It’s easy to picture celebrities as being larger than life, and even easier to forget that deep down, they’re just regular people like the rest of us. For these former celebrities who have left fame behind, this truth is part of their everyday lives. That’s because these former actors, actresses, and musicians now work regular jobs.
Josh Saviano, Attorney
Josh Saviano was one of the biggest stars of the hit 80s coming of age TV show, The Wonder Years. Saviano played main character Kevin Arnold’s best friend, Paul Pfeiffer, despite false rumors years ago that rocker Marilyn Manson played the role as a kid. Saviano gave up acting after the show in favor of studying political science at Yale. He went on to go to law school and is now an attorney. His wife is also a lawyer, and they live in New York with their child.
Frankie Muniz, Race Car Driver
In the 1990s and early 2000s, it seemed as if Frankie Muniz was headed to acting stardom. Not only did he star in Malcolm in the Middle, but also in films such as Big Fat Liar. His acting career stalled in the mid-2000s, and he turned to the activities he loved most: music and racing. He did a little drumming for a rock group called Kingsfoil and began racing cars professionally for Jensen Motorsport.
Jon Gosselin, Line Cook
Jon Gosselin rode to stardom on the backs of his adorable kids with the popular reality TV show Jon & Kate Plus 8. When the show ended, it was back to reality for Gosselin, who nonetheless parlayed his fame into a long-term DJ gig at Pennsylvania’s Building 24 nightclub. He also works part-time in a TGI Friday’s of all places, where he serves as a line cook in what he said started as a favor for a friend of his.
Taran Noah Smith, Farmer/Business Owner
He didn’t get the attention that Jonathan Taylor Thomas did, but Taran Noah Smith still enjoyed his share of fame for playing one of the kids on Home Improvement. Smith seemed to want to get away from acting as well as from his parents, as he got married at just 17 years old to a woman 16 years older than he was. This allowed him access to his trust fund, which in turn allowed him to start up a non-dairy cheese manufacturing company and restaurant. He grows his own ingredients for the foods he sells.
Brittany Ashton Holmes, Barista
You probably remember Brittany Ashton Holmes as Darla in the film version of The Little Rascals. Brittany didn’t really enjoy acting so much and decided after the movie to get out of the business. She went on to graduate high school and go to college with an eye toward a political science degree. Like many college students, she took a job to help with her bills, choosing to work as a barista at Starbucks.
Chris Owen, Waiter
Every high school movie that’s worth paying attention to has an awkward nerd character. Chris Owen partook in that storied tradition during his role of The Sherminator himself in the American Pie series of films. After the films ended, Owen didn’t want to give up acting but did need a second job to make ends meet. Like many actors who haven’t become household names, he got a job as a waiter.
Vanilla Ice, Real Estate Investor
Vanilla Ice was one of the most famous names in music for a couple of years in the 1990s. However, when the musical well dried up and he his days of battling MC Hammer for the top spot on the Billboard charts were over, Vanilla Ice found a surprising way to make money: real estate speculation. To hear him tell it, he sold some of the properties he wasn’t using and made a profit. He’s gone on to even get his own television show dedicated to making over and improving properties.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Exercise Apparel Designer
Dwayne Johnson became a household name through his wrestling persona “The Rock”. Despite only sporadically appearing in wrestling events today, he is still considered one of the best wrestlers of all time. During his career, The Rock spent a lot of time in the gym. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he recently teamed up with athletic wear company, Under Armour, to design his own line. The line is called “Project Rock.”
Jim Carrey, Painter
Jim Carrey was once at the top of the chain of comedic movie actors. After getting his start as a stand-up comic, he burst on the Hollywood scene in the 90s with roles in hit films such as “The Mask”, “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”. Today, he is less active in Hollywood and chooses to express his creativity in a different way. He is a painter and many celebrities, such as Lebron James, are fans of his work.
Marisa Tomei, Fitness Instructor
Marisa Tomei gained international fame after playing Mona Lisa Vito in 1992’s “My Cousin Vinny”. Since then, she has appeared in hit films such as “What Women Want”, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, and “The Big Short”. More recently, she has portrayed Aunt May in some of the Marvel films. However, she does more than just act, she is also very much into fitness and she shares this passion with the world. She has released two fitness videos, including one which focuses on weighted hula hoop exercises.
Michael Maronna, Electrician
Michael Maronna made a name for himself on a Nickelodeon show, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, where Michael played Big Pete Wrigley. However, when the show ended, Maronna decided that life in front of the camera wasn’t for him. He instead got certified as an electrician. He doesn’t wire power lines for homes or does installations in businesses, though – he works on productions of Hollywood shows, including Nurse Jackie and Sex and the City.
