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10 Great Actors Who Need to Make a Comeback

14 April 2016 | Features, People Lists | by Justin Chumas

actors comeback

Time in Hollywood has a tendency to be a good or bad thing on the careers of actors. Some actors can withstand the test of time from the beginning of their careers until they retire, others aren’t so lucky and wind up going through a rough patch in their careers, while some drop off the map but wind up returning to the spotlight at some point.

For the latter category this list contains actors who haven’t stopped acting persay, but could be doing better than what they’re doing now. Keep in mind some of the things an actor does through their life affect the roles they’re given. Some get bad publicity for things they’ve done, others have stopped caring, some may have lost interest in acting entirely, and for others, there may be no shot at redemption.


10. Christian Slater

True Romance

What made him great: Slater was one of the biggest names back in the 90’s having starred in hits like True Romance and Interview with a Vampire. Following some bad film picks like Hard Rain, Windtalkers, and Alone in the Dark, Slater seems to have veered in and out of the mainstream eye.

Is there a chance for a comeback: Things are getting better. He’s come off winning a Golden Globe for the hit series Mr. Robot and has nabbed supporting roles in upcoming movies like King Cobra and The Wife. Here’s to hoping those put him back on the map.


9. Adrien Brody

Adrian Brody The Pianist

What made him great: A dedicated actor to his craft, Brody was capable of giving awe-inspired performances in films like The Pianist, for which he won an Oscar, and has tapped into his comedic chops in Wes Anderson films like The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox. However following miscastings in movies like Predators and Hollywoodland as well as some plain bad film picks like Experiment and InAPPorpriate Movie, Brody seems to be torn between mainstream schlock and B-movies.

Is there a chance for a comeback: He has nothing worthwhile on the horizon, but with his frequent collaborations with Wes Anderson there’s always a chance for him coming back.


8. Brendan Fraser


What made him great: Bursting onto the scene in the 90’s with other leading men like Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, Fraser proved himself to be just as versatile as former. Being capable of comedic roles like in Encino Man and George of the Jungle, the rugged action hero in The Mummy and its sequel, and dramatic roles like in Gods and Monsters, The Quiet American, and Crash.

However following a nasty divorce in the late 2000’s as well as bad film picks like the forgettable medical drama Extraordinary Measures and the abysmal Furry Vengeance Fraser has dropped off the map and has been appearing in less than stellar indie films.

Is there any chance for a comeback: Other than a supporting role in the History Channel miniseries Texas Rising Fraser has nothing new on the horizon. Hopefully Paul Thomas Anderson or Quentin Tarantino will give him a call for a role in an ensemble-based movie.


7. Jon Voight

mission impossible

What made him great: Along with the great character actors of the 70’s like Pacino, De Niro and Hoffman Voight also made his mark on cinema in the 60’s and 70’s with classics like Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance, and his Oscar Winning performance in Coming Home.

Voight continued to make great movies throughout the 80’s and 90’s like Runaway Train, Heat, Mission: Impossible, and Ali. Lately though, aside from Ray Donovan Voight seems to still be trapped in straight to video B-movies and crappy Baby Geniuses Sequels.

Is there any chance for a comeback: He has supporting roles in the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t tank.


6. James Woods

once upon a time in america

What made him great: A lean, smarmy, and sleazy character actor, Woods exceled at playing all kinds of slimey characters from Maximilian Bercovicz in Once Upon a Time in America, to his Oscar nominated performance in Ghosts of Mississippi, to Hades in Disney’s Hercules. Woods was everywhere in the 90’s. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s ended and Woods’ career started to get worse with appearances in the mediocre remake of Straw Dogs and the mindless action movie White House Down.

Is there any chance for a comeback: Nowadays Woods is less interested in acting and more interested in posting political tirades on Twitter. Following a recent lawsuit he filed against a twitter user for calling him a cocaine addict it’s not likely we’ll be seeing much of Woods any time soon.



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  • Eric Roberts is someone that is in sorely need of a major comeback. I don’t give a shit what awful shit he did many years ago either. The man is a good actor and deserves a great role though I’m glad he was put to good use in The Dark Knight. Christian Slater also needs a comeback as I think his performance in Nymphomaniac was severely underrated.

    With the exception of Brendan Fraser and Mike Myers, everyone else in the list I think is doing just fine and don’t really need to do anything. Fraser is just an idiot who puts himself into the worst kind of films to the point that he’s now one of those derp-de-derp actors like Rob Schneider. As for Mike Myers, I just think he needs to just retire as his concept of comedy is just dated and self-indulgent. Let’s not forget that he committed the worst kind of sin in Hollywood which was to bite the hand that feeds as it related to his Sprockets film project.

  • Allister Cooper

    Everett McGill! He was so over the top at times in The People Under the Stairs!

  • Steven Fox

    Caan can still cut it at any level, should star in more serious movies, also does Sam Neil.
    The rest were never that good anyway, and had 1-2 breakout performances, but were never really a thing.

  • BaronMarx

    Hardly think Eric Roberts needs to make a comeback if he’s slated for that many upcoming roles. Blockbusters or not, the man hasn’t gone away. Someone like Rick Moranis would make more sense for this list.

  • MrArtTuro

    Two words: Gene Hackman.

    • John W. Thackery


      • MrArtTuro

        Yes, but still totally missed and needing to ”come back”.

  • Ivan Galić

    Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Sam Neil.

    • John W. Thackery

      Sam Neill is on the list. Jack and Gene are retired.

  • John W. Thackery

    Jon Voight is a regular on the tv series Ray Donovan and has received considerable acclaim for the role (Globes, Emmys and such). Mike Myers directed the critically acclaimed documentary “Supermensch” last year. And Brendan Fraser was never a great actor. Fine in smaller roles (Crash) but is lacking in range.

  • sailor monsoon

    Billy Zane and tom sizemore

  • Special_One

    Wow, you have a funny way of viewing performances. Saying Brendan Fraser is “just as versatile” as Brad Pitt, and comparing Eric Roberts to Marlon Brando…I mean, what the actual fuck? It’s like calling Adam Sandler the next Paul Newman or something, it just doesn’t make sense.

    • sailor monsoon

      You’ve clearly never seen older eric Roberts films.
      What happened to his career is a fucking mystery because he had the potential to be the best American actor working today

  • Frankie

    Mike Myers! Eric Roberts! Really!!!!!

  • Frankie

    What about John Turturro, Tim Robbins, Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGregor, Richard Dreyfuss, and especially William Hurt

  • Allister Cooper

    Everett McGill, Everett McGill, and Everett McGill.

  • Alice Olivia

    Keanu Reeves!

  • Carl Edgar Consiglio

    Blehh can’t stand Sam neil

  • AJ Sauer

    Don’t blame the actors its not their fault Hollywood is out of Ideas!