When you make it in Hollywood, you want to be able to thank those who helped get you to that point. Fame is a fickle and temperamental witch that has a tendency to be fleeting if you’re not constantly working your rear off to keep it. Even if you are working your hardest to keep it, it can still be lost at any given moment. But what you’d never expect is to have it stolen from right under your nose by a friend who actually ends up grasping onto it and never lets it go. This happens to be the case with these particular stars who thought all their dreams were finally coming true, only to have those dreams dashed by someone they considered a close friend (or, rather, friends). Here are 15 celebrities who had their fame stolen unintentionally by someone close to them.
15. Some FRIEND Jennifer Aniston is
When NBC picked up the show Friends, a situation comedy revolving around six obnoxious New Yorkers who paid, like, jellybeans for their massive Manhattan apartments, the most known face at the time was actress Courteney Cox. Cox had a reoccurring role on Family Ties and had starred in numerous films before being cast as Monica Geller on the hit show. And while most people tuned in to see her, they were captivated by the woman who played Rachel Green, Monica’s spoiled-brat former high school pal and roommate. The world was enchanted by supposed newcomer Jennifer Aniston, who set so many trends during her run as Rachel. Aniston went on to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood after casually stealing the spotlight from Cox. There’s no ill-will between the two, thankfully.
14. Paris Who? Hilton What Now?
Before Kim Kardashian was, well, Kim freaking Kardashian, she was simply heiress Paris Hilton’s assistant. Or, rather, her closet cleaner (yes, you read that right). “I would work with Paris, and I would love to organize and clean out their closets and get rid of all their stuff and sell it on eBay and then shop for them, shop for her,” Kim told Andy Cohen on his show during an interview. Well, we all know the end to this story. Kim pretty much stole all of Hilton’s reality TV fame after she made that very adult tape with then-boyfriend Ray J. The Kardashians rule over Hollywood (or so they think) and Paris is simply an afterthought at this point. Seems like the socialite is even trying desperately to get her once BFF’s attention by gushing about her in interviews, but Kim is too busy to notice. “We talk here and there,” Kim said in the same interview of Hilton.
13. There Can Be Only One Survivor
Back in the late 1990’s, the group Destiny’s Child was all the rage with high school girls who wanted to grow up to be “Independent Women”. The girl group was composed of three members: Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and Beyonce Knowles. They were formed in 1997 in Houston, Texas after Beyonce and Rowland began their careers in a group called Girl’s Tyme earlier in the decade. There was actually a fourth singer (Farrah Franklin) but she ended up ditching the group in 2000. As history would have it, it was Beyonce whose star had rose higher than Williams and Rowland’s thanks to her starring in feature films and lending her vocals to boyfriend Jay-Z for his single “03 Bonnie and Clyde”, which actually ended up leading to her first solo album. The group continued to work together even though all three had independently gone on to do other work but finally disbanded in 2006. Beyonce had built her entire career on the shoulders of her lesser-known counterparts, but Williams and Rowland are still doing well for themselves.
12. He Stole Sexy From N’Sync and Brought It Back
Once upon a time, there was this little boy band called N’Sync, and they enjoyed jumping around a stage while teenage girls screamed bloody murder at them and cried in their presence. Old people pretty much assumed that they were the second coming of The Beatles, whose hairstyles were just as bad. Like in most groups, one member always stands out more than the rest and seems to suck all the fame from those surrounding him. And that person happened to be Justin Timberlake. This wasn’t maliciously done in the least, Timberlake was just by far more talented than JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick. He was a double threat: the man could sing AND act. He’s now one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and that’s all thanks to him casting a shadow on his group mates. Sorry, bros.
