Best Actor Comebacks, From Brendan Fraser to Robert Downey Jr.
Sometimes actors receive setbacks in their careers for various reasons, but what’s important is how stars recover their careers to what they were.
Actors can take breaks from the film industry for various reasons. Sometimes their announced hiatuses are on their own accord, but other times, their lack of appearances in films can be due to past controversies preventing their involvement. However, it can also be from the actor starring in various films that just didn’t take off.
No Matter How Low You Go, You Can Always Get Back On Top.
However long actors stay in the film industry rut, what’s important is how they get out of it. Some people could take years or even decades to get back to the same point of fame. While some actors may never recover their careers to the same peak, others become household names again for good reason.
Robert Downey Jr. began acting at the mere age of five years old. He played a minor role in John Hughes’ film Weird Science but gained recognition for his Academy Award-nominated role in Chaplin. From 1996 to 2001, the police arrested Downey multiple times on drug-related charges.
Completion bond companies refused to insure RDJ due to his run-ins with the law, but Mel Gibson paid for his insurance bond for The Singing Detective. The 57-year-old actor gained international fame for his role as the titular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man. Additionally, Downey portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the eponymous 2009 film and its sequel.
Brendan Fraser is best known for his lead role as Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy. He also starred in films like George of the Jungle and Inkheart. In an interview with GQ, Fraser claimed Hollywood “blacklisted” him after speaking out about Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Philip Berk sexually assaulting him.
In September 2022, the 53-year-old actor received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival for his role in The Whale. The film follows a severely obese man who attempts to reconnect with his daughter. The audience’s touching response caused Fraser to burst into tears.
Winona Ryder starred in a string of films from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. She rose to prominence for her role in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and continued to star in popular films like Heathers and Edward Scissorhands. After the 2002 film Mr. Deeds, Ryder decided to take a break from acting. She was also in the tabloids for her 2001 arrest after shoplifting designer clothes.
In 2009, she returned to the film industry to star in Star Trek as Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson. Ryder also reunited with Burton for Frankenweenie. However, she regained the familiar sense of fame for her role as Joyce Byers in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
While Ralph Macchio made his film debut as Johnny Cade in The Outsiders, he rose to international fame for playing Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid. After The Karate Kid, Macchio starred opposite Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in the 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny. The film follows two guys from New York wrongfully accused of murdering a man at a gas station.
While Macchio made brief appearances in series such as How I Met Your Mother and Ugly Betty, he couldn’t amount to his same Karate Kid fame. Fortunately, Cobra Kai reignited Macchio’s popularity as the show follows Daniel and his old friends still trying to take down the troublesome dojo. Additionally, the Karate Kid sequel series includes new characters, like Daniel’s daughter, Sam, and Johnny Lawrence’s son, Robby.
Ke Huy Quan Recently Reunited With Harrison Ford
Vietnamese-American actor Ke Huy Quan had his breakthrough role as Indiana Jones’ sidekick, Short Round, in Temple of Doom. Additionally, he starred as Richard “Data” Wang in the 1985 film The Goonies. As an adult, Quan decided to quit acting and began choreographing for various productions, like X-Men and The One.
Inspired by the success of Crazy Rich Asians, Quan joined the cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once to play Waymond Wang. Additionally, Disney announced the 51-year-old actor would appear in Loki Season 2 and the TV adaptation of American Born Chinese. He recently reunited with Harrison Ford at D23, 38 years after Temple of Doom.