Can You Believe These Not-So-Famous Actors Used To Be Household Names?
In the real world, most people try their hardest to obtain their dreams, taking a page out of Idina Menzel’s book and “Let(ting) it Go” when things don’t work out as planned. But some celebrities can’t seem to figure that notion out, unwilling to believe they’ve had their final curtain call.
Stars like Nick Cannon and Hilary Duff are trying to make their old television shows hip again, while Katherine Heigl swapped rom-coms for TV. But there are also stars like Cameron Diaz who walk away from Hollywood in favor of family time. Whatever the reason, these celebrities just aren’t famous anymore.
The “winning” actor Charlie Sheen isn’t necessarily making people laugh anymore. After being fired from Two and a Half Men and having his show Anger Management canceled due to his health, Sheen hasn’t been in any notable series or films. Unless you count the roller coaster and drama that fuels his day-to-day life, Sheen isn’t really winning anymore.
The actor has had a slew of legal issues, including money battles with his ex-wives and assault allegations by former co-stars, among other things. And, on top of all that, he is struggling with health issues.
Although Mel Gibson is slowly making his way out of the gutter, the actor-turned-director was blacklisted in Hollywood for almost a decade. No one wanted to work with the man after he spewed a few questionable remarks, not to mention the “issues” with his then-girlfriend.
Then, in 2014, Robert Downey Jr. and a few other people advocated for Gibson, saying he should be forgiven for his past indiscretions. After his directorial excellence on the film Hacksaw Ridge, people in the industry were eager to work with the “has been” again. This period is known as “the thaw” for Gibson. Hopefully, he can keep up the momentum!
As a member of the Frat Pack, we’ve seen Owen Wilson star in more than one great comedy. Wedding Crashers, anyone? While the actor definitely has steady work, no one really looks forward to seeing him starring in films or television shows like they used to.
It also doesn’t help that Wilson’s personal life is a bit offputting. But that’s his business, so we can’t fault him too much. Surprisingly, the actor is going to appear in the Disney+ series Loki, so we guess we should be welcoming Wilson to MCU television.
Let’s face it, the Brat Pack days are way in the past, and Demi Moore needs to get that through her head. The actress hasn’t really had any notable roles in years, but she did take some time off from Hollywood. In 1997, Moore retreated to Hailey, Idaho, to raise her daughters, which is admirable.
The actress didn’t come back into the limelight for three years. By the time she decided to get back on screen, it was too late. Moore wasn’t be offered high-profile roles, but art-house films and supporting parts. It’s safe to say the heyday of Demi Moore is ending.
Singer and actress Christina Milian signed to Def Jam Records at the young age of 19. From there, she went on to have a few hit singles on the Billboard chart and even starred in a few films, including Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. Alas, all good things have to come to an end.
After disappearing for some time, Milian did what a lot of former famous people do: she starred in her own reality show. The good news for Milian is that it kind of worked. In 2019, she starred in a critically acclaimed Netflix film called Falling in Love (not going to lie, we’re curious).
Fergie saw a lot of success with both her group The Black Eyed Peas and during her solo career, mainly her album The Dutchess. In both instances, the singer had chart-toppers, but her popularity didn’t last into the age of Ariana Grande and Queen B, despite Fergie’s efforts.
In 2018, the singer released Double Dutchess, hoping that it would take off like its predecessor. It didn’t. The album and her departure from the Black Eyed Peas that year were the start of her career decline. The thing is, she should have left all her cards on the table with the first album and kept her Fergalicious nature evergreen.
Hotel heiress Paris Hilton isn’t all “that hot” to fans anymore. Once, Hilton was one of the queens of reality television, playing an overly exaggerated version of herself alongside Nicole Richie in the series The Simple Life. But let’s not forget about the leaked homemade tape of her and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon that surfaced shortly after the reality show aired.
Honestly, when that’s what made you popular, there’s no way fame is going to last. Recently, Hilton has been dabbling in a bit of modeling. But other than that, the heiress isn’t hard-hitting news as she once was.
One upon a time, Katherine Heigl starred in many a rom-com film. Now, she’s nothing more than a mere afterthought when we’re watching The Ugly Truth on Netflix or old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. But Heigl never got the memo that her days as an Emmy Award-winner are behind her.
Recently, the actress hasn’t been doing much but working on her re-occurring role on the USA television legal series Suits. And, as of 2020, she is scheduled to star in a new series called Firefly Lane. Needless to say, no film producers have been knocking on her door.
Kat Von D
Alright, Kat Von D, it’s time to pack up your tattoo supplies and makeup bag because you’re not getting the memo that your show has been canceled, and your beauty line has been sold and rebranded. That’s right; on January 16, 2020, the tattoo artist sold her makeup line to its parent company Kendo Brands.
