It’s certainly true that some celebrities are lucky enough to find instant stardom but most of them take years to achieve fame and glory. It’s a very tough hill to climb. Quite often, aspiring stars take on low-paying and menial jobs just so that they can survive until their next audition. A lot of them never get that next audition and those that do usually fail and are forced to repeat the cycle. Nonetheless, persistence pays off sometimes and, when it does, the payoff can be enormous. No longer do they have to live in obscurity surviving on canned ravioli and generic Kool Aid. They are thrown into the celebrity spotlight and can afford to eat whatever they please in their multi-million dollar mansions. The challenge then becomes staying on top and one thing that celebrities must do in order to stay on top is to maintain a relatively clean image.
Sure, many stars have issues with addiction and many have been in trouble with the law but there is a very fine line between what can be forgiven and what can’t. As this list will demonstrate, there are a few mistakes that celebrities cannot recover from.Whether it’s some inexcusable action that leads to their demise or something they say, a promising career can go down the tubes in the blink of an eye. Let’s take a look at 8 celebs who ended their career with one moment and 7 with one comment.
15. ONE MOMENT: MEL GIBSON
Mel Gibson was Hollywood royalty. He got international attention through his title role in the Mad Max movie franchise and then bolstered his profile by appearing in The Bounty, Tequila Sunrise, and three Lethal Weapon movies. He appeared in dozens of movies through the 1990s and early 2000s but things took a very unfortunate turn in July 2006 when he was pulled over for drunk driving. It wasn’t so bad that he was caught with open liquor bottles and he would have easily been forgiven for his attempts to resist arrest. The nail in his coffin was the anti-Semitic tirade that he launched into. Apparently, he was kind of angry with Jewish people. After his arrest and the mass media coverage of the whole story, nobody wanted anything to do with him. However, Gibson has managed to sober up and he made somewhat of a comeback.
14. ONE COMMENT: TILA TEQUILA
Tila Tequila isn’t quite what you’d call an actress even though you may have seen her on television. She isn’t exactly a talented singer either despite having recorded a couple of albums. Tila is one of those “personalities” that gained a bit of fame through her social media presence. There is an old saying about any publicity being good publicity but the 35-year-old Tequila might be the exception to that rule. In 2013, she wrote and posted an article entitled “Why I Sympathize with Hitler. Part I”. She would proceed to post more anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler ramblings on her Facebook page that would make even Mel Gibson shudder. The backlash was quite intense and it cost Tila her job on Celebrity Big Brother. She’s been out of the spotlight ever since. She blames this episode on depression and drug addiction.
13. ONE MOMENT: ASHLEE SIMPSON
Ashlee grew up in the shadow of her much more famous sister Jessica. Still, she managed to find a bit of success churning out tween pop songs and appearing in reality television shows. Then, on October 23rd, 2004, Simpson got really famous but it wasn’t a good kind of famous. She appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Her first song went off without a hitch but when she and her band launched into the song “Autobiography”, the vocals from her previous song, “Pieces of Me” played which revealed that she had lip synced the previous song. She did an awkward jig and left the stage. To make matters worse, at the end of the show she blamed her band for playing the wrong song. What a class act!! She has faded into obscurity and is rarely mentioned anymore except in lists like this one.
12. ONE COMMENT: PAULA DEEN
Paula Deen is a celebrity chef who is best-known for cooking up tasty meals and publishing several cookbooks. She’s owned restaurants and has had her own television shows like Paula’s Home Cooking and Paula’s Best Dishes. In June 2013, Paula’s image took a severe hit when it was revealed that she had used the “N-word” several times and that she had made other similar derogatory remarks. A lawsuit was filed by one of her employees for sexual and racial discrimination. The lawsuit was later dismissed but her reputation was down the drain and she was canned by Food Network and lost several lucrative endorsements. She began her comeback in 2015 when she appeared in Dancing with the Stars and she has recently started to host her own cooking shows once again.
11. ONE MOMENT: JENNIFER GREY
You might remember Jennifer Grey. She was a rising star back in the ’80s having appeared in such feature films as Red Dawn and American Flyers before landing the role of Ferris Bueller’s jealous sister in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She then played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the hit movie Dirty Dancing in 1987. She made a couple more movies but she mysteriously faded away in the early 1990s. What happened? Well, she got a nose job and it altered her appearance so much that she was almost unrecognizable. Since then, her resume is filled with made for TV movies and appearances in various television shows. Perhaps her biggest achievement in the past 25 years is winning season 11 of Dancing with the Stars. She has recently completed filming a small role in the movie Untogether which is in post-production.
10. ONE COMMENT: GILBERT GOTTFRIED
Gilbert Gottfried has been in dozens of popular movies and he has appeared in countless television shows. He’s not usually the featured performer but he has the ability to steal whatever scene he is placed in. His biggest recent gig was doing the voice of the Aflac duck in several commercials. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Gottfried did a monologue at a Friars Club roast in which he joked that he intended to catch a flight that day but didn’t because the plane had to “stop at the Empire State Building first.” He was able to recover from that one but when the earthquake disaster and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, he took to Twitter and posted that he’d just split up with his girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, “they’ll be another one floating by any minute now.” Poof!! Unemployed!!
9. ONE MOMENT: MICHAEL RICHARDS
So many actors work very hard to be successful. It can take years before they get noticed if they get any attention at all. Michael Richards is one such actor that toiled away for years before landing his breakout role as Kramer on Seinfeld. He had bit roles in movies like UHF, Problem Child, and Coneheads along with appearing in various television shows. However, it was his portrayal of Cosmo Kramer that made him a star. After Seinfeld had run its course, Richards tried to get his own television show off the ground but it never took off so he hit the comedy circuit. On November 17th, 2006, Richards was performing at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood when a heckler piped up. Richards responded by going into a profanity-laced and racist tirade before leaving the stage. Game over!!
