Oscar-Worthy Comebacks

Some celebs are best after years of fermenting
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 30, 2008 9:00 PM CST
Robert Downey Jr., second from left, stayed off the drugs long enough to score big at the box office in hits like "Tropic Thunder."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Some stars combust and others fizzle, but a few are reborn. Metromix honors the second wave:

  • The Wrestler was made for Mickey Rourke, the "one-time '80s sex symbol" turned professional boxer.
  • Drug habits wrote off Robert Downey Jr. until the Iron Man returned with back-to-back hits.
  • Dennis Hopper suffered Downey's blues for 15 years before re-emerging as pure evil in Blue Velvet.

  • Muscle man Jean-Claude Van Damme is surprisingly heartfelt in French film JCVD, about an action star's fall from fame.
  • Sly Stallone reinvented himself as a fat cop in Cop Land after Cliffhanger was anything but.
  • The urban cowgirl is back in Rachel Getting Married after a disappearance so long that a documentary was named Searching for Debra Winger.
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