15 TV Actors Whose Movie Careers Didn’t Take Off (Child Stars, Soap Stars AND MORE)


These actors and actresses might have been stars on the small screen with their own hit TV shows, and even appeared to have a bright future in film, but when it came to the big screen they just didn’t break through.

Check out these 15 TV Actors With Failed Movie Careers.

Kyla Pratt

Kyla Pratt WENN pf

Photo: WENN

At one point Kyla Pratt was one of the hottest young Black actresses in Hollywood, starring in Dr. Dolittle 1 & 2, Love and Basketball, UPN’s “One on One,” and Disney’s “The Proud Family” animated series. Naturally, we expected that Kyla would move further into film as she matured, but her roles have been nothing to write home about. She starred in the Fat Albert live action film, Hotel for Dogs, and three more Dr. Dolittle movies which went straight to DVD.


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  • What The Hell Ever

    What difference does it make if their movie careers didn’t “take off” (whatever that means)? They’re still doing their primary job and getting paid for it: acting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23303780 Terry Lynn Corsello

      I agree this all seems a little harsh.

    • Mel

      lol, I had to stop reading this list half way through because EVERY single one of these people is currently on tv! Some of them are in critically acclaimed series (Southland), others are gearing up to start new network projects (Milano), others are still steadily working (Pratt). Seriously, does this author expect every actor to be in big budget blockbusters?

      Any “actor” managing to support themselves without waiting tables is successful, but these people are actually still getting big projects, showing up for award shows, etc. How is that a career that hasn’t ‘taken off?

      The title should have been “Actors who are not Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt/Will Smith”

      • ♏ ®

        Exactly. None of the people on this list are missing in action.

    • xxdiscoxxheaven

      True! Many actors are happy with tv because it provides stability. They dont have to move their family for 6 months to a new location.

  • MCK

    This is the stupidest and most inaccurate list ever.

  • Keisha Samoht

    never watch 1 tree hill but didnt kno chad michael murry got fired…

  • frankie frank

    make em stars and then shoot them down because its their fault they dont have enormous film careers…well, what about julia louis dreyfuss and seinfeld and debra messing and all the rest of those stars from tv…why do you expect tv stars to matriculate to film stardom…clue phone…when we see them for free every week in our homes on our tvs, we dont pay to see them in film…tv stars are not film actors…there is a big difference here….

  • blibbedy-boo

    I love that Shaksmac misspelled “vocabulary”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.hutnicki Daniel Hutnicki

    You forgot to mention that Dennis Haysbert will always be remembered as the Cuban player on Major League 1, 2 and 3

    • http://limemediahawaii.com/ AniMatsuri

      Not me. He’s the President on ’24’ or the team leader on The Unit. Not to mention all those All State commercials.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.hutnicki Daniel Hutnicki

    Some of them never made it as big time movie actors but they did make it a big time TV actors. You can be more successful and make more money on TV

  • Shay

    Maybe they don’t want to do movies?

  • MissAnnThrope

    Would someone PLEASE get Shaksmac a spell checker? I can’t believe someone who writes so badly and who can’t proofread or spell simple words is allowed to write for what is supposed to be a professional website.

  • danny low

    It used to be very important to make it in the movies but not any more. The reason is money. TV used to pay less than movies. Today, an actor in a top rated TV series can make as much money as a top rated movie star. Just look at Forbes et. al. list of top paid movie and TV stars. Ashton Kutcher ranks up there with the top 10 movie actors as an example. And when it comes to fame, TV actors are remembered for their roles in a popular series long after the fame has faded for movie stars.

  • WoopWoop

    So, none of these people is on welfare, in jail or a cast member of any reality show with the word “celebrity” in the title. One has a Harvard degree, another is the face of a long-running and extremely successful ad campaign. These people are failures HOW?

  • http://www.facebook.com/G0DBody Stephen K Richmond

    uhhh…the very first one is wrong therefore I will not read the others. Kyla Pratt is currently on a show called Lets Stay Together

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenda-White/1226672299 Brenda White

    its a shame kyla pratts career didn’t take off, she’s such a talented underrated actress

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.dodson.7 Jerry Dodson

    so, tim meadows starred in a movie called “The Ladie’s Man”?

    where do you find your illiterate help?

  • cas

    Check your facts, CMM didn’t get fired. He chose not to renew his contract. It happens a lot in TV. He wanted to leave the show considering he was on it for 6 seasons. While I do agree his movie career didn’t take off, I do believe he does have a few projects in the works and I hardly doubt he is hurting for money.

  • Brawny71

    Robin Givens, Lauren Holly, and Valerie Bertinelli are three others. Every teenage boy (and a few girls) had a crush on Bertinelli in the late 1970’s, and what does she accept as her film debut? A movie for their younger siblings, the ill-fated C.H.O.M.P.S.–back when Hanna-Barbera tried to make a go of it in live action films, even when Disney was headed for a slump. Her other two features went straight-to-video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ole.buck.9 Ole Buck

    I have never heard of most of these people. However, it is not easy to transfer stardom from the small screen to the big screen. If fact, I would suggest only a handful have done it in last 60 years. Steve McQueen was the first to do it, and James Garner was second. Bill Murray and a few of his co-horts from SNL have done it, most have not. Clooney is big movie star, but was not really a big TV star.

    • http://www.airsoftdome.com/ Bright_Eyed

      Jennifer Anniston does BOTH and I’d pay to see her in a movie.

      Jason Bateman too and the boy that plus his son on Arrested Development (Scott Pilgrim) also do both TV and movies swimmingly.

      Those are just two examples off the top of my head.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ole.buck.9 Ole Buck

        Yes, Anniston has done it, but Bateman is not really “movie star” he may be in movies from time to time, but hardly a “star”

  • TryThinking1956

    I think that Tatyana Ali’s Harvard degree sort of indicates success…don’t you? Amazing how any actor who doesn’t generate over a billion dollars in revenue is now considered a “failure”. And then, the same writers wax sympathetic when people like Amanda Bynes spin out of control because they believe the hype and consider themselves worthless, as well. Each one of the actors featured in this piece have been more successful then 99% of working actors out there.

  • my humble opinion

    Some people are only good enough to be on TV, (van Der beek, Murray) and some are Too good at being “that guy in that movie that time, You know the one” (Haysbert, Meadows) — they cite Haysbert as being on par with Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman… however IF a Film wants/Needs them and can afford them , They’d hire them.

  • nicole

    alyssa milano did take off!!! she hasnt done anything big because she has been prego and taking care of her son, and she has a sports clothing line, a new show premiering this fall, and other things besides, in my opinion i think you need to do research because to me all these actors or actresses are still acting. so your list should consists of actors/actresses who dont anymore, you need to research more before publishing articles.

  • J_Jeffrey

    Jenifer Love Hewitt has the #1 show on Lifetime.

  • Shay

    Umm whoever posted this needs to do some research first. I hope their supervisor reads this. People want accurate stories please.

  • Tishauna Starr

    critical acclaim, or even a fandom doesn’t automatically equals cross over success. same with music. it’s about what the industry is comfortable with not us.

  • ch

    I believe they are all well paid and living well. This is a rather mean-spirited article.