Brendan Fraser was a beloved actor in the ’90s and for good reason. He was equal parts boyish and hunky, easily switching between goofy comedies and period dramas. But as soon as he established himself as an accomplished and bankable name, he pretty much disappeared. We took a look at what happened to Brendan Fraser’s career, as well as what he has going on today.
What Happened To Brendan Fraser’s Film Career?
Brendan Fraser began his acting career in 1990 after graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. After steady work in the ’90s, Fraser made it big as an action star with 1997’s George of the Jungle and 1999’s The Mummy. Throughout the ’00s, Fraser appeared in a number of films, including the critically-acclaimed Crash. But none of those projects came close to the success of The Mummy, and then…the spotlight began to fade.
He Took A Step Back To Focus On His Health After The Mummy
In a 2018 GQ profile, Fraser attributes his low profile to a number of different issues. For starters, the physical demands of The Mummy series destroyed his body. He was in and out of hospitals for seven years, undergoing multiple surgeries on his spine, a partial knee replacement, and treatment for injured vocal cords.
“I felt like the horse from Animal Farm, whose job it was to work and work and work,” said Fraser. “Orwell wrote a character who was, I think, the proletariat. He worked for the good of the whole, he didn’t ask questions, he didn’t make trouble until it killed him.”
Personal Losses Also Interfered With His Career
When he was cast on Showtime’s The Affair in 2016, Fraser sat down with AOL for his first interview in years. His glum demeanor did not go unnoticed—in fact, it led to a “sad Brendan Fraser” meme. If anyone had known what was really happening behind the scenes, they might have had second thoughts about giggling over the clip.
Fraser’s mother died of cancer just days before he sat in front of the AOL audience. “I buried my mom,” Fraser told GQ. “I think I was in mourning, and I didn’t know what that meant.”
Life, in general, had been a challenge for the star, “I changed houses, I went through a divorce,” he continued. “Some kids were born. I mean, they were born, but they’re growing up. I was going through things that mold and shape you in ways that you’re not ready for until you go through them.”
He Was A Victim Of Sexual Assault In 2003
Fraser also revealed that he had been traumatized by an unwanted sexual advance. He told the magazine that in 2003, he was assaulted by Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, at a luncheon in Beverly Hills. Mr. Berk denied the allegations, but Fraser gave a seemingly genuine account of the experience.
“I felt ill,” he said. “I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.”
“I became depressed,” he continued. “I was blaming myself and I was miserable—because I was saying, ‘This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel.’ That summer wore on—and I can’t remember what I went on to work on next.”
Fraser can’t say for sure that going public with his assault led to being blacklisted by the entertainment industry. However, his intuition tells him they’re tied together.
“The phone does stop ringing in your career, and you start asking yourself why,” said Fraser. “There are many reasons, but was this one of them? I think it was.”
What Is Brendan Fraser Doing Today?
Fraser divorced his wife of ten years, Afton Smith, in 2008. He currently lives in a New York suburb, close to Smith’s Connecticut home (where she has custody of their three sons).
In recent years, he’s kept himself busy with TV roles. Fraser currently plays Cliff Steele, aka Robotman, in the DC Comics-based series Doom Patrol.
In 2022, he was cast as Firefly in the DC movie Batgirl. He also plays the lead role in The Whale, a psychological drama directed by Darren Aronofsky. We are so excited to see our beloved action star coming back to the big screen, where he belongs.