10 Celebrity Comebacks

The fell off the map—and/or from grace— only to beat the odds and make it back to the top.

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Patrick Dempsey

 In ’80s teen flicks, he was typecast as the geek. But when he landed the role of a Grey’s Anatomy neurosurgeon, he graduated from scrawny nerd to medical McDreamy.

Jeremy Montemagni/ Everett Collection

Drew Barrymore

At six, she helped E.T. phone home; by 13, she was phoning rehab. Fast-living teen becomes successful actress and producer—that
is a Hollywood rarity.

Gregorio T. Binuya/Everett Collection

Ben Affleck

 His professional cred was shredded when tabloids feasted on his romance with J.Lo. Now he’s a married dad and the acclaimed director of The Town.

Tina Gill / PR Photos

Betty White

 Eighteen years after The Golden Girls ended, she hosted SNL by popular demand; landed a new series, Hot in Cleveland; and got a book deal. Hey, she’s only 89.

Touchstone Television/ courtesy Everett Collection

Alec Baldwin

The Emmy- winning star of 30 Rock has said he’s “deeply indebted” to show creator Tina Fey, who helped resurrect his career after a string of ’90s flops and one ugly divorce.

Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

Robert Downey Jr.

He bounced between prison and rehab for years before committing to sobriety in 2003. Now he can say “I am Iron Man” both onscreen and off.

David Gabber / PR Photos

Winona Ryder

Girl’s career was interrupted in 2001, when she was arrested for shoplifting. But her performance as a fading ballerina in Black Swan has won career-reviving raves.

RD / Roe / Retna Digital

Victoria Beckham

Rather than join the ranks of Yesterday’s Pop Stars, this former Spice Girl parlayed her “Posh” status into a fashion empire. (Oprah and SJP have worn her designs.)

Solarpix / PR Photos

Mickey Rourke

This notoriously hot-tempered star came back strong in The Wrestler, earning an Oscar nom for his portrait of a has-been who wants one more taste of fame.

Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

Ellen DeGeneres

 After she came out as gay and her sitcom was canceled, “my perception was, ‘Everyone hates me,’ ” she’s said. These days the talk queen is dancing to a different tune.

FOX / Courtesy Everett Collection

First Published Fri, 2011-03-11 15:38

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