What Happened? Celebrities Who Should Have Had Bigger Careers

July 22, 2013  |  
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Source: WENN

What ever happened to some of our favorite stars from back in the day? Well unfortunately, despite how promising things looked, these actors and actresses just couldn’t seem to break into the mainstream. Whether it was just poor luck in role choices, rumors of attitudes on set or something else, these talented folks just couldn’t make the A-list. Even if we can’t change their Hollywood fortune, we can at least honor them here and keep our fingers crossed that somehow they find the success they were looking for.

Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Robin Givens

She first came to prominence as Darlene Merriman on NBC’s Head of the Class, but it would be her tumultuous relationship with boxer Mike Tyson that would largely define her celebrity. We were really rooting for Robin Givens, too. The New York-born actress didn’t rely on just good looks to get her by. In addition to attending college at Sarah Lawrence, she also left Harvard Medical School to pursue a career in acting. Brains, beauty and talent. Yeah, there’s no doubt that it’s a real shame she never had her big breakthrough.

Nikki Nelson/ WENN

Jasmine Guy

Whitley, Whitley, Whitley. We’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t love to loathe Jasmine Guy’s memorable Whitley Gilbert on A Different World. The show had a tremendous impact on an entire generation of viewers, particularly young African-American men and women, so it almost seemed absolutely certain Guy would become a star. But while she also appeared in the films School Daze and Harlem Nights, along with a slew of television appearances, she was never able to really breakthrough into mainstream, A-list status. We’re not sure why, but we’re confident that was definitely Hollywood’s loss.


Jurnee Smollett

Now what happened here? Sure the likelihood of child stars making it big in adulthood is always a little low, but we really had some faith in Jurnee. She dazzled us in Eve’s Bayou and appeared in more television shows than we can count. But for some reason she was never able to really lock-in on a breakthrough role. Denzel Washington-directed The Great Debaters was a nice first step, but she never was able to really tackle those meaty adult roles. She’s still young, there’s still time, so we’ve got our fingers crossed that she can get it together and become the star we know she can be — sans Tyler Perry.


Mos Def

Mos Def/Yasiin Bey is probably one of the most interesting celebs who never really hit it big. Though he seems to pop up everywhere (movies, music, television, social activist causes), Mos Def is almost the epitome of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. He’s been all over the place, but never achieved top status in Hollywood. Though that could have been largely by design (Mos Def was never really fighting for the spotlight), we do think it is a shame that this wildly talented man never really got the acclaim he deserved.

C.Smith/ WENN.com

Cuba Gooding Jr.

We were on the fence about whether or not to include Cuba Gooding Jr. because for a brief time he really did seem like the next big thing. And ever since that breakout Academy-Award winning performance in Jerry Maguire, he has appeared in a few highly acclaimed films, but largely has fallen short in following up to that incredible role. A string of straight-to-DVD movies and B-caliber action roles have relegated him to Hollywood’s lesser tier. Which, given his obvious talent and likeability, is truly, truly a shame.


Edward Norton

Multi-talented Academy Award nominated actor, director, screenwwriter and producer Edward Norton shouldn’t be on this list. No way should he be on this list. He wasn’t supposed to be. But following his turn as reformed white supremacist Derek Vinyard in American History X, a leading role in Fight Club and other high profile performances, Norton seemed to pull away from the spotlight. And when rumors circulated of his difficulty on and off set, that certainly did not help matters in the likeability department. He’s wildly talented and there’s no reason he shouldn’t still be on top of the movie game. So we wouldn’t be surprised if he made a rousing return to prominence.


Martin Lawrence

He killed it in the 90s. From Martin to Bad Boys and everything in between, Martin Lawrence found fame and fortune in comedy, but we have to admit that when the Big Momma’s House years rolled in, Lawrence definitely was knocked down the Hollywood totem pole. Instead of sleek, interesting humor, Lawrence found himself doing characters that just didn’t have the same spirit as the roles he had previously created on television and in his other films. Can he get back on top? Drop Big Momma and then maybe you’ll have a shot.


Skeet Ulrich

Everyone thought that this 90’s cutie had a bright future ahead of him. With roles in The Craft and Scream, Ulrich definitely knew how to charm the ladies and had this awesome swagger to him. But somewhere along the line, Ulrich’s career seemed to stall out. He tried to break into TV, but most of his forays never really amounted to much. He’s adorable, he’s got the whole strong, silent type thing going on, so we ask: What happened here?


