13 Of The Most Impressive Celebrity Comebacks In Recent History

These stars have done the miraculous and changed public opinion about them entirely, going from hated to loved in a few short years.

13. Channing Tatum

Warner Bros. / AP

What people thought: Launching onto the acting scene in the mid-2000s with movies like Step Up and Supercross, Tatum was, to most people, just a pretty face on a very bro-y, brawny body (or, to some, a not-so-pretty face) not deserving of his success.

When it turned: Tatum made a bunch of movies that didn’t help his cause, like Dear John and The Vow, but by playing a male stripper in Steven Soderberg’s Magic Mike last year and being actually funny in 21 Jump Street, people started to take him seriously.

What they think now: He’s expecting a baby with his wife Jenna Dewan, whom he met filming Step Up, and they seem very happy and content. Plus he’s got a bunch more “serious” movies in the works.

12. Josh Groban

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

What people thought: One rando describes him as such: “His voice is irritating and he overdoes it with the vibrato. Whenever I hear him sing, I have the intense urge to bang my head against a wall to unconsciousness.” At the start of his musical career, Groban just seemed like another classical music star, easily confused with someone like Michael Bublé.

When it turned: When he started to show a personality: Groban was on Glee a couple times, as well as The Office, and was very much “Is that dude Josh Groban?” in Crazy, Stupid, Love as Emma Stone’s boyfriend.

What they think now: No one’s really in love with him (unless we’re talking about your mom), but he is now making fun of himself more (see above at the Emmys with Jimmy Kimmel), which is enjoyable.

11. Steve-O

Mark Davis / Getty Images

What people thought: Launched into the world via MTV’s Jackass in 2000, Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville proved exactly how dumb people could be; Senator Joe Lieberman condemned the show for setting a bad example for children and potentially endangering lives. Outside of his Jackass participation, Steve-O was arrested multiple times and eventually went to rehab for substance abuse issues.

When it turned: Participating as a cast member of Dancing with the Stars changed his image from an idiot to someone who was trying to get his life together. He made it through six rounds before being eliminated.

What they think now: Steve-O is actively involved with PETA, is a vegan, and has been sober for over four years, which he credits to his two dogs (seriously).

10. Michelle Money

Rick Rowell / ABC

What people thought: A contestant on Brad Womack’s second season of ABC’s The Bachelor, Money was despised. She seemed evil and fit the type that one girl in every season must fit, which is the one who is TOTALLY different around the girls than she is around the Bachelor.

When it turned: At the “Women Tell All” reunion episode, it was revealed that Money just had a dark sense of humor and that a lot of the women really liked her.

What they think now: She has a funny web series of hair and makeup videos, and she was runner-up in Bachelor Pad, so missing out on Brad’s love has worked out well for her. Plus, her last name is Money, so she’s always going to be rollin’ in it.

9. Martha Stewart

Rob Tannenbaum / AP

What people thought: Housewives were devoted to Stewart for ages, but it was her conviction in 2004 for obstructing justice surrounding sale of stock that made people think of her as money-grubbing and generally unsavory.

When it turned: Spending time in jail seemed to make people more sympathetic to her; after getting out, Stewart helped the situation by showing a sense of humor about the whole thing.

What they think now: Younger and younger people love Stewart’s sass and tips, a trend probably helped by her fantastic segments with guests like Seth Meyers and Snoop Dogg.

8. Nicole Richie

What people thought: The daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole got her start on the reality show The Simple Life, which portrayed her and then-best friend Paris Hilton roughing it in Middle America in 2003.

When it turned: It took a friend breakup up with Hilton, dealing with rumors of anorexia, and a falling out with Rachel Zoe, but Richie’s image has changed from that of an overprivileged reality TV star with a dirty mouth to a glam, talented lady.

What they think now: Despite being arrested for a DUI in 2006, Richie’s life has been pretty low-key since leaving The Simple Life; she married Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden and has garnered a huge following, even among notoriously fickle fashionistas, for her clothing lines.

7. Zooey Deschanel

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

What people thought: Deschanel was (and perhaps still is) the predominant “Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” an archetype further propagated by her role in 500 Days of Summer. People despised her for her doe eyes and her “adorkable” personality, not helped by her ukulele playing.

When it turned: Starring in FOX’s New Girl could have been just another nail in the coffin for Deschanel haters, but the show’s popularity won over those who previously found her irritating.

