41 Celebrities Who Are Desperately Trying to Win Back Their Fame - too cool 2 be true

41 Celebrities Who Are Desperately Trying to Win Back Their Fame

Being a celebrity means being loved and appreciated by your adoring public for your fame, glory, or worldly possessions. But not everyone can be a celebrity. The demands placed on famous people are so high that the benefits just aren’t worth it for many stars. Celebrities can come from anywhere – business owners, movie stars, ballplayers, models. One thing is for certain: Not everyone wants to hold onto their 15 minutes of fame.

Some celebrities continued to stoke their fame after arriving on the scene (the Kardashians being the prime example). However, many others ran from the spotlight as soon as they saw what came with it. In today’s article, we’ll be looking at a far more interesting breed of celebrity – those who lose their fame but try desperately to stay in the spotlight. Here’s a list of celebrities who need to stop trying to recapture their fame.

Spencer Pratt & Heidi Montag

Given that Pratt’s name was mentioned here, he’ll most likely read this article as he’s admitted to having a daily habit of Google searching his own name. Pratt and Montag were a showbiz couple whose relationship seemed like a series of unfortunate roller coaster rides.


Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag bounced from reality TV show to reality TV show, each of them hoping for a breakout moment but never experiencing one. They have appeared on several different reality shows in a short period of time, making them prime examples of how the word “celebrity” has been stretched beyond recognition.

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith is the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. His acting career has never really taken off. He made his screen debut in 2006, appearing as his father’s son in The Pursuit of Happiness. In 2010, he co-starred with Jackie Chan in a Karate Kid remake.

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Jaden played a teen who trained with Mr. Miyagi to defeat a ruthless bully named Johnny Lawrence. Smith also appeared in the tedious 2013 sci-fi flick After Earth alongside his father. His sister Willow took the world by storm with her song, “Whip My Hair.” Jaden never quite took anything by storm, but he did start acting strangely on Twitter, leading many to question whether he needs to focus on his family issues before working on his career. 

Tara Reid

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tara Reid shot to fame thanks to her role in American Pie and hilarious appearance in The Big Lebowski. The public’s interest in her waned when she moved to reality TV for Wild On! and its subsequent spin-off program, Taradise.


Although Tara Reid’s career has cooled, she hasn’t given up. She’s appeared in some small projects recently, but she hasn’t been playing lead roles. It seems that she’s kept herself out of trouble and doesn’t have a lot of serious drama to deal with at the moment, but her career is unlikely to ever reach its previous heights.

Mariah Carey

We’re sorry to say, Mariah, but your reign as a soloist is over. As much as we love listening to ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You,’ many fellow music lovers are growing tired of the song. Of course, many Mariah Carey fans appreciate her endlessly, and they will always have fond memories of her performances throughout the 90s.

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Mariah Carey’s diva attitude is a relic of the pop star era when her vocal abilities and attitude onstage were tolerated and even lauded. Sadly, her lip-syncing on New Year’s Eve exposed a lack of talent, and listeners now focus more on criticizing her vocals than listening to them. Her feud with Nicki Minaj on American Idol was one of the most uncomfortable moments in reality television history.

Rita Ora

While pop stars often gain international fame, Rita Ora is one example of someone who had trouble crossing the Atlantic to the States, despite her major success in Europe and the UK. Her song “I Will Never Let You Down” was a one-hit-wonder for her.


Rita Ora was dropped by her record label, Roc Nation, in 2013 – a sign that she’s not as big a star as she used to be. She returned to television with judging stints on X Factor US and America’s Next Top Model, but it seems unlikely that she’ll ever achieve the same success she once had.

Tyga Who?

Tyga, who first gained popularity as a rapper, is now more well-known for his relationship with Kylie Jenner. He and the reality star are rumored to have split in late 2016, though the two maintain that they never dated. After Tyga released his song “Rack City,” it soared to number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.


Tyga and Kylie Jenner have been spending more time together, but as a new report explains, no one is really paying attention to his music. The man who got famous for being with the Kardashians doesn’t even have an established music career. Though he’s worked with artists like Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith, his star has faded.

