Actors Who Ruined Their Career In A Matter Of Seconds

Everyone is guilty of making split-second decisions they later come to regret. It's simply human nature. When two choices present themselves or when you're in a stressful situation, you can make mistakes that have lasting ramifications.

There are many moments like that for celebrities. Because they live in the public eye and under intense scrutiny, their mistakes can be potentially controversial or even career-ending. Now, scandal is nothing new in Hollywood, but if you're an actor and your private transgressions happen to go public, you better be prepared to look for a new line of work. While some disgraced stars manage to claw their way back into the limelight from seemingly impossible positions, for most, retiring from the public eye with whatever dignity remains intact is the only option. Here are some celebrities who chose wrong, messed up, or who gave in to their most undignified and base instincts ... and blew up their careers in the process.

Randy Quaid

Randy Quaid doesn't always get the credit he deserves for being a solid comedic actor. Sure, not all his movies were prestigious (just try to watch "Pluto Nash"), but his work in the "Vacation" films, "Kingpin," and even "Independence Day" is pretty great. Plus, the guy was nominated for an Oscar in 1974, so how did it all go so wrong? In September 2009, Quaid and his wife, Evi, were arrested for not paying a $10,000 hotel bill, as per The Telegraph. They were arrested again for squatting in a home they used to own, so they skipped town and headed to Canada. Now, not paying bills and squatting is odd behavior for a well-known actor, but nothing too crazy. In Canada, things got weird.

Though people assumed the Quaids were on the run from the law, they claimed they'd fled to the North to avoid the "Hollywood Star Wackers," a secret organization that took celebs out or manufactured scandals to discredit them. Why Quaid would be on the top of their list, no one knows. Quaid told the Vancouver press about the mysteries behind the Star Wackers and claimed that Heath Ledger, David Carradine, and Chris Penn were the cabal's latest victims. Since those bizarre claims, the Quaids were arrested and released once more in 2015.

In February 2017, Quaid posted a video to Twitter of himself with a full mountain man beard pretending to get it on with his wife while she wears a Rupert Murdoch mask (via The Telegraph). Don't expect to see him on the big screen anytime soon.

Jennifer Grey

When a resume has starring roles in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Dirty Dancing," you must be an '80s darling with a fantastic career ahead of you. Matthew Broderick and Patrick Swayze did just fine, but whatever happened to Jennifer Grey? In case you haven't brushed up on your '80s starlets in a while, Grey was Bueller's sister in the John Hughes film and the Baby of "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" fame (via Biography). You've definitely seen her be snarky and get lifted in a lake. But if you saw her today, you'd have no idea.

Grey was known for her nose, but as her career slowed down a touch in the early '90s, she got a nose job. She left the operating table with a smaller nose that looked completely different. The plastic surgery left her unrecognizable, which made casting all the more difficult — she probably had to whip out her ID and an old headshot at every audition. Grey told the Mirror in 2012, "It was the nose job from hell. I'll always be this once-famous actress nobody ­recognizes because of a nose job" (via US Weekly).

While not the mega-star she was in the 1980s, Grey has worked off and on in the 2000s and beyond, settling into a solid career as a character actor, guest-starring on "Grey's Anatomy," "The Conners," "House," "Phineas and Ferb," and was part of the ensemble cast of "Red Oaks," an Amazon original series not so coincidentally set in the 1970s.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes was a big star with roles in "White Men Can't Jump," "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," and the "Blade" trilogy. He was doing pretty great. Then Snipes decided to not pay his taxes.

Now, it's obvious that not paying your taxes is bad, but what's the worst that could happen? You pay it back plus some fines and maybe have to make "Demolition Man 2" to get some cash? Nope. Snipes' tax offenses were bad enough that he went to jail, reports the New York Times. Snipes was found guilty of willfully not filing taxes for three years and got a year in the slammer for each year he failed to make a trip to H&R Block. Plus, he had to pay back $17 million in taxes and penalties. Since it's pretty hard to make a "Blade" sequel from jail, his tax evasion put a complete stop on his career. Let that be a lesson to all you movie stars out there: if you want a career, don't try to get tricky with the tax man.

With scandals receding from the collective memory and a groundswell of nostalgia for his iconic roles in '90s movies, particularly as a vampire-hunting vampire in "Blade," Snipes is slowly staging a comeback in the 2020s. He recently starred alongside Kevin Hart in Netflix's "True Story," cameoed as a vampiric version of himself on "What We Do in the Shadows," and stole all of his scenes in the long-awaited '80s sequel "Coming 2 America" as the unsettlingly friendly General Izzi.