The makeup line is now called KVD Vegan Beauty, with the KVD not standing for Kat Von D but rather “Kindness, Vegan Beauty, and Discovery (and Doing Good).” That’s quite the shift in popularity, going from a high-profile reality tattoo artist to being disassociated from your own brand.
If you read the header and asked yourself “who in the world is that?” you’re most likely not the only one. Aubrey O’Day’s time as a reality star on Making the Band and girl group member is far in the past. The ex-Danity Kane member has since fallen out of fashion, having her most recent appearance being on Celebrity Big Brother.
Now, if people recognize her name, it’s not for her work on television or because of her singing skills. Nope, it’s because of her alleged affair with a certain someone. Don’t worry, the two believe they’re soulmates, according to O’Day.
Rapper Tekashi69 was bound to fall out of fashion, with his aggressive style of music, rainbow hair, and a slew of legal issues. The thing is, he was doing alright in the music scene for a while…. until he got caught up in major gang activity and wound up in prison, that is.
After testifying against violent gang members and making “snitch” jokes, its doubtful Tekashi69’s stardom will ever be the same. And the rapper should realize that signing a two-album record deal while locked in prison isn’t going to help his current situation or career.
Bow Wow was a child star of the early 2000s. He had a few hit songs and starred in various blockbuster movies, including Like Mike. The thing is, Bow Wow is lucky to have started as a child star and still have some semblance of fame in the music industry.
But he can’t seem to stop pretending he’s way more famous than his C-list status. Let’s go back to a certain picture that Bow Wow captioned as his private plane ride to New York. Not even an hour later, someone snaps a picture of the rapper on a commercial plane, sitting in coach with the rest of the normal folk.
Was Nick Cannon once a relevant person on MTV? Yes. Is he still relevant? No. Then why in the world is the man still trying to release new music and prolonging his show Wild ‘n Out? Honestly, Cannon, give the people a break! Ever since the actor/singer decided to leave America’s Got Talent, his career has taken a significant hit, and he doesn’t know when to take a step back and reevaluate.
And can someone please tell Nick Cannon to stop releasing diss tracks regarding Eminem? If he’s trying to get his music career off the ground, that is certainly not the way to go about it.
Scott Disick is just another person to fall into the 15 minutes of fame that comes with being associated with the Kardashian family. Like many before him, Disick’s few minutes in the limelight are very much up, so it’s not surprising that the man doesn’t even have a Wiki page.
Ever since his split with Kourtney K, Disick has tried his hardest to stay in the coveted group of Hollywood A-listers. It didn’t really work out for him. His reality show Flip it like Disick only lasted one season before being canceled. Disick should just cut his losses and come to terms with the fact that he was only famous because of Kourtney.
Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki, became famous during her time on the MTV reality show Jersey Shore. From there, people couldn’t get enough of her personality, hair poof, and the orange skin tone she proudly wore. But like most reality stars, she faded with time.
Thankfully, it looks like she got the hint, deciding not to return for the 2020 season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, much to the dismay of her co-stars. Honestly, they should all follow Snooki’s example. Does anyone even watch that show anymore? We thought it was a 2010 fad.
Jonathan Cheban AKA Foodgod
We would honestly be surprised if you knew the name Jonathan Cheban. The reality star didn’t come into the spotlight until his appearance on Keeping up with the Kardashians. On the show, he is featured as one of the Kardashian sisters’ friends. He even went on to appear in a bunch of their spin-offs.
Ironically, in 2012, Cheban made a parody of himself, talking about living in the shadows of Kardashian fame. Too bad that is exactly what happened. Cheban hasn’t done anything of note since his own reality series, The Spin Crowd, flopped. But in 2019, he legally changed his name to Foodgod, so there’s that.
Actress Hilary Duff was a huge star in the early 2000s due to her hit Disney Chanel show Lizzie McGuire. She piggy-backed off her own popularity, starring in a few blockbuster films and even producing some hit singles. Then, she all but disappeared from the spotlight.
The thing is, people would have been fine with Duff leaving Hollywood in the past, but she just had to go and agree to do a Lizzie McGuire reboot. This is not what dreams are made of, Hilary. Take your fall from fame with grace, and please don’t call the paparazzi on yourself again, it looks really bad.
Blac Chyna is another person who thinks they’re more famous than they actually are because of the Kardashians. Chyna is a bit different than Foodgod, though, only because she happens to be the mother of Rob Kardashian’s child. But that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get a reality check.
The model honestly hasn’t done anything noteworthy in years. Unless you count publicly feuding with Rob Kardashian or making a boatload of money running a business that sells fake eyelashes. Even so, Chyna needs to realize she’s not exactly what one would categorize as A-list famous.
