One of my favorite things to do in Seriously Random Lists, inexplicably, is to look back at forgotten actors and actresses who, inexplicably, fell into the cracks of the Hollywood studio system and, essentially, disappeared — I call it the Rae Dawn Chong Effect (formerly the Shelley Long Effect). We’re dealing here with only a decade in time, so most of these names — I suspect — will still be familiar to most of you, and a few of them still exist on the fringes. But if you compare where they were during the first half of the decade with where they ended up, it’s clear that the Rae Dawn Chong Effect has taken hold, and soon they, too, will completely fall into the rabbit hole, never to be seen again, except in straight-to-DVD offerings and as patients in medical dramas.
Joey Lauren Adams:
Best Known For: Chasing Amy, being Kevin Smith’s girlfriend
Last Significant Role: Big Daddy (1999)
What Happened: The Adam Sandler Curse.
Best Known For: “Alias,” Monster-in-Law
Last Significant Role: “Alias”
What Happened: Jennifer Lopez happened (see also Ben Affleck)
Best Known For: Writer/Director: You Can Count On Me (2000)
Last Significant Role: Screenwriter: Gangs of New York (2002)
What Happened: Not sure, but writing The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Analyze That sure as hell didn’t help.
Best Known For: The Rush Hour trilogy.
Last Significant Role: Rush Hour 3 (2007)
What Happened: Rush Hour happened. Three times. It’s the only thing he’s done this decade, and he’s got nothing in development.
Best Known For: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), An Ideal Husband (1999)
Last Significant Role: The Importance of Being Earnest (2004)
What Happened: A series of terrible script choices, beginning with Inspector Gadget.
Best Known For: Boogie Nights (1997)
Last Significant Role: Minor part in The Hangover (2009)
What Happened: She can’t act; Hollywood figured It out.
Best Known For: The Scream franchise.
Last Significant Role: Scream 3 (2000)
What Happened: No clue, really. But for a few guest stints on television shows and an attempt at creating her own television series (“The Philanthropist”), she just kind of vanished.
Best Known For: American Beauty (1999), Ghost World (2001)
Last Significant Role: Ghost World
What Happened: Scarlett Johansson?
The Cast of American Pie (Alyson Hannigan and Sean William Scott excluded)
Best Known For: American Pie
Last Significant Role: An American Pie Wedding
What Happened: What did happen to Chris Klein, Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nichols, and Tara Reid?
Best Known For: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Last Significant Role: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
What Happened: My Big Fat Greek Wedding