Actors That Fell From the Limelight in the 2010s
Throughout the 2000s, the entertainment industry saw the emergence of some of the most skilled and versatile actresses and actors in the history of modern film. While many have thrived into the 2010s, some stars have spent the last decade taking a step back and shuffling out of the limelight.
Whether they were forced out by Hollywood or intentionally retreated, many formerly successful stars have lost their relevance in entertainment. These are celebrities that have disappeared from film screens within the last decade.
Amanda Bynes was one of the most popular young actresses of the 2000s, especially when it came to young adult networks. She was respected enough to host The Amanda Show on Nickelodeon, and starred in films such as She's The Man, Big Fat Liar, Hairspray and Easy A.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Whatever happened to Buffy? At the start of the 21st century, Sarah Michelle Gellar had numerous acting gigs on her plate. While she is best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she also captivated audiences in horror films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Grudge and Scream II.
Lindsay Lohan was a defining figure of the 2000s, showing versatility in her acting since she was a teen. After starring as the two leading characters in The Parent Trap, Lohan's career skyrocketed, landing her roles in Freaky Friday, Herbie: Fully Loaded and of course Mean Girls.
Jim Carrey had a fruitful career from the 90s to the early 2010s, acting as a charming and often cartoonish figure in the world of entertainment. Dumb and Dumber, The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Mr. Popper's Penguins are only a few of his successful films.
When he played Jacob in the Twilight series, Lautner likely had no idea that the young-adult role would define the rest of his career. After getting his start on Sharkboy and Lava Girl, Lautner became an icon in Twilight, and his success helped him land starring roles in films like Valentine's Day.
Diaz's stellar performances, gorgeous smile, and ability to play both "the girl next door" and vicious villains made her highly sought after in 2000s Hollywood. Bad Teacher, Charlie's Angels, My Sister's Keeper and The Other Woman showcased time and time again just how skilled Diaz was.
During the peak of her career, Catherine Zeta-Jones was a highly sought-after actress in the entertainment industry. The brunette bombshell stole the show in films like The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean's Twelve and Chicago, leaving a lasting mark on Hollywood in the 90s and 2000s.
At one point, Fraser was one of the biggest hunks in Hollywood. His good looks are likely what landed him many of the roles he excelled in, such as The Mummy, Blast from the Past and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Unfortunately, bitter abuse inflicted on Fraser by his ex-wife sent him spiraling.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
From an early age, Jennifer Love Hewitt pursued life as an actress. As a child, she starred in several national commercials and became a cast member in the Disney series Kids Incorporated. As she grew older, her career evolved, launching her into Scream Queen status in I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
In the early 2000s, Freddie Prinze Jr. was a heartthrob for the ages. His career was launched through horror flicks like I Know What You Did Last Summer, yet he became an idol in romance films, lovey-dovey comedies and other young-adult flicks, typically playing a romantic interest or a dorky teenager.
As a child, Frankie Muniz crushed the acting scene. In addition to his many years on Malcolm in the Middle and The Fairly OddParents, Muniz also claimed the leading role in several successful films, including Big Fat Liar, Agent Cody Banks and Racing Stripes.
Miranda Cosgrove was first popularized as the hilarious little sister on Drake and Josh, yet her skills soon manifested into a whole show dedicated to her talents. iCarly brought Cosgrove fame in the 2000s. The show ran for five seasons, allowing Cosgrove to further her acting skills, gain exposure and mature in her artform.
On Gossip Girl, Taylor Momsen played a teenage drama queen fighting for popularity, glamor and glitz. Her sudden, gothic departure from the show came as a surprise. After announcing her retirement in 2011, Momsen adopted a goth style, joined a band called The Pretty Reckless, and threw her life into her music.
Jamie Lynn Spears
While Jamie Lynn Spears could've easily sunk into the shadow of her older sister, Brittney, she launched a career in acting that gave her a reputation of her own. She is best known for her role as the starring character in the television show Zoey: 101. However, a major life event caused her to step back from her young stardom.
