Celebrities That Said Goodbye to Their Career to Take on Regular Jobs


A lot of young folks have this dream about making a name and some bucks working in front of the camera, i. e. being a movie star. However, not many of them realize how challenging it can be to actually stay at the top of the ladder of fame after they’ve gotten there. There certainly are numerous examples of actors and actresses who achieved their huge Hollywood success. But there are also many of those who decided to abandon the pursuit of their acting careers for the sake of regular 9-to-5 jobs. Which is not necessarily a negative thing: for some of these people, earning from a regular office job is actually way more comfortable than chasing the earnings of a superstar. So, we better not blame them too much. After all, according to a risk-benefit analysis, a career that is not permanently controlled by fame and fortune is obviously a safer bet. So, in this article, you can have a look at celebs who have turned their lives around, switching from their movie careers to regular 9-to-5 jobs.

Cameron Diaz

The role of Tina in ‘The Mask’, together with many other screen performances, made actress Cameron Diaz one of the most in-demand actresses in the early 2000s. However, after appearing on the screen for the last time, she decided to make a radical change and turned to writing self-help books. By this moment, she has published a couple of really nice self-improvement books that are actually quite popular on the market. In those books, she touches various different topics: from health to feminism, equal rights, to complex social issues like distribution of wealth in the modern society etc. And apparently, she is more than happy about her new choice of profession.

Angelina Pivernick

A lot of people know Angelina Pivarnick for unceremoniously abandoning her acting role in season 1 of the Jersey show after she didn’t show up to work at a t-shirt store. Only very few of such people know that she has since moved to an entirely new career. While other casts in the series were living their lives on trying to make a name for themselves on TV, Pivarnick has stuck with a considerably more stable career. In her new job, she doesn’t have to rely on factors like ratings and outrageous on-set antics to determining what she earns anymore. Not when she can make a stable salary in an ambulance, saving lives.

Susan Boyle

A lot of us have not recovered from the daze of watching Scottish singer, Susan Boyle beautifully sing “I Dreamed a Dream” during the 2009 British’s Got Talent. The otherwise shy singer didn’t find the fame as smooth as she would like, hence picking up an application as a betting store manager in an attempt at normalcy. Managing the store since then has been an entirely brilliant way to make money for herself, but it seems that the lure of singing has drawn her back in. She debuted on America’s Got Talent early this year and blew the judges entirely away with her rendition of “Wild Horses.” We will see how she fairs in America if she’s going to start a music career again.

Steven Anthony Lawrence

Best remembered for his career with Disney Channel, Steven Anthony Lawrence has since retired from the world of fame. Of course, he didn’t ditch acting right after, considering that he went on to appear in several kid-friendly shows. He has, however, decided to make a career in the four walls of the classroom as a teacher. Instead of remaining in the trap of continually struggling for fame, Lawrence has instead turned to teach his pupils how they could take on the business side too. It is evident that he loves his newfound career also.

Lisa Whelchel

Lisa Whelchel has learned a lot of essential life lessons from all the good and evil she experienced during her time on “The Facts of Life” as Blair Warmer. She has since decided to impact people with her facts too. Whelchel took a walk from acting after her marriage with associate pastor Steven Cauble, choosing to instead stick to writing and full-time parenting. Today, she’s pulling some big bucks from writing bestsellers on religion, motherhood, and life issues. Did we mention that she made her return to TV on the 25th Season of Survivor: Philippines, gaining $100,000 as Sprint Player of the Season.

Erik Estrada

Famous for his role on CHips as a California Highway Patrol officer, Erik Estrada would letter become a real deputy sheriff in Bedford County. He eventually became a reserve policeman in St. Anthony, Idaho – many kilometers from Hollywood. It turns out the officer’s childhood dream was never to pretend to be a police officer like the movie made him do. For long, he had always wanted to protect and to serve. The consistent paycheck and the pension he’s entitled to makes policing a more stable career than pretending to be one on TV.

Al Green.

Let’s move a bit from movie sets to the music world. Al Greem became famous for several smash hits like “Love and Happiness,” and “Let’s Stay Together,” which were known hits of the 70s. The singer would later experience a life-changing incident that shook his spirit and pushed him to a new career. After a major breakup with his then-girlfriend Mary Woodson White, Al turned his life to becoming a full-time pastor at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis. While we can’t peg his reason for becoming a pastor on the pay, it is undeniable that Reverend Green is lucky to have a pastoring career that’s guaranteed to pay him for a while.

Lauren Conrad

If you are a fan of Laguna Beach, the popular reality show about well-off Californians that aired in the early 2000s, then you will know Lauren Conrad. She gained even more fame when she graduated to the series “The Hill.” By 2009, however, Conrad dropped the big screens for an entirely different career path. She was the highest-paid cast member of The Hills, but she knew it was unlikely to last as long as she would want in the career; hence, the switch. Today, she’s a successful writer, and she’s done quite some tailoring too. Taking full charge of her career means that she doesn’t have to live under the constant pressure of struggling to impress anymore.