11. Victoria’s Biggest Secret Left Orlando Bloom In The Dust
When they first got together in 2007, Miranda Kerr was just a blossoming model who happened to fall in love with actor Orlando Bloom, star of Lord of the Rings and the billion and a half Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He was one of the most internationally known faces in Hollywood and she was an Australian beauty on the rise. Soon after they started dating, Kerr shot up in the modeling world and became one of the most recognizable Victoria’s Secret faces and her fame skyrocketed even higher than Bloom, whom she had eventually wed. Turns out, when your wife starts to rise above you in the world and your ego can’t take it, you start to get jealous. The pressure ended up being too much for the couple and they ended up divorcing. Kerr is now married to Snapchat billionaire mogul Evan Spiegel.
10. Melissa McCarthy Wiiging Out On Buddy Kristen
Before the comedy Bridesmaids hit theaters, actress/comedian Melissa McCarthy was known primarily for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls and Molly Flynn in the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. But after she starred as the very physical force of nature Megan Price in Kristen Wiig’s comedy, she became one of the most recognizable faces in the world. She stole the scene from every single actor in the movie without even trying. The role even earned her an Academy Award nomination and she was offered roles left and right. Everyone and their dog wanted to work with the uber-talented McCarthy. And co-star and friend Wiig didn’t seem to mind that McCarthy stole all the attention whenever they shared the screen (even when McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live) and is seriously proud of her close friend.
9. Jennifer Garner Slumming Days With That One Guy
Everyone who is anyone knew who heartthrob Scott Foley was back in his Felicity days where he played title character Felicity’s (Keri Russell) love interest Noel Crane. He ended up meeting the future Ex-Mrs. Ben Affleck Jennifer Garner (scratch that, Ben Affleck is actually known as the Ex-Mr. Jennifer Garner. There, much better) on the show itself when Garner was cast to play Noel’s long-distant girlfriend Hanna. The two ended up falling in love and getting married in 2000 right before Garner struck gold with the hit ABC action/drama Alias. Up until that point, Foley was the more popular one in the relationship before Garner took the spotlight rightfully away. She and Foley ended up divorcing in 2003 and she never even looked back once as she was on the fast track with her career.
8. Even Hilary Swank Can’t Remember This Guy’s Name
Actress Hilary Swank wasn’t too known in Hollywood despite starring in films for over a decade before she actually finally struck gold in her career. She had minor roles in films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the direct-to-video Quiet Days in Hollywood with Chad Lowe, the man who eventually became her husband. Lowe was known in Hollywood as being the talented younger brother of actor Rob Lowe. He had won an Emmy for his work in Life Goes On and starred in hit series like ER, Melrose Place, and Now and Again. He was the more recognized face out of the couple, that is until Swank starred in the film Boys Don’t Cry, where she played transgender man Brandon Teena whose life was heinously taken in Humboldt, Nebraska. It was the role that won her her first Academy Award. She then went on to win a second Oscar for her work in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby. Swank famously forgot to thank Lowe when she won her first award in 2000, and soon after all of Hollywood forgot who he was too.
7. Jessica “Chicken of the Sea” Simpson and Nick “Get This Woman Away From Me” Lachey
She was a rising pop princess who wanted to nab fame from another more popular pop singer. He had managed to steal the spotlight in his boy group 98 Degrees. When Jessica Simpson met Nick Lachey, it was apparently love-at-first-sight. At least that’s what they wanted us to believe. The two pop stars even agreed to star in the ill-fated MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica after they wed in October of 2002. At the time of the show, Nick was the star of the family even though Jessica had some hits on the pop chart, but after the show started gaining popularity, it was the ditzy Jessica who took off. She became adored for her numskull ways by audiences, even though you can feel the air being drained from her and Nick’s marriage. Nick constantly looked annoyed whenever Jessica would talk, yet her star continued to rise. As we all know, the two ended up divorcing and Jessica’s career took off.
6. Gwen Still Rocks On While Gavin Fell Off The Map
Sure, singer Gwen Stefani is now known for her solo albums and for her part on The Voice where she met now current love Blake Shelton, but way back when, Stefani was the lead singer of the band No Doubt. And she happened to fall in love with fellow grunge singer Gavin Rossdale, who was the lead singer of a band called Bush. Every grungy chick was heavily obsessed with rocker Rossdale and wanted a piece of him, but it was Stefani who ended up marrying him after No Doubt opened up for his more-known band back in 1995. After that, they were known as the “IT” rocker couple and they had three children together. But after they paired up, Rossdale quickly fell off the map while Stefani continued to get more famous and stepped out on her own from No Doubt to work on a solo career. They ended up divorcing in 2015, which is when Stefani started seeing country singer Blake Shelton.
