Cruise has become someone you almost laugh at," Ronn Torossian, the CEO of 5W Public Relations, told ABCNews.com in 2008. "People talk about him like they would about Michael Jackson or Mike Tyson."
It didn't help that "Valkryie," Cruise's first film as an independent producer, tanked at the box office. It was time for Cruise to stage a comeback and he did.
After lying low, he returned to the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008 and made fun of his couch-jumping appearance. Later, he apologized to Lauer on the set of the "Today" show.
"It's really very much about him trying to undo the damage that he did," US Weekly's Bradley Jacobs told ABCNews.com in 2008. "And I do think it's working."
By decade's end, Tom had re-established his reputation as a movie star and solidified his public image as a loving husband to Holmes and hands-on dad to daughter Suri.
Mariah Carey began the decade with what became known as the "Popsicle meltdown."
In July 2001, she made a surprise appearance on MTV's "Total Request Live," where she handed out popsicles and did a bizarre striptease, leaving host Carson Daly befuddled. "I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows," she told Daly.
Days later, the pop diva posted a message to her Web site, saying "What I'd like to do is just a take a little break or at least get one night of sleep without someone popping up about a video." It was no surprise when hospitalization for "extreme exhaustion" soon followed.
Later that year her film "Glitter" bombed at the box office and Carey won a "Razzie" award for worst actress.
Carey returned to what she knows best: music. But she didn't get the bounceback she needed until 2005 with "We Belong Together," the first hit from her 10th album. She continued her hot streak in 2008 with "E=MC2" and 2009's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel."
She also found love, marrying actor Nick Cannon in a surprise wedding in May 2008. Her return to the big screen, playing a social worker in the acclaimed "Precious," has also won her praise.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres first found mainstream success in the mid-'90s when she came out on her sitcom "Ellen." But after the show was canceled in 1998 due to poor ratings, DeGeneres went through a difficult period, professionally and personally, including a highly publicized breakup with actress Anne Heche.
"I went through a phase, whether it was true or not, where my perception was, 'Everyone hates me now,' and it felt horrible," she told People magazine.
Her next try at sitcom success in 2001 fell short. "The Ellen Show" lasted only one season. DeGeneres took a break and regrouped.
In 2003, she came back with an HBO special, a book of comic essays and the role as Dory in the animated hit "Finding Nemo." She also launched her own daytime talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," dancing her way back into America's hearts.
Now it seems nothing can stop DeGeneres. Next up, she takes Paula Abdul's spot as a judge for the hit reality show "American Idol."
The decade started so well for Britney Spears. She was at the top of her game at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards when she strutted across the stage crooning "I'm a Slave 4 U," a larger-than-life snake slithering above her taut abs.
Even Madonna wanted a piece of her. Their kiss at the 2003 VMAs made headlines around the world and is still one of MTV's most-talked-about moments.