25 Once-Famous Celebrities That Rejected Fame For A Normal Life

Published 6 months ago

According to one study, 53% of Americans claim that they would enjoy being famous. But we know that the grass is always greener on the other side and that for a lot of people who achieved fame, being in the limelight wasn’t all that they thought it would be. 

Indeed, many folks who achieved fame in their lifetimes have left the jet-setting life for a more simple lifestyle. Recently, Redditors got together online to discuss which famous folks successfully left the spotlight and ditched their celeb careers to go back to the quiet life.

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Image source: myvotedoesntmatter, Children’s Bureau Centennial

President Jimmy Carter. He could have parlayed his Pres gig into big bucks speaking and getting book deals. Instead, he just built houses for lower income people. Never wavered from his core beliefs. As a former Navy Submariner, I always admired how he always kept the values of our Top Secret oath we took as submariners.


Image source: bionicjoe, Warner Bros

Chunk (Jeff Cohen) from The Goonies became a lawyer.


Yup. Apparently he’s a lawyer that represents actors and tries to make sure they always negotiate for fair agreements.


Image source: justReading271000, David Shankbone

Cameron Diaz.

Raising her kid with one of the Good Charlotte dudes and enjoying life. She made some awesome movies and great friendships. Content to live her life pretty quietly now.


Image source: roc-aki, slydogmania

Kate Bush.


Still quietly making music out of sight like she always did. Apparently Running Up That Hill being featured on Stranger Things made her several million dollars to add to all her other revenue streams.


Image source: cugamer, Gary Sherman Productions

Staci Keanan. Was on two big sitcoms in the 80s and 90s, charming, beautiful. Had amazing prospects. Then she dropped out of the business, went to law school, now she’s a district attorney.


Image source: XeniaDweller, MGM Studios

Rick Moranis.


He left Hollywood because his wife died, and he wanted to raise his kids.


Image source: LeoMarius, Expressive Book

Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi run a tennis academy in Las Vegas for underprivileged kids.


Image source: raresaturn, Twentieth Century Fox

Newt from Aliens (Carrie Henn) is a teacher.


Image source: vieniaida, MGM Television

Erik Estrada, who played officer Francis Llewellyn “Ponch” Poncherello on “CHiPs” became a real-life police officer in Saint Anthony, Idaho.


Image source: InternationalTap33, Daniel Benavides

Andre 3000 from OutKast. He was arguably the greatest rapper in the world and gave up the fame to live a quiet private life. The guy literally does his laundry at a laundromat to stay grounded and so he can play his flute in the alley while his clothes dry.


Image source: sroop1, Anks

Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, refused to license his work out and retired when the comics were huge at 37. Walked away from potentially hundreds of millions because he thought it would jeopardize the integrity of his art through commercializing it. I think he’s refused any public interview and the only publicly available picture of him is from over 30 years ago.

Lives in a modest neighborhood in Cleveland.


Image source: chahlie, official_enya

Enya lives in a tiny Irish village where she’s just one of the locals.


She lives in Killiney. It is an affluent suburb in Dublin. 2 members of U2 also live there. She is quite reclusive and lives in a castle.


Enya became a hermit and lives in a castle collecting cats aka living the dream


Image source: canuckbuck2020, https://www.universalstudios.com/

Pheobe Cates.


Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 2 Gremlins movies, a few other things… then retired more than 20 years ago.

Married to Kevin Kline since 1989 and running a little shop in NYC.


Surprised no one mentioned Daniel Day-Lewis. The man was on the top of his field for many years, but the toll each movie had on him made him choose to go live a normal life with his family.

Anything this guy did was immediatly praised by the Academy. He really went out on top.

Image source: PeterJuncqui


Bobby Sherman was a huge teen heartthrob in the 70s, and then at the height of his career, he left it all behind to become a paramedic.

Follow your heart, I guess, even if others find it weird.

Image source: Lil_Artemis_92


Image source: noseymimi, Warner Bros

The kid who played Charlie in the original Willy Wonka. He went on to be a veterinarian.


Image source: alfienoakes, Eddie

Queen’s John Deacon. Lives quietly wherever. Has minimal contact with Queen, though they do run ideas by him as a courtesy.


Deacon lives quietly with his wife Veronica, for whom he wrote his first major hit “You’re My Best Friend” when they were newlyweds and expecting their first baby (1975). They’ll be celebrating their 49th anniversary next month. They still live in the house they bought back when the money started coming in. They had six children (5 boys and 1 girl), and now who-knows-how-many grandchildren.


Image source: SassyAF519, Miramax Films

Bridgett Fonda, loved her then she disappeared. Last year paps found her living a normal life not looking she used too. They were brutal. F**k the paps.


Tom from MySpace ?


I respect him a lot compared to all the other major internet company guys. Wasn’t trying to change the world or farm data or move us into some technocratic future, just made a cool thing, sold it and does what he wants now.

Image source: Extreme_Eye_3198


Image source: Username_Here5

The girl who played Harper on Wizards of Waverly Place is a Registered Nurse now.


Image source: Raskolnikovs_Axe, Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM

Hayden Christensen did all the Star Wars stuff and then bought a farm outside Toronto. He’s now all about farming.


Image source: Arkeolog, https://www.mgm.com/

Greta Garbo was the biggest movie star in the world throughout the ‘30s. She made her last movie in 1941, at the age of 36.

She then spent the next 50 years living alone in a New York apartment. She was known for taking daily walks around Manhattan, and “Garbo-spotting” was a popular New York activity in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.


Image source: lifeuncommon, Warner Bros

Danny Lloyd, the kid from The Shining is a professor at a community college in Kentucky.


Image source: theisntist, annulla

Bill Withers passed away in 2020, but he’s the ultimate example of being on top and just dropping out and living his life.


I love Bill. He never fully quit his blue collar job, even when fully immersed in making music because he never trusted the people. And recognized his fame as fleeting. He was great. Probably in my top 5 songwriters


Image source: Competitive_Log_4111, Alterna2

It was Rick Astley until we relentless trolled our teachers and friends with the Rick roll circa 2006 ish.


He said he really hated the music fame machine and just didn’t want to go any further with it.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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