It is an immutable fact of life: Nothing lasts forever. Even the best careers in Hollywood come to an end at some time. But usually careers end with an actor’s death, or they slowly lose their clout and popularity over time, or maybe their laid low by a shocking scandal. In other words: It’s typically not the actor’s choice to stop working. It just happens.
It’s far rarer that a star decides to walk away from a career of their own volition. The reasons it does occasionally happen vary. Sometimes, there are health issues to consider. In other cases, a star might need to care for someone else in their family. And sometimes, an actor or actress just gets so fed up with the grind and the hassles and the politics and the B.S. that they just decide enough is enough and quit for the sake of their own sanity. Our list of famous stars who quit show business has examples of all of those.
You will notice we don’t have a single child actor on our list. That’s for a few reasons. For one thing, we’ve done lists of child actors and what they did after they left show business before. More importantly, though, child actors are kids. For them, acting isn’t a career. Maybe it’s something they’re curious about, or more likely it’s something their parents pushed them into. It’s one thing for a kid who made a few movies to grow up and realize he wants to be a doctor or a lawyer. It’s another for an adult who spent their whole lives working toward the goal of making it in Hollywood to suddenly say “You know what? I don’t want to do this anymore.”
With that in mind, let’s get to our list.
10 Movie and TV Stars Who Quit Show Business
These amazing actors walked away from hugely successful careers.