14 Of The Greatest Hollywood Comebacks Of All Time

Everyone loves an underdog!

These 10+ celebs were once on top of the world: they had huge careers, adoring fans, and more money than they knew how to spend.

At some point, though, everything came crashing down. But instead of staying down, these celebs made the biggest comeback of all time.

Here are their stories.

Demi Moore and Bruce Willis

Back when they were married, they decided to take a break from Hollywood and move out of the city with their three daughters, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.

Since returning, Bruce took on a few roles and Moore released her successful memoir.

Matthew McConaughey

Instagram | @officiallymcconaughey](

McConaughey made such a comeback in Hollywood that it even has a name for it: the McConaissance.

Basically, he went from doing rom-coms to starring in meaty roles that earned him several awards, including an Oscar.

Winona Ryder

We all watched as the star fell from grace in 2001. She was arrested for shoplifting $5,000 of items from Saks Fifth Avenue.

After taking a break from Hollywood, she returned as the leading lady in Stranger Things.

That's because her "Gimme More" performance was lackluster. She seemed out of it and very obviously lip-synced.

Thankfully, this pop princess has regained her crown once again, as she got her life back on track and even had a residency in Las Vegas.

Julia Roberts

Once the actress started having kids, she shifted her priorities from work to family.

This meant that we didn't see much from her for a while, until 2018 when she starred in Amazon Prime's Homecoming.

Robin Wright

Since she and her ex-husband Sean Penn didn't want to raise their kids in Hollywood, they both took a step back from their careers to do so.

"I didn't want to raise my kids in this weird, sycophantic society," she told Entertainment Weekly.

They ended up moving to Northern California.

But after she and Sean split and the kids were raised, she returned to Hollywood.

Her career was reignited with her highly-praised role as Claire Underwood on House of Cards.


The Kesha we know today is entirely different than the "TiK ToK" one we met in 2009.

Tragically, she went through a lot in her personal life, as she accused her producer, Dr. Luke, of alleged sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

This lengthy legal battle even made her unable to release music outside of her record label.

But once this time was up, she released her highly-celebrated album, "Rainbow."

She's since been touring and making music again.

Johnny Galecki

Before we knew him as Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, Johnny was a child actor.

He was known for his roles on Roseanne and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. But even with a resume as impressive as this, he still stumbled.

Martha Stewart

What 2004 arrest for insider trading?

Maybe it was her friendship with Snoop Dog or something else, but the business mogul has been able to rebuild her empire with her best-selling books, catering company, and magazine.

Since he failed to find roles, he went to school to become a plumber.

But it was while he was there that he got the call about the role that would change his life forever: The Big Bang Theory.

Dave Chappelle

Up until the past few years, the comedian had disappeared from Hollywood. It all started in 2005 when he walked away from his highly successful Chapelle Show.

But when he made his comeback in 2015, it was like he had never left.

He made his highly-anticipated hosting debut to *Saturday Night Live* in 2016 and then had four Netflix comedy specials — two of which, earned him a Grammy.

Finally, fans saw him in the Oscar-nominated film, A Star Is Born.

Go, Chappelle!

Mandy Moore

With cheesy roles in Saved, A Walk to Remember, and her pop music career, a lot of people didn't take the actress seriously.

But everything changed when she landed her role on This Is Us. It even earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Ryan Reynolds

While the actor has always been acting, you could say that some roles, such as Green Lantern, stalled his career.

But once he slipped into that Deadpool suit, he's become of the most highest-paid actors in Hollywood.

Ed O'Neill

You may know him as the patriarch in Modern Family, but the actor was actually on another hit show before this. He starred as Al Bundy on Married with Children.

He had nothing but small roles until Modern Family came knocking, reigniting his career.

Robert Downey Jr.

Before he became basically the head of the Marvel Universe, the actor was spiraling out of control.

He had multiple arrests, spent time in jail, and even did a stint in rehab. But he's managed to make the biggest comeback ever as Iron Man.

Britney Spears

2007 is a year that's cemented in Britney's life forever.

It was the year that she broke down publically by shaving her head, driving with her son in her lap, and attacking paparazzi. Her first comeback wasn't even successful.

But in recent years, she's found her way back, especially now that she's trying to end her conservatorship.

Filed Under: