Spencer Pratt & Heidi Montag
By including Pratt’s name here, we’ve guaranteed that he’ll find it on his daily Google-search of his own name. Pratt and Montag were…ah well, we don’t know. Montag may not be a famous scholar but she might still beat Pratt in a game of checkers.
They’ve bounced as a blonde pair from one insipid reality show to the next, with none of them reaching anywhere near the heights they hoped for. Both of them have appeared on a number of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here” shows, which is pushing the word celebrity to an incredible limit. One day soon it may burst, and this couple will fade forever. Finally.
Jaden Smith has one claim to fame: He’s the son of Will Smith. That’s it. He was cute in “Pursuit of Happyness”, got the job done in the 2010 remake of “Karate Kid”, and his 2013 sci-fi flick “After Earth” flopped hard. Other than those outings he’s done little.
His little sister pushed him aside with “Whip My Hair.” His weird Twitter posts have revealed that he might need more help than Mr. Miyagi can offer. Whether it’s illegal substances, the church of Scientology conducting its dark business, or something else entirely, young master Smith barely even reached celebrity levels before he came crashing down.
In the late nineties and early two-thousands, Reid was on her way up. We fell in love with her thanks to her role on “American Pie”, and her appearance on “The Big Lebowski”, but we got to know the real her thanks to her time on “Wild On!”. It was later renamed “Taradise”, and then things started to fall apart.
Her once-promising career has turned into a classic case of too many jägerbombs. She’s been appearing in a lot of small projects recently, but in small parts that don’t get a lot of press. She’s still working, and it looks like she’s cleaned things up, but she’s unlikely to get back to her fleeting stardom.
Sorry, Mariah, but you’re gone. This singer used to be known for her big holiday hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” as well as umm…? But now, hardly anyone knows her. Her seasonal song will get plenty of play, but people are already starting to dread hearing it – not because they hate Christmas, but because they hate the song.
Her diva attitude was marketable during the pop star era, but nowadays it’s turned tacky. She lip-synced her way through a 2016 New Year’s Eve performance, and listeners are now more likely to criticize her vocals than listen. She insulted Nicki Minaj’s voice during “American Idol”, which landed her in more hot water.
While pop stars are often international figures, they can sometimes have trouble crossing the pond, no matter which side they started on. Rita Ora is one such name. She had huge success in Europe and the UK, but ended up being a one-hit-wonder with “I Will Never Let You Down.”
Even her record label dropped her – that says a lot. She’s been trying to keep her career going, but she’s done it with reality TV – the last stop of the previously-famous. She’s become a judge on “X Factor UK” and “America’s Next Top Model” because anyone has the ability to say whether or not someone is pretty. She’s in the spotlight, but it’s ever-shrinking.
He began as a rapper, but almost everyone knows him because he used to be Kylie Jenner’s too-old-for-her boyfriend, even though they maintain they never dated. His hit song “Rack City” brought plenty of eyes onto him, but those same eyes also turned away when they realized he was dating Kylie while she was too young to vote.
Tyga is still putting out music, but nobody’s listening to it. Tyga barely had a career, to begin with – even some of the one-hit wonders on this list stand above him. He’s still seen with Kylie, who is a paparazzi magnet, which probably makes him think they’re there for him.
Somebody can be quite talented without being famous. Lea Michele doesn’t want to let her fame go, even though “Glee” is long gone. She got another chance thanks to Ryan Murphy on “Scream Queens” and started her own music career. But, nothing she’s released or done has made much impact.
She’s still walking down red carpets, desperate for the cameras to find her again. She got her start in musicals, and she still has a great voice, but she might not realize nobody cares a whit until she heads back to what actually got her started in the first place. At least give us a break from having to hear about you, Lea.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Fiddy’s rapping career sent him to stardom in the 2000s regularly topping the charts. But once he stopped producing music, that fame slipped away. He tried to start a number of businesses, including footwear, headphones, mattresses, champagne, and cognac, but pretty much all of them ended up nowhere.
He had big success by investing in Vitaminwater, but combining a lack of listenable music and numerous failed acting jobs, he’s become irrelevant. His music remains, and it still bumps, but he’s not going anywhere else. Based on the rap world when he was getting big, he probably considers himself lucky to be alive.
It’s rare for an A-list actor to completely abandon Hollywood, but Cameron Diaz did it very stealthily, without many people even seeming to notice. Maybe we don’t notice that she hasn’t been in a new movie in years because we find ourselves re-watching “There’s Something About Mary,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “In Her Shoes,” and of course, arguably the best romantic comedy, “The Holiday.”
