20 Famous Actors And Actresses Who Sabotaged Their Own Success

Published 10 months ago

Patrick Swayze may have said, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”, but right after their iconic movie Dirty Dancing, nobody really heard of “Baby” or the actress who played her, Jennifer Grey, again. As it turns out, she disappeared from the Hollywood scene due to her own actions.

Apparently, there are quite a number of once-famous actors and actresses with great potential who squandered their opportunities and ended up literally disappearing from the public eye and have no one to blame but themselves. So when Redditor ElpidioPoitras1962 inquired online about which famous people similarly destroyed themselves in the people’s opinion, it got folks responding with their judgements from which we’ve shared the most popular trials below. 

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#1 Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) was sensitive about her large nose because of her school years and early acting career. With Dirty Dancing being a hit, she finally had the money to get herself Rhinoplasty. Unfortunately Hollywood disagreed and felt she lost her distinctive look; she was deemed too plain for the big screen and couldn’t build off her success. She continued working but didn’t get to have a career as leading lady.

Image source: JewcyBoy, Nightscream

#2 Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis would likely be one of the most celebrated comic actors of all time by now, but he gave it all up in the 1990s to raise his kids after his wife passed away. Much respect.

Image source: zerbey, Prominent Features

#3 Amber Heard

Well at least it’s squandered in the eyes of the public.

Image source: Princess__AnimeLevi, Gage Skidmore

#4 Lindsay Lohan

She had so much going for her and it’s such a shame that she just ended up getting caught up in all the [nonsense] that comes with Hollywood… I still kinda hope she’ll make a comeback one day because she is actually very talented


She had [jerk] parents and apparently learning difficulties. She never should have been in show business. The tabloids were okay with invading a teen girl’s personal space.

Image source: Anon_2004 ·, ILOVETHEOC

#5 Charlie Sheen

Could have been one of the greats. Went from platoon in 1986 to Wall Street in 1987 and then shooting his fiancé and future wife of John Travolta, Kelly Preston in the arm “accidentally” by 1990. And then a series of ups and downs before we all saw the unraveling into tiger blood and “winning” two decades later.


Has to be Charlie Sheen. So talented, some great serious roles, but the constant scandals, treating women like s**t and addiction problems completely destroyed his career.

I‘m not condoning any of his behavior, especially towards women, but I kind of feel for the guy.

Image source: LordCheezusChrist, Joella Marano

#6 David Caruso

Puts on shades – David Caruso


Another alcoholic whose rage ruined his career. His sobriety is what allowed him to return.

Side note: David had Kim Delaney kicked off of CSI:Miami for her inability to stay sober. All CSI franchises originally required a recognizable male-female duo to lead the show at launch. The former stars of NYPD Blue were a huge “gimme” for CBS, at the time

Image source: Durhay, USCG photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Loftus.

#7 Danny Masterson

Surely this needs to include Danny Masterson or whatever that guy’s name was from That 70s Show. Combine him with the girl from Smallville and you have some serious messed up stuff.



Would at least be easier if it were just sexual assault, but then he was part of the cult of scientology and used the cult to try and silence his accusers. I’d still be upset about the sexual assault part but the scientology aspect really throws out how systemic and defended people like him really are even when the public turns against him.

Image source: anon, Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV

#8 Heath Ledger

Hurts, but he could have done so much more




I wouldn’t call it “squandered”, but man, what his career could’ve been always gets the mind running. Hell, what The Dark Knight Rises with the Joker returning could’ve been is enough to think about. He definitely would’ve had some damn good roles in some damn good movies. His Joker role was probably going to just vault his career to new heights. Damn shame that he died way too young.


Image source: Weak_Commercial_7124, Network Entertainment

#9 Edward Furlong

Terminator 2, American History X, the man was in so many great things and on his way to become a legend. Than it all went downhill. Such a shame.



Drugs, alcohol, multiple arrests for domestic violence. He’s pretty much a train wreck

Image source: PreciousPraline, CelebHeights.com

#10 Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes had so many projects going until she got with Tom Cruise.



He basically controlled everything she did from what I heard. He’s the reason she wasn’t in The Dark Knight.

Image source: moscatodogiscute, MC1 Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy

#11 Mickey Rourke

I can’t believe nobody has mentioned Mickey Rourke. He was the leading man in a number of successful movies in the 80s then left Hollywood to become a boxer. His boxing career did so much damage to his face that he required reconstructive surgery. He did return to acting but his career never returned to anything close to the meteoric rise it had before.

Image source: Liqourice5, Premier.gov.ru

#12 Robert Downey JR

Robert Downey JR before Iron man. People forget how much of a bounce-back that was for him.



All I knew of him in my teenage years at the time was he was a former Hollywood actor and was always getting arrested on drug charges. So I was surprised when I saw him as Iron Man. He’s done great for himself.

Image source: anon, Gage Skidmore

#13 Armie Hammer

Armie Hammer




I hadn’t heard anything about him, so I just googled it and holy [cow] – acting on BDSM/r*pe/cannibalism fantasies without his partner’s consent!? No wonder he got dropped from everything.

Image source: anonymidwest, Maximilian Bühn

#14 Roseanne

Roseanne. I think she’s done now.




That video she uploaded to her own YT channel where she screams out “I thought the b**ch was white!” is crazy. I do believe her to be honest she might not have meant it racially but she is just unhinged and probably drinking a lot, by the looks of it.

Image source: Jagged_Rhythm, Jonathan Mauer

#15 Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry was awesome in Friends imo and had a couple bigger films afterwards. I believe without his addictions he could’ve had a solid career. But who cares, I just wished he’d get better.

Image source: BrooklynNeinNein_, David Shankbone

#16 Emile Hirsch

Emile Hirsch after he choked an executive at Sundance.




Always thought of he was born a decade earlier his career would’ve been solid. Really had the 90’s heartthrob look.

Image source: craiglin23, lukeford.net

#17 Shia LaBeouf

He was on his way up and Transformers had cemented him as someone who could lead a movie. You can debate about his talent and the quality of the movies, but any problems with them didn’t have anything to do with him.


I feel like his downfall was growing up. Not that he shouldn’t have pursued more but that film school pretentious attitude between projects.

If he wasn’t famous he might have grown out of it and we’d see some great stuff. Because he was famous he had extra eyes watching when he made dumb kid decisions (like fighting with 4chan) and that’s what killed him


Guy admitted (told to the gf he was abusing) that part of his method acting for some sh**ty gangster movie he participated in involved him shooting stray dogs for fun, you know, to get into “gangster mentality”

Image source: DisownedByMother, DoD News Features

#18 John Wilkes Booth

– supposedly the best American Shakespearean actor of his day but then went all political and it didn’t end well.

Image source: Cranky_Yankee

#19 Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

No question. A bad relapse and he’s gone. Best character actor of our generation arguably.

Image source: Dyingfromliverfailur

#20 Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett has to be in the running on this one. One crazy act and he’ll never work in the industry again…in addition to the legal issues it has brought him. He was working since 1990 and has been in some pretty big productions…he was hot stuff for a while. All those years of building his career, all that work and that promising future just wiped away in an evening of pure and utter insanity. WTF was he thinking? Completely squandered everything he had worked for, in addition to making life that bit harder for real victims of hate crimes.

Image source: anon, Dominick D

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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actors, actresses, careers, celebrities, Celebs, entertainment, self-sabotage
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