After spending over a decade in the abyss, Indiana-born actor Brendan Fraser has mounted a potential career comeback with his role in the 2022 drama “The Whale.” Playing an obese man with mounting struggles, Fraser has arguably turned in the most acclaimed performance of his long-running career. It already earned a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination, among other accolades. Many are predicting an Academy Award nomination as well.
To call Fraser’s journey back into the limelight an epic feat would be selling it short, as his descent from fame was famously swift. After starring in the 2010 fiasco “Furry Vengeance,” the actor switched agencies and practically disappeared from public view. (He did not turn out to be, however, one of the actors who retired far earlier than anyone expected.)
Fraser did land occasional voice work as well as roles in low budget films or episodic TV shows over the decade that followed, but never came close to his former success. Behind the scenes, he continued to deal with a costly divorce and assorted health problems. He was also the victim of an alleged sexual assault in 2003, which led to an ongoing depression.
With Fraser occupying headlines once again, there’s no better time to review his history on the big screen. As one will soon discover, the actor’s career never really found its groove even when he was at the height of his fame. Well-known titles such as “School Ties” or “Blast from the Past” weren’t big hits in their day, while blockbusters like “George of the Jungle” have been all but forgotten. He remains best-known for “The Mummy” trilogy, which played to all his strengths as a leading man (though the original is counted among the movies with the highest body count).
To determine the best and worst Brendan Fraser movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index of movies starring Brendan Fraser using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of January 2023, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies in which Brendan Fraser was among the top three billed actors were considered. Directorial and cast credits are from IMDb.
Watch a handful of these titles and then catch Fraser in “The Whale” to see just how far he’s come as an actor.
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