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"One-Hit Wonder" Actors/Actors who never made it


ArtVanderlay
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This thread should be called "Actors I Personally Happened To See In Only One Thing".

 

That Meg Ryan only made two movies in her life: 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'In the Cut'.

 

Apparently Eric Roberts has a sister who's also an actor. So I'm told.

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See, I'd call Lee a one-hit wonder actor in the sense, if you see her name, it's mostly only Twin Peaks that comes to mind. That's what I meant: She never did anything hugely significant other than that one project. 

 

She did keep working and didn't vanish. It just depends how you define "one hit."

 

Unless it's a really unique situation and they get blacklisted (Birch, Fiorintino) most actors will keep working.

 

From what Donahue said after Blair Witch, the actors didn't get blacklisted as much as no one really bought they were proper professional actors due to the movie's format. 

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Also given my love of She's All That I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the vanishing career of Rachael Leigh Cook...she should've at least hit that Kate Hudson level of "romcom stalwart"...

 

Sheryl Lee appears here and there.  She isn't working steadily, but she hasn't vanished.  A lotta guest shots in recent years.  House, Perception, Psych, CSI NY come to mind.

 

I used to watch Perception just because Rachael Leigh Cook was in it. It was really unrealistic, she kept meeting these sleazy guys who were suspects in crimes she was investigating, and not one them tried to hit on her. Ever. I stopped watching it after their dangers of the internet episode, where they seemed to think that Second Life was played using virtually reality technology.

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And, yeah, Linda Fiorentino is probably the poster child for this thread.  A lot of these other names are people that get work fairly regularly but didn't break out like expected (Gretchen Mol).  Fiorentino seemed to be legit talented and had the presence for the big screen.  Went from getting large roles in at least one or two big budget pics a year..... to having two credits total since 2000.  Odd.

I vaguely recall her being rumored to be INCREDIBLY difficult and unpleasant to work with. Which would certainly explain why she'd go from her breakout role, way back in After Hours, to doing not-much for the decade after that. And then she managed to make a HUGE critical smash with The Last Seduction, follow it up in superstar roles as the leading lady in Men in Black and the protagonist in Dogma, and then fall BACK off the map again in pretty short order.
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Also given my love of She's All That I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the vanishing career of Rachael Leigh Cook...she should've at least hit that Kate Hudson level of "romcom stalwart"...

 

She's been doing tv shows the past 7 years.

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Just watched Jade recently (oof), and it reminded me of that 4-5 year period where Linda Fiorentino was a rising star. Regardless of what the real story was there, it's crazy that she's essentially disappeared off the face of the earth.

 

She was a very, very good '90s femme fatale. Jade and The Last Seduction are great films and she's excellent in both of them.

 

Also: everyone in The Blair Witch Project. Last I heard, Heather Donahue ran a cannabis farm in California.

 

And Laura Harring seemed to disappear after Mulholland Drive. Watts became a mega-star out of it, Justin Theroux did OKish (and got to marry Jennifer Aniston!) but she...didn't do much at all.

The "other chick" in Mulholland Drive was first name that popped into my mind.

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From what I understand, she was in her late 30s when Mulholland Drive came out...which probably isn't the best time for a woman in Hollywood to break through.

 

Watts had the benefit of being a bit younger and a way better actress, tbh.

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Watts had the benefit of being a bit younger and a way better actress, tbh.

Only about three years difference, Watts was already in her mid-30s when it came out. WAY better actress, absolutely. But she'd already been doing adult roles all the way back in Tank Girl. And she had a much stronger follow-up; her very next movie was The Ring, while poor Harring had to wait another three years for a fairly minor role in The Punisher as her next big Hollywood production.
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Jason Miller was amazing as Fathet Karras in THE EXORCIST and then did almost nothing.

Jason Miller was more of a stage guy. Sort of like saying Patti Lupone disappeared from the face of the earth after that tv show. Plus, if we define hit as being fucking awesome, then The Ninth Configuration takes him out of this contest.

 

And then there is Rudy.

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Well I interpreted the thread not as "people who disappeared" but as "people who were great in one movie/were in one great movie." I mean maybe everyone mentioned went on to be great at something else.

And I think THE NINTH CONFIGURATION is wretched, though it certainly gets a lot of mention. Terrible "mental illness played for comedy" tropes and really bad acting on the part of the antagonists.

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Well I interpreted the thread not as "people who disappeared" but as "people who were great in one movie/were in one great movie." I mean maybe everyone mentioned went on to be great at something else.

 

I interpreted as "actors who either briefly achieved or seemed poised to achieve stardom, only to either completely disappear or fall back into bit parts and TV"

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Can we include Sawyer from Lost yet?

 

I'm not positive on this and don't feel like looking it up at the moment, but I recall reading somewhere that he wanted to go the Dana Carvey route and spend more time with his family and kids instead of working non-stop.  He got the lead role in that Person of Interest ripoff show that quickly tanked.

 

I thought that Mark Dacascos was going to be one of the biggest action movie stars ever.

 

My first exposure to him was in Brotherhood of the Wolf (which is still one of my favorite movies) and it seems like he's this generation's Michael Dudikoff or Gary Daniels in the "king of straight to video action movies".  On a similar note I thought Phillip Rhee would be bigger based on Best of the Best, but pretty much the only thing he's done is make sequels to it.

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It's not a big Hollywood picture but Dacascos was great as the recurring big bad villain on Hawaii 5-O.

 

Yeah, I taped all of the Wo Fat episodes.   I'm a Cold War kid so I was stoked that the writers of the new H 5-0 reimaged him..

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