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Celeb Comebacks

July 29, 2014 Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr, Neil Patrick Harris

Everyone loves a comeback, whether that be Rocky against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV or John Travolta’s Pulp Fiction renaissance. Fiction or reality makes no difference, human nature just makes us root for the little guy. So without further a due here are some of the greatest celebrity comebacks.

Robert Downey Jr.

In the latter stages of the 90s you would not have bet on Robert Downey Jr establishing himself as a Hollywood actor, regardless of the odds offered. Bookmakers have long since offered odds on some outlandish markets in the past – from General Elections to Actor betting – but the odds on Downey Jr. making an impact so big that he landed himself in the Iron Man suit would have simply not being worth taking. In fact, requesting a bet with a popular bookie such as bet365 on Downey Jr to forge a new career in sport or financials may have seemed a likelier venture. And that’s saying something.

The closing years of the millennium saw Downey descend ever more into hardcore drugs, costing him movie and TV roles in the process. After finally quitting the crack, his close friend, Mel Gibson, cast him in The Singing Detective (2003). Downey’s performance showed Hollywood he had cleaned up his act and was ready to live up to his promise as an actor. Thirteen years, three Iron Man’s, two Sherlock Holmes’ and two Avengers’ later, Downey is very much the cream of the acting crop, as well as living a life of sobriety. In terms of comebacks, talk about pulling it out of the fire.

Neil Patrick Harris

This man is just everyone’s favourite person right now. His portrayal of “Barney Stinson” in How I Met Your Mother endeared him to just about everyone. However, it wasn’t always this way. After playing the titular character in Doogie Howser, M.D. in the early 1990s, Harris’ career went lukewarm afterwards. Then, a role playing himself in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) was offered him. Harris not only smashed the role out of the park but he revitalised his career – the year later he was cast as “Barney” and how we all are so happy for that.

Drew Barrymore

For Drew it was all too much too young. She first tasted fame age seven, after being cast in E.T. Going on from there to become one of the most recognisable children on the planet. By the age of nine she was smoking, drinking aged 11, smoking dope aged 12 and coke when she was 13, by the age of 14 (1989) she was in rehab. Yet despite her rebellious teenage years Drew managed to turn it all around. A show stealing cameo role in Scream announced her return, while her performance in The Wedding Singer (1998) moved her into the realm of rom-com, somewhere she hasn’t strayed far from since. It a remarkable comeback, especially when you think of how much was put on her from such a young age.

Ben Affleck

Whether you can call it a comeback or not depends on how much you rate Daredevil and Gigli. After the success of Good Will Hunting, Affleck looked destined for great things, but then 2003 happened. The year saw Daredevil and Gigli released, both where box office bombs and seriously derailed the Boston native’s career. Four years of missed roles saw Affleck pick the camera up himself and direct Gone Baby Gone (2007), which opened to much acclaim. He now boasts The Town (2010) and the Oscar winning Argo(2012) as part of its repertoire. Not bad for a man who supposedly can’t act. Oh yeah he is also going to be the new Batman, so to borrow from Good Will Hunting: “How do you like them apples?”

Everyone loves a comeback.

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By: Maverine Lane

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