Stacey Dash

The first of two Clueless stars to make our list, Stacey Dash hit the scene in a big way as Dionne Davenport in the classic 90’s film. And though the drop dead gorgeous Dash certainly made the rounds in a number of movies and television shows (including the small screen version of Clueless), she could never really be taken seriously in Hollywood. Granted, this chick was never going to win an Oscar, but we did expect slightly bigger roles and at least a little more success to float her way. She still got plenty and plenty of beauty, so let’s see if she can make a mid-life run to the top of the game.


Alicia Silverstone

Much like Stacey Dash, Alicia Silverstone seemed destined for quite the career after her starring role in Clueless. Even before the movie, she became a teen idol after appearing in Aerosmith’s classic trilogy of music videos. But despite another blockbuster role in Batman and Robin, Silverstone had a hard time finding consistently strong and engaging roles to take on in television and in the movies. Though it’s not as if we’re surprised that she didn’t really make the jump to serious actress, we still would have liked to see a little more from her.

Brian To/WENN.com

Julie Benz

With memorable roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dexter and Desperate Housewives, Julie Benz seemed poised for stardom on the small screen. But she has yet to breakout from supporting role status to become a leading lady in her own right. We’ve definitely got our fingers crossed for this one.


Geena Davis

With model good looks and a sparkle on the big screen, Geena Davis was born to be one of Hollywood’s foremost leading ladies. But somewhere between her breakouts in Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own and Beetlejuice, things went a bit awry. She was never able to maintain enough staying power to certify herself as a top leading lady. What a shame.

WENN/Fayes Vision

Sean Patrick Thomas

Now this one truly makes us sad. Sean Patrick Thomas was wonderfully attractive, super charismatic and had  talent for days. He found breakout success opposite Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance and followed that up with a role in The District. But for some reason, that we’re definitely not sure of, Thomas just couldn’t land that leading man status. We can only hope that was a personal choice and not Hollywood completely missing the boat on this one.

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  • MChantye

    Jasmine Guy is on Tyler Perry’s “If Loving you is Wrong”
    She looks tore up from the floor up, wow. I was shocked to see how her beauty faded, and so quickly, she’s not that old as she looks on his new show.

  • KMaria Mosley-Settles

    Martin went mainstream in movies like LIFE and BAD BOYS and BIG MAMA’S. He hasn’t done much lately but he is on TV with Kelsey Grammar. Isn’t that mainstream enough?

  • bug

    these celebs didnt hit it big because hollywood doesnt have enough roles for people of color. Watch the hollywood shuffle.

  • E. Ness Fellenz

    There are some real questions about this list. I’m only up to Stacy Dash, and I stopped to do this comment because I believed she probably more than anyone else should be on this list or one concerning the ten worst actresses in Hollywood history. I’ve always said to my wife that I thought Dash was a terrible actress, and she truly is by any objective standard and I’m sure by any subjective judgment. She just can’t act.

  • Awrenn Astimpy

    I know this may sound crazy, but MAYBE these people have the careers they want. Maybe they weren’t looking to blow up. Maybe they did the things hey wanted to do (a few movies) but now are focusing on other things in life. Just because you feel they should’ve been A-List actors, doesn’t mean that is what their goal was. Maybe they just wanted to act.

  • PJ

    Jurnee was a regular on True Blood last season and looking forward to seeing her in the next, last year she was temptation and will be starring in “hands of stone” She was also in “do no harm” Parenthood and a dozen others. Maybe you should hit her page and see what she is doing/has donw because apparently this young woman’s career has been taking off for some time now.

  • dudeassist

    Whoever put this post together is a complete idiot!!!!

  • Allison Elaine Nance

    Why is Martin Lawrence on this list? Martin has had plenty of hit movies, stand-up shows, and not to mention his sitcom ‘Martin’ is still on tv, killin’ it!! Puuuulease. Someone didn’t do their research.

  • Rhett Meech

    Madame Noire stay reaching, Geena Davis is a reach, she had a very solid career in the 90s, times change. Jurnee shouldn’t be on this list at all, she continues to be a working actress and several of her roles are what drives the crowd out to see the movies. She’s currently featured on 2 television shows. Martin Lawrence shouldn’t be on this list either, he pioneered the black sitcom in the 90’s into a space where we didn’t have to be cosby’s or on good times to be valid characters. He then followed this up with a litany of blockbuster movies (not quite critically acclaimed, but that’s not what he’s there for). Good Try though

  • Does anyone remember when jasmine Guy tried her hand at singing?

  • smoinpour

    Some of these stars made it big and Jurnee still has plenty of time! I go to school with one of her family members 🙂

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  • Vasiliki KIefala

    I used to watch Different World. But the terrible voice of Jasmine Guy drove me to turn the TV off. Who told her to use that tone of a voice was a big mistake.

  • ShunkW

    Robin Givens couldn’t have been too smart if she hooked up with Mike Tyson.

  • Bill in ATL

    C’mon…..everyone should know the real reason why these wonderful actors and actresses have been limited to many TV or movie roles….the majority of them are black. And the last time I look….who control Hollywood? You have a better chance of landing a GAY role on Television than you do act seeing a leading black actor!

  • Wendy Barnes

    I love Wayne Brady. I’ll watch him in anything. He can sing, dance, act, and he’s good-looking.

  • Kim Clark

    Gina Davis turned 40, had kids and gained some weight. Now She’s a beautiful 50 year old woman and there aren’t many parts for 50 year old woman. Let’s face it, men have longer careers.

  • Suzy Soro

    Stacy Dash was shunned in Hollywood after she became a raging Republican who didn’t vote for Obama. Twice. This is NOT the town you want to flaunt your Republicaness in!

  • Severian

    How about Catherine Mary Stuart! What a babe in the ’80s (The Last Starfighter, The Night of the Comet). She was beautiful and could act; a face and sensuality like Farrah Fawcett but a much better actress.

  • matty

    One of my favorites who you never really hear about is Philip Michael Thomas. He should have done more ‘big’ roles in addition to Miami Vice. I know it was wierd period for him when he was promoting psychic phone lines, but Im surprised that he didnt come back and make a cameo in a Miami TV show like CSI Miami or one of these TV crime investigation shows. He should have been given a permanent role on one of those shows too. Things like that would suit him well…. That would have been awesome. Maybe its not too late. I looked him up on the ‘net, and he seems content living in FL and being involved in the music industry. I wish him well.

  • Sinae

    I absolutely hate articles like this. “Find the success they were looking for”…..? You don’t know what they were looking for or what they had to go through to have any kind of career. Stop labeling actors and actresses as “Has-been” or “washed-up” or “failures”, when you have no knowledge of their goals or intentions. Not everybody wants to be Halle Berry – sure, she’s been in a lot of movies, but look at her life….. is she happy? It’s not always about how big your career is, how many trophys are on your mantle (seeing as Halle had to get naked in a bad movie to win one), or how many covers your picture is on….. Just because you don’t see them on People magazine doesn’t mean they aren’t on Broadway, or writing/directing, or using their skills to improve somebody else’s life.

    • reign

      So true, these people might be doing BIG things behind the scenes. And we don’t know what their dreams and aspirations are/were to know if they didn’t achieve them. Martin Lawrence has done VERY well, he is nowhere near a failure or washed up. Jasmine Guy does a LOT of stuff, she’s not a has-been

  • lynn

    Edward Norton? ???

  • Rod Singleton

    If someone is working & getting a paycheck,then why are they on Your list=don’t make sense!!!

  • addison

    Amazing the lie about Robin Given accepted to Harvard lives on. It’s a lie. it was never true. Twenty-five years later, people still telling the same lie. Warning to people: Some rumors never die.

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    Alicia produces and is a weirdo

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    Cuba… bad manager who let him take bomb after bomb script

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    JAsmine…. crack head..drug addict who maybe got sober..but too late that is why she is gone

  • washingtonsquareparksucks

    ill tell you why Robin Givens. equals CRAZY

  • eddie

    If you’re doing a story which delves into areas as sensitive as a person’s livelihood, professional investment and value, at least first, demonstrate some professional respectability, as a journalist with a brain, and speak to a publicist or manager to aquire some depth, dimension and facts. This story, and how you’ve so recklessly handled it, is some shoddy manure!

  • Mrs. Humphries

    Jurnee Smollet could have had all the attention on her for her last starring role if that sellout, closet queen Tyler Perry hadn’t put Kim Kartrashian in the Temptation movie. That’s all the media focused on and it quickly became “Kim Kardashian’s breakthrough role.” Ugh! I liked her in Eve’s Bayou and was really rooting for Temptation to get her noticed. Thanks Tyler Perry. For Nothing!

  • yeaitsme

    This has to be THEE worst list I’ve ever seen. Cuba Gooding Jr. is on this list and he has an academy award! wtf. People like him and Martin shouldn’t be anywhere near this list. Most of the people on this list shouldn’t be near this list.

  • HollyHood

    Martin and Cuba should not be on here-period. Jurnee is still on the come up. Jasmine Guy (with that annoying fake Southern accent) like most of the other young actors from the Cosby/Different World camp in my opinion really couldn’t act, they were just characters that revolved around a funny storyline. Alicia Silverstone said she couldn’t get work because she’s considered fat in Hollywood. She didn’t want to lose the weight so she stayed behind the scenes. Since they’re churning out actors like they’re churning out music artists nowadays- the shelf life especially for women is getting shorter and shorter. Jada did the right thing.. Get in, land you a bigger male star, and pretend you got a career/something to do to stay relevant..

