6 Insane Reasons Formerly Famous People Dropped Off the Map

#3. Jennifer Grey Gets a Nose Job, Nobody Recognizes Her Anymore


The Fame:

Thanks to gyrating all sexy-like in Dirty Dancing, and pouting all scowly-like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Jennifer Grey quickly became one of the hottest actresses of the 1980s. Her cute, natural look endeared her to just about everybody, and the two very different roles she played in the above films showed that she had the acting chops to stick around.

MGM/UA Entertainment
To say nothing of her commie-killing skills.

Well, she might have, anyway, if she hadn't stopped looking like Jennifer Grey.

But Then ...

She got a nose job. Yep, in the course of trying to make herself look like everyone else, she lost the feature that made her stand out. Part of Grey's appeal was that, other than being thin, good-looking, chesty, and white, she didn't resemble the typical Hollywood starlet at all. Her hair was curly and unruly, and her nose was long and wide. Also, it was hideously bumpy, or at least she thought so.

Now that we think about it, she was clearly a horrifying wart-infested ogre back then.

Since she had Hollywood money, she went under the knife to get those unsightly schnozz bumps taken care of. It took repeated surgeries to get it where she wanted it, but the result was a perfectly pretty -- and forgettable -- nose.

Hey, who's that woman next to Jennifer Grey?

It was kind of like if Steve Buscemi got plastic surgery to make himself look like Bill Pullman. Or as she puts it, "I went in the operating room as a celebrity -- and came out anonymous. It was like being in a witness protection program or being invisible." Even re-enacting one of Dirty Dancing's many bump-and-grind scenes likely didn't help matters.

"Nope, still never heard of ya. But please, keep refreshing my memory."

Grey became a complete unknown once again, competing for tiny roles against raw rookies who probably didn't have two blockbuster hits and a Golden Globe nomination to their name. It got to the point where she contemplated changing her name and literally starting all over again. She did get to appear on Dancing With the Stars, but since they let everybody from David Hasselhoff to Sarah Palin's kid on that show, it's hard to consider it a comeback.

#2. Sondra Locke Breaks Up With Clint Eastwood, Is Blackballed for Life

Warner Bros.

The Fame:

It's not really fair to say that actress Sondra Locke only became famous because of her relationship with Clint Eastwood -- she already had an Oscar nomination under her belt before she and Eastwood became the Jolie-Pitt of the era. Then, between 1975 and 1983, she stared alongside Eastwood in six of his films, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, and Every Which Way But Loose, quickly becoming one of Hollywood's top leading ladies in the process.

Warner Bros.
Including one film where she just shot dudes in the dick for two hours.

But Then ...

In 1989, Eastwood decided he was done with the relationship, presumably because she wanted kids and he did not. Locke showed up at their home one day and learned that it was no longer "their" home. The locks had been changed, her stuff was in storage, and she was ordered to leave the property immediately. She obviously was less than thrilled with this, and she filed a palimony suit against Eastwood (since the two were never actually married).

Eastwood, not willing to part with Lord-knows-how-much money, proposed a settlement. This would involve Eastwood setting up a development deal for Locke at Warner Bros., allowing her the opportunity to direct films for them. In return, she would leave him the hell alone. She quickly accepted, because guaranteed work with Warner Bros.? Whatever could go wrong with that?

Well, this, for starters:

If only Ratboy had been made 15 years later, she could have had a very successful career on Syfy.

That would be everything Locke has worked on since 1986. EVERYTHING. Some deal, huh?

Yeah, Eastwood's arrangement was a total crock of shit, and he had planned it that way all along. It turns out he had secretly arranged for the studio to sabotage Locke's career by rejecting any and all projects she pitched. They ultimately rejected more than 30 of her proposals and refused to assign her any work elsewhere. At this point, she was essentially blacklisted from all things Hollywood.

Locke sued the pants off of Eastwood in 1996, and the jury was apparently about to decide in her favor. Eastwood, knowing the jig was up, suddenly offered a sizable settlement, which Locke accepted. Not that she was suddenly swimming in work or anything; it turns out going toe-to-toe with one of the most powerful and respected figures in Hollywood is poison for your career, and Sondra Locke has been persona non grata ever since.

The moral here: Don't fuck with Clint Eastwood, unless you're planning on fucking him his way, forever and ever.

Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Being as this is an 83 Magnum, the most powerful penis in the world ..."

#1. The Phantom Menace Makes Jake Lloyd Hate Star Wars, Acting, and Life

20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

The Fame:

Jake Lloyd only had one big film role, but goddamn, what a role. At 8 years old, Lloyd was cast in what at the time was perhaps the biggest role a child actor had ever landed: He would play Anakin Skywalker, aka Young Darth Vader, aka the timeless pop culture icon, in the fourth film of the most successful franchise in human history. Yes, he had landed the coveted lead role in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Considering that, before this, his biggest role was as the annoying toy-hungry kid from Jingle All the Way, this was a career-making event.

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
And hey, if you goof it up, you're still just a kid, and people will go easy on you.

What could possibly go wrong?

But Then ...

Of course, you know that despite grossing over a billion dollars, the movie would go down as one of the most universally hated things in the history of civilization ... and a lot of the irrational rage from fans crashed down on the little kid. Reviews of his wooden performance were overwhelmingly negative, with Newsweek referring to him as "Mannequin Skywalker," because insults just feel better when targeted at children.

20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
"We tried directing our nerd vitriol at Lucas, but honestly, it's just too easy."

It wasn't just magazines and pissed-off fanboys either; Lloyd's schoolmates bullied him mercilessly, treating him to an endless barrage of obnoxious light saber "whoosh" sounds whenever he entered the room (even though he never actually used a light saber -- kids are not only cruel, but bad with fact checking). As the years wore on and more bad prequels followed (which he had nothing to do with), the backlash only got worse. Finally, Lloyd snapped, destroying every piece of Star Wars memorabilia he owned. Lloyd appeared in one more film and then gave up acting for good.

He also gave up being a happy, nice person. He blames the role for ruining his life, despises video cameras, and bristles with barely contained rage whenever somebody even mentions Star Wars. Even when he's at a sci-fi convention full of, you know, Star Wars fans. Just plain don't talk to him; otherwise, this happens:

Yes, he apparently stopped finding Star Wars jokes amusing after hearing the same one for the five-millionth time. Come on! Where's your sense of humor?

David Paul Morris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty
A well-balanced person should be good at hearing the same tired reference every day for 50 or 60 years, minimum.

If YOU still have a sense of humor towards Star Wars, watch our Adventures in Jedi School mini-series.

Robin Warder is the co-owner of a pop culture website called The Back Row and was recently involved in the making of a sci-fi short film called Jet Ranger of Another Tomorrow.

For more reasons we're your go-to guide on celebrity gossip, check out 11 Celebrities Who Were Secretly Total Badasses and 5 Insane Celebrity Conspiracy Theories (That Make Sense).

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Creative New Ways Businesses Are Screwing Over Employees .

And stop by LinkSTORM to learn which columnist moonlights as Indiana Jones.

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Extra Credit: If you're interested in disappearances of the "inexplicable" variety, click here and be regaled by the tale of Louis Le Prince. He invented television and then disappeared from a train -- we blame Edison. If you're still on a missing persons kick after that, we've got plenty more for you to read. Of course, not every person who falls off the Earth is the victim of some terrible crime. Plenty of disappearances were straight-up hoaxes. Even the woman who invented the megachurch couldn't resist faking her own kidnapping.

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