Behind every great Hollywood comeback story there is usually a friend who helped get the ball rolling. While the stars who reinvent themselves certainly deserve the bulk of the credit for reviving their career, most of them aren’t shy about acknowledging those who put them on the right path. Here are 15 Hollywood helpers who deserve some major props for bringing our favorite stars back into the forefront of Tinsel Town.
After spending the 1990s in a perpetual state of inebriation and/or legal trouble, Robert Downey Jr. couldn’t get substantial employment after getting clean and sober. Thankfully his old friend Mel Gibson came to his aid by casting Downey in the remake of the BBC musical The Singing Detective. The Keith Gordon directed 2003 film wasn’t a huge hit, but it did garner the newly sober Downey some very positive reviews and ultimately helped get the ball rolling for Downey’s hit comeback in 2008. Since then Downey has publicly expressed his gratitude to Gibson for standing by him in the wake of his troubles. To prove it, the Iron Man star wound up returning in the favor in 2006 by supporting Gibson following his controversial DUI arrest.