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iVillage.com: Biggest Celebrity Comebacks

6 of 8

Mickey Rourke

It was certainly surprising when good-looking "Diner" and "Body Heat" star Mickey Rourke decided in 1991 that he was "self-destructing" as an actor and took up a career as a professional boxer instead. After going undefeated with eight wins (and suffering a number of injuries that would leave his face changed), Rourke (pictured in November 2011 in L.A.) decided to return to Hollywood just three years later. But the time out of the spotlight, coupled with his reputation for being difficult to work, seriously slowed the quirky actor's return to stardom. "Change didn't come easy for me -- until I lost everything, and then I realized, 'You better change, or you're gonna blow your f***ing brains out,'" he told Film Journal in 2008. Things started to turn around for Rourke when he landed a major part in 2005's "Sin City," but his comeback wasn't complete until he channeled all those years of struggle into his Oscar-nominated turn in 2008's "The Wrestler." He's worked steadily since, notably playing the villain to fellow comebacker Robert Downey Jr.'s hero in 2010's "Iron Man 2."

(CREDIT: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Relativity Media)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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