Ordinary people may think it rather tempting to be in the limelight. However, the surprising truth is that some celebrities go on to pursue normal careers after giving fame a try. Check out these 15 former big stars you may even cross paths with and see what they are doing now.
After starring for the entire run of the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Angus T. Jones won two Young Artist Awards and a TV Land Award. Back then, he was one of the most promising child actors around. However, after that role, Jones never landed other big parts and gradually vanished from sight. So where did he go afterward?
Try not to take aback at this grown-up Angus T. Jones. Apparently Jones was finally able to let his hair down after the show ended. After the highest-paid child actor became tired of acting, he partnered with Puff Daddy’s son Justin in an event planning business. It seems that helping cast the spotlight on others for a change is more enjoyable.
Fans of the hit sitcom “The Facts Of Life” are likely to remember Lisa Whelchel, who was primed to become a massive star after playing the wealthy preppy girl Blair Warner. But when the show went off the air in 1988, she got married and stepped away from the entire entertainment industry. So what did she do after that?
After retreating from the spotlight, Lisa Whelchel helped raise her three children. Meanwhile, she began to write about her experiences. So far she has had 10 books come out, covering subjects like child discipline, homeschooling and motherhood. Sadly Whelchel’s marriage came to an end in 2012. Recently she’s taken on a few acting jobs, and also serves as a speaker and life coach.
Anyone who watched the critically-acclaimed Goodbye, Columbus would agree Ali MacGraw was sure to win the Most Promising Newcomer Golden Globe. After that, MacGraw landed an acclaimed role in Love Story, which won her the Golden Globe for Best Actress. As her fruitful acting career was getting underway, something else was calling her…
While MacGraw welcomed her time on TV, a sudden tragedy turned her life upside down. Her home was burned down in a wildfire, so she moved to New Mexico to start over. It was at that time that she began to do yoga as a workout routine. Now she is a full-time yoga instructor and her teaching videos are widely credited.
Vanilla Ice became a household name in 1990 with his hit song “Ice Ice Baby” topping the Billboard chart. However, his over-commercialized look was blamed on his record producer SKB and although he landed a big contract, it made him only a one-hit wonder. After that, he had to venture into new areas.
Surely his royalties could afford him to kick start his new career. After exiting the music scene, he entered the real estate business, flipping houses. Luckily enough, the work earned him the DIY Network television series “The Vanilla Ice Project.” The show is now in its 10th season.
The acting road for Gene Hackman was not that smooth. After years of struggling with small roles, Hackman eventually gained a foothold with the movie Lilith. Since then, numerous roles have rolled in. He would have retired in 2004 after winning the Best Actor Academy Award for The French Connection and scoring 100 acting credits to his name, but he has found a new passion…
Late into his acting career, he began writing and established himself as a novelist. So far he has co-authored four books all in the historical fiction genre, including the chilling thriller “Pursuit.”
MTV’s reality show Jersey Shore has successfully introduced several personalities to American pop culture, and Angelina Pivarnick is sure to make the cut. As soon as she arrived with her belongings in garbage bags, she turned heads and caused quite a stir. Taking care of people’s lives seems to have nothing to do with her, but the truth is…
After Angelina left Jersey Shore and appeared on another reality series Couple’s Therapy for two seasons, she found her true passion and became an EMT. How unexpected, right? So people in the New York area may be lucky enough to have Angelina answering your call for help in a medical emergency.
Anyone growing in the 1970s or 80s will fondly remember Linda Barrett in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Phoebe Cates became a sex symbol thanks to the classic pool scene. But in 1989, when she married actor Kevin Kline, Phoebe Gates happily shunned the bright lights of Hollywood for a totally different lifestyle.
Now she’s living a quiet life in New York City as a boutique owner. Her Blue Tree shop, which is located in Manhattan’s prestigious Upper East Side and opened in 2005, sells women’s clothing and jewelry as well as other accessories. With an age-defying figure at 56, Cates is still sure to send fans wild.
