Movie stars often have to be under the spotlight for as long as they can to keep the public’s eye on them. For some actors, the fame is worth all the drama, and for others, it wasn’t.
Here are eight movie stars who suddenly switched careers and moved on to more normal lives.
Audrey Hepburn- UNICEF Ambassador
Audrey Hepburn, famous for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and her elegant beauty, went into a semi-retirement in 1967 after starring in the thriller movie “Wait Until Dark.” She still appeared in a few more films until 1988, when she fully retired, leaving the movie scene just after she peaked in her career.
The retired actress worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF for the rest of her adult life. She gave credit to the organization for assisting her as a child in a battle-scarred country. After her screen retirement in 1988, Hepburn was appointed as an official ambassador, and she then went on to do constructive field missions.
Frankie Muniz- Race Car Driver
Frankie Muniz is a child actor who starred in the American sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” The child actor started showing an interest in racing cars in 2001. At the age of 16, Muniz started racing in the Daytona 500, driving a pace car. Since then, he left being an actor to become a professional racer. He even earned a sportsmanship award from his peers. The racer also managed an olive oil shop together with his wife in Arizona.
Nikki Blonsky- Cosmetologist
Nikki Blonksky’s fame rose when Hairspray (2007), the musical romantic comedy film she starred in, became a hit. Blonsky then took in the lead role on the American drama series “Huge.” Unfortunately, the series was cancelled just after one season. This made the actress go back to her past for her future.
Blonsky got a cosmetology license in Great Neck, New York, after training and learning how to provide beautiful hair and create great makeup looks. She then got a job at Superstar Hairstylists but made it clear that she did it as temporary support for her acting dreams.
Cary Grant- Member of Several Boards
Grant was Hollywood’s leading man who has the skill to tackle any genre, from the film “His Girl Friday” to “North by Northwest.” The actor was handsome, suave, and amazingly watchable. He stopped acting at the age of 62 in 1966. He then turned to be a board member of a lot of companies.
Some assumed that Grant becoming a board member of the cosmetic company Faberge was just an honorary figurehead position, but he took it seriously and attended every meeting and did the hard work. He also did the same while serving on boards for Western Airlines, MGM, and the Academy of Magical Arts.
Freddie Prinze Jr.- Wrestling Producer
Freddie Prinze Jr. was everywhere during the late 90s and the early 2000s starring in films such as “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “She’s All That,” even having his own sitcom.
However, Prinze Jr. stopped acting and turned to wrestling, instead. He was a fan of wrestling ever since and even contributed to the message boards of WWE, so when he changed careers, he ventured into writing, directing, and producing for the WWE.
Kal Penn- Government Employee
After appearing in the Harold & Kumar franchise, Kal Penn went on to secure a position in the White House. He worked in the government as the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn used his real name, Kalpen Modi, while working directly with the government to promote effective communication with the underrepresented communities.
However, Penn returned to his celebrity life after serving his position for two years.
Phoebe Cates- Boutique Owner
After her appearances in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, cates, and the 1980s classic Gremlins, Phoebe Cates soon after retired from acting and opened a boutique in New York City called Blue Tree instead.
The store name came from her actor husband, Kevin Kline, and refers to the concept that a blue tree feels unique and distinctive in a forest, just like her store in New York City. Cates’ boutique became successful, and items like her talking Abraham Lincoln dolls captured people’s attention.
Gene Hackman, Author
Acclaimed actor Gene Hackman starred in Welcome to Moosepart, a gentle comedy supposed to earn some laughs, which became the turning point for his career. Starring in the film caused the actor to retire from acting and turn to writing.
Now, Hackman is a published author of historical fiction. His works include Escape From Andersonville, which is about a prison escape set during the Civil War. And if your parents were fans of Gene Hackman when he was an actor, they will probably be fans of his writing.