Making it big by landing a role on a popular TV series is the ultimate dream of many actors. And much of making it big has little to do with luck. These actors attend audition after audition, and get one rejection after another. But they keep trying until they land a decent gig. Working in a TV series provides them a regular routine, a stable income, a large fanbase and sometimes the opportunity to move on to the big screen.
But sometimes, after all their hard work, persistence and determination, an actor decides enough is enough. It’s a bit perplexing when one of our favorite TV actors seems to disappear from the spotlight. Many of them leave because they were forced into the business as kids by their parents. Then once they reach a certain age they realize they'd rather pursue a different career. Other actors want an increased sense of privacy, maybe to attend college, have a normal dating life, or start a family. For whatever reason, they left the business and this list will tell you why. Here are 15 once-famous TV stars who now live normal lives.
15 Jonathon Taylor Thomas
Jonathon Taylor Thomas is best known for his role in the ‘90s sitcom, Home Improvement. He played Randy, the middle child who loved acting and cracking jokes, for eight years. He also did the voices of Pinocchio in The Adventures of Pinocchio and young Simba in The Lion King. But, the actor fell off the radar, despite all his potential. So, what happened? Well, he decided to quit Hollywood. He told People magazine, “I wanted to go to school, to travel and have a bit of a break."
14 Edward “Teddy” Dunn
13 Frankie Muniz
12 Jack Gleeson
11 Taylor Momsen
10 Karyn Parsons
9 Cole and Dylan Sprouse
We all know Cole and Dylan Sprouse; the twins dominated the Disney channel with their Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Suite Life on Deck series. Prior to that, they had appeared in Big Daddy and Friends. It seemed like the adorable twins would go on to have a successful acting career after their Suite Life series ended. However, they ended up leaving show business. The main reason they left was to pursue their education. They ended up graduating in 2015 from individual studies at NYU. But, there was also another reason they left. Apparently, the twins had pitched an idea to Disney, which was rejected, but later spun around and offered to the brothers as Disney’s idea. That’s enough to annoy anyone.
8 Kellie Shanygne Williams
7 Christy Carlson Romano
6 Lark Voorhies
Lark Voorhies played the fashionable Lisa Turtle on Saved by the Bell. Her character will always be remembered for constantly rejecting Screech. After the series ended, the actress made a few appearances on sitcoms, but no role could have matched the one she played for four years on Saved by the Bell.
5 Tony Danza
4 Ashlie Brillault
3 Adam Lamberg
2 Taran Noah Smith
1 Amanda Bynes
Though Amanda Bynes starred in some blockbusters, like She’s The Man and What a Girl Wants, she actually got her start on the small screen. Amanda starred on All That, The Amanda Show, and What I Like About You, up until the early 2000s. The actress seemed to be launching into superstardom, when suddenly, she fell from grace. By 2008, the actress had parted ways with her talent agency and was frustrated by the roles she was getting. In 2010, she retired as an actress and planned to launch a career in fashion.
But, as you’re probably aware, the actress has suffered a meltdown and seemed to be going down a path of self-destruction like so many child stars before her. She was arrested for driving under the influence and criminal possession of marijuana. She also infamously Tweeted several insults at fellow celebrities, including Rihanna. Unfortunately, multiple sources reported that she also suffered mental illness. In 2015, People magazine reported that she returned to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. We’re glad that things seem to be getting better for the former actress.
Sources: People, TVGuide, EW, HuffingtonPost, UsMagazine, Bustle, MTV, WashingtonPost
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