It seems that Cameron Diaz simply grew tired of her years of hard work and has since settled down with now-husband Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden. In fact, she has been out of our screens since 2014, rendering her celebrity status invalid.
Usually, celebrities are pretty famous (even for those who specifically ignore them) because they actually want to get things done with their lives. Such isn’t the case for model and actress Tyra Banks. Her biggest movie? “Life-Size” from 2000!
She was a judge in the reality show “America’s Next Top Model”, which wasn’t more than making catty comments at young women who just want a chance. Banks has also become a host of the show “Dancing with the Stars”, which is perfect since the best that show can attract is D-list celebs (as well as Super Bowl champion Donald Driver, of the Green Bay Packers).
She used to be the down-to-earth blue-collar mom from her show “Roseanne”, alongside John Goodman and other funny characters. But after a controversial ninth season which included Dan Conner dying and the entire season being a story written by Roseanne (the character), the show came to an end.
A revival sprang up in 2018, but that very same year Roseanne decided it was a good idea to refer to badmouth a government official’s ethnicity. The second season of the revival got trashed, and the show was retooled with Roseanne out of the picture. Since then, she’s been quiet.
Lohan got her first taste of stardom after starring in the 1998 remake of “The Parent Trap”, but she began as a recurring young actress on the soap opera “Another World”. She’d go on to star in projects like “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls”, which made her a household name, but her reputation and antics got the better of her.
Stories about her tardiness on set, theft, and her bad problems with substance abuse saw her star fall fast. She became box-office poison and producers started staying away. She gave it a good try with “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club”, which was canceled after one season. Time to get a real job, Lindsay.
Jennifer Aniston got famous because she didn’t wear a bra on the chilly set of “Friends”, and because of how she thought it would be enough to take her through the rest of her life. The show is still popular on Netflix, but what isn’t these days.
She tried her hand at acting, and at being married to famous people, but neither of those pursuits got her very much. Her current pursuit, the TV show “The Morning Show”, is getting modest reviews, but viewers seem to be watching out of curiosity about what the aging star is up to nowadays.
Between 1990 and 2000, every young guy and gal tuned into “The Amanda Show”, to have some fun with Bynes. Her spin-off, “All That”, got her even more attention, but it wasn’t to last. Amanda faded from view not long after her shows ended.
She’s made one attempt after another, but she could do little more than jump into movie projects like “Hairspray”, “She’s the Man”, “What a Girl Wants”, and “Easy A”, her last project. She had a Britney Spears-like breakdown in 2013 and postponed a 2018 comeback, which surely upset her fans. She’s been going through lots of style changes, including bad facial tattoos.
Hulkamania was no joke – it was one of the driving pop-culture forces of the eighties. But after movies that starred the wrestler, reality TV shows that uncovered a seedy family, and a scandalous tape, this lovable and high-energy persona lost his mojo.
Hogan won a lawsuit against the online tabloid Gawker (who posted the tape), which has been the only thing people know about his last ten years. Nowadays, the only Hulk that people are thinking of is big, green, and part of the Avengers. Despite Hogan making token appearances here and there on WWE or other places, his time in the spotlight is long done.
Britney became the biggest pop star in the world overnight with the release of her single “…Baby One More Time.” She shot to fame with her high school persona and controversial music videos and kept things moving with one album after another.
It all came crashing down with a fifty-five-hour marriage, a publicized divorce from Kevin Federline, multiple public breakdowns, attacking paparazzi with an umbrella (which is, apparently, a bad thing?), falling in and out of mental health facilities, and accidentally setting fire to not one but *two* buildings by knocking over candles. It all combines for a star that has become a sad story.
Once the biggest name – and body – in the NBA, Shaq retired from basketball in 2011, unfortunately for fans all over the world, but this immense star didn’t really disappear.
He found his way into a couple of ill-thought-out movie projects like “Steel” and “Kazaam”, which tragically flopped. Nowadays, he has a few small TV series he’s working on. He is also a sports analyst for “Inside the NBA”, where he has a good time talking about the thing that made him famous in the first place.
Did you know Banks signed her first contract when she was only seventeen? People were calling her the second coming of Missy Elliot, but she’s done little for music and a lot for the feuding business. Her controversies include big beefs with Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea, Zayn Malik, Russell Crowe, and even Elon Musk!
This girl needs some help. Beefs are one thing, but how’s the music? What music? She’s putting out plenty, but good luck knowing that unless you follow her. And it’s becoming harder to do – Banks has been banned from Twitter, arrested, and lost pretty much all of her endorsements. We call those wake-up calls.
