(Top) 10 Actors Whose Careers Went Down After They Won Oscars

I can't imagine an actor not willing to win any award for their work, especially Oscar. I agree that six figure check is the best compensation, alongside the huge crowd of fans, but still - it's a great honor. Winning Academy Awards is especially crucial if it's in the beginning of your career, because it dramatically changes your chances to become a megastar. At least, this is what every Oscar nominee hopes for, but some of them maybe now willing that they never won the Gold. 

Here are the "honorable mentions":
  • Kim Basinger winning for L.A. Confidential
  • Roberto Benigni winning for Life is Beautiful

And the (top) 10 list:
10. Roberto Benigni - Best Actor (Life is Beautiful) in 1999
He was a double winner that night, one for Lead Actor and another an "indirect" win - Best Foreign Film went to his Life is Beautiful. As a director, he accepted the award on behalf of Italy. Except that, he had a huge love from everybody who saw either movie or award ceremony. The way  he went crazy, stepped over megastars of Hollywood was considered to be likable for all people.

But it was his first and last glory. He directed two fairly known movies after that, Pinocchio and  The Tiger and the Snow. And practically ended his career there. He could have been icon of comedy/drama, but missed that chance, actually Oscar made him miss the chance.

9Halle Berry - Best Actress (Monsters Ball) in 2002
Her acceptance speech was as powerful and emotional as performance itself. Arguably, she deserved this honor for Monsters Ball because of many reasons, most importantly those graphic sex scenes. But for no reason, she stopped playing in a movies with good source material. Instead, she played every possible superhero after that and some creepy woman in Movie 43. She went back to "a hot chick you must include in the cast" type actress, instead of "a hot chick who can nail any dramatic character" type. 

8. Gwyneth Paltrow - Best Actress (Shakespeare in Love) in 1999
Deserved or not, she won Oscar for Shakespeare in Love and soon go forgotten. The only thing she's remembered for is how she robbed her fellow nominees, but nobody ever talks how great she actually was and how much potential she could have. 

After winning Oscar, there was The Talented Mr. Ripley and the endless series of Iron Man

7. RenĂ©e Zellweger - Supporting Actress (Cold Mountain) in 2004
Beginning of 2000s was the best period of her career, getting three consecutive Oscar nominations and finally winning for Cold Mountain. And then she just disappeared. Could you even name any movie after Cold Mountain that you really remembered? I can't and this is not a good sign, as a fan of Bridget Jones, how could I forget any of her performance? Apparently, Oscar curse really works.

6. Tatum O'Neal - Supporting Actress (Paper Moon) in 1974
Can you imagine how awesome it is to be the youngest winner of all time in competitive Oscar category?! And when this win was absolutely deserving?! She not only did not get any more Oscar nomination, but absolutely disappeared from the screens.

5. Cuba Gooding Jr. - Supporting Actor (Jerry Maguire) in 1997
He not only delivered a great performance in Jerry Maguire but had one of the funniest acceptance speeches ever. Winning over Edward NortonWilliam H. Macy should have given him a lifetime career boost, but instead we only see him on Razzie list.

4. Anna Paquin - Supporting Actress (the Piano) in 1994
At the age of 11 Anna Paquin won over Emma Thompson, Winona Ryder and Holly Hunter for her heartbreaking and very beautiful performance in The Piano. After that she continued play small and mostly not widely recognizable roles. Today, she's well known for her Golden Globe nominee performance in TV Show True Blood.

3. Beatrice Straight - Supporting Actress (Network) in 1977
Beatrice Straight won her only Oscar nomination for 5 minutes and 2 seconds long performance in Network making a unbreakable record for shortest award winning act.  But she managed to deliver so much in these 5 mins, that many actors are not capable of in full length motion picture. Instead of becoming "key" actress, she went back to television and practically, disappeared from film industry (living alone few roles she did later).

2. Adrien Brody - Leading Actor (Pianist) in 2003
Adrien was absolutely brilliant in Pianist and one of the most promising actors of yearly 2000s. Shortly after that he was filmed in The Village and couple of OK movies, but nothing really special, that would give him a masterful source material to become even better actor. Regardless the fact that he still acts in movies like InAPPropriate Comedy, he is not a promising or most wanted actor anymore. 

1. Timothy Hutton - Supporting Actor (Ordinary People) in 1981
Timothy's performance as Conrad in Ordinary People is one of my most favorite male performances of all time. And it is especially sad for me that he is just nowhere, despite his active involvement in many random movies. Leaving it alone, he is one of the less recognizable face even in this list, because winning Oscar was peak of his career and then full stop.

Whose career you think went down after winning Oscar?!

You can see other Top Ten Lists here


  1. Beka SukhitashviliJan 30, 2014, 10:37:00 PM

    I think Rene's career is most understanding in this list :D

    I have not seen yet those little girls role and i'm very interesting.

    I didn't known about Beatrice Straight and Timothy Hutton.

  2. This is Beatrice's whole performance, you should check this out http://youtu.be/kzj1ViCA6RI

    Also, I totally recommend Ordinary People. I think you'd love it.

  3. Beka SukhitashviliJan 30, 2014, 10:59:00 PM

    Wow, so strong performance!

    Thank you, i will watch Ordinary People. :)

  4. Share your thoughts and emotions whenever you watch it :))

  5. Beka SukhitashviliJan 30, 2014, 11:00:00 PM

    ok! :))

  6. So happy to see love for Beatrice Straight's performance! I don't care what anyone says, she was powerful and unforgettable in those 5 minutes.

    It makes me sad to see Benigni, Zellweger, and Hutton's careers go downhill though. They are amazing.

    I think Anna Paquin has gone relatively far though, seeing as True Blood is one of the most popular shows on TV (even though I can't stand it now).

  7. yeah, Paquin in the most popular here, but still, doing True Blood is not the biggest thing she could have done.
    Hutton is my one of the most favorite performances of all time and it really makes me sad to see him out of the game, too.