Paz de la Huerta

With her role as Nucky's girlfriend in "Boardwalk Empire," Paz de la Huerta was about to become a sensation. The actress excelled at sexy, mysterious characters and was more than happy to take off her clothes for a role. When New York Magazine did an article about her before the launch of "Boardwalk Empire," they claimed she had once entered a sauna naked (the only one unclothed), rubbed honey all over herself, and then berated other patrons in the sauna. This slightly nutty actress could either use her eccentricity to make great art or go full-blown Sean Young. She chose the Young path.

While she was on the show, she got a reputation as a party girl. TMZ got footage of her super drunk after the Golden Globes. She slipped and fell — not a big deal, but it left her breast hanging out, and she was far too wasted to notice. Next, she was arrested for assault. Allegedly, she threw a glass at a reality star then punched her in the face. The Hollywood Reporter stated that Lindsay Lohan, also attending the party, spent part of her night picking glass shards from the reality star's leg. When Lohan is the most put-together person at a party in 2011, you know things have gone terribly wrong.

On set, things didn't seem to be much better. There were many rumors (via Uproxx) of de la Huerta's erratic behavior, including a predilection for publicly shaving her pubic hair between shoots and showing up to work drugged and crying. In 2013, "Boardwalk Empire" had enough and fired her from the show. However, a 2018 lawsuit may shed some light on the circumstances of de la Huerta's exit and career slump. According to the Los Angeles Times, de la Huerta sued former studio boss, producer, and convicted sex criminal Harvey Weinstein, alleging he assaulted her twice and then persuaded Martin Scorsese to fire her from "Boardwalk Empire."

Michael Richards

Actors that dabble in the minefield of stand-up comedy need to ensure that their routine isn't going to negatively impact their career on-screen, though one thing you can never fully predict is the influence of hecklers. When Michael Richards of "Seinfeld" found himself in a battle of wits with a member of his audience during a live show in 2006, he made a split-second decision that destroyed his career in an instant. Richards responded to the man's criticism with a series of racial slurs, demanding that the African-American customer be thrown out of the club, reports The Washington Post.

A video of the incident soon found its way online, showing Richards stopping his show mid-monologue and turning on the audience member, telling him that "Fifty years ago they'd have you hanging upside down with a f*****g fork up your a**." There were audible gasps in the room as the incensed actor then repeatedly used the N-word, despite the man shouting back that the language was uncalled for. The comedian left the stage without finishing his routine.

Richards appeared via satellite on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to apologize for his outburst, telling the nation that he was "deeply sorry" about what happened and insisting that he wasn't actually a racist. It didn't do him any good; his career since has been limited to the occasional token TV appearance.

Tila Tequila

Tila "Tequila" Nguyen began her questionable path to fame by becoming one of the earliest recognized social media celebrities, graduating from the most popular person on MySpace to one of the most unpopular personalities in recent history. MTV saw fit to capitalize on her online fanbase by giving Tequila her own dating show, "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" in 2007, and she made her first film appearance (as a Hooters Girl in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry") that same year, though it all came crashing down after bizarre posts on her website sympathizing with Adolf Hitler, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

The Singapore-born celebrity wrote that she had "learned the truth about the war and what Hitler truly did," insisting that "he was not a bad person as they have made him out to be." On top of the inflammatory piece, Tequila posted photos of herself posing in front of a picture of Auschwitz dressed as a scantily clad Nazi.

Tequila attempted to get her career back on track in 2015 when she appeared as a housemate on the U.K.'s "Celebrity Big Brother," though once showrunners learned of her Nazi sympathizing, she was booted out of the house. The premature eviction didn't teach her a lesson, however. She was at it once again in 2016, launching a scathing attack on Jewish conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, whom she said "should be gassed and sent back to Israel."

Lindsay Lohan

Being under the spotlight is nothing new for Lindsay Lohan, who began working as a child model when she was just 3 years old. She soon made inroads into the acting business, with her regular spot on soap opera "Another World" getting her noticed by Disney, which cast her in their surprisingly successful 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap." The redheaded actress became a teen sensation in the years that followed, finding more success in 2003's "Freaky Friday," 2004's "Mean Girls," and 2005's "Herbie: Fully Loaded." Her hot streak came to an abrupt halt early in 2007.

On May 26, Lohan was taken to the hospital in Beverly Hills after getting into a car accident, reports CNN. The actress had recently been discharged from the Wonderland Center rehab facility in Los Angeles for undisclosed problems, though the nature of these issues became all too clear when Lohan was charged with DUI, possession of cocaine, and misdemeanor hit-and-run following the incident. If her career wasn't compromised on this occasion, it certainly was when she was arrested on the same charges just two months later, days after another unsuccessful stint in rehab.

The severity of her downfall was highlighted by the critical response to her next film, the "incoherent and semi-vile" "I Know Who Killed Me." Lohan plays opposite herself in the two main roles, and her double performance won her the worst screen couple at the the 2008 Golden Raspberry Awards as well as worst actress. The film took home a record eight Razzies in total.

But all is not lost for Lohan. In 2022, she'll star in a high-profile Christmas movie for Netflix, reports Variety, portraying a snobby heiress who gets amnesia and wakes up under the care of a salt-of-the-earth ski lodge operator.

Paul Reubens

Bow-tied man-child Pee-wee Herman was huge during the 1980s, the subject of two feature films as well as an Emmy-winning children's TV series. But the public perception of both the character and the man behind him changed drastically in 1991. During a visit with his parents in Sarasota, Florida, Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater, with sheriff's deputies claiming that they spotted him masturbating during the movie, reports UPI. The actor, 38 at the time, pleaded no contest and agreed to take part in a new anti-drug campaign to avoid a trial on the misdemeanor charge. Pee-wee toys were pulled from shelves across the nation, as per the Village Voice, and Reubens retreated from the public eye entirely, disappearing for the remainder of the '90s.

His attempted comeback at the turn of the century was quickly thwarted when more charges of a sexual nature were brought against him, this time relating to child pornography. Acting on a tip, officers seized thousands of items from a collection of vintage gay erotica, and while Reubens has always denied he owned any sexual images of children, the tatters of his reputation went up in flames.

It took another decade before Reubens dared return to the character, which he did successfully in 2016, starring in critically acclaimed Netflix film "Pee-wee's Big Holiday." The positive response to his comeback is scant consolation for a man who spent most of his career in hiding because of a few very bad decisions.

Rob Lowe

One of the items confiscated from Paul Reubens' stash of pornography was the infamous Rob Lowe sex tape (via the New York Post), the first video of a celebrity having sex to be copied and sold at large. Lowe was a prominent member of the Brat Pack in the early and mid-'80s, appearing in the likes of "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Youngbloods," but when a video of him having sex with a 16-year-old girl was leaked, his promising career took a severe nosedive.

Lowe was in Atlanta to attend the 1988 Democratic National Convention when he took two girls to bed after meeting them in a nightclub, unaware that one was only 16, reports People. As the legal age of consent in Georgia is 16, Lowe escaped prosecution, but his public image was dealt further damage when a second clip showing him and a friend having sex with a woman at the same time surfaced. While he admits that he has never been out of work, Lowe is aware how much of his career those tapes cost him, claiming that he lost a role in "Titanic" because of the fallout, as per GQ. But Lowe tenaciously crawled his way back up the Hollywood food chain to where all of this tawdry business is almost completely forgotten because he was just that good (and, as it turns out, quite funny) in stuff like "Wayne's World," "Tommy Boy," and "Parks and Recreation."

Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser is one of those names that is almost always followed by a question, like "Why doesn't Hollywood cast him anymore?" The American-Canadian graduated from a character actor to a bona fide movie star when he appeared as the swashbuckling Rick O'Connell in "The Mummy," the first film in a trilogy that has come to define him. That franchise came to an unspectacular end in 2008, though Fraser struck gold when another of his films released that year became an unexpected hit.

The 3-D fantasy adventure "Journey to the Center of the Earth" returned a worldwide box office total of $242 million from a budget of $60 million, reaffirming Fraser's position as a genuine leading man and presenting him with a chance to establish the character's longevity in further films. This is the point at which Fraser took a wrong turn that would eventually derail his career completely, a decision that he likely regrets to this day. In a monumental error of judgment, Fraser turned down the chance to reprise his role in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." Content with the work he had done in "Extraordinary Measures" and Furry Vengeance," Fraser felt comfortable letting the role go to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, though when those two films became two of the biggest box office bombs of 2010, it became clear that he had made a huge mistake. "Journey 2" went on to surpass the original, raking in an eye-watering $335 million.

In 2018, a comeback labeled by Cultured Vultures as the "Brenaissance" began, with Fraser having landed roles on prestige TV series "The Affair" and "Trust" in short order. While promoting the latter, Fraser's relative disappearance and reemergence was the subject of a long profile for GQ, in which he explained that his career had been on a downswing because of a combination of retreat and professional retaliation by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that awards the Golden Globes. Fraser alleged that he'd been assaulted by HFPA president Philip Berk.

In the 2020s, Fraser's career is looking up, with a role as Firefly in the DC Comics movie "Batgirl" along with parts in big movies by some of Hollywood's most acclaimed directors, including "The Whale" for Darren Aronofsky and "Killers of the Flower Moon" for Martin Scorsese.

Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey Jones rose to fame in the '80s as the principal in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," a guy who had a job to do and rules to enforce and somehow became the villain for it. Turns out, he's quite the villain in real life, as he not only has child pornography on his record but a knack for repeatedly trying to hide that fact from the world.

In November 2002, Jones was arrested on suspicion that he had hired a 14-year-old boy to pose for inappropriate pictures, reports Entertainment Weekly. He pleaded no contest and received no jail time, though he did receive five years' probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender. And just like that, his career skidded to a halt. He's appeared in a whopping two movies since, though he did wrangle some decent screen time on a couple seasons of HBO's "Deadwood." 

But in 2010, some years after leaving that show, he sunk the knife just a little deeper into his career, getting himself arrested for failing to update his California sex offender status, CBS reports, something all offenders are required to do each year. He received three more years' probation plus 250 hours of community service, which is the most work he's done in years.

Mark Salling

Mark Salling became a big deal thanks to his turn as "Glee's" Noah Puckerman. But in December 2015, Salling was arrested in Los Angeles on charges that he had possessed and distributed child pornography. According to an official statement from investigators, they found a laptop, USB drive, and hard drive filled with thousands of pictures and videos of child porn, and the ages of the children were believed to range from 5 to 12. You can see why his planned post-"Glee" project, the miniseries "Adi Shankar's Gods and Secrets," dropped him without a second thought. As the show said in a statement, "The innocence of our planet's children is something that must be protected at all costs." Even if it means moving on without the jock from "Glee."

Salling eventually agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, reports USA Today, but before sentencing, he hanged himself in a canyon near Los Angeles and was found dead on January 30, 2018.

Amanda Bynes

Once upon a time, Amanda Bynes was a rising star. But that was a long time ago. The star of "The Amanda Show" and "She's The Man" ran afoul of drugs and alcohol like many child stars before her, but what truly killed her career was her complete and total Twitter meltdown in the weeks after her arrest. It was like a teenager getting fired from McDonald's for tweeting how much they hated working there, only so much worse.

Her 2012 tweetstorm, as compiled by E! Online, included such claims as how much she wanted rapper Drake to "murder [her] vagina," a suggestion Drake wisely passed on. She also tweeted Rihanna, taunting that "Chris Brown beat you because you're not pretty enough." She called Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z "ugly" and berated herself for being the same. Away from Twitter, she apparently set a driveway (and her own pants) on fire. All this resulted in her being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and twice placed in a psychiatric facility, and her career being placed on ice. 

Years later, a seemingly reformed Bynes is still trying to regroup and regain her life. She went to Los Angeles' Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to learn about clothing lines and claimed she had no real interest in acting. Considering what acting had already done to her, that was probably a wise choice. In June 2017, that wisdom went out the window when she stated she was ready to come back. But, according to People, as of summer 2021, she's been laying low at the beach, finishing up her degree, and apparently dabbling in rap music. 

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins got famous for playing a moralistic pastor on "7th Heaven," but if you needed more proof that playing someone on TV doesn't make you that person, observe how Collins flushed away his career thanks to one of the least moral acts imaginable.

According to People, Collins confessed during a 2012 therapy session that he had assaulted underage girls. Unfortunately for him, his then-wife Faye Grant was secretly recording the sessions, which leaked to TMZ in late 2014. Once that happened, the NYPD, LAPD, and Manhattan Special Victims Squad launched investigations into Collins' purported crimes. In December 2014, Collins confessed to People that he had indeed assaulted three underage girls. The incidents, according to him, occurred between 1973 and 1994, and he insisted he hadn't had any urges to be with underage girls since. Regardless of that, and regardless of whether police investigations ever lead anywhere, Collins' career is all but done. He hasn't worked since the tape leaked and, according to Entertainment Weekly, Seth MacFarlane fired him from "Ted 2" shortly after. When even the "rude, perverted teddy bear" movie wants nothing to do with you, you know you're finished. According to exclusive photos from the Daily Mail, Collins has since remarried to a "super fan" and moved to Iowa. 

Paula Deen

Paula Deen was once everyone's favorite cooking show mom, a pleasant Southern lady who loved good food and wanted you to love it, too. This led to stints on shows like "Top Chef," "MasterChef," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and a role in an actual movie, "Elizabethtown." But by 2012, the Deen empire had all but crumbled, thanks to its empress being pretty racist.

