They say in life there is no second act, but don't tell that to celebrities who've had recent career resurgeances. Mariah Carey was the butt of many jokes in 2001 after her very public meltdown and the bomb heard 'round the world... otherwise known as 'Glitter.' But this year, thanks to her current album, 'The Emancipation of Mimi,' and several hit singles, she's having some of the greatest success of her career, including eight Grammy nominations.
Other entertainers who've resurrected their dead or dying careers include:
Paula Abdul As a singer, she hasn't had a hit on the charts in more than 10 years. But Abdul became a household name again as a judge on 'American Idol,' where she's known just as much for her effusive praise of contestants as her on-camera spats with fellow judge Simon Cowell (and sometimes incoherent ramblings).
Teri Hatcher She was stuck in obscure TV movies and doing embarrassing Radio Shack commercials after her 'Lois & Clark: The New Adventure of Superman' TV series was cancelled in 1997. Then came 'Desperate Housewives' last year, followed by a slew of awards and an ubiquitous media presence that has arguably reached overexposure.
Patrick Dempsey Like Hatcher, he also has a Sunday night ABC show to thank for his career comeback. In the '80s, Dempsey was typecast as a hapless nerd. Today, he's the resident hunky doctor on 'Grey's Anatomy.'
INXS After the band's original lead singer, Michael Hutchence, died in 1997, INXS' career seemed to die as well. A revolving door of guest singers tried to fill Hutchence's shoes but none of them lasted. But this year when the band did a reality show, 'Rock Star: INXS,' to find a new lead singer, they chose J.D. Fortune, who co-wrote 'Pretty Vegas,' the song that would be INXS' first Top 40 hit in years. INXS' 2006 tour has been sold out in advance for most of its stops. 'Switch,' the band's first album since 1997, just landed in the Top 20 of the Billboard album chart.
Def Leppard After hitting it big with songs like 'Pour Some Sugar on Me,' 'Rock of Ages' and 'Photograph,' this '80s rock band looks to top the charts again with the release of their 'Rock of Ages' DVD. They just finished a huge North American tour with appearances on shows like VH1's 'Big in '05,' where the whole audience -- even those not yet born when the band first arrived on U.S. soil -- sang every word.
Dennis Quaid It wasn't that long ago that he as known as Mr. Meg Ryan. But the blockbuster success of 'The Day After Tomorrow' has put Quaid back on the A-list. He's also received critical acclaim for his roles in 'Far From Heaven' and the sleeper hit 'The Rookie.'
Hugh Grant He was the handsome Englishman who fit perfectly in '90s period pieces like 'Sense and Sensibility' and Julia Roberts-driven films like 'Notting Hill.' He had a gorgeous girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley. So what was he doing with a prostitute named Divine Brown in 1995? Exactly what you'd think he would be doing. After the arrest, the much-publicized mug shot and playing the cad in 'Bridget Jones Diary,' Hugh reemerged with a better haircut and an edgier pesona in the well-reviewed 'About a Boy.'
John Travolta One of the best comebacks ever has to be that of this ex-sweat hog & disco dancing hunk. He was up in the '70s, and kind of down during the 'Look Who's Talking' series in the early '90s. He shot back up to new-found fame playing heroin-dealer Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarrantino's 'Pulp Fiction.' Since then, however, it's been a mix of good ('Get Shorty'), bad ('Be Cool') and... just plain odd ('Battlefield Earth').