Most people would never understand why a celebrity might make the decision to leave the industry. There is a common misconception that being a star is very easy work that yields a very nice paycheck, even for D-List celebrities. What many don’t realize is the job requires very long hours, constant public scrutiny, and the uncertainty of being able to find work when the current gig is over. For these reasons, many celebrities will decide to go into another line of work.
Sometimes this is because the celebrity has had enough of the industry and wants to go back to having a normal and private life. This can be seen with a lot of child stars that started down the path of celebrity before they actually knew what they wanted to do with their lives. Sometimes a child star has no choice. In the world of stardom, a child star can and will be thrown out with yesterday’s garbage when their “cuteness” wears off.
On other occasions, a celebrity is just smart. They understand that being an A-lister can be very short-lived. Many celebrities will use the money they made over this short time to invest in other job opportunities.
Some celebrities never leave their normal jobs because they aren’t high profile enough to constantly be working in front of cameras. They need to make sure they always have that consistent work to fall back on when the roles aren’t coming. This type of celebrity is commonly referred to as “I know I’ve seen him/her in a bunch of stuff but I can’t think of their name!”
Finally, a celebrity can just get washed up. You see this more often in the world of reality television. The stars of these shows think they’ve hit it big and they’re only going to go up. What they don’t seem to understand is that at best, their show is more or less a guilty pleasure and no one looks at them as serious thespians. The same can be said for the trend of people who are famous simply for trying to be famous. See: Courtney Stodden, Spencer Pratt, and Heidi Montag.
Whatever the reason may be, a good number of celebrities also work or now work regular jobs that have nothing to do with their current or former celebrity status. Let’s take a look at some the “normal” jobs that stars have taken on.
10. Taran Noah Smith – Installation Artist and Cheese Maker
Taran Noah Smith was best known for his role as the youngest son “Mark” on the long running sit-com Home Improvement.
According to Smith, since he started the show at the age of 7 and ended the show at 16, he never had the opportunity to figure out what he actually wanted to do in his life. He says he was very excited to do other things.
Once Smith was out of the spotlight, he and his wife started a vegan food business known as Playfood where they specialized in a range of organic cheeses. When Smith and his wife divorced, it was reported he kept control of the business, but whether or not he continued is unknown.
Smith also works as an installation artist.
9. Jeff Cohen – Lawyer
Everyone has seen The Goonies and to this day the most memorable scene for many is when “Chunk”, a member of the rag-tag team of young adventurers, was forced to do the “truffle shuffle” by the rest of the Goonies.
While working as a child actor, Cohen found out that most of the Hollywood executives had law degrees. This made Cohen decide to pursue a career in entertainment law and eventually co-found his own firm, Cohen and Gardner.
Despite leaving the acting profession very early in his career, Cohen maintains celebrity status due to the continued popularity of The Goonies.
8. Dylan Sprouse – Restaurant Host
Dylan Sprouse from the popular Suite Life of Zack and Cody television series and the popular Suite Life on Deck spin-off, has taken a job as a restaurant host since wrapping up his show and enrolling at NYU. This has led many gossip rags to report that Sprouse has been down on his luck. These reports have been deemed as false.
Sprouse has explained that no one should worry and that he is still very financially secure. In fact, he and his brother are worth a combined $16 million. Sprouse just wanted to live the real life of a college student and uses the hosting money to support his video game habit.
7. Chris Owen – Sushi Waiter
Chris Owen has been in a number of big movies but is probably best known as “Sherminator” from the American Pie series. In fact he still works as an actor very steadily to this day.
Owen works as a waiter in a Sushi restaurant when he isn’t in front of cameras.
6. Steven Seagal – Deputy Sheriff
Most know that Seagal was a reserve Deputy Sheriff as he spent three seasons being featured on a reality show that followed him around as he performed his Sheriff’s duties in Louisiana. What many don’t know is Seagal graduated from a police academy nearly twenty years ago.
Seagal has never stopped working in film though he did have a lull where the bulk of his work was going direct-to-video. Recently, Seagal has been back on both television and the big screen proper.
5. Tom Selleck – Avocado Farmer
Tom Selleck lives on a 60-acre ranch with a working 20-acre avocado farm. He admits that he doesn’t turn over much profit with the farm but it has earned him great wealth in many other areas of his life.
Selleck uses the daily farm chores to bond and spend time with his family. It also provides his leading source of exercise. The farm has allowed him to regain a balance in his life after working 90 hours a week on Magnum P.I. and then doing movies.
4. Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle – Real Estate Investment/Home Renovation
After seeing fame as a rapper in the 1990s with his singles “Ice Baby” and “Ninja Rap”, Van Winkle spent a bit of time being the butt of nearly every washed-up celebrity joke anyone could muster. Unbeknownst to these jokers, Winkle was smart with his money.
Winkle has been flipping homes for quite some time and even does a good portion of the restorations himself. His knack for this kind of work has led him back into the spotlight with a home renovation show on the DIY Network.
3. Jon Gosselin – Waiter
Jon Gosselin could have arguably been one of the single most popular reality TV stars of all time. His show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, about him and his wife raising their eight children, was so popular that TLC turned to reality programming almost exclusively and dumped the concept of “learning” from their network entirely.
After a highly publicized split with his wife, Gosselin found it increasingly hard to get work. He ended up waiting tables at a Pennsylvania restaurant and living in a cabin to stay off the grid.
2. Nikki Blonksy – Cosmetologist/Shoe Saleswoman
Since then, Nikki has lamented frustrations with trying to work in Hollywood as a plus-size actress. She has graduated from cosmetology school and works as a cosmetologist and shoe saleswoman to pay the bills.
Nikki has tweeted that she is still pursuing a career in Hollywood.
1. Jonathan Bennett – Spin-class Instructor
Jonathan Bennett isn’t having any trouble finding work in Hollywood. He makes several appearances in film and television every year. Regardless, he has been working as a spin-class instructor for Flywheel Sports in LA.
According to his profile at the Flywheel website, Bennett decided to become an instructor to “pay it forward” since he has seen so many benefits to working out in groups in his own life.