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Actors/Actresses that Hollywood didn't know what to do with

I feel no one ever really knew what to do with Whoopi Goldberg. Mostly crap action films seemed a waste of her talent and she was a little too quickly labeled The Ugly Chick. Her stage shows were great and the only moments in most of her films that rang true were the bits she ad-libbed or wrote. At this point she's a bit of a wreck, but she had genuine ability and it mostly fell through the cracks.

by Anonymousreply 78June 23, 2022 9:33 AM

I knew what to do with that tang.

by Anonymousreply 1June 22, 2022 2:30 PM

Patti LuPone never starred in a picture.

by Anonymousreply 2June 22, 2022 2:33 PM

Her one woman show, done under the tutelage of Mike Nichols, WAS great, but that doesn't necessarily translate to the screen. I am not even sure what Kate McKinnon is going to do now that she's left SNL. Briefly becoming amusing characters does not a film career make. It's not like Lily Tomlin did "Ernestine: The Movie". Most of these characters get old after ten minutes.

by Anonymousreply 3June 22, 2022 2:37 PM

The talented comedic ladies of Mad tv. They were all so funny that they should have been given more parts in films. Instead studios hand out roles to even the dullest SNL alumni like candy but ignore women like Nicole Sullivan, Debra Wilson, Stephnie Weir, and Mo Collins.

by Anonymousreply 4June 22, 2022 2:42 PM

I'm surprised Jane Greer didn't have a bigger career. She was stunning.

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by Anonymousreply 5June 22, 2022 2:45 PM

Whoopi did fine

by Anonymousreply 6June 22, 2022 2:46 PM

Anne Heche

by Anonymousreply 7June 22, 2022 2:49 PM

Whoopi was a huge star for a regular window of time (about five to ten years) for an actress.

by Anonymousreply 8June 22, 2022 2:51 PM

Kate Nelligan should have been bigger. She was amazing on stage, but most of her movie roles fizzled.

by Anonymousreply 9June 22, 2022 2:51 PM

R6 She is an Oscar winning actress who has to moderate a a shitshow everyday at 11:00 am, I wouldn't say she did fine, maybe OK.

by Anonymousreply 10June 22, 2022 2:52 PM

Ann Reinking.

She was born in the wrong era. In the 30s through the 50s, she could’ve been a huge musical star.

It isn’t just her dancing; she had an ebullient, intelligent presence that lent itself well to non-musical roles, especially comedic ones, but she never took off in film because the parts to match her talent were few and far between.

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by Anonymousreply 11June 22, 2022 2:53 PM

Gena Rowlands. For whatever reason, only her husband knew how to fully utilize her great talent.

by Anonymousreply 12June 22, 2022 2:55 PM

Or, the industry saw this performance, R11.

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by Anonymousreply 13June 22, 2022 2:57 PM

Sean Young

by Anonymousreply 14June 22, 2022 2:58 PM

Lesley Ann Warren

by Anonymousreply 15June 22, 2022 3:14 PM

R10, how many actresses who won an Oscar 30+ years ago are still in movies in a big way? Not sure she "has" to be on The View either. She must be set by now,

by Anonymousreply 16June 22, 2022 3:16 PM

Jude Law

by Anonymousreply 17June 22, 2022 3:18 PM

She was a pretty good comic actress. She was at her best doing that.

by Anonymousreply 18June 22, 2022 3:18 PM

^^^ sorry I mean Whoopi.

by Anonymousreply 19June 22, 2022 3:19 PM

Maggie Smith

by Anonymousreply 20June 22, 2022 3:21 PM

R16 Let's just look at her fellow nominees from the year she won. Annette Bening, Lorraine Bracco, Diane Ladd, and Mary McDonnell still work a lot and none of them have been reduced to moderating a daytime talk show, with an apparently toxic backstage environment.

by Anonymousreply 21June 22, 2022 3:25 PM

Lorraine who? Who Diane, Mary? Annette i remember vaguely.

Whoopi is the bigger celebrity. So she's not in the occasional movie. Big deal.

by Anonymousreply 22June 22, 2022 3:45 PM

Julia Ormond

by Anonymousreply 23June 22, 2022 3:52 PM

Richard Pryor, another black standup, never quite found an outlet for his talent on the screen. In the seventies he came closer, but by the eighties, he was reduced to tripe like The Toy. The energy and insight from his stage act never transferred into a movie role. I wonder how he might’ve fared in film or TV had he lived up to now.