Kirk Cameron, Minister
Kirk Cameron became famous as a teenager when he played the mischievous Mike Seaver on the hit TV show Growing Pains. However, it seems that Kirk in real life couldn’t have been any more different than the playful troublemaker he played on the show. After the show ended, Cameron entered the ministry, acting exclusively in Christian film productions. He has also founded a ministry that includes a weekly TV show that he hosts.
Nikki Blonsky, Stylist
After playing Tracy Turnblad in the film Hairspray, Nikki Blonsky decided she needed a job between film and TV roles. However, she didn’t go far from what she had done in her acting career, choosing to get her cosmetology license. She has since started working as a stylist and make-up artist in New York. She has continued to act, though, with her latest role coming in the independent film Dog Years.
Peter Ostrum, Veterinarian
In the original film version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Ostrum played the plucky Charlie Bucket. He seemed as if he would have had as much of a future as any other child actor from his role in the film, but it was not to be. In fact, he never played another film or television role. However, he was not bothered by the development and went on to go to veterinary school and become a veterinarian in upstate New York.
Jeff Cohen, Attorney
Would you believe that the kid who once made the truffle shuffle famous is now an attorney at law? Yep, Jeff Cohen, who played the unforgettable character Chunk in the seminal 80s film The Goonies, has moved on to the courtroom. He hasn’t acted since 1991 because as he put it, puberty sent him into retirement. He now runs his own law practice along with a partner.
Dylan Sprouse, Master Brewer
Dylan Sprouse was one-half of the cute twins from Adam Sandler’s film Big Daddy. While Dylan’s brother, Cole, is now appearing on the show Riverdale, Dylan has only sporadically acted since Big Daddy, and only until 2012. Instead, he has turned his attention to brewing beer. He went from a job at Kings County Distillery to learning the craft and eventually becoming the youngest master brewer in the whole country.
Jonathan Bennett, Spin Instructor
Jonathan Bennett once played Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, also known as “the handsome guy the girls fought over.” Although he didn’t have all of the funny lines in the film, the story did revolve around him in many ways. However, Hollywood hasn’t really been knocking down his door since, and he has moved on to other interests. He still lives in the Los Angeles area and is actually a spin class instructor at Flywheels now.
Steven Seagal, Deputy Sheriff
It can be hard to separate fact from fiction, particularly when it comes to action film stars, who are happy to exaggerate their real-life toughness for big box office paydays. Steven Seagal, like many martial arts film stars, has always had a murky history in actual martial arts, but he actually has done a little time as a police officer. He was sworn in as a deputy sheriff in rural New Mexico and even did some routine police work on a reality show.
Gary Coleman, Security Guard
Gary Coleman is certainly not your typical bodyguard. The diminutive former actor, who earned his fame while appearing on the hit show Diff’rent Strokes, somehow parlayed his notoriety into a real-life gig as a security guard, of all things. However, his fame has gotten in the way of his duties on occasion. In fact, he got into hot water at one point because he refused an autograph while on the job, got into an altercation and punched a woman in the face.
Charlie Korsmo, Law Professor
You’ll remember good old Charlie Korsmo as the child actor that starred in the Robin Williams-led Peter Pan flick, Hook. As it turned out, though, acting was not the life for Korsmo. He instead decided to earn a living with his mind, going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then Yale Law School. Now, he teaches the future attorneys of tomorrow as an assistant professor of law.
Michael Schoeffling, Carpenter
Anyone who remembers the great films of the 1980s surely remembers Michael Schoeffling. He’s the guy that Molly Ringwald spent the entirety of Sixteen Candles drooling over, after all. Schoeffling seemed like he was set for movie stardom, but decided to leave the business a few years later. He married a former model and now lives in Virginia. What does he do for a living? He’s a carpenter that makes handmade custom furniture.
Mackenzie Rosman, Philanthropist
If you watched the hit TV show 7th Heaven, you’d remember Mackenzie Rosman as Ruthie Camden. Since the series came to an end about ten years ago, she has continued to take small roles here and there, but her main focus has been on philanthropic causes with non-profit organizations. For instance, she has become the national honorary chairman for CureFinders, which is an organization focused on working toward a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Danica McKellar, Mathematician
Danica McKellar is instantly recognizable as the actress behind Winnie Cooper, the subject of many crushes for boys growing up in the 1980s when The Wonder Years was on. What fans of the classic show may not know is that McKellar has a degree in mathematics from UCLA and is something of a math whiz. She has helped to write a mathematical theorem in her extra time while continuing to act occasionally.
