of her movies come from her production company Flower Films. One would think since she’s one of the founders Miss Barrymore would be able to find solid projects to work on, but instead we get films like Duplex or the previously mentioned He’s Just Not That Into You.

          Miss Barrymore’s next film is Blended, another rom-com with Adam Sandler, and the prosecution doesn’t have high hopes for the movie at all. It looks awful, and even if it does end up being better than 50 First Dates or any of Sandler’s most recent flicks, that’s like saying getting one eye gouged out is better than having both of them forcibly removed. The prosecution doesn’t want to lock Miss Barrymore up and throw away the key, but we do believe she needs to go to Movie Jail.

          The Defense: Blue Miracle, Whip It, Grey Gardens, Music and Lyrics, Curious George, My Date with Drew, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Donnie Darko, Charlie’s Angels, Titan A.E., Skipped Parts, Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Scream, Everyone Says I Love You, Boys on the Side, Guncrazy, Firestarter, Irreconcilable Differences, E.T., Altered States

          Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Barrymore hasn’t appeared in as many films recently compared to her work in the 1990s and early 2000s, but she’s still a great actress, and the defense has enjoyed most of her movies. The prosecution argues Miss Barrymore’s performances all feel similar, however the defense has never considered her to be a “serious” actress. Still talented, yes, but not on the same level as a Meryl Streep or Kate Winslet. And although she’s appeared in a bunch of rom-coms, the defense doesn’t think she’s nearly as annoying or grating as other queens of the genre, like Kate Hudson or Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s one of the reasons why the documentary My Date with Drew worked so well.

          The prosecution also complains about her production company, which is complete bullshit. Flower Films helped bring Donnie Darko to the big screen, and Miss Barrymore played a big part, including having a role in the film. Flower films also produced Miss Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It, a very solid movie about roller derby, and the defense would love to see Miss Barrymore behind the camera again for another project.

          But the defense feels the real reason why Miss Barrymore shouldn’t go to Movie Jail is because of how she’ll always be remembered for E.T. and her cameo in Scream, one of the most famous scenes from a horror movie ever. Her biggest contribution to film history is with those two movies, and my client should be rewarded for her work instead of being up for Movie Jail.

          Maybe if Miss Barrymore didn’t appear in those two films one would have an argument for sending her to Movie Jail, however the defense just doesn’t think she belongs in prison.

          IN CLOSING…

          What should we do with Miss Barrymore? Do her good movies outweigh the bad, or do you think there’s just too much crap on her filmography? Are you a big fan of the actress, or do you think she’s really not that talented? Is Drew Barrymore GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


      • 17 Career Comebacks We’d Love To See:

        Drew Barrymore
        Best known for: “Charlie’s Angels,” “Never Been Kissed,” her trio of Adam Sandler collaborations, “E.T.”
        Last seen in: “Blended”
        Comeback plan: As an actress, Barrymore has always had an unselfconscious sweetness about her that’s been put to good use in films like “Never Been Kissed,” “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.” But she’s also shown flashes of real dramatic talent, from the 1995 teen drama “Mad Love” to her Golden Globe-winning turn in the HBO telepic “Grey Gardens.” While she doesn’t have the range of a Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore, necessarily, now that she’s pushing 40 – the kiss of death for Hollywood actresses – it might behoove her to seek out a prestige pic that caters to her talents and see if she can’t drum up some awards buzz once again. Given the solid critical praise she received for her 2009 directorial debut “Whip It,” she might even consider getting behind the camera for it too.
        – Chris Eggertsen


      • Derailed Film Career: Retracing Drew Barrymore:

        Having grown up on screen, we’ve seen many incarnations of Drew Barrymore throughout her nearly 40-year career. From child star to troubled teen and now one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, she’s one of the few who managed to survive the system and make it work for her. Ever since she charmed audiences at the age of six — with her big-screen breakout in Steven Spielberg’s beloved sci-fi classic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, Barrymore has become the rom-com queen and dabbled in some more interesting roles. While her latest reteaming with Adam Sandler in Blended was a disaster, she’s got another film already in the pipeline with a much more promising screen partner, Toni Collette, in the new friendship dramedy, Miss You Already. As a producer, winemaker and beauty mogul, Barrymore is on top, but as an actress she’s primed for a comeback. With a countless number of films to her credit, here’s a look back at some of Drew’s career-defining and deflating moments.

        Riding in Cars with Boys

        With a slew of rom-coms under her belt, Barrymore was already vying for Julia Roberts’ title of “America’s Sweetheart.” But in order to avoid more typecasting, Barrymore shed her zany, lovable image for a down-and-out teen mom in this film adaptation of Beverly Donofrio’s memoir. Instead of making the lead a plucky heroine who overcomes her circumstances, Donofrio is a complicated figure who blames her lot in life mostly on her deadbeat husband, and sees her son as the beginning of all of her problems. Throughout this tough-but-tender performance, Barrymore got to flex her acting muscles, playing a naive 15-year old high school student, working class mom and hardened New York journalist. It was by far the most challenging role of her career at that time, and proved that the young actress was capable of more complex parts. Despite her character’s questionable choices, Barrymore’s innate likability shines throughout.

        The Littlest Firestarter

        After becoming a household name at the age of seven in E.T, we got a small glimpse of the wild child that was to come later, when Barrymore played a little girl with pyrokinetic powers in this Stephen King adaptation. This little devil in a jean jacket actually shared the screen with some heavyweight talent, including three Oscar winners (George C. Scott, Art Carney and Louise Fletcher) as well as Martin Sheen. Firestarter was the fifth King adaptation to arrive in theaters within the year, but it didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, proving that even nine-year-olds can have flops. Despite its weak reception, this odd little supernatural thriller has a special place amongst eighties horror films.

        Grey Gardens

        To make a fictional remake of a beloved documentary was already a large pill to swallow, but to cast Drew Barrymore was a surprising and bold choice on the part of HBO for their Grey Gardens reboot. Rom-coms were one thing, but to play an eccentric, former aristocrat didn’t seem like it was something in Barrymore’s wheelhouse. Much to our relief, Barrymore fully immersed herself in the role of “Little Edie,” just one of the Beales, who went from New York high society to a reclusive life of poverty and the subject of the seminal documentary by the Maysles Brothers. With the help of screen legend Jessica Lange, these two brought a whole new perspective to the story and shined as both the younger and older Edies.

        Everyone Says I Love You

        Drew is a woman of many talents. Unfortunately singing is not one of them. But when Woody Allen asks you to star in one of his films — a musical even — you start practicing those scales. Barrymore was in good company though for Allen’s first musical film, where none of the actors were cast for their top-notch pipes. Instead of striving for the spectacle of a classic musical, Allen incorporated his low-key style into a song-and-dance format for the comedic payoff. Before the film, Barrymore had “never been kissed… by a sociopath before,” but her pairing with dueling suitors Tim Roth and Edward Norton was delightful. Barrymore’s performance was on par with the rest of the all-star cast in this charming love letter to the to the wacky, comedic spirit of the Marx Brothers films.

        Home Fries

        Just like the breakfast staple of the same name, Home Fries was cinematic comfort food and slightly forgettable. Thanks to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, the plot had some interesting turns, but the film couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a dark comedy or a sweet, romantic film. Drew is at her bubbliest and Luke Wilson was shaping up to be the leading heartthrob for the times, but it was Catherine O’Hara who stole the show. Coming off the success of The Wedding Singer and Ever After, Home Fries seemed like a step back for Barrymore, and a waste of her comedic talents.


  32. Since the Academy Awards are coming up, I just thought about another possible future WTHHT subject, frequent Oscars host, Billy Crystal:


    • On the topic of the Oscars I think the first actor to go 2 for 2 at the Oscars (Kevin Spacy) might make an interest subject.


      • If I weren’t watching him on House of Cards right now, he would have already been done. But I am sure Mr. Spacey’s day is coming.

        BTW, season 2 of House of Cards starts with a bang!


      • 7 Actors Whose Film Careers Went Downhill After Winning An Oscar:

        Kevin Spacey

        Oscar Wins: Best Supporting Actor, The Usual Suspects, 1996; Best Actor, American Beauty, 1999

        Kevin Spacey was one of the best actors of the ’90s. If you were to list your top ten movies from that decade, there’s a good chance Kevin Spacey appeared in one of those films. He instantly brought an ounce of respectability to each movie he appeared in and elevated lesser films such as Outbreak and The Negotiator. What made him such a remarkable talent was his ability to handle both comedy and drama with zero difficulty. He could play a nasty villain, but was still interesting when he was the “good guy.”

        Once he won his second Oscar though, the great movie roles stopped coming. He started appearing in mediocre films such as Pay It Forward, K-PAX, and The Life of David Gale. Even when he appeared as Lex Luthor in Superman Returns, it felt disappointing. His performances in the 2000s are a clear step below his work in the ’90s and there does not seem to be a clear reason for the drop in quality.

        Of course, Kevin Spacey has since been able to redeem himself with his incredible performance as Frank Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards series. But he always seemed like an actor who was made for the big screen. Here’s hoping his acclaimed performance on the show will lead to better movie roles in the future.


  33. After reading through this particular thread, I wonder if Josh Brolin would make a good WTHHT candidate:

    Also, Bruce Dern being nominated was an award in itself; although Dern came from a very well-to-do family and worked with many of the film industry’s greats, he was never able to capitalize on the many opportunities afforded to him. In other words, Dern is sort of like an older version of Josh Brolin.


    • Give Brolin some time. He’ll get there. For now, I think there are more deserving candidates.

      BTW, your guess on the FB page was right on. I didn’t want to confirm it there in case others want to continue guessing. And I won’t say who it is here in case people haven’t looked at the FB page. But your guess was right.


  34. For my suggestions for the blog, these people are:

    Nastassja Kinski
    Michael Madsen
    Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio


  35. I think that I suggested Carrie-Anne Moss name for a possible future WTHHT somewhere a long time ago, but I don’t remember where on this site (and I’m too lazy to bother looking right now). It seemed she never really built much upon the momentum that “The Matrix” (the movie that made her a household name) provided her:


  36. I come to your site ALL the time. I am totally obsessed with these articles. I’ve read and reread several of them. Keep on writing. I’m often curious about what happened to certain actors… this site rocks.


  37. Since there’s now a feature on this blog about so-called musical one-hit wonders, I would suggest that there also be an article about acting one-hit wonders.

    The one mandate if you ask me is that it can’t simply be child actors who literally did one movie (for example, the girl who played Newt in “Aliens” or the actor who played Charlie in the original “Willy Wonka” film w/ Gene Wilder) before leaving show business to live a normal life. Another mandate for this list is that it can’t involve musicians, professional athletes, supermodels, or what not who just happened to take a stab at acting (e.g. Eminem in “8 Mile”, Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls”, etc.), even if it involves them playing themselves in essence.

    Alicia Silverstone in “Clueless” is I think a perfect example of an acting one-hit wonder. In relation to the WTHHT series at least. In other words, an actor or actress who “peaked” w/ only one significant (in terms of commercial and/or critical success) starring role, only to shortly thereafter, fall back into obscurity (normally, through bad choices and the like).


  38. Kevin Spacey will be around for some time, and so will LeBlog 🙂


    • Pre-House of Cards, Spacey was on my short list of WTHH subjects. I expect he’ll be around for a long time to come. But one thing I have learned from WTHH is that everyone is still around unless they don’t want to be. Steve Guttenberg is still working steadily. Most people just aren’t aware of what he’s doing. House of Cards has given Spacey a spotlight. How long he stays in the spotlight depends on what he does next.


  39. I would like to bring Edward Burns to the forefront. He gained promise with his acting/directing debut “The Brothers McMullen” and has worked with some big names like Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman. But the majority of his directorial efforts have basically been little-seen and his other acting credits have been spotty at best with stuff like “A Sound of Thunder”, “One Missed Call” and “Alex Cross” so I want to see how Burns never lived up to the promise he had in the mid-to-late 1990s.


    • I think a huge part of Edward Burns’ problem is that he isn’t exactly the greatest actor out there in terms of being able to serve as the lead. Burns in essence, arguably doesn’t have a lot of range in other words. The only types of characters that characters that you can say he can play well is either the sarcastic cynic or the police officer/fire marshal/civil servant authority guy. More to the point, it seems as if Burns usually knows that he’s not the character he’s playing and even he doesn’t believe that he can pull it off convincingly. To put things in proper perspective, it’s very safe to suggest that his acting skills always comes across as awkward.


    • That’s a good suggestion. Thanks.


  40. I second a vote for Judge Reinhold. Looking back at his filmography, he appeared in quite a few iconic hit films from the 80’s: Stripes, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, Ruthless People, and Beverly Hills Cop II to name a few, and all films that I’m a fan of. A retrospective could be interesting.
    I would enjoy a write-up about Judge, what do you think LeBeau?


    • That’s a solid suggestion. To a certain extent, I feel like Reinhold was a supporting player and never really a leading man. But I could see writing him up eventually. I’m about 1/2 way through the next article. Just a matter of making the time to finish and post it.


      • You’re absolutely right, Judge Reinhold was, with maybe one exception, a supporting player throughout the 80’s. Yet that aspect makes his career fascinating. His roles grew larger with each film he appeared in, and he kept making impressions with his supporting roles, particularly Fast Times and Beverly Hills Cop, which briefly became a pop cultural phenomenon in ’85 and sent Eddie Murphy’s star through the stratosphere. Impressively, BHC spent 14 weeks at the #1 spot at the box office in late ’84 and early ’85; to this day the only film to spend more weeks at #1 in the modern era was Titanic, with 15 weeks. That kind of speaks volumes how popular the film was that year. Of course, audiences flocked to the film for one reason: Eddie Murphy. But having a sizable role in a real crowd pleaser sure raises your profile some.

        By the time he appeared in Ruthless People in ’86, even though Danny DeVito is clearly the star (and main draw) here, Judge had a larger, co-starring role in the film (which was another crowd pleasing big hit, becoming one of the Top 10 biggest hits of ’86). A return in Beverly Hills Cop II the following year resulted in another big hit on his resume, and then came a pivotal career moment for him. Or, at least, a potentially pivotal career moment.

        Judge finally had the lead in a film. He paid his dues, made the most of supporting roles in several huge hits, and now finally this was his time. A list, here I come. The film was….. Vice Versa. A film in the vein of Big, 18 Again, and Like Father Like Son, Judge co-starred alongside a young Fred Savage, and the film, quite frankly, flopped. And that was sort of the end of his heyday. He kept working through the years, his film resume on IMDB is quite lengthy since then, but he sort of fell off the pop culture radar after that. I never saw Vice Versa, but it seems to me that sometimes when an actor does well in supporting roles in several blockbuster films (Sam Worthington comes to mind as a more recent example with Man On A Ledge) and makes some sort of impression, he gets a chance to headline a film to see if he can break through as a leading man, and that’s what Vice Versa feels like. He earned a chance, and it just didn’t do well. He was best suited for supporting roles anyway, and even if he couldn’t become a major star he sure has a hell of a great stack of classic 80’s films to his name.


        • I generally steer clear of supporting/character actors. It’s just a different ballgame. But I agree that Reinhold had enough of a shot at leading man status that he would make for an interesting read.

          Sadly, there’s just too little time in the day for me to get to everyone I would like to write about. I doubt I’ll cover Reinhold any time soon. But I’ll probably get to him eventually.


    • Why Hollywood doesn’t cast Judge Reinhold anymore

      In the ’80s, Judge Reinhold was a box office draw on par with Tom Hanks thanks to roles in classic films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Beverly Hills Cop. His sharp comedic timing and boyish looks made him the go-to guy for everything from offbeat comedies (Ruthless People) to family fare (the Freaky Friday knock-off Vice Versa). But he’s been missing in action since the ’90s, and what can we say? We miss the guy.

