Breaking Up Is Hard to Do ... But It's a Great Career Move

6/25/2006 7:00 AM PDT

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do ... But It's a Great Career Move

Did your movie flop at the box office? Can't get on the cover of PEOPLE magazine? Perhaps your last film went straight to video? If you are suffering from one of these Hollywood afflictions, don't fret! There is a new cure sweeping Tinseltown that is working at a near-perfect success rate: the public break-up (No, not the movie -- though more on that later).

Patient: David Hasselhoff
Symptom: TV career disappeared when "Baywatch" did, but music career is as strong as ever - in Germany.
Prescription: Nasty divorce from wife Pamela Bach with allegations he abused her, which he denied.
Post-op: The Hoff is back baby! He's one of the judges of Simon Cowell's new show, "America's Got Talent," and he'll appear in the new Adam Sandler movie, "Click."

Patient: Jennifer Aniston
Symptom: Ultra-successful television career; film career ... not so much
Prescription: Possibly the biggest celebrity breakup in history, from hubby Brad Pitt.
Post-op: "The Break-Up," co-starring (alleged) new boyfriend Vince Vaughn gave Aniston her second biggest opening weekend ever. But the biggest one, "Bruce Almighty," says more about Jim Carrey than it does her.

Patient: Nick Lachey
Symptom: Better known as "Mr. Jessica Simpson" since "Newlyweds" premiered on MTV.
Prescription: Split from Jessica, then got photographed with as many attractive women as possible.
Post-op: Nick released his second solo album ("What's Left of Me") in May, and the album has since gone certified sold 500,000, according to Nick Trendy L.A. clothing shop Kitson sells t-shirts that say either "Team Nick" or "Team Jessica," and Nick outsells Jess 40-1, according to Star magazine.

Patient: Denise Richards
Symptom: Below average film career; highlight was kissing Neve Campbell in "Wild Things"
Prescription: Split from her "everyone thought he was reformed but I always knew he was still a cad" husband, Charlie Sheen.
Post-op: Denise hasn't done much since her split from Sheen, but she is rumored to be reuniting with Neve for the sexy caper flick, "Backstabbers." Denise also joined the "Pussycat Dolls" on stage in Vegas two weeks ago, joining the likes of Pam Anderson, Christina Aguilera and Carmen Electra as guest Dolls.

Patient: Nicole Kidman
Symptom: Relegated to second fiddle status after co-starring with husband Tom Cruise in such memorable films as "Far and Away" and "Eyes Wide Shut."
Prescription: Split from husband Tom Cruise in 2001
Post-op: Kidman is the benchmark for a post-breakup career. In the year or so after she split from Cruise, Kidman starred in "Moulin Rouge!" (Oscar nom, Golden Globe win), "The Others" (Golden Globe nom) and "The Hours" (Golden Globe and Oscar win). Kidman has also received Golden Globe nominations for "Cold Mountain" and "Birth." In that same time, Cruise has just one Golden Globe nom ("The Last Samurai").