By Bobbi Hunter
Some celebrities tend to fade into oblivion after a few years of fame and while you may wonder where the hell they’ve gone, we usually don’t tend to spend too much time caring.
But then these celebrities make an awesome comeback and we become elated that they’re back and looking better than ever. There are times, however, that we wish the celebrity comebacks had never happened and that said celebrities would crawl back under the rock from whence they came.
But here are 10 celebrity comebacks we can all smile and be very happy about.
Celebrity comebacks #10
After his popularity skyrocketed in Welcome Back, Kotter, Grease and Staying Alive, we thought that John Travolta was here to stay, thanks to his original look and guy next door persona. But then, he faded into oblivion.
He tried to make a comeback in 1989 with Look Who’s Talking alongside Kirstie Alley, but that didn’t really work out for John Travolta so he crawled back into oblivion and stayed there for a few more years.
Then, luckily, a director named Quentin Tarantino decided to cast a long-haired, bloated John Travolta as Vincent Vega in 1994’s Pulp Fiction, and, once again, John Travolta became box office gold. A string of successful movies followed and John Travolta built himself an airport in his backyard.
Celebrity comebacks #9
The UK boy band Take That, made up of Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Gary Barlow got together in the first half 1990s and were wildly popular; so much so that they garnered direct comparisons to The Beatles.
But then, the Take That egos got too big and the band dismantled in 1996 to the dismay of fans all over Europe. After a full on 10-year hiatus, a 2005 documentary and release of a greatest hits album, the band decided to reunite and head out on tour once again.
The Beautiful World Tour was a sellout hit and Take That was still as popular as ever.
Celebrity comebacks #8
In 1988, Paula Abdul released her debut album called Forever Your Girl, and the hit single “Straight Up” shot her fame quotient higher than it had ever been.
But after a string of successful singles, Paula Abdul quickly disappeared after her 1995 album Head Over Heels failed to do well on the Billboard charts.
But in 2002, a little known show called American Idol recruited Paula Abdul as one of its judges, alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, and, lo and behold, Paula Abdul had, once again, become a household name.
Celebrity comebacks #7
Married to Tommy Mottola and looking like an angel, singer Mariah Carey was music gold when her first single “Vision of Love” was released in 1990. The world fell in love with her and she could do no wrong.
But then she divorced Tommy Mottola and swore he kept her prisoner in their home. After some more musical success, Mariah Carey decided to leave Tommy Mottola’s Columbia Records and head off to Virgin Records, by whom she was paid to leave in 2002, following a mental breakdown and paranoid delusions.
After a failed movie career (see Glitter, or, actually, don't) with a failed accompanying soundtrack, Mariah Carey took the necessary time to get her head straight before returning to the music scene in 2005 with The Emancipation of Mimi. And her music career has been great ever since.
Celebrity comebacks #6
In the 1980s, Rob Lowe was one of the sexiest men alive and proved it as he starred in hit films like The Outsiders and St. Elmo’s Fire. He was a member of the brat pack, which included Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy.
In 1988, Rob Lowe’s career would take a serious blow after a sex tape showing him having sex with a 16-year-old was released to the public. Although Rob Lowe did not know she was underage, it still hurt him professionally. At the same time, another sex tape had made its way into public hands; this one featured Rob Lowe and another guy having sex with a model.
In 1999, however, Rob Lowe managed to attract a different audience when he was cast on NBC’s The West Wing as Sam Seaborn until 2003, at which point he left the show to pursue other ventures. But it was obvious, Rob Lowe was back. And he proved it once again when he accepted a recurring role as Calista Flockhart’s love interest on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters.
Celebrity comebacks #5
In 1987, Kylie Minogue came to be known as the adorable Australian babe who did a remake of “The Locomotion.” After a couple more hits in the US, Kylie Minogue disappeared, never to be heard from again. Or so we thought.
Kylie Minogue reappeared on this side of the pond, looking deadly sexy in 2001, with a new attitude and a string of new hits, the first of which was “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” Proving that reinvention is the key to success (as Madonna has done time and time again), Kylie Minogue’s popularity has skyrocketed in the 2000s.
Celebrity comebacks #4
Teri Hatcher was the very adorable Lois Lane on the very popular TV show series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993 until 1997. But after that series ended and Teri Hatcher starred as a Bond Girl, something happened to Teri… she stopped looking sexy and started looking old and scrawny.
So in the late ‘90s until the early 2000s, no one went near Teri Hatcher because she just wasn’t a good seller. But in 2004, Teri Hatcher was cast on a show called Desperate Housewives and it rejuvenated her career to the extent that she won a Golden Globe award for her role as Susan Mayer.
Celebrity comebacks #3
In the late 1980s, Kiefer Sutherland was an easy box office draw with roles in hot movies like Stand By Me, The Lost Boys and Young Guns, but as the ‘90s came and went, Kiefer Sutherland’s roles got smaller and smaller, and he became more and more insignificant.
Cut to 2001 and Kiefer Sutherland becomes a TV phenomenon in the action-packed TV drama 24 to the delight of ‘80s children everywhere. Jack Bauer and his “dammit!” mantra become water cooler fodder every Tuesday morning and the world knows that Jack Bauer will, indeed, serve the president and keep the world safe… one hour at a time.
Celebrity comebacks #2
If you asked me how many times I watched Patrick Dempsey playing the geek to chic role in Can’t Buy Me Love, I probably couldn’t tell you, but God knows I loved that movie in 1987. And his string of hits didn’t stop there; I watched Loverboy and Coup de Ville myriad times in the ‘80s as well.
But then, it seemed that Patrick Dempsey couldn’t nail that money role that was going to thrust him into the fame stratosphere, despite the fact that Patrick Dempsey really was a phenomenal actor.
Cut to 2005, and Patrick Dempsey is cast as Dr. Derek Shepherd on the new series Grey’s Anatomy and, instantly, he becomes McDreamy and is the source of many a woman’s fantasy.
Celebrity comebacks #1
Robert Downey Jr.
In 1987, Robert Downey Jr. starred in Less Than Zero as a drug-addicted teenager and his role would be one that would garner him much praise from critics worldwide. And after a handful of other notable movies, including Chaplin, Robert Downey Jr.’s life took a turn for the worse.
Between 1996 and 2001, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested numerous times for drug use and spent much of his time in and out of jail and rehab facilities.
But then in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Iron Man in the movie of the same name and the world took notice of a great-looking Downey Jr. who was looking fit and trim, and very clean. Add to that his role as an Australian man playing a black man in Tropic Thunder and you can bet that Robert Downey Jr. has made a wicked comeback.
September 18, 2008
By Bobbi Hunter