8. ONE COMMENT: CEELO GREEN
CeeLo Green is living proof of how quickly one’s fortunes can turn when they don’t think before they speak. Or, in this case, think before you post your thoughts on Twitter. Things were going pretty well for CeeLo in 2012. He already had several hit songs and he was one of the judges on The Voice. He was doing a bit of acting on television and in movies too. Things began to go sideways when he pleaded no contest to furnishing women with ecstasy. That incident didn’t derail his career but he experienced harsh blowback when he posted some inappropriate tweets about rape in 2014. He quickly deleted them and issued an apology but the damage was done. He quit The Voice to avoid the embarrassment of being fired and then changed his name to Gnarly Davidson. We still know who he really is.
7. ONE MOMENT: OJ SIMPSON
OJ Simpson hacked and slashed his way through opposing defenses during his 11-year professional football career. He was a 5-time Pro Bowler and a 4-time rushing yards leader. During the last couple of years of his playing career, Juice caught a case of the acting bug. He already had a bit of experience in front of the camera having been a pitchman for Hertz, Pioneer Chicken, and several other companies. He appeared in a few television movies but he is likely best remembered for his portrayal of the accident prone Detective Nordberg in the Naked Gun franchise. Well, he’s really best remembered for bludgeoning his wife and her friend to death in 1994. Despite being acquitted, he was successfully sued for $33.5 million dollars in a wrongful death suit. He was then incarcerated after participating in a robbery in 2007 and he has just recently been granted parole.
6. ONE COMMENT: SCOTT BAIO
We all get frustrated at times but some of us deal with our issues better than others. Let’s take paying our taxes as an example. Nobody likes filing their taxes. This is especially true when it turns out that we need to fork over our hard-earned dough to the taxman. It appears that actor Scott Baio wasn’t too happy about having to pay his taxes back in 2010. He expressed his frustration on Twitter when he posted “Taxes are DONE…That should feed, house & provide medical for a few lazy non-working people at my expense. Have a great Monday!” Ouch!! While he went on to star in the ill-fated television series See Dad Run in 2012, Baio has become one of those pesky “non-working people” that he so coldly complained about in his controversial tweet.
5. ONE MOMENT: JARED FOGLE
Not many people get famous through making television commercials but a few have managed to do so. You might remember the “Where’s the beef?” lady or the woman that portrays Flo in those Progressive commercials? Well, Subway made a star out of Jared Fogle when they made him the face of the franchise beginning in 2000. We’re sure you all remember the story of how he lost a bunch of weight by eating Subway sandwiches. He had a net worth of $15 million in 2013 and he was just starting to get other acting gigs when his world came crashing down in 2015. He was investigated for possessing child pornography and having sex with minors. He was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years. His days of being a pitchman are over if you know what we mean.
4. ONE COMMENT: JIMMY THE GREEK
It was 1988. Ronald Reagan was finishing his second term as President of the United States, people sported big hair, and the Fresh Prince was still a couple of years away from moving to Bel Air. Jimmy the Greek had been a mainstay for 12 years on The NFL Today which football fans and bettors would tune in to so that they could hear his thoughts and predictions for the upcoming NFL games. He might not have been a popular guy to work with but his fans adored him. His career ended when he commented to a reporter that blacks were superior athletes partially due to breeding during slavery. Oops!! He was immediately fired by CBS and his legacy was forever tarnished. He later admitted that his comments were foolish but his words did little to soothe those who he offended.
3. ONE MOMENT: MARK SALLING
Mark Salling is a musician and actor who is best-known for his role of Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the television show Glee. Mark grew up in a strict Christian home in Texas and he graduated from high school in 2001. He appeared in a couple of direct-to-video movies as well as an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger but his acting career stagnated until he landed his part in Glee in 2009. He was on the show for 6 seasons and things were looking up for the then 33-year-old thespian. All of his potential vanished in the blink of an eye when he was charged with possessing and receiving child pornography. His trial has just gotten underway as of this writing so we will have to wait a while before his fate is known. It’s pretty certain that we won’t be seeing him on television or in movies anymore.
2. ONE COMMENT: HOPE SOLO
Hope Solo has had one heck of a successful career as a soccer player. She has been thought of as one of, if not the best female goalie in the world and she has the records and awards to back up these claims. Unfortunately, Hope has a habit of creating controversy such as the time in 2007 when she voiced her displeasure with her coach when he benched her for a game during the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The comments led to many of her teammates giving her the cold shoulder. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when she called the Swedish women’s team “a bunch of cowards” after they defeated the U.S. women’s team and knocked them out of the 2016 Rio Olympics. U.S Soccer suspended Solo and terminated her national team contract. Her chances of a comeback are pretty slim.
1. ONE MOMENT: TONYA HARDING
This entry is kind of weird in the sense that Tonya Harding became a celebrity as a result of ruining her career as a figure skater. By the end of 1993, Harding had already competed in two Winter Olympics, was a two-time Skate America Champion, and a US Figure Skating Champion. She was training for the upcoming 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer but she had stiff competition in Nancy Kerrigan. On January 6, 1994, a guy named Shane Stant attacked Nancy Kerrigan by giving her a good whack above the knee with a baton. It turned out that Harding’s ex-husband and a bodyguard had hired Stant to break Kerrigan’s leg so that she couldn’t compete. While Tonya avoided jail time, the others who were involved were all incarcerated. Harding’s figure skating career was over.
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