20 Celebrities Who Faded into Obscurity


Fame can be a very fickle lover. You’re the most famous person in the world one day and practically a nobody the next. It just happens. Not every single celebrity in the world ends up turning into George Clooney or Julia Roberts. Some are exceptionally famous today and gone tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how good you are, what you’ve done and how far you’ve come with your career if you fade into obscurity. It can happen after a marriage or relationship fails, after a bad movie, after too much time off work or even after a plastic surgery attempt that changes your appearance too much; and these 20 celebrities know this feeling all too well. They’ve come and they’ve gone, and the rest of us are left wondering just what happened to them as they’ve faded so far into obscurity since their heyday.

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LeAnn Rimes

We haven’t heard much from or about her lately. Since she stole Brandi Glanville’s husband and then paraded around with a tiny bikini and half her old body for a few years, she’s been MIA. We aren’t complaining; we lost a lot of respect for this one with her actions. But we’re starting to think that maybe she was in the news so much because of her husband’s ex being on a hit reality show for so many years.

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Mischa Barton

She was the next big thing when she starred at The O.C. but now she’s not. Her character was killed off and she disappeared. The show ended because, well, it sucked without her. But then it turns out that she’s just a young actress who is having too many problems now that she’s not working. She’s got financial problems, substance abuse problems and apparently she also has some family issues that she needs to focus on working through.

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Freddie Prinze Jr.

The good news is that he’s happy and doing quite well. He’s been married forever to Sarah Michelle Gellar, and they have a couple of adorable kids and live a pretty nice little life in the city somewhere doing things that all families do. They go out, take their kids to practice and spend time together. They’re focusing on their family, and that’s definitely the best reason to fade absolutely into obscurity if you’re doing it in the first place.

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Heidi Montag

Listen, we didn’t say that the people who disappeared were actually people that anyone loved. However, she was very much a talked about mini-celebrity thanks to her role in a reality television show that most everyone said they hated yet they watched. We are not complaining that she’s not everywhere we look anymore, but we really cannot complain that her husband is no longer in the spotlight. He wasn’t that nice.

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Chris Klein

He was in some good movies (“American Pie,” anyone?) and he dated the very famous Katie Holmes before she was the very famous Katie Holmes formerly married to the very, very famous Tom Cruise. Everyone knew him and loved him and his very clean-cut, wholesome ways. But then he disappeared. We’re not sure why, or how or what he’s doing now, but we can say that he did seem like one of the nice guys, so that’s too bad.

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Tom Green

He was once married to Drew Barrymore, he was funny to some and just creepy and strange to others, but he was everywhere. Now he’s not. In fact, I didn’t even remember him until I started thinking about people I remember growing up and have not seen since. He was kind of strange to me, so I’m not missing him. Just out of curiosity, though, where is he and what’s he up to these days?

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Lil Kim

For a long time, we saw entirely too much of her. We saw her nipples and her butt cheeks and pretty much everything in between. She was a supremely famous rapper and she was even in a few movies, and then she just disappeared. Or maybe we just can’t see her with all the suddenly very tall actors and actresses and singers and songwriters that have become famous in the past few years. Either way, we miss her.

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Calista Flockhart

She was Ally McBeal, and everyone loved her. And then she was gone. She married Harrison Ford, had a baby at some point  (before or after that, I’m not sure) and then she disappeared. Even when her husband was involved recently in a plane crash, she was not someone who made any statements that we saw, or was seen out and about in mourning. I don’t even recall seeing her name mentioned in any of the articles written about his accident.

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Lindsay Lohan

In all fairness, she’s crazy and we don’t really miss her. We do miss her back when she was a small child playing a twin who finds her long-lost sister later in life. But we don’t like her as an adult. She’s got to work her stuff out if she wants to come out of obscurity, which is – at least – a much more appropriate place for her to work on her issues than in the center of the tabloids and the media storm that once followed her around like crazy.

