12 Celebs Poised For A 2016 Comeback

Photo by Manuel Romano/NurPhoto / Rex Features

The life of a celebrity isn’t so different than the rest of us. There is an ebb and flow for the vast majority of people who score work in the limelight. The only real difference: we don’t make fun of people who are struggling between teaching jobs, or trying to figure out what exactly they want to do next to make some money. The upcoming year is promising to be a dandy in the realm of entertainment–including the U.S. Presidential race — and it’ll be nice to see some old celebrity faces. Here are 12 celebrities who are poised for a serious career comeback in 2016.

12. Tracy Morgan

The comeback is in process, and with a few television appearances—including Saturday Night Live—under his belt, Tracy is proving that he is well on the way to recovery from his near fatal car accident in 2014. This is a safe bet for anyone engaging in life changing conversations about the world of entertainment, because Tracy was enjoying the peak of his career when he was forced to endure one of life’s unexpected tragedies. It wouldn’t be too bold to also imagine Tracy being even better than he was before, possessing more emotional range and perspective following his accident. As it stands, Tracy is attached to a couple of feature film projects, one of which happens to be a Richard Pryor biopic starring Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy and fellow comeback kid, Kate Hudson. Tracy is rumored to be playing legendary comedian Redd Foxx.


11. Winona Ryder

Winona has made a few interesting decisions in her adult life. She was known as the “weird chick” as a teen into her early 20s, but in truth, she’s a Midwestern gal who might have had an issue with kleptomania. Winona hasn’t gone away, but she certainly hasn’t led anything in a manner she once did. Well…not until 2016, when we feel she’ll become a regular fixture in the world of entertainment once again. Winona is ready for a comeback. The 44-year-old actress is aging with grace, and continues to possess a signature, ethereal aesthetic. As it stands, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the Beetlejuice sequel in which she will breathe a little more life into Lydia Deetz. If it gains more traction, it will spark plenty of news in 2016. She’ll also star in the new TV series Stranger Things, beginning next July.

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10. Zach Gilford

Zach Gilford played the beloved underdog, Matt Saracen on the TV drama, Friday Night Lights, and then he pretty much disappeared. In truth, Zach got busy livin’ real life. He married his sweetheart, Kiele Sanchez, then got back to the business of the business. Yes, he’s done a few jobs of note over the past few years, but nothing of quality substance. That will change in 2016 when Zach is introduced to a new audience, and demographic, while bringing some of his most loyal fans to a new, and (hopefully) intriguing story line in the new series, The Family. ABC is pumping a lot into the series, which stars Joan Allen, Gilford, Liam James, Alison Pill, Rupert Graves and Andrew McCarthy. It’s a political drama featuring a mysterious twist, and it will serve as Zach Gilford’s first go at playing a grown man, instead of the “grown kid.”

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9. Mark Hamill

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to present a world of new opportunity to so many people, and it’s also going to remind the powers who be that there are some incredibly talented, mature actors out there who should be in many more projects than they are. The Mark Hamill thing didn’t make sense, did it? For those who aren’t in the know, Mark Hamill played legendary Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars, and then he pretty much didn’t do much more worthy of note. He was incredible in the Star Wars trilogy, bringing an emotional vulnerability to the Science-Fantasy genre that hadn’t ever been seen before. No doubt, Mark had his offers. No doubt, Mark was also pigeonholed for being Luke Skywalker. No doubt, it would be awesome to see Mark in a variety of roles now that he’s in his sixties.

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8. David Faustino

For a lot of people, the question may be: who is David Faustino? David was part of young Hollywood back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, famous for portraying the character of Bud Bundy on Married With Children. There was no shortage of short jokes, can’t get a date jokes, my sister is a slut jokes or our family is poor, but live in a large house jokes on Married With Children. Word is, there’s a spin-off in the works to star the character of Bud. And why shouldn’t there be? The rest of the Bundys have gone on to enjoy wild success in television, film and on Broadway (Christina Applegate). What this show could possibly be about, one can only guess, but our gut tells us: like father, like son.

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7. Josh Hartnett

Where are you, Josh Hartnett? In fairness, his early work was definitive teen fodder, but his turn toward adulthood — in the vampire horror flick 30 Days of Night, nonetheless — suggested a whole lot more about grown up Josh Hartnett. The thing about Josh… he really doesn’t give two poos if he ever does something again. If it really interests him, he’s all in. At present, he is a soon-to-become a father with his longtime girlfriend, Tamsin Egerton. What does that mean for Josh Hartnett fans? After the baby comes, he’ll likely feel the need to offer a little more provision. It’s a natural thing. So, he’ll probably pick the best looking project, and get back into the thick of things.