In 2012, Deen was sued by a former general manager of one of her restaurants, claiming she regularly used racial slurs like the N-word around workers and wanted to stage a Southern-themed wedding with black men playing slaves. In testimony during the trial (via The Daily Beast), the manager's lawyer asked Deen if she had ever used the n-word before. Deen replied, "Yes, of course." As for the slave wedding, she admitted to that, too, claiming she got the idea from another restaurant and found the concept "beautiful" and "really impressive."

Once her statements were verified in district court, the Food Network reacted swiftly, refusing to renew her contract despite her multiple video apologies, reports People. She appeared on "Dancing With The Stars" a couple years later, which is probably the opposite of a comeback. It doesn't help that, in 2015, she tweeted a (now-deleted) picture of her son in "brownface" (via The Guardian). 

Deen laid low for a while, banished from Food Network and resurfacing for a season of "Positively Paula" on the more obscure RFD-TV network, making the occasional appearance on "Fox and Friends" and "The Dr. Oz Show," and turning up for a guest judge spot on Gordon Ramsey's "MasterChef USA" in 2021.

Kathy Griffin

Controversy has helped make Kathy Griffin famous. But then she went too far, with a stunt that, depending who you ask, was either a poorly presented joke or a violent threat to the life of a sitting president.

In May 2017, Griffin posted a picture of herself holding a blood-soaked Donald Trump mannequin head. According to her, she was mocking Trump's remarks that reporter Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever" (via Time). Unfortunately for her, few saw it that way, least of all her employers. CNN quickly canned her from its New Year's Eve broadcasts, and Squatty Potty (yes, Squatty Potty) flushed their contract with her down the toilet. The FBI even investigated her over the picture. Griffin apologized, saying the joke went too far, lamenting, "I don't think I'm going to have a career after this. I'm going to be honest, [Trump] broke me."

Months later, she seemed less broken. In August 2017, she retracted her apology, reports the Los Angeles Times, saying the backlash had gone too far. According to her, not only did she lose her CNN gig, but her entire standup tour was canceled because most of the theaters got death threats. She says her "little picture" cost her jobs, money, and close friendships, and she's done apologizing for something everyone blew way out of proportion. 

Griffin returned to the road for a sold-out tour in 2018 (according to Forbes), and in the 2020s appeared on the popular comedies "Crank Yankees" and "Search Party."

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman's career-ruining wasn't too outrageous, but the consequences were pretty bad. The star of "Casablanca" and "Gaslight" appeared to be a typical woman of the time, married and happy to serve her husband. In reality, she was a free spirit who wanted to screw around like all her male costars. Though she was married to Peter Lindstrom, Bergman began an affair with her director on "Stromboli," Roberto Rossellini (via The Daily Beast). Bergman loved Rossellini, and when she got pregnant with his child, she left Lindstrom and her first kid to go off with the Italian director. For a woman to publicly admit an affair, leave her husband, and have the bastard child was an insane scandal.

Though a woman having an affair and getting a divorce seems pretty tame compared to the exploits of Tila Tequila, America was freaked out. The fervor went all the way to Washington when Senator Edwin C. Johnson proposed a bill that would require movies to be approved not just based on the moral content of the film itself but the moral character of the people involved in filmmaking.

Johnson claimed that Bergman "had perpetrated an assault upon the institution of marriage" and was "a powerful influence for evil," and he even tried to ban her from all future American films. Bergman stayed out of the country for eight years, and though she continued to make films, her star status was permanently damaged by an affair of the heart.

Robert Blake

In a career spanning the best part of 70 years, Robert Blake went from child star of MGM's "Little Rascals" to The Mystery Man in David Lynch's "Lost Highway," the last character he played before the murder of his wife in 2001. Bonnie Lee Bakley was shot in the head at point-blank range in Blake's car, which was parked around the corner from the Studio City restaurant the couple ate at that night, as per History. Blake claimed he had to return to the restaurant to collect his missing gun when the fatal shooting of his wife took place.

Police determined that Blake's missing gun was not the one used to kill Bakley, though Blake was arrested in 2002 when two former stuntmen came forward claiming that the actor had tried to hire both of them to murder his wife on separate occasions. Both men had a history of drug abuse, something Blake's legal team leaned on heavily during Blake's defense. Three years after his arrest, Blake was acquitted, though a civil court claim later found him guilty of "intentionally" causing Bakley's death and ordered him to pay $30 million to Bakley's children.

Blake's criminal trial was the nail in his career coffin, though that didn't stop the then-71-year-old actor from issuing a plea to producers in the aftermath. He proclaimed himself "broke" and announced himself available for work. Unsurprisingly, work never came.

