Making it in Hollywood is not easy. Everybody knows that. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and luck to make your way onto the ever elusive and ever exclusive A List of Hollywood actors. So many people set out on the path of becoming a Hollywood star and fall short. But what about the ones that actually make it?
Once someone hits the A List in Hollywood, the rest of their life should smooth sailing, right? They will always be leading men or women. They will have fame and acclaim behind their name for the rest of their life. They will make millions of dollars just to show up to a movie set for a few hours. Basically they will all become Robert Downey Jr. Right? Sadly, this is not always the case.
When an actor makes it big, they still have to work hard to stay on top. Not everyone can land the biggest roles in established franchises. Sometimes actors can make it big and stay there for the rest of their careers. However, many actors have made it to the top of Hollywood’s hot list only to tumble all the way back down to find themselves in D list movies.
Here are 15 Sad Images Of Former Stars In D-List Movies.
16 Charlie Sheen – Mad Families
Starring in Wall Street, The Three Musketeers, Hot Shots, Red Dawn, Platoon, Young Guns, Major League, and Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen has been on and off the A list a lot. More recently though, Sheen seemed to have a very public breakdown that may have solidified his place on the D list.
After speaking out against his boss and the company that made the show Two and a Half Men, Sheen was fired and replaced with Ashton Kutcher. Sheen tried to climb his way back even by playing off of his rant with a show called Anger Management, but it was cancelled after two seasons.
Sheen went from blockbuster films to starring in movies made to go straight to the online streaming service Crackle, and while we are not trying to take a dig at Crackle, there is a difference. Sheen has shown us that it takes more than Tiger Blood to make it in the film industry.
15 Steve Guttenberg – Alternate Universe: A Rescue Mission
In the late 1980s, there was a go to guy in Hollywood. That man’s name was Steve Guttenberg. He had it all; whit, charm, charisma, and comedic timing. Guttenberg was one of the main faces in a time that defined what movies would be going forward.
He starred in moves such as Short Circuit, Cacoon, 3 Men and a Baby, and who can forget his turn as Carey Mahoney in Police Academy? Guttenberg was Hollywood gold, but it is amazing what just a few short years can do. Guttenburg took roles in 1990s movies such as Overdrive and Airborne, which were not huge hits.
Fast forward to the 2010s and the roles Guttenberg lands are at an all-time low. With films such as Sharknado 4 and Alternate Universe: A Rescue Mission (which is pictured above with Gutenberg on the far left in the metallic suit), we can only hope the future gets brighter for him.
14 Eliza Dushku – Eloise
Some people on this list were at the top of the A list for a long time. Some people on this list were on the A list and then fell to the D list where they made themselves infamous for being there. Then there is Eliza Dushku.
Dushku started growing a fan base as the girl everyone loved to hate as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From there, she seemed to hit it big when she was the second billed actress in Bring It On in 2000, which was a huge success. She continued her role on Buffy and got an even bigger role as the same character in the spinoff, Angel.
However, the new starlet seemed to lose some shine after those shows were cancelled. She mainly stars on television and in horror movies these days. Her latest, Eloise (pictured above), came out in 2017 and earned a 0% on the Tomato Meter.
13 Ralph Macchio – Lost Cat Corona
Daniel LaRusso, Mr. Miyagi, and “wax on, wax off” have become pop culture phenomenons. Unfortunately, the actor who portrayed Daniel didn’t join them for the ride. Ralph Macchio is not just a one hit wonder, as he did find success after The Karate Kid with movies like My Cousin Vinny, but that success did not carry on forever.
Today, Macchio makes appearances on several television shows and shorts; sometimes playing himself. Macchio has starred in films like A Dog and Pony Show and Lost Cat Corona (pictured above, where Macchio seems to have realized his Hollywood decline). There is still hope though. Later this year, Macchio will reprise the role that started it all when he becomes Daniel in the television show Cobra Kai, which will pit him against his Karate Kid nemesis.
12 Emilio Estevez – The Public
When your dad is Martin Sheen, your brother is Charlie Sheen and it's the late 1980s, your life must be pretty good. This was especially true in 1988 for Emilio Estevez, after the success of the Brat Pack films. When Young Guns came out, he was billed above Kiefer Sutherland, Dermot Mulroney, Lou Diamond Phillips, and the aforementioned Charlie Sheen (don’t worry, we'll have more on those last two later).
After Young Guns, Estevez went on to find more fame and gain a younger fan base as the coach of the Mighty Ducks. After the dust from Young Guns and The Mighty Ducks had settled though, Estevez’s career seems to have plateaued. Although he has been in some well received films nothing has really taken off like his earlier work and his status in Hollywood has gradually declined.
11 Lindsay Lohan – The Canyons
Lindsay Lohan's career in Hollywood seemed promising at first with The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Herbie Fully Loaded, and the all-time quotable classic, Mean Girls. However, Lohan’s actions off camera have become more famous than her on camera performances, which has made her fall from her short lived time on the A list.
Her acting can be good, but it is not always consistent and the roles she has taken on have not thrust her back into the spotlight. She is not the only Lohan to become famous for their personal lives though. Her parents (who acted as her agents) have both been in the news several times for their insane antics. so who is to say Lindsay is 100% to blame for how her career has gone?
10 David Hasselhoff – Killing Hasselhoff
Speaking of being infamous, we have made it to David Hasselhoff. This guy was the definition of cool in the 1980s and 1990s. He was Knight Rider, he was on Baywatch, and he was the guy all guys wanted to be. Well, he is now just famous for being him.
