20 A-List Celebrities Who Sunk To The D-List

Charlie Sheen

Celebrities are constantly on display; checkout counters boast many different magazines that give he said she said, sometimes a factual representation of their misadventures. Additionally, some stars gain reputations for being hard to work with or give up and let fame go to their head. Whatever the reason, many celebrities who had a promising future fade into obscurity only to have their name brought up years later in a conversation-starting with I wonder what are they doing now? Other celebrities still enjoy a movie career riding a crestfallen wave from decades past. Yet, their current movies turn into late-night ta;k show fodder. Whatever the reason, many celebrities whose stars once shone brightly sometimes fall from sought-after A-listers to D-Listers. These are 20 A-List Celebrities who sunk to the D-List.

20. Shia LaBeouf

According to Forbes, Steven Spielberg chose LaBeouf to participate in one of his movies. At the same time, he was a part of the Transformers movies. After several big-budget films, many considered him the next Tom Cruise. Perhaps it’s a case where the brightest star burns quickest because soon the actor started having too many personal issues, namely with alcohol and violence, to keep his seat on the A-list.

19. Paris Hilton

Keeping Up with the Kardashians wasn’t the first TV show to feature people who gained fame for being part of an affluent family; it was Hilton. She starred in the Simple Life for five seasons. She also appeared on many different commercials and other ad campaigns during her heyday. However, she rapidly sunk to the D-List for picking fights with her co-star Nicole Richie. She cemented her place with politically incorrect statements about gays. It’s doubtful her dream of becoming president will ever materialize.

18. Val Kilmer

Remember Kilmer in movies like Top Gun, Tombstone, and Batman Forever? It seemed like he was on the fast track to longstanding fame. However, much like other stars on the list, Kilmer couldn’t sustain his fame. One of the main reasons is he is notorious for starting drama with co-stars on the set; another is multiple failed relationships keeping him in the press for reasons other than his movies.

17. Tara Reid

In 1999, Reid had overnight success with the movie American Pie, a role she went on to reprise in several sequels. However, after the hit, she starred in several movie bombs. Additionally, Reid had trouble with her fame. Seeing herself constantly in the tabloids propelled her into a life of partying and excess. She tried her hand at a reality show called Taradise, but she never regained her initial fame and eventually faded into obscurity.

16. Lindsay Lohan

Many childhood actors and actresses struggle with early fame, and Lohan is another example. She starred in movies like the Disney reboot of The Parent Trap. Over time the fresh face girl became known more for partying and arrests than her movies. Eventually, the actress decided to remove herself from the spotlight and move to Dubai.

15. Brendan Fraser

Fraser was a staple in Hollywood blockbusters throughout the mid-nineties and early aughts. According to The U.S. Sun, Fraser stepped away from the spotlight and never managed to recapture the spotlight. He cited declining health for his exit. Additionally, a messy divorce and alleged sex scandal prevented him from ever capturing the same level of fame even after attempting a comeback.

14. Chevy Chase

Chase’s early fame started on Saturday Night Live. He starred in iconic movies like the Vacation series, Three Amigos, and Caddyshack. However, after many excellent films, Chase starred in many more that people overlooked. Perhaps, it’s because his brand of comedy didn’t stand the test of time. He even tried the late-night circuit. Yet, the major players like Jay Leno and David Letterman overshadowed him. Additionally, many studios were reluctant to hire him because he had a reputation for quitting shows. He was the first actor to leave Saturday Night Live. It was nearly impossible to play the roles where he shone as he grew older. He did reprise his iconic role of Clark Griswald on a reboot of Vacation starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. However, it faded into the background against their fresh comedy.

13. Kathy Griffin

Griffin celebrated her decline with the show My Life on the D-List, but she wasn’t always there. Even though she never rose to the fame of some celebrities on this list, she had a strong following that made her famous. However, once she posed with a bloody Trump head, her decline happened fast. Even her show lost her original following, garnering little more than 500,000 watchers.

12. Demi Moore

In the 80s and 90s, Moore overcame her negative press and made many hit movies, including St. Elmo’s Fire and Indecent Proposal. At the height of her career, she was the highest-paid female actress. However, shortly after reaching this pinnacle, she made Striptease after the lackluster reviews; many felt she was overpaid and didn’t have the talent to match her salary. Additionally, all the fame went to her head, and Hollywood started pegging her as a brat. Perhaps she lived up to the name of the famous group of actors who reached fame simultaneously. Moore’s solution was to undergo plastic surgery when the scripts for alpha females started drying up. She even went for a younger man, perhaps to hold on to her youthful image. Nonetheless, her A-list status was already over and instead made headlines for outrageous behavior, including a public shaming by Peta for the amount of fur in her wardrobe.

