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When your name is your business card, your reputation is everything. No matter how bright the future might look, a few mistakes (or even one, if it's big enough) can nullify all the hard work you've done and make you an outcast. Especially in the entertainment industry.

Reddit user ElpidioPoitras1962 made a post on the platform, asking everyone, "Which actor most squandered an otherwise promising career?" People immediately started naming celebrities and their bad deeds, so we decided to go through the discussion (which already consists of 15K comments) and see who stood out in this online trial.

#1

30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

zerbey , Prominent Features Report

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xolitaire avatar
xolitaire
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then why is this here? Making the conscious decision to quit acting is not "squandering" a career.

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    #2

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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


    Csula6: 
    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.

    Anon_2004 · , ILOVETHEOC Report

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    teresacline avatar
    Daffydillz~
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I always enjoyed her movies. I think she's a very entertaining, talented, and versatile, actress who can easily become adaptable to the character that she's playing at that moment. I hope she returns to films as well.

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    #3

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Katie Holmes had so many projects going until she got with Tom Cruise.


    MaskedMan8: 
     
    He basically controlled everything she did from what I heard. He’s the reason she wasn’t in The Dark Knight.

    moscatodogiscute , MC1 Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy Report

    #4

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Robert Downey JR before Iron man. People forget how much of a bounce-back that was for him.


    naanadrama: 
     
    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.

    anon , Gage Skidmore Report

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    #5

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Heath Ledger. Hurts, but he could have done so much more
    .
    damnyoutuesday:
     
    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.
     

    Weak_Commercial_7124 , Network Entertainment Report

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    bradman avatar
    El Cucuy
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Squandered? Dude died right after his greatest role. Is dying considered squandering now?

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    #6

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

    JewcyBoy , Nightscream Report

    #7

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.


    pinball521: 
     
    Drugs, alcohol, multiple arrests for domestic violence. He's pretty much a train wreck

    PreciousPraline , CelebHeights.com Report

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    scotchbonnet1987 avatar
    Nicole
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    I feel so sad for him. He was let down by every adult in his life. His ‘tutor’/girlfriend was a predator who groomed him and then went on to teach in a high school after causing a lifetime of trauma to him.

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    #8

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Puts on shades - David Caruso


    BooeyBrown:
    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

    Durhay , USCG photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Loftus. Report

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    scag$y
    Community Member
    9 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Was it just me or was he just too over-the-top-trying-so-hard-to-be-cool in CSI? For me, it was just cringe at times, and I stopped watching because of that. I didn't know he was famous or anything and just expected that after his 'oh-so-cool' stint on CSI he would never be hired again. Except for maybe a spoof of CSI where everybody is over-the-top cool. That might work. He'd have to dial it down a bit though, even then.

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    #9

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Armie Hammer
     
    GENERIC_VULGARNESS:
     
    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.

    anonymidwest , Maximilian Bühn Report

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    xolitaire avatar
    xolitaire
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    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    That's only the tip of the iceberg, google his family, the entire clan is insane

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    #10

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

    Liqourice5 , Premier.gov.ru Report

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    #11

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Phillip Seymour Hoffman. No question. A bad relapse and he’s gone. Best character actor of our generation arguably.

    Dyingfromliverfailur , Georges Biard Report

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    bradman avatar
    El Cucuy
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Another death labeled as squandering. OP doesn't seem to know the difference.

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    #12

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Emile Hirsch after he choked an executive at Sundance.
     
    mvcourse:
     
    Always thought of he was born a decade earlier his career would’ve been solid. Really had the 90’s heartthrob look.

    craiglin23 , lukeford.net Report

    #13

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves John Wilkes Booth - supposedly the best American Shakespearean actor of his day but then went all political and it didn’t end well.

    Cranky_Yankee , Alexander Gardner Report

    #14

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

    BrooklynNeinNein_ , David Shankbone Report

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    Liam Farranree
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    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Perry didn't do himself any favours whining that Keanu Reeves didn't die young in his memoir. He must be living in a fantasy land where he is not a washed up z-lister who's only remembered at all because he lucked out and got cast in a hit TV show one time.

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    #15

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

    cabin_neighbor:

    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.

    LordCheezusChrist , Joella Marano Report

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    #16

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.


    Ascholay: 
    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


    jumas_turbo:
    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"

    DisownedByMother , DoD News Features Report

    #17

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.

    anon , Dominick D Report

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    #18

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Roseanne. I think she's done now.
     
    Inthewirelain:
     
    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.

    Jagged_Rhythm , Jonathan Mauer Report

    #19

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves 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.


    bentheechidna: 
     
    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.

    anon , Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV Report

    #20

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Amber Heard. Well at least it’s squandered in the eyes of the public.

    Princess__AnimeLevi , Gage Skidmore Report

    #21

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Corey Haim. What's even sadder is that apparently his addiction is in part because he was sexually abused as a child star.

    astarisaslave , Bree from USA Report

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    Rostit .
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    yeah. corey feldman called it out and everyone thought he was nuts.

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    #22

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Kevin Sorbo. Gets cast as Hercules in a pretty successful show, moves on to star in Andromeda, connected with Lucy Lawless and all sorts of other people, but goes all right wing religious fundamentalist diva and pisses them all off to the point nobody wants to work with him anymore.

    Spacct , Gage Skidmore Report

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    ColorEd
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Hercules was where he peaked. He had nothing left to squander, and it was not a good show.

