Acting is a fickle business where you can be in a hit one day and a flop the next. You can’t blame actors for wanting to sit on their nest egg once they find success.
There are plenty of examples, including child stars, voice actors, and even soldiers. Most moved on to live normal lives and got day jobs. A few tried to get more roles, but the leverage of their former success wasn’t enough to bring them back to our screens.
Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on former memorable names. Keep watching to learn about actors with one hit role who were never seen again.
Carrie played Newt in the 1986 sci-fi hit Aliens. Her character is the only survivor when aliens known as Xenomorphs invade a spaceship. She got the part after meeting Sigourney Weaver. She won out over 500 other girls.
Carrie was only nine years old but gave a memorable performance. She gave up acting when her family had to move from London back to the US.
Carrie is now a teacher, and she still keeps in touch with Sigourney. She does have one other credit; a voice role in the 2020 animated movie Thunder Island. She may also appear in a sci-fi film named Triborn soon if it can get enough money from its crowdfunding campaign.
Peter lit up our screens as the lovable Charlie Bucket in the 1971 film adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The movie was so successful that he was offered a three-movie deal, but he turned it down.
He auditioned for plays after moving back to the US but never got any roles. He decided he should give up acting and let his life go “back to normal.” He became a veterinarian in 1984.
Peter distanced himself from the role, and even his wife didn’t know about it. He has done a few speaking events and did appear in a 50th-anniversary reunion of the Willy Wonka cast. He gave his blessing to the upcoming prequel film, Wonka which will star Timothee Chalamet.
Sarah is a star of a Charles Dickens adaptation that disappeared from the limelight. She starred in Little Dorrit, a 1987 film that was 6 hours long and split into 2 parts. She had no acting experience but had massive names as costars such as Alec Guinness and Derek Jacobi.
There’s no confirmed reason for why Sarah never appeared on the screen again. It’s believed that she’s nearly 50 years old today and is working as a theatrical agent in Leicestershire.
Tami played the Empress in The Neverending Story in 1984. She sampled fame but found she received the wrong kind of attention. Her family convinced her not to pursue acting anymore. She did eventually become a professional dancer and theater actress, leaving the big screen behind.
Maria Callas was a very famous and popular opera singer who starred in several stage productions. She only ever starred in one movie, the 1969 filmed production of Medea. The most surprising part is that she didn’t sing and that the movie didn’t include any singing at all.
Maria didn’t like the workload required to finish a movie. She decided to never appear in another one.
Robert played Lawrence “Mr. Cool” Dooley in the 2003 movie School of Rock. His character loved to play the piano, and so did he. He studied at Dartmouth College and still plays today.
Ambert played Maggie Banning in the 1991 film Hook, which was loosely based on the story of Peter Pan. She never appeared in a feature film again.
Amber didn’t leave the entertainment industry entirely. She did voice work for the TV documentary American Experience and produced the short Cannonball in 2019.
Linda gave arguably the most frightening performance of any child actress. She won out over 600 others to play Regan MacNeil in the 1973 horror hit The Exorcist. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar and invited to reprise the character in the 1977 sequel The Exorcist II: The Heretic.
The power of her first performance wasn’t enough to win her any other major roles. She also faced an arrest for drug possession. She has made a few small appearances in films such as Chained Heat and Savage Streets. She’s also a vegan and dedicated to promoting animal rights.
Lucas was another terrifying child actor in the 1978 horror film Damien: Omen II. His parents were both actors, and he decided to try it for himself. Despite the success of his first film, he never found another role. He now works as the Chief Brand Officer for TrueCar.
Hayden is another one of the most famous child actors to only have one major role. What could be bigger than playing a young Aniken Skywalker? In the year 2000, he won out over 1,5000 others because George Lucas thought he had the right “physical and emotional attributes.”
Fans hated the Star Wars prequels, and they didn’t like him in them, either. He was tragically bullied for his performance, especially during the romantic scenes. He’s avoided fame since then but continued to work. He appeared in better-received movies such as Shattered Glass in 2003 and Jumper in 2008.
Shannon played Slovakian exchange student Nadia in the 1999 comedy hit American Pie. She played the same role again in American Pie 2 in 2001 and American Reunion in 2012.
She only managed to get bit parts after that in films such as Scary Movie and Love Actually. She tried reality TV with the 2018 installment of Celebrity Big Brother but only came in 9th place. She’s also an animal rights activist and runs a non-profit organization called Animal Avengers.
Patrick says it was just dumb luck that got him the lead role of William Miller in Almost Famous. His luck didn’t last after it. The biggest project he’s acted in since is the TV series Outcast.
Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the shortest entertainment careers of all time. Keep watching to learn about more actors with one hit role who were never seen again, including one who managed to nab two.
Sam J. Jones
Sam was a former marine. He had the right look for the lead role in the 1980 film Flash Gordon, but Mike Hodges didn’t think he had the right voice. He was dubbed over by another actor.
There were plans for a sequel, but the movie wasn’t successful enough. Sam is still beloved by fans and got to honor his one memorable role in an appearance in the 2012 comedy movie Ted.
Piper played Violet “Jersey” Sanford in Coyote Ugly. She had already worked in a bar and played guitar in New Jersey and used the experience to help inspire her. She’s also acted in films like Slap Her…She’s French, Cheaper By the Dozen, and Looper, but they weren’t as successful. She’s also a restaurant investor.
Brandon was an unknown actor when he appeared in Superman Returns. He would have liked to return to the character but never did. He’s also appeared in other superhero projects, playing The Atom in TV shows such as Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Alex appeared as Bill S. Preston in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in 1989. He reappeared in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991 and Bill and Ted Face the Music in 2020.
His only other major role was in The Lost Boys in 1987. He’s moved on to working behind the camera.
Danny played Danny Torrance in the 1980 horror hit The Shining. He made several other small appearances in shows and shorts but never found as powerful of a role. He now has a day job as a college professor in Kentucky.
Katie earned a role in Fish Tank in 2009. The story of her discovery is one of the most unique. She was arguing with her boyfriend at a train station, and her attitude seemed right for the film.
She originally thought the offer was a joke and didn’t give her number to the agent who approached her, but he was persistent. She was well-cast in the film but has only earned roles in a few TV shows and shorts since then.
Jeff played Chunk in The Goonies in 1985. He became a major name and appeared in several TV shows and made-for-TV films. That only lasted for so long, and he never appeared in a major motion picture again. He eventually quit acting and now works in entertainment law.
Billy acted and played the banjo in the 1972 film Deliverance. He was 15 when he was found by the production staff who wanted a specific look. He’s since made a few cameos but hasn’t appeared in any other major projects.
Stephen Lea Sheppard
Stephen technically has two major roles; Dudley Heinsbergen in the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums and Harris Trinksy in the late 90s TV show Freaks and Geeks. They’re still the only roles he’s ever had, and he eventually quit acting.
Adriana’s name may not be familiar, but her one major role is. She provided the voice of Snow White, Disney’s first major animated feature film. Rumors say the company forbade her from appearing in any other films in a bid to keep her recognizable voice from being heard anywhere else.
Who’s your favorite actor who only had a single memorable role? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more.