      These days he’s relegated to direct-to-DVD fare and the occasional self-mocking TV appearance—a sad state of affairs that deprives untold generations of Reinhold’s everyman charm. What happened to the actor Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg once said had “tremendous potential as a leading man”? Find out below.


  41. The 30 Worst Vanity Projects of all Time – Fade In:


    Okay, mentioning this is easy pickings, but then again, what list would be complete without it? John Travolta’s attempt to get the Scientology message out to the masses had long been a pet project, but like some pets, it should have been put down. J.T. starred and produced this incomprehensible sci-fi dross about a futuristic rebellion against oppressive captors, but its utter failure in every technical and creative way imaginable have made it a punching bag for years to come. Some reputations are well-deserved. This is one of them.


    Another sterling example of why husbands and wives shouldn’t work together, this legendary flop torpedoed Geena Davis’s career thanks to then-hubby director Renny Harlin swearing he could turn her into an action star. With the success of Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger as bargaining chips, Harlin pretty much got what he wanted to make this pirate saga, including a budget that spiked to nearly $100 million dollars. But when you’re hot you’re hot, and no one told Harlin any different…that is, until the film opened, and the positive reviews could be counted on one hand and the gross with simple math.

    HARLEM NIGHTS (1989)

    It should’ve been a match made in heaven, with Eddie Murphy finally getting the chance to co-star opposite his idol, Richard Pryor. Unfortunately, Murphy also took on the extra duties of writing and directing this period vehicle that, despite great costumes and sets, wound up being not just ugly and unfunny, but downright misogynistic. The story about cons and criminals set in 1938 New York apparently didn’t hold much sway over Murphy, who basically played this like one of his modern-day standup routines. He clearly couldn’t be bothered by such niceties as believability, as he was the King of Comedy at the time. Someone just didn’t have the heart to tell him that this just wasn’t funny — or good.


    It’s almost cruel to pick on M. Night Shyamalan again when he’s already flat on the canvas, but then again, one only needs to remember the pain he put audiences through with basically everything post-Sixth Sense. Add to that the hubris he showed during the making of this film —not to mention the final product itself — and he deserves to be turned into a human piñata. Forget the clashes with Disney, which are legend, it’s the complete arrogance of the filmmaking, which includes Shyamalan casting himself as a visionary writer, and the killing of a film critic character. No wonder the book on the making of this was titled The Man Who Heard Voices. Yes, and if you listened closely, they were saying, “You’re finished.”


    This eco-action thriller belongs to a very select group — films that scored a zero on Rotten Tomatoes. That noble achievement aside, it once again shows what a little clout can do. Coming off his biggest success (Under Siege), Steven Seagal got the suits at Warners to okay his ascent to the director’s chair. After all, what could go wrong? It was Seagal kicking ass, he had Michael Caine as a co-star and, hey, it even had a little social message! What emerges is a generic action film that is hilarious in its hypocrisy — Seagal’s character loves the environment so much that he destroys half of Alaska in protecting it! The capper, however — and a must if you ever need to see an ego truly run amok — is Seagal’s closing speech about protecting nature and going after the wrongdoers. The only thing missing is a laugh track.


    While we’re on the subject of action stars riding high… After Rocky and the underrated F.I.S.T., Sylvester Stallone added director to his resume with this bombastic drama about three brothers struggling to survive in 1940s New York. If you’ve seen any of the subsequent Rocky films, you know Stallone’s directorial touch is one of a genteel nature, full of nuance and ambiguity. Well, this is where he cut his teeth, and if writing and starring weren’t enough, his warbling of the closing song, “Too Close To Paradise,” brings back echoes of someone trying to pass a kidney stone. This completely undid all the goodwill generated by Rocky, and sent Sly on a career-long road to cinematic self-involvement.

    THE POSTMAN (1997)

    All the snarkmeisters who in 1990 were proclaiming that Dances With Wolves would be Kevin’s Gate, and were made to eat crow, got their revenge seven years later with this nuclear bomb-sized fiasco. As if the lessons of post-apocalyptic bloat weren’t learned from Waterworld, Mr. Costner dove back into the genre with this three-hour ordeal about a nomad who becomes a postal carrier among warring factions. Costner also produced and directed this turgid drama that basically ended his incredible run as a box-office draw, something he has yet to recover to this day. If the soul-deadening running time and self-serving hero deification weren’t enough, there’s a Kevin Costner song on the soundtrack!


  42. Now that you got Katherine Heigl out of the way,maybe you outta go after someone like
    Megan Fox,who seemed to derail her fortunes the way Heigl did or Jessica Biel,whose film
    fortunes never really got off the ground in spite of her good looks,perhaps????


  43. Just thought I’d throw out a fun, random question at you LeBeau: Are there any actors/actresses that you would love to do a write-up on but are just too darn successful right now to be eligible for the WTTH treatment? For fun, I’d be curious to see what your response would be….


    • Good question.

      There are people I haven’t done because they are currently “too successful”. But there isn’t anyone I’m just dying to do but can’t. The fact of the matter is, there’s a long list of people I want to write about and I just don’t have time to get to them all as quickly as I would like. So having a few of them being off limits for the moment due to their success doesn’t really phase me.

      There have been actors who I considered that I put on hold because they had a high profile project coming up. I delayed Edward Norton because he had a couple movies coming out. When neither of those movies reignited his career, I went ahead and wrote him up before he had a comeback. I would have written up Stallone years ago if not for The Expendables. Currently, the only thing keeping me from writing up Sarah Michelle Gellar or Chris O Donnell is that they star on popular TV shows. 30 Rock bought Alec Baldwin a stay of execution which is probably coming to an end. At one point Harrison Ford was on the poll, but I removed him because of Ender’s Game. I held off Jodie Foster to see how Elysium fared. Not well enough to keep me from writing her up in the future.

      There have been a couple of actors I went ahead and wrote up because I wanted to squeeze them in before a comeback. And then there have been actors who I have written up who have come back. Currently, Kevin Costner is enjoying some time in the spotlight. But when I originally wrote him up, he was living in exile.

      I have found that the articles that drive the most traffic are about the actors and actresses who aren’t necessarily house hold names. Bridget Fonda and Phoebe Cates are the top two articles most of the time. They have both been out of the public eye for at least a decade. Linda Fiorentino is another example. That’s part of why I recently wrote about Leelee Sobieski and Michael Biehn. Those are the subjects I’m looking for now. I want subjects that won’t have a ton of search results on Google. I can usually end up high on the search results pages for these actors which drives a lot more traffic than writing about a currently successful actor who gets tons of attention from the internet.

      With the fleeting nature of fame, I’ll never have a shortage of subjects. Eventually everyone will have their day on WTHH. I am a patient man. 😉


      • I was just watching Blades Of Glory with Will Ferrell, and Luke Wilson pops in for a quick cameo late in the film. I found myself thinking, “Jeez, whatever happened to that guy?” He was a leading man, briefly, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s in films like Legally Blonde, Blue Streak, Charlies’ Angels, and Old School. Telling is the fact that on Old School in 2003, Luke Wilson was the top-billed actor over Vince Vaughn and even Will Ferrell, who was just moving into films then from SNL. I think his last bid as a box office draw came with My Super Ex-Girlfriend in 2006, which bombed, and outside of that brief cameo in Blades Of Glory in 2007 I haven’t seen or heard of him in anything since. His star seemed to have faded quick, I think he could earn the WTTH treatment in the future.


        • I’m not sure how seriously anyone ever took Wilson as a leading man. Even in the movies where he was arguably filling that role, he was not the main draw. He was just the blandly likeable handsome guy. Also, I think he got upstaged by Owen. But it’s a good suggestion. He is someone I have considered more than once.


        • I agree he did come off as bland, I would say that Wilson’s star faded quickly directly because he came off as too bland to sustain as a leading man. At his peak, short as it was, he got above-the-title lead or co-star credit in several hit films, and even though Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn stole the show in Old School (their careers skyrocketed from that success), Luke WIlson did have top billing on that film. I even had to double check that one to make sure memory wasn’t deceiving me on that. Ferrell, Vaughn and a few others walked away with more, bigger successes from Old School, but Wilson despite being the lead would never have another hit to his name, outside of a minor cameo or two in later hits (Anchorman, Blades of Glory).


        • Old School is a bit of an anomaly. They took a bunch of guys who were not at the time box office draws and threw them all together. Wilson had showed leading man potential that was never quite realized. He was already fading when Old School was released. But he was still the closest thing the movie had to a leading man. Vaughn had made a name for himself doing Swingers. But then tried to transition into dramatic roles with Jurassic Park 2 and the Psycho remake. Old School was his triumphant return to comedy. And Ferrell was untested as a movie star despite having played supporting roles in dozens of movies while starring on SNL.


        • 10 Hilariously One Sided Hollywood Sibling Rivalries:

          1. Owen Wilson Vs Luke Wilson

          I like both Owen and Luke Wilson, so this one stings a little bit, especially given Luke’s early success alongside his brother in Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket and, later, his The Royal Tenenbaums.

          Still, Owen became a box office star in films such as Meet the Parents, Zoolander, Wedding Crashers, Night at the Museum and so on, while Luke generally struggled in supporting roles or starred in films that then failed to earn big distribution despite actually being pretty good (Idiocracy, Henry Poole is Here).

          As it stands, Luke has had one significant theatrical release in the last 5 years (Death at a Funeral), while Owen has recently worked with Woody Allen in Midnight in Paris, and has films with Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson in the pipeline, as well as Zoolander 2.


        • What Happened to Luke Wilson?

          Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months, you’ve probably been barraged with those atrocious AT&T commercials. You’re first thought after suffering through one of those is probably “Wow, that really sucked!”. This is followed by the notion that that bloated carcass playing the AT&T pitchman looks very familiar. This starts the brain synapses firing, and then it hits you: “Holy crap, that’s Luke Wilson of Old School fame!”. This realization is quickly followed by the question: “What the hell happened to Luke Wilson?”.

          Well, I tell you what happened to him. He caught a disease, and he is a sick, sick man. And that ailment my friends is called Val Kilmer Disease (VKD). Symptoms include but are not limited to:

          Having at one point been very good looking

          Currently looking very bloated and unhealthy

          Once being in huge movies i.e. Top Gun, Old School

          Not having been in a movie anyone has heard of in five plus years

          Most significantly patient’s current appearance prompts people to ask “What the hell happened to him?”

          Now here is some photographic evidence to support this new disease:
          Obviously this picture speaks for itself; simply jarring. Allow me to point out a few VKD symptoms: very attractive as Iceman in Top Gun, now has man boobs, a giant belly and a face that appears to have doubled in size. Another symptom, the last movie that the general public probably remembers him in is Alexander (2004), which was only noteworthy because it was such a huge flop and disappointment. You’re probably thinking, wow I never gave Val Kilmer that much thought, but that does sound like a serious malady, but Luke Wilson can’t have contracted VKD. You better believe he has, just take a look at the image to your left. Notice the piercing brown eyes and chiseled features on the before VKD image compared with the eyes that are almost swollen shut, the jowls and the turkey gobbler on the post VKD image. Not pictured, last notable role a supporting part in
          Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004). Needless to say if Luke Wilson had not somehow got the job with AT&T as their annoying, smug pitchman (my theory is significant bribes to the AT&T corporate structure from brother Owen), his career would be continuing it’s downward spiral into the land of Z celebrities and bad VH1 reality shows. But alas, it appears that he has possibly found a cure or at least a treatment to stop the alphabetic fall caused by Val Kilmer Disease from A to Z at a semi-respectable C and made himself, for now, somewhat relevant in the pop culture landscape.


        • Luke Wilson, what the hell happened?

          Luke Wilson comes across as a generally nice fellow onscreen. Usually, he portrays the affable everyman, and that’s most assuredly part of his appeal. Dudes relate to him and chicks want to have relations with him. I like a lot of Wilson’s work. “Bottle Rocket” is an underrated comic masterpiece. His extended cameo in “Rushmore” made for one of that flick’s funnier bits. And he recently struck gold with back-to-back hits in the form of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Old School,” the first of which is arguably his best film and performance to date. Though, a question lingers; what the hell is Wilson doing co-starring alongside the likes of Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz and Reese Witherspoon in an onslaught of this summer’s crappiest chick flicks? I can’t entirely blame the guy. To be paid mad bank for doing little more than hanging out with a horde of Hollywood hotties would be a spot better than alright. But to look at the flip side of things, shouldn’t one put more stock in performance than profit and poontang? As is, he’s window dressing, which is unfortunate, as the guy has shown the potential to do so much more in past roles. Wilson’s first abomination came via director Rob Reiner’s critically maligned, menstruation magnum opus, “Alex and Emma.” In signing onto such drivel he made not one, but numerous mistakes. First off, working with Reiner is a mistake in and of itself. I’m old enough to remember the days in which Meathead actually made decent flicks. “This Is Spinal Tap,” “The Sure Thing,” “Stand By Me,” “The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery” and “A Few Good Men” are all damned entertaining. “Alex and Emma” looks as though it’s striving for “North” and “The Story of Us” territory — a place that Wilson, Reiner and astute audiences should all avoid like a truck stop toilet seat. Secondly, who wants to play second fiddle to Goldie Hawn’s spawn (i.e. Hudson). The “Laugh-In” queen sucks enough in her own right, and the fruit of her loins fares little better. She was great in “Almost Famous,” but everything else she touches turns to shit — look no further than “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” for evidence. Lastly, and most obviously, movies that center around writing and/or an author struggling to pen his or her latest work almost always suck (“Adaptation” being the sole exception that comes to mind). Wilson suffered just as badly in “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde” (perhaps this summer’s lamest cinematic moniker) and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” (surely, a close second). In “Blonde,” Wilson had less screen time than Sally Field’s wrinkly, old kisser and that godforsaken Chihuahua of Witherspoon’s (Lord willing, some genius will pit that mutt against the utterly obnoxious Taco Bell varmint in a Tijuana-based, no-holds-barred dog fight — the winner gets shot). And “Full Throttle” jettisoned the poor bastard with a character arch that extended so far as his time-tested aw shucks shtick and whether or not he and Diaz’s character would get a puppy (sorry for the earth shattering spoiler, folks). Sadly, things are not looking up. Despite co-starring with Bob Dylan in “Masked and Anonymous,” a flick that Mr. Tambourine Man not only acts in, but also scored (a promising scenario if I ever heard one) — the movie was torn asunder by critics who screened it at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The only film to get worse festival-spurred buzz is Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny,” which many of my critical constituents have called the death rattle of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. At least Gallo (who also lensed and co-wrote the truly magnificent “Buffalo ’66”) has motorcycles and fellatio in his picture – things certain to entertain me. My advice to Wilson would be to fire his agent and hire me. I’ll set “Old School 2” into motion faster than B-‘Ffleck and J-Lo’s marriage will disintegrate. Perhaps the aging fratties could vacation in Hawaii together ala “Saved by the Bell.” Or better yet, the whole movie could be a series of repetitious montages in which the boys turn water cooler conversations into spontaneous beer blasts. It would be a move on par with Andrew McCarthy doing “Weekend at Bernie’s II,” and look how well his career turned out. More importantly, Wilson needs to get cast in Wes Anderson’s upcoming “The Life Aquatic” — I don’t care who he needs to blow. Wilson does his best work with the “Tenenbaums” auteur. Being an extra (or even the Best Boy for that matter) in an Anderson pic would surely beat the crap out of grasping ahold to the current It Girl’s miniskirt hems. I like the guy; I just wish he’d plunk his head from his ass and make more movies worthy of his talent.


        • The Star Market: Can Perpetual Movie Boyfriend and AT&T Pitchman Luke Wilson Sell More Than Rollover Minutes?

