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Celebs Who Gave Up Fame to Work Regular Jobs

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Most people think that working in the entertainment world must be the most amazing way to live and build your career. But that’s not true. Just like with any other job, acting requires a lot of passion in order to be done in the right way.

So, some actors, or better to say, former actors, realized that they enjoyed doing something else more and left the fame far behind them. Some of them are even Academy Award winners, but still, they found more joy in doing other regular jobs that wouldn’t put them under the spotlight that often.

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1. Geena Davis – Social Activist

Geena Davis has more than one reason to be famous. Not only is she an Academy-Awarded actress, but she also worked as a film producer and a model. However she decided that she wants to make a change in the current status of women in media and founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Flickr: Alan Light

She has decided to devote more time to social activism. However, she didn’t completely disappear from the acting scene. She appeared on Grey’s Anatomy in 2014 and in the Exorcist in 2016.

2. Kevin Jonas – Entrepreneur

After the band The Jonas Brothers broke up, Kevin wanted to try himself in another field. He started by working with contracting first, but soon after he became a co-CEO of a marketing company.

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Also, he partnered with owners of a popular website of video-sharing apps. Kevin quit the fame life, and entered into the start-up world instead.

3. Nikki Blonsky – Cosmetologist

Nikki gained fame after appearing in the film Hairspray. After that she also starred in a short-lived series called Huge, but the Hollywood last long for her.

Instead, she started working at a shoe store in New York City. Soon after, she decided to pursue a career as a cosmetologist and was hired at a hair salon. However, she made several appearances as an actress in the series “Smash” and in the movie “Dog Years” during the last 5 years.

4. Gene Hackman: Writer

Gene Hackman is a retired American actor that works as a novelist and a writer today. His five decade career has been very successful and he was nominated for five Academy Awards, of which he won two. He also won four Golden Globes, one SAG Award and two BAFTAs.

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However, in 2004 Hackman decided to retire from acting, but he wanted to continue working in another field. He started dedicating his time to writing, and he has written 3 historical novels alongside the archaeologist Daniel Lenihan ever since.

5. Vanilla Ice: House Renovator

The 1990s were all about the Vanilla Ice’s single “Ice Ice Baby”. Everybody knows these lyrics, however his unbelievable success didn’t last long.

After some personal issues, he decided to become a house renovator. In 2009, he starred in the reality TV series called “The Vanilla Ice Project” in which he renovated homes.

6. Hayden Christensen: Farmer

Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor and producer that started his acting career while he was just a teen. At the age of only 13, he starred on Canadian television and he continued acting ever since.

But, he only earned international fame after starring as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). However, he didn’t want to stay in the spotlight and he decided to buy land in Ontario, Canada where he started working on his own farm.

7. Chris Owen: Waiter, Photographer

Chris Owen’s period of fame was in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The role that made him most famous was Sherminator in the American Pie franchise.

But, soon after the franchise ended, Owen couldn’t seem to find any job. So in 2013, he started working as a waiter in a restaurant. After some time he quit his job and he started working as a photographer.

8. Dylan Sprouse: Brewmaster

Dylan Sprouse is an American actor known for his role as Zack Martin in the Disney’s series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. He’s a twin brother of Cole Sprouse.

Source: Instagram

However, the young actor that was born in Italy, decided he wanted to start a brewing business. So he opened a meadery and bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, alongside his partners. Because of his passion for beer, he worked hard to become the brewmaster.

9. Freddie Prinze Jr.: Chef

Freddie Prinze Jr. had a big breakout in the acting field with his roles in She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer. He also married the actress Sarah Michelle Gellar in 2002.

Flickr: Athena LeTrelle

However, Freddie seemed to have a passion much bigger than the one he had for acting. He made a lot of career changes, but eventually decided to become a chef. He also wrote a cook book named “Back To The Kitchen” in 2016.

10. Jack Gleeson: Student

Gleeson announced that he won’t be continuing his acting career anymore just after his character was killed in Game of Thrones. Instead, he wants to finish his final year of school and graduate in a good college.