10. Katharine Heigel

According to Screen Rant, Katharine Heigel was one of the most popular actresses during the early 2000s. She starred in the hit tv show Grey’s Anatomy and the Judd Apatow movie Knocked Up. Even though the film was a huge hit, Heigel felt it was sexist. A few started with her co-star Seth Rogen which didn’t help her career. She starred in several more movies but couldn’t her way back to the A-List after her comments. Recently, Heigel starred in the Firefly on Netflix, but it doesn’t look likely she’ll find the same level of stardom she once enjoyed.

9. Julia Stiles

She starred in some of the ’90s’ most iconic movies like Save The Last Dance and 10 Things I Hate About You. Stiles’ girl, next door image and string of hit movies, couldn’t hold her place on the A-List. One thing that separates her from other celebrities on this list is that she didn’t fight it once her fame declined. After experiencing several flop movies and a Broadway play that had little to no success, she walked away from Hollywood.

8. Eddie Murphy

Murphy started his career on Saturday Night Live. He starred in many successful family movies, including the Shrek franchise. Over time, the awards Murphy received went from Golden Globes to Razzies. Even though the actor took a step back from the spotlight to focus on family, he couldn’t escape the tabloids. After all, the actor has nine children with five different women.

7. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was once America’s dad, starring in The Cosby Show, a popular 80s sitcom. Then, in 2016 sexual misconduct allegations started flooding in. According to ABC 7, there is Chloe Gains, a woman who was underage in 1965 when Cosby allegedly made advances filed charges. Even though she dropped them later, the damage to Cosby’s career was irrepairable. Rumors like these circulated Hollywood for years, but the charges became the death knell for his career.

6. Johnny Depp

Depp reached his hay day in the 90s. Even though he continued to act, he’s never fully recaptured his former fame. Some of this is after the messy split with his long-time partner, Vannessa Paradis. Since then, the negative press has kept following him. According to the New York Post, after Paradis Depp became involved with Amber Heard. He sued a rival newspaper, The Sun for libel, but it was too late for damage control. Even though many people thought his career was over, Depp will star in a period piece about Louis XV later in 2022.

5. Madonna

One of the things that made the singer a stand out was her controversial interviews at the start of her career. Additionally, she stayed at the top of the charts, assuring her place in pop music history. However, once social media took hold, Madonna’s career started to decline because she shied away from promoting herself on these avenues. However, she finally embraced it. Madonna’s album release was one of the worst falls from fame in pop music history. Madame X only made it to number 77 on the pop charts. Many thought it was because the artist didn’t have a great first single on the album. We’ll have to wait and see if her proposed tour with fellow pop artist Britney Spears helps to resurrect her career.

4. Bruce Willis

Even when he released the less than stellar movie Hudson Hawk in 1991, he was still riding the wave of Die Hard fame. However, as he got older, action roles that made him famous became scarce, and he seemed to be phoning it in. Director Kevin Smith, a long-time fan of Willis, asked him to star in the critically panned movie Cop Out. However, his opinion of the actor changed dramatically. In an interview with Cinema Blend, Smith said, “Cop Out could have been a great experience if it were not for the fact that I met true darkness in Bruce Willis. I love making movies, and he does not, at all.” It’s quite a fall from the action star of the 80s.

3. John Travolta

Throughout his career, he’s had a series of highs and lows. He debuted on Welcome Back Kotter, followed by the cult classics Saturday Night Fever and Grease. However, over time he started to have more misses than hits. Despite working on the movie Gotti for years, it received a 0 on Rotten Tomatoes. Nowadays, he’s working on films many people haven’t seen, including one written and directed by former Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

2. Mel Gibson

His career started in the 70s, and he enjoyed 30 plus years of rising stardom. However, in 2004 things began to slump. Gibson started to gain fame in other ways, primarily his anti-Semitic comments. Many thought he directed The Passion of the Christ to promote the theory that Jews killed Jesus Christ. Even though Gibson tried to apologize, many thought his apology was insincere.

1. Charlie Sheen

According to E Online, 2021 marked the tenth anniversary since his firing from Two and a Half Men after calling the how’s creator Chuck Lorre a “turd” and a “clown.” Since then, his erratic behavior and excessive drug use have been front and center. After being fired from Two and a Half Men, he seemed to be on the fast track again. Unfortunately, the route was to a complete mental breakdown. Even though he is part of the impressive Sheen/Estevez family, Hollywood continually passes him over for movie roles after his shenanigans. Perhaps he should relegate his winning hashtag for memories of the 90s when he was still an A-list celebrity.

Final Words

Marilyn Monroe once said, “fame is fickle, and I know it. It has its compensations but it also has its drawbacks, and I’ve experienced them both.” The celebrities on this list are perfect examples. Although many started with blockbuster after blockbuster, a series of personal or professional things relegated them to the D-List. Many fell victim to the pressures, and others let fame go to their head with expectations, so outrageous studios refused to work with them. However, they all have one thing in common, a declining career with little to no chance of a comeback.

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