          Not so long ago, Luke Wilson was a promising up-and-comer, equally comfortable in quirky indies, dude-aimed bromances, and lady-targeted romantic comedies. A few years and questionable choices later, he’s probably best known as the guy trying to sell you cell-phone service in those much-mocked AT&T commercials. What happened? Can his starring role in this weekend’s Middle Men help turn things around? And if not, what might? We’ve carefully analyzed Wilson’s career, and asked agents, managers, and publicists for their candid opinions: If Luke Wilson were a stock, should you buy, sell, or hold?

          STOCK HISTORY: Wilson’s early ascent owed mostly to his friendship with Wes Anderson — roommate and writing partner of Wilson’s brother, Owen — who cast him in deadpan roles in 1996’s Bottle Rocket, 1998’s Rushmore, and 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Too handsome for just indies, though, he was quickly drafted to play supporting boyfriends to Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon in romantic comedies like Home Fries and the Legally Blonde movies. In 2003, Wilson headlined Todd Phillips’s Old School, becoming a member of comedy’s so-called Frat Pack (whose ranks also include Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Ben Stiller). But he hasn’t carried a hit since then, and for the past few years he’s been spreading himself thin with roles in low-grossing nice-tries (Henry Poole, Tenure, Idiocracy) and embarrassing stinkers (My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Blonde Ambition). Oh, and there were those AT&T ads.

          PEERS: “You’re either a bankable star, or you’re nobody,” explains the head of talent at a major agency. “Studios want what’s hot now, or what’s the next hot — not what used to be hot. But let’s be honest: He was never a movie star, just a great, talented character actor who appeared in some studio movies. And when he finally got his shot at a starring role, it was in a terrible film, My Super Ex-Girlfriend — and that was really Uma Thurman starring, anyway.” Pressed to name someone in his strata, one manager told us: “He’s more than a Baldwin brother, but less than an Alec, to be sure,” adding that “the AT&T commercials were like Jason Lee in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.”

          MARKET VALUE: There’s a reason Wilson has played so many accessory boyfriends — he’s handsome, a little aloof, and capable of being charming without ever making a scene (he’s perfectly cast as the guy who shows up with flowers after Reese Witherspoon proves she’s more than just a fashionable ditz). Similarly, his dry, low-key charisma makes him a great foil for pantsless Will Ferrell or the wackier members of Wes Anderson’s creature shop. But despite no shortage of trying, he’s never quite been able to hack it as a leading man who can carry a movie on his own (this weekend’s critically tolerated Middle Men seems unlikely to change that perception). You know what, though? Seven-year slump or no, he’s still eminently likable and easy to root for. (Also, nobody begrudges him some flailing after his brother Owen’s suicide attempt in 2007.) With a great second-fiddle role in the right project, he could still turn this around.

          WHAT HOLLYWOOD THINKS: Says an agent: “Luke’s career has become an example of what not to do. He may be valuable on the independent market, but in the studio world? He’s dead to the industry. He’s in actor’s limbo.” A manager points to the commercials as a particularly bad career move: “When an actor becomes more readily identifiable with the [ad] campaign their doing than the movies they’re doing, that’s a problem.” Worse still, though, is Wilson’s role selection. “He did six movies in 2007,” says the agent, “but most of ‘em are crap. Instead of doing six bad movies, do one good one. I mean, Vacancy? Are you insane? Putting him into genre thrillers for a paycheck?” The manager puts it a bit more delicately: “He’s made some strange choices. He needs to work with quality filmmakers; that shows you still care about acting.” On the slightly brighter side, a publicist doesn’t think Wilson needs to radically reupholster image: “Just do something that audiences want to see you do. He’s done great stuff, and needs to do it again.” Unfortunately, as the manager points out, two of the things people might like to see him in — a Wes Anderson or Todd Phillips movie — could be hard to come by: “Those guys are all getting squeezed on who they can make their movies with.”

          ANALYSIS: Probably the most jarring thing about seeing him in those AT&T ads was that we hadn’t realized just how far he’d fallen — pretty far! So what should he do now? Assuming that sequels to Old School and Royal Tenenbaums are off the table, he’s left with one good option: television, where aloof, straight-man Jim Halpert types are in greater demand (and actors like Charlie Sheen have bounced back from more than just cell-phone ads). Luckily, he’s a step ahead of us: Wilson is starring as the drug-addicted ex-husband of an enlightenment-seeking Laura Dern on Mike White’s Enlightened, an HBO show whose first season is currently shooting. The manager we spoke with thinks Wilson could be “huge and make a ton of money” in a more mainstream network series, but, hey, there’s always next pilot season.

          THE BOTTOM LINE: He’s a talented, well-connected actor and nobody harbors any ill will toward him. He’s made a few crappy choices, but with the right ones, who knows? It can’t get much worse than those AT&T commercials.

          BUY/SELL/HOLD?: If he sticks with TV for a while? Hold. Otherwise — sell!


        • Luke Wilson a diva on the sets of his AT&T commercials, source says:

          Luke Wilson just wants to do movies, especially independent films, but he recently signed a deal with AT&T to make the funny commercials about the cell phone network’s reach that you have probably seen by this point.

          But Fox411 has learned that the “Old School” star is miserable doing the project and has earned a reputation for being a diva on set.

          “Luke was awful during the filmings – he would even talk back to the director,” said our source close to the TV spot. “He refused to say lines and wanted them re-written. There were some lines meant to direct the commercial in a certain way, but Luke downright refused to say the lines at all. Luke kept saying, ‘I would never say that and I will not say that!’ The staff and production teams were shocked.”

          F0×411 has learned that Wilson is so picky he won’t share the camera with anyone, either.

          “Luke will not shoot scenes with other actors,” said our snitch. “Any scenes that include Luke and someone else were shot with the actors separately. He would not do scenes with anyone, so doubles are used and the scenes are edited together to make the commercials work.”

          “Everyone misses the old days when they didn’t have a ‘name’ doing the commercials,” our source said. “Luke has made the filming process so unpleasant that people dread working with him. Luke is annoyed that he has to do commercials to make money as an actor and he makes the experience miserable, because he’s miserable. It’s unprofessional and unpleasant.”

          Wilson’s reps did not return emails requesting comment.

          Wilson can be seen happily (we hope) working in his new film, “Death at a Funeral,” in theaters April 16th.


        • Luke Wilson, On-Set Diva?

          Despite predictable denials from PR flacks from all parties involved, rumor has it that Luke Wilson’s demands on the set of his latest movie, “Vacancy,” have been driving the crew and his co-star, Kate Beckinsale, crazy. From Page Six of the New York Post:

          Both have fallen ill while shooting, but the real problem is they can’t stand each other. One on-set source said Wilson is often hung over and late to the set, and when he does show, insists on bragging about “all the girls he hooked up with over the weekend and how drunk he got.” The blond funnyman with the distinctive nose is also making diva-like demands. “He doesn’t want anyone on the set in his line of sight except the director,” said another spy – and that includes his leading lady Beckinsale. Wilson is “outwardly rude and awful to Kate,” the second source said. He often doesn’t show up for “reversal” shots, where he is off-camera but needs to be there for Beckinsale to relate to when she speaks. Instead, he sends a stand-in. “He is a total diva,” the second spy said.

          Whether or not this is true, I’m not sure. But what I do know for a fact is that the adorable Luke Wilson of “Bottle Rocket” fame is starting to look like he was stung by bees, because that man is puffing up like a friggin’ blowfish these days. And frankly, I find that much more cause for concern.


        • 10 Movie Stars Who Could Really, Really Use A Hit Right Now:

          Luke Wilson

          Luke Wilson has played key roles in a lot of good movies. Let me hit you with an incomplete list: The Royal Tenenbaums, Idiocracy, Legally Blonde and Old School. As a very relatable every man type, he works both as a main character and as a sensible love interest, but somehow, he’s gone more than a half decade without contributing to a single thing of value other than as a support in the underrated HBO series Enlightened.

          I would call myself a Wilson fan, and I’ve only seen one of his movies since 2007’s Blades Of Glory. Among my favorites that I just learned exist are one opposite Anna Paquin and Ryan Phillippe called Straight A’s, another opposite Samuel L Jackson called Meeting Evil that Wikipedia claims grossed $181 and the third gem pictured above called Tenure that goes by the tagline “He’s having a mid-term crisis.”


  44. jeffthewildman

    After hearing about the failure of Transcendance, I started contemplating writing one on Johnny Depp.


    • I still think it’s too early for Depp. I read the box office results at EW this morning and they specifically said that the movie’s failure won’t hurt Depp. But he needs a hit soon.


      • I don’t know. I mean at this point Depp’s no more reliable than Tom Cruise.

        If Transcendence had been a hit then the bombing of Dark Shadows and Lone Ranger could have been dismissed as Depp simply going back to the “eccentric character in a fantasy/adventure film” well two too many times following Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter and Jack Sparrow x 4 in the course of about a decade. But now it really looks like audiences, especially domestically, are simply bored of Johnny Depp (a fact further driven home when you consider The Tourist’s struggles in the US).


        • I should clarify, that I’m not necessarily saying that Depp should be or needs to be profiled (I’m certainly not going to tell you how to do your job!), just that I’m bit more pessimistic on Depp’s current status (an A-List celeb, but no longer a box office draw unless he is playing Jack Sparrow).


        • I would say if Depp contiunes on this career trajectory for another year or two, a couple more box office misfires or outright bombs, then yes he might be eligible for a WTTH treatment, in my opinion. But then again, in another two years or so he’s expected to be in another Pirates movie, which should be a perfunctory hit that would give him a reprieve from getting a WTTH write-up for at least a little while longer. Who knows, maybe Depp will keep making Pirates movies for the forseeable future just to avoid the dreaded LeBeau write-up! haha Of course, if and-or-when a Pirates movie itself finally misfires, then all bets are off.


        • Depp can run. But he can’t hide. I’ll be here waiting. Washed-up stars tell no tales.


        • The outlook for Depp isn’t so great. But really, you could tell Lone Ranger and Transcendence were going to flop just by looking at them. Depp’s got a lot of gas in the tank. Look at John Travolta. Even Battlefield Earth didn’t kill his career. He kept right on coasting for another decade. I figure Depp has a lot of coasting and may even bounce back at some point. He still has the Pirates franchise which is almost a get-out-of-jail free card for his career.


        • I wouldn’t write WTHH to Tom Cruise yet either. Are they showing signs of weakness at the box office? Yes. But they are still two of the top stars in Hollywood. If you say they are WTHH candidates, who isn’t? If they aren’t A-list, who is?


  45. It’s probably too soon yet for a Depp write-up, he’s still on the A-list (for the moment), but his starpower is quickly fading. In the past few years, The Tourist underperformed, the last Pirates movie underperformed domestically (thought overseas helped it pass 1 Billion worldwide), The Rum Diary and Dark Shadows were both flops that couldn’t make their money back at the box office, The Lone Ranger was a massive bomb that lost $200 Million for Disney, and now Transcendence flopped hard with a miserable $11M opening weekend.

    Another Pirates movie would be another probable, much needed hit for him, but outside of that franchise his drawing power at the box office is now very questionable. If Depp keeps this track record up for much longer, he’ll probably be eligible very soon.


    • That just about sums it up.

      Here’s the thing. I don’t decide who is A-list. Depp’s stock was over-valued for a while and now it’s back down to where it probably should be. But even with a run of disappointments and flops, Depp is still one of the most powerful leading men in the game. We may be witnessing his fall from grace. But all it takes is one big movie and he could be back on top. Hollywood careers have crests and valleys. I think it’s premature to write up a WTHH on Depp who may not be at the top of his box office drawing power, but is still one of the biggest international box office stars in the world.


    • At What Point Do You Think Johnny Depp’s Career Started To Fall Apart?

      Let’s face it: it’s not going brilliantly right now.


  46. It’s been discussed pretty thoroughly in the threads where there is difference in opinion over the meaning of A list. An argument can be made that Depp is in the same category as Nicole Kidman, who has her own WTHH – A list celebrity but no longer box office moneymaker. And it’s all about the money now I guess… one thing’s for sure, when Depp does get his own writeup, it will be interesting!


    • Here’s the difference in my mind. Kidman hasn’t starred in a mainstream movie in years. The average movie goer has no idea what she has been up to. If they have seen her in recent years, it has been in a bit role in an Adam Sandler movie or the direct-to-video movie she made with Nicolas Cage. It gives the perception that she has disappeared. Depp was in a big budget summer movie last year. It was supposed to launch a franchise. It failed, but it shows that Hollywood is still betting on him. He still gets big budget movies greenlit. For the time being.


  47. Angelina Jolie is interesting as well. An A-list ultra-diamond-class celebrity who is a mediocre box-office draw since Tomb Raider. Let’s see how Maleficent fares…


  48. These WTHH? articles are so awesome! Thank you so much for writing them. I was wondering if the career highs and lows of some of my favourites – Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – might be on the cards, please? 🙂


    • I’m glad you are enjoying them. Of the actors you mentioned, I have come very close to writing up Harrison Ford. But he’s had a bit of a comeback recently. Damon is still solidly A-list. Cruise has shown some signs of weakness. Affleck is going to be Batman plus he’s a successful director. So he has earned a stay of execution. But I will get to them all in time.


      • Ford is 71, expecting him to compete with Bradley Cooper for roles is a bit unfair.

        Its like saying: “What happened to Jane Fonda?”


        • What I’m interested with regards to Ford isn’t where his career is today. I’m interested in what happened to him in the 90s. After Air Force One, he slowly drifted away after years of being one of Hollywood’s top draws.


  49. Andy Garcia – I can’t think of a major film he’s done recently following the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy so that’s one I would like to see.
    Josh Lucas – Stealth and Poseidon were supposed to be his major tickets to stardom, then both bombed hard massively and now he’s reduced to starring in a swiftly-cancelled TV version of a Tom Cruise movie and doing voiceovers for Home Depot commercials.


  50. 10 Actors Who Just Stopped Working In Their Prime:

    Actors, to make a sweeping generalisation, enjoy the spotlight. That’s at least part of the reason they go in for the acting lark in the first place; to be seen by millions of people across the world, to be adored by strangers, to have their ego fed, to have people pay attention to them. So it stands to reason that when they decide to quit their chosen profession they go and make a big song and dance about it, too. Just look at the recent shenanigans of the kid from Even Stevens.

    There are exceptions to that rule, though. Actors who quietly disappeared, fading into obscurity rather than burning out in a blaze of self-promotion for whatever other field they’re devoting their time to (which usually culminates in them returning to acting after all; I call this “Jay-Z retirement”). There are actors who don’t necessarily intend to stop working, but whose IMDb pages haven’t been updated in years. Work dries up. Skin sags. And people just disappear.

    Here’s ten of those very thespians who inexplicably disappeared from Hollywood at the height of their fame.

    1. Michael Schoeffling

    Unless, like me, you’re a John Hughes aficionado, you may be asking “who”? But let me assure you, for a brief period in the mid-80s, Michael Schoeffling was the proverbial hot stuff (and the literal, check out that tank top, phwoar). Breaking out with his debut role in Sixteen Candles, the teen movie classic starring Molly Ringwald, Shoeffling capitalised on the film’s success by booking roles in eight films you’ve probably never heard of, and promptly fell off the face of the Earth.

    Since officially retiring in 1991, not seven years after his turn as Jake Ryan, Shoeffling has given few interviews. In the handful he has accepted, he admitted that he had trouble finding suitable roles and found himself with a growing family to provide for. So, naturally, he became a carpenter. He now owns a woodworking shop and creates handmade furniture to order.

    Jake Ryan, meanwhile, remains an iconic character in the John Hughes film pantheon, immortalised in synth-pop duo Summer Camp’s song of the same name, and his legacy was discussed 20 years later in a Washington Post article called “Real Men Can’t Hold a Match to Jake Ryan of Sixteen Candles”.

