8 Actors Who Hurt A Friend's Career (And 7 That Saved It)

Friendships bloom in any kind of professional field. The friendships in the entertainment industry, however, grow tighter than others (Or so it seems to us mere mortals anyway). Who else knows the weird hours? The challenging roles? The perils that come when you make it big? Sometimes, these friendships result in some pretty amazing things happening. In the immortal words of the Golden Girls, "Thank you for being a friend."

Of course, the entertainment industry is also a cut-throat game. People will do almost anything in order to get a role or a leg up, including ruining a friend's career. For actors, however, a ruined reputation is just as bad, if not worse, then a ruined career. The industry is small and tightly knit, so a reputation is everything there.

So here are the actors who have ruined their friends careers by whatever method, like poaching a role, snagging a husband, or lashing out on social media. In order for a palate cleanser, we also have the ones who helped a friend out by working together, giving some sage advice, or just being a good person. These are 8 Actors Who Hurt A Friend's Career (And 7 That Saved It).

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15 Hurt: Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano

Charmed fans may be freaking out over the reboot (for better or worse), but this was the original TV bomb back in the day. Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano played sisters Prue and Phoebe Halliwell in the original series. Behind the scenes, however, things weren’t as sisterly. It led to Doherty’s character being killed off at the end of season three. This seemed to be the final nail in the coffin as Doherty had a reputation for being difficult to work with. She never quite enjoyed the same level of fame that she once had. Milano, meanwhile, played Phoebe until the show went off the air and was popular with fans.

Things have been better in recent years, though. The pair apparently reconnected and rebuilt bridges as Doherty battled breast cancer. In 2017, Doherty's cancer went into remission.

14 Helped: Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg

Behold, it’s the weirdest friendship in Hollywood. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg (who is still Snoop Dogg right?) have actually helped each other’s careers remain relevant. While both are household names, neither have really done anything super notable in a while. It’s less of a “saving” and more of a “revitalizing” here. Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party premiered in 2016 on VH1 and it has amassed a pretty loyal audience. Bizarrely enough, Snoop’s presence (and maybe the sheer weird factor) allows Miss Martha to reach an audience who probably only knows her as that lady who went to jail that one time.

Snoop, meanwhile, gets to reach an audience that maybe he normaly wouldn’t have. In addition to new music, he’s releasing a gospel album. So it looks like Martha and the show are pushing him to experiment. Stranger things have happened.

13 Hurt: Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker


If you follow celebrity gossip and scandals, then this is an ongoing minefield of epic proportions. We’ll get back to that drama in a second. Back when Sex and the City was the show, it seemed like the cast were at least friendly with each other, if not friends. In recent years, however, that has not turned out to be the case. Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha, has hit back against everyone pretty hard. The one who has drawn the most ire from the actress, however, is co-star and show lead, Sarah Jessica Parker.

It’s just been going on for a long while now. Much like a car accident, no one can look away. Of course, however, the only person any of this seems to be hurting is well Cattrall. Parker is trying to just press for her second season of Divorce, which is critically acclaimed. And Cattrall is doing…nothing most would have heard nationally. At least we’ll have the reruns, huh?

12 Helped: Seth Rogen and James Franco

Seth Rogen and James Franco in The Interview

Seth Rogen and James Franco are long-time buds and frequent collaborators as well. The pair met on set of the tragically short-lived series, Freaks and Geeks. When the pair reunited on the set of Pineapple Express eight years later, it started a bromance that has lasted since. On the set of the film, according to Rogen, Franco stole a joke that he thought of and was too afraid to do. Now there’s no hard feelings, but it helped sort of break down this creative block in Rogen to just go out there and do.

In his own words, “But these are ideas that will keep you (read: me) happy. The ideas that you (I) look back on and think, “I’m so glad I did that. For better or worse, that’s a true expression of me and my sensibility.” Since then he’s brought about amazing movies and television shows, so it was a lesson well learned.

11 Hurt: Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder

This is probably the shadiest one on the list. Back in the 90s, Paltrow and Ryder were close friends. In 1998, a movie called Shakespeare in Love was released and won a slew of awards (including Best Actress for Paltrow). During the casting process for the film, Ryder was going to audition for the role of Viola de Lesseps. Paltrow found the script for the film in Ryder’s home and called her agent. She essentially snatched the role from Ryder, who at the time had gone through several less than great projects.

Ryder’s attempts at building her star failed and she disappeared from the public eye following a shoplifting incident. Now she’s in Stranger Things and beloved by all. Paltrow has goop and the next two Avengers movies. Needless to say, Ryder recovered but the friendship has long been dead.

10 Helped: Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo

Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo are good friends. Back in 2008, Norton starred as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. Due to some friction on the set, Norton wasn’t coming back for 2012’s The Avengers. Marvel ended up going to Ruffalo to offer the role of Banner. Now since Norton had his troubles with Marvel, Ruffalo went to him for his blessing. Norton gave it to him.

Since then, Ruffalo’s portrayal of the Hulk and Banner has been consistently praised by critics and audiences alike. He’s widely considered to be the best in the role since Bill Bixby had the part. Fans are still clamoring for that Mark Ruffalo starring Hulk movie. It’s all because Norton told his friend he should go for it. Now you can’t get angry about that.

9 Hurt: Lea Michele and Naya Rivera

The cast of Glee had such a squeaky-clean image once upon a time, didn’t they? None more so than Lea Michele, who played Rachel Berry on the show. Well that image came tumbling down thanks to co-star and former friend Naya Rivera. In 2016, Rivera called out Michele in her book Sorry Not Sorry.

Rivera wrote, "As the show progressed, though, that friendship started to break down, especially as Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel—erm, I mean Lea—didn't like sharing the spotlight."

