From promising child actor, to struggling TV talent, to respected A-lister, has anyone had such a stellar mid-career comeback as 'Horrible Bosses 2' star Jason Bateman? Let's look back at his not-quite-overnight success.
'Little House on the Prairie' (1981-1982)
Jason Bateman was 12 when he made his first foray into screen acting, at the tail end of this classic TV series. His character, James, was one of a pair of orphans adopted by the Ingalls family (Michael Landon, et al).
'Silver Spoons' (1982-1984)
Bateman moved on from 'Little House' to the first of many sitcoms to come. As Ricky Schroder's buddy, Bateman (at bottom) was not, as this photo might suggest, a central cast member. He exited the series after its second season.
After the short-lived sitcom 'It's Your Move,' Bateman found a home on 'Valerie.' The show changed titles multiple times after star Valerie Harper's departure, but Bateman (at top), now a teen heartthrob, stuck around for its entire run.
'Teen Wolf Too' (1987)
Bateman's first stab at movie stardom began – and ended – with this stinker. Michael J. Fox, who headlined the first 'Teen Wolf,' was still appearing on TV's 'Family Ties' with Bateman's sister, Justine, when this movie flopped. Awkward.
'Necessary Roughness' (1991)
In 1991, 'The Hogan Family' -- the show formerly known as 'Valerie' -- was canceled, so Bateman returned to the big screen in this college football comedy. He was billed behind Scott Bakula, Harley Jane Kozak and Sinbad. How times have changed.
'This Can't Be Love' (1994)
The '90s weren't kind to Bateman. Along with a drug and alcohol problem, he starred in one failed sitcom after another and took parts in obscure TV movies, with one notable exception: this Katharine Hepburn-Anthony Quinn romance.
'The Sweetest Thing' (2002)
Shortly before his big comeback, Bateman landed a supporting role as a womanizer in this Cameron Diaz romcom, which was a modest success despite scathing reviews.
'Arrested Development' (2003-2014)
Finally, after years of struggle, Jason Bateman had a hit. True, this brilliant, irreverent sitcom was canceled due to low ratings. But its cult following grew rapidly, as did Bateman's newfound reputation as a master deadpan comic.
''The Ex' (2006)
Bateman's work on 'Arrested Development' led to several scene-stealing parts in big comedies. This darkly funny Zach Braff-Amanda Peet vehicle, though it didn't fare well at the box office, proved he was also ready for leading roles.
'The Kingdom' (2007)
This Middle East action thriller was an unexpectedly dramatic turn for Bateman. Here, he plays an FBI analyst kidnapped by terrorists in Saudi Arabia. Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner to the rescue!
Bateman and his 'Kingdom' co-star Jennifer Garner play a couple who grow close to Juno (Ellen Page) as they prepare to adopt her baby. Bateman is terrific as the pathetic musician longing for the coolness of his youth.
More supporting roles in studio movies would follow, but Mike Judge's little comedy about a put-upon entrepreneur and his exhausting employees was Bateman's first film since 'Teen Wolf Too' where he received top billing.
'Horrible Bosses' (2011)
This black comedy, in which three schmoes (Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) resolve to murder their abusive employers, was one of 2011's breakout hits. And it's the first Jason Bateman movie to get its own sequel.
'Identity Thief' (2013)
Bateman reteamed with his 'Horrible Bosses' director and once again dominated the box office. The actor found a good comic foil in Melissa McCarthy, another sitcom star transitioning to a big-screen career.
'Bad Words' (2013)
Bateman's feature directorial debut was this hilariously foul-mouthed indie, in which he stars as a 40-year-old dropout who tries to win a spelling bee at all costs.
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