Lea Michele

Some talented people go unrecognized for their work. Lea Michele is one such example, having been in Glee and then much else for three years. Lea was given a chance to star in another show on Fox, Scream Queens, and she began pursuing music. However, none of it garnered much attention.


It seems like Lea Michele just can’t get enough of being a celebrity. She got her start in musicals, and she still has a great voice, but after bullying allegations came out about her, both fans and producers seemed to lose interest. 

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson

During the 2000s, 50 Cent was a regular name in top-10 lists. But Fiddy’s fame slipped away after he stopped making music. He tried starting a number of businesses, including footwear, headphones, mattresses, champagne, and cognac, but none of them ended up being successful.

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Curtis Jackson, who invested in the Vitaminwater brand, is still enjoying much success. However, he’s also been involved with a number of failed films and has released little by way of quality music. We see him continuing to climb the corporate ladder, but we do not foresee him gaining any further relevance in the music industry.

Cameron Diaz

It’s rare for an A-list actor to completely abandon Hollywood, but Cameron Diaz seems to have done it without anyone really noticing. Maybe we failed to notice that she hasn’t been in a new movie in years because we find ourselves watching her old films over and over again.

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All good things must come to an end. According to reports, Cameron Diaz has retired from the film industry and is now married to Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden. Her most recent film was released in 2014, making her status as a celebrity obsolete.

Tyra Banks

Hollywood legend Tyra Banks is a role model for young girls and talented women everywhere, but you may be surprised to learn that her biggest role as an actress was the 2000 Disney Channel original movie Life-Size, starring Lindsay Lohan.


Tyra Banks hosts the television show America’s Next Top Model, which gives young women a chance to pursue their dream of being successful supermodels. Banks is also a co-host of Dancing with the Stars, where she brings her enthusiasm and down-to-earth energy to a show filled with former child stars and washed-up celebrities.

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr used to play down-to-earth mom Roseanne Conner on her eponymous show, opposite John Goodman and other characters known as the “Tuesday gang.” But after a controversial ninth season that included the death of her on-screen husband, Dan Conner (played by John Goodman), and an entire season written by Roseanne Conner-the-character, the show came to an end.

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A revival of Roseanne premiered in 2018. However, that same year, the show’s creator, Roseanne Barr, made several controversial comments about a government official’s ethnicity. The second season of the revival was canceled, and since then, Roseanne has kept pretty quiet.

Lindsay Lohan

Lohan’s first taste of stardom came in 1998 when she starred in Disney’s remake of The Parent Trap, but she had been a recurring young actress on the soap opera Another World prior to that. Lohan was soon starring in projects like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, making her a household name. Her reputation began to falter, though, and her antics eventually overshadowed her talent.

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Lindsay Lohan’s string of bad press following numerous on-set dramas, reports of theft, and problems with substance abuse led to a drastic fall in her popularity. Producers started staying away from her, and her show Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, was canceled after one season. Time to get a real job, Lindsay.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston got famous after appearing on the popular sitcom Friends. The show lasted from 1994 to 2004 but has remained popular thanks to streaming media services such as Netflix.

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Jennifer Aniston’s career has taken her from acting to fame and marriage, but none of her pursuits have truly been satisfying. Her latest effort, The Morning Show, is getting low ratings, but some viewers are tuning in out of curiosity about what the aging star is up to nowadays.

Amanda Bynes

Popular child actor Amanda Bynes experienced a brief burst of fame on Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show before her spinoff series, All That, launched in 2002. However, she quickly faded from view in the years following the closure of both shows.

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Amanda Bynes made one film after another, but she had little recovery time between movie projects like HairsprayShe’s the Man, and Easy A. Her last film was in 2010, and she then had a very public meltdown in 2013. Sadly, her career never recovered. Amanda has been going through a rather extreme transformation, including some face tattoos.

Hulk Hogan

Hulkamania was a real phenomenon – a driving force in pop culture. But after movies starring the wrestler led to reality TV shows about him, the seedy underbelly of his life was revealed. When a scandalous tape of him using racist language came out, his lovable and high-energy persona lost its mojo.

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Despite his ongoing feud with the gossip website Gawker, which led to a lawsuit won by Hogan against the company, professional wrestler Hulk Hogan has remained on good terms with fellow wrestlers and fans. After his retirement from wrestling in 2010, Hogan has continued to make occasional appearances on television. 

