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22 Famous Actors Who, If We're Being Totally Honest, Kinda Destroyed Their Own Careers

Lea Michele, Armie Hammer, Gina Carano, and more.

Recently, a viral Reddit thread asked, "Which actor most squandered an otherwise promising career?"

An anonymous male celebrity in a limo, yelling at a photographer
John Lamb / Getty Images

The thread quickly went viral as people started calling out the actors who were destined for greatness — until they blew it. Here are some of the top-voted responses:

1. "Armie Hammer. Allegedly acting on BDSM/rape/cannibalism fantasies without his partner's consent?! No wonder he got dropped from everything."

Armie Hammer
Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

2. "Lea Michele. The lead in the Funny Girl revival was hers for the taking, but she spent her entire career being mean and difficult to work with, and now, shocker, no one wants to work with her. With her talent, she should have taken Broadway by storm and scored the lead in a hit movie musical or two."

Lea Michele
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

3. "Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) was sensitive about her large nose because of her school years and early acting career. With Dirty Dancing being a hit, she finally had the money to get herself a rhinoplasty. Unfortunately, Hollywood disagreed and felt she lost her distinctive look; she was deemed too plain for the big screen and couldn't build off her success. She continued working but didn't get to have a career as a leading lady."

Jennifer Grey
Charley Gallay / Getty Images

4. "Ja Rule turned down an offer to remain in the Fast & Furious franchise after the original movie ... After he turned them down, they wrote in a new character and gave the part to Ludacris."

Ja Rule
Jason Kempin / Getty Images

5. "T.J. Miller fucked up real, real bad right when Silicon Valley was reaching its peak popularity."

T.J. Miller
Bravo / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

6. "Surely this needs to include Danny Masterson or whatever that guy's name was from That '70s Show. Combine him with the girl from Smallville and you have some seriously messed-up stuff."

Danny Masterson
Pool / Getty Images

7. "Jussie Smollett has to be in the running on this one. One alleged crazy act and he'll never work in the industry again, in addition to the legal issues it has brought him. Completely squandered everything he had worked for, in addition to making life that [much] harder for real victims of hate crimes."

Jussie Smollett
Nuccio Dinuzzo / Getty Images

8. "Charlie Sheen. Could have been one of the greats. Went from Platoon in 1986 to Wall Street in 1987 ... And then a series of ups and downs before we all saw the unraveling into 'tiger blood' and 'winning' two decades later."

Charlie Sheen
Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Project Angel Food

9. "Faye Dunaway was set to become Hollywood royalty with Bonnie and Clyde, Chinatown, and Network under her belt. But by the late '70s, her on-set behavior became the stuff of legend. She got branded with the cursed 'difficult' label ... Then Bette Davis came out against her, and that was pretty much it for her in leading roles in film. She had to start doing television, and many bit parts and guest appearances. A true fall from her former glory."

Faye Dunaway
Jon Kopaloff / WireImage / Getty Images

10. "Roseanne. I think she's done now."

Roseanne Barr
Vera Anderson / WireImage / Getty Images

11. "Not an actor, but Mike Richards destroyed his career by seemingly giving himself the Jeopardy hosting job. Everyone was annoyed when he was announced as host, then his past comments came out, so he stepped down from the hosting gig, and now he’s also out as executive producer."

Mike Richards
Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 / via Getty Images

12. "CASEY AFFLECK. When the news [of alleged sexual harassment] broke in 2017 after he won an Oscar, his roles started drying up. No new projects on the way. Last film he did was straight to video with a 22% Rotten Tomatoes score."

Casey Affleck
Dan Macmedan / Getty Images

13. "Emile Hirsch after he choked an executive at Sundance."

Emile Hirsch
Handout / Getty Images

14. "Gina Carano had potential, huge potential. Imagine having a huge role in one of the most loved Star Wars new series — also being liked by many people because you're a legit strong character with no fluff — and then, bam, she had to go out and tweet stupid shit."

Gina Carano
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney

15. "Edward Norton was one of the best actors in Hollywood, IMO. But apparently he has a bad reputation for being difficult on set. He hasn’t been in a big movie for a while now."

Edward Norton
Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

16. "Katie Holmes had so many projects going, until she got with Tom Cruise."

Katie Holmes
Jemal Countess / Getty Images

17. "Taylor Lautner. Bro went from being the highest-paid teen actor in Hollywood to being unable to get a part because a movie he starred in was so incredibly bad. The reviews are hilarious (Abduction, if anyone is interested)."

Taylor Lautner
Tara Ziemba / Getty Images

18. "Katherine Heigl was everywhere and then gone. She bad-mouthed so many people, writers, shows, and movies that it was inevitable."

Katherine Heigl
Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images

19. "Mike Myers. Some folks said he eighty-sixed his career when he did The Love Guru."

Mike Myers
Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

20. "Mickey Rourke has come out the other side, but he was on his way to being the next De Niro, and then all the boxing and facelifts and all that jazz. Glad he got to do The Wrestler, though, so he had something later in his career that people could hold up and say, 'Here's the guy who did The Pope of Greenwich Village. Look how brilliant he still is.'"

Mickey Rourke
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

And finally...

21. "Lindsay Lohan. She had so much going for her, and it's such a shame that she just ended up getting caught up in all the crap that comes with Hollywood. I still kinda hope she'll make a comeback one day, because she is actually very talented."

Lindsay Lohan
Santiago Felipe / Getty Images

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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