Ten Worst Things Celebrities Did in Their Careers


When it comes to making career decisions, celebrities are not immune to making mistakes.

It is understandable when the average person makes a bad decision because, unlike celebrities, most of us do not have agents and managers and all sorts of assistants to guide us.

Why, then, do so many celebrities seem to falter in their judgment?

Sometimes the missteps are the result of a genuine accident or a slip of the tongue. Sometimes the miscalculations come about because their managers steer them wrong or simply aren’t up to the task of guiding a multimillion dollar public career through the rough patches.

Sometimes, however, it seems as if the mistakes are deliberate or the result of self-sabotage. But that isn’t all of it.

Another big difference between celebrities and the rest of us is that our errors are a source of widespread public interest. When we make mistakes, news of our gaffes only spreads as far as immediate friends and family. When we screw up, it almost never gets media coverage.

Celebrities live in a world where their every move is of public interest. When they do make a mistake, everyone knows about it and has an opinion. Here is a look at the ten worst things celebrities have done to damage their careers. You’ll find that some of the rumors are true, some are false, and some are far worse than you ever imagined.

1. Tom Selleck Turned Down Indiana Jones

America loves Tom Selleck. From nostalgic flicks like “Quigley Down Under” and “Magnum, P.I.” to his stint on “Friends” and his starring role on “Blue Bloods,” we just can’t seem to get enough of Tom Selleck.

Heck, we even find his cheesy mustache appealing. But would it surprise you to learn that Tom turned down the opportunity to star in “Indiana Jones?”

The rumor has been, for a number of years, that Selleck turned down the franchise when it was offered to him. It is also rumored that the decision not to star in “Indiana Jones” combined with the end of the hit series “Magnum, P.I.” to damage Selleck’s career and lessen his visibility for several years.

Fortunately, Tom Selleck didn’t disappear from the public spotlight after allegedly turning down Indiana Jones, though his flame did seem to burn a little less brightly for a time. So why did he turn down the offer?

In March of 2014, Tom Selleck made an appearance on “The Late Show” in which he revealed that it was CBS that prevented him from starring in “Indiana Jones.” The network feared that the movie role would interfere with Selleck’s hit TV series and thus exerted contractual measures that prevented him from accepting the offer. It was CBS’s decision, and not Tom’s, that led to him working as a handyman in Hawaii after the “Magnum, P.I.” series came to a close.

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87 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. John Crandall June 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    We were all better off for it. Tom Selleck did great in the path he chose and Indiana Jones was great with Harrison Ford. If Selleck had done Indy, we would have lost out on both Magnum P.I and Indiana Jones being as good as they were. That’s like saying, oh Tom Selleck could have starred in Die Hard. Well sure, but it worked out pretty good how it was. Not every role is for every actor.

  2. meatwad_SSuppet June 1, 2014 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Chevy Chase “spent years on SNL”?? One year.

  3. ThomasXxs May 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I don’t know exactly what Howard Stern said about Pete Best. But it’s well known that Pete Best did not voluntarily leave the Beatles, and he clearly wanted to remain as the band’s drummer. But the other 3 members (John, Paul and George) had instructed their new manager (Brian Epstein) to dismiss Pete Best, so that they could hire their newly preferred drummer, Ringo Starr, who then played for another Liverpool band. Ringo had previously played with the Beatles on a few nights when Pete Best was out sick, and the others liked both Ringo’s personality and his playing style.

    Over time, the 3 original Beatles had come to think that Pete Best’s drumming style was much too heavy and one-dimensional, and they thought that Ringo’s lighter touch with his more subtle and varied styles of drumming would fit in better with their songs. And what may have been the “final straw” was when their new EMI Producer, George Martin, had concluded that the Beatles should record their first album using a professional “session” drummer, since he felt that Pete Best was simply not good enough to play on the Beatle’s debut record album. Martin said nothing about firing Pete Best, and he made no objection about Best continuing to play live performances. But the Beatles had a growing respect for Martin’s musical judgement, and they thought that this opinion on recording confirmed their very own doubts about Pete Best as their drummer.

