Definitely among the most competitive industries in the world, due to the fact that millions of people would love to be a famous actor, it is incredibly difficult to actually make it. However, once an actor earns popularity, many of them capitalize on that momentum and remain near the top of the business for many years.
Due to the fact that the 2000s came to an end relatively recently, it may seem likely that most of the actors who were stars during those years would still be doing well. Despite that, the reality of the situation is that many of those former stars' careers have hit the skids since then. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 15 movie stars from the 2000s who’ve already faded away.
15 Jesse Bradford
A former child actor who rose to prominence during the late ‘90s and the decade that followed, during the 2000s Jesse Bradford starred in movies like Bring It On, Clockstoppers, and Swimfan. Long since gone from the big screen in any notable way, Bradford hasn’t been part of a notable film since 20008’s W., and his biggest part of late was a recurring role in the show Shooter.
14 Tara Reid
First brought into the public spotlight when she starred in American Pie, throughout the early 2000s Tara Reid was a part of many films including Van Wilder as well as Josie and the Pussycats. Sadly more notable for the tabloids’ coverage of her life as of late, these days Reid’s career is highlighted by her part in the Sharknado films and most people don’t care about that series anymore.
13 Freddie Prinze Jr.
Another former teen star, Freddie Prinze Jr. earned a fan following when he starred in 1999’s She’s All That, and movies from the 2000s like the Scooby-Doo films and Summer Catch. Evidently disillusioned with the acting world after a while, Freddie worked for the WWE as a writer for a time and now his career flies under the radar since he principally works as a voice actor.
12 Michelle Trachtenberg
One of those actors who seems to be everywhere for a while, during the 2000s Michelle Trachtenberg starred in TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the films like EuroTrip, Ice Princess, and Black Christmas. Despite Trachtenberg seeming omnipresence in the past, she hasn’t had a single notable role since the year 2010 and she hasn’t appeared on the big or little screen after 2018.
11 Emile Hirsch
Clearly, an actor that Hollywood saw as the next big thing during the 2000s, over those years Emile Hirsch starred in movies like The Girl Next Door, Into the Wild, and Milk among others. Even though he was such a big deal during that time period, he now is relegated to parts in movies most people have never heard of aside from his small role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
10 Catherine Zeta-Jones
An incredibly skilled actor and gorgeous woman, during the heyday of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ fame in the early 2000s she starred in a long list of hit films including Traffic, Chicago, and Ocean’s Twelve. Despite that, she seemed to pull herself out of the rat race to such a degree that there have been several years in which she didn’t act at all. On top of that, when she does take on roles these days, they typically are much more low profile.
9 Shane West
One of the most popular young actors in Hollywood during the early 2000s, not only did Shane West star in movies like A Walk to Remember during that time but he also played himself in Ocean’s Eleven. Unfortunately for him, after that, his movie career hit the skids and over the last several years his most talked-about role was a 4 episode run as the Batman villain Bane in the show Gotham.
8 Eliza Dushku
An actor who should’ve remained on top a lot longer, Eliza Dushku proved herself to have an incredible presence in movies from the 2000s like Bring It On, The New Guy, and Wrong Turn. However, over the last decade, her career has been made up of forgettable roles in small movies and starring in TV shows that failed to go the distance.
7 Chris Tucker
An actor and comedian who took the world by storm during the late ‘90s, Chris Tucker’s decade of dominance continued into the 2000s when he starred in the latter two Rush Hour movies. Despite becoming a megastar at that time, it doesn’t seem like he is interested in fame as he has only appeared in two movies since the 2010s began.
6 Lindsay Lohan
After starring in The Parent Trap as a child, during the 2000s Lindsay Lohan’s work in movies like Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen took her career to another level. Sadly, since the height of her career people have become more interested in Lohan’s personal life. Part of the reason why that is the case, is every film she has starred in since 2011 has failed.
5 Mike Myers
Once considered to be one of the biggest comedy stars in the world, during the 2000s Mike Myers starred in several massively successful Austin Powers and Shrek films. Unfortunately, for his career prospects, during that same decade, Myers also starred in the much-reviled film The Love Guru. Since that film flopped with audiences and critics alike, the only movie that Myers has starred in was a Shrek sequel he provided his voice to.
4 Amanda Bynes
Previously perched on top of the teen movie heap, Amanda Bynes was incredibly likable in movies like She’s the Man, Hairspray, and Sydney White. Seemingly interested in taking her career in another direction, she was great at playing a villain in 2010’s Easy A. That said, any potential her career had at that time quickly disappeared as she hasn’t acted in a film or TV show since.
3 Josh Hartnett
Born with the looks, acting skills, and charisma to be among the most top actors of his generation, Josh Hartnett’s work in movies like Black Hawk Down, Sin City, and Lucky Number Slevin made him a star. Evidently not interested in the trappings and pressures of superstardom, since the 2010s began Hartnett has focused on starring in small projects most of which have been relatively ignored.
2 Renée Zellweger
Easily among the most celebrated actors of the 2000s, during that decade Renée Zellweger was nominated for two Oscars and she won one too. Despite being one of the best actors in the world at that time, Zellweger went on to disappear from the industry completely for five years in the early 2010s. On top of that, as of this writing, the few projects she has been a part of that were released after 2016 have all quickly come and gone.
1 Brendan Fraser
An actor who doesn’t get the credit he deserves in our view, Brendan Fraser was marvelous in several dramatic films but he is best known for his roles in movies like the Mummy series and Bedazzled. Unfortunately, for longtime fans of this actor who was spectacular at portraying lovable goofballs, Fraser starred in several massive flops after the late 2000s which ended his ability to land major roles.