WatchMojo

Login Now!

OR   Sign in with Google   Sign in with Facebook
advertisememt
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Joe Shetina
Short but iconic, these actors are all legends. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the movie stars whose performances left a big impression over a relatively short period of time. Our countdown includes Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, John Belushi, and more!

#10: Luise Rainer

0 0

Though her name is mostly known among classic movie buffs, Luise Rainer was a trailblazer of the 1930s. The German-born actress came to America in 1935, where she soon distinguished herself in heavily dramatic roles in “The Great Ziegfeld” and “The Good Earth.” She made history by becoming the first person to not only win two acting Oscars, but also became the first to win them back to back. After that, though, studio expectations and complications in her personal life stalled her career. Her film career was effectively over by the end of the decade, and despite going on to live well into the 21st century, she appeared in only three films between 1939 and 2003.

#9: John Belushi

0 0
Also in:

Top 10 John Wick Killstreaks

The Chicago-born improviser and comedian was a key part of the very first “Saturday Night Live” ensemble, but from there, his fame and talents catapulted him to movie stardom. His first bonafide starring role came in 1978’s raunchy college comedy, “Animal House.” He followed this up with what may be his most iconic role, that of “Joliet Jake” Blues in “The Blues Brothers,” a character he created for “SNL.” While he was also known for his physical comedy, Belushi’s personal life and substance use disorder were also widely publicized. In 1982, at the height of his fame, he passed away from an overdose.

#8: Mara Wilson

0 0
Also in:

¡Top 10 Miembros del Equipo CAPTADOS en Cámara en Momentos VERGONZOSOS!

For millennials of a certain age, few actors epitomize the media of our childhoods like former child star Mara Wilson. Her career, though short, includes a couple of the most nostalgia-laden movies of the 1990s. Her film debut, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” cast her as the onscreen daughter of comic master Robin Williams, but it may be her starring role as Matilda that forever embedded her in our hearts. By the time she was thirteen, she was done with film acting. Her last major film role was in the year 2000. Since then, she’s spoken and written about her experiences as a child star and made consistent appearances on podcasts and web series.

#7: Bruce Lee

0 0
Also in:

Top 10 Bruce Willis Movies

Though he had appeared in several films by the time he emigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong, Bruce Lee’s stardom didn’t come until the late 60s. His mythic status was helped by his premature death shortly after the making of what would be his most famous film, “Enter the Dragon.” He is remembered not just for his significant contributions to film, but to martial arts as a discipline. The mythic status of his death was compounded by his son Brandon’s death when he was just on the cusp of action stardom himself.

#6: River Phoenix

0 0

Some actors are so talented it’s scary. From his movie debut in the mid-80s, teen idol River Phoenix always had a haunted and hurt quality. But Phoenix’s choice of roles wasn’t relegated to mainstream properties. Despite his short career, his projects ranged from mainstream classics to indie darlings. Phoenix was a reliable dose of authenticity and raw power in every movie he appeared in. He died tragically and suddenly at the age of 23. His legacy lives on in his roles and in his brother, the acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix.

#5: Brittany Murphy

0 0

When she looked right at the camera and said, “You’re a virgin who can’t drive,” honestly, we felt it. Whether she was the eccentric best friend, the romantic lead, or the star, Brittany Murphy’s expressive eyes and vulnerability were astonishing to watch. Whether it was comedy or drama, she was a force. Between 1995 and 2009, she gave us so many iconic, meme-able, and downright heartbreaking movie moments. Though her mysterious death at the age of 32 may have overshadowed much of her work, it’s safe to say that with more time and more roles, she would be listed among the cinema greats.

#4: John Cazale

0 0
Also in:

Top 10 INSANE Stunts in John Wick Movies

If you’re going to make a leap to film acting, one of the greatest films of all time is a solid place to start. Although his career in the theater began in the late 1950s, John Cazale didn’t make his screen debut until he played Fredo Corleone in 1972’s “The Godfather.” Cazale’s subdued intensity and incredibly specific style were put to use in several great films of the 70s. Having starred in only five feature-length films, he also has the distinguished honor of having all of his films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. However, his career and life were cut short by lung cancer. His final film role was in the 1978 Best Picture winner “The Deer Hunter,” alongside his partner, Meryl Streep.

#3: Chadwick Boseman

0 0
Also in:

Top 10 Chadwick Boseman Movie Moments We Love

Just three short years before he was immortalized as T'Challa, this beloved actor broke through with his performance as the trailblazing baseball player Jackie Robinson. He followed this up with a spirited performance in the James Brown biopic “Get On Up.” From there, Chadwick Boseman became a hero in every sense. His philanthropy and revolutionary screen presence made him unforgettable. When he died of cancer in 2020, it was a massive blow to his fans and to the culture at large. His last completed film performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is a searing swan song, a reminder of his tremendous gifts and a memorial to all the performances we never got to see.

#2: Heath Ledger

0 0
Also in:

Heath Ledger Documentary Reveals RARE Tear-Jerking Home Video – The CineFiles Ep. 15

This Australian actor scored his first film credit with 1997’s “Blackrock,” but his breakthrough wouldn’t come until 1999. Heath Ledger was one of the industry’s biggest stars at the time of his death in 2008. Even excluding his last, Oscar-winning, character-defining performance as the Joker, this actor made a lasting impact. From the romantic lead of “10 Things I Hate About You” to his sensitive portrayal of a closeted cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain,” he redefined male movie stardom for the new millennium. That he did all this within a relatively short career span is a miracle all its own.

#1: James Dean

0 0
Also in:

James Dean: Biography of a Rebel Without A Cause

He made his debut as a lead in 1955, and by 1956, he was a fallen screen god. He only had three credited roles when he died at the height of his fame in a tragic car accident. Of all the actors featured on this list, his career was the shortest, and his image is probably the longest-lasting. James Dean became the poster boy for adolescent angst, and cemented the leather jacket-wearing tough guys that defined the now-clichéd image of 1950s masculinity. His roles as the tortured bad boys of “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant” paved the way for the emotional, vulnerable, and volatile leading men that followed after him. Who’s your favorite movie actor whose star burned bright and fast? Tell us in the comments.

Comments
advertisememt