Rebecca Ritters, News Producer
Rebecca Ritters played the role of Hannah Martin, better known as Button, on the show Neighbours. Like many young TV actresses, she didn’t find a lot of roles after the show ended and instead focused on her education, earning a politics and international relations degree. From there, she became a producer for news and current affairs programs for the Australian Broadcasting Company, and she still works as a producer today.
Ariana Richards, Artist
Ariana Richards was one of the two adventurous children in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster hit Jurassic Park and the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. She didn’t do much for many years after 2001, but we don’t blame her; it’s pretty hard to top acting with dinosaurs in some of the biggest movies ever. She has become an artist after earning a fine arts degree at Skidmore College, however.
Tony Danza, Teacher
Although Tony Danza found fame in shows such as Taxi and Who’s the Boss, he has also been brave enough to take one of the toughest jobs out there: high school English teacher. Danza braved the students of Northeast Philadelphia High School a few years ago to teach 10th grade English. He was actually filmed, the episodes largely kept to air as part of a reality TV show. Danza has called the experience of teaching “a very, very difficult situation to be in.”
Mara Wilson, Author
Mara Wilson was a very successful child actress, landing the title role in Matilda and a part in Mrs. Doubtfire, to boot. However, she has since said that she has no interest in continuing to act and has instead chosen the way of the writer. She has published a book, in 2016, and also has written for various websites such as Cracked.com. This brainy beauty seems to have really figured out what she wants in life!
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Business Owner
Sarah Michelle Gellar has had a number of famous roles in TV and movies such as Cruel Intentions and The Grudge, but she will always be best known as Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These days, she has moved on, however. She co-founded the food-crafting company Foodstirs in 2015 and believes that she will release a cookbook soon, as well. Only time will tell what project will be next for this famous actress.
Andrea Barber, University Administration Worker
While Andrea Barber never seemed exceedingly smart in her days as Kimmy Gibler on Full House, in real life, she’s actually very talented. She graduated with an English degree from Whittier College and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of York. Recently, fans of Barber on Full House got quite a treat, as Netflix revived the dead series, casting Barber as one of the main parts in the series.
Maia Brewton, Attorney
It sure seems like a lot of former stars become attorneys, doesn’t it? Anyway, you might remember Maia Brewton from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose or Adventures in Babysitting. She quickly branched out into other areas, putting time into law school while she worked part-time as a bartender. Eventually, she passed the bar exam and became an attorney.
Jason Zimbler, Software Designer
Melissa Joan Hart may have been the star of the 90’s sitcom Clarissa Explains It All. However, the show would not have been as great without her pesky little brother, Ferguson. Ferguson was played by Jason Zimbler. After the show wrapped, Zimbler left acting. Instead, he decided to get an education and studied at the University of Notre Dame. He has returned to Hollywood, but not as an actor, but as a software designer. Today, he works for HBO.
Hank Aaron, Car Dealership Owner
Hank Aaron is a baseball legend for beating Babe Ruth’s homerun record. Immediately after retiring from the sport, he worked for the Atlanta Braves. However, he ultimately decided to branch out from baseball. He opened a BMW dealership in Georgia. It has been reported that he gives autographs with every car sold.
Dylan & Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit, Sound Technician & Firefighter
Dylan and Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit may be best remembered for portraying the adorable twin sons of Uncle Jesse on the 90’s sitcom Full House. Although they reprised their role on the Netflix reboot, Fuller House, the two have mainly stayed away from the spotlight. They also no longer work together. Today, Nicky is a sound technician, and Dylan is a firefighter.
Kevin Jonas, App Entrepreneur
The Jonas Brother rose to fame around 2005. The pop band, formed by 3 brothers, remained extremely popular until their split in 2013. Kevin Jonas was the oldest brother of the three. Since leaving the music scene, he has entered the tech world as an app developer. He recently launched Yood, which gives users the locations and phone numbers of the highest rated restaurants in the area.
Jack Gleeson, Student
Oh, King Joffrey, the Game of Thrones character you love to hate. When he was murdered at his wedding, some viewers were shocked, but most were happy to see the evil boy king get the fate he deserved. However, it was also Gleeson’s way to quit acting. He had been acting since age 8 and decided it was time to call it quits. He told the Independent “I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to… It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.” He went onto study at Trinity University in Dublin. However, you can still catch him at conventions.
