There are many actors and singers that had amazing careers and turned into legends. But there have been even more whose careers have crashed and burned. Some actors were fired from their own shows for self-destructive behavior. Others were actually victims of someone else ruining their promising career. So which 10 celebrities didn’t reach their full potential? Here are the 12 Hollywood celebrities who had their careers practically killed.
1. Mel Gibson
The movie star saw some huge successes in his career, including winning two Academy Awards for Braveheart. But his career took a turn once he started getting bad press. The actor was recorded leaving a voicemail to the mother of his child saying, “You look like a f***ing bitch in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault.”
He also was arrested for a DUI in 2006. He asked one male police officer, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world … Are you a Jew?” He also asked a female police officer, “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”
The superstar’s career didn’t come to a complete screeching halt. Mel Gibson has done about one project a year since the whole fiasco, but none of his work has brought his status to the level it once was.
2. Isaiah Washington
The actor was a regular on Grey’s Anatomy and played Dr. Preston Burke who was a love interest of one of the main characters. He might still be on the long-running show if he didn’t mess things up. In 2007 he got into a disagreement on-set with cast member, T.R. Knight and called him a fa**ot. Washington’s character was then written off the show. The actor is still working, but not on a hit show like Grey’s Anatomy. He currently plays a recurring character on The 100.
3. Tippi Hedren
Sadly, a lot of women aren’t treated well behind-the-scene in Hollywood. One of the worst case scenarios happened to the star of The Birds and Marnie. According to Hedren, Alfred Hitchcock became obsessed with her and would stare at her in between filming scenes. She, however, wasn’t interested in the director, and that had huge consequences.
“The demands he made on me were so horrible,” the leading lady told Detroit News. “I walked out. I said ‘I’m leaving, I’m out of this contract.'” She went on to claim Hitchcock said, “‘No … you aren’t. And I will ruin your career.'” When other producers and directors wanted her for their projects he reportedly refused. He also didn’t do any publicity for Marnie and refused to let the actress be in the running for the Oscars.
The actress went on to do a few movies, but nothing as highly acclaimed as her first two with the infamous director. She would have probably had a very different career without his intervention.
4. Lindsay Lohan
The redhead was on the track from being a child star to becoming a successful adult actress. From The Parent Trap to Mean Girls she proved that she can kill it in comedy, but the actress unfortunately went down the wrong track. Lohan went to jail more than five times, was in trouble for drunk driving, and reportedly stole a necklace according to Access Hollywood.
Of course this all had an effect on her career when she missed the premiere of Machete due to her legal battles. Since then the actress has been getting bad reviews, is working more in television than big movie projects, and hasn’t been getting as much work overall.
5. Katherine Heigl
Another Grey’s Anatomy alum made the list. Katherine Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens, but things started to go sour when she started making headlines for being difficult. In 2008 she decided not to put her name in the running for the Emmys, and gave a statement that she wasn’t “given the material this season to warrant” the award according to US Weekly. Dissing your own work won’t help your career and will make writers and creators not want to work with you.
Heigl was also the lead in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, but that didn’t stop her from talking negatively about the film while doing press for it. She told Vanity Fair:
[The film is] a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a b*tch. Why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.
The actress is not a desired leading lady for big romantic comedies anymore. She did, however, get somewhat of a second chance with the show State of Affairs, but it was canceled after two seasons.
6. CeeLo Green
The singer and producer’s career was going quite well, with five Grammy wins and a job on The Voice. But all of that crashed when he was accused by a woman of allegedly giving her ecstasy and then raping her. The accuser says this happened in 2012 when she had dinner with him at a sushi restaurant, then woke up the next morning in his bed without any memory of what happened. The rape charges were thrown out due to lack of evidence, according to The Guardian, but the singer worsened the situation with his tweets.
Green tweeted, “Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” He then continued, “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.” He then deleted the tweets and later gave an apology. Green quit The Voice reportedly to avoid being fired, according to The Wrap.
7. O.J. Simpson
The Hall of Fame American football player retired and went on to acting. He was pretty beloved, but his legacy took a turn when his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman were murdered in 1994. The actor was charged with their murder, which led to a crazy car chase, a reveal of his history of domestic abuse, and an exacerbation of the racial divide in the country. The verdict was not guilty, but he couldn’t bounce back from it.
According to sports agent Leigh Steinberg, advertisers wanted nothing to do with him. Simpson wasn’t able to return to acting after the trial and in 2007, he was arrested for robbing a hotel at gun point for his own sports memorabilia. He was found guilty and sentenced up to 33 years in prison, according to Fox News.
8. Shia LaBeouf
The Disney star was on his way to becoming a movie star with the Transformers movies and others. But the more success he gained, the more troubles began coming up in his personal life. The actor was arrested multiple times for public intoxication and for being disruptive in a movie theater. He also was doing some unusual things off-screen.
The actor spent three days watching his own movies in a movie theater as performance art. He also walked the red carpet for his movie Nymphomaniac: Volume I with a brown paper bag over his head that read, “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.” Since all of this, his movie career has slowed down significantly compared to his heyday.
9. Chris Brown
The young singer and dancer was quite talented and on the rise. He had won a Grammy in 2012 for Best R&B Album and started acting in movies like Stomp the Yard and This Christmas. But his seemingly squeaky clean image was ruined when he reportedly beat his girlfriend Rihanna in his sports car. He took a plea deal on the assault case for the incident, leading to five years probation and 180 days in jail or 1,400 hours of community service, according to CNN.
Brown lost endorsement deals and a lot of fans, but his career wasn’t completely over. He went on to make more music, but his personal drama continued when he got into a brawl with Drake and allegedly threw a chair on the set of Good Morning America.
10. Sinead O’Connor
The Irish singer got quite a bit of recognition for her work in the ’80s after her debut album and her take on Prince‘s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” She was invited to perform on Saturday Night Live in 1992 when her career took a big turn. The songwriter decided to use the platform to make a statement. She tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II while singing “evil” in protest of the abuse going on in the Catholic Church. The act got a negative response.
The show banned the singer from ever performing there again. Other celebrities like Madonna spoke out against the singer for the way she protested. Since then O’Connor has continued to make music and even worked with prominent musicians like Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean, and more. But her career certainly hasn’t lifted off like it could have before her protest.
11. Amanda Bynes
The actress seemingly made it from being a child star to a fairly successful adult actress. But that all changed when she got a strange makeover, started sending out sexual tweets, and got arrested for drunk driving. She was also accused of throwing a bong out of her window.
Eventually, she was sent in for an involuntary psychiatric hold. She has since been keeping away from the public eye, and taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. It looks like her acting career is officially over, but she is doing better mentally.
12. Mark Salling
The Glee star probably won’t be acting in the future. He has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, according to E! He has pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, but he still has to go through a trial. The actor hasn’t worked since the end of the show.
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