5. I’m Sure She Didn’t Have Any Cruel Intentions
When the two stars broke out in the teenage, weird love-fest flick Cruel Intentions, it was Ryan Phillippe who was more known than his co-star and love interest Reese Witherspoon, even though she was the lead in some major films including the thriller Fear and drama Pleasantville. Phillippe was best known for his roles in One Life To Live, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and 54. The two actors met on the set of Intentions and ended up falling in love with each other which led to them getting married. They were one of Hollywood’s golden couples, but it seemed that Reese was rising higher than Phillippe, whose career seemed to take a nose dive as he starred in a handful of flops. He eventually cheated on Reese and the two parted ways, but remain friends for the sake of their children.
4. Bradley Cooper Stars In “Bridget Jones: What Ever Happened To Her?”
The only people who knew who actor Bradley Cooper was were those who paid attention to the show Alias, where he played Will Tippin, the newspaper reporter who was obsessed with his best friend and lead character Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner). Although he was a major part of the show, not everyone knew who the heck he even was. He went on to star in some direct-to-video movies, some Hallmark Channel duds and failed television shows. Things started looking up for him when he starred in the movie Wedding Crashers alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, but the real hit came when he stole the show in The Hangover in 2009. Before that, he was actually dating the famous Renee Zellweger. She stuck by him during his struggle with his own rise and the two ended up parting ways AFTER he hit the major league. Her star has been dropping somewhat since then.
3. A Not-So Full House
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with more talented siblings riding on the coattails of their successful older siblings. This happens to be the case with Elizabeth Olsen, who wasn’t afraid to hitch a ride on the backs of sisters and moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Everyone knows her twin sisters and their claim to fame, but after they moved into the New York scene and quietly left acting behind, it was baby sister Elizabeth who stepped in and busted the door wide open. She was first noticed in the film Martha Marcy May Marlene back in 2011, a movie she was nominated for the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award. She went on to star in critically acclaimed films like Liberal Arts, Silent House, I Saw the Light and Wind River. Her sisters don’t seem to mind the fact that Elizabeth stole all their film/TV fame from them – they’re simply proud of her.
2. The Fanning Sister War
The precocious Dakota Fanning stole hearts with her snap in the drama I Am Sam when the seven-year-old starred alongside Sean Penn, which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination at the delicate age of eight. She then went on to star in major box-office hits like The Cat in the Hat, Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, The Twilight Saga, and much more. Little sister Elle Fanning would often play the younger version of characters that Dakota would play before breaking out on her own. It wasn’t long before Elle was surpassing her big sis in major motion pictures like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Phoebe in Wonderland, Somewhere, Super 8, and We Bought a Zoo. After Dakota dropped off the map a little, it was Elle who stood up and started picking up some daring roles and successfully stealing the spotlight.
1. JTT Stole Our Hearts AND the Show
Tim Allen was already known in Hollywood when he was cast as the neurotic Tim “The Toolman” Taylor in the ABC series Home Improvement. When he started the show, the three actors cast to play his sons on the show were mere tots at the time, including Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played the quick-witted middle child, Randy Taylor. As JTT grew, so did his female fan base, and soon people were simply tuning in to the show to watch the snappy young actor strut around while taking sarcastic jabs at his TV father and everyone else around him. When Thomas came of age and decided to leave the show and fame behind for the Academic world, Allen was apparently hurt and angry since it was Thomas who now carried the show on his back. After he left, the show attempted to continue for a couple of seasons, but it just wasn’t the same. JTT and Allen ended up making up though when he guest starred on Allen’s show Last Man Standing years later.
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