Lisa and Louise Burns

The first twin on our list made would remain in the memory of most people that have seen the movie; The Shining for a long time. It seems, however, that not everyone was impressed by the pair. The top guns at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art turned the duo down from attending the prestigious London drama school. Both of them have since gone undeterred to find success in other careers. Lisa has become successful in the four walls of the courtroom, while Louise is doing good enough for herself as a published scientist. Turning from childhood stars to big Hollywood names is quite a difficult task, and these sisters instead pursue other careers than living in the uncertainty of pursuing Hollywood.

Taran Noah Smith

After spending his younger days playing the Taylor role in Home Improvement, Teran Noah knew the time to abandon his acting career for something more stable. The once known child star has since moved on to the production of soy-free vegan cheese, and he’s doing very well for himself already. Apart from pursuing a career in the production of vegan cheese, the former TV star is also helping to rebuild homes that were affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Geoffrey Owens

Geoffrey Owen became a more popular name when he was job-shamed in a Daily Mail article for his job as a crew member at Trader Joe’s. He didn’t have to quit because of the article and the news it made. He did because he had to find a way to keep his bills going. The actor is still acting, but he’s been making good money working at the grocery chain too. In the end, Owens’ saga with the Daily Mail has proven that there is no shame in picking a homes day job.

Jeff Cohen

Famous Steven Spielberg certainly knows what it takes to spot a star. Be was up to something when he casted Jeff Cohen as “Chunk” in the comedy classic, The Goonies. Well, Cohen would not become the acting star a lot of people thought, choosing instead to become a successful attorney.

Adrian Dantley

You would think that an Ex-NBA star has it all figured out, especially when they have 15 seasons of professional playing under their belt. That’s the typical case of Ex-NBA star Andrian Dantley until he retired from an otherwise exciting career to pursue a career as a crossing guard in Silver Spring, Maryland. The star who has been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame told reporters he is happy about the career path he chose after retiring from sports.

Gene Hackman

Those that were fortunate to follow Hollywood events in the early 2000s would be familiar with Gene Hackman, an Academy Award-winning actor that did his bit in the movie industry before calling it quits. He was still heavily sought after in the industry when he resigned and chose instead to focus on writing to keep himself and his bank account busy. Since 2004, Hackman has turned his focus to authoring historical fiction, and he’s doing just fine in it. For Hackman, keeping up with the business side of acting came with so much stress. Despite earning so well in the industry and winning the Oscars, Hackman prefers the stability that comes from living as an author. His success is evident in the fact that he has already published five novels, and there seems to be no stopping for him.

Angus T. Jones

Yet another child star in our list. Angus T. Jones spent a better part of his acting career playing the “half” on the “Two and a Half Men” sitcom. After spending a good part of his childhood running around screens, Jones thought it was time to retire and pursue a career elsewhere. Having enjoyed being the highest-paid child star at one point in his life, Jones could afford to start a career from scratch without fear of going broke. He joined forces with Justin Combs to launch a top event planning Venture, Tonite.

Mara Wilson

If you grew up in the 90s, then you will know every role Mara Wilson took on at that time, from playing sweet Natalie in Mrs. Doubtfire to being the smart Matilda in Matilda. Instead of going on with a bright career in acting, however, Wilson opted to focus on writing. Wilson avoided the uncertainty that comes with hustling for screen time by switching into an industry where she could exploit her writing talent to make steady bucks for herself. The struggle that comes from transitioning from a child star into an adult auteur is something that the lady didn’t want.

Ali MacGraw

Ali MacGraw’s success in the movie industry was so outstanding that she was honored with impressions of her footprints in front of the popular Gruman’s Theater after making major appearances in only three films. Well, maybe even the biggest in the industry still didn’t stop her from worrying about the financial level security that comes with it. After gracing the screens for decades, Ali MacGraw decided to try something else in her mid-adulthood stage. Joining yoga was what caught her attention at that time, changing her whole outlook. Today she has moved her focus go teaching yoga to younger students, and she seems to be finding so much fulfillment in this new chosen career.

17. Vanilla Ice

The name excited you, why not? After finding his way into the Billboard charts, anybody would think that Vanilla will go on with his music for decades. In reality, however, the music star found it quite tricky finding success with his later songs. Thankfully, he didn’t make it an issue, because he went ahead into the property world where the pay is just as good as the music world. For nearly two decades now, Vanilla Ice has continued to do well for himself in the property would. House flipping is one industry that is thriving in Florida, and Vanilla diverted her attention to it. She confesses that apart from the money, she finds peace and joy in what’s was doing.

