Actors Who Reached the Top in Hollywood and Disappeared From Public Eye
While most people dream of one day being famous and living in Hollywood, these actors and actresses decided it wasn't for them. Fans might be surprised to see which famous stars opted to leave Hollywood. Over the years, many of those who achieve their dream to be famous have realized it is not for them. Many end up ditching their careers at their peak and searching out a different career path. The celebrity lifestyle does not hold the appeal people might think. Here is a list of eight stars who turned their backs on Hollywood.
Fans of the popular show "Lizzie McGuire" fondly remember Carly Schroeder. However, the actress eventually traded her fame for fatigues saying she decided to enlist after working with veterans and advocating for human trafficking victims.
"I've been considering it for a while and it is a big choice, but thankfully my parents and my little brother were very supportive of me," Schroeder, 28, told TMZ. "My dad was actually in the Army, he was a Green Beret medic, and my little brother Hunter, he's in the Marines now."
Gleeson played one of the most maniacal and cruel characters, King Joffrey Baratheon, on the HBO's hit TV series “Game of Thrones.” The series proved his impeccable acting talent but unlike many of his fellow actors, he did not use the show as a springboard to land other acting jobs.
Instead, the young star decided to retire from show business. He has opted to focus on his studies as he is a graduate from Trinity College in Dublin with a double major in theology and philosophy. He has also co-founded the Collapsing Horse theater company and works on stage in London.
Greta Garbo is one of Hollywood's most iconic and recognizable stars from the 1930s. However, she abruptly ended her career when her last movie, "Two-Faced Woman" was poorly received. In her short span career, she was nominated thrice for the "Academy Awards" as the best actress. For her immaculate acting, she was honored with the Academy Honourary Award in 1954.
Many thought Garbo took a temporary hiatus from the spotlight, but the star reverted to her reclusive tendencies and retired from acting after 16 years and 27 movies. She was just 36 years old when she retired. She passed on at the age of 84. One of the famous lines associated with her is, "I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be let alone!' There is all the difference." It is one statement that is usually quoted in the same breath as her name.
Angus T. Jones
Remember the chubby and cute kid from "Two and a Half Men?" He was played by Angus T. Jones who was only 9-years-old when he rose to fame. The show was a massive success but monopolized most of Jones’ childhood.
After he and his character graduated high school, Jones began to feel conflicted between his ever-growing Christian faith and the lewd humor in the show. Jones left the show after season 10 and started studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Actress Bettie Page is often called the original pinup girl. She gained huge recognition after a series of photoshoots in which she was scantily clad. She caught the attention of Playboy featured as the January centerfold in 1955. However, before her passing in 2008, Page had practically vanished from the public eye.
She briefly resurfaced before it was revealed that she was battling mental illness and was also a born-again Christian. In her later life, Page was not sure why her influence on modern popular culture remained the same. “I have no idea why I’m the only model who has had so much fame so long after quitting work,” she said in an interview with The Times in 2006.
Moranis rose to fame with breakout comedy roles like "Ghostbusters" "Little Shop of Horror," "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and "The Flinstones." However, in the early '90s, he retired from the public eye. Instead, he became a voice actor and raise his children. The move was out of necessity as the actor became a single parent in 1991 after his wife died of cancer.
"I pulled out of making movies in about '96 or '97. I'm a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the traveling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn't miss it," he said.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas became known as a teenage heartthrob in the 1990s. From voicing young Simba in "The Lion King" to his hit performance in "Tom and Huck," and his role in the massively successful sitcom "Home Improvement," he had the makings of a star. However, he left the business to focus on academics. He went on to study at Harvard, Columbia, and St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. He opened up about it to People Magazine in 2013 saying,
“To sit in a big library amongst books and students, that was pretty cool. It was a great period in my life, but it doesn’t define me. When I think back on the time, I look at it with a wink. I focus on the good moments I had, not that I was on a lot of magazine covers.”
Penelope Spheeris was launched to fame with her shocking 1981 documentary “The Decline of Western Civilization,” and the 1992 comedy “Wayne’s World.” However, she decided to leave Hollywood in 2012.
“[Hollywood] changed into something that I didn’t want to be a part of,” the 73-year-old filmmaker said. “I really didn’t want to be a part of mainstream Hollywood anymore. It was too — it’s ugly. You have no friends in Hollywood. Hollywood is a lonely, lonely desert, especially as a woman.”
Justin Bieber told his fans via Instagram that he was taking a break from his music career on the 25th of March, 2019. His reasons were that he wants to invest his time in "repairing some of the deep-rooted issues," explaining that he wants to have more time to be a father and husband that he wishes to be.
He also clarified that it was a transient break and that he's coming back bigger and better. Justin's last album was 'Purpose,' which was produced in 2015. Although he has featured in other songs as a guest artist even as recent as 2017. He got wedded to his wife, Hailey Baldwin in November 2018.