Oh, that’s right, Hilary Duff. Many people will ever only know her as Lizzie McGuire, and that’s because she’s had roles that were few and far between. She also married a hockey player and had an adorable baby, so good for her, but fame isn’t really waiting for her to come back.
At best, she’s a solid C-list celeb, but it’s starting to look like she doesn’t care that much. She makes a few appearances at industry parties or red carpet events, but now she’s a mom, which is the most important thing someone could be. And if Hilary has discovered her time has passed, that doesn’t mean she can’t still do good.
“Famous” might not be the best word here. “Infamous” is a little bit of a better word. Snooki got her start in the limelight thanks to the oft-maligned (and for good reason) “Jersey Shore”.
Her iconic hair is gone, and she desperately tries to stay in some sort of fame with other reality TV gigs, interviews, appearances on WWE (she isn’t being slammed into the mat, though), and the show “How Far is Tattoo Far?”, which people watched with a morbid fascination. Before long she’ll be gone for good.
He struck it big with world-famous movies like “Grease”, “Saturday Night Fever”, and “Pulp Fiction”, but Travolta’s star has fallen. A clear beginning of his fall out of the public graces began when he introduced Idina Menzel (the singer and voice of Elsa from “Frozen”) as “Adele Dazeem” at the 2014 Oscars.
He went on to kinda photobomb a bunch of female stars such as Scarlett Johanssen, and though he’ll always have offers for roles, the world is no longer suffering from Travolta fever. There’s always a new guy or gal to bring the heat.
Iggy peaked in the early 2010s with catchy songs and flashy music videos. While following the same path as Nicki Minaj, her career quickly fell apart thanks to an oversaturation of oversexualized rap-pop stars, such as Minaj.
Critics leveled attacks at her subpar rapping skills, as well as accusations of cultural appropriation. She disappeared after her debut album in 2014. She returned with “In My Defense” in 2019, and nobody noticed.
A publicist by trade, Jonathan Cheban became famous for being Kim Kardashian’s best friend. He was always at her side, went on every trip with her, and practically lived with her. His regular appearances on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” got him into more tabloid shots than real celebrities.
But Cheban isn’t famous, and really never was, so why does he keep trying to prove his credentials? Does he even still do his job? He appears at red carpet events regularly, and it’s kind of weird to keep seeing him there. It’s even clear that he gets regular work down to his mug, in order to try and maintain the fleeting taste of fame.
He’s still acting, of course, and every once in a while one of those movies ends up doing well in one manner or another. But Cage is stuck in eternal meme-dom. He’s been in more than a hundred films since his debut in his 1982 “Fast Times”. While classics such as “Face/Off” and “National Treasure” helped him define himself as a versatile actor, his last two decades have been lackluster at best.
It’s been littered with strange and self-destructive behavior. His movies might not get the number of eyes they used to, but plenty of people still know the name, if only to make a joke and Cage’s expense.
Apparently, Milian was once at the top of the recording artist game. At the tender age of nineteen, she signed to Def Jam records. She put out a pair of popular singles with “AM to PM” and “Dip It Low.” Her chart success led her to a short career in films such as “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, “Be Cool”, and “Pulse”.
Before too long, her career slowed to a stop, and she did what every celeb does to try and bring themselves back: she went to Reality TV! Her show, “Christina Milian: Turned Up” featured her mom and sisters. Her career got a quick jolt, but people were long past caring.
Paris Hilton is one of those names you recognized ten years ago, but you really did not know why. As the star of an X-rated film called “1 Night in Paris”, this beauty shot to “stardom” on the basis of her looks, moving to a reality TV show titled “The Simple Life”.
Her prevalence as a socialite was quickly overtaken by the Kardashian-Jenner clan (don’t worry, they’re here too). She’s done nothing of note for the last half a decade, which tracks with how she got famous in the first place – doing little more than just being there.
His career was once legitimate, no one could doubt that. Wilson continues to act, and he has had some good films in recent years, but a lot of his work has gone unnoticed. Earlier films like “Wedding Crashers” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” got him lots of attention, but what’s the last Wilson film you watched? Chances are, it wasn’t recent.
Or, you went to see the movie without even knowing it included Wilson. He’s got skills, but he struggles to get acting roles that really let him do something good. With new actors always looking for an in, it seems Wilson might be on the way out.
King is legendary for his horror and fantasy novels, and plenty of them still command your attention (did anyone say “Misery”?). However, ever since his “retirement” in 2013, he’s been writing books at almost the same pace as his heyday.
However, the problems some readers found with his writing started to become more and more prevalent, and it’s clear that he’s having problems branching out from his traditional format. A lot of his later books seem more like parodies of his early work, and they haven’t gotten the same kind of attention. Nowadays, more people know him for being an old crank on Twitter.
