Top Ten Celebrities This Decade Who Overcame Controversy
The center of all things smarmy and controversial.
Celebrities have money and fame and are constantly surrounded by controversy. Many of them never make it back from a serious legal problem or a major embarrassment. Ask Mel Gibson.
Others, however, find their footing and manage to right the ship before going under. Some do it behind the strength of their talents while others are just so well liked, it's hard to get anyone to hate them.
The last ten years has been chock full of celebrity insanity, so we put together this little list for you to show that some celebrities really can bounce back from adversity.
10. Michelle Rodriguez
The Lost star has had all sorts of run-ins with the law including two brief stints in jail, nearly all related to alcohol problems. It seemed like every time you looked at TMZ, you saw a picture of Rodriguez.
But the Texas-born actress has been free from legal snafus lately and her career seems to have been resurrected with roles in Fast & Furious and the blockbuster Avatar.
9. Christian Bale
"OH, good for you!" Christian Bale's epic meltdown on the set of Terminator Salvation for which he later apologized and called himself a "punk" didn't damage his standing as an actor including roles in the critically acclaimed film The Fighter and a new Batman installment on the way.
8. Colin Farrell
Doesn't everyone just expect Farrell to get into trouble? From sex tapes to a spectacular marriage flame-out after four months to harassing phone-sex workers, the Irish bad boy seems built for mayhem. Despite all the controversy, Farrell continues to get plenty of work and even earned a Golden Globe for his work on In Bruges
7. Russell Crowe
Not a scene from an episode of Law and Order.
Crowe has come a long way since Virtuosity. Yikes! But, his success has not come without some bumps along the way including a 2005 arrest for throwing a phone at a hotel employee who wouldn't help him make a phone call. Crowe's altercation didn't slow him down. He managed to clean up his image and has appeared in films that have brought him both monetary success and critical acclaim.
6. Vanessa Hudgens
The Disney High School Musical teen star might be best known online for leaked naked photos (very NSFW!) intended for her boyfriend that were stolen from her phone and posted on the web.
To her credit, she owned the situation, admitted what she had done and apologized. Since, she has continued to work both as an actress and singer earning MTV Movie and Teen Choice Awards. 5. Morgan Freeman
Jerry Lee Lewis married his teenage cousin. Woody Allen married the adopted daughter of his long time ex, Mia Farrow. Somehow, Morgan Freeman seems the creepiest. The incredibly popular actor of films like The Shawshank Redemption divorced his wife to begin a relationship with, get this, her granddaughter. The couple has even discussed having a child together. Ew!
Despite that, Freeman continues to be a wildly popular actor appearing most recently in the movie Red.
4. Alec Baldwin
Sometimes, people do stupid things. The most successful Baldwin brother is one of those people. In 2007, he called his left his daughter a brutal message calling her a "thoughtless little pig." Unfortunately for him, his daughter was familiar with how to use the internet and the call was posted online.
Regardless of the outcry against him, Baldwin continues to have tremendous success winning multiple awards for his role as Jack Donaghy.
3. Kanye West
Few comedians have been lucky enough to have the kind of one-liners West is famous for. During the Hurricane Katrina benefit concert on NBC, West blurted out "George Bush doesn't care about black people." In 2009, he burst on stage during the MTV Video Music Awards interrupting Taylor Swift by saying, "Imma let you finish." Even his Twitter apology to Swift ranked as one of the top Tweets of that year.
Controversy or not, West's latest album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has appeared on many critics' top albums of the year lists and he has been nominated for yet another Grammy award.
2. Britney Spears
It's hard to imagine that the former Disney star and, later, sex symbol who seemed to have it all would freak out, shave her head and be committed to a psych ward. Okay, maybe it isn't so crazy to imagine with someone like Spears, but the fact remains that she is one of the most successful pop stars in American music history.
Since her freak out, she became the youngest female artist to have five albums debut at number one and the only Soundscan-era artist to have four records debut with more than half a million copies sold.
1. Michael Vick
Honestly, Hair Balls doesn't even know what to say about Vick. The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback was blessed with incredible athletic gifts, but those also led him to laziness off the field. While he was a very good football player, he was never a great quarterback. All that changed when he was convicted of animal abuse and sent to prison.
Three years later, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, became one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and is thought to be a strong contender for Most Valuable Player. To go from prison to the top of the world in three years might be the most astounding comeback in the history of sports. No matter what you think of his despicable acts off the field, the man is a beast on it.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.