    1. Alison Lohman

    The way things have turned out for her, you can’t help but speculate that maybe Alison Lohman has fallen foul of some sort of gypsy curse. That was the fate that befell her character in Sam Raimi’s 2009 horror Drag Me To Hell, which happens to be the last film Lohman has made to date. Where that film revitalized the career – or at least the average review scores – for the director of Spider-Man 3, it was a death sentence for Lohman.
    Since her first role in, ahem, Kraa! The Sea Monster, Lohman booked parts in films as diverse as Big Fish, Matchstick Men, Beowulf, and Gamer, yet she hasn’t appeared on our screens since 2009. That last film is the real reason why, however: Not long after it’s release (in the same year as Drag Me To Hell) Lohman married its co-director, Mark Neveldine, also known for his work on the Crank films. Since then the couple have had two children and, from the looks of things, Lohman has gone for the stay-at-home mom route. For the time being, at least.

    1. Renee Zellweger

    Bridget Jones. Beatrix Potter. Whatever she was called in Empire Records. What do all of these characters have in common? They were all played by Renee Zellweger, who up until recently was one of the most talented actresses working in Hollywood, as at home playing the perpetually single Brit Jones to Southern belle Ruby in Cold Mountain to a fish in Shark Tale.

    That is, up until a few years ago, where her CV begins to get a little more sparse. Romantic comedy New In Town and horror flick Case 39 were both heavily delayed, shot some years ago but only released in 2009 to mixed reviews; her most recent role was as a paralysed musician in 2010′s My Own Love Song.

    Since then we’ve heard nary a peep from her, save for a TV pilot she co-created and produced that wasn’t picked up last year. This one’s especially weird because there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Zellweger’s disappearance from the radar, and nobody seems to have noticed, either. Shame.

    1. Bridget Fonda

    The Fondas are quite the dynasty in Hollywood. In the golden age of film Henry Fonda lit up the screen with star turns in the Grapes of Wrath and 12 Angry Men. His kids, Peter and Jane, helped to reinvent cinema with subversive sixties classics like Easy Rider and Barbarella. Then came Bridget, Peter’s daughter, who looked like she was headed down a similar path, with memorable appearances in A Simple Plan, Jackie Brown and Single White Female. Well, maybe the last one less so.

    Except then she just seemed to peter out. She made her last film in 2002, a TV version of the Snow Queen. She had previously been linked with Ally McBeal when it was in development, but turned it down, and more recently was replaced in a role written especially for her in Lipstick Jungle.

    So what happened? Like with Zellweger, it’s not clear. Neither actress seems quite old enough to have hit the film industry’s stunningly sexist cut off for the point that they’ll hire females in leading roles, neither has given any statement as to why they’ve stopped working, and both were at pretty good places in their careers. As with Lohman, however, the reason behind Fonda’s disappearance might just be love. In 2003 she married Danny Elfman, the guy who does the music for every Tim Burton film (plus The Simpsons theme tune), so maybe she’s busy…being busy?

    1. Mena Suvari

    In the summer of ’99, you couldn’t turn without hitting a film with America in the title and Mena Suvari in the cast list. Well I mean, I think there was only two – American Pie and American Beauty – but the young blonde actress was a big part of both of them, and seemed destined for greater things. Cut ahead to about 15 years later (ie the present day) and outside of a cameo appearance in the recent American Reunion, I can’t say I’ve seen much of Ms Suvari. Except in the direct-to-video remake of Day of the Dead that I try really, really hard not to remember. Dammit, failed again. Stupid article.

    To be fair to Suvari, she hasn’t quite finished with acting altogether, just faded from the public consciousness somewhat. Y’know, compared to when she starred in two of the biggest films of the year in the same summer. It has been a couple of years since she’s appeared in anything, though, which means it’s been about three years since she’s been filming. besides a bit part in firefighting TV show Chicago Fire (that’s a show about firefighters, not a show that fights fires itself).

    Suvari, sadly, just seems to be one of those lost souls that picked the wrong parts and is dealing with the consequences. I blame Kevin Spacey, personally.

    1. Joe Pesci

    What do you mean this article’s funny? What do you mean, you mean the way I write? What? Funny how? What’s funny about it? I’ll have you know I’m no clown, and neither is Joe Pesci. At least not for the past few years, where the pint-sized rage machine has put in barely any on-screen performances, save for a cameo in his mate De Niro’s The Good Shepherd and a role in little-seen 2010 drama Love Ranch.

    After coming up with Martin Scorsese with memorable parts in his movies Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and the casino-based remake of Goodfellas (Casino) – with a side order of hammy bad guy in the first two Home Alone movies, THE ONLY HOME ALONE MOVIES IF YOU ASK ME – Pesci announced his retirement from the acting game in 1999. Which is more than a lot of the people on this list have bothered doing, let me tell you.

    Of course he has appeared in bit parts since then, and in a terrible Snickers advert in 2011 for some reason (money, the reason was money). In fact the almighty dollar is probably the reason Pesci hasn’t felt the need to act properly for over a decade, since he’s instead been working as a producer on the Broadway/West End smash-hit stage musical Jersey Boys. No doubt the news that a film adaptation in the works will be good for his coffers, if not his career on screen. Still, at least he’s not quit to pursue a musical career himself.

    1. Greta Garbo

    In a lot of ways Great Garbo was the original Shia Labeouf. And in a lot of other, much more accurate ways, she wasn’t anything like him: she was one of the best and most successful actresses of both the silent and golden age of Hollywood films, a multiple Oscar nominee, and her name autocorrects as “Great Gatsby” on my phone. Suddenly, though, she threw that all away. At the tender age of 35, Garbo announced her retirement from both the silver screen and public life as a whole.

    Of course, that didn’t stop people trying to coax her back into both. Producers were trying to tempt her back into acting roles right up until her death in 1990, aged 84, but the German-born actress wouldn’t even compromise with cameo roles as some of the other “retired” actors we’ve looked at have. Her private life, meanwhile, was intensely scrutinised: she never married, never had children, and lived the majority of her adult life alone. This wasn’t anything new, either, as during the height of her fame she rarely gave interviews, shirked fancy Hollywood parties and never signed autographs. Her studio bosses, initially frustrated, eventually capitalised on Garbo’s mysterious nature.

    The tl:dr of this is, basically, Garbo was an incredibly talented and popular actor who got bored, didn’t like the attention, and decided to live a quiet, simple life instead. Oh and she was an art collector, with a personal gallery with millions of dollars. So that probably helped.

    1. Amanda Bynes

    One of the saddest stories of celebrity troubles in modern times is that of Amanda Bynes. Starting as a TV star on kids channel Nickelodeon, Bynes parlayed her experience into teen movies like She’s The Man, Syndey White and Easy A. She had a comedic timing that a lot of rom-com actresses lack, and looked like she could have been her generation’s Alicia Silverstone…well, except more successful, ideally.

    Instead, Bynes fell prey to pretty much all of the darker temptations LA has to offer: drink, drugs, and plastic surgery. Since 2012 she has been arrested numerous times for driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and more. Not-so-coincidentally, 2012 was the year she announced her retirement from acting, although it had already been two years since her last job. Since then Bynes has been checked into a private facility for mental health issues. It would be nice if Bynes one day managed to recapture her initial promise, but what’s really important is she gets healthy.

    1. Gene Hackman

    Like Pesci, he might not have been in his “prime” – that’d be the 70s, when he was as at home playing complicated cop Popeye Doyle and uncomplicated pantomime villain Lex Luthor – but in the early days of the new millenium, the notoriously prickly Gene Hackman seemed to be going through a latter-day career renaissance. He had already reprised his role from the paranoia classic The Conversation in Enemy of the State, and won a Golden Globe for his more grounded (or just OTT in a different way) part as the patriarch in Wes Anderson’s masterpiece, The Royal Tenenbaums.

    But that’s pretty much the last we’ve heard from Hackman. In films, at least. Over the past few years he has published three historical novels in collaboration with an undersea archaeologist, along with a Western book. In 2004, during an interview with Larry King, Hackman admitted he had no acting roles lined up, but it wasn’t until he was promoting his third book in 2008 that he officially confirmed he had retired.

    Even then, nobody made a big song-and-dance about it. For most, Hackman just sort of dropped off the map. Which might be because his final screen role to date was opposite Ray Romano in the awful comedy Welcome to Mooseport, and we’re all secretly hoping he’ll do something else, and go out on the high he had been building too.

    1. Thora Birch

    We’ve gone through a lot of strange, sad and silly stories throughout this odyssey of missing actors, but perhaps the strangest, saddest and silliest is that of Thora Birch. Like Mena Suvari, her co-star in American Beauty, there was a period where Thora Birch was in every hip, successful film going, most notably her starring role in the cult classic Ghost World. She was also in that big-budget Dungeons and Dragons film, which probably seemed a good idea at the time. Maybe if she’d got a better roll on initiative…

    Anyway, after that brief period where she was one of the hottest young actors working she, well, stopped working. Or at least, stopped working in films of the quality and popularity of her breakout turns. So whatever happened to Thora Birch’s career? Her weird dad, that’s what.

    There’s a reason we’ve not seen much of Thora as of late – her last film was in 2012, and I can say with some certainty you didn’t see it – and that’s because her dad is her manager. And her dad is insane. Besides doing creepy stuff like practically directing his daughter’s sex scene in 2009′s Winter of Frozen Dreams, the elder Birch – who was a porn actor in his heyday, and “acted” with his wife in not-a-Watergate-film Deep Throat – has lost his daughter/only client pretty much every stage and screen part she’s been up for in the past five years by threatening anyone who goes near her, any director whose staging he disapproves of, and generally being a nutcase.

    Unfortunately for Birch, whilst firing your manager can be a tricky business, firing your dad is even harder. So I wouldn’t hold your breath for a return by Enid Coleslaw any time soon, unless her dad comes up against a producer that’s equally insane. And I really, really hope there isn’t any such producer.


  51. The CineFiles – COULDA’ BEEN CONTENDERS (Rising Stars Who Fizzled Out) PART 1:

    Coulda’ been contenders… the stars who seemed to reach their peak then fizzled. What happened to them? And are some of the actors mentioned worthy examples of this topic? The CineFiles aka Andre, Jeff and myself debate some of the subjects brought up. I was, however, very tired from an all night attempt at rendering 3D graphics (which wound up in our 70s/80s SPACE OPERA show which you can view here). And it shows. I’m haggard and drinking a big ole’ cup of iced coffee.

    But the convo is interesting enough that The CineFiles decided to experiment by breaking it up into three, 8 to 10 minute parts. So here’s the first. In this segment we focus on Colin Farrell, Val Kilmer, Katherine Heigl, Wes Bentley and Thora Birch. Hopefully this new format will allow some of you to watch something from the comfort of your desktop during your lunch break or something. Or maybe not. Let’s see what happens.


    • The CineFiles – COULDA’ BEEN CONTENDERS (Rising Stars Who Fizzled Out) PART 2:

      Here’s the second part of The CineFiles’ discussion on COULDA’ BEEN CONTENDERS (Rising Stars Who Fizzled Out). In this segment we debate the state of the current careers of Michael Keaton, Vin Diesel, Linda Fiorentino, Chris Tucker and Mike Meyers. But for some reason Jeff brings up Gene Hackman which… makes no sense. But there you go.

      And I’m still tired. And Andre is still nursing that hard cider.


      • The CineFiles – COULDA’ BEEN CONTENDERS (Rising Stars Who Fizzled Out) PART 3:

        The CineFiles finally present their third and final part of COULDA’ BEEN CONTENDERS (Rising Stars Who Fizzled Out). In this segment we discuss and debate the careers of Billy Bob Thornton, Thomas Jane, Aaron Eckart, Kevin Spacey (Jeff’s choice. Not mine), Jennifer Connolly, Rene Zellweger, Mark Harmon and… Adrian Zmed. Sort of. Phew! Well, the coffee didn’t work out as well as I hoped. But Andre more than enjoyed his hard cider.


        • 10 Actresses Whose Careers Went Downhill After Winning An Oscar:

          1. Jennifer Connelly

          Oscar Win: Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind (2002)

          Jennifer Connelly’s descent into mediocrity was not immediate. For a few years after her Oscar win, she did star in a handful of solid films such as House of Sand and Fog and Little Children. Since then, she has consistently appeared in movies that range from disappointing to just flat out terrible.

          The absolute nadir of her acting career would have to be 2012′s Virginia, a movie that received universally negative reviews and only grossed $12,000 in the box office. Now, you can hardly blame her for wanting to star in the film. Months before production began, writer/director Dustin Lance Black won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Who could have predicted that his directorial debut would turn out so badly? Jennifer Connelly has also starred in promising films like Reservation Road and Creation which were botched in the execution as well. Perhaps the Oscar-winning actress just has bad luck.

          On the bright side, she will star alongside Russell Crowe in Noah, which comes out next month. This will be her first collaboration with director Darren Aronofsky since 2000′s Requiem For A Dream, a film that helped Jennifer Connelly break through to the mainstream. Can Noah be the film that steers Connelly back on the right track? Fingers crossed.


  52. Gwyneth’s at it again………might wanna put her on your list & fast!!!!!!–internet-war-code-conference/


    • daffystardust

      probably a dumb way for her to try to make her point, but honestly, if people hate her so much, why don’t they just ignore her. She’s just an actress, it’s not like she’s an elected official who votes on our futures. All this constant kerfuffle about her just makes me yawn.


  53. Craig Hansen

    I think Shia LaBeouf is way overdue for a WTTH article. For a minute there, Shia was well on his way to the A-list. In spring 2007 Shia got his first opportunity to headline a film, Disturbia, an entertaining thiller that was a solid hit at the box office. Spielberg, who produced, saw something in LaBeauf and helped him get cast as the lead in The Transformers, a huge blockbuster that following summer. The following year, summer of 2008 Spielberg cast him alongside Harrison Ford in Indy 4, another summer blockbuster. Fall of 2008, he starred in Eagle Eye; this was the first real test of his drawing power without having giant robots or snake-fearing archaeologists to provide support and the film did well, earning over $100M domestically: it proved this LaBeauf guy can be a box office draw, even if the film was a stinker. Two more Transformers sequels raked in the big bucks after that, but his star has definately faded greatly since then. Even Shia himself has joked “I’m not a star anymore”.

    With his career imploding and his frequent shenanigans, exploring what the hell happened there would be a very juicy article, LeBeau. Hmmmm, LeBeau, LaBeouf, LeBeau, LaBeouf….. I know there’s a good joke in there somewhere! You must write this epic tale, LeBeau!


    • Craig Hansen

      I’m glad at least to see Shia LaBeauf among the current contenders for future write-ups. With his frequent outbursts, arrests, and various indiscretions over the past several years, not to mention his meteoric career rise and fall in such a short time, I do think Shia would make for one of your strongest potential write-ups.

      One suggestion on my part? Please do include his disparaging comments about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (whew, seriously, you couldn’t have shortened that title a bit?). I’m a huge Indy fan myself, the original three films are among my favorites, yet even I’ll admit the 4th one was…. left wanting, shall we say? But LaBeauf’s comments about the failure of the film, along with Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg’s reactions to said comments are classic. You can see those bridges burning in real time. I think you’ll have real fun writing that eventual article.


      • There is no way I would leave out LaBeauf’s comment’s on Indy 4. At the time, I actually respected his honesty. That was before I realized we were dealing with a crazy person. Ford summed it up nicely.


  54. pierce Bronson will smith, tobey maguire ,warren beatty ,richard gere ,diane keaton and hugh grant


    • Derailed Film Stars: A Grooveless Richard Gere:

      Richard Gere has been on the scene a long time. It’s hard to remember now, but Gere was Diane Keaton’s creepy stalker in 1977’s Looking For Mr. Goodbar. The ’80s, though, were Gere’s peak. He carried Debra Winger off to a better life at the beginning of the decade in An Officer and a Gentleman, and as it closed he was doing the same for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Heck, the actor was even a favorite of the Dalai Lama. Things haven’t quite been the same since, though. His strong work in Arbitrage in 2012, was sandwiched between such forgettable fare as The Double and Movie 43. Where did his career go sideways? We take a look.