Heigl, once a star on “Grey’s Anatomy” and a big fashion model, brought herself down with her prima donna behavior. She won Best Supporting Actress for Drama award in 2007, but turned down a nomination for the same the following year, believing that her role wasn’t worthy to win. The creators, crew, and other cast members of “Grey’s Anatomy” started to get tired of her “it’s all about me” behavior, and she disappeared from the show.
Numerous negative reports about her conduct on set have made her a name to avoid when trying to put together a new show, which means now Heigl’s chances at regaining her minor amount of fame have become near impossible.
For many households in the nineties and into the new millennium, the name Tony Hawk was synonymous with skateboarding. Thanks to his great video games, the “Birdman” wowed audiences with his incredible tricks. His video games started to falter, and age caught up with him, making it hard for him to stay relevant.
Nowadays, the only thing people know him for is having the same name as the skateboarding guy (according to his Twitter account, anyway). The stories are funny, but this athlete and skateboarding game pioneer is content to let younger faces show themselves. There’s not much reason to stay relevant if you’re Tony Hawk. You know you were the greatest, once.
Thanks to the worldwide phenomenon “Twilight”, Kristen Stewart became a household name. Once people realized “Twilight” was hot trash-garbage, their critical eye turned to Stewart. She cheated on co-star Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders, which broke up the remaining people who’d still believed “Twilight” had anything to offer.
Since her big break, Stewart has been in a bunch of movies, such as “Happiest Season”, “Charlie’s Angels”, and “Snow White and the Huntsman”. What’s that? You’ve never seen, nor even heard of, any of those movies? Yeah, we know. Her biggest claim to fame is being a wet paper bag for Edward to cry into.
For those not in the know, Tonya Harding became famous because it was assumed that she paid for someone to break fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg right before the 1994 Winter Olympics.
The movie “I, Tonya”, featuring Margot Robbie, somehow made it possible for Harding to get spots in insurance commercials, though who *don’t* they hire for ads? Now then, let’s get back to making fun of other celebrities.
She got famous because someone filmed a bedroom video of her. Unlike Paris Hilton, she was able to mutate the attention into an actual career, but she was still the kind of person you know of without knowing why.
From reality TV to public feuds with other celebrities to business ventures, Kim kept the entire Kardashian (and Jenner) family in the spotlight, which led to careers for other members such as Kylie and Khloe. Nowadays Kim is famous for being married to Kanye West. And while she still makes the tabloids, it’s clear she’s on the way down from her once legendary heights.
While this infamous name got started as an Olympic gold medalist, Caitlyn was dragged back into the limelight. Apparently, the Kardashian clan sucks people into the madness of celebrity whether they want it or not.
Since her transformation, intense scrutiny has befallen this figure, including a brief, failed reality TV series called “I Am Cait”. Caitlyn also had a controversial statement that squashed any attempt of having future relevancy, saying: “I wasn’t in favor of gay marriage” in a 2015 interview on Ellen.
As an actor, singer, songwriter, reality star, and chef, Ray J is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. The reason he’s known at all is he had an adult video escapade with Kim K – which is also the reason she’s famous, now that we mention it. Ray J ended up thinking he was more important than he actually was.
He released a song based on the tape (“I Hit it First”) which might be the most classless thing we’ve ever heard of. Plenty of reality TV shows, such as “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood” had him on, but it’s likely his fanbase numbers no more than ten people.
Long after people forget about “Even Stevens” (it was a show on the Disney channel), Shia LaBeouf will long be remembered as the “Just Do It” guy. After a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003, LaBeouf’s career has been one mildly entertaining movie after another, with public breakdowns dispersed throughout.
He had a resurgence with the “Transformers” franchise, but his acting was overshadowed by the dizzying spectacle and the emergence of Megan Fox. He may keep popping up here and there, and he can still deliver when he needs to (check out “Fury” from 2014 if you need to see for yourself) but his outbursts and weird behavior have sunk his star.
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
When you think about it, it’s hard to figure out how “The Situation” even became famous. What did he do, punch Snooki once? Everybody from “Jersey Shore” got their fifteen minutes, but almost all of them have gone on to bigger and better things, at least a little bit.
He got his fame from showing off his admittedly impressive six-pack, but his other ventures have failed. He tried making it in stand-up comedy, but it didn’t pan out. He’s been charged with tax evasion, and he’s taken to playing himself on reality TV, but audiences got tired of his shtick quick.
In the NBA, nobody was tougher than Perkins. This hard-nosed defender used his immense physical presence and skills to intimidate opponents. On the other hand, he became little more than a glorified role player, with stats that amounted to not much at all. He just so happened to be on a great Boston Celtics team making a championship run.
