Being a Hollywood megastar can seem like the dream job sometimes (or oftentimes). People would idolize you, you would get paid some major bucks, and you would hopefully spend your days doing something you are truly passionate about. Considering just how many Hollywood hopefuls there are out there, it seems strange that anyone could ever turn their back on seeing their name in lights. Surprisingly, there have been many former celebrities who left their Hollywood lives behind in favor of a more modest lifestyle. All of the celebrities listed below left super stardom to follow a more average career path. Some of these celebrities chose to leave Hollywood after having a respectable career as an actor or actress. Others, appeared in one role that made them famous before deciding that acting just wasn’t for them. So to prove that not everyone wants to be a Hollywood star, below is a list of ten celebrities that chose to leave Hollywood to pursue other dreams . Some of the people on this list managed to excel at their chosen career, while others are still trying to find their way. Whatever new career path these former celebrities are on, one thing is clear, life goes on after Hollywood.
10. Jonathan Bennett
Jonathan Bennett managed to make a name for himself in Hollywood when he starred in the movie, Mean Girls. Bennett, played Aaron Samuels, the guy that every girl wanted to be with. Today, Bennett is a spin instructor at LA studio, Flywheel. When speaking about his new job, Bennett said, “I’ve always had a passion for fitness, and after my mom passed away last year, group fitness really helped me through it.” In addition to making people sweat, Bennett has continued to act a little on the side. Bennett’s latest project was appearing on Dancing with the Stars. The actor was eliminated in week 6 of the competition.
9. Dylan Sprouse
Dylan Sprouse gained fame along with his twin brother, Cole Sprouse, after appearing in movies such as Big Daddy and their own TV show, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. After Suite Life ended, Dylan and Cole were both accepted into New York University. The twins decided to defer for a year and then enrolled in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Dylan decided to study video game design, while Cole chose to study humanities and archaeology. In 2013, it was revealed that Dylan was working as a host at a New York City restaurant. In 2014, Dylan began commentating Super Smash Bros tournaments.
8. Jack Gleeson
Jack Gleeson gained worldwide fame after starring as Joffrey Baratheon on the popular series, Game of Thrones. After Geoffrey was killed off of the series, Gleeson announced that he would be retiring from acting for a little while to pursue an academic career. When explaining his decision to quit acting, Gleeson said, “It was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun. I enjoyed it. When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.”
7. Kel Mitchell
When Kel Mitchell, one of the stars of the show Keenan and Kel left Hollywood, it was so sudden that some people thought the star was dead. Luckily, Mitchell’s death was not the cause of his retirement from Hollywood. Instead, Mitchell chose to leave stardom behind to become a family man. Apparently the former actor put all of his efforts into, “his Christianity and raising his family.” However as of lately, Mitchell has been slowly making his way back into the acting world. The funny man has appeared in a few Christian films and has even done some voiceover work.
6. Kevin Jonas
Kevin Jonas found super stardom when he played in the band The Jonas Brothers, with his two younger brothers. In 2009, Kevin married Danielle Deleasa, and the two starred in their own reality show entitled, Married to Jonas. After Kevin’s reality show, things started to calm down for the singer. A year after The Jonas Brothers broke up, Kevin decided to try his hand at contracting. The singer even appeared in an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, as one of the housewife’s contractors. The star has said that contracting is his new passion, so it seems like he has left his Hollywood days behind.
5. Lark Voorhies
Lark Voorhies became famous after playing Lisa Turtle on the hit show, Saved by the Bell. However, today Voorhies tends to stay out of the spotlight. The actress has said that she spends her time painting while doing some acting on the side. But making art isn’t the only thing that occupies Voorhies time. The Saved by the Bell star is also a musician and an author. In fact, Voorhies has written three books entitled Reciprocity, Trek of the Cheshire and True Light: A, superior, take, unto, the, premier, haloing, of tenuation. Readily, available, True Light, provides, resource, into, time’s, motifed, and, vestuved, authenticate, revelation.
4. Geena Davis
Geena Davis is a woman of many talents. Her credits include acting, writing, producing, modeling and she is even an athlete. Although Davis’ acting credits are impressive, the star decided to take a break from Hollywood in order to become a full time social activist. The actress found the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The institute focuses on increasing the presence of female characters in the media. Its aim is to stop the stereotyping of females in the industry. Although Davis’ main focus is her activism, the actress made a return to television in 2014, when she played Dr. Nicole Herman on Grey’s Anatomy.
3. Danica McKellar
Danica McKellar is best known for playing Winnie Cooper on the series, The Wonder Years. After The Wonder Years rapped up, McKellar focused on her degree. The actress studied at UCLA and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with honors. In addition, McKellar has written four non-fiction books that are aimed at giving middle school and high school girls confidence and the ability to succeed in mathematics. The books are entitled, Math Doesn’t Suck, Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed and Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. Even though McKellar is busy with writing, the actress has still managed to guest star on shows like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.
2. Kirk Cameron
Kirk Cameron is famous for his role as Mike Seaver on the show Growing Pains, as well as the films, Like Father Like Son and Listen to Me. When Cameron was 17, he became a born again Christian. After Growing Pains was cancelled, Cameron decided to start a new life away from the entertainment industry that better fitted his newly found religious beliefs. Today, Cameron, along with fellow evangelist Ray Comfort, trains Christians in Evangelism. The two founded the ministry of The Way of the Master. In addition, Cameron spends his time spreading his religious beliefs by having debates and handing out pamphlets. In April 2012, Cameron was honored by Indiana Wesleyan University as a world changer.
1. Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman has had an extremely successful career as an actor. The star has been nominated for five academy awards (two of which he won). In addition, Hackman has won three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. In July 2004, in an interview with Larry King, Hackman announced that he believed his acting career was over and was therefore retiring. But that didn’t stop the former actor from excelling in another field. Hackman has written three historical novels with archaeologist, Daniel Lenihan. In 2013, Hackman released his first solo novel entitled Pursuit. The novel tells the story of revenge and romance in the Old West.
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