Where'd they go? Oscar winners who disappeared

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:14 p.m. ET

Not all Oscar winners go on to incredible success in film. Find out which actors' careers took a nosedive after they put a gold statue on their mantels.

2012 Oscars

Winning an Oscar means an actor has finally gained admission into the Hollywood cool kids' club. In theory, an Oscar win should also mean that an actor has access to plum roles for the rest of her career.

The sad reality? An acting career is never guaranteed, even for Academy Award winners — for every Michelle Williams and George Clooney is an actor who fell off the face of the earth after winning an award. Sure, all of these former Oscar winners are working, but they're not exactly landing the award-winning roles anymore.

Roberto Benigni

Roberto Begnini

Italian actor Roberto Benigni gained notoriety in 1997 when he went bananas after he won the Best Actor nod for his role in Life is Beautiful. Benigni jumped on chairs, yelled in broken English and was generally adorable. It seemed like he was on his way up in mainstream Hollywood, but he's mostly appeared in Italian films since his win.

Oh, he was also nominated for a Razzie in 2002 for his work on Pinocchio. Sad.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding Jr. has played a part in some of the most notable movies over the past couple of decades, including Boyz in the Hood and Jerry Maguire. The latter film landed him an Oscar in 1996 for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a football player who wants his agent (Tom Cruise) to "show me the money!"

"I remember going up there and I remember starting it and then I remember the music coming on and then me going faster," he told Jimmy Kimmel in January of his win. "And I see Will Smith standing up in a white tuxedo and then Woody Harrelson break dancing. It was one of those moments I was thinking it was working."

Gooding Jr.'s career has floundered since his win — he's acted in a bunch of stinkers, including the awful Rat Race and Daddy Day Care. He has the talent, but he just needs another great role to take him back to the top.

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal was on the up-and-up when she earned her first Academy Award at age 10 for her role as a child con artist in 1973's Paper Moon. She pretty much dropped out of acting when she married tennis star John McEnroe in 1984. Her problems continued after her marriage ended, thanks to her addiction to heroin.

O'Neal's acting opportunities have waned over the years, though she's appeared on shows like Sex and the City8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2006.

From Oscar to DWTS? Yikes.

Images courtesy Splash News