Vanishing starlets

Not exactly huge names that everyone would recognize, but maybe indy fans like lissener might:

Marianna Palka wrote, directed and starred in the compelling indy flick Good Dick, but appears to have nothing else on the horizon. That movie’s biggest WTF moment had to be a surprising cameo by a big starlet and her husband as a couple renting a movie from the video store where a main character works.

The stunningly beautiful Rebecca Mozo really only ever appeared in the campy-fun indy flick Zerophilia. She looks like a cross between Winona Ryder and Keira Knightley, so naturally the first time I saw her on screen I figured she was destined to be a star. Yet her imdb page has been basically empty for years. I see she finally has another movie in the works, but don’t recognize anyone on the cast.

EDIT: Heh, I was going to say Nikki Reed peaked at the age of 14 when she wrote and starred in the fantastic Thirteen, but I see on her imdb page that she’s in the Twighlight movies so I guess she doesn’t count.

She was in that atrocity of a Day of the Dead remake last year. She’s done a bunch of other indie films and TV roles (including a recurring character on Six Feet Under.

You’ll get a BIG shock in The Devil’s Rejects! My shock came later when I found out that was her!

According to imdb The Devil’s Rejects cast several tv actors from the 1980’s. Priscilla Barnes from Threes Company, Deborah Van Valkenburgh Too Close for Comfort (Ted Knights show), Mary Woronov did some Troma films in the 70’s. P.J. Soles was in a bunch of early 80’s movies. I remember her in Carrie.

I guess Rob Zombie got a kick out of casting familiar faces.

Marie Blake was a 40’s style studio system starlet whose career faded away in the late 40s. She vanished completely from the screen, but only because she changed her name and, as Blossom Rock, became a TV icon.

Deborah Walley had a series of high-profile roles in the 60s, ending with the lead in the series, The Mothers-in-Law. She pretty must left films (doing theater and teaching drama school) after 1970.

Ruby Keeler made a big splash in her first film 42nd Street (as the person spoken to with one of film’s most memorable – and misquoted – lines: “You’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!”). She was a major star throughout the 30s, but retired from film in 1941 and did next to nothing until she starred in No, No Nanette in 1971. I’ve heard that a lot of people didn’t like her personally – Busby Berkeley had harsh words to say about her in the 30s, though they worked together on Nanette, and her husband of that time, Al Jolson, was especially cruel to her, ridiculing her whenever he could. Maybe that’s why she left Hollywood after she divorced him.

I was always surprised that Alicia Silverstone’s career didn’t seem to have gone anywhere after her appearances in Clueless and Blast from the Past, and in fact Brittany Murphy seemed to have had more success after Clueless than she did.

I think that the lesson from her career, and that of others in this thread, is that being really good-looking and able to act isn’t enough to ensure continuing success, since there are so many others out there.


My favorite moment in “Gidget Goes Hawaiian” is when she falls while, I dunno, surfing or something, and James Darren jumps into to drag her to safety by her boob. Good thing there was some hefty 60s-style swimware covering it because there wasn’t much else to grab onto.

I suspect a lot of starlets leave Hollywood via a route not available to most guys: Marrying Well. Nothing much better decorating the arm of the second-best real estate agent in Orange County than the ingenue from some crappy SF film.

Oh good call. I remember Alicia Silverstone being in all those Aerosmith videos, too. She was pretty awesome–it’s too bad she didn’t really have a huge career afterward.

Sad to say, but could it be that Silverstone is of normal weight while Murphy worked at being (possibly-) dangerously thin?

This thread reminds me of one from earlier this year.

Geena Davis was mentioned in another thread–is she considered vanishing? I mean, she’s a pretty big name, and she’s been in a lot of movies. Not all “great” but a lot.

Frances O’Connor had a nice run of success about eight years ago; the love interest in Bedazzled, the mom in A.I., and Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. Since then, she had a short-lived TV series and nothing else I’ve heard of.

Mary Woronov is B-movie royalty - She was in Death Race 2000 and Eating Raoul!

Also Halloween and Rock and Roll High School.

<oops, wrong thread>

Mary Woronov was *also *in Rock and Roll High School, as the principal.

Phoebe Cates left the business to raise her family with Kevin Kline.

Geena Davis has had a long, successful career by the standards of Hollywood. She got lots of roles right up to the age of 40 (and “forty years old,” at least in respect to actresses, in the language of Hollywood, usually translates to “dead”) and has gotten a few good roles since then. After an actress turns forty, she’s offered almost nothing except roles as the mother to the hero. Hollywood had exactly one role that they needed some actress in her forties who was once the hot young starlet (as the lead in Commander in Chief) and she got it.

Since then she’s had three kids, one at 46 and two more at 48. In her late thirties, she decided to take up archery. At 43, she came close to making the U.S. Olympic team in that sport. She is also quite smart by Hollywood standards. If there’s anything she did wrong in her career, it’s that she turned down some roles that might have been useful to her.

I don’t know why anyone is surprised by the disappearance of the starlets listed in this thread. There are lots of good roles for young actresses when they are 20. There are maybe half as many when they turn 25, and then half as many as that when they turn 30, and half as many as that when they turn 35. By 40, the pickings are very small. If Hollywood was honest, they would make 20-year-old actresses sign a release saying, “I realize that the amount of roles offered to me over the next twenty years is going to dry up very quickly. I realize that when I’m forty, Hollywood will almost certainly consider me to be dead.”

Oh, I forgot she was in “Ghost World.” Still, she briefly looked as if she might stick around for a while, but didn’t.

Anyway, another one I thought of - Mira Sorvino. I mean, she wins an oscar for her part in “Mighty Aphrodite”, starred in a cult fav “Mimic”, then - what?

Tahnee Welch is the incredibly gorgeous daughter of Raquel Welch, and she played one very memorable (to me) role. She was the beautiful alien in Cocoon that Steve Gutenberg had “sex” with in the pool. I was 13 when I saw that and I was quite taken with her, and I kept expecting to see her in bigger roles. The Cocoon role didn’t require much acting talent, but I figured her hotness alone would be sufficient to land her something more prominent. Her IMDB page shows steady work in small roles until about 10 years ago.

Jenny Wright was quite active in the '80s and had left the film business by the end of the '90s, almost literally “vanishing” to the point that she couldn’t be located when sequels to films like Near Dark were in discussion. She has apparently shown up at genre conventions recently, and has a pending role listed on IMDB though.