Britney Spears

At the age of eighteen, Britney Spears exploded onto the music scene with her debut single, “…Baby One More Time”, becoming one of the biggest pop stars in the world. She rode the success of the song and her provocative image through a series of subsequent albums.

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Britney Spears’ career and life have gone downhill since her 2004 divorce from Kevin Federline, a string of widely publicized breakdowns, attacks on paparazzi that earned her a spot on the “Ten Most Hated Celebrities” list in 2006, and at least two admissions to mental health facilities. The star’s fall from grace has proven to be quite sad.

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal’s retirement from professional basketball in 2011 was a tragic loss for fans all over the world, but the giant star hasn’t really disappeared. He has had some small roles in a couple of TV series and created a couple of ill-thought-out movie projects.

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Steel and Kazaam both, unfortunately, flopped when they were released. But he is still an NBA analyst for Inside The NBA. There, he can spend his time doing what he does best – talking about basketball!

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks signed her first record contract at age seventeen. She was acclaimed as the next Missy Elliot and worked with Pharrell Williams on her debut track “212.” However, Banks has since been involved in numerous feuds with celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea, Zayn Malik, Russell Crowe, and even Elon Musk.

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R&B singer Azealia Banks needs to wake up. Her music videos are full of drug binges, she has been arrested for assault in two states, and her volatile social media behavior has made her a liability to anyone who works with her.

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff may be a household name to many people since she starred in the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire, but she has actually only had a handful of roles since then. She married former NHL player Mike Comrie and gave birth to their son, Luca Comrie, in 2012. It’s safe to say that fame isn’t necessarily waiting for her to come back either!


Despite being a solid C-list celebrity, it seems that Hilary Duff has turned her focus away from her career. She is now a mother, which takes up most of her time. However, this doesn’t mean she cannot dabble in the spotlight from time to time. Her latest role has been in the widely panned How I Met Your Father (a spin-off of How I Met Your Mother).

John Travolta

He made millions of dollars with successful movies like Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Pulp Fiction, but Travolta’s popularity has faded. Both the public and the press became more critical of the actor when he introduced Idina Menzel (the singer and voice of Elsa from Frozen) as “Adele Dazeem” at the 2014 Oscars.

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John Travolta has continued to act in films, but his popularity steadily declined after Pulp Fiction. He is, however, known for photobombing other stars, such as Scarlett Johanssen. His photobombs have not always been well-received, but he has a solid fan base.

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea’s career as a rap-pop star quickly took off in the early 2010s with her unique sound and flamboyant music videos. However, it was cut short thanks to an oversaturated market of sexualized female rappers like Nicki Minaj.

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Music critics gave her debut album negative reviews served alongside accusations that she was appropriating black culture. She disappeared after the release of that album in 2014 but returned in 2019 with a new offering – In My Defense. Sadly, nobody paid attention to the new album. 

Jonathan Cheban

Publicist Jonathan Cheban has been Kim Kardashian’s best friend since they met ten years ago. He is always at her side and considers himself part of the Kardashian family. His friendly and supportive personality earned him a recurring spot on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which earned him more tabloid exposure than most celebrities get.


Although Jonathan Cheban is not a celebrity, he has a knack for staying in the public eye by appearing at red carpet events. Is he just doing this for attention? Or does he really make his living this way?

Nicholas Cage

Actor Nicholas Cage has been in more than 100 films since his 1982 debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. While he’s starred in many memorable classics such as Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds, Cage has spent much of the past two decades focusing on small, independent projects like Willy’s Wonderland.

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Nicolas Cage has become known for his incredible emotional range and ability to portray wildly unhinged characters. But his movies haven’t been breaking box office records lately, and he’s faced some public struggles, such as a recent tax problem. While some people use his name to poke fun at him, there are still plenty of people who view Cage as a uniquely talented actor.

Christina Milian

Christina Milian was once a prominent recording artist. At age nineteen, she signed to Def Jam Records and soon released the singles “AM to PM” and “Dip It Low.” Both songs were popular on the radio, leading Milian to a short but successful career in films such as Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Be Cool, and Pulse.


