10 Actors Who Won Oscars But Couldn't Recapture The Magic

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The Academy has spoken and Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer, Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep are the new recipients of the Best Actors and Actresses Oscars. But these lucky winners better be careful not to rest on their laurels for too long, because their next career step is just as important as their last winning role.

Call it the curse of the golden statue.

Countless Oscar winners have made missteps in their careers since winning their golden statues and have been dropped from Hollywood’s A-list. 

From those who resorted to TV after being ignored by Hollywood (Linda Hunt) to those who couldn’t pick a decent film if their lives depended on it (Cuba Gooding Jr.), we’ve compiled a list of the actors who couldn’t quite capture the magic of their Oscar-winning roles.

So watch out 2012 winners, you don’t want to end up like the group on this list.

Adrien Brody

In 2002, Adrien Brody planted a big smooch on Halle Berry during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in 'The Pianist.'

And that was the actor's last great performance on-screen.

Sure, Brody had his hand in Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris,' but small roles like that aren't getting him the gold again anytime soon.

Hilary Swank

In five years, Hilary Swank won two Best Actress Oscars for 'Boys Don't Cry' (1999) and 'Million Dollar Baby' (2004).

After appearing to be another Meryl Streep in-the-making, Swank turned to strange rom-coms and awful horror films. Her most recent film failure was the multi-star bummer 'New Year's Eve.'

Cuba Gooding Jr.

'Boat Trip' anyone?

Since winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Jerry Maguire' in 1996, Cuba Gooding Jr. has gone on to make a string of terrible films.

From 'Norbit' to 'Snow Dogs' and everything in between, Gooding Jr. has one or two decent films on his résumé that do nothing to offset his struggling post-Oscar career.

F. Murray Abraham

F. Murray Abraham won the Best Actor for 1984's 'Amadeus' playing the famous composer Antonio Salieri.

But since then, the most exciting movie in the actor's credits is 'Muppets from Space.'

Jamie Foxx

In 2004, Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for 'Ray' and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 'Collateral.'

But since then, the comedian-turned-actor's biggest hit is 2011's 'Horrible Bosses.'

Olympia Dukakis

She may have won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 'Moonstruck' in 1987, but Dukakis hasn't done much since.

Other than appearing in the '90s fan-favourite franchise 'Look Who's Talking' and the Oscar bait-y film 'Away From Her,' Dukakis has had a quiet career in recent years.

Brenda Fricker

Brenda Fricker won Best Supporting Actress for her powerful turn as the mother of a man with cerebral palsy in the Daniel Day Lewis film 'My Left Foot' (1989).

But Fricker's most memorable role since?

Playing the 'Bird Lady' in 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.'

Well, that and playing Polly in Glenn Close's Oscar-nominated passion project this year, 'Albert Nobbs.'

Linda Hunt

Linda Hunt played a Chinese Australian dwarf man in 1982's 'The Year of Living Dangerously' and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Sounds like we now know where Robert Downey Jr. got the idea.

But since her gender-bending role, Hunt has had a less-than-successful movie career.

Luckily she's moved on to the small screen and has enjoyed great recognition on shows like 'NCIS: Los Angeles.'

Louis Gosset Jr.

After winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1982's 'An Officer and a Gentleman,' Louis Gosset Jr. has stayed away from most 'Oscar-bait' movies.

Since his Oscar appearance, Gosset Jr. has continued to have a career playing bit roles in film and TV.

Mercedes Ruehl

After working for over a decade, Mercedes Ruehl won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1991's 'The Fisher King.'

So what does one do after winning an Academy Award? In Ruehl's case, a lot of made-for-TV movies.

Ruehl is now best known for her Lifetime-style films, but lately she's gone back to the stage (where she started) and is resurrecting her successful theatre career.

Hopefully this year's winners don't have these actors' luck.

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