  • joefranklins

    Why so many negros on this list ?

  • Daniel

    The article doesn’t really take into consideration that some people get into the business, make their money, and move on. As Sir Alec Guiness said of Star Wars (after bad-mouthing it), “It did afford me the ability to say no to a lot of work…”

    Stardom is not the be-all, end-all for a lot of people. Many of those people became parents who put their priorities on raising their kids or other things after achieving enough success to carry them for a while. Hard to blame them.

  • M

    what are you talking about Jurnee smollet starred in Temptation and looks like a semi regular on true blood, she doesnt qualify in this list.

  • Your Mom

    Jasmine Guy needs some Oil of Olay. Regenerist even…

  • BABY


  • Thomas Struszka

    So what? Is there any of them that cares about the careers of regular people? Don’t you have anything better to do with your lifes than to worry about some failures? I’m one too.. who cares?

  • geist

    Could be they were all one-trick-ponies. They played their role and now they’re done.

  • ♏ ®

    This list needs to be sorted. MOST of them are still working. What’s BIG to the author? Working in Hollywood is big, often big enough to people who are still getting paid.

  • ♏ ®

    Nailing True Blood isn’t a lightweight success.

  • Lizzy Evonian

    Mos Def is the tits and is very accomplished. why is he on this list?

  • Keke

    All the kids from the Cosby Show should be on here.

  • Mary

    Jasmine Guy is a very good actress, she was wonderful in Dead Like Me. Unlike the others, maybe she just marches to a different drum and only works when she has to. I wish she would take more roles, always enjoyed her work. She’s a tough cookie though, maybe the directors are scared of her! I can see her doing something great in a Spike Lee joint! How about it, Spike? Give the woman a job!

    • Mary

      Sorry for all the exclamation marks…one too many cups of coffee this morning.

  • Melanie Berlas

    I normally never agree with a list. Sadly, I agree with every single one of them. Some of these stars should be far more successful or famous. I understand why some of them are not. However, there are a few who are brilliant actors/writers and who should be up there in the higher tiers of Hollywood.

  • cybill1988

    With one exception, these are all women, or african-americans, or african-american women.Maybe just no roles out there for them?

  • Shahinian

    They are lazy and get they Obama phone and they SNAP and celebrate gittin everthing for free.

  • Lizz40

    I wonder why those black women didn’t make it? And let’s not forget the way over 40 Geena Davis? Do you have to even ask?

  • alliaonams

    Jasime Guy is an outstanding actress and I am wondering why she wasn’t offered roles in major Hollywood movies. I think what happened to her is Halle Berry came along and you know Hollywood just could not have two but they acted side by side on a mini TV series produced by Oprah, Jasmine was the better actress by far. Why hasn’t Tyler Perry used her.

  • mfan2

    Thalia had it all, and should have been on top. But, being a Miley Cyrus fan, I’ve painfully learned the old guard has to help you to stay on top. Luckily, Miley is young and can wait for the old guard to die off while she keeps support from younger Hollywood, until she becomes the old guard.

  • JoAnn McDonald

    Jasmine Guy looks so old…Yuk!

  • Kadja2

    I cannot believe some of the people you chose to focus on for this…Why not Mare Winningham or Ben Cross? They CAN act and Cross has a 40+ year long resume that puts a lot of these others to shame. As glad as I am that Mr. Cross is on Banshee (Cinemax) this is an actor who has never gotten proper recognition for his body of work. He should also have been nominated in 1981 for his role in Chariots of Fire just as Ian Holm was.Really people? The ones you mentioned (save for a few) have real talent. They have a chance for a comeback. Hollywood needs to get off its duff and put Cross to work. He’s got a legion of fans out here and not all of them are on Facebook either!

  • Just me

    Let’s keep in mind all of the people on this list are millionaires, if not just short of that, and living very comfortably…

  • karma_initiative

    It’s kind of sad how the past tense is used exclusively in this article – “should have had bigger careers” – when some of these people are still young. If movie and television stars are our idols, we apply the good old American way to them without exception for the fact that they may still WANT careers: if there’s no immediate pay off and it’s a little used, throw it away.

  • talicia

    I think they did just enough. Why be an overexposed hollywood weirdo? They’re not more popular because they’re relatively normal people. You have to have continuing drama to be super successful in hollywood.

  • Budding Actor

    Anyone notice that most of the people on this list are black and incredibly talented? If you’re in Hollywood and you know the scene…you know what happened to these people’s careers. It’s typical black v white hollywood. I’m sure people above me have commented on this already because everyone knows about it. The industry is very split by race. It’s fucked up. But that’s how it is. The term “black hollywood” refers to exactly what it sounds like, black actors in the industry. Black Hollywood is progressing but it’s difficult to do so. Racism is very much alive in this town and because of that, a lot of these actors and actresses feel the brunt of it by not being cast in certain roles, not gaining enough support by investors, etc.

