10 Actors Whose Careers Never Rebounded

Some people just can't get back to the top, no matter how desperately they cling to fame.

Charlie Sheen

Fame is a fickle little bastard. One minute, you're on top of the world, the next, you're sleeping on it in the subway. In other cases, it's the other way around, working your way from homelessness to leaving imprints on Hollywood Blvd.

There are numerous cases, often too many to list off, of celebrity gone awry, and the reasons behind the rise and fall of our favourites can be funny, tragic, bizarre or a mix of all three. One thing appears to be certain: for celebrity to be achieved, aspects beyond our control must be in place and in working order: cogs and whistles we don't consider during the mechanisms of our day to day lives can drastically alter our status in the world.

Jim Carrey famously said that, had his career been a bust, he'd likely be working at a steel mill on the outskirts of Ontario somewhere - good work if you can get it, but the days are arduous and your co-workers are too tired to care how rubbery your face is.

There are other cases, especially living in a post-youtube universe, where fame is simply underserved. Most of these are flashes in the pan, brief glimpses into a life never lived. As an example - is anyone really spending their free time pondering what that "Chocolate Rain" guy is up to right now?

When Hollywood tries to sell you and fails to succeed, it must be heartbreaking. Here are a few we tend to forget, or at least want to.

10. Errol Flynn

Charlie Sheen
Warner Bros.

It takes an insane level of debauchery to be thrown out of William Randolph Hearst's - a man accused of killing an actor on his yacht - castle, but that was just how Errol Flynn rolled.

Proving that all Australians are crazy on some level, the actor stormed Hollywood as the second coming of Douglas Fairbanks, starring in swashbucklers like The Adventures of Robin Hood and had rule over Hollywood throughout the 30s and 40s.

He also dominated women, some of them underage. Two such women came forward with accusations of statutory rape, but Flynn's power was too strong, humiliating his accusers and proving one got an abortion (illegal at the time). Nevertheless, his career and reputation was never quite the same. Though he did come back to Hollywood, he did his share of traveling in between to shake off the bad vibe his name gave producers.

Most notably, Flynn hooked up with this strange, rebellious cat down in Cuba named Fidel Castro. Both men enjoyed a good cigar, so Flynn was actually the only journalist in-country the night the dictator won the revolution - footage of which was found only in 2009 in a short film he narrated entitled Cuban Story: The Truth About Fidel Castro Revolution - his final work.

There was talk of him appearing in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita - a role that, given his personal viices, would have been ideal, though nothing ever came of it.


Kenny Hedges is carbon-based. So I suppose a simple top 5 in no order will do: Halloween, Crimes and Misdemeanors, L.A. Confidential, Billy Liar, Blow Out He has his own website - thefilmreal.com - and is always looking for new writers with differing views to broaden the discussion.