Many movie stars pride themselves on being talented for one simple reason: Their success will be directly related to their talents. But many times their success will also depend on the movies they decided to star in, and their social behavior. However, many actors who had appeared in more than their share of unsuccessful movies, or had some troubles in their lives, were able to make huge comebacks.
Here’s a list of the top 5 well-known movie stars who were able to resurrect their careers despite their shortcomings:
Movie Star Career Resurrection #5: Marlon Brando
In the year 1950, when Brando was filming The Men, he became known as the actor who knew how to bring realism to the screen. From here on, Brando appeared in several movies. But despite many Academy Award nominations for his performances, Brando’s fame began to disappear in the 1960s.
The problem was that none of the movies he appeared during the 1960s were major hits. As the years went by, Brando became less known to the public. However, when he accepted to play the role of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Brando was able to turned his acting career around. And on March 24, 1972, with the released of The Godfather, Brando re-established himself as an actor and was able to land more important roles, such as Superman.
Movie Star Career Resurrection #4: John Travolta
Whether he’s starring in musical romantic comedy films or in romantic cowboy movies, John Travolta takes on each of his roles with such dedication. It doesn’t come to a surprise that when his fans think of him, they think of Danny Zuko and his romance with Sandy, not as an ignorant or arrogant actor. But rumor has it that Travolta turned down important lead roles in the 80s because he thought he could do better.
John didn’t do any better after turning down the lead role of An Officer and a Gentleman. After he finished shooting Urban Legend in 1989, his acting career declined. Also, financial failures kept him away from his acting career.
In the 90s, Travolta managed to appear in movies such as Who’s Talking, Look Who’s Talking Too, and Look Who’s Talking Now. Although the public was still interested in him, Travolta still needed a good role.
In 1994, he was able to resurrect his acting career after he landed the role of Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino’s hit Pulp Fiction. The role of Vincent earned him an Academy Award nomination, and many job offers after that.
Movie Star Career Resurrection #3: Mickey Rourke
It seems that turning down lead roles is a common habit among many actors in Hollywood, but Mickey Rourke is the worst offender. Rourke turned down many lead roles because he thought that he could do better as a boxer, or because he thought that many movie directors will always wait for him. He even went as far as turning down a job offer from Tarantino.
In 1994, when he finally decided to give up his career as a boxer, the actor spent the rest of the 90s appearing in several movies. Unfortunately, some of the roles he played were not leading roles. Although his acting career didn’t decline much in the 90s, in 2005, he made a huge comeback in Hollywood by accepting to appear in the movie Sin City. Since then, Rourke has appeared in successful films such as The Wrestler, Iron Man 2, and The Expendables.
Movie Star Career Resurrection #2: Robert John Downey Jr.
This list wouldn’t be complete without him. Downey is the perfect example of an actor who had a great career start but decided that partying and doing drugs was more important than appearing in movies.
Downey was arrested numerous times on drug-related charges and for possession of an unloaded gun. Fortunately, after five years of substance abuse, arrests, rehab, and relapse, the actor was able to beat his drug addiction problems. He made a comeback in the 2000s and appeared in the film Gothika. After Gothika, it became a bit of a slow time again for Robert, that is, until films such as Sherlock Holmes and of course the Iron Man franchise, propelled him back in the spotlight once and for all.
Movie Star Career Resurrection #1: Christopher Lee
If starring as Dracula in a series of horror films didn’t earn Lee great reviews, as an actor he would be in big trouble. However, Lee’s troubles didn’t begin until he appeared in a Disney movie.
In 1978, Lee was severely criticized for appearing in the Disney film Return from Witch Mountain. Movie critics didn’t think that appearing in Disney films was the right move for Lee. However, by accepting to play the role of Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), Lee was able to shut down the critics and became known as the famous actor who had appeared in several cult movies.
After reading this short list, we hope that you’ve come to the conclusion that being an actor isn’t an easy job. They’ve to be willing to tolerate and deal with criticism. And just because many of them decided to turn down famous movie roles, it didn’t necessarily mean that their careers were over.