Top 10 Celebrity Comebacks of 2021

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Top 10 Celebrity Comebacks of 2021

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Daniel Girolamo
These celeb comebacks had us jumping for joy! For this list, we'll be looking at past stars who returned to 2021 in a big way. Our countdown includes Adele, Eddie Murphy, Britney Spears, and more!
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Top 10 Celebrity Comebacks of 2021


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Comebacks of 2021.

For this list, we’ll be looking at past stars who returned to 2021 in a big way.

Who were you glad to see return to the spotlight? Who would you like to see come back in 2022? Tell us in the comments!

#10: Steve Martin

One of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Steve Martin became a popular host on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1970s. He went on to become a movie star in the 80s with hits like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” However, Martin took a step back from acting and began focusing on his music and writing career in the late 2000s. Thankfully, Martin returned to our screens in 2021 with Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” a mystery-comedy series starring himself, Selena Gomez, and his good friend, Martin Short. We see more of this comedic genius in the future as the show was renewed for a second season.

#9: William Zabka

In the 1980s, Zabka became public enemy number one as Johnny Lawrence in “The Karate Kid.” Despite playing the bad guy, Zabka’s popularity skyrocketed, leading to roles in other films like “Just One of the Guys” and “Back to School.” Due to his desire to become a filmmaker, Zabka acted in mostly independent films throughout the 90s and 2000s, although he also had a notable guest stint on “How I Met Your Mother.” That all changed with “Cobra Kai”, which made a new generation fall in love with the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. The bad boy is back.

#8: Eddie Murphy

There are stars, and then there are superstars. As the most popular cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for the first half of the 1980s, comedic icon Eddie Murphy became a certified movie star with hits like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Coming to America,” and “The Nutty Professor.” After an Oscar nomination for “Dreamgirls,” Murphy took a break from acting, citing fatherhood as a reason for stepping away. Thankfully, Murphy has come back into our lives starting with 2019’s “Dolemite is My Name,” and later 2021’s “Coming 2 America.” Hopefully, Eddie decides to stick around longer and make “Beverly Hills Cop IV.”

#7: Rachael Leigh Cook

As one of the most famous teen stars of the 90s, Rachel Leigh Cook was on top of the world when she went from a small supporting actress to the girl next door in her breakout role “She’s All That.” The starring role opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. catapulted Cook’s popularity to new heights, and she landed the lead role in “Josie and the Pussycats.” Cook’s hot run was short-lived as she began to star in lesser known direct-to-video films and Hallmark specials. But, in a world of remakes, the actress’s most beloved film was reimagined as “He’s All That”, with Cook playing Addison Rae’s mother. Thank you, Netflix.

#6: Miranda Cosgrove

The young and ambitious kid in “School of Rock'' went on to become a Nickelodeon star. After appearing in the musical comedy, Cosgrove landed the pivotal role of Megan, the mischievous little sister in the show, “Drake and Josh.” This breakout part then led to her sitcom, “iCarly,” which ran for six seasons. After the show’s completion in 2012, Cosgrove’s most noteworthy part for the next eight years was the voice of Margo in the “Despicable Me” franchise. However, nostalgia won again in 2021 with the reboot of “iCarly” for Paramount+, where Cosgrove’s character continued to make her brother take part in ridiculous skits. Spencer. Some things never change.

#5: Drew Barrymore

This young actress was destined for stardom after her appearance in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” at the age of 7. She then became a box office queen in the 1990s with roles in “Scream,” “The Wedding Singer,” and “Never Been Kissed.” After another string of hits in early 2000, Barrymore began to slowly step back from acting to focus on taking care of her kids. In 2021, the talented performer is now showing a more personal side of herself as a talk show host with “The Drew Barrymore Show.” The show was renewed for a second season so her fun-loving personality isn’t going away anytime soon.

#4: Ben Affleck

One of Boston’s favorite sons became an A-list juggernaut in the 90s with his roles in “Good Will Hunting” and later “Armageddon.” After a few career misses in the early 2000s, Affleck stormed back as both an actor and director with “The Town” and “Argo,” with the latter winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Still, things began to take a downward turn for Affleck in both his personal and professional life, culminating with his appearance as Batman in the much-maligned “Justice League.” If there’s anyone who can make a comeback, it’s Affleck, who returned to prominence in 2021 with roles in “The Last Duel” and “The Tender Bar.” However, for may, his greatest accomplishment this year was reuniting with his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez!

#3: Brendan Fraser

It’s hard to comprehend how big of a star this actor was in the 1990s. After roles in “Airheads” and “George of the Jungle,” Brendan Fraser became a global sensation as Rick O’Connell in “The Mummy” trilogy. Unfortunately, his career began to decline post-Mummy due to depression and health issues. Fraser also believes he received backlash for speaking out against president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Philip Berk, who Fraser alleges sexually assaulted him in 2003. However, his career resurgence is underway thanks to roles in DC’s “Doom Patrol” and “No Sudden Move.” We also have his upcoming roles in “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Batgirl” to look forward to.

#2: Adele

The Grammy-winning artist has been a staple in the music world since she burst onto the scene with her debut album, “19.” The accolades continued to rack up with her subsequent albums, “21” and “25”, the first and fourth best-selling albums of the 21st century. The “Rolling in the Deep” singer sat on top of the music world during her world tour in 2017, but damaged her vocal cords in 2018 and disappeared from the public eye for the next few years. The following year she filed for divorce from her husband, Simon Konecki. Thankfully, Adele picked herself back up in 2021 as she turned her heartbreak into music with her latest album, “30.” The world is a better place with Adele back in it.

#1: Britney Spears

It’s Britney… you know the next word. The Princess of Pop started her singing career at a young age as she released the smash single, “...Baby One More Time” as a teenager. Spears followed that record up with “Oops… I Did It Again,” which became one of the fastest-selling albums of all time. In front of the camera, the singer became an icon, but behind it, her world began to crumble. Spears was involuntarily placed into a conservatorship in 2008, which controlled all aspects of her life and prevented the star from making her own choices. This legal battle got the public’s attention in 2019 and inspired the #FreeBritney movement. In November 2021, the conservatorship ended, and our favorite pop star is finally free.
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