Soon after her breakthrough, Christina Milian’s career slowed down, and she opted to appear on the reality TV show Christina Milian Turned Up, which showcased her mother and sisters. The show gave Milian a slight career boost, but by that time, fans had lost interest.

Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton took the spotlight in 2003 when she appeared in an adult film called 1 Night in Paris. She became famous for her looks and was given a reality TV show titled The Simple Life, which aired from 2003 to 2007.

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Paris Hilton’s fame within the socialite community was quickly overshadowed by the Kardashian-Jenner clan. She hasn’t done anything noteworthy in the last half a decade, which is how we came to know her in the first place – someone famous just for being famous.

Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson’s career was once a force to be reckoned with, and since his heyday in the early 2000s, his name hasn’t been sullied or tarnished. Wilson still acts, and he has been in some good movies lately, but fans don’t flock to theaters for him.


Wilson’s early films, like Wedding Crashers and The Royal Tenenbaums, brought him fame among the public, but it seems he’ll never achieve superstardom. Lately, he hasn’t been landing the type of acting roles that will help him gain more attention from audiences. With new actors filling the spotlight, it looks like Wilson will not be winning any lead roles in the near future.

Stephen King

Stephen King is a renowned author known for his horror novels, but he has also written extensively in the fantasy genre. Although he officially retired from writing in 2013, he has continued producing new material at a brisk pace.

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Some readers feel that his newer works fall short of his earlier ones, but others enjoy seeing King experiment with different narrative techniques, styles, and genres. King has also gained notoriety as a curmudgeon on Twitter, where he often rails against modern society.

Katherine Heigl

Actress Katherine Heigl, known for her role in the popular medical dramedy Gray’s Anatomy, reportedly earned a reputation of being difficult to work with. Her performance in Gray’s Anatomy earned her an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for Drama Award in 2007.

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However, she declined an opportunity to be nominated again the following year. This led to rumors that her fellow cast members and crew had grown tired of her prima donna attitude. Since then, Heigl has failed to make a successful comeback in Hollywood.

Tony Hawk

For many households in the 1990s and into the new millennium, Tony Hawk was synonymous with skateboarding. Thanks to his appearances in popular video games, he wowed audiences with his incredible tricks. But age caught up with him, and his video game series began to falter, making him less relevant in the cultural landscape.

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Now, Tony Hawk has more time to devote to his family and to charities that matter to him. He still skateboards, but the current generation of pro skaters are coming into their own. He’s happy and content with his legacy, saying, “I was the best once.”

Kristen Stewart

Thanks to the worldwide phenomenon of Twilight, Kristen Stewart’s name came to be recognized by millions of people around the world. Though her performance in that movie franchise was atrociously bad, many people still did not give up on her and continued to support her acting career. However, Stewart cheated on co-star Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders, which devastated fans.

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Stewart’s success has made it possible for her to land roles in plenty of films, including Happiest Season, Charlie’s Angels, and Snow White and the Huntsman. However, she consistently fails to impress critics with her performances. Did you know that she was nominated for a Razzie Award for her performance in Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in 2012?

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian became famous as the star of a bedroom video that was leaked to the public in 2007 – the same year she launched the reality TV series Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Coincidence or clever marketing tactic? Since then, Kim has kept her profile high by getting into feuds with other celebrities.

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She also pursued entrepreneurship, launching a successful clothing line, an equally successful makeup line, and becoming more involved with her family’s business endeavors. Despite some scandals along the way, Kim Kardashian has remained a popular figure for years. However, with KUWTK wrapping up in 2021, her time in the spotlight may be coming to an end. 

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner has had a difficult time shedding the fame she earned in her former life as an Olympic gold medalist. Her public gender transition and her subsequent popularity as a reality TV show personality have created an entirely new level of scrutiny for her.

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Her brief attempt at hosting I Am Cait, a reality series chronicling the early stages of her transition, was met with ridicule by many viewers who considered it a low-quality production. When Caitlyn admitted “I wasn’t in favor of gay marriage” in a 2015 interview on Ellen, she further hurt her credibility, especially among those who were already critical of how she represented herself in media.

Ray J

Ray J, who started his career in the entertainment industry as an actor, has been able to use what he learned while dealing with all aspects of show business to have a successful career as a singer, songwriter, and chef. He is also a reality star. His success has made him somewhat famous, but he often feels like he’s more important than he really is.


