You ever find yourself scanning through slightly older movies on HBO, Showtime, or TBS, and see someone who used to be around a lot, but who inexplicably disappeared? This happens occasionally with male actors (Yahoo Serious?)— most of whom fade away — but you see it a lot more with female actresses. One second, they look as though they’re going to be a big star, and a few years later, you’re watching an episode of “Law and Order” and you’re like: Hey! That’s her! What happened to her career?
We’ll call this the Shelly Long phenomenon.
There’s no way to really top this list, and finding female actresses who qualify is, necessarily, difficult (I mean, they are forgotten actresses, after all), but here’s ten of them, most of whom haven’t completely disappeared, just fallen off the radar. Maybe y’all can add to it:
Rae Dawn Chong
Last Seen: Soul Man, as C. Thomas Howell’s love interest.
Signature Role: Soul Man and Squeak in The Color Purple.
What’s She Doing Now? Still acting. Early in the decade, she starred in a television show I’ve never heard of called, “Mysterious Ways,” and last had a guest stint on “That’s So Raven,” in 2008.
9. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Last Seen: The Perfect Storm.
Signature Role: The love interest in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
What’s She Doing Now?: A brief character arc on “Without a Trace,” and a TV movie, The Russell Girl last year.
8. Renee Russo
Last Seen: Yours Mine and Ours
Signature Role: Love interests in Lethal Weapon 4 and Tin Cup
What’s She Doing Now: No clue. Hasn’t had any work since 2005.
7. Mary Stuart Masterson
Last Seen: Bed of Roses
Signature Role: Benny & Joon
What’s She Doing Now: Not much. A few episodes of “Law and Order: SVU” and a few straight-to-DVD offerings.
6. Fairuza Balk
Last Seen: Almost Famous
Signature Role: The Craft and the love interest in The Waterboy
What’s She Doing Now: Although she hasn’t done anything significant since Almost Famous, she is lined up with a part in Warner Herzog’s remake of Bad Lieutenant.
5. Kristy Swanson
Last Seen: Big Daddy
Signature Role: The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer
What’s She Doing Now: An occasional TV appearance, including a show called “3Way” and, in 2007, an episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”
4. Janine Turner
Last Seen: Dr. T and the Women
Signature Role: Maggie O’Connell in “Northern Exposure”
What’s She Doing Now: She was in a few episodes of “Friday Night Lights” and a “Walker Texas Ranger” TV movie.
3. Erika Christensen
Last Seen: Flightplan
Signature Role: The daughter in Traffic and the lead in Swimfan
What’s She Doing Now: “Bus Stop Girl” in a movie called Struck and three movies in development, none of which I’ve heard of, though James Caan wrote one.
2. Joey Lauren Adams
Last Seen: Unmemorably in The Break-Up
Signature Role: Chasing Amy
What’s She Doing Now: She directed a movie I’d never heard of in 2006 and was in a movie called Trucker last year.
1. Lori Petty
Last Seen: Tank Girl
Signature Role: Tank Girl
What’s She Doing Now: Two eps of “House” last year, and some very small roles in some very small movies.
A Seriously Random List XLIV / Dustin Rowles
Seriously Random Lists | January 16, 2009 | Comments ()