Hollywood is a fickle mistress: One big hit doesn't necessarily ensure a lifetime in the spotlight. In honor of the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 25, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at a few Oscar one-hit wonders, beginning with this star… First-time nominee Adrien Brody took home the Oscar for best actor for his performance in "The Pianist" during the 2003 Academy Awards.
Keep reading to find out what he and more one-time-only Oscar winners and nominees are up to now…
Adrien Brody wooed Chris Hemsworth's future wife, Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, from 2006 to 2009 and then coupled up with model Lara Lieto in 2012. In 2019, he was romantically linked to Harvey Weinstein's ex-wife, Georgina Chapman. In 2014, the Oscar winner appeared in "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and starred as the titular magician in the History Channel's "Houdini" miniseries, for which he earned his first Emmy nomination in 2015. He scored his second Emmy nomination the following year for narrating the National Geographic Channel docuseries "Breakthrough." In 2017, he earned critical praise for his performance as a vengeful gangster on season 4 of the hit British drama "Peaky Blinders." Up next, he's set to star in "The French Dispatch," which was significantly delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic. In early 2021, he booked a major gig: He'll star as Miami Heat team president Pat Riley on the upcoming HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 1984, Linda Hunt made history when she took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her work in "The Year of Living Dangerously." She's the first and only performer to win an Academy Award for playing a cisgender member of the opposite sex.
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Linda Hunt has worked consistently since "The Year of Living Dangerously." She went on to star in "Dune," "Kindergarten Cop," "Silverado," "Stranger Than Fiction," "Yours, Mine & Ours" and more. She also voiced Grandmother Willow in "Pocahontas" and Lady Proxima in "Solo: A Star Wars Story" and had stints on "The Practice," "Carnivàle" and "Without a Trace." Since 2009, she's starred as Hetty Lange on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (pictured). In 2008, Linda married Karen Klein. The two women have been an item since the late '70s.
Mo'Nique took home the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance in "Precious" in 2010.
Mo'Nique lost more than 80 pounds after she won her Oscar in 2010. The mother of four — who's been married to third husband Sidney Hicks since 2006 — starred in "Blackbird" opposite Isaiah Washington in 2014 and in "Almost Christmas" alongside Gabrielle Union and Danny Glover in 2016. She also scored her first Emmy nomination in 2015 for her work in the HBO made-for-TV movie "Bessie." In 2017, Mo'Nique claimed that Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry blacklisted her after she declined to do much promotion for "Precious" in 2009. She made headlines again in 2018 when she called for a Netflix boycott over equal pay issues. "When Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle received their offers, they were $20 million and they were very public about the offers. When Amy Schumer initially received her offer, it was $11 million," Mo'Nique — who reportedly was offered only $500K by the streaming service for a stand-up special — said on "The View."
Timothy Hutton scored his first and only Oscar nomination in 1981. He took home the Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role for his performance in "Ordinary People."
The year after his big Oscar win, Timothy Hutton scored Golden Globe nominations for his work in "Taps" and in the made-for-TV movie "A Long Way Home." He then starred in "The General's Daughter," "Secret Window," "Last Holiday," "The Good Shepherd," "All the Money in the World," "Beautiful Boy" and, more recently, "The Glorias." He also headlined "Leverage" from 2008 to 2012, scored an Emmy nomination for his work on "American Crime" and had stints on "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan," "The Haunting of Hill House," "How to Get Away with Murder" and the short-lived 2019 FOX series "Almost Family." Timothy's personal life has been equally noteworthy. Over the years, he's been linked to Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, Demi Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Kim Cattrall, Diane Lane, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Grey, Sandra Bernhard, Melissa Gilbert, Elizabeth McGovern, Kristy McNichol, Melissa Sue Anderson and more. From 1986 to 1988, he was married to actress Debra Winger, with whom he shares son Noah, and from 2000 to 2009, he was married to illustrator Aurore Giscard d'Estaing, with whom he shares son Milo.
In 1996, Mira Sorvino took home the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her work in "Mighty Aphrodite" — her first and only Oscar nomination.