    There may have also been personality issues like Best being much more of a loner than the others, his refusal to adopt the new Beatles “mop-top” hairstyle, and his sometimes upstaging of Paul McCartney as the “cute one” and the favorite of their female fans.

  4. DCENT1969 May 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    What young teen age male didn’t love Tom Selleck in Magnum PI? He was running around in a sweet sports car with beautiful woman solving problems with a 45 pistol in his waistband! I thought he was about the best male actor and to say a role model of a lot of young males but in 1993 he did a movie called In and Out where he made a out with Kevin Kline and I haven’t watched one more movie or show with him in it since and won’t! I was so disappointed that he made that decision to play that role. I know that doesn’t follow with our politically correct stance on things now a days but dammit can’t we look up to anyone now a days and not have to be subject to all the gay agenda?

  5. Stu May 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Smart choice for Wahlberg.

  6. Floyd D Barber May 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Molly Ringwald/Pretty Woman. Two phrases that don’t belong near each other

  7. RN May 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Chevy Chase did not spend “years” as a cast member of SNL. He was on the first season and did not, in fact, even finish the season out, leaving the show prematurely.

  8. PatrickS March 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    OMG ! As much as I like and respect Tom Selleck in his past and current roles, the subject of the producer’s decision that resulted in him missing ‘Indiana Jones’ and continuing on to other opportunities is to presume that Tom Selleck would have been better than Harrison Ford in that role and quite honestly, I am not ready to make that assumption. The chemistry in that movie was perfect and Tom has a different persona than Harrison which might have put a different flavor on the vulnerability needed for some of the scenes. I see the paths for these two actors as blessings for them both and ones that have rewarded us with awesome performances. “We don’t need to pigeon hole either one as having misstepped in their career paths, they made their decisions on the facts and commitments that existed and moved on with the best intentions. It must have been the BEST decision because they are both very successful.

  9. Rhonda Reid February 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Or if he hadn’t become so outspoken about the NRA…

    • Floyd D Barber May 23, 2014 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Being outspoken is a good thing though.

    • redbirds May 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      that’s the reason i don’t watch any movies or tv-series with tom selleck anymore. and of course of charlton heston. i still remember him in an interview after littleton. all he would talk about was how important it is that everyone should be able to own a gun. he is a sick bastard. glad i live in germany where we have strict gun laws.

  10. Don & Cristina Smith February 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Tom Selleck is one of my favorite all time actors. Besides Magnum PI he has made many good films. One of my favorites was “Quigley down under.”

  11. Tony Paulauskis February 22, 2014 at 4:19 am - Reply

    Cage went bankrupt by his own stupid spending, not because of his accountant. He bought 7 homes and generally spent like a billionaire.

  12. TimSingleton February 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Whatever. I am glad Mark Wahlberg turned down Chokeme on the Mountain. I suspect Heath Ledger could not deal with the aftermath of acting gay. It had to have had an effect on the man.
    Heath Ledger was an extraordinarily gifted actor seems to me. I was horrified when I found he was in that movie.

    • ThomasXxs May 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      What if MW was really holding out for that Matt Damon role in the recent Liberace’ film? You could get really horrified about that too! And last time I checked, Matt Damon was quite healthy and still with us. Remember that they call it “acting”, and not “being”.

  13. d storm February 21, 2014 at 2:47 am - Reply

    How did Selleck dodge the draft and Vietnam?

  14. glenp827 February 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    glad that little weasel TR left Greys

  15. glenp827 February 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Lohan would have ruined anything she got being drunk and drugged out

    • ThomasXxs May 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Right, only totally clean and sober actors ever make it in Hollywood (not!). What planet have you been living on??

  16. Otto Misso February 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Kind of a stretch with Mark Wahlberg there… He seems to be doing pretty good for himself.

  17. scott206 February 17, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    4) Chevy Chase could be re-written to say “Quit being funny after 1982”.

  18. cmc February 16, 2014 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Sorry, i cant fault Mark W for his decision no matter how successful BRoke Back Mountain is. Creepy movie!

  19. njersey5389 February 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Turning down jobs are the worst things these people have done?

  20. GuyinVA February 15, 2014 at 2:18 am - Reply

    I’m glad Chris O’Donnel turned down Titanic. I’d much rather see Kate Winslet naked.

