There are individuals that burst out of the starting gate and have a successful career. Then there are people who attain a certain level of success and let it slip through their fingers.
Mickey Rourke started out as a boxer. Rourke was a successful boxer, but found his calling in acting. Mickey Rourke’s role in the movie 9 1/2 Weeks earned him a ’sex symbol’ label. Rourke’s acting career continued to thrive in the 1980s. Angel Heart, Barfly and Wild Orchid are just some of the roles that helped Rourke achieve A-List status. However, Rourke’s temper eventually led to the decline in his popularity. Directors and co-stars, found it increasingly hard to work with Mickey Rourke because of his explosive antics. Rourke went from an A-List celebrity to a D-List public figure.
Rourke decided to return to his boxing roots when he realized his acting career was sinking. Rourke suffered numerous injuries after returning to boxing. He eventually threw in the towel once again, after competing in less than 10 fights. Even though Rourke was cast in various roles in the 1990s, he still didn’t have the status he once held.
In 2005, Rourke’s luck changed when Robert Rodriguez cast him in Sin City. Rourke’s role in Sin City garnered him awards, press and an A-List status. In 2008, Mickey Rourke was cast in The Wrestler. Not only did this role land Rourke an Oscar nomination, but it showed Hollywood that he was back with a vengeance.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. was considered a member of the 1980s Brat Pack. Downey’s big break came in 1987. He received rave reviews from Hollywood and the press for his performance in the movie Less Than Zero. Robert Downey Jr. worked steadily through the 80s without a hitch. In 1992, Downey took on the role of Charlie Chaplin, in the movie Chaplin. Downey threw himself into this role and emulated Chaplin to a tee. The role gained Robert Downey Jr. an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Despite the buzz surrounding his performance, Downey lost the Oscar to Al Pacino. Shortly after his Oscar nomination, Robert Downey’s career hit a snag. The media watched as Robert’s life spiraled out of control. Downey spent years in and out of rehab centers and jail. Downey started to get his life back on track after his final release from rehab. In 2000, Downey landed a recurring role on Ally McBeal as Calista Flockhart’s love interest. His stellar performance landed him an Emmy nomination. Downey solidified his comeback in 2008 when he portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man in the movie Iron Man. Later that year, Downey received another Oscar nomination for his role in Tropic Thunder. Robert Downey Jr. is set to reprise his role as Iron Man in 2010.
Britney Spears charmed her way into our hearts in 1998. Spears got her start in 1993, on The Mickey Mouse Club. Her debut single “. . .Baby One More Time”, thrust Spears to the top of the charts. Spears released her second album, Oops. . . I Did It Again, less than two years after her debut album. Britney Spears was on a platinum streak. Her single “Toxic” from her third album, In the Zone, won Spears her first Grammy. In 2004, Spears married her friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. Brit’s marriage to Alexander lasted only fifty-five hours. This abrupt marriage was only the beginning of the starlet’s downward spiral. In 2007, Spears made headlines after shaving her head bald. Shortly after shaving her head, Britney was photographed smashing the window of a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella. The umbrella incident led to Spear’s 4th stint in rehab. Britney Spears released her fifth album, Blackout, on October 30, 2007. The media and Brit fans were anxiously awaiting her MTV Video Music Awards comeback. Her performance fell short and Spears was scrutinized by the media for not being up to par. The media thought Spears was headed down the same path as Anna Nicole Smith. However, in 2008 Spears’ guest starring role on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, is said to be what saved her career. The two episodes that Spears guest starred on brought in the highest ratings of the season. Britney was on her way back to the top. Spears released her sixth album, Circus, in December 2008. Circus has already achieved Platinum status.
Some individuals have to spend years building a reputation for themselves. Celebrities are human beings just like the rest of us. They bleed the same blood and make mistakes just like everybody else. These celebrities were down for the count, but they didn’t stay down. They overcame their defeat and came back better than ever.