By Scott T. Sterling 

In the world of movie acting, earning an Academy Award is considered the Holy Grail. The ultimate recognition of an onscreen performance that now exists among the all-time greats, an Oscar win is typically looked at as a transformative experience capable of elevating the recipient to the A-list, where big-budget projects and top-notch scripts become the norm.

Related: Who Will Win Best Actress at the 2015 Oscars?

In reality, however, winning an Oscar is far from a golden ticket. Throughout the award’s history are examples of actors who’ve found themselves at the podium accepting the honor before tumbling into an abyss of obscurity, middling roles and the nagging question: what happened?

For some, the film projects they accepted turned out to be flops, while for others, the pressure was just too great. A few (such as The Killing Fields‘ Haing S. Ngor) had other priorities.

While it’s never really over the unpredictable world of Hollywood (since everyone does love a comeback), here’s a look at some Academy Award winners who if only for a moment, lost the plot.

Read the list on


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