11 Actresses Whose Hot Careers Fizzled

Some actresses seemed to have it all – talent, beauty and a great deal of success, at least at one point. Upon closer inspection, it appears some actresses who were once respected haven’t exactly transformed into the superstars we thought they would. These promising actresses seem to have let their careers fall into decline, which is so disappointing given how much potential they had. Here are 11 actresses whose hot careers fizzled right before our eyes.

11. Demi Moore

Demi Moore’s career started to take off during the ‘80s when she was part of the Brat Pack; however, it was in the ‘90s, when she really established herself as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses. Moore became the highest paid actress in Hollywood in 1996 when she was paid $12.5 million to star in “Striptease.” After a number of box office disappointments, however, the Golden Globe-nominated actress took a lengthy hiatus in the late ‘90s and, since then, her career has never been able to reach the same heights.

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10. Halle Berry

During the early 2000s, Halle Berry’s career seemed full of promise. She won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” and she won an Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” However, since these successes, her career has more or less stalled. Most of the movies she has chosen in the last 10 years have been mediocre at best. In order to revive her career, Berry needs another “Monster’s Ball,” but we think it may be too late.

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9. Reese Witherspoon

At one point, Reese Witherspoon was not only one of the top female draws in Hollywood, but she was also a critically acclaimed actress. Her performance as June Carter in “Walk the Line” received worldwide attention and praise, plus an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Since this role, Witherspoon’s film career has been less than hot. She is best known these days for having been arrested for disorderly conduct.

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8. Gwyneth Paltrow

During the mid to late ‘90s, Gwyneth Paltrow was the girl on fire. She had snagged Brad Pitt and had won an Oscar at the tender age of 26 for her role in “Shakespeare in Love.” It looked as though she was well on her way to cementing her place in Hollywood as a critically acclaimed actress who was destined to have a long and varied career. Unfortunately, shortly after winning the Academy Award, her career started to fizzle. These days, it looks as though she only acts when needs a paycheck.

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7. Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder was one of the most in-demand actresses during the late ‘80s and the ‘90s. She starred in a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies and even caught the attention of the Academy – she was nominated for two Oscars for her performances in “The Age of Innocence” and “Little Women.” After being caught for shoplifting in 2001, however, Ryder’s career has suffered irreparable damage. Her roles nowadays are few and far between.

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6. Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood during the ‘80s and ‘90s. She seemed to have it all – brains, beauty and success. Pfeiffer won a number of awards and received three Academy Award nominations for “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Love Field.” Despite having been immensely popular and celebrated, Pfeiffer’s career has cooled down considerably in the last 15 years. We haven’t seen her in a mainstream film in, what seems like, forever.

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5. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones was on top of the world when she starred in “Traffic” and “Chicago.” She was a critically acclaimed actress who seemed to be headed for big things. After winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Chicago,” however, Zeta-Jones’ career has floundered. Her last big film was probably 10 years ago, which is surprising given the amount of potential we thought she possessed.

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4. Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger was one of the most celebrated actresses of the early 2000s. Her film performances were constantly praised and she even won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Cold Mountain;” however, since receiving her Oscar, her career has been in decline. It has been four years since we last saw her in a movie. When we do see her out and about these days, it is hard to even recognize her – her face has changed so much!

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3. Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan was America’s sweetheart before Julia Roberts. She had leading roles in a number of high profile romantic comedies and her performances were so well received by critics that she was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards for her performances in “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.” After Ryan was caught cheating on Dennis Quaid with Russell Crowe, however, her career took a huge hit and it has never recovered.

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2. Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz began her career as a model and then she became an actress. Early on, she proved that she was much more than a pretty face when she scored Golden Globe nominations for her performances in “There’s Something About Mary,” “Being John Malkovich,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Gangs of New York;” however, something happened after 2003. Instead of taking on meatier roles with other acclaimed actors and actresses, she has seemed trapped doing formulaic romcoms.

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1. Hilary Swank

After winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “Boys Don’t Cry,” Hilary Swank seemed like she was on top of the world. Since winning her second Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “Million Dollar Baby,” the critically acclaimed actress’ career has completely stalled. These days, she is stuck in direct-to-video movies, horror movies and ensemble romantic comedies. We don’t expect Swank to make a comeback – which is incredibly disappointing.

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Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.