  21. KewlDawg February 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Yes, these actors turned down a role in a movie, that went on to be great hit.

  22. KewlDawg February 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Yes, these actors turned down a role in a movie, that went on to be great hit.

    However, we don’t know if they didn’t turn down the role, and actually starred in the movie, that the movie would have still been as good and still been as great a hit

  23. MikeB59 February 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Did Selleck really say no to Indiana Jones or was it because of a scheduling conflict?

  24. cal10pilot February 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    he has done just fine

  25. LBC February 13, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Tom Selleck not on top of his game now? He is in a very successful television show, and his iconic roll as Magnum will ALWAYS be remembered. The last Indian Jones movie? Total crap. I think he has done just fine for himself!

  26. Pizza the Hutt February 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Selleck would not be as good as Ford sorry

  27. Chuck Heston February 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Mark Wahlberg made the best decision by not doing Brokeback Mountain! the movie was pure crap!

  28. Mike Alan February 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Brokeback mountain most critically acclaimed? Yes by the liberal ,media pushing their agenda. I did not see the movie nor do I have any interest in seeing it. However I did like The Birdcage and Torch Song Trilogy, so you cant scream like little pussies that I am homophobic.

    • Silvia May 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      The Bird cage with Robin Williams was very well done , Living in Miami I have been to that area and an interesting and expensive area.

    • sgostnell July 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      “Philadelphia” (Tom Hanks was illegally fired from law firm) was a great movie about aids and gay rights.

  29. BreatheDeep February 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Kevin Spacey won an Oscar because he’s a fabulous actor. Chevy Chase isn’t in the same league.

  30. WordsMatter00 February 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Good call Mr. Wahlberg, good call.

  31. None February 11, 2014 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Who would Lindsay Lohan been in The Hangover?!?

    • Brad February 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      The stripper role played by Heather Graham. While it was a successful movie, I don’t think it would have done that much for Lohan. It’s not like Graham became an above the title actress after the movie came out.

  32. Joe February 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Not sure if Molly Ringwald would have been as good fit for Pretty Woman, because she was seen as a “nice girl”. Julia Roberts wasn’t well known enough at the time, for people to have preconceived notions about her, and also, was just right for the part.
    I think Molly dropping out of the scene, had more to do with her shifting from career to being a parent.
    Thank goodness, she finally “gave us a look” in the film “Malicious”, before she switched to full time mom! She had that hot, but innocent look, and a real purdy mouth!

  33. Joe February 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Mark Wahlberg didn’t mess up by not doing Brokeback Mountain. There’s nothing wrong with his career! Plus, it could have been bad luck. The great Heath Ledger is no longer with us.

  34. bpai99 February 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Let’s not forget about Sean Connery turning down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. They wanted him to badly they offered him a percentage of the box office which would have amounted to nearly $500M if Connery had taken it. He then turned down The Matrix, too.

  35. Joe Public February 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Thank God Chevy turned down “American Beauty” he would have stunk it up. Kevin Spacey made the movie.

  36. Sick Of The Left February 10, 2014 at 3:17 am - Reply

    Wahlberg hasn’t been hurt by any moves in his career….he’s on top or close to on top of the box office ….I’m glad he didn’t get that role….what I’ve seen of that movie is disgusting…it’s one of the few I had to stop watching….

    • jleesquire March 13, 2014 at 12:37 am - Reply

      I saw it, unfortunately. Very depressing movie.

    • PatrickS March 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      I am also glad that Mark Wahlberg did not take that role. That movie came and went and now has a stigma of perversion attached to it. The only thing still supporting it is the movie industry profiteers and the screen actors guild, both of which, still have a stake in promoting controversial subject matter.

  37. sc February 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    rjschwarz is right. Could be another reason Magnum came to an end at 8 seasons…he refused to resign his contract. He would have been a knock out Indiana and I don’t blame him for being upset. I luv Tom Sellick!!