Ray J released “I Hit it First” in 2013 – a song that many people believe was about Kim Kardashian. The lyrics were considered trashy, and the song itself isn’t all that catchy, so it was roundly panned by critics and music fans alike.

Shia LaBeouf

Even if you’ve never heard of Even Stevens (LaBeouf’s old Disney Channel show), you’ll probably remember Shia LaBeouf as the guy from the “Just Do It” ads. He’s gone from being Emmy-nominated for his role in Even Stevens to being in mildly entertaining movies, but he’s also had public breakdowns and abuse allegations in between.

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Shia LaBeouf had an impressive career boost from the Transformers franchise, but his role was overshadowed by his breakdown and the emergence of Megan Fox. His career had a brief resurgence with Fury in 2014, but his bizarre antics have seen him lose his spot on top.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino

You’ve probably forgotten about most of the people who came from Jersey Shore. In fact, if you think about it, it’s hard to figure out how Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino became so famous. He punched Snooki on the show once, and we are stumped as to why that kind of behavior should earn anyone a place in the spotlight.

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Mike Sorrentino, America’s favorite reality-TV villain, got famous for showing off his six-pack abs, but his other ventures have been less successful. He tried doing stand-up comedy, but audiences didn’t get it. He’s been charged with tax evasion and has taken to presenting himself as a caricature of himself on reality TV.

Kendrick Perkins

In the NBA, Kendrick Perkins was one of the toughest defenders. He used his 6-10 frame to intimidate other players. Although he had average stats in comparison to some of the league’s top players, he did just fine on the championship-winning Boston Celtics team.

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Kendrick Perkins is now a hot-take-firing machine. He seems determined to always present opposing viewpoints, even if that means contradicting himself. Sadly, his opinions often come off as half-baked, and he’s even begun to rub some of his long-time NBA fans the wrong way.

Who Remembers Macklemore?

Remember Macklemore? He was the rapper who had that “Thrift Shop” single that did well, and he teamed up with Ryan Lewis to do another rap song called “Can’t Hold Us” that was even bigger. But his first album didn’t have the same success.

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Macklemore’s collaboration with Lewis is over, and so is his relevance. The people have moved on to bigger and better things. Hits like “Thriftshop” will ensure that Macklemore is able to continue popping tags and earn money, but not nearly enough to ever be relevant again.

Aubrey O’Day

Thanks to a stint in the girl group Danity Kane, and a role on the MTV show Making The Band, Aubrey O’Day had an opportunity at a music career, but she wasn’t interested in being famous. After her time in the group fizzled out, she disappeared into obscurity, or so we thought.


Aubrey O’Day was actually busy starring in a reality show about her pop career, but like said career, it fizzled after one season. She’s now collaborating with ex-bandmate Shannon Bex in a new duo. Sadly, their latest project hasn’t taken off.

Cher – The End of an Era

Cher was once known as the “Goddess of Pop” but has since fallen from grace. This fact only proves that celebrities should be held accountable for their actions. From the 1960s to the 1990s, Cher recorded many popular songs with her husband, Sonny Bono.

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Since then, she’s been less successful than she once was. She occasionally releases new albums, but her rambling and incoherent social media presence has tarnished her reputation. She has become the internet version of the old woman on suburban streets who gets annoyed with the local kids.

Billy Ray Cyrus

Like father, like daughter. After Billy Ray Cyrus gained fame from his hit “Achy Breaky Heart” in the 1990s, his daughter Miley’s star rose with the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana. This popular show made her a household name and extended her father’s fame a little bit. But by 2010, Miley had completely eclipsed her dad’s stardom.

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Billy Ray Cyrus was rapidly overshadowed by his daughter Miley’s growing popularity, and this saw his own musical career peter out. He collaborated with Lil Nas X on “Old Town Road” in 2019, but their duet did not evolve into a long-term project.

Jeremy Lin

The phenomenon known as Linsanity captivated the nation in 2012. It arose when Taiwanese-American Jeremy Lin joined the New York Knicks and won over fans with his all-out style of play. He went on to play for several other teams, including the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, and Toronto Raptors.

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