Basketball fans certainly remember Shawn Kemp, a legend for the Seattle Supersonics. After a quiet start, Shawn Kemp soon became a high-flying forward known as the “Reign Man” and made headlines. Later plagued by severe weight problems, Kemp finally retired after playing for the Orlando Magic during the 2002-2003 season. So where did the once-superstar go?
The days out of the NBA were not kind to Kemp, so he attempted a comeback for several years. Unfortunately, he was arrested twice for possession of narcotics. Now he has reportedly turned his focus to a restaurant business in his beloved Seattle.
Fans of the hit sitcom Home Improvement will immediately recognize Taran Smith because of his memorable role as the precocious youngest child Mark. As a child star, Smith seems to have grown up on the screen. When the show ended, he was 16, but never had the chance to do what he wanted. After realizing his true calling, he gave up acting and decided to do something more interesting…
After gaining control of his earnings from his parents, Smith set up a vegan dairy farm and catering service along with his then-wife Heidi Van Pelt. Sadly, neither the business nor the marriage lasted. Now he lives in a sailboat and is devoted to aiding disaster relief charities.
“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” became a pop culture sensation pretty much from the day it premiered in 1993. Naturally, Austin St. John rose to stardom for portraying Jason Lee Scott, the Red Power Ranger in the show’s first season and a half. However, St. John left the series because of a pay dispute in the second season, resulting in his character being written out of the show.
After leaving Power Rangers, St. John bounced around several jobs before finally becoming a paramedic. Having spent more than a decade saving lives as a citizen healthcare worker with the military in the Middle East, he transitioned from on-screen hero to off-screen hero at last. He also became a fixture on the comic book convention circuit.
“The Cosby Show” star Geoffrey Owens got his first big break in Hollywood in 1985. He played Dr. Elvin Tibideaux in 44 episodes over seven seasons in total. Although the role led to numerous opportunities, Owens never had another huge hit, leaving his acting career dormant for a long time. Even worse, his royalties dried up in the wake of Bill Cosby’s fall from grace. Until 2018, when he was spotted at a Trader Joe’s…
Owen was spotted bagging groceries at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey. His resurgence in the press ended up being a boon for his acting career. Hundreds of actors came out to support him in finding an honest job to make ends meet. Since then Owens has found more high-profile gigs, such as scoring parts on Tyler Perry’s “The Haves And The Have Nots” and the ABC sitcom “Bless This Mess.”
Given her outstanding performances playing characters in Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street and Matilda, Mara Wilson was undoubtedly one of the brightest child stars of the 1990s. Back then, many people thought Wilson was destined to become a viral sensation in Hollywood. However, a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder forced Wilson to retreat from the spotlight.
Saying goodbye to her previous acting career, Mara continued to study and earned a degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Today she has turned a writer and occasionally appears on a few podcasts and YouTube videos. Talking about the past, she said film acting was not fun and did not allow for very much creative freedom.
Speaking of the best-remembered comedies of the 1980s, The Goonies would surely fit the bill. And the iconic role of Chunk played by Jeff Cohen together with his “truffle shuffle” dance has impressed audiences for three decades. Though Chunk has long been considered a notorious character, Cohen went in a completely different direction in real life.
After playing Chunk, Jeff Cohen nearly left his acting career behind. He then went to college and managed to pursue a legal career. Besides working as an entertainment attorney, he also contributes to HuffPost and CNBC.
Peter Ostrum was certainly the boy who found the last golden ticket in the classic 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The then-12-year-old boy who played Charlie Bucket was well-liked. But in fact, it was his first and last film! From that point on, his heart pulled him in a different direction.
After earning a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, Ostrum now works as a professional veterinarian in Upstate New York. Being able to do something he likes, he is undoubtedly a lucky guy.
Whoever watched Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece The Shining would feel their hair stand on end when recalling the ghostly Grady twins. Lisa and Louise Burns once said that the roles would have gone to two other girls of different ages if they had missed the audition. Though their Shining roles were a massive success, something for the twins went awry.
Their acting careers were forced to hit the pause button after their spooky roles became so associated with them. After retiring from acting, Lisa became a lawyer and Louise a published microbiologist. Talking about the movie, the twins still look back fondly on their roles.