It’s frustrating sometimes to think that some actors that might have had a great time in Hollywood didn’t show up again after their big debut, or following the biggest role of their career. To be reasonable, some of them might have faltered in a big way and never really found another role that would suit them, while others might have found other interests to take up their time. But the really annoying part is wondering whether or not they could have done any better had they managed to stick with it for a while longer. Wondering about what might have happened and asking ‘what if’ isn’t the best way to move forward, but in those quiet moments of contemplation it is a question that’s easy to ask and even think about to a satisfactory ending since it’s likely that some of them might have been able to do something with a career if they’d been able to keep pushing. But hey, that’s how the business goes.

Here are a few actors that kind of disappeared after a big or debut role.

5. Carrie Henn

As far as being on screen, Carrie has taken on several projects, mostly documentaries, but her one and only role as Newt in Aliens was her main claim to fame for a long time, and it still is kind of since the dirt-covered urchin that Ripley took in was one of the fan favorites of the movie since the mere fact that she’d been able to survive when the rest of the colonists were taken or killed was impressive. Plus, the fact that she could have eluded a group of Marines had she not been curious about them was just as impressive since she’d learned how to survive in one of the most hostile environments possible.

4. Lillo Brancata Jr.

To be fair, Lillo has done plenty of acting after A Bronx Tale, but he’s never really been as effective as he was in his debut role, which makes it easy to state that he’s kind of disappeared into mediocrity since his career hasn’t really gone anywhere. Anyone wanting to dispute this can go ahead and take a look at his resume and state with all honesty whether or not they’ve seen even half of the movies that he’s been in. It might sound unkind, but the guy really hasn’t done anything worthy of note in quite some time, and that’s a little surprising since he was so convincing in his debut role.

3. Peter Ostrum

The kid that helped Willy Wonka continue to run his factory wanted nothing to do with fame after it was all said and done and didn’t even consider coming back. This has been made pretty clear over the years since he stepped away from fame and fortune and decided to do his own thing. One has to imagine that he could have had a slew of jobs lined up for him if he’d stuck with it, but some people see beyond the glitz and glam, or take an educated guess and decide that it’s not worth the headache to come. In any case, Peter took on the one role and then decided it was enough since he no plans to become an actor.

2. Charmian Carr

Playing Liesl in The Sound of Music was apparently all she wanted since Charmian was married not long after and started up her own business as an interior designer. One can easily get the idea that it’s easier to step away when a person is older since they’re able to fully understand just what they might be getting into. But then again, anyone stepping away from possible stardom might be called crazy since the whole idea of being rich and famous is what many would say is the American dream, and would be something that anyone would give anything to achieve. But for some folks, it’s simply better to follow their own path.

1. Dan Lloyd

Remember Danny Torrance? Dan did try to secure a few roles as he grew up, but nothing ever really came through and at one point he simply walked away and started to focus on his education. It’s kind of funny to think that one night The Shining was playing at a frat party and he admitted that the little boy was him. It’s kind of funny to think about how that would play out since he could have been ridiculed to no end or looked at a lot differently from that point on. But what was actually kind of interesting to hear was that while on set, Dan wasn’t subjected to most of the horror that his other costars were, as Stanley Kubrick, the director, was very protective of him.

It’s hard to imagine anyone just walking away from possible fame, but it does happen.

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