Biggest Hit: "Tin Cup"
Comeback Vehicle: "Django Unchained"
Will It Work: The truth is, Don Johnson was never a major movie star, but his role as Det. "Sonny" Crockett in the trend-setting Michael Mann series "Miami Vice" nevertheless made him one of the most famous men in the country during the mid-to-late-1980s. Following a string of failed cinematic starring vehicles during and after "Vice"'s run, Johnson returned to series television in the successful CBS drama "Nash Bridges," further cementing his status as a TV star while also seeming to confirm that his potential as a big-screen A-lister would never be realized. Now, of course, a late-career renaissance feels like a distinct possibility thanks to Quentin Tarantino, who (perhaps spurred on by Johnson's attention-getting role in "Eastbound & Down") cast the now-62-year-old actor as slave owner Spencer "Big Daddy" Bennett in his forthcoming Civil War-era action film "Django Unchained." While it's not a leading role, the "Pulp Fiction" director is nevertheless famed for his career-resurrection abilities, with faded stars including John Travolta, Pam Grier and Robert Forster among the thesps whose movie careers (at least temporarily) received a much-needed boost from the Oscar-winning filmmaker. That said, the amount of screentime enjoyed by Johnson - not to mention how his performance is received by critics - will ultimately determine whether his big-screen career gets a second wind.
- Chris Eggertsen