In 1998, Mira Sorvino ended her two-year relationship with director Quentin Tarantino. The Harvard grad went on to woo Olivier Martinez for four years before she wed actor Christopher Backus in 2004. They have four children together: daughters Mattea and Lucia and sons Johnny and Holden. Mira found success on television in 2014 with "Falling Skies" and "Intruders," but she's perhaps remembered best for her role in a film that came out two years after she won the Oscar: "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion." In October 2017, Mira — who, along with dozens of other actresses, accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and misconduct early in her career — told The New Yorker she "felt iced out" of Hollywood and that her "rejection of Harvey had something to do with it." Director Peter Jackson then confirmed Mira's suspicions that she'd been blacklisted. "I recall [Harvey's company] Miramax telling us [that Mira and fellow Harvey accuser Ashley Judd] were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs," he told Stuff, adding that in hindsight, he believes it was a "smear campaign." Since then, her career has picked back up again: Most notably, she had a four-episode stint on "Modern Family" in 2018 and starred in Ryan Murphy's lauded Netflix miniseries "Hollywood" in 2020.
Justin Henry was just 8 years old in 1980 when he scored his first and only Oscar nod for his performance as the child torn between Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman's dueling exes in "Kramer vs. Kramer."
Justin Henry went on to portray Samantha's obnoxious little brother Mike in "Sixteen Candles" before quietly stepping away from Hollywood in the late '80s. He returned to acting in the late '90s and scored a two-episode stint on "ER," but he's only booked a few other small roles since then. Justin earned a degree in psychology from Skidmore College and now works as the vice president of business development at a marketing and advertising firm.
Keisha Castle-Hughes earned her first and only Oscar nomination in 2004. The Australia-born, New Zealand-raised star was just 13 when she got the best lead actress nomination for her performance in "Whale Rider." Charlize Theron won the Oscar that year for her performance in "Monster."
Keisha Castle-Hughes was just 17 in 2007 when she welcomed her first child, daughter Felicity-Amore. She and the baby's father, Bradley Hull, reportedly parted ways in 2010 after seven years together. Keisha, who struggles with bipolar disorder, wed writer Jonathan Morrison in 2013, but it wasn't meant to be: They split three years later. After she made her acting debut in "Whale Rider," she appeared in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" and starred as Mary in "The Nativity Story." From 2015 to 2017, she portrayed Obara Sand on HBO's "Game of Thrones," and currently, she stars as Special Agent Hana Gibson on "FBI: Most Wanted." In January 2021, Keisha revealed on Instagram that she married Donny Grahamer, with whom she's expecting her second child.
In 1997, Cuba Gooding Jr. took home the Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in "Jerry Maguire."
Cuba Gooding Jr. has worked regularly in film since his big Oscar win — most notably in "What Dreams May Come," "Men of Honor," "Pearl Harbor," "Radio," "Norbit," "American Gangster," "The Butler" and "Selma." He scored a major breakthrough in 2016 when he starred on "American Horror Story: Roanoke" and portrayed the titular former football star on "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" — and earned an Emmy nomination for his efforts. After that, he appeared in 2018's "Bayou Caviar" and in the 2020 romantic drama "Life in a Year." Otherwise, he hasn't worked much in recent years due to the drama in his personal life: Since 2019, at least 30 women have accused Cuba — who maintains his innocence — of sexual misconduct. According to Page Six, as of mid-2020, he'd been "criminally charged on six misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and forcible touching stemming from the allegations of three accusers." In 2017, Cuba filed to divorce his wife, Sara Kapfer, who'd previously filed for separation in 2014 after two decades of marriage and three kids together. He moved on with Claudine De Niro — the ex-wife of Robert De Niro's son Raphael.
Tatum O'Neal was just 10 years old in 1974 when she took home the best supporting actress Oscar for her work in "Paper Moon." She hasn't been recognized by the Academy since!
Tatum O'Neal romanced Michael Jackson and Leif Garrett before marrying tennis star John McEnroe in 1986. They had three children together — sons Kevin and Sean and daughter Emily — but it wasn't meant to be: They parted ways in 1992. In 2008, the former child star, who struggled with drug abuse throughout her life and even battled heroin addiction, was arrested for criminal possession of cocaine and crack. Tatum — who starred on "Rescue Me" from 2004 to 2011 and headlined the original "The Bad News Bears" in 1976 — eventually turned to reality TV, competing on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006 and chronicling her attempts to patch up her relationship with her father, actor Ryan O'Neal, on "Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals" in 2011. Four years later, she made headlines again when she briefly romanced Rosie O'Donnell. In 2018, Tatum starred in "God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness," the third installment in the "God's Not Dead" trilogy.
Jennifer Hudson went on to star in the first "Sex and the City" movie, "The Secret Life of Bees," "The Three Stooges," Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq," "Confirmation," "Sandy Wexler," "Cats" and more. She also had stints on "Smash" and "Empire," served as a coach on two seasons of "The Voice," voiced a character in 2016's "Sing" and portrayed Motormouth Maybelle in "Hairspray Live!" Up next, J.Hud — who released three albums between 2008 and 2014 and made her Broadway debut in the 2015 revival of "The Color Purple" — will star as as Aretha Franklin in the biopic "Respect." In 2017, Jennifer split from longtime fiancé David Otunga, the father of her son, David Jr.