  38. Luke February 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    There comes a point in every human actor’s life when they will turn down a part for personal reasons. Brokeback Mountain may be have been a “critical success” but it doesn’t seem to have made a huge change in the careers of anyone associated with it. I strongly suspect that Wahlberg looked at the script, decided (or someone correctly told him) that it wouldn’t have any long term benefit to him so he turned it down. Either that or it personally didn’t sit well with him. Regardless of which case it was he seems to be content with his current position and that is probably better than wildly rich with a drug addiction.

  39. britain February 8, 2014 at 7:44 am - Reply

    LOL, yeah Brokeback Mountain sure did a lot for Heath Ledger.

  40. britain February 8, 2014 at 7:42 am - Reply

    There’s nothing that could hurt Lindsey Lohan at this point.

  41. Mapache February 8, 2014 at 2:44 am - Reply

    Mark Walberg and Heath Ledger is dead….who chose wisely in his life choices?

    • ThisGuy February 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Yes, it was the character development of Ennis del Mar that put him in the grave!

  42. Citizenright February 6, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Broke back Mountain was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of our generation? Oh, right, let’s not write a story that doesn’t mention homo- sexuality, or chide an actor for turning down the role…

    • RobertNorwood February 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      One Creeeepeeee movie.

      • Terry Wood February 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm - Reply

        What was creepy about it? It depeicted two confused boys living on a Mountain, who were horney.

        • sgostnell July 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm -

          The Sodomy scenes were quite creepy.

    • WordsMatter00 February 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Exactly, gotta get the Gay cred. in there.

    • PatrickS March 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Critically acclaimed by who?… a society of screen actors guild members who are sexually tolerant? and, by the way, are known for promoting their work, no matter how rebellious, gratuitous, or shocking the social message is. There are no limits to what a studio will do to entice the public to spend money to see their productions including prey on the innocent values we all possess like: Love of our fellow man, sexual curiosity, freedom of social exploration, appreciation of dynamic cinematography etc.. Let’s not forget, the movie industry is about making money and if it takes an earthquake to rattle the foundations of social tradition and people buy it out of curiosity or perversion, the profit promotes more of that same activity. It’s an example of the formula that is bringing America down…. it’s called ‘the ends justifies the means’ and in business and life, if we ignore the means by which we define success, we are doomed..

  43. Grady Philpott February 4, 2014 at 3:54 am - Reply

    This is nonsense. Would Chevy Chase have been as good in “American Beauty” as Kevin Spacey? Somehow, I doubt it. Without Spacey, it’s plausible that “American Beauty” would have been a bomb.

    • Roban February 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Exactly my sentiments! Come on! Chevy Chase has never done a good movie. Maybe he is WHY they weren’t good. He isn’t even funny, and he’s supposed to be a comedian. Who ever it was that offered him the role must have been out of his mind.

      • ThisGuy February 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm - Reply

        Chase’s movie career should have started and ended with Fletch.

        • just me February 24, 2014 at 2:55 am -

          Obviously you didn’t see the original Vacation and Christmas Vacation movies…he is absolutely hilarious in those…some of his other movies he was not very funny in, but those 2 are so funny that I have watched them multiple times

  44. GortRules February 4, 2014 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Not sure Brokeback Mountain really did anything for anyone’s career. Most people haven’t seen it…or have any desire to see it. If it got Ledger his Joker gig in The Dark Night…then it was probably worth it for him. But I don’t see Jake baby getting all that much for his role in the movie. In fact, if you asked 100 people off the street about the movie, you’d be lucky to get half to remember it was a film…and probably less than 20% would be able to place either male lead. It just wasn’t that big a deal for the vast majority of people. It only made a little over $80M in the US…which is peanuts. And if Molly Ringwald had decided to take the part of Vivian in Pretty Woman…no one would know because the film wouldn’t have been anything close to what it was with Roberts. In other words, it would have flopped.

    • RobertNorwood February 7, 2014 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Jeezus – Broke Back Mountain. I watched some of it but it was creepy, desperate, and depressing. One bad effin’ movie in my book.

    • Scott Johnson February 8, 2014 at 7:53 am - Reply

      Really? I’m going to guess that you just have a problem with a movie about homosexuals. Brokeback Mountain was hugely successful with audiences (87 out of 100 score on Metacritic, indicating “Universal acclaim”), critics (87% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes), and awards groups (71 wins and an additional 52 nominations, including winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture and Academy Award nominations for both male leads).

