13 ‘One Hit Wonder’ Celebrities Who Got a Big Break But Went Back to Being Pretty Normal

Caroline Bonarde Ucci via Flickr, starwars8mizusawainterview

Sometimes actors have one big breakout role, the role of their dreams, the role that makes them famous, and then, they seem to disappear. For some of these actors, they simply never got another role that was as big as the one that made them famous. For other actors, they chose to walk away from Hollywood.

It can be disappointing not to see our favorite actors in future roles, but there is one benefit. Sometimes we will always think of that actor as the iconic character that made him or her famous.

Here are 13 actors and actresses that were one-hit wonders. Learn where you can still see some of them acting, and learn why others chose to walk away from their success.

  1. Robert Pattinson

    We know Robert Pattinson as dreamy vampire Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” movies. Since the last movie, Pattinson has not had another role quite as big. He has not stopped acting, but he definitely has not been in the spotlight.

  2. Lacey Chabert

    Lacey Chabert’s breakout role was as Gretchen Wieners in the movie “Mean Girls.” Although Chabert has not stopped acting, you can now watch her on the small screen where she stars in many Hallmark Channel movies.

  3. Henry Thomas

    Henry Thomas played Elliot in the 1982 film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” He was just a child-actor at the time, but while his co-star Drew Barrymore went on to huge success, Thomas never had another role as big as the lead in this Steven Spielberg sci-fi film.

  4. Paul Hogan

    Australian actor Paul Hogan is best known for his role in the Crocodile Dundee movies. He didn’t stop acting, but he never had another role that gave him as much success.

  5. Mark Hamill

    You know Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. He never found another role as big as his role in the Star Wars films; however, he has kept acting and has found success as a voice actor, most notably as The Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series.”

  6. Hayden Christensen

    Another one-hit wonder from the Star Wars movies is Hayden Christensen who played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II and Star Wars Episode III. Christensen decided to walk away from his success in Hollywood.

  7. Margaret Hamilton

    Margaret Hamilton’s break-out role was as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz” back in 1939. She continued to act throughout her life, but none of her other roles were as iconic. She passed away in 1985.

  8. Alicia Silverstone

    When we think of Alicia Silverstone, we immediately picture Cher from the movie “Clueless,” and there’s a good reason for that; it was her most successful role. She didn’t stop acting, but she did feel rather disillusioned with Hollywood.

  9. Rupert Grint

    We haven’t seen very much of Rupert Grint since his breakout role as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. He’s still young, so he could make a comeback, but he has not had the same success as fellow Harry Potter alums Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe.

  10. Ralph Macchio

    Ralph Macchio never stopped acting after his break-out role as Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid,” but no role gave him as much success. Currently, you can catch him in the Netflix series “Kobra Kai” where he once again plays Daniel LaRusso, but this time his character is all grown up.

  11. Jake Lloyd

    You know Jake Lloyd as young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I. He was only 10 years old in this role that made him famous, but he has since quit acting. The fame was too much for him to handle, and he chose to retire from acting.

  12. Macaulay Culkin

    Macaulay Culkin is best known for his role as Kevin McCallister in the “Home Alone” movies. He hasn’t stared in any big films since.

  13. Peter Ostrum

    Peter Ostrum played Charlie, the boy who found the golden ticket in “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Ostrum never acted again after this break-out role. He ended up getting married and becoming a large animal veterinarian.