We often find it strange when we hear about beloved celebrities leaving the glitz and glamour of Hollywood behind to pursue a career outside of the spotlight. Why would they ever do this, you may be asking yourself? Sometimes it happens out of necessity; the film offers have dried up, no one is buying their music anymore, or, in the case of most reality TV stars, they’ve simply become old news. But in some cases, actors simply become sick of the constant pressures and rejections that come with being a star and move on to a much more “normal” career path.
These 30 celebrities are currently living their lives as working stiffs just like the rest of us. And while some of them still have industry positions such as makeup artists or acting coaches, others chose a life far less glamorous. Like what Vanilla Ice and Kevin Jonas have been up to lately, for example.
You may remember Owens making headlines recently after he was job-shamed by a customer while working at Trader Joe’s.
After his role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show ended, Owens needed a way to make ends meet while still looking for acting jobs.
Since the job-shaming incident, Ownes has held lectures about finding pride in your work and has landed a number of acting jobs.
Way to go, Geoff!
Remember Estrada’s star-making role as Frank Poncherello on CHiPs?
In a case of life imitating art, he’s been serving as a deputy sheriff for Bedford County, Virginia since 2009.
So if Estrada pulls you over, you should probably take him seriously.
Remember the time that Pivarnick got booted off season 1 of The Jersey Shore for repeatedly failing to come into work?
These days the former reality star spends her time-saving lives as an EMT.
But I’m guessing she still finds time in her busy schedule for GTL (gym, tan, laundry).
Lisa Whelchel was America’s Sweetheart during her stint as Blair Warner on The Facts of Life.
But after the popular show ended, Whelchel made the decision to leave the acting world in order to become an author and stay-at-home Mom.
She’s since published ten successful books.
Oh, and she won runner-up and a cool $100,000 on Survivor: the Philippines in 2012.
Steven Anthony Lawrence
Who could forget Lawrence’s star-making role as Beans on Even Stevens?
These days, he’s using the tools he learned as a child actor to help others hone their craft as an acting teacher.
Who wouldn’t want to take an acting class from Beans?!
Al Green: Legendary singer, songwriter, and pastor?
That’s right. Green was ordained as pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, Tennessee.
Everyone remembers that single, mascara-tinged tear that perfectly ran down Lauran Conrad’s cheek when she was on the hit reality show The Hills in 2006.
Nowadays, Conrad has started her own fashion and wellness empire, with a popular clothing line at Kohls and self-titled website LaurenConrad.com.
I’m guessing she has way less to cry about these days!
Lisa and Louise Burns
The creepy twins from The Shining look a LOT less creepy these days.
They’ve also found extremely successful careers outside the acting world since their stay at The Overlook Hotel. Lisa is an accomplished lawyer, while Louise is a published scientist.
Does this guy look familiar?
He played the adorably chubby “Chunk” in the 1985 classic film The Goonies.
Currently, Cohen is looking far less chunky and has an established career as an attorney.
Adrian Dantley was a famed athlete and played 15 seasons with the NBA.
He currently works as a crossing guard in Silver Springs, Maryland.
I’m guessing Dantley has a nice little nest egg from his years playing ball and only works this job as an easy gig during his retirement.
Who could forget Mara Wilson’s adorable roles in beloved 90’s films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda, and Miracle On 34th Street?
This former child star now spends her days as a celebrated author, with three published books under her belt.
Angus T. Jones
Ever wonder what the “half” in Two and a Half Men is up to now?
Angus T. Jones retired from acting and recently partnered with P Diddy’s son Justin Combs to launch an event planning venture called Tonite.
After acting in award-winning films such as The French Connection and The Royal Tenenbaums, Gene Hackman was a Hollywood A-list and even won two Oscars during his time in the industry.
Nowadays, he’s spending his retirement writing historical fiction.
Phoebe Cates became the “it” girl of the ’80s after landing iconic roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Gremlins and Drop dead Fred.
She’s now a stay-at-home Mom and opened a boutique in New York called Blue Tree.
The Jonas family is filled with talented individuals, one of which is former Jonas Brothers member Kevin Jonas.
These days, the oldest Brother spends his days raising his young children with wife Danielle and working as working as a contractor in New Jersey.
I’ll never forget the first time I watched Susan Boyle belt out “I Dreamed A Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009.
Since then, Boyle has worked as a betting store manager in her native Scotland.
Foreman was a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist back in the day, but since then has started his own empire of wildly successful George Foreman grills.
Rick Moranis was EVERYWHERE in the ’80s and ’90s. From the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids movies to Spaceballs and Little Shop of Horrors, Moranis was a household name.
He decided to leave Hollywood after losing his wife in order to be a stay-at-home Dad.
Shirley Temple was one of the most successful child actors of all time, but after growing into an adult, found it tough to make the transition to grown-up roles.
She retired in 1950 and eventually became the US Ambassador to Ghana before her death in 2014 at age 85.
Jon Gosselin had a lot on his plate during his Jon & Kate Plus 8 days.
After splitting with his wife, Gosselin left the world of reality TV behind and became a part-time short order cook at the local TGI Friday’s in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area as well as a professional DJ.
Known to her fans only as “Tiffany,” Darwish was a huge pop star in the 1980s after releasing her hit single “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
Since then, she’s opened a shop in Nashville, Tennessee called Tiffany’s Boutique.
Everyone still remembers MC Hammer’s iconic parachute pants and hit singles “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit.”
These days, the former rapper spends his time preaching at the Church of God in Christ.
The verdict’s still out on whether or not he still rocks those parachute pants…
Recognize this face?
Walters rose to fame portraying Ray Pruit on Beverly Hills 90210.
These days, he works in a much more admirable field: As a firefighter and paramedic in the Los Angeles City Fire Department.
Can you identify this former child actor?
Okay, so he looks a lot different with the mustache, but Ostrum portrayed Charlie Bucket in the classic film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory back in 1971.
Since then, he left acting for a career as a veterinarian.
This famous twin became a famous child star on Disney Channel shows The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite Life On Deck.
Sprouse has since attended NYU and opened the All-Wise Meadery in Brooklyn.
After being discovered while working in a Cold Stone Creamery at age 18, Blonsky went on to star in the smash hit movie version of the musical Hairspray in 2007.
But after the film roles dried up, she decided to pursue a career as a hair stylist and makeup artist.
Ice, Ice, Baby!
What’s the former rapper up to these days?
Ice, also known as Rob Van Winkle, spends his time flipping houses in Florida.
If Mike Vitar looks really familiar, it’s probably because you either had a crush on him or wanted to be him when you were a kid.
After appearing in the hit films The Sandlot and The Mighty Ducks franchise, Vitar decided to leave Hollywood to become a firefighter.
…I may or may not still have his poster hanging in my bedroom…
Former superstar Ali MacGraw’s claim to fame came from films like Love Story and Goodbye, Columbus.
Since saying “goodbye” to acting in her 50’s, MacGraw started a new type of love story: This time with Yoga. She’s been a yoga instructor ever since.
Taran Noah Smith
Ready to feel old?
The youngest member of the Taylor household on Home Improvement, Taran Noah Smith is now in his 30’s.
And the former child star now runs Playfood, a successful company that produces soy-free vegan cheese.
I bet Tim Taylor couldn’t be prouder.