  55. dont forget billy bob


  56. been kingsley


  57. Hugh Grant is a perfect candidate for WTTH. Honestly I’m a bit surprised he hasn’t been written up already. He had a fairly interesting career and was arguably A-list for a number of years (you could say he was the King of romantic comedies for many years), and certainly his scandals and escapades will make the article extra-spicey! Actually, if memory serves me correct, after Jay Leno took over The Tonight Show in ’92 he had been behind Letterman in the ratings for his first three years of hosting The Tonight Show, but then in 1995 Hugh Grant was famously arrested for prostitution and appeared on The Tonight Show to offer his most sincere public apology for poking said prostitute (what a cad!), and that episode was watched by – and talked about by – everybody and for the first time Leno beat Letterman in the ratings, and from that point on Leno regularly beat Letterman in the ratings for the many years to follow. Hugh Grant singlehandedly changed Jay Leno’s fortunes around in the ratings, I think that goes to show just how famous Hugh Grant was at that point in time, and would definately be a high point of the article should you ever write him up.


    • Make no mistake. Grant’s on my shortest of short lists. The clock is ticking for him and Elizabeth Hurley.

      I will speculate that eventually, Jay would have overtaken Dave even without Hugh. America is a Jay Leno country. Only the cool people preferred Letterman.


      • That is an interesting speculation, Lebeau. One you may very well be right about, I can’t really argue it. Jay went 3 years behind Letterman in the ratings, it may have taken years more to happen without Grant, who can say for sure. Either way, Hugh Grant literally changed Jay Leno’s fortunes overnight with one highly publicized tv appearance. It was the water-cooler talk of the moment, as I recall. I say this tongue in cheek of course, but I bet Jay Leno secretly praised the heavens for Hugh Grant’s overactive libido in the years during his late night reign.


        • Absolutely. Grant’s appearance turned the tides. What would have happened, no one will ever know. But Jay owes a lot to that turn of events.


      • Derailed Film Stars — Retracing Elizabeth Hurley:

        As one of Great Britain’s hottest exports, Elizabeth Hurley is more famous for being Elizabeth Hurley than any role she has ever played. The model-turned-actress-turned-mogul oozes old Hollywood charm despite being a tabloid fixture for most of her life. Before J.Lo turned a red-carpet dress into a cultural phenomenon, Miss Hurley captured the paparazzi and America’s attention as Hugh Grant’s date to a film premiere in 1994 with a Versace dress held together by safety pins. Since then, she’s been the face of Estee Lauder for over a decade, a film producer, a philanthropist and starred in a lot of mediocre movies and a handful of great ones. After motherhood put her career on hiatus, she returned to acting, tapping her regal potential to play a queen in the upcoming E! series, Royals, about a fictional British monarchy. Before we welcome her back to the world of entertainment, here’s a look back at her bushy-browed beginnings.

        Age Defying Spokesperson

        Hurley’s early acting career was hindered by a poor choice of movies including roles in the forgettable Passenger 57 and Beyond Bedlam, but after her impressionable appearance at the Four Weddings and a Funeral premiere, Hurley was given her first modeling gig and was snatched up by Estee Lauder as their spokesperson at the age of 29. With her English rose complexion and timeless look, she has been the face of the brand for almost two decades, albeit with a few bumps along the way. In 2000, she was publicly criticized and fined by the Screen Actors Guild for shooting a Lauder commercial during a strike. Protestors even showed up at one of her film premieres to publicly shame her. Liz chalked it up to a misunderstanding with the Lauder people and sent SAG a fat check and an apology.

        Taking Dave’s Hot Seat

        Shortly after signing with Estee Lauder and before Hugh Grant’s prostitution scandal, Hurley was riding high and appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman as a fresh faced actress with her “It Girl” leather pants. With her posh accent and quick wit, Hurley captivated audiences with her self-deprecating tales of mustache bleach and on-set mortifications. She charmed the pants off Dave and the rest of America as well.

        Austin Powers’ Bond Girl

        Say what you will about Hurley’s questionable filmography, but she was brilliant in the first of the Austin Powers movie trilogy. Her role as the liberated feminist, British secret agent Vanessa Kensington, was the perfect foil to Mike Myers’ outdated seduction techniques and she proved herself to be a talented comedienne and a killer Bond girl. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was only a modest success at the box office but the film became a bigger hit when it was released on video, and remains a comedy classic.

        My Favorite Smoking Martian

        Following up her success with Austin Powers, Hurley appeared in a forgettable role in Disney’s reboot of the ’60s sitcom, My Favorite Martian. The film stars Jeff Daniels as a TV producer who befriends a lost martian, played by Christopher Lloyd — of Back to the Future fame — with lively looniness. Hurley plays Daniels’ love interest and a vapid news reporter named Brace, whose sole appeal in the film seems to be centered on her cleavage. Having proved she’s leading lady material, it was a shame to see Hurley backtrack on her career in this silly, slapstick sci-fi flick.

        Bedazzled by Brendan

        Given her devilish smile and sinful figure, Hurley seemed like the perfect fit to play Satan in this Harold Ramis-directed film. Brendan Fraser stars as a nerdy office worker who’s granted seven wishes for his soul while Hurley devises different ways to torment him. Fraser is always game in every comedy and can deliver zaniness without being over the top, but Hurley wasn’t madcap enough to play the Princess of Darkness and never quite went beyond anything but smoldering. The majority of the film seemed like an excuse to see Hurley trot around in various Frederick’s of Hollywood getups.


      • Hey Lebeau, while reading these older comments I noticed that after I suggested Hugh Grant back in August, you said he’s on your shortest of short lists. But looking over your Poll options for future candidates Hugh Grant isn’t even a poll option. Was he left off the Poll as an oversight, or because he’s guaranteed to be one of the next write-ups no matter what?


        • He should probably be on the poll. Unfortunately, my short list has a way of expanding. 2015. Hugh Grant. Done. My New Years Resolution (one of them any way) will be to write up WTHH to Hugh Grant AND WTHH to Elizabeth Hurley next year.


        • You had me at Elizabeth Hurley. Be still my beating heart. Aye aye aye……

          Though I’m looking forward to the Hugh Grant write-up too. He has lost his crown as the king of romantic comedies in recent years, but honestly I can’t say that anyone has replaced him so far. Which probably proves that it’s not as easy as it looks.


        • There’s great stuff for Hugh. Obviously Divine Brown. But then there’s the weird story where he investigated a wire tapping scheme with the English tabloids. It’s an article I’ve been thinking about for a loooong time.


        • Investigating a wire tapping scheme? It looks like I will be learning something new about Mr. Hugh Grant when you write him up! Needless to say at this point, but count me in! And yeah, I think there would be riots in the streets if you somehow left out Divine Brown in his article. Somehow, against all odds, Grant’s heat-of-the-moment decision to pick up a prostitute on Hollywood and Vine was actually the best possible thing that could have happened to his career at that moment in 1995. Weird, right? Hollywood is weird. A couple years earlier Pee Wee Herman permanently damaged his career when he was arrested for masturbating himself in a porno theater. Hugh Grant gets arrested for picking up a prostitute and with a just-right humbling apology on Jay Leno his career skyrockets to new heights. Funny, huh?


        • Hey Lebeau, I was just reading over the earlier comments on this page and I had totally forgotten about my request for Hugh Grant from summer of last year, and your response. And I quote, your exact words: “2015. Hugh Grant. Done.” You gloriously fulfilled your promise on Elizabeth Hurley (sigh) earlier this year, now how about Hugh Grant? Remember Lebeau, a promise is a promise! 😉

          i’m prodding you with a wink and a smile, of course, just in case it doesn’t read on the page. 😉


        • You won’t believe me, but this promise has been on my mind as 2015 winds down. I believe in the article on Hurley I said something like “If I don’t get to Hugh Grant this year, something has gone wrong.” I don’t know that something has gone wrong, but I’ve definitely changed my plans. Partially, I was waiting to see if The Man From Uncle was a big hit. But mostly I have just shifted my approach to the site a lot since the year started.

          I don’t want to bore you with details, but this year has been a very odd one for me in terms of the site. Every year since I started the blog, traffic has practically doubled. I knew that couldn’t go on forever and I fully expected it to level off in 2015. 2014 was an explosive year for the site in terms of traffic so I knew there was no way that growth rate would continue.

          Instead, traffic started dipping. It went into decline as soon as the new year started. At first, I thought it was just part of the regular cycle of internet traffic, but by Spring I realized the trend wasn’t reversing itself. I knew that it wasn’t related to content. While a couple of readers have left, more new readers have come along. But my Google traffic was way down from 2014. So I started looking into what was going on.

          Again, I won’t bore you with the specifics. But what I came to discover is that while the WTHH articles generate a ton of traffic, most of the people who come to the site through Google don’t actually read the article. They click off in a matter of seconds. I talked about this last week in the October 1st article. But basically, I decided to diversify the content. I wanted to give the regular readers reason to come here and participate in the discussion on a daily basis. Or at least more frequently than a bi-weekly or monthly WTHH article allows.

          Of course I’m not going to abandon WTHH. I want to post the 100th article this year. Next year, I think I’m going to take a new approach to the series. I’ll probably also work on updating the first 100 entries. So Mr. Grant will likely get a reprieve until at least 2016. But his day is coming. Promise amended? 😉


        • I completely understand. But I’m REALLY going to hold you to 2016, Lebeau! Hee hee


        • I will do my best. I’ve got like 15 months? That sounds doable!


        • Can we make a deal right now? How about this: 2016 for Hugh Grant, and 2017 for the guy I’ve been stumping for the most these past few years, Burt Reynolds. That gives you…. 27 months to work on the Burt write-up! What do you say, pal? Want to shake hands on that? ha ha. 2017 would even tie in with the Boogie Nights 20th anniversary, so I don’t see how you could resist. 😉


        • That is a tempting offer. Done. Of course given my track record, I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in my own predictions. But, you know, I mean well…

          I will say that I have been thinking up a series on career comebacks (title suggestions?) and Reynolds would be a natural fit there. I’m thinking that Reynolds will get more coverage in shorter articles in the future. Pretty sure he’s got some Razzie nods if nothing else.


        • I have to say I really like the idea of comebacks being a topic unto itself. It would fit right in around here. Reynolds had a legitimate comeback with the Oscar-nominated Boogie Nights, and he got a lot of mainstream work in studio films again as a result, but it wasn’t of the same impact as let’s say a Travolta who actually shot straight back into the A-list because of one film. I think for the rest of my days Travolta’s comeback will probably remain the Gold Standard of movie star comebacks. But I really do like the idea as this as a basis for an ongoing series.


        • Travolta and Connery are the two that come to mind as massive returns to the A-list. Arguably bigger than they were before. Eddie Murphy and Burt Reynolds are some other ones. I also want to cover comebacks that didn’t go anywhere like Mickey Rourke.


  58. were not sure if that true maybe leno would eventually beat it grants appearance helped but its lenos shows skill and humor but that kept the shows rating ahead but if it was only cause of that reason the ratings would not stay that away and letterman would have overtake jay. but grants career briefly survived it. but last ten years is flops he was amazing in about boy best performance i also loved him cloud atlas him and hanks only part of bad movie those roles proved he should do drama stary away from romantic comedies for a bit people r sick of them


  59. I don’t view Late Shows consistently, but if I was a celebrity (hold on…no, I looked it up: being a legend in one’s own mind doesn’t count) I would’ve rather be interviewed by Jay Leno. My reasoning is that he was a softer touch, while Letterman could be very biting at times. However, I think that has to do with Letterman being more of a pure comedian, while Leno was a “hey, how are you doing”/ handshakes for the room kinda guy.


    • Keep in mind that a lot of the more biting or awkward encounters on Letterman were staged. They rehearse those interviews. Rarely is a celeb on a talk show couch ever actually surprised by anything that is said by a host.

      Leno, to me, is the opposite of funny. If you put Leno in a room with funny, he will suck all the funny into a humorless black hole of suckitude. Like you, I stopped watching late night shows years ago. But how anyone watched The Tonight Show with Jay Leno boggles my mind.

      Too harsh?


  60. do u think he can pull off drama


  61. letterman and leno are both leno more but i prefer conon hes funnier . back to hugh grant you think he can pull off drama


  62. This should more accurately be titled “Some actors who disappeared off the radar, and quite a few other actors who we don’t hear about in Hollywood and/or America any more and therefore don’t exist.”


    • That’s a bit of a mouthful, don’t you think? 😉

      Part of the reason I wrote the “About…” entry is to explain the scope of the series which has really expanded past the implications of the title. One thing I have figured out writing WTHH over the last 4 years is that no one really ever disappears. All of these actors and actresses are still around. Most of them are still working. The ones that aren’t have chosen not to. Once you reach a certain level of fame, you will always be able to find a job in entertainment somewhere. It just might not be very glamorous.

      At the end of the day, the articles are career retrospectives with a couple jokes thrown in. I try to include any interesting stories I might find and what the movies’ critical and commercial prospects were. I don’t so much worry about the title. But “What the hell happened” has proven to be catchy enough.


  63. Lebeau, I’ve got to make a bid for a long-shot, but well deserved candidate: Burt Reynolds. He was huge in the 70’s, from what I’ve read he was the #1 box office draw of that decade. He even started off the 80’s strong with a couple big hits. Smokey and the Bandit 2 was the 8th biggest hit of 1980. Cannonball Run was the 6th biggest hit of 1981. The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas was the 9th biggest hit of 1982. But by 1984, or 1985, Reynolds was regarded as a has-been and irrelevant. His sudden slide from biggest-star-in-the-world to has-been happened so shockingly quick. What the hell happened there? That’s a question I’d love an answer to in your series. One could argue that he’s locked in the 70’s and early 80’s, except that he had a rather strong comeback with Boogie Nights in 1997, finally earning his first (and only) Oscar nomination. He kept getting roles in mainstream/high profile films for the next several years after Boogie Nights, but he didn’t move back to the A list like Travolta had done a couple years earlier. Again, this would all be fascinating stuff for a WTTH write-up.

    Since his career goes further back than most topics his write up would entail more homework than usual, but I still think he would be an ideal candidate for your series. I know I requested him once before about a year ago. I’ve decided that I’m going to renew my request for Burt Reynolds every so often until it happens. Not too often, I don’t want to annoy you, but I think I’ll bring him up once every year until he gets his write-up. Does doing a Burt Reynolds article appeal at all to you, Lebeau?


  64. lebeau u said richard gere cant be on here cause at certain age u dont expect an actor to be a list burt is older then gere yet u think he be a good candidate keaton is only 2 years younger then yet u expect him to be a list robin before he died u expected him to be a list.yet hes only 2 years older aronold is only 1 year younger then gere stallone is 3 years older yet u expect him to be a list


  65. Jennifer Grey – the nosejob, may I say more?
    Lou Diamond Phillips
    Kelly Lynch


    • I added Grey and Phillips to the poll. The poll is the longest its ever been. Should be enough to keep me busy for a while to come.


      • Are you working on the Liv Tyler one? You’ve had this poll up for a really long time and she’s been in first place every time I check but you keep coming out with other celebs that didn’t rank as high. Of course I love all the writeups, but Liv was my top choice when I first saw the poll. It has perplexed me because she was doing so well then dropped off the face of the earth, and she was too young for it to be Hollywood’s disdain of aging actresses.


        • I have done some preliminary research on Tyler. But I haven’t put pen to paper. I came really close to starting her article earlier this year and then I realized she was in the HBO show, The Leftovers. So I put her on hold to see what that did for her profile.

          Sometimes, I follow the poll results exactly. Sometimes, I don’t follow them at all. If I get excited about a subject, I just go ahead and write it. But since I updated the poll with the mega-long listing yesterday, I’m going to at least try to follow it for the next few articles. We’ll see where that takes us.