      • richbliss February 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

        Yes, everyone who does not agree with homosexuality is a homophobic. I never saw the movie and never will, so that the f . . . does that make me?

        • $19578021 February 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm -

          scott is just displaying typical liberal tolerance, they only tolerate your opinion if it is the same as theirs.

    • Nan February 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      And Mark Wahlberg is a practicing Catholic so promoting a homosexual lifestyle wasn’t an option for him.

      • kurtvonhauser February 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

        “Promoting the homosexual lifestyle?” Lifestyle? Being a married cowboy? You are a total ass.

  45. ColoMom February 2, 2014 at 5:48 am - Reply

    As tired as I am of seeing Ryan Seacrest in every other program on TV Brian Dunkleman stank on Idol & I was glad he wasn’t back the second season. I rather think his not returning wasn’t his decision.

  46. PawzUp February 2, 2014 at 5:29 am - Reply

    I think Kevin Spacey and Julia Roberts both were the right people for those parts!

  47. PawzUp February 2, 2014 at 5:26 am - Reply

    I think Kevin Spacey was the right man for that role!

  48. Phoenix Justice February 2, 2014 at 1:32 am - Reply

    I don’t think Mark Wahlberg could have pulled off the roll of Ennis, mainly because he can’t play any roll but that of Mark Wahlberg.

    • ThisGuy February 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      “Hey Jack, say hi to your mother for me!”

    • smorbie May 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      He was quite good in The Departed

  49. Sunlight and Moonshine January 28, 2014 at 2:46 am - Reply

    I’m pretty sure Chris O’Donell didn’t turn down Titanic. The casting director decided he was too old for the part.

    • TIMedWork February 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Had he gotten the part, would the Titanic have sunk for a second time?

  50. $2861607 January 14, 2014 at 3:34 am - Reply

    Tom Selleck was contractually forbidden to be in Indian Jones because he was tied into shooting Magnum PI. Not really his mistake.

    • kycatfan February 7, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

      That is true. He wanted the role but couldn’t take it because of Magnum P.I.

    • harrisonsolo February 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      That’s right. He was already hired by Lucas and Spielberg. Then CBS stepped in and said, “No, you can’t have him!” Listen to Spielberg talk about it in interviews. He seems to still have a bitter taste for how the network treated him. (Of course, it needs to be said, Harrison Ford is one of his lifelong friends. Obviously Spielberg doesn’t regret that friendship.)

      • $2861607 February 13, 2014 at 4:24 am - Reply

        Thing is this should go down as the Producers of Magnums dumbest career move because they wouldn’t free him up because of the shooting schedule but then they delayed the shooting schedule for other reasons. If he’d shot Raiders he’d have been a movie star at TV star prices.

        • omegaman May 27, 2014 at 12:52 am -

          Pure uninformed conjecture, dufus.

        • $2861607 May 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm -

          From the article we are discussing::
          “In March of 2014, Tom Selleck made an appearance on “The Late Show” in which he revealed that it was CBS that prevented him from starring in “Indiana Jones.” The network feared that the movie role would interfere with Selleck’s hit TV series and thus exerted contractual measures that prevented him from accepting the offer. It was CBS’s decision, and not Tom’s.”
          So its conjecture to say it was the producers of Magnum but clearly not Sellecks fault.which was my point. Read, be more specific, and leave the name calling for the playground.

    • PatrickS March 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Agreed… this is not even an issue and Tom Selleck should not have to defend a decision he didn’t have an opportunity to make. As much as I respect Tom Selleck and his talent, I am not convinced that Indiana Jones would have been better with him. I am glad for decisions Tom Selleck made that have resulted in his phenomenal success today.

    • Silvia May 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      I loved Magnum PI , It was funny and all the characters were great.

      • tayt May 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm - Reply

        So did I, but Selleck had proven he wasn’t a big screen type with Quiggly and Lassiter. It’s possible that he would have ruined Raiders. No one can really say that Raiders would have been anywhere near as successful with anyone other than Harrison Ford in it.

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