12 Celebrities Who Faded Into Obscurity

12 Celebrities Who Faded Into Obscurity
12 Start slideshow

Fame is a cruel mistress. All too many times, we’ve seen actors star in top-grossing movies and generally be on top of the world, and the next second, he or she’s faded into obscurity never to be seen again (except maybe on TMZ’s “memba them?! feature.)

MORE: 10 Big Stars Whose Success Was Trumped By Their More-Famous Partner

For some of these types, celebrity was probably an undue burden—something they might never have really wanted, but something that came with the movie-making territory. For others, it was something dangling above their heads, just beyond reach.

MORE: 50 Actors Who turned Down Famous Roles

Whatever the reason, the 12 once-famous stars we’ve rounded up were at the top of fame mountain at one time and are now, well, lost on its trail, so to speak.

Click through and let us know: Which stars you think deserve to be back in the limelight!

0 Thoughts?
1 of 12

Josh Hartnett

Hartnett was poised to be the next huge Hollywood hearthrob, (the guy dated Scarlett Johanssen, after all). And then? He started parting his hair in the middle. 

Photo: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Mischa Barton

Remember when everyone was obsessed with Mischa on "The O.C."? She did absolutely nothing with that power. 

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

Bridget Fonda 

Fonda starred in one of our favorite action movies, "Point of No Return," and then promptly disappeared. Her last movie role was in 2002. 

Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Mena Suvari

Okay, okay, she's on "Chicago Fire," fine. But we don't watch that show, so it's like we haven't seen her since "American Beauty."

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

Rachel Leigh Cook

Cook played Laney Boggs in the iconic '90s movie "She's All That." These days, she's some TNT series we've never heard of. 

Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Thora Birch

Thora Birch hasn't actually made a movie since she was in the stellar 2010 Lifetime Original Movie about the Gloucester, Massachusetts, pregnancy pact, titled, appropriately, "The Pregnancy Pact." Please watch, if you haven't already. 

Photo: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

Calista Flockhart

Calista played the eponymous "Ally McBeal" for five seasons and then went on to the drama "Brothers and Sisters," which was canceled in 2011. She hasn't done anything since. 

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

She made it big as Meadow Soprano, and played herself on "Entourage," but hasn't really done much since. 

Photo: Mark Davis

Skeet Ulrich

We always thought Ulrich was a little bit Johnny Depp-esque, no? His last major role was on the short-lived "Law & Order: LA" spin-off. Oops. 

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Nick Stahl

Stahl starred in HBO's haunting "Carnivale," and then promptly fell into obscurity. He made headlines last year after his wife reported him missing and on drugs (he eventually turned up). 

Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Brandon Routh

Routh starred in the 2006 Superman reboot "Superman Returns" but then ended up doing a couple of TV series rather than more films. His last job was voicing a video game. 

Photo: Barry King/FilmMagic

Sean William Scott

From "Dude Where's My Car?" to "Dude Where's My Career." Sorry, too obvious? 

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Next slideshow starts in 10s

12 Impractical Chanel Accessories

12 Impractical Chanel

Promoted Stories