Top 10 Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

7:49 am 16 May, 2013


They say once a movie star always a movie star, popular or not. There is something about this industry which makes it impossible to be away from limelight. So inspite of the passage of expiry dates or shelf lives, stars try to regain their lost position. Sometimes they succeed at once while at times they fail repeatedly. While failure is the stepping stone to success, on occasion they stretch this aphorism slightly more than one would desire. Let’s have a look at some of the stars who faced failed comebacks, some stopping at that while others trying further till success was theirs.

10. Joaquin Phoenix:

You would probably remember him from his portrayal of Commodus in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator. After that he climbed a few more notches up the critical acclaim ladder with his portrayal of musician Johnny Cash in the 2005 biographical film Walk the Line. Following a 5 year hiatus, his comeback film in 2010 was I’m Still Here which was not really a deal maker! This not so memorable comeback however was thankfully followed by the acclaimed film The Master.

Joaquin Phoenix - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

9. Lindsay Lohan:

You would remember the small girl who played the characters of the twins in The Parent Trap, don’t you? Unfortunately though, the actress of the Mean Girls fame took some wrong turns in her life which harmed her career substantially. She is known today more for her drunken driving exploits or her recurrent trips to jails. Her attempt to make a comeback through Machete failed and she is still on the lookout for a decent comeback.

Lindsay Lohan - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

8. John Travolta:

John Travolta doesn’t need any introduction, does he? Saturday Night Fever and Grease are perhaps the two movies that catapulted him to Celebrity land. However, his career went for a tailspin after that. Every time he attempted to make a comeback he failed as was the case with his Look Who’s Talking movies. No doubt he landed with Pulp Fiction next but let’s just say that all of his previous ‘comeback’ films were not worth mentioning!

John Travolta - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

7. Madhuri Dixit:


One of the top actresses in Bollywood in the 90s, she took a sabbatical from work after marriage in 2002. It was through the 2007 movie Aaja Nachle that she made her comeback. But considering the repertoire of successful films she was used to; this was a weak performer on the box office. The movie which was touted as her comeback failed to work its magic at the box office.

Madhuri Dixit - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

6. Tom Cruise:

There was a time when Tom Cruise was known for his films like Top Gun, Rain Man or A Few Good Man. But after a string of not so ‘great’ movies and the Oprah ‘couch jumping’ episode, his popularity slumped like a plummeting rocket. He surely tried different things to resurrect his career which had been overshadowed by scientology and his personal life but it’s safe to say that all his movies including the ‘Mission Impossible series’, Tropic Thunder or Jack Reacher have only been mediocre till date!

Tom Cruise - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

5. Macaulay Culkin:

Remember the adorable kid in some of the Home Alone movies? Yes, the cute and enduring Macaulay Culkin. He was the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple. But his movies as an adult ‘Party Monster’ followed by ‘Saved!’ failed to provide him the same footing in the industry as he had enjoyed as a child actor.

Macaulay Culkin - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

4. Amitabh Bachchan:

Surely he is one of the most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. While he enjoyed exceptional success in the 70s and the early 80s; the subsequent period till the early 90s saw his star power fading. It was in 1997 that Amitabh Bachchan made a comeback from his retirement with Mrityudata but that was a massive failure. It was only later with character roles that he regained his lost prominence again.

Amitabh Bachchan - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

3. Sharon Stone:

Her best role so far was probably the erotic thriller Basic Instinct by Paul Verhoeven, which won her international acclaim and fame. She attempted a return to the mainstream with films like Cold Creek Manor and Catwoman but both the films ended up being duds. Perhaps she should have quit when she was at her prime!

Sharon Stone - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

2. Winona Ryder:

From her first significant role in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice in 1988 that earned her both critical and commercial acclaim to Girl Interrupted in 1999, she had won hearts the world over. But then with the shoplifting incident in 2001 and her subsequent arrest, she faded into oblivion. Though few of her movies released in between like ‘A Scanner Darkly’, ‘Sex and Death 101’ and ‘The Ten’, it never earned her the accolades or the lead roles that she had once commanded. The best she got was a supporting role in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

Winona Ryder - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors

1. Mel Gibson:

Mel Gibson is an American actor, movie director, producer and screenwriter, who is probably best known for Braveheart and the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon series. However, inspite of being an audience favorite his charm failed to work after the scandals involving drunken, sexist, racist ranting and his former wife. His movies Edge of Darkness and The Beaver failed to produce any result that validated his legendary stature.

Mel Gibson - Failed Comebacks of Legendary Actors



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