Again, it all comes down to relationships and the small community in Hollywood. While Rivera took time off from acting in order to marry and raise her son, Michele failed to launch a singing career and her ABC show, The Mayor, was recently cancelled. Rivera, however, claims the feud was blown out of proportion.

8 Helped: Robert Downey Jr and Shane Black

Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr on the set of Iron Man 3
Shane Black on the set of Iron Man 3

This is kind of a mutual sort of helping. It’s hard to imagine a time when studios were reluctant to have Robert Downey Jr involved in their projects. Before his rocketing to the A-list in Iron Man, Downey was more known for his addictions than his talent. Shane Black, however, gave the now sober Downey a role in his film Kiss Kiss,Bang Bang, which was an indie picture. Said indie picture caught the eye of director Jon Favreau, who thought Downey was perfect for the role of Tony Stark.

Fast forward a few years later and Favreau declined directing Iron Man 3. Downey suggested his friend Shane Black for the film. It ended being a huge box office draw for Marvel and rocketed Black from indie to major mainstream. Talk about friends who help each other.

7 Hurt: Drake Bell and Josh Peck

Drake Bell and Josh Peck were a regular comedy duo on Nickelodeon. They were first paired together during The Amanda Show. Later, they upgraded to their own series, when it ended it was like the children’s version of Abbott and Costello broke up. Over the years, Josh Peck’s star has definitely risen with projects like Grandfathered. Drake Bell, meanwhile, has voiced Peter Parker for several years.

In recent years, Bell has also been arrested for DUI’s. Peck distanced himself from Bell, possibly for his own career or because they drifted apart. Either way, the fact that Peck didn’t even invite Bell to his wedding raised several eyebrows. It also ignited a brief feud between the two former acting partners. They since said that they made up, but well it definitely didn’t shine-up Bell’s career.

6 Helped: Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan working on Creed

It’s fitting that with the release of Black Panther that these two should make an appearance on the list. Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan have been a powerhouse team in recent years. The latest film on the list is Black Panther, which is the best reviewed Marvel film ever and on track to dominate the box office. Jordan, however, would probably have not been considered for the role due to the failure of Fan4stic where he played Johnny Storm.

Coogler, however, nabbed the director seat for the film. He immediately reached out to Jordan to play the antagonist, Erik Killmonger. Jordan considers this to be a second chance to be part of a superhero property. It’s definitely a sweet redemption considering how he’s being praised for his role.

5 Hurt: Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck

Back in the 90s, Kevin Smith was a name on everyone’s lips along with Ben Affleck. Actually, they both kind of broke onto the scene together. Affleck starred in several of Smith’s films such as Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl, and Dogma. So what happened? Well apparently, Affleck got mega-famous and kind of left Smith in the dust.

In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Smith said: "He's a triple-A-list movie star and [stuff] like that. If he's Jimmy Carter, I'm Billy Carter, to put it in '70s terms. And I'm not even related." While not having Affleck in his films is not a career ruiner, Smith doesn’t really have the power he did in the 90s/early 00s. Meanwhile, Affleck is Batman. Ouch.

4 Helped: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Matt Damon Ben Affleck Project Greenlight

On the flip side to Ben Affleck, there’s the actor’s longtime friendship and partnership with Matt Damon. These two were friends before Hollywood and Damon even surfed on Affleck’s couch after arriving. Together, the two worked on a little indie film called Good Will Hunting. Again, this was more of friends helping each other out over anything else. After the film was released in ’97 to a slew of awards and acclaim, Damon and Affleck both sky-rocketed in stardom.

The pair have never really done anything together since the film. They do, however, continue to work as producers in one of the most well-known friendships and partnerships in Hollywood. To think that all started because two struggling actors worked together in order to make the biggest break of their careers.

3 Hurt: Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor

In this major celebrity tabloid scandal, these two friends were certainly put through the ringer. Reynolds and Taylor were friends since they met at MGM, where both were under contract. While Reynolds was up and coming, Taylor was a staple. Still, they both bonded over the star life and famous husbands: singer Eddie Fisher for Reynolds and producer Mike Todd for Taylor.

Well, after Todd’s death, things got a little heated. Fisher ended up leaving Reynolds for Taylor and became the actress’s fourth husband. The hit definitely went to Reynolds’ reputation in Hollywood. The late actress was the last to know. She said: “I had noticed that when I turned up at functions or parties on my own my friends were whispering.”

The two eventually did patch things up in 1966 and starred in a TV movie written by the late great Carrie Fisher in 2001.

2 Helped: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

This one is definitely like the Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart friendship. Honestly, it makes more sense because they both are entertainers. Before Joanne dropped in 2016, Lady Gaga teamed up with standards singer Tony Bennett to record a duet album together in 2014. This was after a successful duet together for The Lady Is A Tramp. Most of the songs were firmly from Bennett's era of music like Anything Goes or Cheek to Cheek.

It was well received. Gaga got accolades from the older generation while Bennett became better known to the younger crowd. The album built more of a cross generational bridge between the two disparate fan groups. Plus they just sound good together. It also helped Lady Gaga secure that Christmas special which transitioned her into acting more.

1 Hurt: Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton

Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton were a regular double act back in the day. Who doesn’t remember when The Simple Life fever swept the nation? Needless to say, they both needed the other to kind of stay relevant. It didn’t last long. The two long time best friends fell out when, apparently, Ritchie showed Hilton’s infamous sex tape at a party celebrating Hilton’s hosting Saturday Night Live. It led to them having a friend break-up and falling out of the public eye.

Ritchie and Hilton patched things up and had a sequel series The Simple Life: Goes to Camp. Things, however, never returned to the level of fame the pair enjoyed before their falling out. They are still richer than any of us could ever hope, so they’re doing fine.


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