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    #23

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Katherine Heigl


    abcannon18: 
     
    She talked [trash] about everything she was in... Knocked up, Grey's. She made herself completely unhireable and unlikable

    GundamMaker , lukeford.net Report

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    JK
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    She got blackballed because she called out people on sexist BS and because she refused to be SA by the filthy b*stards that basically run Hollywood. When she tried to complain and speak up for what was happening they paid people to state she was difficult to work with, a horrible person, and every other lie to invalidate her. The only thing she did "wrong" was refuse to be a s3x toy and to stop others being put in that situation.

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    #24

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Kirk Cameron was an American teen idol who was the lead in one of the biggest sitcoms of the era, Growing Pains with many predicting a long, successful career in television or possibly even movies.

    Then he became a Born-Again Christian and f****d the show up so badly that it's now more famously known for being the show that Leonardo DiCaprio was on when he was younger and that was only for the final season.

    First of all, he had two of his stars - Julie McCullough and Matthew Perry - who would later go onto play Chandler in Friends - fired for different reasons. Cameron was offended when Julie had featured in an issue of Playboy which he felt went against his own image and he just deemed Perry "An agent of Satan". And while his drug issues during friends are famous in and of themselves, there was... no other reason why Cameron had Perry fired. It was just "I don't like him. And keep in mind that while Perry had a fairly minor role in the series, Julie played Cameron's on-screen girlfriend so he not only pissed her off but all of the shippers as well.

    But he also royally pissed off the show's producers as he constantly nixed jokes that he considered rude or risqué, which heavily disrupted the show's dynamics. In fact, the show was retooled at least once so Cameron could get rid of his co-stars. In fact, there was an entire three-part storyline where the family went on vacation in Europe which was meant to be filmed *in* Europe, with shooting costs being subsidized by different countries' tourism boards, only for Cameron to force them to shoot the entire series of specials in California instead.

    This led to a furious back-and-forth and attempted backstabbing by Cameron against the show's executive producers that backfired horribly. They attempted to rein his prima donna antics in only to find out that they flat-out couldn't since ABC wouldn't let them fire him since he was the biggest star.

    But when they found out that Cameron tried to go behind their backs on one planned storyline by calling then-head of ABC Bob Iger and referred to them as "Pornographers", they had enough and demanded Cameron's firing one more time. When Iger refused, they decided to force Cameron out and shut down production of the show, cancelling it outright.

    This f****d over Cameron since his news about how he had ruined the show and his bad blood with his costars had spread across Hollywood. For one thing, he refused to ask any of his co-stars to his wedding, which was during the show's production so everyone knew their working relationship was bad.

    Nowadays, he's known exclusively for starring in Left Behind, an extremely awful Christmas movie fron 2018 and being an anti-vax dumbass.

    res30stupid , Gage Skidmore Report

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    panther
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    If he crawled under a rock for 40 years would anyone miss him? I know I wouldn't.

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    #25

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Letitia Wright. She was the obvious choice to replace Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Then, apropos of nothing, she went on an antivax and antitrans rant on Twitter. Then played the victim card when people told her off. Now she's not going to be BP. It would be a career-maker for life.

    Civilian216 , Gage Skidmore Report

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    Stephen Lyford
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    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Well she DID become BP, but who knows if she'll continue in the role...

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    #26

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Jessica Biel comes to mind! She publicly stated that it’s so hard being her. Because of how good-looking she is, she never gets casted for roles anymore... which led to no one wanting to cast her.

    rea_lin , Georges Biard Report

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    mulk
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Now, she a very good producer: The Sinner, for example. And she is acting as the main role in the first season. She was amazing!

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    #27

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Gina Carano had potential, huge potential. Imagine having a huge role in one of the most loved Star Wars new series.... Also being liked but many people because you're a legit strong character with no fluff.... and then bam, had to go out and tweet stupid s**t. 

    BanjoSpaceMan , Gage Skidmore Report

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    JK
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    It all started because she didn't want to use "pronouns" in her bio, and put something like "beep/boop/bop" and then some people in the LGBTQ+ ragged her for it and started spamming her so much hate and nastiness, for literally no reason (she's as entitled to not use pronouns as others are to use them), and then it snowballed from there. It was seriously unfair, bullying treatment in the beginning, and I don't blame her for losing it in the end.

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    #28

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Edward Norton was one of the best actors in Hollywood IMO. But apparently he has a bad reputation for being difficult on set. He hasn’t been in a big movie for a while now.
    There was a time when he was getting nominated for Oscars. Primal Fear, American History X and Fight Club were great movies. And he was great in them

    GaryNOVA , David Shankbone Report

    #29

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Matthew Fox pretty much did nothing after LOST
     
    winnower8:
     
    Dom Monaghan basically said in an interview “just because you’re on a show together doesn’t mean you’re friends” about him. Might be a [jerk]

    green4355 , David H. Richardson Report

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    MagicJacket
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    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Fox said he didn't want to do another TV show ever and wouldn't care if he spent the rest of his life on his farm with his family. I think he did do a mini-series TV show recently. Dom Monaghan has a big mouth. He talked some sh!t about Evangeline Lilly too, but that was sour grapes because she broke up with him.

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    #30

    30 Actors Who Had All That It Takes For An Amazing Career, But Destroyed It Themselves Terrence Howard not continuing his role as James Rhodes/War Machine in Iron Man. To be fair Marvel was lowballing him on money for Iron Man 2, but it would have probably paid off if he continued in subsequent Iron Man/Avengers films. He still seems pretty bitter about the whole thing.


    questionname:
     
    He wasn't just paid a lot, he was the highest-paid actor in that movie for 10 minutes of screen time. And asked for the same treatment for IM2

     

    draiman , Master Sgt. Jack Braden Report

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    ronman avatar
    Ron Man
    Community Member
    9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Terence Howard had a career before Marvel and still continues to have a career.

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