Now he spends his days firing hot takes left and right. He’s confronting others, contradicting himself, and making opinions that are more or less pulled out of midair. He’s even started to rub long-time fans from his time in the NBA the wrong way.
Yeah, remember this guy? Boy, he disappeared fast. His rap song “Thrift Shop” stuffed his pockets with far more than twenty dollars, and his follow-up hit “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ryan Lewis added to his star power, but his original album wasn’t to be topped.
His collaboration with Lewis came to an end in 2017, and so did Macklemore’s relevance. Don’t call it a comeback – because there isn’t one. This recording artist has fallen out of favor with the public and is unlikely to regain any of his former power. As long as he sticks to popping tags, the money he earned from his hit song will be plenty.
Thanks to being part of the girl group Danity Kane, and the TV show “Making The Band”, Aubrey O’Day had a legitimate music career. After a couple of nice hits, the group broke up, with some of the members going under P. Diddy’s wing. O’Day wasn’t one of them. She spent years floating around Hollywood before disappearing altogether, but she couldn’t handle not being famous.
She started a reality show about her career, which failed just like her career. She’s moved on to form a duo with her ex-band member Shannon Bex. It’s produced nothing of note, and someone might have to eventually take her aside and tell her she’s just not going to make it.
She was once known as the Goddess of Pop, which only proves that false idols should be destroyed. Since the sixties, this wax figure of a woman has been making music, a lot of the time alongside her husband, Sonny Bono. But ever since the nineties hit and people realized only having one name was stupid, she’s fallen out of favor.
Every once in a while she comes out with a little bit of music, but her bizarre and ramble-filled social media presence has made her less of a celebrity and more of an old lady down the street who throws empty tin cans at passing kids.
Who? Born Brian Gerard Kaelin, Kato got his nickname from the character Bruce Lee played on the television series “The Green Hornet”. His biggest claim to fame was the fact that he was a witness in the O.J. Simpson case. At one point, seventy-five percent of the general public could recognize him, compared to twenty-five percent recognizing then-vice-president Al Gore.
His movies range from B-movie schlock to barely-remembered comedies, and his attempts at TV fame – and there are plenty – have gone nowhere. He’s had plenty of chances on reality TV, but all of them end quickly and without much fanfare.
The Queen of Pop had everything. She had the public’s ear with every one of her singles, and if you listen hard enough you can still catch them on the radio or while you’re shopping. But that’s about the only places you’ll find them after the 2015 Grammy Awards fiasco.
She started to parrot the moves of younger stars and her desperate attempts to shock and awe the listening and watching public smelled like desperation and an era that is too long gone.
The Juice was once loose on the football field, running wild over opposing defenses, but not many know how he even got famous. His huge trial had the world’s attention, even after he was acquitted of murder. He was banned from living in California with his family after being convicted of various crimes, and now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He tweets incessantly, about anything and everything, especially the big events in the world, but most users only follow him for curiosity. Get this – it’s thanks to him that we have the Kardashians. Rob Kardashian, the patriarch, was Simpson’s lawyer for the big murder trial. So we have him to thank for that, too.
Billy Ray Cyrus
There were few hits that hit the charts harder than Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” did in the nineties. He joined his daughter, Miley Cyrus, on the four-season show “Hannah Montana”, which made her a household name and extended his fame a little bit. But the younger Cryus soon overtook him, and not in a great way.
Whether she was swinging around on a wrecking ball or shaking what her momma gave her on a big stage, Billy Ray was forced to stand aside and let the new generation do her thang. He collaborated with Lil Nas X on the 2019 “Old Town Road,” and it was cool, but it didn’t last long.
Linsanity was the only thing people could talk about while Lin was playing. He put his all into every game he played with the Knicks, Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Hawks, and Raptors. He was one of the feel-good stories of the era when he played, and people everywhere tuned in to cheer him on.
He inspired plenty of Asians and Asian-Americans to hit the court, but he faded just as quickly. He’s now part of the CBA, the Continental Basketball League, and despite the fact that he’s probably still good enough to make it to an NBA team, he’s been whining and crying about his lack of opportunities, claiming the NBA gave up on him.
Sheen was the sarcastic star of the legendary sitcom “Two and a Half Men” after starring in a slew of films in the eighties and nineties. Of course, we’re all aware of exactly what happened to him.
You’ve probably heard of his public romance with an adult-film star, his bizarre interview that had him saying he was full of tiger blood, or his derogatory language toward his boss Chuck Lorre. He got fired from his million-dollar role on his famous sitcom, and since then he had done nothing at all. Except announce that he has HIV. Which is sad. But he isn’t a celeb anymore.
