Can Any Actor Survive the Curse of Lost?

Another mystery to explain: Why is a doomed appearance on Lost also a kiss of death for many Hollywood careers?



If you said, five years ago, that Ian Somerhalder would be starring in this fall's The Vampire Diaries, you would probably have made a killing at the track in the ensuing years, because you are probably a psychic. But back in 2004, you would have been laughed at. At the time, Somerhalder was a major character on that fall's biggest new show, Lost. He had previously starred in The Rules of Attraction and guested on Smallville. When Boone died at the end of Lost's season one, it seemed fortuitous that Ian could capitalize on his newfound success while also being free to pursue other projects.


Unfortunately, things didn't really work out that way. After a 2 year hiatus, Somerhalder found work on HBO's underrated Tell Me You Love Me, and appeared in a few little-seen movies. Now, he is returning to TV on what looks like an even soapier version of True Blood. So, a disappointing few years for Ian Somerhalder. Big deal, right? Wrong, because it seems that if your character dies on Lost, your career also dies. We think Lost is cursed!


Consider: According to Lostpedia, in 5 seasons, 105 characters have died. This includes extras, but does not include characters whose whereabouts are unknown, like Claire. For the purposes of this decidedly unscientific study, we looked at all the actors with recurring roles on Lost whose names and faces we recognized prior to their appearance on the show. The group includes Boone, Shannon, Michael, Ana Lucia, Paulo, Charlie, Libby, Eko, Ethan, and Naomi. It does not include characters like Aldo, (Rob McElhenney) or Regina (Zoe Bell) because despite being successful (McElhenney as creator and star of It's Always Sunny and Bell as an actress but mainly as a stuntwoman), they only appeared briefly on Lost. So, let's see what our 10 actors have been up to since their deaths on Lost.


Ian Somerhalder (Boone): Since Boone's death, 6 episodes of Tell Me You Love Me, several movies no one saw.


Maggie Grace (Shannon): Minor roles in 3 movies, one of which was a hit (Taken). 4 upcoming movies, none of which look to be blockbusters.


Harold Perrineau Jr. (Michael): Played Det. Leo Banks on The Unusuals, which got canceled after 10 episodes.


Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia): Before Lost: Girlfight, The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil. After Lost: back to the well with Fast and Furious, which did ok, but nothing else. And Ana Lucia died in 2006.


Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo): Highlights since Paulo got buried alive: Che, which no one saw, and Post Grad, which got a 9/100 on Rotten Tomatoes.


Dominic Monaghan (Charlie): Your career's gonna dieeeee, Chaaaaaaalie. He was in Wolverine for about 10 minutes and got dead again, so will not be returning for any sequels.


Cynthia Watros (Libby): Since Michael shot her and cockblocked Hurley: several guest star appearances, and some pilots that didn't get picked up. Sad! We really like her!


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Eko): Um, GI Joe.


William Cruise Mapother (Ethan): Tom's cousin who kept the family name was always more of a character actor than star. He's continued to pop up in things sporadically, but that includes on Viva Laughlin (canceled), K-Ville (canceled) and Prison Break (canceled).


Marsha Thomason (Naomi): Nessa from Las Vegas has gone on to play a sports agent in one episode of Make It or Break It and star in something called Easy Money, which, you guessed it, was canceled.

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Sep 8, 2009 1:00PM EDT

Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros didn't do much before Lost, either, though. Rodrigo Santoro returned to the same type of roles he did before Lost, which is not surprising since his Lost character wasn't well liked. And before Lost, Maggie who?
This fall, much beloved Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) will be on FlashForward, anticipated to do as well as Lost.

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Sep 9, 2009 12:46AM EDT

You forgot Mark Pellegrino (who is in the picture above). He is going to be on Supernatural, that is starting this Thursday, Sept. 8. I don't know if his character died on Lost but he was on HBO's Dexter and did die.

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Sep 12, 2009 6:34AM EDT

I don't think Mark's character is dead to be honest, though because he's picked up a heavy role in Supernatural i have began to think Jacob has really died or will be taking on another form/body.

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