Fame and fortune are a tempting combination for those who aspire to and have achieved it. Once the public begins treating the celebrity as entitled and deserving of the best, the danger of losing ones’ roots is strong.
We’ve all heard about the ill-behaved stars who throw tantrums if they are brought water or coffee that isn’t specific to their preferences. There are also the ones who show up whenever they please regardless of how many people they keep waiting.
We must admit, it would be a challenge to keep your head on straight when everyone around you is treating you as special. This is a list of the opposite kind of celebrity. This is a group of successful actors, musicians and comedians who saw the reality of Hollywood and the entertainment industry and elected to take a hike to live a life that was more true to their inner yearnings.
These are the real stars, the ones who gave up fame and fortune to lead a normal life and bring up their children without fuss, muss and false grandeur.
10. Grace Kelly: Left to be a Princess
Graceful Grace Kelly was well on her way to a huge acting career and mega-stardom when she agreed to marry the Prince Rainier III of Monaco. By that time, America had already fallen in love with her from her leading roles in Mogambo, Dial M for Murder and On the Waterfront. When she left Hollywood for Monaco, American fans were excited for the new princess but sad that she stopped acting. Unfortunately, the princess had a stroke while out driving and got in an accident that caused her death. Her daughter, Stephanie, who was in the car with her, survived.
9. Meg Ryan: Left to Expand her Lifestyle
Meg Ryan was America’s sweetheart and a box office success for a couple decades. Some of her most popular films, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and French Kiss, kept Ryan in the spotlight for years. Ultimately, she tired of being the cutesy, blond romantic comedienne and accepted more serious roles, which did not do as well. At this point in her life, she decided to live under the media radar and so she moved from the Hollywood scene to the hustle and bustle of life in New York City. Ryan is enjoying her new life taking care of her 8-year old daughter and hanging out with boyfriend of three years, rocker John Mellencamp.
8. Dave Chappelle: Tired of the Industry
After an earlier escape to Africa to escape the craziness of Hollywood, Chapelle is once again revolted by what he witnessed. After a stand-up booking in Hartford, Connecticut went sour, Chappelle again stated he would be quitting comedy. The rudeness the audience displayed was evidently the last straw – at least for a long while. The super funny comedian decided to take their money and run as he sat on the stage and smoked a cigarette counting the minutes before he could leave instead of finishing his routine. We do not know what he is going to do next, but we applaud his self-respect and unwillingness to cower to ill-behaved audiences out of fear of reputation. He just doesn’t care.
7. Kelly LeBrock: Wanted a Family Life with Real People
Kelly LeBrock was a sex goddess as a model and actress. She really knew how to exude just the right amount of sexiness and humor to make her unique among thousands of other beautiful starlets. She wound up being a big hit in Weird Science and Woman in Red, two movies that will remain great rentals for years to come. LeBrock left Hollywood after her split with alleged abusive husband Steven Seagal. Evidently, she decided to leave “the life” and create a completely different one on a large ranch in Santa Barbara where she and her kids could breathe without publicity. LeBrock is quoted as saying, “I moved my kids out of LA so they could grow up with real people – the kids of gas pump attendants, plumbers and real family people.”
6. John Hughes: Wanted a Normal Family Life
John Hughes, director, left Hollywood in 1999 after being the directing force behind teen classics like Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. He has gone off the grid and since 1995 no one in the industry has heard from him. All we know is that he used to live somewhere in the Chicago area, unfortunately he is now deceased. We heard through the grapevine that he saw what Hollywood did to some of his best friends, like John Candy, thus causing the decision to live a different life.
5. Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam): Accepted Islam and Left the Music Business
Just this year, Yusuf Islam was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his amazing playbook of hits that have endured through the years. Some of “Cat Stevens‘” most popular 70’s hits are still played on stations and sung by other soloists everywhere. “The First Cut is The Deepest” and “Peace Train” are two hits you may know, regardless of your birth year. He was a huge success and left quite willingly to embrace his Islamic faith.
4. Phoebe Cates: Mother and Entrepreneur
Phoebe Cates started as a model and actress and achieved success at an early age. She is most known for her roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins. She eventually met actor Kevin Kline and they became a couple and were later married. In 1989 they were married and she quit the business to be a wife and mother. Kevin and Phoebe have two children, Greta and Owen, and live in New York City. A few years later, in 2005 she opened her own boutique on Madison Avenue, called Blue Tree.
3. Meg Tilly: Wanted to Write and Raise a Family
The Big Chill had a hand in making Meg Tilly a known actress. She also started in Agnes of God, starring Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft, for which she won a Golden Globe. Tilly left the Hollywood scene although she was being offered good roles, such as Amadeus, when she had to leave the project due to a leg injury. She left the industry and wrote five novels that were published. The first novel is entitled, Singing Songs and was met with mostly positive reviews. She is currently married to author Don Calame and lives in Toronto. She occasionally dips her toe back in the water and most recently played Lorna Corbett in the short-lived series Bomb Girls.
2. Shirley Temple: Transitioned into United Nations
By the time Shirley was four years old, she began acting professionally. The audience loved her innate talents and her acting career grew as she did. By the time she was six, she was making a salary that would be equivalent to more than $20,000 per week in today’s economy. Her parents and home life remained completely normal and stable and her feet were always kept on the ground. She starred in a myriad of feel good movies and became a box-office success before she was 13-years old. Her movies finally started stalling at the box office as she grew into her teens and adulthood. In 1950, she announced her official retirement from the business. After a few gigs as a variety show host, she became an active member of California’s 11th Congressional district and was ultimately appointed to become a representative to the United Nation’s General Assembly in 1969.
1. Rick Moranis: Wanted to be a Great Single-Dad
Rick Moranis has one of those faces and voices that are easy to remember and enjoy. He was a musician, actor and comedian all rolled into one big talent. His successful movies will remain popular for many years to come: Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Parenthood, The Flintstones and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids are a few. Moranis has not appeared in a film since 1997. The sad incident that prompted him to leave the film industry was the death of his wife, Ann, to cancer. He is quoted as saying, “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 didn’t really miss it.”