  • Armory

    “Head of The Class” was on ABC. Know your television history!

  • Roxanne Questi

    Edward Norton has MANY fans. Ask around.

  • JahaiTolliver

    Stacy Dash is trying to stay relevant by spitting out Republican talking points. She’s a wash.

  • richardstarr

    1) Many of these people have already had careers most would envy.
    2) And, many of them are not exactly retired or “done” yet.

    It all comes down to what you consider “big”.
    Feel sorry for the ones that never got a shot, those who have been murdered,
    and perhaps those that completely self destructed on drugs if you like. I see no
    reason to feel sorry for anyone on this list, and I imagine many on it would feel
    insulted if I did.

    Quick, name someone who BECAME successful from Head of the Class other
    than Givens. Howard Hesseman was already a star from his WKRP days.
    None of the other regulars did much after, as far as I know.

  • Tank

    I call BS on this list. Firstly, I don’t seem to understand why there are so many SUCCESSFUL African American Actors/Actresses, but it seems as if the writer really seemed to hone in on them. Secondly many of them have done major work and seem to have there moment in the sun so to speak. Jurnee Smollett’s adult career seems to just be starting and she is finding her niche in the spotlight.

    Secondly, Martin Lawrence and Cuba Gooding Jr. SERIOUSLY?!? Lets not for get the aging Lawrence dominated his career much of the late 80’s throughout the 90’s. Heck while your just tossing out names, why not toss in Eddie Murphy, its just as ludicrous. Its kind of a low blow to even include those two with the likes of Skeet Ulrich and Stacy Dash.

    Lastly, I’ll touch on this batch, Mos Def, Sean Patrick Thomas, Skeet Ulrich. Im not sure many people expected them to do much more than they did. I mean Mos Def is has done a good job getting mainstream recognition as a MC with out being commercial. Sean Patrick Thomas wasn’t even a star in Save the Last Dance or Barber Shop, he does great in supporting roles. Not sure I could see how much more promising his career was going to get. And Skeet Ulrich…..never expect much more that what I got from him!

    • Michelle Kirkwood

      Hey, I liked both of these dudes and thought that after their big breakthroughs (STLD and SCREAN) that they would both blow up, since they’re both good actors (especially Thomas, who has mad charisma and presence.) And he was one of the main characters in the Save The Last Dance, and part of the main storyline. He just wasn’t hyped because, as you well know, Hollywood ain’t interested in hyping anyone black actor that isn’t Denzel, Will, or Sam Jackson—that’s what that’s really about when it comes to black actors.

  • WilliamDahl

    What about Denise Crosby? She definitely screwed the pooch when she left Star Trek The Next Generation.

  • Somer

    I don’t think Sean Patrick Thomas or Stacy Dash should be on the list Sean didn’t have enough roles. Save the last dance was a teenage teen flick. Most people wouldn’t know his name. Stacy Dash is an awful actress. There are not to many bad actors that make it to A-list. Jasmine just aged badly. Plus she was almost 30 when she got the role. People didn’t realize how old she was back in 1989. Martin had issues and became a recluse like Eddie Murphy.

  • William Alderman

    I also personally thin k that martin and Cuba Gooden should be on THIS list. YOU got this one wrong.

  • Sandi Penny

    Jurnee Smollett is now on HBO’s “True Blood” and Julie Benz is the leading lady on Syfy Channel’s “Defiance.” Jasmine Guy did a wonderful turn in a family values movie called “October Baby” this past year. Gooding is headed to Broadway.

  • L Slavens

    I’ll tell you why, I bet these actors didn’t join the Illuminati cult. So they only get a few jobs here and there-good for them. And they will have nice long lives anyone who gets involved in that cult makes it big but then they get killed when the come to their senses.

  • Bill Perry

    Wolfgang Bodison should have been a big star by now. He is a great actor, but after “A Few Good Men” and some TV appearances not much has happened for him. Look for him to still emerge as a handsome, older, gentleman in some serious films.

  • Sanaa Lathan should be much more well known, in my opinion

  • rchelle7

    You guys are too negative….really, you chose people who still have potential in their acting careers and made it seem like they were over.. So what if they don’t make it to A-list, they are still good actors.

  • Tony Williams

    WHy the heck is Martin on this list? he is one of the top 10 male leads in hollywood. Dude is a super star.

  • George Ranks

    Jasmine Guy was amazing on Dead Like Me. That show is definitely a cult classic with a ravenous fan base.

