Hollywood is the dreamland where aspiring actors and actresses come to make their mark on the world. Unfortunately, not everyone can have a long and successful career in the entertainment industry. Many talented performers have had just one Hollywood success before disappearing entirely.
Here are ten actors and actresses that fit this bill, with some background on their one-hit wonders.
1. Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz is one of the most iconic performances in film history.
Despite her unique role, Hamilton only appeared in a handful of films after The Wizard of Oz. She mainly worked in television, including a recurring role on the soap opera General Hospital.
2. Kelly LeBrock
Kelly LeBrock’s career took off after her role as Lisa in Weird Science. She was even considered one of the most beautiful actresses of her time. However, her career stalled because of personal issues. She made only a few appearances in film and television throughout the 1990s.
4. Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Cates’ portrayal of Linda Barrett in Fast Times at Ridgemont High made her an instant sensation. However, she retired from acting in the early 1990s to focus on raising her family.
She briefly returned to the big screen in 2001’s The Anniversary Party.
5. Billy Zane
Billy Zane’s role as Caledon Hockley in Titanic cemented him as a Hollywood heartthrob. Despite this, he has primarily worked in independent films and television since the release of the blockbuster hit.
6. Tami Stronach
Tami Stronach’s role as the Childlike Empress in The NeverEnding Story was her only film credit. She later became a professional dancer and choreographer.
7. Jaye Davidson
Jaye Davidson’s performance as Dil in The Crying Game was unforgettable. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Davidson was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
However, despite the acclaim, Davidson never reappeared in another major Hollywood film.
8. Carrie Henn
Carrie Henn’s role as Rebecca “Newt” Jorden in Aliens was her only acting credit. She later became a teacher and has largely stayed out of the spotlight since her brief brush with fame.
9. Max Elliott Slade
Max Elliott Slade’s role as Colt in 3 Ninjas was his only major film credit. He continued to act in more minor roles throughout the 1990s but eventually left the industry to pursue other interests.
10. Dana Plato
Dana Plato was a child star who achieved fame for her role as Kimberly Drummond in the TV series Diff’rent Strokes. However, after the series ended, Plato struggled to succeed in Hollywood.
She appeared in a few low-budget films, but personal struggles, including substance addiction and legal troubles, marred her career. Sadly, Plato passed away in 1999 at 34 from a drug overdose.
11. Rachael Leigh Cook
Rachael Leigh Cook’s breakout role was in the teen classic She’s All That. She played the character of Laney Boggs, the nerdy art student who gets a makeover and wins the heart of the famous guy. While Cook had a few other notable roles, none reached the success that She’s All That did.
Hollywood is a fickle industry that can make or break careers instantly. These actors and actresses were once the next big things before their careers fizzled out. However, they will always be remembered for their iconic roles and their impact on Hollywood.
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