The mean girl is back! Lindsay Lohan is set to host “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for the fourth time. The actress, who recently sat down with Matt Lauer to discuss her well-documented legal troubles and hard-partying ways, is looking forward to making a comeback. But can she turn her career around? Perhaps, if she takes a cue or two from these celebrities, who suffered from scandals that nearly ended their careers and lived to write about it.
Rob Lowe: Admit that you aren’t perfect.
Viewers may adore Lowe now for his funny turn on NBC’s “Parks & Recreation,” but there was a time when his career was sidelined by scandal. In 1988 a sex tape was released that showed Lowe having sex with two female partners, one of whom was just 16, the night before the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Though Lowe claims he wasn’t aware of the girl’s age, the tape tarnished his heartthrob image. Lowe has also fought claims from a former nanny who said she was sexually harassed by the actor, but both cases were dismissed in 2009. In his bestselling autobiography, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends,” Lowe is open about his imperfections, and how his lowest points fueled his desire to start a family and take his career more seriously.
Drew Barrymore: Keep a sunny attitude.
A drug addict by age 12, Drew Barrymore was headed fast and hard towards becoming a child-star crash-and-burn stereotype. But the actress managed to get help and turn her focus back to reclaiming the career she launched at age 7. “Happily Ever After: The Drew Barrymore Story” by Leah and Elina Furman tells the story of her triumphant return to the movie business as both actress and producer.
Mickey Rourke: To move forward, you may need to take a step back.
One of Hollywood’s most notorious bad boys, Mickey Rourke, plunged from A-List to D-List through a series of personal and professional missteps. The actor retreated, took stock, and went back to his first love, boxing. In Sandro Monetti’s biography of Rourke, “Wrestling With Demons,” the author recounts how Rourke’s return to the ring altered his physical appearance as well as his state of mind. In 2008 the actor returned to the spotlight to rave reviews for his performance in “The Wrestler,” and has since returned to mainstream Hollywood with roles in movies like “Iron Man 2.”
Britney Spears: Find a stable support system.
Like Lohan, Britney Spears was throttled into stardom as a teen. The world watched as she married and divorced twice, became a mother and eventually suffered a very public emotional breakdown that required medical attention. Spears’s family intervened, and the pop star has since recouped and relaunched her music career. Christopher Heard’s book “Britney Spears: Little Girl Lost” dishily chronicles her rise, fall and return to the top.
Carrie Fisher: Have a sense of humor.
Imagine having your likeness branded on bed sheets, Halloween costumes and PEZ dispensers. That’s what life was like for Carrie Fisher after “Star Wars” became a mega-hit. But fame couldn’t suppress her demons, and the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher went on a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs. Fisher ended up in rehab, and emerged to become a bestselling author. Her first memoir, “Wishful Drinking,” which was adapted from her hit one-woman show, takes readers on a hysterical and sobering walk through her highs and lows.
Robert Downey Jr.: If you mess up your second chance, try again for a third… and maybe a fourth.
Is there a bigger comeback story than Robert Downey Jr.? The actor, who has repeatedly derailed his career with drug arrests, has been working on his sobriety since the early 1990s. But it was the summer of 2008 that changed his career when he managed to star in two blockbuster films, “Tropic Thunder” and “Iron Man.” Since then, RDJ has reclaimed his spot on the A-list, as documented in Martin Howden’s “Robert Downey Jr.: The Biography.” If his next big vehicle, “The Avengers,” is as big a success as predicted, he won’t be going anywhere.
Vanessa Williams: Your talent is your biggest asset.
In 1983 Vanessa Williams was named the first African-American Miss America. Sadly, she had to return her crown after some nude pictures of her (that she had done as part of a modeling gig) were leaked and published in Penthouse. But Williams worked hard, and remerged as certified platinum recording artist, Broadway star and TV star. Williams and her mother have co-written a book about her career, “You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other),” due out in April.