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by Anonymousreply 24June 22, 2022 3:52 PM

Lily Tomlin. Sheer talent.

by Anonymousreply 25June 22, 2022 4:01 PM

R16, it's not about her financials. It's about the fact that she was never given much chance to do straight drama, where she excelled.

by Anonymousreply 26June 22, 2022 4:15 PM

I believe the young RDJ was entirely wasted (pardon the pun) save for Less Than Zero, which tapped into his beauty, ebullience, unhappiness and androgyny.

He would have made a superb Tadzio-like character for a Merchant Ivory-like project, but I think he was so unusual no one knew what to do with him.

by Anonymousreply 27June 22, 2022 4:28 PM

Alison Elliott

by Anonymousreply 28June 22, 2022 6:11 PM

Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor were household names for a couple of decades, especially impressive for Pryor considering was a true nutcase. Like, lighting yourself on fire nuts. Tomlin has a Netflix show in her late 80s. Is this thread for the intellectually disabled? Not everyone has to be a film star to be incredibly famous.

by Anonymousreply 29June 22, 2022 8:52 PM

Lorraine Newman

Lee Merriweather

Julie Newmar

by Anonymousreply 30June 22, 2022 9:11 PM

R29 - this is not about whether they were/are famous. It about whether a director/producer/screenwriter/studio/etc. ever was able to tap into what they actually do best.

Got it?

by Anonymousreply 31June 22, 2022 9:36 PM

Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor were best at comedy (though both had good dramatic chops as well), and both had many, many specials, comedy albums, and vanity projects, as well as films that showed off their skills. Both were in multiple smash box office hit movies above the line. Compare them to say, Joan Rivers (who I found funnier) and her film output.

by Anonymousreply 32June 22, 2022 9:44 PM

Anna Sten - but we all know that story.

by Anonymousreply 33June 22, 2022 9:49 PM

Tuesday Weld

by Anonymousreply 34June 22, 2022 9:53 PM

Hurd Hatfield

by Anonymousreply 35June 22, 2022 10:00 PM

Jayne Mansfield

by Anonymousreply 36June 22, 2022 10:04 PM

Anne Archer. I thought she was such a cool beauty in Fatal Attraction. (Why would he cheat on THAT?) She was in a couple of the Patriot Games movies but she didn't have a big film career.

I was thrilled to see her again as Dennis and Dee's mother on It's Always Sunny.

by Anonymousreply 37June 22, 2022 10:05 PM

Joan Blondell

by Anonymousreply 38June 22, 2022 10:09 PM

Martin Short Gregory Hines

by Anonymousreply 39June 22, 2022 10:11 PM

Tracey Ullman

Yvonne DeCarlo

Miss Kay Lenz

Pearl Bailey

Rene Russo

by Anonymousreply 40June 22, 2022 10:12 PM

R17 I counter that Jude Law was an A-list leading man for about 10 years. When his looks left him, he is now in A-list hot-adjacent lead roles like Dumbledore and Watson (is the 3rd Holmes Watson ever coming out?)

Gary Cole has played a myriad of supporting characters but rarely lead roles, despite his conventional good looks and hair. He could have been a great Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, or Sam Neill's Jurassic Park character Dr. Alan Grant.

by Anonymousreply 41June 22, 2022 10:12 PM

Anne Archer? Scientology.

by Anonymousreply 42June 22, 2022 10:14 PM

R42 that hasn't stopped meeeeeeee!

by Anonymousreply 43June 22, 2022 10:25 PM

John Cusack.

by Anonymousreply 44June 22, 2022 10:32 PM

Kate Jackson

Lisa Nicole Carson

by Anonymousreply 45June 22, 2022 10:33 PM

Lisa Nicole Carson has mental health issues and that is why her career stalled like it did.

by Anonymousreply 46June 22, 2022 10:37 PM

Am i the first to mention Vivian Vance? Datalounge d is slacking.

by Anonymousreply 47June 22, 2022 10:39 PM

I always thought Anne Archer and Rene Russo were the same person.

by Anonymousreply 48June 22, 2022 10:46 PM

R41, Jude Law was never an A-list leading man. You have to be able to carry a movie for that

by Anonymousreply 49June 22, 2022 10:55 PM

Linda Hunt

by Anonymousreply 50June 22, 2022 11:18 PM

R42 Yep she is proof that their claims of Hollywood power is really a paper tiger. If they couldn't make Anne Archer a star, they have no power.

by Anonymousreply 51June 23, 2022 1:29 AM

I first saw Anne Archer in "Lifeguard"(1975), playing Sam Elliott's former girlfriend.

by Anonymousreply 52June 23, 2022 1:48 AM

Anne Archer's mother was Marjorie Lord.

by Anonymousreply 53June 23, 2022 1:49 AM

Bess Flowers

by Anonymousreply 54June 23, 2022 1:50 AM

R24, Great point. I think hollywood found what to do with Richard Pryor in Eddie Murphy. Sometime timing is everything.

by Anonymousreply 55June 23, 2022 1:57 AM

Hollywood figured out what to do with Richard Pryor. I mean he made lots of hit films that are still watched. He had an iconic on-screen partnership with Gene Wilder. I'd call them the Crosby and Hope of their generation. I have never not enjoyed one of their films together.

