Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 05:37 pm
Fame doesn’t always last. Despite the opportunity to run the celeb circuit, appear on reality TV shows and male guest appearances at all manner of functions and nostalgia concerts, not all celebs choose to continue a life in the limelight. Here is a list of once familiar names who, for one reason or another, are now pursuing normal jobs:
Gene Hackman – Writer
Gene Hackman starred in some of the best-known films of the last 50 years and had a career in Hollywood that spanned that same timeframe. Hackman’s filmography is the envy of many other established actors: The French Connection, Superman, Mississippi Burning, Unforgiven, and The Royal Tenenbaums are just some of his career highlights.
However, in recent years, Hackman has been enjoying his retirement and focusing his efforts on writing. Historical novels have become his particular genre, and the ex-actor has peened three novels in collaboration with archaeologist Daniel Lenihan.
Vanilla Ice – Real Estate
To a generation of music lovers, the name Vanilla Ice is legendary. The rapper was responsible for one of the biggest hits of the 1990s with Ice Ice Baby, which used the hook from Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure. Fame didn’t work out for Ice, however, and soon he had to pursue another career: flipping homes through renovations. This new career even spawned a reality TV series in 2009: The Vanilla Ice Project. Real Estate has become a successful career for the ex-musician, whose signature tune is still a dancefloor favorite at 90s discos all over the world.
Hayden Christiansen - Farmer
The young actor received mixed reviews at best for his role in the second Star Wars trilogy, playing Anakin Skywalker, who, of course, becomes embroiled in the dark side. It’s not clear whether Christiansen took these reviews to heart, but after the intergalactic movies he proceeded to turn down a host of other roles, and instead took to farming his own land in Ontario, Canada.
“Recent years have seen Christiansen step back into acting, with 2017’s First Kill, so maybe a second shot at the limelight is in store for the Canadian,” reports Jason Diamond, a blogger at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.
Agnetha Faltskog - Retired
The name may not be instantly recognizable to everybody, but it is the ‘A’ at the start of Agnetha that gives it away, for the Swede was one-quarter of the supergroup ABBA, whose songs are still a staple of radio stations around the world.
“Faltskog stepped away from music and bought a country house in her native Sweden where she pursued her passions for cosmology, yoga and riding horse. At one stage, the star claimed that she hadn’t sung a note for 13 whole years. Thankfully for fans, she has recently returned to the music business,” says Amanda Santiago, a lifestyle writer at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting.
Mara Wilson - writer
Another actor who gave up the silver screen for a career in penship, Wilson was famous as the child star in hits Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda. Instantly recognizable as a child, Wilson found it increasingly difficult to secure roles as she got older, and found only sporadic opportunities. She now dedicates most of her time to writing.
Phoebe Cates – Charity work
Cates was an icon in the 1980s, and the focus of a million schoolboy crushes. Her name is even mentioned in the latest series of cult Netflix show Stranger Things. The star of Fast Times at Ridgemont High found a career in acting hard to sustain and she now dedicates most of her time to charity work, including raising money for a cause close to her heart: juvenile diabetes.
Josh Saviano - Lawyer
As a child actor, Saviano was instantly recognizable as geeky Paul Joshua Pfeiffer in the immensely popular The Wonder Years. However, after that Saviano disappeared from screens and concentrated on his education, studying political science at Yale before entering a profession as a corporate lawyer.
Peter Ostrum – Veterinarian
Peter Ostrum was another child star who didn’t pursue a career on the silver screen for one reason or another. Instantly recognizable as a child for playing the character Charlie Bucket opposite Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, based on Roald Dahl’s famous novel, Ostrum had a love of animals and is now a vet focusing on larger beasts in upstate New York
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer and editor at LuckyAssignments and GumEssays. As well as being involved in many eclectic projects, Ashley is a dedicated mom and a lover of travel, books and modern life.