It is a sign that you are on the D list when you are in a Sharknado movie (especially when it is four Sharknadoes in), but when you are usually playing yourself in D list movies, you can assume that this is your new home. Don’t get us wrong, when it comes to the D list, Hasselhoff is on top; but he has fallen a long way from his A list days. The Hoff’s most recent venture is Killing Hasselhoff (pictured above), where he plays himself once more.
9 Alicia Silverstone – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
The 1990s were an interesting time in cinema. Joel Schumacher and George Clooney ruined a Batman franchise, Clueless became an instant classic shaping how young girls talked and dressed, Jeff Goldblum became a mass murderer (in a movie not real life – we think), and Aerosmith released two music videos.
At the center of all of this was Alicia Silverstone. She played the main character in Clueless, was featured in both Aerosmith videos, starred alongside Goldblum in Hideaway, and became Batgirl with basically no training. Since the 1990s though, Silverstone has landed roles in smaller movies and has done some voice work.
Recently, Silverstone graced screens in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which replaced the entire cast of the previous Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies, as she took over for Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley.
8 Brendan Fraser – Breakout
Once upon a time (the late 1990s and early 2000s), Brendan Fraser was the newest up and coming action hero. It seems hard to believe now, but it'strue. As Rick O’Connell in The Mummy franchise, the future looked bright for Fraser. He wasn’t just in action flick either. With the release of movies such as George of the Jungle and Crash, Fraser showed that he could stand out in comedy and drama movies as well.
As the 2000s progressed, however, things seemed to change. The Mummy movies got worse and the other roles Fraser took seemed to be doomed from the start. Furry Vengeance? Come on.
Since then Fraser has fallen off of the A list and landed somewhere far below. He mostly takes roles in television series and in lower level movies, such as 2013’s Breakout pictured above.
6 Haley Joel Osment – Yoga Hosers
If this was a list about directors that went from A list to D list, M. Night Shyamalan would be on here (although he seems to be climbing his way back up). The Sixth Sense was a remarkable movie that should have boosted everyone that worked on its careers. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Before The Sixth Sense, Haley Joel Osment landed the role of Forrest Junior in the acclaimed Forrest Gump. He then went on to blow people’s minds in The Sixth Sense and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Since then, he has done lesser known movies such as The Country Bears and Second Hand Lions, but over the years the roles seem to have dwindled down. Above is Osment in Yoga Hosers, where he plays a Nazi alongside Kevin Smith’s Daughter and Johnny Depp’s Daughter.
5 Lou Diamond Phillips – The Night Stalker
Our last Young Guns cast member on the list is Lou Diamond Phillips. Phillips may have spent the least amount of time on the A list out of all the individuals on this list. In 1996, Phillips starred opposite Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, and a young Matt Damon in the army movie Courage Under Fire, which brought back a little of the Young Guns fame. Since then, though, Phillips has not been in many hits.
Phillips has been in approximately 120 films and television shows since the release of Young Guns, not counting shorts and video games. Although he doesn’t have the fame he once had, he seems to have found a comfortable place where he can still be in multiple movies and shows and earn a living.
4 Judd Nelson – Kreep
In the 1980s, there was a group that ruled teen movies. They were known as the Brat Pack and the group was made up of Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez (who also made this list), Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson. Many of these people could have made this list, but Estevez and Nelson stick out the most.
Nelson seemed to be the bad boy of the group. Starring in The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire launched Nelson onto the A List, but he did not stay there long. He did voice work for Transformers the year following The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire, but his career never seemed to gain the 1985 steam it once had. According to IMDB, Nelson is currently working on nine projects, so we will see if any of these catapult him back to the top.
3 Val Kilmer – Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn
What do Willow, Top Gun, The Doors, Tombstone, Batman Forever, The Prince of Egypt, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang have in common? The answer is Val Kilmer. Kilmer has done everything from comedy to action to superhero to biopic to romance, but that did not keep him on top of Hollywood.
Kilmer has recently been in more small films than blockbusters and has made more guest appearances on shows than being a leading man. He has appeared on shows such as Psych, Robot Chicken, Life’s Too Short, and Saturday Night Live randomly. Above you can see Kilmer dressed as Mark Twain, which he seems to absolutely love. He has played Twain in Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, Cinema Twain, and will reprise the role later this year in Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy. If Twain movies ever become huge, Kilmer could find himself right back on the A list.
2 Billy Zane – Blue World Order
Superhero movies may be all the rage at today’s box office, but this was not always the case. In 1996, a superhero movie by the name of The Phantom hit theaters and opened to less than raving fans. Currently the movie has a 42% on the Tomatometer, with only a 30% audience score.
Zane did have better luck the next year when he was in a film called Titanic. Titanic is the fifth highest grossing film of all time (when adjusted for inflation) and a pop culture phenomenon. Since the film’s release, Zane hasn’t been in a big hit as anything other than himself (looking at you Zoolander). Maybe Hollywood needs to understand how good Zane is as a supporting character and bring him back to the lime light.
1 Wesley Snipes – The Recall
The Superhero genre is the biggest thing happening in Hollywood today. That wasn’t always the case though. Many bad movies were made in the past with some of our favorite characters. Hollywood even seemed to give up on the genre for a while. What changed their minds? Well some could argue that it was the popularity of the movie Blade. Adapted from the Marvel comic, Blade starred Wesley Snipes and was an instant crowd pleaser.
Blade, Blade Two, and Blade: Trinity all have a decent size fan base with the audience scores declining with each film, but still remaining pretty high. At the center of it all was Wesley Snipes. Already an A lister due to movies like New Jack City and White Men Can’t Jump, Snipes hit a peak with Blade. The downside is once you hit a peak, the other side is a decline, which Snipes is firmly on.
Which of these surprised you most? Let us know in the comments!