And, I don't think The Toy was as bad as people think. It was a remake of a foreign film, so it had pedigree. Pryor and Gleason were funny and had chemistry, though they were two people who would have chemistry with anyone. And, I love the fact that Richard Pryor basically fangirled about shooting a film with Jackie Gleason.

I think they just didn't know what to do with him as his drug abuse and MS started affecting him.

by Anonymousreply 56June 23, 2022 2:08 AM

R56, Even Pryor himself bad mouthed "The Toy" on the Tonight Show.

by Anonymousreply 57June 23, 2022 2:33 AM

Sandra Bernhard - King of Comedy and then nothing.

by Anonymousreply 58June 23, 2022 2:46 AM

R58, she was pretty, uh, memorable, I guess, in Hudson Hawk - but I see your point.

Films didn't seem to work for her brand of comedy.

She had an awesome couple of scenes in Dinner Rush, though.

by Anonymousreply 59June 23, 2022 2:54 AM

R24 The Toy is a classic, fool. Yes

by Anonymousreply 60June 23, 2022 2:58 AM

Courtney Love

by Anonymousreply 61June 23, 2022 3:02 AM

Rosanna Arquette

by Anonymousreply 62June 23, 2022 3:14 AM

OP I don't think Ted Danson or Frank Langella knew what to do with Whoopi either

by Anonymousreply 63June 23, 2022 3:17 AM

There are a lot of superb black actors whom Hollywood did not know what to do with, like Giancarlo Esposito. but Whoopi Goldberg to me is absolutely not one of them. She had so many things especially tailored to her talents and what she wanted to do, including her talk show, her sitcom under her name, and her role on Star Trek, and she just wasn't good with any of them. Her talent is with her one-woman stage shows, and that's where she really excels, but it's hard to just do that on TV (Lily Tomlin had the same problem, but she's more versatile).

What Whoopi most wants to do is just stand up and tell you her opinions on politics, just like Rosie O'Donnell and Dennis Miller, and the problem is that no one really wants to hear them.

by Anonymousreply 64June 23, 2022 3:30 AM

Whoopi is a moron. She can't read, never mind form a sentence.

by Anonymousreply 65June 23, 2022 3:34 AM


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by Anonymousreply 66June 23, 2022 3:37 AM

My pussy owns this thread.

by Anonymousreply 67June 23, 2022 3:38 AM

Johnathan Tucker

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by Anonymousreply 68June 23, 2022 3:51 AM

Jonathan Tucker had a wonderful role in The Deep End as the blackmailed gay son of Tilda Swinton. But he decided to become so extremely muscular as to become musclebound after that, and I always thought that was a career mistake--he's a sensitive actor, and those two things work against each other.

by Anonymousreply 69June 23, 2022 3:54 AM

Last night I watched the Moonlighting episode with Whoopi. She was such a good comedian. So fresh and new. She or her agent made terrible choices.

by Anonymousreply 70June 23, 2022 3:55 AM

Not a fan of Whoopi’s comedies but I think she’s a very underrated dramatic actress.

by Anonymousreply 71June 23, 2022 4:00 AM

A good comic is nearly always a good dramatic actor as well.

by Anonymousreply 72June 23, 2022 4:41 AM

Shelly Hack - Woody Allen to Charlies Angels? WTF?

by Anonymousreply 73June 23, 2022 4:49 AM

Rosanna Arquette was never any good.

by Anonymousreply 74June 23, 2022 6:31 AM

Karen Lynn Gorney

by Anonymousreply 75June 23, 2022 6:33 AM

R78 What ever happened to her? She was the best part of SNF.

by Anonymousreply 76June 23, 2022 9:26 AM

Cuba Gooding, Jr. -- bad agent / bad choices. He could make a great comeback with the right script.

by Anonymousreply 77June 23, 2022 9:28 AM

R65 in Whoopi’s defense she is dyslexic.

by Anonymousreply 78June 23, 2022 9:33 AM
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