Kevin Jonas

One of the teenage sensations that rocked our TVs some years ago, Kevin Jonas, has decided to try out a job elsewhere. He floated in stardom from a pretty young age. After getting married, Jonas decided to quit acting and focus on a more stable career. Even though his younger brother was already experiencing a massive career in the spotlight, Kevin has gone one to become a contractor. This job has continued to fetch steady money for him.

Phoebe Cates

After staring so well in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, one would think that Phoebe Cates would easily transition into the next A-list starlets that will take Hollywood by a storm. It seemed to be all going well for her until she retired and faced being a stay-at-home mom. After her marriage with Kevin Kline, who’s an award-winning movie star himself, things changed, and Cates turned to her husband to be the breadwinner while she raised the kids.

Peter Ostrum

Having cast as Charley Bucket in “Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory, Peter Ostrum easily became a kids’ favorite. Peter Ostrum stayed at the top of his game in the movie industry for a while before opting for another career path. Of course, he still receives some monthly payments from his role, but he seems more successful as a vegetarian activist.

Dylan Sprouse

Dylan Sprouse go started with television at a very tender age. He remained significantly on television throughout his entire childhood days staring on the popular Disney Channel show, The Suite Life on Deck. Since calling it quits with the show, however, Dylan and his identical twin have enrolled in NYU, pursuing different interests outside acting. Dylan once remarked that when actors fail to invest money into a more stable business than acting, then they are only acting the fools. Sprouse owns his mead brewery, which is bases outside Brooklyn. The best part of his job is being his boss and getting a constant paycheck.

Jamie Walters

Jamie Walters hit the limelight when Aaron Spelling created a character for him in Beverly Hills 90210 to play Tori’s musician boyfriend. Walters left after the second season to pursue a career in real music. He didn’t succeed as much as he would want in his music career, so he opted for training to be a paramedic. Today, Walter works as a paramedic and firefighter for the Los Angeles City Fire Department. Of course, his new chosen career means that he could be called up to duty at any time, but there is one he doesn’t need to worry about. He doesn’t have to worry about always trying to impress so that be could get subsequent roles. The steady salary was a smart choice, after all.

MC Hammer

Many people would have loved to continue seeing MC Hammer dropping lines and bars in the rap industry. But that’s not meant to be anymore, considering that once rap star chose to drop his rap career for preaching. After suffering bankruptcy, MC Hammer turned to the church and was ordained as a preacher in the Church of God in Christ. He’s been earning quite modestly working as a minister since then. Knowing how recognizable his rap career made him, MC Hammer prefers preaching in smaller denominations where “they won’t expect to see a famous person.” He’s today enjoying his new career and calling.


Teen icon and pop sensation Tiffany, who was catapulted to stardom by her hit single ” I think we are alone now” in the 1980s, took a step out of the celebrity ladder to settle into a life as the owner of a boutique in Nashville, Tennessee. Breaking into the very stuff music industry at a young age took its toll on Tiffany. Of course, she’s still doing a bit of recording here and there, but her boutique brings her steady income and eliminates the fear of uncertainty.

Jon Gosselin

Featuring in reality TV shows may be a quick way to make some money, but once the fascination fades, you can expect the financial security to fade too. Jon Gosselin found this out quite early and switched to a life that’s more quote outside the prying eyes of the public. Today he does part-time short-order cooking at the Local TGIF’s in Lancaster. The former reality TV star also enjoys booking DJ gigs at the neighborhood clubs and bars on the side.

Shirley Temple

Despite her sweet singing and dancing nature, the iconic actress Shirley Temple found the struggle of breaking into Hollywood as an adult pretty difficult. After trying for a while, Temple took a step back in 1950 and decided it was time to do something else. Temple soon got involved in politics, where she even became a US Ambassador to Ghana. Although politics can also be as uncertain as acting, Temple succeeded in hers and couldn’t have been happier with the chance that a second career presented her.

Rick Moranis

One would think that such an in-demand comedic actor would not have a need to seek another career, but that wouldn’t be the case for 80s comedic genius Rick Moranis. After hitting fame with his pitch-perfect comedic timing in movies like Honey, Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, and I Shrunk the Kids, Rick disappeared from the acting scene. After the tragic event of losing his wife, Moranis decided to call it quits with action and became a stay-at-home dad. He also stayed busy with writing. Although on a low, Moranis has enjoyed relative success since his career change, although it seems like he’s eying a comeback in acting.

George Foreman

Yet another athlete in our list is Olympic gold medalist and two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman who suffered his first defeat to Muhammed Ali. Well, as it seems, a boxing career always takes its toll on the health of anybody, and Foreman found another option for earning a living. George Foreman decided that his health was his top priority when he retires from boxing. He opted instead to become the spokesman for a slimming grill, which is not known as George Forman Grill. A sales record of over 100 million units as of 2009 means that the former boxer is doing well for himself in his second career.

Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Freddie was the actor that held many teens spellbound in the movies I Know What You Did Last Summer, and She’s All That. Very recently, the once sensational actor has switched his focus to cooking. After working as a director and producer for WWE, Prinze published a cookbook in 2016. His cookbook has since gained a good deal of popularity, and sales too. According to his Instagram handle, the actor is also a co-host on the Prinze and Wolf Podcast. Not every cookbook publisher achieves the level of success that Prinze is getting with his.

Charlie Korsmo

Looking at his bio as a law professor, one would never be able to guess that Charlie Korsmo once had a career in Hollywood as a child star. Staring in several T.V. shows didn’t stop him from pursuing a job elsewhere, and recently, he’s been doing well in law than in acting. Korsmo bagged his law degree at Yale University. He also got a B.S. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He’s had a great career so far in law. Before venturing into teaching, the once T.V. sensation worked for EPA and was in a number of committees in the U.S. House of representatives.

Danielle Christine Fishel

Best known for the role she played as Topanga in Boys Meets World on ABC, Danielle Christie has since decided to switch career to writing for PopSugar. After doing so many interviews during her acting career, today, Danielle is doing the interviewing. Interestingly, you will still find articles about Danielle herself on PopSugar. Well, maybe you can’t wholly runway from the media, even when working for it.

Geena Davis

Famed for the roles, she played as an empowered woman in movies like “A League of Their own” and “Thelma & Louise.” Most fans do not know that Davis has now turned her attention to being an activist for women. Inspired by her findings of how women are poorly represented in Hollywood, she’s gone on to handle projects like sponsoring researches that discovered women low participatory in crowd scenes in movies. She also founded an institute that pushes to promote gender equality in the media.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar has taken a move into the food industry, just like Freddie Prinze Jr., her husband. She and two other parents founded her company Foodstirs. The role baking inspired her, and her co-founders played as it helped them connect with their children. Foodstirs offers baking equipment, baking kits, and kid-friendly recipes to help kids learn about baking. Before switching to Foodstirs, Gellar was known for her roles in All My Children, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more.

Karyn Parsons

You will probably know Karyn from her role as cousin Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Parson moved from acting to start Sweet Blackberry Foundation. This is a production company that tries to educate children on Black history. It is essential to mention here that despite being busy with Sweet Blackberry, Parson hasn’t given up on acting as she most recently starred in the short film “On Monday Last Week” and the Television series “The Job.”

Josh Saviano

You would probably remember young Josh Saviano for his role as the bespectacled Paul Pfeiffer in The Wonder Years. He stayed active in the industry until 1993 when The Wonder Years ended. He enrolled at Yale to become a lawyer when he stopped acting. After school, he became a partner at Morrison Cohen LLP. He left the firm in 2015 and became an entrepreneur. His LinkedIn page says that he founded Act 3 Advisors.

Jennie Garth

Most fans of Beverly Hills, 90210, enjoyed seeing actress Jennie Garth take in the role of Kelly Taylor on the small screen. She made other appearances in T.V. shows like Dancing with the Stars, What I Like About You, and Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country (her reality show). She still does a thing or two in Hollywood but had increased in more “normal” ventures. She turned into a businesswoman a few years ago with some collaborations.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

A lot of people would love to enjoy the same level of success that teen sweetheart Jonathan Taylor enjoyed in his role in Home Improvement. Only very few people know that the actor whose face was once plastered over several issues on teen magazine Tiger Beat has found another career outside acting. JTT has since gone back to school, attending prestigious schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Scotland’s St. Andrews University. We recently found out that JTT is done with his studies and is now turning his focus to scriptwriting and directing. That might not exactly be a regular 9-5 job, but it helps him escape the limelight.

Lark Voorhies

Famous for playing the role of Lisa Marie Turtle on “Saved by the Bell,” Lark Voorhies has since taken to book writing. She’s written quite a number of them, and a few reviewers believe that she’s going better for herself in her new chosen field.

Nikki Blonsky

Last on our list is Nikki Blonsky, who was discovered while with Cold Stone Creamery. Nikki seemed like she was poised to make it two big. However, she decided to get an alternative career for herself after struggling to find film opportunities. She has since earned a license in cosmetology and worked as a hairstylist while auditioning for future film roles. Blonsky has made it quite clear that she enjoys working in a saloon, despite several attempts to shame her. There you have it, a comprehensive list of celebrities that have switched to regular jobs. We hope you enjoyed it and have learned a thing or two from it. Leave us a comment on which of the celebrity switch surprised you and which you are pleased with.