While this artist’s influence can be hard to overstate. His films brought black filmmaking back in a big way, mostly thanks to the “Madea” films. While derided by critics, they might as well be gospel in certain circles. However, countless spin-offs and other failed projects have proven to be too much for this director.
Celebrity exists in a “what have you done for me lately” kind of world. Perry revealed in 2019 that he was retiring the Madea character. He hinted that she might return one day, but for now, this filmmaker is starting to fade from the public consciousness.
The Olsen Twins
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen started on the celebrity track pretty early, appearing in the eighties sitcom “Full House”, acting in tandem as a single character. Their early filmography was packed with stunt casting as twins, identical strangers, and sisters, and their star power grew.
However, as time went on, their teen personas had people losing interest, and their output started to dip in quality. They also refused to participate in the revival of their original show, “Fuller House”, disappointing lots of fans. They might have been a little more relevant, but it seems these twins are content to let their younger sister Elizabeth take the spotlight now.
Jim Carrey is pretty famous. But if you compare him to his “Dumb and Dumber” days, he’s a shadow of his former fame. One thing that has taken his celeb-o-meter down a notch or two is his foray into political cartoons on Twitter. His management warned him he would lose half his audience. Carrey, not one to submit to authority, responded, “Lose them.”
At the height of his fame, Carrey moved toward real acting roles like “The Truman Show.” His fans, for the most part, would have preferred the yuck it up with his zany sidekick instead.
LeAnn Rimes was the biggest thing country music had ever seen. For a minute, she seemed comparable to country legend Patsy Cline. Just 16, her fame exploded with the debut album “Blue.”
She got so famous, Hollywood wanted her. She recorded soundtracks for two blockbuster films. Then, an ill-fated career move threatened to erase her fame. She starred in a Lifetime movie and fell in love with the male lead. Both stars were married. She spent years managing the fallout played out on social media. LeAnn’s still recording but she had to promote it on “The Masked Singer.”
Arsenio Hall was a prominent face in Hollywood for many years. He had his own late-night talk show. He was huge. He was so famous Sinéad O’Conner accused him of keeping his friend Prince hooked on drugs. She apologized after Arsenio sued the singer for $5 million.
Today he is sort of scraping his way back, all these years later, starring again as Eddie Murphy’s sidekick in the sequel to “Coming to America,” namely, “Coming 2 America.”
Justine Bateman was super famous on “Family Ties.” She played Mallory Keaton, Alex P. Keaton’s pretty sister. They starred in that 80s sitcom which pretty much defined the times. “Who’s Alex?” The role that made Michael J. Fox famous.
Bateman dated teen idol, Leif Garrett, back then, but now she’s a mom with a pilot license and a degree from UCLA. Which is nice since she said Paramount wouldn’t let her go to college as a teen actor. She’s still in the business. Perhaps you know she dropped into an episode of “Arrested Development”?
Jason Bateman, the brother of Justine Bateman, was a teen heartthrob. The siblings were prominent in Hollywood. Jason starred in “Silver Spoons” and “The Hogan Family,” two hugely popular shows, playing the rebellious “bad boy” kid. He won a lot of teen hearts then.
Now, we hardly knew that Bateman won a Golden Globe for his role on “Arrested Development.” Like many teen stars, he went through a period of substance abuse.
Ever wonder where “Ice, ice, baby” comes from? Look no further. Vanilla Ice rapped “Ice Ice Baby” in 1983. He was 16. The sound was incredibly intoxicating and impossibly catchy. The one-hit-wonder scored big. It was the first hip-hop song to reach No. 1 on the pop charts.
Meanwhile, seasoned music enthusiasts recognized the central riff right off. It was the opening of “Under Pressure,” David Bowie and Queen’s chart-hitting collaboration a decade earlier. Freddie Mercury laughed when he heard the rip-off, mistaking it for his song at first. Queen drummer Roger Taylor scoffed, “A white rapper from Florida, great.”
Adorable child actor. This young blondie melted hearts in “The Champ” (1979). That role as a son of a boxer led to his own successful TV series, “Silver Spoons” playing rich kid Ricky Stratton.
Disappearing without a trace, he struggled with the industry of being locked in a cute kid persona after “Silver Spoons” ended. Then, suddenly, Schroder is on the map in 2020 when it was discovered he raised funds for a 17-year-old who killed two people at a protest in Wisconsin.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is still acting and dancing. She won the mirror ball trophy on “Dancing with the Stars” and she had a role in “Ghost Whisperer.”