The singer Katy Perry rose to fame almost overnight with the release of her 2008 album One of the Boys. Songs such as “Teenage Dream,” “California Girls,” and “I Kissed a Girl” became instant sensations for teens everywhere. But things cooled down for the “Hot ‘N Cold” singer in recent years.
Musically speaking, Perry’s most recent album, Witness, was met with mixed reviews, and her most notable appearance has been as a judge for the reboot of America’s Got Talent. Otherwise, Perry has been enjoying her time with fiance Orlando Bloom as they get ready to welcome their first child. So, at least she’s not pushing for her former fame.
Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Jeremy Piven hasn’t really been relevant since his days on the hit HBO series Entourage. Then, in 2017, his career never really recovered after a few allegations were made towards him, resulting in a polygraph test, a lot of questionable news articles, and legal action.
But that’s not stopping the actor from pretending his still at the top of the Hollywood food chain. In 2019, he appeared on a KTVU morning news segment to promote his stand-up show in San Francisco. We just wish he’d take the “you’re no longer famous” hint and stay home.
Being Brandy’s younger brother and a first cousin to Snoop Dog, one would think Ray J would be a permanently popular artist. But even though he has released a few hits, the rapper never got as far off the ground as his mega-famous family members. But that didn’t stop Ray J from acting like an A-list diva.
Although he is far from being an A-lister, Ray J certainly acts like he doesn’t know he’s not famous anymore. Sorry sir, but your 15 minutes of fame have been up for a while, and no one is going to deal with your diva antics.
Heidi Montag And Spencer Pratt
The dysfunctional duo of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt found fame during their time on the hit reality series The Hills. Now, people loved to hate these two, as they were portrayed as villains in the Lauren Conrad-driven show. The thing is, the wannabe actress doesn’t know when to quit, and Spencer is happy to just ride along on her coattails.
Since Spencer was never considered a “celebrity,” people are confused as to why he’s appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. Then there’s Heidi who just can’t stop talking about her glory days on The Hills. It’s over, deal with it!
For Rob Schneider, the early 2000s were his prime. The actor had many lead roles in comedic films, such as 50 First Dates, Hot Chick, and The Benchwarmers, not to mention his long-time presence on the hit series Saturday Night Live. Schneider was very well-known for a long time.
Since 2017, the actor lost his footing and hasn’t been seen in either film or television series. The last time people see Schneider in front of the camera is during the sitcom Real Rob. It was then that people realized his career wasn’t what it used to be.
There was once a time where you couldn’t tune into Comedy Central without seeing Katt Williams. And while his comedy specials were great in the early 2000s, his heyday of music, acting, and stand-up is pretty much in the wind.
After a four-year hiatus, in 2018, Williams showed back up… on Netflix, of all places. His special Great America actually garnered good reviews, but it still had a lot of people scratching their heads, asking who Kat Williams is since he’s not exactly relevant anymore.
Talk show host Wendy Williams has been nothing but trouble for any studio she’s worked with due to her “shock value” way of talking on the air. Not to say she wasn’t popular for a very long time. Audiences love watching her start fake and exaggerated rumors about celebrities.
But the celebrities she talked about weren’t nearly as amused, and various stars have actually tried to have her show, The Wendy Williams Show, canceled. And considering she has guest stars such as Nick Cannon to fill her slots, it’s safe to say the show is not getting the amount of traffic she’s used to.
Actress Cameron Diaz starred in various roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including Jenny Everdeane in Gangs of New York and the voice of Princess Fiona in the Shrek franchise. Honestly, the blonde-haired beauty was involved in a lot of fun roles. But she made a tough career choice.
2014 marked the end of Diaz’s time in Hollywood. Fans no longer saw the eccentric wide-smile Diaz walking the red carpet or appearing in magazine articles. Instead, the actress traded the glitz and glamour to spend more time with her husband and their children. Now, this is the type of “ex-celebrity” we can get behind.
Ashlee Simpson had everything going for her in the early 2000s. She was the younger, more hard-core counterpart of Jessica Simpson, her older sister, and gave fans a grungier sound. Her debut album Autobiography was the anthem for a lot of pre-teens and teens, making the younger Simpson very popular on the Billboard.
Then, the infamous Saturday Night Live lip-syncing incident of 2004 happened, beginning the decline of Simpson’s popularity. She continued on various projects, even releasing new music. But nothing stuck quite as well as anything the artist did pre-SNL. She should’ve known it was over when magazines wouldn’t buy her wedding photos since Jessica wasn’t in them.
Jaime King was a very popular choice for designers as a go-to model in the late 90s. She was even a fresh face casting directors liked to use for various small roles in films. But aside from being part of Taylor Swift’s “in crowd,” King just isn’t relevant anymore.
