We all slip up at work from time to time, but when $100 million budgets depend on your bankability, it’s a completely different matter. For Hollywood actors, then, one bad movie is often all it takes to end a career, as shown by these 20 unfortunate cases.
20. Halle Berry – Catwoman (2004)
Having earned an Oscar in 2002 for Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry seemed destined for greatness in the early 2000s. However, critics took to 2004’s Catwoman like a cat to a scratching post, resulting in Berry – who won a Razzie for her efforts – losing the critical adulation and leading roles she might otherwise have gained.
19. Elizabeth Berkley – Showgirls (1995)
Many teen stars are eager to shake off their squeaky-clean image, but former Saved by the Bell actress Elizabeth Berkley lost more than her wholesome reputation with erotic drama Showgirls. In fact, Berkley’s racy – and critically panned – performance didn’t result in further roles, and her career bombed in the years following this 1995 dud.
18. Hayden Christensen – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is often considered to be among the series’ worst elements. And while many actors strive to prove their haters wrong, Christensen couldn’t help fading into obscurity following the release of the series’ finale – Revenge of the Sith – in 2005.
17. Mike Myers – The Love Guru (2008)
Though Austin Powers made him the ’90s’ funniest man, 2008’s The Love Guru saw Mike Myers finally losing his mojo. Indeed, this Hindu-centered comedy was savaged by critics and accused of racism and garnered three Razzie Awards for Myers, whose only live-action movie part since was a brief appearance in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds.
16. Demi Moore – Striptease (1996)
While she’s now arguably best known for her headline grabbing marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore was once a respected and bankable actress. That changed, however, with 1996’s Striptease, a sex comedy that was neither sexy nor funny, and which left Moore picking up whatever scraps she could get.
15. Jamie Kennedy – Son of the Mask (2005)
Jamie Kennedy had big shoes to fill when he replaced Jim Carrey in a sequel to 1994’s The Mask. Unfortunately, Kennedy didn’t make the grade in Son of the Mask: the comedian’s performance won a Stinkers Bad Movie Award and netted him a one-way ticket to Hollywood limbo.
14. Warren Beatty – Town & Country (2001)
Even screen legends aren’t safe from vengeful film producers, and despite the star having a career stretching back to the 1960s, Warren Beatty’s acting days came to an end after 2001’s Town & Country. The widely panned comedy lost studio New Line Cinema as much as $125 million, and Beatty hasn’t worked since.
13. Chris Klein – Rollerball (2002)
Despite starring in comedies like American Pie, Chris Klein took a gamble with his career when he took on serious sci-fi flick Rollerball in 2002. Alas, the risk wasn’t worth the reward, and – with the film losing some $70 million – Klein’s folly would see him written out of his previous franchise.
12. Eddie Murphy – The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Eddie Murphy’s fortunes began to dwindle after he starred in ill-judged 2002 sci-fi flick The Adventures of Pluto Nash – a film that lost a staggering $93 million upon release. And while the comedian hasn’t exactly dropped off the radar, further duds like Norbit and Meet Dave prove that he’s no longer leading man material.
11. Geena Davis – Cutthroat Island (1995)
Before Johnny Depp made pirates cool, Geena Davis took a stab at the genre with 1995’s Cutthroat Island – though her effort sank without a trace. The $98 million wreck made just $10 million, and Davis – who has had only supporting and TV roles since – walked the plank for her mistake.
10. C. Thomas Howell – Soul Man (1986)
How C. Thomas Powell ever thought appearing in Soul Man would be a good idea is beyond belief. In this 1986 comedy, Howell’s portrayal of a white man pretending to be black – by blacking up and eating watermelon, among other things – naturally caused outrage, leaving the former Brat Pack star to carve a future in supporting, TV and reality roles.
9. Lori Petty – Tank Girl (1995)
Big things were expected of Lori Petty, thanks to roles in successful films like Point Break, but a leading part in 1995 flop Tank Girl stopped her career in its tracks. Though Petty has provided voice-over work and directed since then, it’s small change considering what a star she could have been.
8. Alicia Silverstone – Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman & Robin is considered one of the worst superhero movies of all time, but most of its stars came out the other side unscathed. Unlike George Clooney or Uma Thurman, however, Alicia Silverstone didn’t manage to bounce back from the 1997 critical dud and has since mostly stuck to TV.
7. Dana Carvey – The Master of Disguise (2002)
Dana Carvey tried to break away from his most famous role in Wayne’s World with 2002’s The Master of Disguise, and the results were disastrous. The film currently boasts a measly 1 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and its sheer awfulness left Carvey out of work for years.
6. Heather Graham – Killing Me Softly (2002)
Appearing in racy material is always a risky move, and Heather Graham’s career certainly suffered after she starred in erotic thriller Killing Me Softly. The actress languished in the independent circuit after the film’s 2002 release, and her most notable role since then saw her playing a stripper in The Hangover franchise.
5. Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
It’s understandable that Sharon Stone wanted to star in Basic Instinct 2, given the success that its 1992 predecessor enjoyed. However, this 2006 Razzie Worst Picture winner proved to be the final blow to her career – following a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actress for Catwoman – leading the actress to take on “humiliating” roles in Law & Order as a result.
4. Roberto Benigni – Pinocchio (2002)
While he won an Oscar for his role in 1997’s Life is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni fell far from grace with his subsequent film, Pinocchio. Critics were creeped out by Benigni’s performance, and the Italian actor has only made four further movies following this 2002 turkey’s release.
3. Taylor Lautner – Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
Though his film career may arguably be in its infancy, Taylor Lautner seems unable to escape the shadow of his breakout role in the Twilight series. Lautner faced a critical mauling for his lead role in Abduction, and since Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in 2012, he hasn’t fared well in Hollywood, seeing as his biggest recent part was in U.K. sitcom Cuckoo.
2. Faye Dunaway – Mommie Dearest (1981)
Faye Dunaway’s scathing portrayal of beloved screen icon Joan Crawford in 1981’s Mommie Dearest made the star deeply unpopular in Hollywood. Reportedly, the actress holds a grudge against the biopic for almost ruining her career, and she steadfastly refuses to discuss it in interviews to this day.
1. Brendan Fraser – Furry Vengeance (2010)
Brendan Fraser’s star had slowly been on the wane since 1999’s The Mummy, but it was Furry Vengeance 11 years later that proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Unloved by both audiences and critics, this 2010 comedy showed that this once promising actor’s leading days were over.