Prior to that instantaneous rise to fame, Love Hewitt appeared in one of the era’s most recognizable films, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” In the 80s, the actress dated John Mayer and Jamie Kennedy. Need we say more?
Brat Pack ringleader Molly Ringwald was so famous one can only compare her legendary pop status to someone like Bruce Willis, back then. If only she stayed famous as the “Die Hard” star did! But, ultimately, Ringwald left Hollywood on purpose.
The 80s film diva suffered a humiliating incident while auditioning for a role. She told her agent how she forced to wear a dog collar. He didn’t care so she fired him. She took off for Paris and never turned back. Until recently. Ringwald appeared in “Riverdale” and starred in a 2018 thriller with Keanu Reeves.
The last time Tom Cruise was voted “Sexiest Man Alive” was in 1990. He may have soared to the top after his “Risky Business” stardom, brought on by his popularity in 80s flicks like “The Outsiders,” “Taps and All the Right Moves,” but his fame is simmering on the back burner these days.
Case in point, “Mummy.” A super big hit but kind of a “meh” movie. “Mission Impossible,” one might observe, did not become a massive franchise for nothing, but then again, it tapped out in 2018.
Even before he was Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp was a force to be reckoned with. “Edward Scissorhands” followed his 80s fame in “21 Jump Street,” the TV series that made him a teen idol. Depp was the epitome of cool.
These days, it’s not so cool watching the out-and-out brawl between the actor and his ex-wife Amber Heard played out in the courts and the media.
Starring with Johnny Depp in “Edward Scissorhands,” Winona Ryder was one of the cool kids too. She was engaged to Depp for three years. She was also edgy cool in “Reality Bites,” “Beetlejuice “, and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”
Before Tim Burton got his hands on the actress, Ryder made her film debut in “Lucas.” The movie that also starred Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim was named by Roger Ebert as a top ten 1986 movie. In the 2020s, however, not much is going on. But things are inestimably better than 2001, an abysmal year for her.
It’s hard to imagine how popular “Ghostbusters” was in the 80s. There was major hype about the film all around the world and Ghostbusters merch was on sale just about everywhere. Sigourney Weaver starred in that movie, but you probably know her as the queen of the “Alien” franchise.
Weaver’s past fame is hard to estimate because she was a cultural icon. One can point at her two Oscar nominations or her seven Golden Globe noms, but it’s not that easy to explain her influence. Now, of course, she will star in the “Ghostbusters Afterlife” remake, now that her reprises of Ellen Ripley are about done.
Eddie Murphy was so funny in the 80s, there is literally no comedian to compare him with today. His weekly SNL skits were the stuff that made the “Live from New York” show great. He did movies like “48 Hours” and “Trading Places” which were instant comedy classics.
In the 90s he fizzled out. He tanked sincerely with a bad sci-fi comedy about “Pluto Nash.” Now he’s back with an NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame induction. But no one in any generation younger than Gen X knows who he is unless it is in his new film “Coming 2 America.”
Ellen DeGeneres is the epitome of kindness, the ambassador of adorability. Or she was. After a toxic work environment scandal rocked her world in the summer of 2020 things changed. She tried to laugh the issue off saying, “If anybody’s thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the ‘be kind’ lady. Don’t do it.”
The news of employees speaking out about toxic work culture and even allegations of inappropriate office behavior signaled a drop in sponsors, ratings, and A-list celeb guests.
If you want to get an idea of how famous Michael Jordan was, check out “The Last Dance,” a 2020 documentary about his indomitable days with the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan is the richest athlete in the world and the best NBA player of all time, arguably. The billionaire pulls in over $140 million per year today which is about double his earning when he played for the Bulls. He may be making more, but the magic of being Air Jordan is relegated to the past.
“Can’t touch this!” Huh? If you don’t hear MC Hammer rapping that line, you probably weren’t around at the tail end of the 80s. “U Can’t Touch This” won Best R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991, the first rap song to win these categories.
The former rap star is still around, but his ubiquitous baggy “Hammer pants” are not. He stopped rapping and became a preacher. Three million people follow him on Twitter, so there’s that.
Sean Penn got his start, ironically, on “The Little House on the Prairie.” But “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” gave him his famous bad boy image and he maintained it off-camera too. He once punched a fan and did time for it. But these days, his temper fit defending his personal charity CORE barely made media waves.
The Oscar-winning actor appeared on “Morning Joe” tousled. Fans and media ribbed him for his “homeless look.” He was annoyed off at CORE employees who complained about working conditions to “The New York Times.” Penn tweeted about it.
