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7 ‘Old Skool’ Actors Who Made Iconic Comebacks

Not everyone can maintain the intensity and dedication necessary for a celebrity’s lifestyle. Many will never forget the 1990s as the heyday of pop culture when the foundation was laid for the multibillion-dollar film and music industries we enjoy today. However, after achieving stardom, many of those celebrities’ lavish ways of life became unsustainable. Even the most famous people can feel the effects of their decisions and the pressures of public life, and the stars of the 1990s were no exception.

However, some famous people have put up a battle and refused to give up. After a period in the shadows, they have returned to prominence with the power to once again kill the entertainment industry in the twenty-first century. Take a look at these seven famous people who had successful second acts.

1. ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Robert Downey built a reputation for himself in Hollywood with roles in Chaplain and Ally McBeal. His drug and alcohol problems got him dismissed from Ally McBeal in 2001. Mel Gibson helped him by underwriting his liability insurance because of his drug addiction. After modest cinematic roles, he earned his big break in 2008’s Iron Man as Tony Stark, a role that led to sequels and additional MCU films.

2. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS

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So says the actor, producer, writer, comedian, and magician. Doogie Howser, MD, made him a household name as a child until 1993. He remained unlucky with castings until 2005, when he landed the lead in How I Met Your Mother, earning him four Emmy nods. Harris won two Emmys for his 2010 Glee guest appearance. He keeps acting, writing books, and hosting on stage and in film.

3. MAYIM BIALIK

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Mayim Bialik starred as the lead in the early 1990s NBC comedy Blossom, after which she reportedly vanished. She took a hiatus from the film industry to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. The couple’s financial situation was precarious because her husband was also a full-time graduate student. Her spectacular 2010 comeback was more of a fluke. She wasn’t actively seeking fame, but she had to accept when she was cast in The Big Bang Theory.

4. KEANU REEVES

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Fox Productions had rejected him for ten years because he had refused to be cast in Speed 2. Hollywood honored him with a star after his comeback and the commercial success of the subsequent Matrix films.

5. CHARLIE SHEEN

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The former star of Two and a Half Men went through the same common tragedy as many successful celebrities. In 2011, he was fired due to drug use, effectively ending his career. The show eventually ended in 2015, and Ashton Kutcher subsequently took over his role. After overcoming his drug addiction, he returned with a vengeance on the Oscar-winning film Platoon in 2018. His recovery has given him no desire to return to his previous low point. Thus, he has no plans to relapse.

6. DREW BARRYMORE

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At the tender age of seven, Barrymore holds the record as the youngest host in the history of Saturday Night Live. A little role in The Altered States was the first professional appearance of the young actress. By the time she was 12, her tumultuous upbringing was marred by drug and alcohol dependency. While still a teenager, she started her production firm after divorcing her mother’s role as manager. The momentum she gained from the success of The Wedding Singer allowed her to begin constructing her current colossal enterprise.

7. JENNIFER ANISTON

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In the early 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. Before Friends’ cancellation in 2004, she was known for playing Rachel Green. The show was so successful that she was nominated for and won both the Primetime Emmy and the Golden Globe for Best Actress. After Friends ended, Aniston made a huge return, appearing in various TV shows. Reese Witherspoon is the main attraction of Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.

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