Winning an Oscar is supposed to be the pinnacle of an actor’s career. Once you have been recognized by The Academy your career is supposed to take off and if you play your cards right you will end up having your pick of roles in movies and may even find yourself in a position to win another award. But for some actors winning the Oscar is the beginning of the end. These unfortunate souls either fall off the face of the Earth or become jokes who end up starring in one bad movie after the next. It is with the less fortunate Oscar winners in mind that I threw together this list of people who probably all hate Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks with a blinding jealous rage.
7. Mira Sorvino (Best Supporting actress for MIGHTY APHRODITE)
After her win I was assuming that Mira Sorvino would go on to become the new “America’s Sweetheart”. She was pretty, engaging and had pretty good acting chops. So I am a bit puzzled at what actually happened. Aside from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Summer of Sam and an appearance on an episode of House, I can’t for the life of me think of anything else that she has starred in. She should be having Sandra Bullock’s career but instead she’s having Justine Bateman’s career. That is pretty messed up.
6. Mo’Nique (Best Supporting Actress for PRECIOUS)
Mo’Nique was amazing in Precious as the abusive mother to the title character; her raw and gritty performance locked up the OScar win for her as early as the pervious summer. So it was a bit of a letdown to see that her first move after winning the Oscar was to announce that she was done with acting and was instead going to focus all of her time on her late night talk show on BET. Yep she halted her career at it’s apex in order to host a late night talk show on a niche cable channel. That sort of baffling career choice had me wondering if Mo’Nique was a method actress and had experimented with crack in order to get into character for the role in Precious. And to compound the bad decision she made, BET canceled her talk show after only two seasons. Act right, Octavia Spencer because you could end up like Mo’Nique if you don’t keep your wits about you.
5. Nicolas Cage (Best Actor for LEAVING LAS VEGAS)
Look at Cage’s post-Oscar rap sheet: Snake Eyes, Face/Off, Drive Angry, Gone In Sixty Seconds, Next, Bangkok Dangerous, the Ghost Rider movies, Season of The Witch and the creme de le creme of movies that are so bad they are funny…The Wicker Man. Its like he let’s his dog pick his scripts. I would blame his almost Michael Caine-ian compulsion to say yes to any script that is offered to him on his accountant stealing huge sums of money from him but he gave up on exercising any quality control with his career long before that happened.
4. Halle Berry (Best Actress for MONSTER’S BALL)
She won for allowing Billy Bob Thornton to climb her back and live out his jungle fever fantasies on film. Honestly can anyone remember anything about Monster’s Ball aside from that sex scene? So Halle snuck a fast one by the Academy and what does she do? She takes her little naked golden man statue and signs on to play Catwoman in a movie that had nothing to do with Catwoman and seemed to be written by a mentally challenged chimp. Then she follows that disaster up with a string of forgettable roles that probably deserved to go straight to DVD (Gothika, Perfect Stranger, Frankie & Alice, the god awful Dark Tide) while fitting in a couple of bad acting showcases in the X-Men sequels just for shits and giggles. Its not often that a person can lay claim to being an Oscar winner as well as a Razzie winner but Halle broke that barrier, step aside Hattie McDaniels! There is a new black actress on the scene that is pioneering awards achievements for people of color.
3. Lou Gossett Jr (Best Supporting Actor for AN OFFICER & A GENTLEMAN)
Gossett delivered a great scenery chewing performance to win his Oscar and then once he had the cache to get the types of roles that were probably denied him before decided that his next picture would be Jaws 3-D. Really, dude? You thought that was a good idea? And he has been spiraling down the Hollywood ladder ever since. The last regular thing I remember Lou starring in was a couple episodes of the crappy sci-fi series Stargate and that was back in 2006.
2. Cher (Best Actress for MOONSTRUCK)
Cher was on a role for a while in the 80’s. She wracked up a pretty stellar list of great performances in really good movies (Silkwood, Mask, The Witches of Eastwick) so when she won for Moonstruck it was expected that she’d go on to make more quality films and probably get a couple more nominations. Instead she started hawking skin cream in super cheesy infomercials and doing things to her face that made it almost totally immobile. She did manage to pull herself out of her crypt to star in the Christina Aguilera starring flop Showgirls 2…oops I meant Burlesque.
1. Cuba Gooding Jr. (Best Supporting Actor for JERRY MAGUIRE)
Cuba Gooding must be a compulsive gambler with massive debts owed to some deadly mobsters. Its the only thing that can explain how he went from red hot young Oscar winner to the punchline of way too many bad career decision jokes. There was a slight glimmer of hope for a career rejuvenation after he starred in the underrated Shadowboxer (where he got to bone Helen Mirren!) but he shot that all to hell by following it up with Daddy Day Camp. That movie made Boat Trip look like Citizen Kane. Now all of his movies are straight-to-DVD affairs. He needs to really get on the horn to Tyler Perry and try to get in on that gravy train (it should be a breeze, Miss Perry loves herself some high yellah fellas). He’ll still be making crap but at least it will be crap that is actually seen by people in movie theaters instead of late at night on Cinemax. Snap out of it, Cuba! Sidney Poitier is pointing and laughing at your career.