It seems that the top headlines these days all revolve around celebrity scandals. It could be cheating spouses, botched surgeries, drugs and alcohol, or even crime sprees. Scandalous stars take over the media, we know who slept with who and who hit who. But, what about those celebrities who had one or two hits and disappeared? The ones who disappeared without a scandal, or spending all their hard-earned money?
Whatever happened to the sister from Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Or the little girl from Jurassic Park? What about the dad from Honey I Shrunk the Kids?
Those celebrities seem to slide through the cracks, and disappear from the public’s eye, as well as our minds a lot of the time. In this list, we will look at what happened to those forgotten stars, and see how they smoothly crept out of the spotlight and into a more normal life. This list contains the ones who care about family, school, and following less-publicized dreams, the ones who stayed away from jail, rehab, and negative tabloids.
10. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson, better known as Matilda, left Hollywood despite finding fame as a young child. She won and was nominated for multiple awards as a child and even turned down multiple roles that were offered to her. She supposedly admitted to never having liked acting, saying the directors telling her what to do and how to do it affected her creative freedom. Her last major role was in 2000. She currently lives in New York and dabbles in plays and performances. She also worked with a non-profit, Project UROK, in 2015 to help draw attention to mental illness, which she admitted to struggling with herself.
9. Kevin Jonas
One third of teen heart-throbs The Jonas Brothers, Kevin, drove girls crazy for years. He made appearances in various movies in shows starring as himself, and acting roles. Jonas got married in 2009, and briefly starred in a reality show called Married to Jonas with his wife and two other brothers. The couple had a daughter in 2014. After the band split, Jonas pursued a calmer line of work and became a contractor, even making a cameo in his new job on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Jonas has hosted various events and even had a role on Celebrity Apprentice.
8. Jack Gleeson
Jack Gleeson, who just recently left Hollywood, is best known for his role as Joffrey on Game of Thrones. He had a number of smaller roles as well, anyone remember the familiar looking little boy from Batman Begins? Gleeson even had a leading role in All Good Children. He left the spotlight to pursue a graduate degree. Gleeson left the business after simply realizing it wasn’t for him, and knowing he wanted to pursue his education. Originally he simply indicated he might retire, but later confirmed he would after his work on Game of Thrones was finished. He has studied multiple subjects, and even published work in anthropology.
7. Dave Chappelle
Best known for his comedy show The Chappelle Show, Dave Chappelle retired when he was at the peak of his career. He is also known for big screen roles in movies such as Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Con Air. He also had a starring role in Half Baked. He is listed as one of Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.” Chappelle does occasional stand-up shows still and has had a couple of surprise shows over the past couple months, but mostly stays quiet living with his family. While rumors circulated that he left television because of drug problems, Chappelle told Oprah Winfrey he had had issues with how the entertainment industries portrayed black entertainers.
6. Ariana Richards
Ariana Richards, who is best known for playing Lex Murphy in Jurassic Park, held a couple other roles before disappearing from the Hollywood spotlight. She even appeared in a music video portraying a high school student. Richards, who won multiple awards for acting, left Hollywood to pursue an artistic route of a different sort. She is now an award-winning painter, specializing in impressionist paintings. She has won two awards as a painter, National Professional Oil Painting Competition and the Art of the West’s Award of Excellence. It is believed she currently lives in Oregon, where she is working as an apprentice with a professional painter.
5. Kel Mitchell
Kel Mitchell, who was best known for his role on Kenan and Kel, starred in a few other roles as well. He was the Invisible Boy in Mystery Men alongside Ben Stiller. Mitchell apparently had a quiet falling out with co-star Kenan Thompson, possibly having to do with Thompson making Saturday Night Live over Mitchell. After the falling out, rumors spread around as to where he went, including a rumor that he died spreading on Myspace. Contrary to these rumors, Mitchell is focusing on his faith as a converted Christian and has appeared in several smaller roles since the end of Kenan and Kel.
4. Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman, best known probably for his role as Lex Luther in Superman or Harry Zimm in Get Shorty, left Hollywood to pursue a different artistic dream. Hackman also appeared in other films during his career that spanned decades. He appeared in The Replacements, Behind Enemy Lines, The Birdcage and Hoosiers, among others. He was nominated for and won multiple awards during his career. In 2004, Hackman told Larry King he believed his career as an actor was over. Since retiring, Hackman has published a number of historical fiction books, as well as other types of publications, as an accomplished author.
3. Sir Sean Connery
Best known for his role as the famous spy James Bond in seven different Bond films, Sean Connery won several awards during his career in Hollywood, including being chosen as People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. Connery retired from Hollywood in 2003 after The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where he played Allan Quatermain. He has however done voice acting for different cartoons and games since his retirement, including returning as the voice of James Bond in the video game 007: From Russia with Love in 2005. He now has a villa in Greece.
2. Rick Moranis
Rick Moranis made a name for himself playing Louis Tully in Ghostbusters, Wayne Szalinski in Honey I Shrunk the Kids or as Seymour Krelborn, the singer caretaker in Little Shop of Horrors. Moranis left show business in the late 90s. His long-time wife Ann Belsky passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer. He retired to take care of his children and give them the most normal life possible. He took an 18-year hiatus from acting, but has come back from retirement to do various voice-over work and to appear at different fan conventions. While Moranis has said he did not officially “retire” from acting, but has just become more selective about which roles he will accept.
1. Karyn Parsons
Karyn Parsons played Hilary Banks on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, finding fame alongside Will Smith in the 80s and 90s. She never played any other big name roles in television, but she did make a few appearances in movies such as Major Payne and The Ladies Man, and even dabbled in producing and writing a sitcom. Parsons now focuses on a different dream. She has a group called Sweet Blackberry that teaches children about black history and lesser known heroes. Sweet Blackberry creates animated shorts that focus on one unsung hero at a time. She is now married with two kids.
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