          I appreciate your patience with regards to Tyler. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to have a Tyler article posted this year. I’m sure she will come before a lot of the names currently included on the poll.


  66. Since I see Kate Hudson’s name on the poll for future WTHHT subjects:

    Saw these photos and got to thinking…what happened with Kate Hudson’s career? She went from Promising Young Movie Star to Bad RomCom Girl to Small Part on TV/Fashion Girl. Current IMDB roster looks weak. Parallels with Katherine Heigl inevitably pop up in my head, and yet KH doesn’t have any personal reputation issues. So…where should she go next? And where does she WANT to go?


    Let’s call this prospectus How to Lose a Career in 10 Days. It’s not quite that bad, of course—Kate Hudson is still working, after all—but there is no denying that she has never lived up to the promise of Almost Famous. Personally, I think that movie is overrated and I am in no way surprised Hudson’s career has dwindled so much. Hudson is a likeable screen presence and she benefitted from Cameron Crowe’s director’s crush making her look as good as possible. But no other director has ever managed to make her as convincing as Crowe did, nor has Hudson particularly applied herself over the years.

    The number one culprit of what went wrong with Kate Hudson is romantic comedies. Following Almost Famous, she made seven rom-coms plus two other movies that prominently featured romantic plots but leaned a little more heavily on the comedy part of the equation (Raising Helen and You, Me and Dupree). That’s nine romantic movies in as many years, and none of them were good. A few, however, did make money, led by How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which made over $100 million domestically—Hudson’s biggest hit to date is ten years old. So here are the two principal problems for Hudson: 1) She does not make good movies, and 2) she can’t be counted on to deliver box office.

    Obviously she wised up to the first fact, because in 2009 and 2010 she attempted to make serious, award-baity movies with Nine and The Killer Inside Me. Both movies were flops and neither was particularly well received—though to be fair, Nine did net Penelope Cruz an Oscar nomination, which seems counter-intuitive because overall the reviews were pretty terrible—so they didn’t do anything to distinguish Hudson or revive her reputation as a serious actress. How did she follow up back to back losses? More romantic comedies. A Little Bit of Heaven and Something Borrowed are two of Hudson’s lowest-rated movies; Heaven was damn near direct to DVD. So the dramas didn’t work out and she’s completely depleted public goodwill with too many sh*tty rom-coms—what’s left?

    Television! Hudson has a recurring role on Glee, but where that was headline news for Gwyneth Paltrow, I was not aware of Hudson’s involvement until I started researching for this prospectus. Maybe TV isn’t working out so well, or maybe it’s just Glee. Maybe another show—perhaps a starring vehicle?—would do more for her profile and reputation. But she isn’t pursuing a TV gig. No, Hudson is working back-to-back on movies, focusing on indies. It’s not a bad call—she has to remind people that one time thirteen years ago they thought she was a good actress—but none of the films are particularly notable. Wish I Was Here ought to be good for some press coverage because it’s Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded project, but the movie itself isn’t lighting my fire. It sounds like Garden State with Kids.

    Hudson’s partner in romantic comedy crime, Matthew McConaughey, has undergone a career revival over the last couple years, so it is doable. But McConaughey is actually a really good actor who was just lazy for a while and then woke up one day and decided he wanted to be a real actor again. I’m not sold on Hudson possessing that kind of talent. She has so many connections, got a great start in the industry, and has had opportunity after opportunity, but she has not shown any real ability to do anything other than be adorable.

    Clearly she’s strategizing, choosing indie fare that could boost her credibility, but will it matter when she hasn’t made a proper good movie in over a decade? And that’s if you’re being generous and counting Almost Famous as a good movie. (I don’t, but I accept I’m in the minority on that.) Nepotism comes up a lot in Hollywood, and while it can totally give you a leg up starting out, eventually you have to be able to deliver.


    • Derailed Film Stars: Kate Hudson’s Career in Chaos:

      Kate Hudson burst onto the scene at the turn of the century with some stellar bloodlines as the daughter of Goldie Hawn. For a time, it appeared that the actress might be able to outshine her famous parent, especially when she notched an Academy Award nomination when she was just 22-years-old. A lot of poor role choices followed, however, and these days she’s far more visible with her lifestyle brand, Fabletics, than with her acting. Where did things go off the rails for Hudson? Pretty much as soon as she stopped playing characters named after Beatles songs.

      Almost Penny Lane

      Hudson lived up to her mother’s legacy with her turn in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film. In one of her first high-profile roles, Hudson plays soulful groupie Penny Lane, who casts a spell on both a budding journalist (Patrick Fugit) and the rock star (Billy Crudup) he’s following for a story. Hudson keeps Penny from ever feeling pathetic and makes it perfectly plausible that the sexy hanger-on would be the wisest of the bunch. The role earned the actress an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

      Something Borrowed Dance Moves

      Hudson does vapid just fine as Darcy in the film version of Emily Giffin’s novel. As the self-centered BFF of Ginnifer Goodwin’s single lawyer, Hudson is charmingly flighty, even as she steps all over her friend. The audience might be initially happy that Goodwin steals back Darcy’s fiance, the guy that she’s always secretly loved. Hudson’s hurt reaction to the betrayal, though, is real enough to make you rethink how to feel about the whole thing. Of course, the film’s real selling point is the sweet dance moves that Hudson and Goodwin show off to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It.”

      Career Day with Dupree

      Hudson’s career was already curving the wrong way before she signed on to co-star with Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon in the Russo Brothers’ attempt at Farrelly Brothers hijinks. Hudson has the thankless role as Dillon’s new wife, who makes the mistake of letting his best friend, Dupree, move in with them. With another high-profile movie star, Michael Douglas, playing her father, literally dozens of actresses could have stepped in for Hudson and it wouldn’t have mattered. The actress also ended up in an affair with Wilson that ended her marriage to The Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson.

      How to Lose an ‘Alright’ Guy

      Prior to the “McConaissance,” being in a Matthew McConaughey film wasn’t always great for an actor’s career. Hudson found that out in this rom-com that saw her magazine writer try to lose Mr. Alright as research for an article, while he tries to woe her to win a bet. The set-up is meant to be Rock Hudson-Doris Day-style charming, but neither Hudson nor McConaughey had enough built-in goodwill with the audience to make that work. Instead, it became just another of the cookie cutter romances that nearly killed the genre.

      Raising Helen Not Hope

      Actually, at one point Hudson and Katherine Heigl seemed to have some sort of bet going on about who could be in more middling romantic comedies. In Garry Marshall’s Raising Helen, Hudson’s party girl finds herself suddenly thrust into the role of mother to her orphaned nieces and nephew, played by Hayden Panettiere and Abigail and Spencer Breslin. Of course, Hudson both finds her way and finds love with a hunky pastor (John Corbett). As is usually the case in Marshall’s films, the talent level of the cast — which in this case includes Helen Mirren, Joan Cusack and Felicity Huffman — far outstrips the originality of the script.


  67. dennis quaid paltrow spacey gere hugh grant


  68. I have been reading your blog all day. It’s addictive! Love the writing style and the links. I now know where Billy Zane went. Hope he comes back!

    Thanks for putting this out.


    • Thanks, Finoa! That is my favorite thing to hear from readers. The site is designed to be a time-killer. I’m glad you are enjoying it. As always, there’s more to come!


  69. grant who career is dying spacey post oscar films bomb exception of horrible bosses and 21 tobey maguire too i guess cusack hasnt done anything good in forver qauid keeps making crap jackie chan


  70. Lebeau, I have a great idea for an article for you in the next few weeks. How about….. Best Comebacks of 2014. I’ve been following your blog for a couple years now, but this is the first time I can think of where we actually had career comebacks for some of your WTTH members. And there’s been a few.

    Jim Carrey: A one-time box office champion, Dumb and Dumber Too has made $84M domestically so far, giving him his first legitimate hit as a lead actor in several years. No not quite a blockbuster, but on the other hand you can’t sneeze at a $84 million (and counting) box office take for a modestly budgeted film. Also, It proves that there still is an audience out there for Jim Carrey, in the right vehicle. I’ll call that a win.

    Kevin Costner: His comeback isn’t as impressive as Carrey’s this year, but yet he did come back from career hell with a couple of lead roles in theatrical films like 3 Days To Kill, Draft Day, and a supporting role in the franchise film Jack Ryan. The fact that all three films underperformed shouldn’t take away that Costner did have a respectable comeback for a guy that just a couple years ago was forgotten. Thank you, Hatfields and McCoys, I’m sure Costner is saying this year.

    Keanu Reeves: John Wick was a respectable, middle-of-the-road box office hit, but most surprisingly the film received quite a number of solid reviews by professional movie critics. And these guys see countless movies each year, you would think their natural cynicism would just destroy a film that on paper sounds like a run-of-the mill revenge flick. “You killed my dog, now I’m going to kill you” doesn’t sound like an amazing premise for a film, but the film critics responded positively. It holds a 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You know what? When this hits home video, I will actually have to check this one out. Well done, Keanu, a.k.a. “Cool breeze over mountains”.

    Reese Witherspoon: Though the last several years have been spotty for Reese, she appears to be on a big upswing with her current starring film, Wild. Left and right, critics are praising her performance, with major buzz surrounding her for a probable Oscar nod for her performance. Place your bets now kids, you will probably come out ahead if you’re betting on her. Since the film has just released and her Oscar buzz is just now starting, it limits her claim for the desired “1st Annual Lebeau Comeback of the Year Award”, however.

    Edward Norton: I’m leading up to the big one here, but Edward Norton has a considerable supporting role in Birdman. Even though most of us haven’t seen this one yet, Birdman is virtually guaranteed a place among the Best Picture nominees at this years’ Academy Awards. Every major outlet says so. Entertainment Weekly says the two films you can bet your bottom dollar get the Best Picture nomination are Boyhood and Birdman. And Edward Norton has a supporting role in this. The one downside, really, is that despite the critical acclaim for Birdman, I haven’t heard his name thrown around as much. Which leads us to:

    Michael Keaton. This guy is sort of a big deal. Just ask Entertainment Weekly. They proclaimed him with their coveted “Best Comeback Of The Year” title for starring in Birdman. Many critics predict that Keaton is the front-runner for an Academy Award for Best Actor. I would bet my bottom dollar he at least gets a nomination for Best Actor, no matter what. So far Birdman has been a critical darling; perhaps a few official Oscar nominations are what the film needs to really break through commercially. Once the Oscar noms come out in January, expect a bigger theatrical push (and bigger box office) for this film.

    What do you say, Lebeau? Do you like the idea of a Best Comebacks of 2014 article? If nothing else, Michael Keaton could get the desired Lebeau Bump which could possibly be enough to get him to that desired Oscar nomination. Do you like the idea?


    • I have been thinking along the same lines. Yesterday, I went back and updated a lot of articles for actors who had movies in 2014. There were an awful lot of them even though I had made some updates over the course of the year. Kathleen Turner returned to the big screen in Dumb and Dumber To. I was surprised by how much screen time she actually got. Rene Russo had a pretty substantial comeback in Nightcrawler. Reese Witherspoon may have had the biggest comeback of all producing Gone Girl and Wild. She’s reinvented herself as a mogul. That’s on top of all the ones you listed and some actors whose comeback attempts fell short (anyone in The Expendables 3 for example). Heck, Heather Graham had a pretty decent mini-resurgence with a bunch of independent movies and two TV movies on Lifetime plus a recurring role on Californication.

      I’m thinking there will be some kind of WTHH Year in Review. Probably in early Jan. I have a WTHH article about 80% done and I want to get that out before year end.

      And hey, thanks for reading all these years! Looking forward to 2015!


      • That does sound like a good article concept (the review for 2014).
        I’m now feeling vaguely guilty because the promised December article on Jason Bateman has clearly not materialized.. fortunately, no one is missing it. I still think it’s a good premise for “A List” given his career trajectory from sitcoms to movies and now as a director. “Bad Words” while irritating in places, demonstrates his considerable talent.


        • I would actually prefer a 2014 Year In Review article in January of next year or so, this way the year is truly over, numbers can be tallied and the dust has mostly settled, except for maybe Oscar season. To be honest it kind of annoys me when websites and magazines have their final say or publish sales charts for the year in December. Entertainment Weekly had a chart in their mid-December issue showing the Top 10 highest grossing films of the year, and the Top 10 best selling albums. I’m shaking my head going “the year isn’t over yet!” So a final look back in January or so sounds great to me. Depending on when the Oscar noms are announced, that might fit in nicely with your Year In Review since Michael Keaton and Reese WItherspoon are likely to receive major award nominations, a capper on great years for them.


        • I know what you mean. Sometimes you see Best of Lists starting in November before a lot of the prestige pictures have even hit theaters!


        • You thought of Mischa Barton for your list?? She went from supporting parts in Notting Hill & The Sixth Sense to a featured role on TV’s The OC & seemed poised for a breakthrough in some key indies,but let boozing & partying drive her into straight to DVD hell of late!!! Should check her out sometime!!!


        • She’s a candidate. But she was more of a TV star than a movie star. For a short time, everyone expected her to cross over into movies. But that never really happened.


        • Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?

          There have been rumors that Ryan Reynolds doesn’t like his partner’s career to overshadow his, which is what led to the breakup of he and Scarlett Johannson’s marriage. So as soon as Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got married and all of a sudden she didn’t have any roles anymore, it gave a little credence to the rumor.


        • Is Blake Lively’s Marriage Hurting Her Career?

          In all the ways that an untouchably beautiful fairy can be a whole generation’s spirit animal, Blake Lively is ours. But ever since she got married to the man of her/our dreams, we’ve been a little bit concerned. We’re not saying if we were in Blake Lively’s Louboutins we wouldn’t have gotten all up in Martha Stewart’s magazine head and put together a dream wedding to Ryan Reynolds, or whatever. But lookie here, girlfriend needs to straighten up and fly right, and here’s why:

          Gossip Girl ended over a month ago, and hasn’t filmed since October, but what has Blake been doing? Oh, just hanging with her BFFs (all the designers in the world) and being pretty and making rare appearances and occasionally flying off to Paris with her hot husband. But what hasn’t she been doing? Movies. TV. Anything related to acting, so far as we know.

          In fact, Blake has NOTHING going on in the world of make believe these days, and we’re having a little bit of a nervy b about it. Although GG wasn’t the greatest show ever on TV (yeah, we said it), now is the time for Blake to capitalize on her fame, and not just the celebrity that is related to being married to one, or being gorgeous. Being the face of Gucci’s perfume is hardly a full-time job.

          We know what you’re thinking: maybe she’s pregnant. No, she’s not. At least, not unless she’s one of those girls whose pregnancy is in, like, their small intestine or she has exclusive claims on the kind of Spanx that hold in a fetus: Spabies, they’re called. So, what’s Ryan Reynolds up to? Hanging out at home, getting to know his hot wife in more than the biblical sense?

          Not so much. According to his IMDb profile, Ryguy currently has one movie completed, one in post-production, one filming, two in pre-production, and two more announced. Which is… a lot. Could he be the reason behind her slow work schedule? Ex-wife Scarlett Johannson only made three movies total in the three years she was with him, whereas before and after she made several each year.

          So, what’s the deal with Blake? What — or who — is keeping her from making movies? And is her marriage to blame for her career’s apparent halt? Weigh in with all your feelings below.


        • Is Ryan Reynolds ‘controlling’ Blake Lively’s career, wardrobe & workouts?

          When Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds split up, I was not surprised. Even though I think ScarJo was partially to blame – she was too young to settle down, she wasn’t honest with Ryan about who she was and is – I always thought that Ryan must be a piece of work in private. He just seems… I don’t know… like he wants a very “traditional” marriage with 1950s gender roles. He wants to find a girl with big boobs who will make him dinner every night and cater to his every whim. That kind of “traditional”. And some people thought he found that with Blake Lively.

          Since getting with Ryan, Blake has barely worked – she basically just finished out her Gossip Girl contract and that’s it. She’s been following him around as he films his projects, and she’s been decorating their homes and God knows, she’s probably going to get pregnant at some point. And all of that is fine, unless she’s just changing who she is to make Ryan happy, to cater to his every whim. Which is what Star Magazine claims:

          Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are starting to feel the consequences of their quickie wedding – because, according to sources, Ryan’s major control issues are starting to show!

          After secretly tying the knot last September, Ryan has halted Blake’s work schedule, has taken control of her wardrobe and constantly forces her to work out with him.

          “Ryan was very loving and sweet to Blake before they married,” says the pal. But not long after they said their vows, his demeanor started to change.”

          Ryan’s behavior is even reminding his bride of the toxic relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

          “She’s concerned,” continues the pal. “She can’t keep living like this.”


        • Wonder should Ryan needs to be on this list,perhaps????


        • He’s definitely in a slump. But he’s not a lost cause yet. Deadpool could help revitalize his career.


  71. Recall the hype on Camilla Belle??? She was poised to be another IT girl given her striking
    looks,but Push & 10,000 BC never lived up to the buzz & is currently stuck in low-budget hell!
    Wonder what went wrong with that girl????


  72. I think her looks got her in pictures, or that she has bad taste in scripts (a remake of “When a Stranger Calls”? Personally, I didn’t think the original starring Carol Kane and Charles Durning was very good. I think it had a decent beginning and finale, but nothing in between). The only film that I viewed her in that I liked was “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”.


  73. Two of Tom Cruise’s love interests on-screen and off:

    His Top Gun leading lady, Kelly McGillis
    His first ex-wife, Mimi Rogers


    • I could pass on Mimi Rogers. But I really do like the idea of a Kelly McGillis write-up, Leo, good call. Witness in 1985 (the 8th biggest box office hit of the year), Top Gun in 1986 (the #1 box office hit of the year) and The Accused (a solid box office and critical hit). For a couple years McGillis really was on a roll, wasn’t she? She seemed for a moment on the verge of possibly hitting the A list. Then she practically disappeared from the mainstream. That’s what WTHH is all about, isn’t it? I would love a McGillis write up some day, LeBeau.


      • Be prepared to be depressed. You can expect to see McGillis relatively soon. During 2015, I’m going to try to focus on actors from the years 1985 and 1995. That won’t always be the case. But I like to hit big anniversaries when possible. If I don’t get to McGillis for some reason this year, I’ll HAVE to get her for the anniversary of Top Gun next year.


        • Within the next year or so for McGillis works for me. I’m totally cool with waiting a bit for her. Now, running with that idea of doing anniversary write-ups, if you’ll indulge me then I can extrapolate from that we might finally see a big Burt Reynolds write up in 2017, for the 20th anniversary of his comeback with Boogie Nights? Yes, I’m still burning a candle for the Burt Reynolds WTHH treatment…. one day I keep telling myself, one day…..


        • A Burt Reynolds article would be epic for sure.


  74. With the failure of Mortdecai(his 4th dud in as many flicks of late!),is Johnny Depp fast
    becoming bait for this list,perhaps?????


    • Here’s the thing: Did anyone think Mordecai wouldn’t bomb? It had bomb written all over it. It’s one of those movies you wonder how the hell it even got made. And the fact that it was being dumped in the elephant graveyard of Nov tells you everything you need to know.

      Depp fits the criteria for the series in the sense that his once great career is flagging. Both commercially and creatively, he is in a slump. But it will be a while before I write him up. All it takes is one hit and he’s back on top. And he’s going to have plenty of at-bats. He’s still A-list. You can have a string of bombs that lasts a decade (John Travolta basically did) and still be A-list. He’s still in demand. I can’t write him off yet or he’ll pull a Matthew McConaughey.


  75. ryan reyonds should be on the list


  76. Oscar winner Dianne Wiest on hard times of late……..


    • Cursed Oscar Winners Struggle for Roles:

      The Academy Awards is a time where the brightest and best in Hollywood gather to reward their own. While many fans consider it just a place where Hollywood royalty can pat each other on the backs, it is also an event where actors and actresses can get noticed and break out, using their awards to catapult their careers. However, there are also cases where an Oscar winner will find his career on a downward spiral, falling to the notorious Oscar curse. These actors and actresses start to find it hard to get good work after their nominations, whether it’s because they become hard to work with after their newfound prestige or just plain bad luck.

      Here is a look at actors and actresses who have struggled finding respectable work since heading to the Oscars, either as a winner or as a nominee.

      The 87th Annual Academy Awards hosted by Neil Patrick Harris airs Sunday Feb 22 on ABC at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT

      Mo’Nique (2010) Best Supporting Actress – Precious

      Mo’Nique sat down for a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter and broke the news that the Hollywood community has “blackballed” her since her 2010 Oscar win and won’t work with her anymore. It was a bit of a surprise because she was fantastic in the Lee Daniels’ movie Precious – her performance winning her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. But it was actually Daniels who broke the news to Mo’Nique that she’d been “blackballed.” The actress claims she’s being shunned because she won’t play the Hollywood game of promoting herself, and also mentioned she is a blue collar girl who won’t let anyone take advantage of her. Daniels himself gave a statement saying, “Mo’nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community.”

      Cuba Gooding Jr. (1997) Best Supporting Actor – Jerry Maguire

      It was a slight shock when Cuba Gooding Jr. won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for his performance in Jerry Maguire. His character was a loud-mouthed football star who wanted a big contract and kept yelling out “show me the money!” Unlike many of the names on this list, Gooding was not blacklisted because he was hard to work with; he just was just a one-hit wonder when it came to the Oscar win. Since that win, most of his Hollywood output has consisted of straight-to-DVD action movies and comedies.

      Dianne Wiest (1987) – Best Supporting Actress – Hannah and Her Sisters

      Dianne Wiest has won two Oscars in her acting career, the first for Hannah and Her Sisters and the second for Bullets Over Broadway. Last month, Wiest did an interview where she said that she was going to have to move out of her apartment because she can no longer afford to pay rent. What happened? According to Wiest, she has only been offered movie roles as a “nice mom” and that is all, except for stage performances. For an actress with fan favorite roles in Edward Scissorhands and The Lost Boys in her past, as well as a two-year run on Law & Order, it is puzzling indeed.

      Russell Crowe (2001) – Best Actor – Gladiator

      At one time, Russell Crowe was set up to be the next big thing. He was an Oscar nominee for three straight years, picking up a nomination for The Insider, winning the Oscar for Gladiator and then picking up a nomination for A Beautiful Mind. He has not earned a nomination since 2002 and many of his more recent movies are average at best. Many believe his demotion in the Hollywood hierarchy came due to his difficulty when it comes to dealing with other people. He has earned a reputation as a Prima Donna on film sets, even calleing George Clooney a “sellout” at one point, and possessing a sharp temper that he’s not afraid to show.

      Edward Norton (1997) – Best Supporting Actor (nomination) – Primal Fear

      There are actors who, despite their difficulty to work with, continue to get work thanks to their immense talent. Edward Norton is one of those actors. He achieved success very early in his career with an Oscar nomination for Primal Fear. He followed that up two years later with a nomination for American History X, but that proved to be his final nomination until 2015, when he picked one up for Birdman. American History X is the movie where the problems began. He actually succeeded in getting director Tony Kaye kicked out of the editing room and edited the movie together the way he wanted it to look. Kaye quit directing for years because of his experience with Norton. Later, Norton was part of the new Marvel movie world as The Hulk, but he pulled the same control freak attitude and was fired and replaced by Mark Ruffalo when Hulk returned for The Avengers.

      Gwyneth Paltrow (1999) – Best Actress – Shakespeare in Love

      It is a good thing that Gwyneth Paltrow has her Avengers role as Pepper Potts in her back pocket, because she hasn’t really found a lot of success since winning an Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love. While she is a great actress, and has turned in some great roles since that performance, she hasn’t really seen the success one might expect from an Oscar winner. Much of that might be because of her attitude, which is seen as cold and impersonal. The word on the Marvel sets is that she refused to speak to Scarlett Johansson, who she saw as competition, and always worked to avoid her throughout the shoot.

      Sharon Stone (1996) – Best Actress (nomination) – Casino

      In 1992, the world fell in love with Sharon Stone thanks to her role in the thriller Basic Instinct. It seemed she had the world in her hands and picked up her first Oscar nomination in 1996 for her supporting role in Casino for Martin Scorsese. That was not only her only Oscar nomination but one of her final major Hollywood movie roles. Even after two decades of small to average roles, Stone still remains a Diva onset, as evident by complaints from director Pupi Avati, who directed her in Golden Boy last year.

      Alec Baldwin (2004) – Best Supporting Actor (nomination) – The Cooler

      In 2008, the Hollywood memoir What Just Happened was adapted for the big screen with Robert De Niro starring as a Hollywood producer who struggled through getting his new movie made despite all the mounting problems. One of the problems was an actor who turned into a raging, angry Prima Donna, threatening to disrupt the entire film. That role was played by Bruce Willis, which is ironic considering he has been accused of being difficult over the years as well. However, the fictional role he played was based on the real-life experiences of the movie The Edge and Alec Baldwin was the culprit in that production. With only one Oscar nomination, despite numerous amazing performances, Baldwin still struggles to find Hollywood work thanks to his difficult demands.

      Kim Basinger (1998) – Best Supporting Actress – LA Confidential

      Kim Basinger won an Oscar for her performance in the fantastic Noir film LA Confidential, but what happened afterwards that is puzzling. She didn’t star in another movie for three years, and unlike her husband at the time, Alec Baldwin, it wasn’t because of a poor attitude or a difficulty to work with. For Basinger, it might be the curse of growing older as a female in Hollywood. Outside of a solid turn as Eminem’s mother in 8 Mile, nothing since LA Confidential has set the world on fire and the former sex symbol has been relegated to small supporting roles.

      Marlon Brando (1955) – Best Actor – On the Waterfront

      If there is one actor that proved being extremely talented meant little if they were difficult to work with, it was Marlon Brando. He picked up an amazing eight Oscar nominations, winning twice, but proved to be so difficult to work with that directors often had to fight and plead with producers just to be allowed to cast him. He won his second Oscar for The Godfather, but the studio didn’t want him to star in the movie, believing that he was more trouble than he was worth. He refused to memorize his lines and demanded that cue cards be held up so he could just read them during the scenes. By the end of his career, almost no one wanted to work with him.


  77. Speaking of Burt Reynolds: Lebeau, I really liked your “Smokey and the Bender” joke.


    • Basically once one proves they aren’t the next Meryl Streep or Dustin Hoffman, their stock goes down or so it seems. Cuba Gooding Jr is a good example. He goes from an Oscar to starring in direct to video BS. In some ways I suspect that after you have that Oscar you’re expected to repeat that success in each subsequent movie and that’s impossible. Gene Hackman was a great actor. But he didn’t give an Oscar worthy performance in every movie he made, even if all of his performances were at least good. Same with Denzel Washington. Hackman and Washington haven’t fallen into that trap while the likes of Gooding did.

      Even if this hadn’t happened I suspect that Mo’Nique’s time on the A-list would have been brief. She definitely deserved the Oscar she did receive. But as an actress, her range might be limited. Even if it isn’t, she’s still more a character actress than a leading woman. I was annoyed that Streeo beat Viola Davis for the best actress Oscar in The Help (hers and Octiavia Spencer’s performances were the best things about that overpraised movie). But in hindsight I wonder if that might have meant greater career longevity for Davis.


      • It was extraordinarily bad form for her to talk about how she was chosen as an Oscar winner and to praise the result (her own win) during her acceptance speech.

        I honestly was confused by how little chatter there was on the topic.

        Does she deserve to lose her livelihood over it? No, but you can bet that if it left a bad taste in my mouth as a viewer that the folks in Hollywood who would naturally take it more personally might hold a small grudge.


  78. With half of the Brat Pack already been done (Demi, Molly, Emilio, Judd) and two of them not yet been reached (Ally, Anthony), let’s pray that Andrew McCarthy gets the story he really treasures!


  79. I’d like to see Ally Sheedy; she probably my favorite of that group (Judd Nelson is right there as well), and I really think her career could have been more (I thought she was good in 1983’s “Bad Boys”), but got lumped into the whole “Brat Pack” deal.


  80. After posting this article to the comments section for Eddie Murphy’s WTHTT page, would his “48HRs” co-star, Nick Nolte make a good WTHHT subject? I hope because Nolte is over 70 now (Chevy Chase is I believe the oldest WTHHT subject thus far) if I’m not mistaken, that makes him ineligible because his career is “too long” (hence why Burt Reynolds hasn’t gotten one just yet):

    I wonder if part of the issue here is that this is the moment Nolte’s career began to falter, and he was in this sequel with a known scene-stealer, and he probably wanted people to notice his performance more than or at least as much as Murphy’s in the second film. So the portrayal of his character was diluted and dulled, in an attempted move toward likability.

    I mean, Nolte was so good and his career so hot for so long, including award-worthy performances in things like ‘North Dallas Forty’ and ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain’, and off-beat choices like ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Cannery Row’, along with blockbusters like ‘The Deep’. And after A48H he still did ‘Cape Fear’, for example. But the easy part of the ride was over, and he may have seen A48H as a springboard to bigger, better roles. But in the process, he sort of lost what was appealing about him. His voice went into the shi**er, his movie star looks, well, he just stopped even trying, didn’t he? And even today he’ll pop up in unusual places and roles, but it just feels like A48H was a turning point and he knew it.


    • I wouldn’t say Nolte or Reynolds is ineligible per se. They are just a lot more work. Never say never. It would make for a fascinating article I’m sure.


  81. Why Rachel McAdams Never Became A Big Movie Star:

    The would-be big trailer drop last Friday morning was for Southpaw, the Antoine Fuqua-directed boxing drama. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a down-on-his-luck boxer who must dig deep to get his career back on track and reclaim custody of his young daughter. Late-July release date aside, the Weinstein Company release feels like a would-be Oscar bait biopic almost to the point of self-parody. If you saw the trailer, you probably noticed Rachel McAdams as the “girl” in the picture. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate, as she gets killed in the first third of the trailer, which in turn sends Gyllenhaal into a downward spiral. There was a moment ten years ago when she seemed primed to be the next big female movie star. But now she gets “fridged” in male-centric melodramas and gets to be ”the girl cop” in True Detective season 2, which is quickly becoming something of a career rehab home for former movie stars and would-be movie stars who never quite made the sell. I have written so very much about the lack of female-led multiplex releases over the last decade or so, and I have long believed would-be “It Girl” McAdams to be among its primary victims. You can’t be the next great movie star when Hollywood isn’t making movies for you to star in.

    The situation isn’t all that different from Jason Statham, who became a B-movie action god in an era when there were few A-level action movies to aspire to. Rachel McAdams had the bad luck to spring to stardom just as the so-called female-centric studio release was becoming something of an endangered species. She of course came to fame in 2004 and 2005 with a flurry of high profile vehicles. She was, in 2004, a defining villain in Mean Girls and the co-lead in the generational romantic drama classic The Notebook. She had three major roles in 2005, including the heroic lead in Wes Craven’s Red Eye, a supporting role in the Sarah Jessica Parker-led ensemble The Family Stone, and the “prize to be won” romantic interest in New Line Cinema/Time Warner Inc.’s Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy smash The Wedding Crashers. Take one guess which role would come to define the next decade of would-be stardom. She took a break from acting for a couple years and returned in two low-budget independent films. Married Life was a martial fidelity drama starring Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and McAdams as the would-be temptress. The Lucky Ones (Lions Gate Entertainment) was an underrated and little-seen drama co-starring Tim Robbins and Michael Pena about three Iraq war vets adjusting to life after service.

    She returned to so-called mainstream movies in 2009 and it is at this point the pattern began to emerge. By 2008/2009 we were seeing a real lack of not just female-centric films but movies that required more than one role for a woman matching McAdams’s respective gender and/or age. She is a young blogger journalist in the (terrific) Russell Crowe/Ben Affleck/Helen Mirren/Robin Wright thriller State of Play (Universal) who exists mostly to be schooled on the purity of old-school journalism and she was “the girl” in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes for Warner Bros. She reprised that role in a glorified cameo for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, because the film didn’t have room for two major female roles and Noomi Rapace taking that slot this time. She was the co-lead in The Time Traveler’s Wife in 2009 (even though for all intents-and-purposes it is Eric Bana’s story) and she co-starred as a memory-impaired young spouse alongside Channing Tatum in The Vow. She did have a genuine lead vehicle in 2010, starring as an ambitious morning show producer trying to work with Harrison Ford’s cantankerous news vet in Morning Glory.

    And aside from Brian DePalma’s blink-and-you-miss it 2013 erotic indie drama with Noomi Rapace entitled Passion, that’s it for lead roles or even arguably co-starring roles for Ms. McAdams. She played the girl-to-be-discarded in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and one of Ben Affleck’s handful of would-be love interests Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, played “the girl” in the father/son time-travel drama About Time, and was basically the only woman in an otherwise male-centric ensemble in A Most Wanted Man, which was notable for being Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final starring role. Her output for 2015 involves being the one woman in a sea of dudes (Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, and Billy Crudup) in the “Boston Globe investigates Catholic Church sex scandals” drama Spotlight, being the married former lover of star Bradley Cooper as he also “bonds” with Emma Stone in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha for Sony, and the aforementioned “gets accidentally shot so Jake Gyllenhaal can have a sad” role in Southpaw. Oh, and she’s also in the cast of True Detective season 2 as the lone female cop in a cast that includes Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch.

    The vast majority of McAdams’s mainstream roles in her post-stardom career have been “the girl” in an otherwise male-dominated cast. That is arguably because that was becoming even more of the so-called status-quo right as she was becoming a would-be movie star. Her relative lack of mainstream starring vehicles is mostly due to the fact that so few female-centric star vehicles get made in Hollywood anymore. There are few female-centric films that get made in Hollywood, especially the kind of somewhat melodramatic dramas or thrillers that used to give someone like Ashley Judd a career. The kind of mainstream films, be they romantic comedies, family melodramas, and everything in-between, that once starred Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are all-but-extinct in modern Hollywood. The Hollywood of the 1990′s had room for Meg Ryan vehicles, Sandra Bullock vehicles, and Julia Roberts vehicles with room to spare. They were romantic comedies like French Kiss, family melodramas like Something to Talk About, or even supernatural comedies like Practical Magic. Those films don’t get made anymore, to the point where now even something like a female-driven romantic comedy like Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck is considered a “big deal.” One you age out of the young-adult literary adaptations and/or the newest live-action adaptation of a Walt Disney animated feature, you’re basically stuck playing “the girl.” And just as importantly, the male-centric films that do get made usually have room for just one or two major female roles in the cast.

    Not to pick on Spotlight, but six talented male actors all get meaty roles in that upcoming production, but there was only room for one actress. Hollywood movies like The Fighter have room for both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale but room for only one Amy Adams. The Judge has room for Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, and but no roles for women save “love interest” (Vera Farmiga) and “love interest’s hot daughter” (Leighton Meester). The Imitation Game has fourteen male roles listed on the IMDB front page but room enough in its narrative for only one actress (Keira Knightley) in anything resembling a major role. Rachel McAdams may-well have had a varied and busy mainstream Hollywood career if she had come of age in a time when films like Working Girl or Postcards from the Edge weren’t considered a statistical impossibility.

    I have no idea if Rachel McAdams cares about the choices she has been offered and the choices she has accepted, and her best work may yet still be in front of her (I’m certainly hopeful for Cameron Crowe’s Aloha). Frankly I am using her career as a springboard for a broader discussion with no desire to cast her unwillingly as a victim of systematic inequity. But I cannot help but wonder how she feels about getting her start ten years ago playing the girlfriend to second-banana Bradley Cooper only to be, ten years later, still playing his (potential) love interest while he is one of the biggest movie stars around and she has no real mainstream star vehicles to choose from. One cannot help but think of Kristen Scott Thomas, who played the age-appropriate love interest to Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient in 1996 but in 2013 played the mother of Ralph Fiennes’s love interest in The Invisible Woman. The would-be tragedy of Rachel McAdams, once the most promising actress of her generation doomed mostly to playing girlfriends and token females in male-centric ensembles, is indicative of how our gender equity in mainstream Hollywood has gotten worse rather than better.


  82. David Akiva Klionsky

    I nominate Elizabeth McGovern for the WTHHT treatment…she is barely remembered today, yet she did many high-profile movies in the 80’s (RAGTIME, SHE’S HAVING A BABY, RACING WITH THE MOON). She currently stars on the popular DOWNTON ABBEY.


    • That’s an excellent suggestion. I have considered McGovern before. I wasn’t aware she was on Downton Abbey. I’m sure we’ll get around to her sooner or later.



  83. I really liked her in “The Bedroom Window” (hey, I really like “The Bedroom Window”; it has a great view); she played a real spitfire type of character. I think was good in “Once Upon a Time in America” as well. I was aware of her role in “Downtown Abbey” (I heard that it is in its final season), and also feel that this was an excellent suggestion (I’m still waiting on Diane Lane though:-).


    • Diane Lane is always right there on the periphery. She’ll make the series, I just don’t know when.

      Oakleya77 has an article in the hopper. It should be posted later this week. I’m not sure if I will have a new WTHH article myself this month what with my vacation plans and all. I am currently reworking one or more older articles. At least one of them will probably be reposted as they are getting pretty extensive additions. So, that’s what’s happening in What the Hell Happened. 😉


  84. David Akiva Klionsky

    WTHHT Joan Cusack? She was never a big star like her little brother, but she always improved ANY film she was in!


    • No question.

      I put Joan Cusack in the category of character actor which means I’m unlikely to ever feature her in WTHH. The problem with character actors is that they are in far more projects due to the nature of the work. So doing a comprehensive look at the career of a character actor is a daunting task. I have considered at some point doing another series looking back at the careers of character actors because they can be really fascinating. But I’m not sure they fit the WTHH concept. Usually character actors just keep chugging along delivering interesting performances in movies that may or may not be worth of them.


  85. forrestbracket

    iam surprised dennis quaid is not in here


  86. forrestbracket

    charlie sheen should be o n there


  87. I’m sure this has been asked before, but what about Shia LeBouf? I know there is still some speculation that his bizarre behavior is some sort of performance art piece, but it has gone on so long that at this point even if he admitted he was pulling a Joaquin Phoenix it seems unlikely he could get back to where he was. I remember after Eagle Eye hit there were people who were seriously talking about him being the next Will Smith.


    • I was prepared to write up LaBeouf around this time last year. But there have been signs that he could be returning to relevance. Certainly not headlining something like Transformers. At least not yet. As young as he is, I won’t rule it out at some point in the future. Unlikely? Yes. But possible. In the meanwhile, LaBeouf is on my radar. But he’s not currently one of my top candidates.


      • Shia LaBeouf’s “day” so to speak (he has basically become the male variant Lindsay Lohan, a one time Disney star turned promising young adult actor, turned nutcase), is coming regarding a WTHHT retrospective if you ask me. It’s just that just like the case of somebody like Charlie Sheen, LaBeouf is kind of a “it’s too obvious” choice.


        • I get the comparison, but I would argue that Shia was much more of a box office draw than Lindsay Lohan ever was. Back in 2007, with no movie stars attached to draw people in, Disturbia still earned $80M domestically, a strong showing for a $20M budgeted film with no stars. Spielberg saw star potential, and cast him in that summer’s Transformers, which overperformed with $319M, good enough for 3rd biggest hit of 2007. Spielberg casts Shia in Indy 4 as Indy’s son in 2008’s Crystal Skull, good enough for 3rd biggest film of the year also. Shia’s already making a name for himself in huge hits. Later that year, Shia gets the chance to prove his box office potential as the lead in Eagle Eye, which earns $100M domestically. It proves Shia can be a box office draw all on his own, even if the movie itself is very bland. Isn’t that the truest mark of a box office draw, that they can make even a mediocre film like Eagle Eye a hit among audiences? When a film is naturally great, a large audience will follow, When a film is mediocre but has a star that draws people in to make it a hit otherwise, I would say that’s star power. For a brief moment, Shia had that. The downside is, fame is fleeting and that doesn’t build anything.

          A couple more Transformers movies break the bank of course, but Shia fades further into the background afterwards, because of personal public issues and those sequels are popular crap. Shia can’t build upon that, and becomes a has-been. Pretty sad. Still, I would easily argue that’s more of a career trajectory than Lindsay Lohan ever had.


  88. The Guardian recently did a thing on Cathy Moriaty,the bombshell of Raging Bull……maybe this one U should think in the future!!!!


  89. I know eddie murphy comeback was nutty professor burts was boggie nights. What exactly was conncery. Was it Untouchable i think he was slump before that.


  90. Sean Connery did have an impressive comeback, which can be tied to The Untouchables. He had a supporting role in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but it was a well-received entry in the Indiana Jones series and it became the 2nd biggest box office hit of 1989 only behind Batman, so it definately helped his career. Then Hunt For Red October was big hit for him in 1990, and his comeback was solidified. Connery is a very worthy entry in the Comeback list.


  91. lets not forget hits in 90s like the rock entrapment . Him and jack Nicholson few actors that where a list past 60. No disrespect to connery good actor but not great actor. I find hes ranked a little higher then he deserves. Just a tad overrated. SOme magizines rank him higher then his buddy michael caine who is one of my favorites and i find more talented then sean. He has more range then sean. If you want to talk about impressive comeback michael caine was in huge slump before cider house rules then his 2nd oscar win gave him 2nd career as successful character actor. He should be mentioned more then connery hes better actor.


  92. Hes not the worst actor of his generation he was great in untouchable but hes not the best either. Compare him to actors like jack nicholson ,gene hackman ,dustin hoffman robert duvall and micahel caine he fails in comparison.


  93. Lebeau on your calender for upcoming events I think you’re missing an important one: October 21, 2015…… the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited the faraway future in Back To The Future II. Yes, I find it strange to say that the far off future is now only a bit more than a week away. It might be a fun date to add to the calender though…. and I’ll keep an extra eye out for Marty and the Doc that day, because you never know.


  94. Lebeau, I’m curious about something. When it comes to the main WTTH articles, I’ve heard you mention that you will normally will spend two or three weeks at minimum involved in research for the article before it’s posted. Do you go through rough drafts on the way, and if so how many drafts do you typically do before you’re satisfied with the end result? I’m just curious about the creative process behind the end result.


    • I wouldn’t say I have a rough draft, although gee I probably should. This will probably come as no surprise to my critics, but I don’t put a ton of effort into the writing. A WTHH article is 90% research, 10% writing. The process such as it is has changed over time. When I first started, I was just jotting down a few paragraphs off the top of my head. I didn’t even fact check the first few articles. Now, I fact check everything.

      The skeleton the articles are built on is obviously the filmography of the subject. So I usually start with both the subject’s Wikipedia and IMDB pages. Wikipedia is incomplete or inaccurate more than people think, but the citations are usually helpful. From there, I will branch out. When I see a claim that is unsupported, I go out and look for a comment from someone who was involved one way or another. If I can’t find an independent source, my assumption is that it is an internet rumor and I will treat it accordingly.

      Usually, I will write up a brief intro and then just start plugging away at the filmography looking things up as I go. Sometimes, I will discover something that will cause me to backtrack and fill in an earlier section. But mostly, I start at the beginning and work my way through. There’s not a lot of rewriting involved. What you see is very close to my first thoughts on any given subject.


  95. Is “What the hell happened to” an active file topic anymore.?

    It doesn’t seem like you have had any new additions for a long time


    • That’s a fair question. It’s been dormant. I have been tinkering with some existing articles as well as kicking around some ideas for the future. I think I want to reinvent tge series when it comes back. I keep thinking that is right around the corner, but unfortunately it keeps getting pushed back. There will be new articles, I just don’t know when. I like to think when WTHH returns, it will be better than it has ever been.


    • In the meantime, you can check out my “Whatever Happened To” articles, which are sort of mini-WTHH’s.


    • I too have been wondering if or when we’ll ever get any more What the hell happened to… articles. It has been literally almost a year since the last one (on Kelly McGillis) was posted. I’m not someone who wants to pester Lebeau to write a new one because I figure that he has other things in his life that he has to do that are presumably “more important”. But the WTHHT series pretty much gives this particular blog most of its “flavor”.


      • Much appreciated. It’s true that real life has a tendency to get in the way of my most ambitious blogging plans. When you have kids, you only have so much time for hobbies. And of course my blogging springs out of my interests in other things. Sometimes, I get so busy it’s difficult for me to find time to keep up with my articles, manage the site’s schedule, edit other articles and drop in with comments. I would like to be more active in the comments than I have been over the last month or so.

        With that said, I do consider WTHH to be an important part of this site. There’s a reason it is name dropped on the banner. My thinking is that sometime this summer, I am going to relaunch the series in a format that will be closer to the old articles. They will be shorter and more frequent. There has always been a push and pull regarding how much to include in each article. The early entries were very short and people kept pointing out things they felt should have been included. Now I get feedback that the articles are detailed to the point of being tedious. I’m going to be looking for a happy median.


    • When the time finally comes for the WTHHT series to return, then Cameron Diaz would be a good starting point. She hasn’t been in a movie since 2014. Here is a recent article about Cameron and why she hasn’t been in anything lately.



        [–] howtragic 4 years ago

        I agree with the OP a little. Maybe Julia Ormond consciously decided to do less “Hollywood” roles, but her career has been a little strange, considering. In 1994-1996 she was The Next Big Thing in Hollywood. She had a kind of fame that was extremely rare. Think of it this way: would any of you find it strange if Jennifer Lawrence was getting only small roles in 7 years? Julia Ormond was the J. Law of her day. She was getting starring roles in big movies across with the biggest leading men of their day. She was basically chosen by Hollywood to be one of those actresses making $10 million a movie. Now maybe she personally rejected that, but there was a streak there in the mid 90s where she made three big Hollywood movies back to back with the biggest male stars of the day. She looked poised to take over Julia Roberts’ spot as the top actress in the world.

        Her career trajectory is a bit mystifying to say the least.


  96. I’ve been reading this series for quite some time and I really enjoy it. I wonder if you’re considering a post where you address allegations that Harvey Weinstein may have played a major role in turning some of the more promising actresses on this list into WTHH case studies? Would love to see you address this.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!


    • I think that at the very least, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino’s WTHHT entries need to be radically updated to reflect the Weinstein news. It’s now generally believed that Harvey Weinstein had a major hand in sandbagging their careers in retaliation for rejecting his advances/speaking up about him.


    • Thanks for reading, Caitlin.

      The one thing I am sure of is that we are going to be talking about Harvey Weinstein’s unconscionable behavior for a long time to come. When news first broke, a light bulb went off. This is WTHH to Mira Sorvino, Ashley Judd and who knows how many other actresses I have written about here. I expect we have only scratched the surface. Here we are months after the initial news story and we’re still feeling shock waves.

      I will definitely address these kinds of things in the future. Not just Weinstein but any similar situations that come to light as well. I will definitely update the WTHH articles on Sorvino and Judd and probably others as information comes to light. There will be more articles to come, but I’m not sure what form they will take. As a guy who has spent a lot of time wondering what happened to these actresses and more, this is a subject that I am very interested in and care a lot about. We will be talking about sexual harassment in Hollywood until it’s no longer an issue. So, probably for the duration of the blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s