After starring as “The Breakfast Club” bad boy, one would expect Judd Nelson’s career to have taken off as some other 80s stars had. These movies were like soundtracks of a generation. And Nelson did go on to star in another coming-of-age film, “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
Perhaps things went wrong for Nelson while filming “The Breakfast Club.” He was almost fired by John Hughes for pestering Molly Ringwald with his overzealous method of acting. Ringwald held a very tender spot with the filmmaker. These days you can check out his four books, released on Kindle, or his Hallmark movie…
Late-night legend David Letterman is a legend no more. He was nominated for an Emmy 35 times for “Late Show with David Letterman.” It ran for 30 years. His unconventional style from his desk out of New York gave him a rivalrous edge over Johnny Carson’s celebrity from Los Angeles.
In 2014, Letterman left the night-time talk show circuit behind. Since you probably don’t know, he has a Netflix gig now called, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.”
Post-Hans Solo, Harrison Ford was unstoppable. Film franchises formed at his feet. Besides “Star Wars,” he headlined the Raiders of the “Lost Ark” and “Blade Runner franchises.” And then there was Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character which Ford portrayed in “Clear and Present Danger and The Fugitive.”
He was the sexiest man alive in 1998, according to “People.” To be fair, Ford starred in yet another “Blade Runner” film in 2017, “Blade Runner 2049”. And, in 2019, he voiced a dog named Rooster in “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”
Kirk Cameron was a child actor who became a national celebrity for his role on the long-running “Growing Pains” series. He played Mike Seaver on the ABC program.
In the 2000s, he acted in the “Left Behind” film series, the title indicative of his showbiz career. He became very active in the Evangelical Christian community as an evangelical broadcaster.
Demi Moore starred in “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Ghost,” the latter being the highest-grossing film of the year in 1990. She hooked up with Bruce Willis and got married. Moore was, for all appearances, an immortal A-lister.
But then she did “GI Jane.” It was her third flop in a row. It was a major motion picture that was intended to be a comeback role.
It’s not just the two impeachments or losing the election that makes Donald Trump famous no longer. It’s not only being banned by Twitter and having his celebrity bullhorn repossessed. It’s that no one cares. His fame glowed in the 80s. Donald Trump lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous. He took photos with the Clintons in the White House.
His brand had solid gold value. Now it has none. Trump was in many ways the epitome of the decade; the way Wall Street and the me-generation was so big. “Celebrity Apprentice” was his comeback. What’s next?
Seinfeld was simply The Beatles of TV. Everyone knew it, everyone loved, no matter their background, and Jerry was at the center of it. It was his name after all. Ratings were so high it tied with “ER.”
Now, Seinfeld has coffee with comedian friends who have cars. Exciting. He’s done some standup but he’s nowhere as relevant as he was.
The Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were not only spicey, Posh, Scary, Sporty and Baby Spice were sizzling hot! The quartette’s first record sold 23 million copies worldwide. They even made a movie. Spice World took in $100 million.
Posh went on to marry soccer legend, David Beckham. In 2007, the rest of the Spice team tried out for a comeback. It took off with a bang, but ultimately the superstardom of the Spice Girls was relegated to the catchy sound of “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”
We already know that “ER” was the number one rated TV series during its time, tied with “Seinfeld,” but did you know fans tuned in weekly just to see that strapping George Clooney? Maybe you had to be there. After the run of that wildly successful primetime soap opera, he became the serious actor we know, winning two Oscars.
Now the celebrity entrepreneur is raking it in earning over $200 million a year. “Forbes” ranked him a second-most profitable celebrity in earnings. He runs a tequila company—in case you hadn’t heard.
Recently, Janet Jackson’s 1989 album “Rhythm Nation” was designated for preservation at the Library of Congress. It reminds us what a pop star legend she was. Her fame, in fact, began to eclipse that of her brother for a minute at the time when that album came out.
The entire Jackson family was famous as a result of the “Jackson Five,” but never as hot as Janet and Michael Jackson.
John Stamos started out in Hollywood as a star on the daytime soap opera “General Hospital.” Upgrading his status as a doctor at ER, his fame took off. Leading the fun at “Full House” as Uncle Jesse made him a superstar in earnest.
By 2009, his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame proved it. Full House came to a close, however, a Netflix series based on it is still out there, it’s called “Fuller House.” But critics call it vulgar with too many “cringe-worthy” jokes. And now, Stamos plays a big shot basketball coach named Marvyn on Disney+.
You might not realize this, but Bill Clinton was a really popular dude. He played his saxophone on the “Tonight Show” and brought celebrities into the White House like no other sitting president.
And like many celebs, a cheating scandal upended his popularity. He survived his impeachment and went on to be one of the more popular presidents, but he never really got his mojo back.