Celebs Who Couldn’t Move Past Their Most Well-Known Roles


We have some celebrities who played our most favorite characters on television or in movies.  And, though, these actors tried to move forward, to go on with their lives and play another part, they got stuck.  Even if they did manage to land another role, it would always be typecast as something from their past.  Here are 15 celebrities who couldn’t move past their most well-known roles.

1. Jennifer Aniston in Friends

Friends is where Jennifer Aniston essentially got her start– and what seems like her finish too.  Sure, she’s done other movies, where she’s constantly cast as the relatable romantic interest.  She’s represents every average-pretty girl out there.  Because there isn’t anything truly remarkable about her, she remains a Rachel Green forever.


2. Alfonso Ribeiro in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Ribeiro was comic genius next to Will Smith and the pair worked seamlessly together.  But, because of his iconic role as Carlton, Ribeiro had a hard time landing gigs as anything but the nerdy friend.


3. Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid

Macchio is at his best in The Karate Kid. He’s sharp, witty and leaves us wanting more.  Maybe after that movie, directors couldn’t see more than a silhouette of him doing karate by the ocean.  Even when he came back for a revival, it just wasn’t the same.  That spark in his eyes was gone.


4. Steve Buscemi in Billy Madison

He always seems to play the awkward weirdo.  It seems that his white trash looks, mixed with dirty clothing, stringy hair and a crazed look in his eye is enough for him to play the creepy weirdos.  It might not be the most sought-after role in Hollywood, but, hey, someone’s got to do it.


5. Helena Bonham Carter in Harry Potter

She pretty much gets whatever crazy role she wants in Tim Burton films (um, she’s married to him) and her typecasting went so well, she landed a huge role as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series. She plays a wild, mad, crazy woman in several movies, including Sweeny Todd.


6. Samuel L Jackson in Avengers

Samuel L. Jackson’s most popular roles always include him being a badass. You’ll usually find him fighting bad guys and shooting big gun in all his movies– “Pulp Fiction” to “Snakes On a Plane” and the “Avengers” series.

Samuel L Jackson image Nick Fury
Samuel L Jackson image Nick Fury

7. Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty 

Morgan Freeman is everybody’s favorite wise old man.  Ever since he played Red in “Shawshank Redemption,” he’s been thought of as Hollywood’s Yoda.  He even played the role of God in “Bruce Almighty.”


8. Robert Pattinson in Twilight series

So, we know Rob Pattinson has got the brooding, magically-in-love thing down, but now what?  He’s definitely feeling the pressure after rushing to super stardom in Twilight, now fans are waiting to see what else he’ll make of himself.


9. Christopher Lee in Lord of the Rings

Christopher Lee is used to playing the crazy villain, in all the movies he’s starred in.  From “Lord of the Rings,” to the “Star Wars” series, and even, “Dracula,” he always got that crazed look in his eye, like he’s about to lose and kill everybody.  People just can’t get enough of it…and he can’t seem to get past it when getting roles in Hollywood.


10. Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry

His famous lines are repeated these days by kids who don’t even know where it came from– “Make my day,” and “Do I feel lucky?  Well, do ya, punk?”  Clint Eastwood always played the gristly gun-wielding bada$$ cop-types in his movies.

11. Michelle Rodriguez in The Fast and the Furious

If a director is looking for a tough girl, who’s also hot and knows how to fight, he knows he’s found her in Michelle Rodriguez. The actress has been in “Girlfight,” “Avatar,” “Resident Evil,” and “The Fast and the Furious.”


12. Michael Cera in Juno 

After Michael Cera first found fame in “Arrested Development,” as an awkward indie teen, he’s been the awkward teen in a whole bunch of movies like, “Juno,” “Superbad,” “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.”


13. Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts is one of America’s sweethearts, who plays roles usually consisting of a stubborn woman who learns to show her emotions and eventually gets what she really wants out of life.  You can see this in films like, “Steel Magnolias,” “Pretty Woman,” and “Runaway Bride.”

JULIA ROBERTS Character(s): Vivian Ward Film 'PRETTY WOMAN' (1990) Directed By GARRY MARSHALL 23 March 1990 CTL36712 Allstar Collection/TOUCHSTONE **WARNING** This photograph can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above film. A Mandatory Credit To TOUCHSTONE is Required. For Printed Editorial Use Only, NO online or internet use. 0511z@yx

14. William Shatner in Star Trek

William Shatner will always be known by Trekkies as Captain Kirk in Star Trek. He’s never been fully able to move past that role and so he’s just gone with it, going to Comic Cons and meeting fans.


15. Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock

Alec Baldwin is typically seen as the boss who’s mostly intimidating and mean in a lot of roles.  But, this is seen especially so in “30 Rock,” “The Aviator,” and “The Hunt for Red October. 

30 ROCK -- "Part 1: Hogcock! Part 2: Last Lunch" Episode 712/713 -- Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy -- (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC)