Everyone loves a comeback.
But which celebrities out there have managed the “greatest” comebacks to revive careers that many thought had ended years before? Below are some of the most memorable and successful celebrity comebacks, testament to the possibilities of a career being revived in the entertainment business, no matter how far it goes off the rails.
Robert Downey Jr.
A brilliant actor who rose fast in many memorable roles throughout the Eighties, culminating in an Academy Award nom for his performance in Chaplin, Downey, Jr. became a full blown drug addict in the last half of the Nineties, and was so hooked that it not only almost ended his career, but also almost killed him.
However, after going clean and staying sober, Downey, Jr.’s talent came back, with a vengeance and he is now considered one of the finest actors in Hollywood, capable of handling major tent pole blockbusters and smaller, edgier films alike.
After being a fearsome heavy weight boxer who dominated the sport for a number of years in a row, Mike Tyson fell repeatedly with a rape conviction that landed him in prison, an attempted comeback that went down in flames after he bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear and then went bankrupt a short time later.
Tyson has revived himself through strategic performances in hit films like the Hangover and documentaries about his life and a television series on Animal Planet about pigeon racing.
After his star making performance in Good Will Hunting, for which he won the Academy Award with Matt Damon for writing the screenplay, Ben Affleck became an A-list movie star. And then proceeded to make terrible movie after terrible movie.
Almost unemployable a few years later, Affleck took his turn at directing and through Gone Baby Gone, revived his career. He’s now resumed his position at the top of Hollywood as a talented filmmaker and at least respectable actor—though one should be wary of his acting leading him back down that path of mediocrity.
Child actors have a tough time coming back from their fall after they grow up and Barrymore had as tough a time as anyone, dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, among other things.
However, the little girl from “E.T.” has become one of the best producers in Hollywood today and still possesses that charm and cuteness when she is put in front of the camera.