14 Actors Who Became Absolute Legends With Just One Movie

Sometimes all it takes is a single role to be remembered forever.

It's really, really difficult to make it as an actor. The profession is massively oversubscribed, the wages are often terrible, and Hollywood is very quick to turn on you if your film flops or you speak out of turn. While a very small handful of actors will get to sit on Inside The Actors Studio and listen to James Lipton drooling over their greatest roles, many - who are just as talented - will never get the parts or the recognition they deserve. All of which brings us to today's subject matter: actors or actresses who are known solely or primarily for a single film. While not every actor will enjoy a career that spans decades at the top, every so often the industry throws up an individual who becomes an inescapable part of popular culture with their brief moment in the sun. This can be both a blessing and a curse: actors have always suffered at the hands of type-casting, but in our celebrity-obsessed age, maybe a tiny bit of fame is better than no fame at all. Today we're going through 14 actors and actresses who achieved legendary status through a single role - the cinematic equivalent of a one-hit wonders. Not all of these individuals became legendary in a good sense, and some of them continued to work under the radar long afterwards (like many of the people in my recent Star Wars article). For better or worse, these are the roles for which they are remembered. We'll start our countdown with a twist...

Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast ( and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter ( Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.