Danny Lloyd, Biology Teacher
Danny Lloyd’s name, from a young age, became synonymous with terror. He portrayed Danny in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. When he was filming the movie, Danny did not realize it was even a horror film. He just believed it was about a family living in a hotel. He has since left acting and today works as a biology professor at a community college.
Leana Creel, Production Company CEO
Leana Creel is best known for portraying Tori on “Saved by the Bell”, in 1992. She landed 4 more roles after. However, her last role was in 2000. But, she never completely left the entertainment industry. She works behind the camera and runs her own production company called Creel Studio. The company “is a full service photography and video production company that specializes in food, travel and lifestyle content.”
Cameron Diaz Is Taking Time Off
Life in the public eye can be very stressful. Celebrities receive no privacy as media is constantly following them. Therefore, after her most recent role in 2014, Cameron Diaz decided it was time for a break. She is working on her mental health and taking time to “make herself whole”. During a panel discussion, in 2017, Diaz said “I can’t really say who I am to myself. Which is a hard thing to face up to.”
George Forman, Grill Designer
The former heavyweight boxing champion, George Foreman, has said that healthy eating was a huge factor of his success. For many years, he has acted as the face of George Foreman Grills promoting this ideal. However, he does more than just endorse the grills; he also helps create the designs. Since George has signed on to work with the grill company, the George Foreman Grill has sold over 100 million units.
Sasha Obama, Student
Sasha Obama spent 8 years in strict scrutiny as she is the youngest daughter of former U.S. President Barack Obama. Since Obama left the White House, the family has lived a much simpler life. They have taken several family vacations and have enjoyed a quieter lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle means Sasha attending school, which is exactly what she is doing. She will graduate in 2019 and most likely go on to attend university.
Roseanne Barr, Politician
Roseanne Barr is best known for playing the title role on her comedic TV series “Roseanne”, from 1988-1997. Outside of Hollywood, Roseanne has kept rather busy. Along with running a macadamia nut and livestock farm, she also ran for President. She first sought the nomination from the Green Party but lost. However, she won the nomination for the Peace and Freedom Party. In 2012, she placed 6th in the general election.
Nick Offerman, Woodworker
Nick Offerman rose to fame playing Ron Swanson on the series “Parks and Recreation”. On the series, Swanson enjoyed bacon and woodworking. However, ironically, in real life, Offerman is also a woodworker. He owns ‘Offerman Woodshop’ in L.A. He is in charge of a small team who creates projects such as canoes and tables.
Danny Tamberelli, Musician
Danny Tamberelli was a child star who rose to fame throughout the 1990s. He had starring roles in series such as “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” and “All That”. Along with being an actor, Tamberelli is also an accomplished musician. He is the bassist and vocalists for a rock band called ‘Jounce’. He also used to act as the bassist for the folk/pop band ‘Every Good Boy’.
Susan Boyle, Cashier Applicant
Susan Boyle became an international star after performing on “Britain’s Got Talent”. Since her original performance, she has released several albums. However, despite her fame, she has yearned for a more normal life. In 2014, the London Evening Standard reported that Boyle had applied for a cashier position. “I just went in on the off-chance. It was kind of a desire to be normal,” she told the newspaper. “And it was a quiet period. I just got panicky (about fame).”
Freddie Prinze Jr., Chef
Throughout the 90s, Freddie Prinze Jr. was cast as a movie’s staple hottie. He had lead roles in films such as She’s All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer. He has continued acting in some small roles. However, he has never exceeded his 90s fame. Therefore, he has taken up other ventures. He is a chef and even released a cookbook in 2016.
Lisa Jakub, Writing Teacher
Lisa Jakub was a child star in the late 80s and early 90s. Her most memorable roles include Lydia in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and Alicia in “Independence Day”. She retired from acting in 2000, and now channels her creativity in other ways. She is an author, speaker, writing teacher, and yoga teacher. She also likes to satirically report about what the internet says about her, on her website.
Lark Voorhies, Book Publisher
Lark Voorhies is known to many as the rich girl, Lisa Turtle, from “Saved by the Bell”. She landed several roles since leaving “Saved by the Bell” in 1993. However, her career has dramatically slowed down since the early 2000s. She dabbled with singing but ultimately found her next calling in writing. She has written and published 3 books.
Rick Moranis, Comedic Singer
Despite being typecast as the nerd in several films, Rick Moranis saw a successful acting career. He starred in films such as “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, and “Little Giants”. Sadly, when his wife suddenly passed, he decided to take himself out of the limelight so that he could concentrate on his family. However, he has done other entertainment work. He has released a comedic album and was even nominated for a Grammy.
