8 Actors Whose Careers Were Ruined By ‘Lost’

Whether you never want to debate Lost’s ambiguous ending or hear the words “smoke monster” ever again, it’s undeniable that the show was a cultural touchstone that launched many careers, including those of producer Damon Lindelof and actress Evangeline Lilly. Lost had a huge cast that was full of veteran character actors as well as complete unknowns, most of whom were able to parlay their time on the mysterious island as a stepping stone to landing steady work. But others struggled to find another flash in the pan, or even just a blatant did-it-only-for-the-paycheck gig, for that matter. Here are the castaways from Lost who are still in career purgatory. Or are they?


Having now completed a second long-running series, with Party of Five already under his belt, Matthew Fox was a well-known actor who had the luxury of being picky with future projects. And it was obvious that he had an eye toward making the leap to the big screen. Unfortunately, both Vantage Point and Speed Racer—both of which he completed during Lost’s run—underperformed at the box office. Then he played the villain in that Alex Cross reboot. You know, the one where they replaced Morgan Freeman with Tyler Perry. That would be like doing a Fight Club sequel with Jason Biggs as Tyler Durden. Anyone involved with a project like that is going down with the ship, and even Fox’s clear dedication to the role (which he got insanely ripped for) couldn’t save him from Madea’s touch.


Josh Holloway was the other strong-jawed male lead on Lost, and he too seemed poised for leading man work. Instead, he sort of limped along with B-movie after B-movie including Battle of the Year, which was literally just Dangerous Minds with break dancing. Starring Chris Brown. That’s right, Sawyer went from being the complex anti-hero of Lost to being the down-on-his-luck former basketball coach taking on a hardscrabble multi-cultural crew of “b-boys” as they dance their way to a breaking championship. Seriously. So, it’s actually kind of amazing that he did anything after that, and as of this writing, he’s starring in some type of post-apocalyptic thriller show for Amazon Originals called Colony. We haven’t seen it yet, but our fingers are crossed for it to include break dancing in some way.


Probably best known for playing the sadistic prison guard Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile, Doug Hutchison also appeared in seven episodes of Lost. Actually, that previous statement probably should have started: “Probably best known for marrying 16-year-old Courtney Stodden when he was 51, Doug Hutchison…” So, yeah, he did that just after his stint on Lost in 2011, which might explain the three year gap in acting work, while he was probably waiting for everyone to forget about his teenage bride. Or who knows, maybe they just took a really long honeymoon while he considered his career options before settling on short films and small TV movie roles. Either way, we already wish we knew less about this whole situation.

Hurley’s mom has exactly four IMDb credits after Lost, which as of this writing works out to .067 acting jobs per year. That’s probably not setting any records, but one of her roles was Esperanza on HBO’s vastly underrated The Comeback. She played the housekeeper and was basically relegated to reaction shots, but wow did she nail them. She was seriously funny with hardly any material to work with, and for our money was every bit as good as Jim from The Office when it came to deadpanning the fourth wall.

Lost is easily the biggest credit on Arison Green’s resume, and even those six episodes that he appeared on weren’t exactly star-making. He was an Other, and his character’s brutal, neck-snapping death would serve as an unfortunate allegory to the real life actor’s career. In a post-Lost interview with Sam McPherson, a Wiki user, Green said he’s mostly working on projects with some friends. Translation: student films. He’s acting in student films now. Also, he’s giving interviews to Wiki contributors? Yeesh, it’s worse than we thought.

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John Terry has a long list of credits (63, to be precise) ranging all the way back to 1978 and including high-profile titles like Full Metal Jacket, ER, and 24. Then he played a disgraced surgeon on Lost. From there, he played a doctor on Trauma and a doctor on Brothers & Sisters, because according to Hollywood, apparently all medical professionals are just handsome, old white men. In the six years since Lost ended, Terry got exactly three jobs, so either nobody’s doing TV shows or movies about unrealistically handsome healthcare workers anymore, or that island put a curse on him.


Dustin Watchman had a brief run on Lost, then, six years later, starred in the board game-based flop, Battleship. Those are his only two acting credits. While we’re fully willing to concede that it’s way more likely that his experience on the movie Battleship was what torpedoed his acting career rather than Lost, Watchman has become somewhat of a spiritual guru, referring to himself as “Coach D” on his website. The site boasts the slogan “A leader without a title,” so he drank all the Kool-Aid. There’s no Kool-Aid left. He’s also a teacher and he’s written several eBooks, many of which he sells on behalf of charities, so maybe acting was never his calling in the first place. And now we feel kind of bad slamming his life coaching, because this guy seems genuinely interested in helping people and not just hanging around cushy TV sets his entire life.


Kimberley Joseph had been acting for over ten years, with recurring roles on many TV series, before landing the role of Cindy Chandler on Lost. It’s her final credit listed on IMDb, and while that could easily be construed as her career-killing role, Wikipedia tells a different story. During the several year gap between seasons in which the Cindy Chandler character disappeared, then reappeared, Kimberley Joseph became politically active in bringing awareness to the effects of soviet nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. Through photography, and even a documentary film, Joseph seems to have dedicated a large part of her life to a cause, which, like fellow Lost alum, Dustin Watchman, has dramatically changed her career trajectory. In all seriousness, even though the mysterious island seems to have derailed a few acting careers, it did send several people into philanthropic and charitable endeavors. That’s a claim very few other TV shows could ever make, but it still doesn’t make up for never telling how Hurley got his nickname. That’s still annoying.

Source: Looper

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