Selma Blair told Metro in 2018 that Cameron Diaz was not going to continue her acting career. Blair said that Diaz's last blockbuster movie was in 2014 and she wanted to devote her time to her husband, so she didn't feel like she needs to be on the acting scene. She is now a retired actress, writer and also a model. She featured in lots of comedies throughout her career.
"I'm totally down. I'm semi-retired, too, and I am actually retired, so I would love to see you ladies," Diaz said in an interview.
Kevin Jonas, who was one of the boys of the Jonas Brothers band, was quite famous as a singer. The group split up in 2013 and Kevin put his energy and time into making apps. He made an app he named Yood, which allows you to find close by restaurants who serve the kind of food you picked on a menu. It also includes the restaurant's Yelp rating and a contact number so you can easily make an order.
During their initial run, from 2003-2013, Kevin only sang in one song: "I left my heart in Scandinavia." He was also the first of the brothers to leave fame behind when the band split up: while Nick and Joe continued to make music separately, Kevin focused on starting a family with wife, Danielle Jonas.
Freddy Prinze Jr
Freddy Prinze Jr. quit his acting career to start a lucrative business doing what he loves, which is cooking! He's not entirely out of the movie scene, as he still does voice-overs. In 2016, Prinze debuted a cookbook titled, 'Back To The Kitchen,' in which he described how he used to cook with his mother.
Even more, he was supposed to attend culinary school before he became a big shot Hollywood star. Freddy appeared in movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, and She's All That. Now, he's back to doing what he wanted for himself.
When you hear movies like The Firm, Enemy Of The State, and Unforgiven, you can't remember them without thinking of Gene Hackman. However, the 87-year-old actor resigned from Hollywood after blessing our screens with the epic movie, 'Welcome To Mooseport.' Presently, he is a writer of historical fiction novels.
Within 2004 and 2008, Hackman cooperated with Daniel Lenihan to write four books; Justice for None, Wake of the Perdido Star, Escape from Andersonville, and Vermillion. Additionally, he singularly wrote Payback at Morning Peak and Pursuit.
Just when the "Chappelle's Show" got to its peak in 2015, Dave Chappelle shocked his fans by stepping down as the host. Chappelle went on a sabbatical trip to South Africa. Dave Chappelle stunned fans and Hollywood insiders when he left the super successful "Chappelle's Show" at the height of its popularity in 2005. Chappelle took a trip to South Africa to regroup. Of his sudden decision, he said:
"Coming here, I don't have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I'm interested in the kind of person I've got to become. I want to be well rounded, and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced."
We all remember Jeff Cohen from his character as a former child actor, Chunk in 'The Goonies,' a movie that was produced in 1985. The last time he acted was in a 1991 movie, 'Perfect Harmony.' Cohen used to get side summer jobs on the movie scene through commendations from 'The Goonies' producer, Richard Donner.
He decided to stop acting for a completely different career in entertainment law. After he bagged his degree as a lawyer, he established Cohen Gardner Law and wrote his book, ‘The Dealmakers Ten Commandments.’
Jonathan took a quick break from his acting career to pay attention to his passion, fitness. He used to be an actor and also had another job. Bennett was widely known for the parts he played in Mean Girls and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. According to ABC, he used to teach spin classes at FlyWheel Studio in Los Angeles. Bennett paired with dancer, Allison Holker competed as one of the celebrities on the 19th season of Dancing with the stars. He would later be eliminated in week six on the show, consequently, finishing in ninth position.
After pausing his career, he resumed in the entertainment industry. He is now hosting a TV show, Cake Wars on Food Network and MTV karaoke show Copycat. Recently, he came out publicly as gay, disclosing that he was in a relationship with popular Celebrity Page host.
Peter Ostrum starred in the 1971 movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as Charlie Buckett. It was the only movie he ever acted. People remember that film because of the sparkling role Peter played as a child actor. Even at that, Peter rarely wants to be in a discussion about the movie, but his stance would later change as he started talking about his film to kids while on tour, annually.
After the conclusion of the movie, he went on to live as a regular guy, and then he went to school at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to study veterinary science. That was after he found out about his uncanny love for horses. In 2005, a sequel was made, titled "Charlie and the Chocolate factory" This caused him to be the subject of interest again, but he was able to handle the paparazzi well. He is presently a veterinarian at Countryside Veterinary Clinic situated in Lowville, New York. He majorly treats dairy cattle and horses.
The teen series, 'Saved By The Bell' produced lots of stars, and one of them was Lark Voorhies. She portrayed Lisa Turtle, which made her a well known and loved star. She took a step back from Hollywood to become a painter. Well, you should know that her paintings are not for sale.
She owns them all and isn't selling any, according to what she told VH1. Since 2010, Lark Voorhies has been busy penning novels. The first of her books were self-published, titled 'Reciprocity.'
We always thought that Hollywood life was an addictive one you couldn't leave, but these people prove us wrong as they successfully ditched Hollywood for other things. Which one of them was your favorite? Tell us in the comments section.