What makes a movie star "uninsurable"? In Hollywood, the term applies when a producer determines a star's unpredictable behavior or questionable health is so likely to threaten a movie shoot or TV show that insurance against that risk isn't worth the investment. Here are four actors who at one time or another may have been considered too risky for Hollywood to handle.
Lindsay Lohan was deemed uninsurable after two drunken driving convictions and multiple stints in rehab. Now, she "may be the most insured actress that ever walked on a soundstage," according to the producer on her next project. Lohan will portray Elizabeth Taylor in the upcoming Lifetime biopic "Liz and Dick," which seems fitting since Taylor also was deemed "uninsurable" by Hollywood -- when she suffered health problems in the 1960s during the making of the expensive epic "Cleopatra."
Robert Downey Jr.
It took a superhuman effort for "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. to escape the substance abuse that rendered him uninsurable in the late 1990s. A series of arrests interspersed with stints in prison and rehab cost Downey plenty, including his comeback role on TV's "Ally McBeal" and a Woody Allen movie. Downey's "Air America" co-star Mel Gibson even posted an insurance bond when no Hollywood studio would touch him. Now Downey champions the beleaguered Gibson.
Nicole Kidman denied it when some were calling her uninsurable after her knee pain on the set of 2001's "Moulin Rouge!" caused two delays (which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per day). Producers on her next film, "Panic Room," replaced Kidman with Jodie Foster. Kidman eventually landed "Cold Mountain" after she agreed to use a stunt woman, and the movie became a hit. Nothing soothes nervous insurance companies in Hollywood like a blockbuster comeback!
Hollywood usually chalks up misbehavior as a cost of working with artists. But when "Two and a Half Men" star and perennial bad boy Charlie Sheen had a very public flameout in 2011, he crossed a line , possibly into uninsurable territory. Sheen was fired from his hit show because TV executives said he was endangering his life with drug and alcohol abuse and had become erratic. Have the insurance companies forgiven Sheen his transgressions? Maybe, since he's working again. His comeback series "Anger Management" premieres in late June on FX.
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