Nicholas Cage
The Rise: Perhaps the most interesting career on this list, Nicolas Cage made a name for himself by playing to a cross-section of roles that flexed both his serious acting chops, as well as his naturally weird personality. Much like his idol, Elvis Presley, Cage had cultivated a persona as a performer as well as an enigmatic eccentric, and he's got the Academy Award to prove it.

The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back: Cage’s career is hard to pin down. He was making Face/Off at one moment and National Treasure in the next, with plenty of time to make The Weather Man in the interim. Cage seemed to have a good racket going for him. Then, The Wicker Man happened, and faster than you could say, "BEES," Nicholas Cage amped up the weird factor and scaled back on reality. He really hasn’t returned.

The Fallout: As crazy as his choices may have looked, Cage has maintained a steady stream of work that's kept him in the public eye. While he hasn't always made the best choices, he's certainly made interesting choices that don't look like they cost their respective studios all that much to produce. Sadly, this has diluted the "Cage" brand, making films like The Croods 2 or National Treasure 3 the only shot Cage really has at leading a huge budget picture -- and even then, those films aren't guaranteed.

So what have we learned today? If anything, it could be said that the greatest lesson of today's examination into the rise and fall of big name stars is not only to choose your projects wisely, but to know how to balance said projects in accordance with your true talents. Maybe you shouldn't take two high profile projects in one year, even if they seem like a sure fire hit. Perhaps you should pay your taxes, so you don't have to take every remake of a Christian blockbuster that comes along. Or maybe, you should just realize that the job of an actor isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. So before you get into the business, or before you choose that next project after your appearance in a Marvel comic book movie, keep in mind these 10 profiles, and the career mistakes they have made.

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