The Greatest Artists With Only One Masterpiece People

The Greatest Artists With Only One Masterpiece

by  5,292 votes 791 voters 107,526 views 52 items tags f p @

The greatest artists with only one masterpiece include authors, actors and actresses, directors, painters and musicians. Each person included on this list managed to have incredible impact with one truly memorable piece of work, whether it's an album, a song, a painting or a novel. This list of the greatest artists with only a single, amazing and memorable piece of work, is VoteRanked, meaning the rank is determined by the community. Be sure to vote for those artists you believe contributed the most and feel free to add anyone else you think should be included.

This list of so-called "one hit wonders" includes several authors. Harper Lee certainly deserves a spot. Her novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' won the Pulitzer Price in 1960, and it remains her only published work. I've included both Sylvia Plath ('The Bell Jar') and John Kennedy Toole ('A Confederacy of Dunces') on the list, although in both cases, these writers' memorable masterpieces were published either shortly before, or just after, their deaths (both Plath and Toole committed suicide). And of course, Margaret Mitchell earns a spot on this list: 'Gone With the Wind' was her only novel.

Directors and actors are also included on this list. None, perhaps, are more infamous for only creating one truly memorable piece of work than director Charles Laughton. In 1955, Laughton directed 'The Night of the Hunter' -- a film that's considered by some to be one of the best from that decade. Sadly, Laughton never directed another movie. Actors and actresses on this list include Brandon Lee ('The Crow'), Linda Blair ('The Exorcist'), Kate Hudson ('Almost Famous') and David Naughton ('An American Werewolf in London'). Disagree with the choices? Vote them down. And definitely add any Hollywood greats I've missed along the way.

Musicians who've released only one memorable album or song also got spots on this list, though they are rare. Examples? The Sex Pistols! The band only released one studio album: 1977's 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.' Everything else is a compilation and/or a live release. Jeff Buckley, sadly, also only released one (truly amazing) complete studio album: 'Grace,' in 1994.

American painter Grant Wood also makes this list of the greatest artists with only one masterpiece. His painting 'American Gothic' is without question his greatest (and most memorable) piece, though he did paint other, much lesser known paintings during his career. If you know of other artists who should be included on this list, by all means, add them.

Enjoy this list of artists who've created some of the biggest, most memorable pieces of work in history, and again, add anyone you think was overlooked.


List Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
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    age 89 Great Work: To Kill a Mockingbird

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  2. 2
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    Died at 69 (1547-1616) Great Work: Don Quixote

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  3. 3
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    Died at 49 (1900-1949) Great Work: Gone With the Wind

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  4. 4
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    Died at 30 (1818-1848) Great Work: Wuthering Heights

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  5. 5
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    added by HumbertoIbarra
    Died at 56 (1265-1321) Great Work: The Divine Comedy

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  6. 6
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    added by TaraWickstrom
    Died at 39 (1816-1855) Jane Eyre

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  7. 7
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    added by EEE1
    Died at 91 (1919-2010) Catcher in the Rye

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  8. 8
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    - 19

    added by 2probb
    Died at 65 (1847-1912) One great work: the novel Dracula

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  9. 9
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    added by LarsWinkel
    Died at 56 (1889-1945)

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  10. 10
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    Procol Harum

    Great Work: "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

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  11. 11
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    added by analise.dubner
    Died at 66 (1935-2001) Great Work: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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  12. 12
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    added by KirkSaw
    Died at 44 (1896-1940) Great Work: The Great Gatsby

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  13. 13
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    Max Schreck

    Died at 57 (1879-1936) Great Work: Nosferatu

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  14. 14
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    Died at 81 (1913-1994) Great Work: Invisible Man

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  15. 15
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    age 56 Great Work: The Exorcist

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  16. 16
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    Johann Pachelbel

    Died at 53 (1653-1706) Great Work: Canon in D

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  17. 17
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    Died at 51 (1891-1942) Great Work: American Gothic

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  18. 18
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    added by Skojare
    Died at 82 (1911-1993) Great Work: Lord of the Flies

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    Died at 50 (1868-1918) Great Work: Cyrano de Bergerac

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  20. 20
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    Samuel Barber

    Died at 71 (1910-1981) Great Work: Adagio for Strings

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  21. 21
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    Brandon Lee

    Died at 28 (1965-1993) Great Work: The Crow

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  22. 22
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    Died at 31 (1932-1963) Great Work: The Bell Jar

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  23. 23
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    Sex Pistols

    Great Work: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols

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  24. 24
    + 45
    - 49
    Jeff Buckley

    Died at 31 (1966-1997) Great Work: Grace

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    Died at 32 (1937-1969) Great Work: A Confederacy of Dunces

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  26. 26
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    added by KirkSaw
    Died at 70 (1915-1985) Great Work: Citizen Kane

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  27. 27
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    M. Night Shyamalan

    age 45 Great Work: The Sixth Sense

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  28. 28
    + 32
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    Renée Jeanne Falconetti

    Died at 54 (1892-1946) Great Work: The Passion of Joan of Arc

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  29. 29
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    Charles Laughton

    Died at 63 (1899-1962) Great Work: The Night of the Hunter

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  30. 30
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    age 47 Great Work: Boyz n the Hood

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  31. 31
    + 37
    - 49

    Died at 50 (1954-2004) Great Work: The Millennium Series

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  32. 32
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    added by clash1977
    Bat Out Of Hell

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  33. 33
    + 34
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    David Naughton

    age 64 Great Work: An American Werewolf in London

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  34. 34
    + 30
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    age 56 Great Work: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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  35. 35
    + 29
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    Gary Jules

    added by FashionBaby
    age 46 Great Work: Mad World (Tears for Fears cover)

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  36. 36
    + 31
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    added by teppscan-google
    age 76 "Great Work; The Last Picture Show"

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  37. 37
    + 13
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    added by www_hctdavid
    Died at 57 (1770-1827)

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  38. 38
    + 21
    - 33

    added by HumbertoIbarra
    Great Work: La Macarena

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  39. 39
    + 5
    - 11

    added by 2probb
    Died at 55 (1713-1768) Great work: the novel Tristram Shandy (shortened title!)

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  40. 40
    + 4
    - 10

    added by 2probb
    Died at 49 (1891-1940) Great work: the novel The Master and Margarita

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  41. 41
    + 26
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    Richard Kelly

    age 40 Great Work: Donnie Darko

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  42. 42
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    added by www_hctdavid
    age 29

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    No image

    added by JamesRLock
    Grey Aliens Mutating monkey dna converting us to humans

  44. 44
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    Anna Chlumsky

    age 35 Great Work: My Girl

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  45. 45
    + 2
    - 10

    added by 2probb
    Died at 54 (1880-1934) Great work: the novel Petersburg

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  46. 46
    + 2
    - 10

    added by johnbentin
    Died at 61 (1894-1955)

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  47. 47
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    Kate Hudson

    age 36 Great Work: Almost Famous

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  48. 48
    + 2
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    added by 2probb
    Donald Cammell Died at 62 (1934-1996) Great work: the film Performance

  49. 49
    + 23
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    Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez Great Work: The Blair Witch Project

  50. 50
    + 14
    - 40

    Died at 33 (1791-1824) Great Work: The Raft of the Medusa

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