Jennie Garth, Subscription Box Curator
Jennie Garth’s acting career began in the late 80s. By the early 90s, she was landing roles in hit TV series such as “Growing Pains” and “Melrose Place”. However, her breakout role came in 1990, as Kelly Taylor, in “Beverly Hills, 90210”. She originally played Kelly through 2000, but she also reprised the role in the 2008 series reboot, “90210”. Since leaving “90201” in 2010, she has landed a few small roles. However, she has other things to take up her time. She owns and runs MomGiftBox.com, which sells a bi-monthly box subscription targeted towards moms.
Brandon Call, Gas Station Attendant
Brandon Call appeared on multiple hit TV series such as “Baywatch” and “Magnum P.I.”. But, his most memorable role was as J.T. Lambert on “Step By Step”. He retired from acting after leaving “Step By Step”, in 1998. Call has held a low profile ever since. However, media reports that he is living in California and working at his parent’s gas station.
Andrea Elson, Yoga Teacher
Andrea Elson was a child star who rose to prominence in the late 80s and 90s. Throughout her career, she appeared on series such as “Whiz Kids”, “Mad About You”, “Step by Step”, and her most memorable, “Alf”. She played Lynn Tanner on “Alf” from 1986-1990. After “Alf” wrapped, she decided to retire from acting. Today, she runs her own health and lifestyle blog as well as teaches yoga.
Jessica Sierra, Waitress
Jessica Sierra first auditioned for “American Idol”, during the second season. However, she was rejected. She had much better luck when she auditioned for the fourth season and made it to the finals. Despite ending in 10th place, she still went on to release her first single in 2007, which saw moderate success. She appeared on “Celebrity Rehab” in 2008, which is widely her last public appearance. Allegedly, today, she works as a waitress at Hooters.
Karyn Parsons, Educational Video Company CEO
Karyn Parsons is best known for playing the spoiled cousin of Will Smith, on the TV series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. She landed small roles on various productions through the early 2000s, with her last role being in 2002. Instead of being in films, today, she creates them. She runs a production company that creates videos to educate children about unsung black heroes.
Tiffany, Vintage Store Owner
Tiffany Darwish, better known as just Tiffany, was a teen idol in the late 1980s and early 90s. She released hit songs such as “I Think We’re Alone Now”, “Could’ve Been” and “I Saw Him Standing There”. Unfortunately, her popularity began to decline after her second album. She tried to revive her career with a new release in 2001 but saw little success. She has since stayed out of the studio and runs a boutique vintage store in Tennessee.
Rita Wilson, Online Magazine Writer
Rita Wilson starred in several films throughout the 80s and 90s, such as Sleepless in Seattle, Now and Then, Jingle All the Way, and Runaway Bride. She is also widely known to many as the wife of actor Tom Hanks, who she married in 1988. Although she has had sporadic roles since the 90s, today, she focuses on channeling her creativity through writing. She has written for several online magazines such as “Huffington Post”.
J.K. Rowling, Charity President
J. K. Rowling is best known as the author of the Harry Potter books. However, aside from writing she also has worked and continues to works on her other passions. She is the President of the charity “Gingerbread”. The charity works with single parents. As Rowling was a single parent, the cause is near and dear to her heart. Rowling said, “It is gratifying to be a part of a charity which works so hard to support single parents at ground level while giving them a voice in the national arena.”
Danielle Fishel, News Broadcaster
This former teenage heartthrob stole the show on Boy Meets World as the strangely named beauty Topanga. She also reprised her role in the recent spinoff, aptly titled Girl Meets World. Outside of the acting field, her work has been pretty straight forward. She has begun doing news broadcasts for channels such as the Style Network and PopSugar. She certainly has a great look for TV news!
Lucy Liu, Visual Artist
Lucy Liu is one of the biggest stars on this list, and she’s also a rare example of someone who is still very much active in Hollywood. However, she has transitioned from TV to movies and now back to TV, appearing almost exclusively on the show Elementary. With her extra time, Lucy has continued to do her side job, which is art. Liu is a gifted artist who hosts shows and galleries often, although she doesn’t talk much about her art when doing press for movies and TV.
Julia Stiles, Activist
Julia Stiles has been a mainstay in Hollywood over the past couple of decades, amassing over 50 roles in television and movies during her career. Still, you have to have something to do outside of work, and that’s when Julia fills her free time with charity and philanthropic work. Some examples of Julia’s pursuits include work for Habitat for Humanity and Amnesty International.