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6. Jodie Sweetin

What a rugged road this woman has been down. It’s crazy to call her a woman, considering everyone knew her, and relatively speaking, grew up with her as a girl. Jodie Sweetin is a 33-year-old mother of two, who has battled drug addiction, failed marriages and a desire to rekindle the career of her youth. Now, she has her opportunity. She’ll be side by side with Candace Cameron-Bure in the Netflix Full House sequel, Fuller House (also a play on Cameron’s character’s last name…), and it’s going to present new opportunities for the blonde, California girl, who people will look at and say: wow, she really grew up. Yes. Yes, she did. What the long term future holds for Jodie in the business, who’s to say, but we’re hoping at the very least it’s measured success and sobriety until it’s all said and done.

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5. Katie Holmes

Dang. That thing with Tom Cruise really backfired, didn’t it? Such a sad tale. Who’s to say which nuggets of information were truth, and which were nothing more than tabloid fluff? Bottom line, Katie is busy playing mom to Suri, and as of late, picking up work playing Jacqueline Kennedy. She’s set to play Jackie again for a miniseries that will air next year. The stink of Katie’s disappearance is that it had everything to do with her marriage to Tom Cruise. She had worked to the point of playing Rachel Dawes in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, before she declined to reprise her role in The Dark Knight. It was reported that she had no interest in playing the same character again, but nobody was buying it. There was something funky going on behind the scenes. We’re ready for the old Katie to come back. A legit comeback!

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4. Fred Savage

Don’t call him Kevin Arnold… or do… he won’t mind. Fred Savage is a really cool guy. He still owns the same charisma, and instant likability that he did as a kid in The Wonder Years. And beginning this fall, Fred is coming back to the small screen in a television show that should at least score a couple of seasons, The Grinder. He stars alongside Rob Lowe, and they’ll portray the Sanderson brothers. The comedy lies in the fact that Rob’s character is an actor, who played a lawyer on TV, and he comes home to help his brother run the family’s law firm in legitimate courts of law. A nice spin on the fish out of water, comedy of errors that tends to do well with older folk. Combining two 1980s icons certainly won’t hurt its chances either. Regardless, Fred will be back in the spotlight where he belongs.

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3. Mike Myers

There are industry rumors swirling. Mike Myers is doing a fourth Austin Powers film. This guy has taken it on the chin, and has always gotten up to swing again. That is the mark of an industry champion. Yes, he made some awful films while going through a tough time personally, and he also unsuspectingly stood shoulder to shoulder with Kanye West, when the rapper proclaimed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Damn. Still, Mike enjoyed a delicious cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, and reminded everyone that he still had “it” with his appearance on the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special when he put on his wig, and went all Wayne Campbell on us. If he can put together another great Austin Powers script (like the first one), and deliver? Welcome back, Mike!

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2. Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson is aging like a fine wine. Sure, she’s only 36, and that’s relatively young, but the point remains — she’s never been better. As it stands, Kate has a couple films in the pipeline that could prove to be monster successes critically, and at the box office. This would be good news for those of us who know this woman is much more than eye candy. Kate Hudson has some serious acting chops. Up first, Rock The Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate and Zooey Deschanel. Very promising. In 2016, she’ll be in the Deepwater Horizon disaster flick, based on the events of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Directed by Peter Berg, the film also stars Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, Kate’s “dad,”  Kurt Russell, and John Malkovich. She’s lined up for a monster comeback.

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1. Meg Ryan

People have been so unnecessarily mean to Meg Ryan. There is no arguing a few questionable cosmetic procedures, but that has become the new standard: people often go where peers, managers, friends, foes and the cultural paradigms guide them. Regardless, Meg Ryan is a doll. She is still regarded as one of the sweetest hearts in a heartless industry, and it has been far too long since we’ve enjoyed her on screen. So. How is this going to happen? This comeback? Fingers crossed, her film, Ithaca — a low budget indie serving as her directorial debut — will be magical. It is slated for a small release in late 2015. She does act in it as well. So does Tom Hanks. And Tom is listed as the executive producer. Have they ever gone wrong? Nope. Joe Vs. The Volcano, you say? Nah, that was eons ahead of its time. Joyous.

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James Sheldon