Fatty Arbuckle

Star of the silent film era, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was at the height of his fame when he made a decision that would bring his career in Hollywood to an abrupt end and land him in court. As the New Yorker details, on September 5, 1921, the actor and comedian booked three rooms at the St. Francis Hotel, where he intended to throw a party. An aspiring actress named Virginia Rappe was one of the several women who were extended an invite, though it was an invitation she should never have accepted.

Rappe was found seriously ill in Room 1219 of the hotel, the room Arbuckle was sleeping in. After allegedly telling people Arubuckle had hurt her, the hotel doctor declared her simply intoxicated. She died four days later of a ruptured bladder. Opinion in the media was split, with some reports suggesting Arbuckle's weight had caused the damage as he assaulted her, while others suggested that the actress's recent abortion had simply gone wrong.

Arbuckle was arrested and charged with manslaughter, though the jury failed to reach a verdict and a mistrial was called. After a second trial yielded the same result, Arbuckle's legal team stepped up their defense, making sure that the third one went in their favor. Arbuckle was acquitted, though his career was over nonetheless, with his films subject to bans and his reputation in tatters.

Sung Hyun-Ah

Dating in Hollywood has never been straightforward, but it isn't just the actresses of Tinseltown who find their love lives under intense scrutiny. Former Miss Korea contestant and up-and-coming actress Sung Hyun-Ah had a short relationship with a prominent Korean businessman, and it eventually destroyed her show business career. Sung soon herself embroiled in a prostitution scandal in 2013, indicted for allegedly accepting a payment of 50 million won (approximately $44,000) from the businessman in exchange for three instances of sexual intercourse, reports the Korea Times. The actress attempted to counter-sue, but the court dismissed her claims and found her guilty.

Sung took her case to the Supreme Court which, two years after her guilty verdict, overturned the decision and found her innocent of all charges relating to prostitution, reports the International Business Times. But the damage was already done. Her lawyer confirmed that her career would be taking a backseat while she recovers from her ordeal.

Eileen Bowman

Headlining the big opening number at the Academy Awards can be a star-making turn for a rising performer, but for Eileen Bowman, it was her first Hollywood job ... and nearly much her last.

In 1989, the Oscars telecast opened with a bizarre, rambling 11-minute sequence featuring Bowman dressed as the Disney version of Snow White, walking through the host theater accosting movie stars in their seats and singing a high-pitched version of "I Only Have Eyes for You," but with the lyrics changed to the movie-referencing "We Only Have Stars for You." Then, with the stage transformed into a replica of an old-fashioned nightclub, Merv Griffin sang his 1950 hit "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" in front of old movie stars (Vincent Price, Roy Rogers) while Bowman-as-Snow White danced wildly elsewhere on the stage. Finally, Griffin announces that Snow White's heretofore unmentioned "blind date" has arrived: Rob Lowe! Then Bowman and Lowe lead an agonizing performance of "Proud Mary," but with the lyrics changed to be about cameras rolling rather than a river.

The Hollywood Reporter called the number "a nightmare," while the New York Times said it had earned "a permanent place in the annals of Oscar embarrassments." Bowman left Hollywood and returned to her hometown of San Diego within 48 hours of the performance to lay low for a while. She did return to Hollywood for a few years, winning just seven small roles over the next decade.

Jamie Kennedy

After "Scream" and the prank show "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," Jamie Kennedy's prospects faltered, and he took on roles in flops like "Son of the Mask" and started playing white rappers in stuff like "Malibu's Most Wanted" because a white person pretending to be a grossly stereotypical African-American urban youth is apparently hilarious. By 2012, Kennedy was at the point where he had to host a Los Angeles-only New Year's Eve special broadcast on the local CW affiliate. "First Night 2013" produced some live television magic; in other words, it was a disaster.

As The A.V. Club details, in Kennedy's opening monologue, he made an off-color joke about Psy (of "Gangnam Style" fame): "Now when you hear the word, 'Asian rapper,' you won't just think of a little plastic bag that holds your fortune cookie." Technical gaffes marred the production, as did product placements for Carl's Jr. and a local casino. (For the latter, Kennedy appeared in a comedy sketch dressed up like a Native American chief.) Later on, Kennedy interviewed an African-American woman on the street and coined a crude, "white" version of the saying "once you go Black, you never go back." The whole point of a New Year's show is the countdown, which Kennedy somehow bungled, unable to locate a clock at midnight and missing the moment by 10 seconds.

Unbelievably, Kennedy told the New York Times that the show was terrible on purpose. "It was totally supposed to be like that," Kennedy claimed. "We wanted to make almost an anti-New Year's Eve show."