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Amanda Bynes

She was one of the most famous – and hilarious – child stars around for a long time. Then she went kind of crazy. She was in the news every day for doing something else crazy and ridiculous, and then the world became bored with that part of her personality, as well. Now she’s gone and no one knows what happened to her. Well, we assume she’s seeking some sort of help – because she certainly needs it.

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Nick Carter

The most famous Backstreet Boy is now a middle-aged man with nothing going on in his life. Okay, we don’t actually know whether or not that is true, but we assume that he’s not doing anything. We haven’t seen or heard from him in about a million years, and we don’t think that we will anytime in the near future. Obscurity seems to have taken hold of this one with a vengeance.

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Paris Hilton

For a few years, the world was obsessed with this heiress. And then it seemed that everyone forgot she was even alive. She’s gone; she’s done. She’s moved on into the abyss. Last time we heard she was a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding and perhaps working as a DJ in nightclubs across the world. It works for her, though, and it really does work for us since we are not stuck having to see her every time we turn around anymore.

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Thora Birch

She was a very famous child star who had some amazing roles, and then she was gone. We haven’t seen her do anything since she did a Lifetime movie back in 2010. It’s a shame, too, because she is a lovely young woman very good at her craft. She’s got it takes to make it big, but for some reason she hasn’t put forth much effort to do so in the past few years. It’s like she doesn’t want to be rich and famous.

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Shannon Doherty

She was one of the most famous people in the world when she was in 90210 and then she was gone. And then she came back and starred as a witch in Charmed, and then she disappeared again. It takes a special kind of actress to have two leading roles in two great shows so far apart and still manage to basically disappear. Of course, there are more than a few rumors that she’s a raging nightmare and a diva and that she’s awful to work with, so that might have something to do with her lack of a job right now.

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Skeet Ulrich

Back when he was in all the scary teen movies, everyone thought that he would be the next big thing in Hollywood. Except for one small thing; he’s not and he wasn’t and the world has no idea what happened to this guy. He is just gone, not even making appearances that we know of from time to time. He’s just disappeared into the wind. Maybe he likes it that way.

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Taylor Lautner

He was a huge child star playing in a show about lava and sharks, and then he was the werewolf that made girls everywhere cry tears of desperate love. And then he dated Taylor Swift and did a big movie with an ensemble cast, and then he just stopped doing, well, anything. It’s a shame, too, because he’s so cute and he made the movie about he vampires worth watching for those of us forced to sit through it.

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Aaron Carter

For a second he was going to be the next big thing. He’s the little brother of a Backstreet Boy, he’s talented and he dated some famous celebs. And then he was gone. The family did lose a child a few years back, and Aaron seemed to have a drinking issue and perhaps some other issues as well, but the world thought he might make a bit of a comeback. So far he has done no such thing and we aren’t holding our breath that he will.

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Rachel Leigh Cook

She was the next big thing for a while, and now she’s gone. Well, let’s rephrase that. She married a total hottie and decided to have a baby and now she’s apparently home with the baby while her super hot husband works. She’s married to the man who plays the very handsome, very dapper Elijah on The Originals, which is a spinoff of his same role in The Vampire Diaries. Who cares if she doesn’t have a career anymore? He’s hot.

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Seann William Scott

Sean William Scott

Stifler is gone, and we miss him. I mean, seriously, we miss him. He was the most hilarious person in the entire “American Pie” story and we miss him. We miss his mom, too, but we actually get to see far more of her in television and movies than we do of him, and that kind of makes it okay. But he was a cutie, so we do miss him and his hilarious appearances in funny movies. If you’re reading this, come back!

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Josh Hartnett

For a minute he was one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, and then he was not. He’s been gone for years, and we have no idea where he went. We’re not sure what happened, but we can say that things stopped looking up for him when he began growing his hair too long and Channing Tatum burst onto the scene. It’s almost as if the rest of the world realized they just didn’t need him once Channing began taking off his own shirt.

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Written by Tiffany Raiford