Geena Davis was one of the most versatile actresses of the 80s and 90s, becoming a famous figure in every genre of film. From her spooky role in Beetlejuice to her sweet character in Stuart Little, Davis scooped dozens of roles under her belt. However, in the 2010s, she took a noble hiatus from acting.
Fans of the Harry Potter series know Rupert Grint, who played Harry's loveable best friend, Ron Weasley. Despite only starring in school theater productions, his emotional audition at the age of 11 won over casting directors and secured him the role of Ron.
This young actor's career is built on a fairly villainous reputation. You may not know Jack Gleeson, but if King Joffrey Baratheon rings a bell, you're likely Game of Thrones fan — who hates this actor’s cruel character. After leaving the show in 2014, 21-year-old Gleeson decided to quit his acting career.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
In the series Home Improvement, Jonathan Taylor Thomas established himself as a young actor with a bright career ahead of him. For nearly eight years, Thomas rocked the role of Tim Allen's son and seemed to be preparing for a long-term stay in Hollywood.
While his brother, Cole, became one of the starring characters on the teenage show Riverdale, Dylan Sprouse hasn't enjoyed as much success. After starting their careers on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and Suite Life On Deck, Sprouse and his brother decided to ditch Disney and attend NYU.
In the early 2000s, there was no comedian quite as beloved as Dave Chappelle. On Comedy Network, he hosted Chappelle's Show, a hilarious sketch show. However, after the third season in 2006, Chappelle abruptly broke ties with Chappelle's Show.
At one point, you couldn't go to the theater without an Eddie Murphy film playing there. However, starting in the 2010s, there have been fewer films featuring the star. The ones he has made have not enjoyed the same degree of commercial success as his previous movies, such as Nutty Professor, Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places.
Hilary Swank was once one of the most promising young actresses in Hollywood. In the 2000s, she played starring roles in several insightful films such as Freedom Riders, Million Dollar Baby and You're Not You. However, as the 2010s progressed, she began to lose her popularity in the industry.
Alex Pettyfer has been acting since a young age, and in his teen years, he became a common face in film. Pettyfer became popular for both his attractive image and his captivating talent in I Am Number Four, Magic Mike and Beastly.
To some Marvel fans, Tobey Maguire is one of the best (and most emotional) Peter Parkers in the Spider-Man franchise. However, Peter Parker seemed to be one of the only substantial roles he could land. After his departure from Spider-Man, he struggled to remain relevant in the world of acting.
The early 2000s were a great time for actresses seeking breakout roles. Mischa Barton was lucky enough to score one such job. Barton landed a part in the teen-centric Orange County-based show The O.C. It brought her fame, yet, after leaving, she didn't remain relevant for long.
When it comes to late-night show hosts, they all owe a hat tip to one of the greats of the genre, Craig Kilborn. He was the original host of The Daily Show as well as CBS's The Late Late Show. However, he left it all behind in 2004.
Daniel Day-Lewis has enjoyed an incredible career in acting, often spending months or years preparing for his roles and receiving high critical acclaim for his work. Still, after playing the lead in Phantom Thread in 2017, Lewis announced his retirement from acting for good.
In the '90s and 2000s, Mike Myers was an unstoppable force in entertainment. The SNL comedian had secured the role of Austin in Austin Powers, kicking off the start of a glorious career. From Wayne's World to Shrek, Myer's managed to maintain his success for nearly two decades.
Jack Nicholson is best known for his devastating performance in The Shining in 1980, yet he continued to act into the 2000s, starring in The Departed, How Did You Know and The Bucket List, among other films
No true fan could ever forget the iconic disaster scenes that Macaulay Culkin created while playing young Kevin in the Home Alone series. Culkin is one of the most successful child actors of all time, not only because of Home Alone, but also for his roles in My Girl and Richie Rich.