  • Brittany Harris

    Amazing that the author mentions all those films but not her Oscar-winning role in “The Accidental Tourist”. Plus this site is chock full of grammatical errors and typos. If you guys need an editor, I’d be happy to attach my resumé.

  • Brittany Harris

    Amazing that the author mentions all those films but not her Oscar-winning role in “The Accidental Tourist”. Plus this site is chock full of grammatical errors and typos. If you guys need an editor, I’d be happy to attach my resumé.

  • Guest

    N’Bushe Wright

  • sheila

    Jasmine Guy … horrible nasal voice . Not really a good actress … this is not a mystery.

  • Teena

    Geena Davis is worth $38 million – don’t know how much bigger she should be…..

  • SGKM

    Martin Lawrence? Really?!? Do you know how much money that man has? Lol.

  • Harvey_Dent

    Whitley looks like a witch…

  • The Angry Cowboy

    Yes, Robin Givens.

    Brains, Beauty, Talent and Bat-sh(t crazy! I wonder why she never had a bigger career in Hollywood?

    • D

      One problem. She married Mike Tyson. After all the behind the scenes problems & the Barbra Walters interview she did, people hated her and it killed her career.

  • unque43

    OMG! you know what it is you the the limited amount of work for certain people. There is just so much work and then there only a few that break through that ceiling.

  • SexNdaCity

    Definitely agree about Sean Patrick Thomas

    • The Angry Cowboy

      I would like to nominate Philip Michael Thomas.

  • Sheba

    I don’t completely agree with this list..specifically; Jurnee Smollet, Martin or Cuba..

  • Orange Moon561

    martin should not be on this list he is a billionaire oh wow

  • Likewaterforchoc

    Oddly enough, I was talking to my homegirl last week regarding people who seemed to have hot careers that stalled for no reason and brought up Sean Patrick Thomas specifically. I mean, what happened? Another was Lisa Nicole Carson from Ally McBeal and Love Jones. I heard something about addiction, though.

    • Dee

      Yeah, I heard she had a mental breakdown.

  • TbeeZ

    Why is Martin Lawrence on the list? I’m confused smh

  • Mstevens

    Martin Lawrence is a legend in entertainment.. Whoever put him on the list is a dumb azz

    • Just Thinkin’

      What about his co-star in “Thin Line,” Lynn Whitfield? She won an Emmy but she has missed out on so many roles she could have killed in. Is Angela Bassett the only actress of that generation who is fast-tracked to get black mature roles? Anybody know why Ms. Whitfield has not gotten those roles? She is one of our finest actresses, hands down.

  • Mstevens

    Couldn’t make the a-list.. Martin is still A-list.

  • Mstevens

    Who the eff put martin Lawrence on this list. The man had a sitcom starred in many movies, Is considered one of the best comedians of all times. On top of that, he’s worth 110 million dollars. Bigger career? He had a huge career

  • Leave Martin ALONE!

  • Ashley SillyRabbit

    I always wanted Geena Davis to do a sequel to the movie Long Kiss Goodnight that she starred in.

  • MikeElam23

    Sean Patrick Thomas, why his career wasn’t bigger I don’t understand either

    • I was excited when he popped up on Sarah Michelle Geller’s shoe “Ringer” last year. Then it got cancelled, so oh well …

    • I was excited when he popped up on Sarah Michelle Geller’s shoe “Ringer” last year. Then it got cancelled, so oh well …

    • anon jenkins

      spt is a good actor but i know for fact that he didn’t always make the best choices. then, surprise, his choices got much slimmer. he still has to deal with the challenges that most African american actors deal with once they achieve a certain level. there is a ceiling that is difficult to break through for actors in general, and african americans in particular. heat doesn’t last forever, the top pick of roles doesn’t last forever, longevity is about the work. the “star game” only lasts for awhile. but he’s a solid actor. if he can keep the ego in check, he will probably make it back to the spolight eventually.

  • What does that mean anyways, these people are CELEBRITIES!! I’d be happy to be half as successful as they’ve been!! Don’t need to be a household word and all the problems that go with it! I think they are happy too!! I guess you would think Tyler Perry should have had a ‘bigger career”! Who comes up with this stuff anyway?!!

  • Chanda

    Loved loved loved “The Long Kiss Goodnight” with Samuel Jackson. It’s still one of my favs…It’s from 1996

    • mlw1924


    • Katy D

      Absolutely my favorite Geena Davis film. Actually, one of my favorites, period!
      She should’ve done sequels. Not too late if she’d only try it.

  • NeaJ

    Didn’t Cuba win an Oscar?! And I don’t think Martin should be on this list either.