When asked for his choice, he 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.”

11. Chris Andersen: Unknown

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Chris Andersen was ruled out of the NBA season on December 16, 2016 for his knee injury. It turned out that Andersen also had to undergo a surgery which required a longer recovery. This is when the rumours started that “Birdman” decided to retire from basketball.

However, everyone was confused to see him sign a contract and being selected in the 2018 BIG3 draft by Power. Andersen helped his team win the BIG3 championship, but no one knows what will happen next. The Birdman’s future professional plans still remain a mystery.

12. Amanda Bynes: Fashion Student

Amanda Bynes has gained fame thanks to the Nickelodeon show, The Amanda Show. She was so popular among teenagers that she was the first choice for a lot of teen movie lead roles.

She decided to leave the acting world after she filmed Easy A. She started studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising as she is planning to start her clothing line.

13. Shirley Temple: Public Servant

Temple was surely the most iconic child star of the early 20th century. Her famous physical traits were her charming curls, adorable voice and her unique way of dancing.

However, as she got older, her fame seemed to fade away. So, at the age of 22, she left acting and started getting involved in politics. Eventually, she started working in diplomacy and became a US ambassador to Ghana and former Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s.

14. Tobey Maguire

When was the last time that you saw Tobey Maguire on the big screen? Not that recently, for sure. He has been absent for so long that people start asking if he is alive.

It’s still unclear why Tobey decided to leave the spotlight, especially after great review on his performance in Spiderman. However, he did borrow his voice for the narrator role in the animated film called ‘Boss Baby’.

15. Cameron Diaz

Diaz had a very successful run in Hollywood. That makes her leaving Hollywood even stranger. She had several hits and even won four Golden Glove Awards. So, why did she decided to retire?

She retired in 2014 leaving the fans in tears. Hollywood says that she didn’t want to take roles of mothers and make a peace with her ages. For others, she just left to live a peaceful life with her husband Benji Madden.

16. Jack Nicholson

So sad to have this name on this list, but yes – Jack Nicholson decided to retire from Hollywood. His last appearance was in 2010 when he starred in ‘How Do You Know?’.

Still, can you blame him for wanting to take a break? After all, he spent 60 years filming. Also, he is 80 now so retirement is not too bad.

17. Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl is best known for her role of Izzie Stevens, in Grey’s Anatomy. She even won an Emmy Awards thanks to this show. However, she pulled several wrong moves that lead to her being kicked out from Hollywood.

Heigl was too much of a diva while on the set the Grey’s Anatomy. Furthermore, she accused the writers of not giving her more drama. She also blamed ‘Knocked Up’ for being too sexist. Altogether, it lead to her to appear last time in 2008.

18. Gary Dourdan

After eight years of playing Warrick Brown in ‘CSI’s’, Gary Dourdan had to leave the show. Back in 2011 he crashed his car and was arrested for drug possession. That was the start of his fall.

Gary was also arrested for domestic violence and reported bankruptcy for the second time recently. His last appearance was in 2011 in ‘Jumping the Broom’.

19. Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan is a true 90s sweetheart. There was a time that we couldn’t imagine a romantic comedy without her staring in it. But, once the romantic comedy wave was over, she had failure after failure that damaged her career badly.

She even tried with production and took part in ‘Going Against Type’ and ‘Against the Ropes’ in 2004. However, these movies were far from hits and she couldn’t bring her career to where it was. She even acted in a few Indie movie but didn’t have much success.

20. Eddie Murphy

Did you know that Eddie was pronounced to be one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time? Besides, he is a great comedian and a screenwriter. At least he used to be. So, where this multitalented actor disappear?

He missed his chance for an Academy Award in 2007 and ever since his career is on the decline. Also, some of his latest movies turned out to be just bad. In the meantime, he landed his voice for Donkey in ‘Shrek’ and we are still waiting for Beverly ‘Hills Cop: 4’.

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