Warren Beatty

It'll probably always be the most famous gaffe in awards show history: At the 2017 Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and co-presenter Faye Dunaway gave the best picture trophy to the wrong movie. What happened — As the Hollywood Reporter details, the nominees were announced, and Beatty, a true Hollywood legend, opened the envelope. Rather than read the words, he paused, obviously confused. At first it seemed sad, as if his brain had failed him. But then he abruptly handed the envelope to Dunaway. Dunaway glanced at the envelope's contents, and, not wanting to produce even more weirdness and silence, blurted out what she saw: "La La Land." The producers of that movie hit the stage for their acceptance speeches ... until one of them, Jordan Horowitz said, "There's a mistake. 'Moonlight,' you guys won best picture." Sure enough, he held up the best picture envelope — the correct one.

Apparently, one of the PricewaterhouseCooper accountants on hand had given Beatty the previously awarded best actress envelope by mistake. It said, "Emma Stone, 'La La Land,'" which is why Dunaway said what she said. So "La La Land" lost, but the person who really lost here was Warren Beatty. The once mighty filmmaker and actor behind Oscar-winning classics like "Reds" looked like an old fool on that stage because of somebody else's error ... and then a few more times as he made the interview circuit explaining how everything had gone so wrong.

Megan Fox

Playing Mikaela Banes in 2007's "Transformers" made Megan Fox a star. Within a couple of years, she'd made the sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the comedy "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," and the cult horror-comedy "Jennifer's Body." That year, 2009, was also when Fox sat for an interview with the U.K. magazine Wonderland. When asked a softball question about working with "Transformers" director Michael Bay, Fox answered honestly and provocatively. "He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation," Fox said, comparing her director to a man who tried to conquer Europe two centuries earlier, and then to another, even more notorious historical figure. "He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is."

Despite comparing him to the mastermind of World War II and the Holocaust that took the lives of millions of Jewish people, Bay still hired Fox for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" but, according to The Guardian, was reportedly overruled by producer Steven Spielberg, director of "Schindler's List" and founder of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a Holocaust awareness organization. Fox's team denied reports to People that she'd been ousted and rather stated she left the project of her own volition, but the career damage was done. Fox appeared in a couple of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movies, some flop indie movies, a few episodes of "New Girl," and a music video for her fiancé, Machine Gun Kelly.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Fox said she retreated from Hollywood to "escape" the misogyny and find her "purpose."

Minnie Driver

At the 1998 Academy AwardsJudi Dench was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work as Queen Victoria in "Mrs. Brown." That marked Dench's first of seven Oscar nominations (including one win) in a career that includes a whopping 26 BAFTA nods in her home country, where she's an icon of the stage and where Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed her a Dame Commander of the British Empire a decade earlier (via Biography). In other words, it's probably not going to fly with Dench's huge number of fans and admirers if someone publicly disparages her, and it certainly didn't go well when fellow Oscar nominee Minnie Driver did.

In 2002, Driver spoke to a newspaper and used Dench to illustrate a point about the differences between the U.S. and the U.K.,  according to The Daily Mail. "In England, with all due respect, we have some of the plainest actresses in the entire world as our greatest," Driver said. "Maybe it is because theatre is the great love of England, but you can have Judi Dench, a very small, round, middle-aged, lovely, mothering type, playing Cleopatra." Driver added that in the U.S., Dench "would melt into the crowd in a second." According to The Guardian, Driver's remarks earned her the label of "venomous" from tabloids.

Driver still worked extensively after the Dench incident, but not much in the U.K., primarily in American projects and quickly canceled sitcoms like "About a Boy" and "Speechless."

Jackie Mason

In the 1960s, when TV was lousy with variety shows, "The Ed Sullivan Show" stood apart as the premiere showcase for emerging talent. The Sunday night institution could instantly make a star out of a performer or elevate an established celebrity by providing a captive audience of nearly 30 million viewers.

In October 1964, Jackie Mason performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" about a dozen times in three years, delivering one of his meandering humorous monologues that made him one of the era's best-known stand-up comedians. Mason was running long and threatened to jut up against a scheduled televised speech by President Lyndon Johnson to which the show would break away. According to the "Sullivan" website, the host wildly signaled to Mason to wrap it up immediately, to which the comedian responded by mockingly aping Sullivan's gestures back to him. Sullivan, however, thought Mason had given him the obscene middle finger gesture, and on television no less. According to the New York Times, Mason vigorously explained and apologized, but to no avail — Sullivan canceled the comedian's six scheduled appearances and refused to pay him for his performance that night. The two eventually made amends, but for two years, Mason was blacklisted from the highest-profile avenue for comedians, seriously upending his career momentum.

Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried was something of a minor pop culture icon in the 1980s and early 1990s. After a one-season stint on "Saturday Night Live" in the early '80s, he popped up in numerous comedy movies and TV shows — including "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Hot to Trot," "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane," and the "Problem Child" trilogy — doing his schtick as an annoyed, abrasive man with a shouted, purposely grating voice. It was his signature, and it served him well, particularly as a voice actor. Gottfried played Iago the parrot in Disney's "Aladdin" and the Aflac duck in a series of insurance TV commercials.

Off-screen, and before, during, and after his movie career, Gottfried made his living as a relentlessly touring club comedian, according to his website. It's in that mode where Gottfried issued some remarks that wreaked tremendous damage on his career and reputation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011 (and killed at least 3,000 people), Gottfried tweeted out a dozen dark, quippy one-liners. Among them: "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them." Twitter users called out Gottfried for what they felt was bad taste and questionable judgment, while the comedian's bosses at Aflac, one of his main and most notable gigs at the time, fired him. "There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times," Aflac CMO Michael Zuna told the AP (via CBS News).

Alex Pettyfer

With only a few credits to his name, Alex Pettyfer looked to be one of the breakout stars of 2011, thanks in large part to his starring role in "Magic Mike," one of the most talked about movies of the year that also received critical praise and earned $113 million at the American box office. Just before the release of Pettyfer's "I Am Number Four," The Hollywood Reporter ran an exposé alleging the actor's misbehavior on the set of that film (in the wake of a salary standoff) and on another upcoming film, "Beastly."

Rather than do much damage control, Pettyfer doubled down on the animosity. In an interview with VMan, the actor called Los Angeles a "s***-hole," and "an insidious pool where nearly everyone lives in fear." Of his profession, he likened acting to a prison sentence. "You go, you serve your time, you try to replicate Johnny Depp's career — and then you move to Paris," Pettyfer quipped. The actor later told the Mercury News that the interview may have led to a rift with his "Magic Mike" co-star Channing Tatum. At any rate, Pettfer wasn't invited back for "Magic Mike XXL," and he's appeared in supporting roles and in relatively obscure fare ever since.

Charles Rocket

The 1980-81 season was a transitional one for "Saturday Night Live," with the remainder of its original cast departing in favor of a new group of comedians, including Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and Charles Rocket. According to "Saturday Night: A Backstage History of 'Saturday Night Live'," incoming producer Jean Doumanian thought Rocket would be her breakout star, an actor and comic in the mold of "SNL" all-timers Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.

Rocket indeed made a name for himself on "SNL" with "The Rocket Report," a cheeky series of pre-taped "man on the street" bits. He was so well known that a special 1981 episode revolved around him. In a parody of the "Who Shot J.R.?" craze on "Dallas," (via Entertainment Weekly), in reference to guest host and "Dallas" co-star Charlene Tilton, an unknown assailant shot Rocket. At the end of the show, with the cast gathered on stage, Rocket appeared in a wheelchair, and Tilton asked how he felt. "Aw, man. It's the first time I've ever been shot in my life," Rocket said. "I'd like to know who the f*** did it."

Within weeks, Rocket was fired from "SNL." He went on to have a modest movie career, usually playing yuppies, jerks, and dads in things like "Earth Girls are Easy," "Dumb and Dumber," and "Hocus Pocus," but nothing approaching the resumes of Murray and Chase. Sadly, according to the Seattle Times, Rocket died by suicide in 2005 at age 56.

Klinton Spilsbury

In 1978, Klinton Spilsbury, made two brief TV appearances then secured the title role in the big-screen "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" because he looked good in the character's iconic mask. Really. "We had to find an actor whose eyes were not close together," producer Martin Starger told Entertainment Weekly.

Amidst the media hype leading up to the 1981 release of the movie, Spilsbury agreed to a meeting with Andy Warhol, proprietor of Interview Magazine. Warhol would go on to call the interview "nutty" in "The Andy Warhol Diaries" because the actor seemed dead-set on "blowing his whole image" of being a heterosexual leading man in that far more conservative era. Spilsbury claimed to have married and had a child with a wealthy woman who left him because he needed too much alone time. Then he got drunk in front of Warhol and admitted to crushes on male actors and a one-night stand with the fashion designer Halston.

Apart from that weird press, Spilsbury was apparently difficult to work with. Co-star David Hayward said that Spilsbury needed dialogue cuts "because he was having trouble with the lines," and producers had to eventually dub in another actor delivering his lines (via Entertainment Weekly). Critics hated "The Legend of the Lone Ranger," with Janet Maslin of the New York Times calling it "half-hearted adventure fare." It flopped at the box office, earning $12.6 million and quickly disappearing from theaters. Spilsbury disappeared, too — he'd never act in another movie or TV series.