Now, the model-turned-actress seems more concerned about maintaining her celebrity status by keeping herself surrounded by A-listers who are wildly more popular than she ever was in her heyday. Sorry, King, but we think it’s time you step away from the cameras that are pointing at your friends.
Does anyone remember the self-proclaimed queen of reality television, Tila Tequila? She made her way to stardom from a little social media platform called MySpace. From there, she took MTV by storm, hosting an array of reality shows, including her own A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
Now, all the ex-reality star does is try to stir up media storms with her wild antics. Sorry, Tequila, but no one is going to pay you any attention when you dress up in a German military uniform from WWII and say dumb things via social media. Needless to say, she’s fallen out of fashion for more than a few fans.
Actress Lindsay Lohan was once considered to be America’s sweetheart. Starring in roles such as The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls had a lot of teens envying the red-headed beauty. But time and bad decisions got the best of Lohan, and her celebrity status took a downward spiral that never really stopped.
After a few run-ins with the law and one too many appointments with a plastic surgeon, Lohan never got her promising career back. Instead, we found her on Mykonos Island in Greece doing some weird dance she tried to patent. Oh, and then she made an MTV reality show about it that never became popular.
For any ’90s kid, Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire were two of the most iconic kid’s films of the decade. Mara Wilson starred in both and could have gone on to a great acting career, but she decided to leave it and focus on writing.
Wilson released her book, “Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame” in 2016. In her spare time, she spends the day writing hilarious Tweets.
Jack Gleeson infuriated fans of Game of Thrones for four seasons as King Joffrey Baratheon. He is known to be one of the greatest villains of all time, and having that title was enough for Gleeson. He also had a brief appearance as a young boy in the Narrows in Batman Begins.
After his time on the show ended in 2013, he announced his retirement from acting to become a student at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
Tony Danza has always had a weird career. Before acting, he was a professional boxer. In 2009, he became a teacher and even had a documentary crew follow his year of teaching a tenth grade English class.
Danza ended up writing a book on his teaching experience called I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had which I think all of us can personally relate to. He’s also dabbled in daytime television.
Kirk Cameron may have been the star of Growing Pains, but no one remembers him because Leonardo DiCaprio arrived on set for the last season. After the show ended, he converted from atheist to fundamentalist Christian writer.
Now he mostly talks about the sins of society, which has caused a lot of backlash from other celebrities. He’s also starred in and produced feature adaptations of the Left Behind book series.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
If women weren’t already in love with Freddie Prinze Jr. thanks to all his 2000-era rom-coms, they are now. The actor left Hollywood and is now an amateur cook. In 2017 he released his first cookbook “Back To The Kitchen.”
If that’s not enough for you, the cookbook includes a forward by his wife of 16 years, Sarah Michelle Gellar. The former star also keeps busy as a voice actor working behind the microphone for animated shows and movies.
Dylan Sprouse went from starring on multiple Disney Channel shows to becoming a total New York art nerd. He got a four-year degree in video game design, then went on to open a brewery, the All-Wise Meadery, in Brooklyn.
His twin brother Cole stars on the CW show Riverdale, so maybe there is a chance Dylan will make a guest appearance. Cole has also made the transition to movies, starring in Five Feet Apart in 2019.
Danielle Fishel is best known for her role as Topanga in Boy Meets World. She was a ’90s superstar who will always be remembered as the girl who went to prom with a still-in-the-closet Lance Bass.
After the show, she became a journalist for PopSugar. But she was brought back to acting in 2014 when she reprised the role of Topanga for Girl Meets World. The Boy Meets World sequel ran for several seasons on Disney Channel.
Kevin Jonas was never the favorite brother when they toured as the Jonas Brothers. When the group dissolved in 2013, Kevin got married, started a family, and completely changed careers.
Kevin is now a contractor whose closest brush with fame was when he made a guest appearance on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Of course, with The Jonas Brothers recently reuniting, this former star could be back on the rise!
Washed up singers must love handiwork and houses, because after Vanilla Ice ran out of songs to steal he got into flipping houses. He’s so into the housing market that he has a TV show and book about his house flipping adventures.
Today, Ice still makes appearances on television, but his fame is mostly in the rearview mirror as he focuses on his real estate businesses. Having reality TV exposure we’re sure has helped!
Rick Moranis left acting for the most wholesome reason. After his wife died of breast cancer in 1997, Moranis completely quit his roles to become a full-time single father. If cash is ever short, Moranis will do occasional voice-over work, but for the most part, he’s coasting on royalties from his past Blockbusters.
There has been a rumor that Moranis may make his long-awaited return to the screen in the recently announced Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! reboot.