Marlee Matlin claimed top honors during the 1987 Academy Awards. The first-time nominee took home the Oscar for best lead actress for her work in "Children of a Lesser God."
Marlee Matlin had a volatile romantic relationship with "Children of a Lesser God" co-star William Hurt and then romanced Rob Lowe, "MacGyver" star Richard Dean Anderson and writer-producer David E. Kelley before she wed police officer Kevin Grandalski in 1993. They have four children together: daughters Sarah and Isabelle and sons Brandon and Tyler. In her 2009 memoir "I'll Scream Later," Marlee opened up about her history with drug abuse and revealed that she'd been molested as a child. After "Children of a Lesser God," she scored two Golden Globe nominations for her work on "Reasonable Doubts" and Emmy nominations for her work on "Picket Fences," "Seinfeld," "The Practice" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She also had stints on "The West Wing," "The L Word," "Switched at Birth," "Quantico" and "The Magicians." More recently, she appeared in "CODA," which earned rave reviews at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
In 1984, Haing S. Ngor won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his work in "The Killing Fields," which marked his acting debut. He's the first and only actor of Asian descent to win the Academy Award for best supporting actor and the second performer of Asian descent to win an Oscar (following actress Miyoshi Umeki).
Haing S. Ngor continued acting following his Oscar win. Most notably, he starred in Oliver Stone's "Heaven & Earth," appeared alongside Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton in 1993's "My Life" and portrayed the primary antagonist in the "Vanishing Son" franchise, which includes four made-for-TV movies. Sadly, his career was cut short: In 1996, the 55-year-old actor was murdered by a Los Angeles street gang during an attempted robbery.
In 1992, first-time nominee Mercedes Ruehl claimed the best supporting actress Oscar for her work in "The Fisher King."
Mercedes Ruehl continues acting, predominantly on television and on the stage: The Tony winner — who starred in '90s flicks "Lost in Yonkers," "Last Action Hero" and "Gia" — portrayed Vince's mother on "Entourage," appeared on several episodes of "Frasier" and had a seven-episode stint on "Power." More recently, she appeared in "Hustlers" and popped up on three episodes of "Bull." In 1999, she married painter David Geiser, with whom she adopted son Jake. (Also in the late '90s, she reconnected with her first child, son Chris, whom she gave up for adoption in the mid-'70s.) In late 2017, Mercedes said she and David were no longer together, though they were still married when he died in late 2020.
In 1973, Joel Grey took home the Oscar for best supporting actor for his work in the movie musical "Cabaret." It was his first and only nomination.
In 1982, Joel Grey parted ways with his wife of 24 years, Jo Wilder. They share two children: "Dirty Dancing" actress Jennifer Grey and son James, a chef. In January 2015, the Broadway star revealed he's gay. After his big Oscar win, he starred in an adaptation of the musical "The Fantasticks" and in an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's "Choke" directed by Clark Gregg, who was married to his daughter at the time. Joel also had stints on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Alias" and "Oz," published several books of photography and a 2016 memoir and continued racking up theater credits. He hasn't appeared on screen since a 2014 episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," though he acted in the 2016 Broadway production of "The Cherry Orchard" and participated in a buzzed-about live reading of the Mueller report in 2019. (He read the part of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.) More recently, Joel directed the North American premiere of the Yiddish adaptation of "Fiddler on the Roof."
Sandy Dennis shot into the spotlight after she won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her work in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1967. (The actress is pictured here receiving a congratulatory kiss from her then-husband, Gerry Mulligan, after she received the news that she'd won — she was in New York filming "Sweet November" at the time and couldn't attend the ceremony.)
Sandy Dennis — who was already a two-time Tony winner when she won her Oscar — went on to star in a host of other projects. She scored a Golden Globe nomination for her work in "The Out of Towners" and also appeared in "The Three Sisters," "The Four Seasons," "Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" and Woody Allen's "Another Woman." In 1974, she split from long-term partner Gerry Mulligan. She then romanced Eric Roberts, to whom she was briefly engaged. (He later told Vanity Fair they weathered his brief affair with another actress.) Sandy made her final appearance on stage in the early '80s and her final appearance on screen in Sean Penn's directorial debut, 1991's "The Indian Runner." She died of ovarian cancer the following year.