From Robert Downey Jr. to Brendan Fraser, everyone loves a Hollywood comeback. Every once in a while, a once-celebrated actor rises from the ashes of career setbacks and personal struggles to experience a surprising renaissance. Whether they’re officially retired or not, there’s just something about seeing someone thrive after a tough time. After a screening of his new film, The Whale, received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, Fraser’s tearful response led to a massive outpouring of support. At the same event, the former “Mama” actor said: “Thank you for the warm welcome. I look forward to seeing this film impact everyone as deeply as it did me.” via the New York Times.
Fraser is far from the only artist making a comeback this year. After announcing her hiatus from acting in 2014, Cameron Diaz is set to make her big comeback in the aptly named Netflix film Back in Action. As for the music world, Britney Spears has released “Hold Me Closer” with Elton John, her first new song since the end of her long tenure as a conservator. Whether due to retirement, a hiatus, or other commitments, however, there are many more popular actors yet to pick up their craft. That’s why Nicki Swift polled 595 people and asked which actor fans most wanted to return to the industry.
Fans want Jack Nicholson to shine again
All work and no play makes Jack a boring boy, but people are still hoping for Jack Nicholson’s big comeback to the cinema. Despite his unofficial retirement due to memory problems, the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest actor swept our poll with over 34% of the vote. Nicholson’s last film, 2010’s How Do You Know, was a box office bomb with negative reviews, and if he were interested, one final film could end his career on a high.
Daniel Day-Lewis took second place with 22% after retiring after 2017’s “Phantom Thread.” The three-time Oscar winner’s presence is sorely missed, especially considering how quiet he has been about his personal life. Eva Mendes rounded out the top 3 with 16%, with her most recent film role being Ryan Gosling’s Lost River in 2014. Despite lending her voice to an episode of the animated series Bluey in 2021, the Hitch actress seems content with her retirement.
Finally, teenage queens Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen grabbed 15% of the vote, while Amanda Bynes got 12%. The Olsen twins focus on fashion, passing on the “Full House” revival and letting younger sister Elizabeth take over the acting world. As for Bynes, who was recently released from her own conservatorship, interest in former Nickelodeon stars is at an all-time high. While she shares the Olsens’ passion for fashion through acting, their eventual return would surely be welcomed with open arms.