The Greatest Artists With Only One Masterpiece People
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The Greatest Artists With Only One Masterpiece

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.
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  1. 1
    + 201
    - 29

    age 89 Great Work: To Kill a Mockingbird

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 129
    - 37

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 114
    - 39

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

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 106
    - 43

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

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 66
    - 25

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

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 55
    - 17

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

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 55
    - 18

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

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 71
    - 36

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 66
    - 33

    Great Work: "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 98
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    added by KirkSaw Died at 44 (1896-1940) Great Work: The Great Gatsby

    ) open
  11. 11
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    Died at 57 (1879-1936) Great Work: Nosferatu

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 51
    - 28

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

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 71
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    age 56 Great Work: The Exorcist

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 17
    - 3

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

    ) open
  15. 15
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    Died at 51 (1891-1942) Great Work: American Gothic

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 42
    - 29

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

    ) open
  17. 17
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    - 43

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

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 43
    - 34

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

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 63
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    Died at 28 (1965-1993) Great Work: The Crow

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 35
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    added by Skojare Died at 82 (1911-1993) Great Work: The Lord of the Rings

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 67
    - 63

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

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 41
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    Died at 32 (1937-1969) Great Work: A Confederacy of Dunces

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 46
    - 48

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

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 68
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    age 45 Great Work: The Sixth Sense

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 67
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    added by KirkSaw Died at 70 (1915-1985) Great Work: Citizen Kane

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 28
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    Died at 54 (1892-1946) Great Work: The Passion of Joan of Arc

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 30
    - 33

    age 56 Great Work: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 34
    - 38

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 37
    - 43

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

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 35
    - 41

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

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 3
    - 1

    added by www_hctdavid Died at 57 (1770-1827)

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 2
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    new! & added by www_hctdavid age 29

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 32
    - 38

    age 64 Great Work: An American Werewolf in London

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 34
    - 41

    age 47 Great Work: Boyz n the Hood

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 33
    - 42

    added by clash1977 Bat Out Of Hell

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 25
    - 33

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 2
    - 4

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

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 2
    - 5

    added by johnbentin Died at 61 (1894-1955)

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 2
    - 5

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

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 2
    - 5

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

    ) open
  41. 41
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    No image

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

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 25
    - 38

    added by teppscan-google age 76 "Great Work; The Last Picture Show"

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 1
    - 5

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

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 31
    - 49

    age 35 Great Work: My Girl

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 37
    - 62

    age 36 Great Work: Almost Famous

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 21
    - 39

    age 40 Great Work: Donnie Darko

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 13
    - 28

    added by HumbertoIbarra Great Work: La Macarena

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 20
    - 44

    Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez Great Work: The Blair Witch Project

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 12
    - 36

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

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 15
    - 46

    age 54 Great Work: Buffalo 66

    ) open
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