    • Mia

      Oscar really means nothing for black actors. I also hear he has a hideous attitude and doesn’t like working in black films because he feels he’s better. (Again, this is all from a gossip site so take with a grain of salt)

      • JahaiTolliver

        Just saw Cuba Gooding act opposite Cicily Tyson and Vanessa Williams on Broadway in Trip to Bountiful…dude was excellent. I don’t think he’s hurting for work at all. That’s all an actor needs to be considered successful–work.

  • lala

    I’m sorry but some of the names on this list are misplaced, especially Martin Lawrence. How much bigger could his career have possibly gotten? He’s a stand up comedian who was able to make it as a hollywood star. He has never been the best actor but he’s been in plenty of big hit movies. Skeet Ulrich was never going to be the A list go to guy because he can’t act. He was o.k in Jericho but that’s it. Lastly, Geena Davis had a good career but she got older, and younger hotter actresses came along. Not everyone NEEDS to be at the top their whole careers. Some are just happy to be working.

    • mlw1924


    • Michelle Kirkwood

      Hey,I liked me some Skeet Ulrich–was kinda surprised he didn’t blow up either,particularly after SCREAM, and yes,he can actually act–he actually did 2 good TV shows–MIRACLES & JERICHO–the latter got to be a major cult fave, and he even got on the original Law & Order, but the first two barely made it through 2 seasons, and L&O got canceled barely a year or two after he got on it–wasn’t his fault though. He’s still around,though. I admit, I also thought that a fine brother like Sean Patrick Thomas would blow up too–never understood why that didn’t quite happen for him either. And c’mon, Jasmine Guy is talented as heck—check her out in the 1995 Jamaican indie flick KLASH, where she co-stars with another great actor/fave of mine who also should have been a bigger star–the one and only Giancarlo Esposito,who’s lately been rediscovered due to his turns on the TV shows Breaking Bad and Revolution. I guess she just didn’t have that push behind her for better roles,or whatever.

      With Geena Davis—another fave of mine—it wasn’t just her getting older—what really sunk her screen career was having two flops one after another—The Long Kiss Goodnight and that huge, expensive pirate film she produced. I agree that nobody can be at the top of their game forever, and even people who have the talent and “It” factor to be stars can’t always translate that into box-office gold for many different reasons.

  • Rodney

    Jada Pinkett Smith career ain’t ish right now and it should’ve been. She should be Olivia Pope ! Why didn’t her career take off but Will Smith’s did? Side eye

    • Michelle McKinney

      Career for what? Her career is being wife to a multi trillion aire who adores her. Think she’s doing all right. LOL….

      • Kristene Crawley

        She still may want a career in her own right

      • Michelle Kirkwood

        Oh,c’mon–she did have a career before she met Will, and she still has a separate musical career–maybe she likes that better than acting, I guess.

    • texastea

      Yes. I think Jada put her career on the back-burner for Will’s since he was the one really making the money. But there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, I think relationships between men and women, esp. black men and women have become too much of a competition. She doesn’t need to compete with, match, or out-do her husband. She is blessed to be able to fulfill a more traditional role as a wife and mother if she chooses to and there is nothing wrong that. She gets out there into the limelight and takes on projects in/on her time; not because she has to for money our out of blind ambition. I say its a good thing.

      • Dee

        Plus she can’t act. Stop playing yall. For real. She only did well in “hood” movies like Jason’s Lyric and Menace to society… same role, different people in the cast. Come on yall. Don’t be blinded by her looks. Yes, she’s pretty, but she cannot act.

    • Dee

      Girl Bye! Jada can’t act. LOL She could NEVER be Olivia Pope. NEVA!!!!!!! Even in a spoof-like movie she is garbage. Didn’t you see Im Gonna Get You Sucka? Girl No. Wake up and stop dreaming.
      Oh, I’m sorry. I just realized your name is Rodney
      … Boy Bye! … and then the rest above. and then. Boy No. and then the rest.

      • rainydaze80

        I think Woo killed any chance of her getting any serious roles

      • NewYorkviaJamaica

        Jada was not in ‘I’m gonna git you sucka’…it was that girl from ‘A different world’ (Cheryl something)

    • Antonia

      Everytime I read an article that starts, “Power couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith”, I just lol. These tabloids are just being kind and generous. He’s the one with billion dollar blockbusters year after year (slight slump with “After Earth”, I know), but she hasn’t really headline anything since “Set it off” (1996) and let’s be honest: “Woo” (1997) did for her career what “Mommie Dearest” (1981) did to Faye Dunaway’s. She just kinda takes the work where & when she can get it.

