One day, someone can be on top of the world; known and beloved by all with millions of dollars in the bank. Then, suddenly, it seems that that person disappeared for one reason or another. The roles stopped coming without any public explanation and the average person was no longer interested in their careers.
Not everyone can stay at the top for decades in the same way that actors or musicians like Tom Hanks, Paul McCartney, or a handful of others. Today we’ll focus on those that had a sudden rise to the A-list only to see themselves fade into obscurity or burn out completely. Here are the rises and falls of five celebrities and a look at their careers.
Lindsay Lohan was destined to become a star when she was a child, appearing in commercials left and right while modeling for several notable companies. Her acting career really took off in 1998 when she starred as both twins in the film “The Parent Trap”. She went on to star in massive hit films like “Freaky Friday”, “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”, and “Mean Girls”.
Lohan began focusing on more mature roles, but the height of her career was met with a long list of legal issues including multiple DUIs. She had been subject to substance abuse for years, and many major film studios were afraid to work with her. Though she has had small roles in film and television, Lohan is nowhere near the star she once was.
The story of Amanda Bynes is similar to the one of Lindsay Lohan. Both had been child stars, with Bynes appearing on Nickelodeon. She was on “All That” and got her own series, “The Amanda Show”, before briefly becoming a major movie star. Some of her biggest roles included “Easy A” and “She’s the Man”, but after 2010, she disappeared from acting, mostly due to personal issues.
Bynes was slapped with multiple arrests, including a DUI in 2012 that started off her long list of troubles. Bynes had said that she was the victim of abuse but backtracked on those statements. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after more arrests including starting a fire and more issues on the road. Bynes noted that she became addicted to drugs, and any attempts at an acting return have been halted.
Another child star to make the list, Macaulay Culkin became one of the highest-grossing actors in the world during the early 1990s thanks to a pair of “Home Alone” movies to go along with films such as “My Girl”, “The Good Son”, and “Richie Rich”. By the middle of the decade, though, Culkin was gone. He was 15 years old and said he was tired of acting, and wanted to do music instead.
Because his music career didn’t take off, many assumed that Culkin had gone off the rails. While he did appear to be partying a bit hard at times, it wasn’t anything out-of-the-ordinary for someone in their late teens or early 20s. Things turned out fine for Culkin, who has two children with actress Brenda Song.
It didn’t take long for Brendan Fraser to become a star thanks to his role in “Encino Man”, which led him to take on top billing for movies like “Airheads”, “George of the Jungle”, and “Bedazzled”. However, it was his starring role in “The Mummy” that made him a megastar, but by the time the sequel was released, he was seemingly gone from the public eye and it wouldn’t be until the 2020s that he truly made his big return, winning an Oscar for “The Whale”.
Fraser had gone through a divorce at the height of his career that saw him get slammed with unaffordable alimony payments. He also required multiple surgeries due to physically demanding acting roles and said that he was blacklisted from Hollywood because he spoke out against HFPA head Philip Berk sexually assaulting him. Thankfully, Fraser got back into the spotlight after telling his story.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Not all stories have to have a sad ending, thankfully. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was all that young people could talk about during the 1990s thanks to his role on the television series “Home Improvement” as well as his movie roles in “The Lion King”, “Man of the House”, and “Tom and Huck” to name a few. After having a couple of TV movies to start the 2000s, though, “JTT” left acting.
So why did the former child star suddenly vanish in adulthood? Don’t worry, he didn’t run into a long list of personal problems. Instead, he decided he would rather go to college, receiving degrees from both Harvard and Columbia Universities. Thankfully, he has made a couple of brief cameos in acting since then, but he’s mostly focused on academics and is on the board of the SAG-AFTRA Union.