What they think now: Her fan base is only growing among women and men who used to find her annoying: Deschanel recently declared herself a feminist and stuck it to all those who found her too twee. “We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?” she told Glamour.

6. Ryan Seacrest

ROBYN BECK / Getty Images

What people thought: First just known as “that annoying dude from American Idol,” for many, Seacrest did not get better with the increased visibility that came along with having his own radio show and developing shows at E!.

When it turned: Maybe it was his scene in Knocked Up in 2007 where he played a version of himself that made everyone realize that Seacrest had a sense of humor about himself. Or maybe it was his being on-screen with Guliana Rancic constantly that helped his true talent as someone who was not excessively annoying to come out.

What they think now: Often called called “the hardest-working man in show business,” Seacrest is dating a beautiful blonde actress-dancer-singer, has tons of money, and is only expanding his empire. So he wins, basically.

5. Victoria Beckham

Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

What people thought: Though she was so, so “posh” as a member of the Spice Girls, Beckham hate didn’t really hit full force until it became clear that she never smiled in photos and definitely had the worst singing voice of the whole band. Constant rumors about her despising her fellow Spice Girls didn’t help. “I think people probably see me as a miserable pansy bitch,” she’s said.

When it turned: The start of her career as a fashion designer in the late 2000s made Beckham appealing to a whole new market of fans, and she was on three different covers of Vogue in 2009.

What they think now: Having a successful clothing line seems to have brought out the best in her; Beckham has even demonstrated in recent years that she has a very dry sense of humor, explaining that “fashion stole my smile!”

4. Kristin Cavallari

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

What people thought: Cavallari was one of the stars of MTV’s Laguna Beach and known as a rival to Lauren Conrad. The two brawled over the now totally irrelevant Stephen Colletti. Cavallari was “the bitch” of the show.

When it turned: Some time out of the spotlight and a return to The Hills in 2009 had Cavallari owning that personification of herself: “I embraced it, and played a caricature of myself.”

What they think now: Cavallari’s too boring to be hated; she married the quarterback of the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler (after breaking up and getting pregnant) and seems to have mellowed into motherhood. Plus, now she’s loudly speaking out about how fake her reality-TV stints were, in a refreshing and hilarious fashion.

3. Alec Baldwin

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

What people thought: Arguably the most successful of the Baldwin brothers, Alec lost a lot of love from fans during a nasty divorce with Kim Basinger that left a years-long battle over custody of their daughter, culminating in an angry voicemail left for his daughter that went public.

When it turned: Getting cast on 30 Rock brought him back into the public eye, though also increased scrutiny of him and his relationship with his daughter. Still, people praised his performance, and his fame had a second life. That didn’t stop him from getting kicked off planes for texting, though.

What they think now: Baldwin recently married a yoga instructor and is now expecting a child. He also has a popular radio show on WNYC called Here’s The Thing that people dig.

2. Miley Cyrus

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

What people thought: Cyrus became famous as a Disney star on Hannah Montana in 2006, but people really started to hate her when she tried to make the transition from teen star to just regular pop star/actress. She got caught up doing drugs like “salvia,” denounced a cover shoot for Vanity Fair with Annie Leibovitz, and pole-danced. Plus, there were some sexy selfies.

When it turned: She released “Party in the U.S.A.” in 2009, which made her a hit among teens and adults alike. And she just seemed to stop caring what people thought about her.

What they think now: An edgy new haircut, a stable relationship with hunky actor Liam Hemsworth, and a commitment to doing music with cool people seems to have tipped Cyrus from annoying child star to entertaining young person.

1. Jimmy Fallon

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

What people thought: When he was on SNL, people found Jimmy Fallon annoying and shrill, prompting articles like 2002’s “Nine Things I Hate About Jimmy Fallon” (“His hair,” “His Lack of Originality,” “His Self-Effacing Schtick”). Oh, and he laughs too much.

When it turned: When Fallon got his own late-night show, unsurprisingly called Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he shook up the genre. He plays fun games with celebrities, successfully impersonates people like Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, and has The Roots as his house band.

What they think now: “I’ve just watched an episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon from a few nights ago, and I’m having a hard time reconciling 2008 Jimmy with the Jimmy I just spent 42 minutes with,” wrote The A.V. Club’s Steven Hyden last year. “2012 Jimmy is so amiable, so disarming, so boyishly infectious, it makes me want to ‘disparage’ the smug character who wrote [negatively about him] three and a half years ago.”

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