      • Michelle Kirkwood

        Actually Pinkett took some time off the screen so she could be with her family and jump start her musical career. I’ve liked her ever since I first saw her on “A Different World” and have always thought she was talented and beautiful on top of that. She was everywhere in the ’90’s though, and a very good actress on top of that—maybe she just got tired of the Hollywood grind,too–who knows.

        • Wolfgang Puckish

          Apparently you haven’t seen the movie “Collateral” with Jamie Foxx or her TV series “Hawthorne,” which you all would probably like because she’s kissing on multiple white men in it. Jada is still getting it in.

          • Michelle Kirkwood

            Actually, I’ve seen Collatural (Jaime Foxx really made that film for real) and an episode or two of Hawthorne. That got cancelled though, and I’d like to see her in newer stuff,though.

            • lavenderleo302

              Guys she’s in Gotham on Fox this fall! Has NO ONE seen the commercial’s or promo’s for this. Jada’s still got it! Haters beware!

      • ann

        if he got money she got money she got the name smith

    • Guest

      she’s too much into her “rock” band….

    • KnowbodyXXX

      She made that choice to give up acting and go behind the camera while tending to her family. Some of her production credits include Hawthorne, whatever that show was with Duane Martin and LisaRaye which had a pretty good run and she co-produced the new Karate Kid with her son, After Earth. She’s he sole producer and director of Free Angela, a documentary film about Angela Davis, a must see!

      • KnowbodyXXX

        There was also her venture into music with Wicked Wisdom but…umm…I won’t talk about that. }:-

    • Wendy Barnes

      She was raising their kids! I’m absolutely sure that that job could not be filled by anyone better!

    • Rhett Meech

      In theory she had her turn at an Olivia Pope style role, remember HawthoRNe? This was when rumors swirled about her affair with Mark Anthony and whatnot, solid show, but it was on TNT so it was canceled after 3 or 4 seasons. Jada works as often as she wants to work, i wouldn’t cry for her, lol.

  • 1Val

    Jasmine Guy’s looks melted faster than ice cream at a summer cookout! Mos Def should work more.

    • Mia

      Day um!!! Lmao!
      If anyone watches the reruns of A different world it’s easy to see why she wasn’t a big star. Her acting on the show has not aged well (no pun) the screeching over the top accent grates on my nerves!

      • Gabriel

        That was acting though (however good/bad it was is another discussion). Remember the husky timbre with which she spoke as the femme fatale in “Harlem Nights”? Unforgettable. Plus, I still laugh to this day about the diss she served Will Smith on “Fresh Prince” (“That’s not a fade; that’s yo hair running from yo face!”)

    • rainydaze80

      She was a lot older than her character on the show. I believe she was in her 30’s when A Different World ended.

      • HollyHood

        Exactly. By the time the good roles came along she was too old for the casting couch… I still like her though..

  • Na Na

    I would agree that Mos ain’t really checking for that major spotlight like that.

    • HollyHood

      Plus Mos goes back and forth between Hip Hop and Hollywood.. He’s the most versatile..

  • QueenNTheMaking

    Holly Robinson Pete!!! Granted she is always in some type of sitcom they are normally short lived. Yet she is still a good actress and is extremely likeable.

    • QueenNTheMaking


      • HollyHood

        Eventually the acting thing runs its course. Too many of the same chicks competing for the same roles. Plus they gotta compete with models and singers now.. Only thing left for most of them to do is get in the game so they can land them an athlete or another dude with long $$.. Might as well since they’re out there..

  • empresstala

    i don’t think Martin or Cuba should be on this list. they are big stars and household names and have had amazing careers. I think Lisa Bonnet should have been on the list. she was really popular, had a lot offered to her but idk what happened.

    • hollyw

      …or Jurnee Smollett. She’s currently guest-starring on True Blood, arguably the most popular show on HBO..?

      • Tony Sansbury

        And her character on the show is in a situation that indicates she’ll probably be around next season.

  • DaisyDuke

    Jurnee Smollett is still young, so I think she still has time to earn a role that will break her into Hollywood’s A-List.

    As for Cuba Gooding Jr., every time his name is mentioned, my Dad always ways “Like his dad Cuba Gooding, Sr., said ‘Everybody Plays The Fool Sometimes.” lol my dad thinks he’s funny, but I do wonder why Cuba hasn’t had another stellar Jerry Maguire-like role. Radio was good, but maybe his role “The Butler” will bring him back to greatness.

    • Tony Sansbury

      Good points.

      Jurnee Smollett-Bell, as she is now referred to, is young and her career is definitely *far* from over. I don’t think she should be on the list, especially since I’ve really enjoyed seeing her on True Blood this season.

    • URKiddinMee

      I enjoyed him in “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson.