Hollywood Stars Who Chose A Second Career - too cool 2 be true

Hollywood Stars Who Chose A Second Career

What is the saying, once a celebrity, always a celebrity? Well, lots of people out there do seem to think this is the case. But Hollywood is not for everyone, and the harsh reality is that many famous careers are fairly short-lived!

Fans won’t believe what these former celebs are doing now, in and out of Hollywood!

Check out these once household names that found a fresh, creative start — sometimes even with a regular job!

Tony Danza

The ’80s and ’90s were all about Tony Danza. After professional boxing, he found fame and fortune in Hollywood. But in 2009, Tony took a break from acting and became a teacher!

Though he is back to acting now, Mister Danza taught a 10-grade English class in a Philadelphia High School. It was aired on a reality show! Danza explained: “I want it to show what’s going on in an American high school. I want it to say to guys like my age, hey, maybe, let me see what I can do…because there’s nothing like it.” There sure isn’t, Tony!

Jim Carrey

Conquering stand up comedy, funny movies, and serious roles, Jim Carey is a legend. Known for making upwards of twenty million buckaroos per film since the 90’s, Jim got bored with it all. Liar Liar, Dumb and Dumber and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind will never be forgotten, but he needed to explore other passions, too!

Recently, Jim decided to leave Hollywood and focus on his artistic side. Fans think he is incredibly talented! The actor sells his art for a minimum of $10,000 a piece. Allegedly, Lebron James is one of his art fans!

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice was a big deal back in the ’90s, no doubt. Hip hop fans are still bopping to his hit “Ice Ice Baby”. But every bubble has to burst, and Mr. Ice eventually had a dilemma. When his records stopped selling like they used to, he turned to something else to make money: Flipping and selling houses!

Vanilla explained: “When ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ was selling a million records a day, I bought several properties…then, a few years later, I took a break from touring, saw that my properties had cobwebs, so I sold them, and to my surprise, I made a huge profit.” It’s no wonder he followed the money, is it?

Steven Seagal

Steven Seagal has tried out titles as actor, film producer, martial artist, and musician, since the 80’s. According to Steve: ”I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.” But what is he up to these days, in a surprising turn of events?

Well, it’s an off answer. His persona in the movies seems to have carried over to real life. Steve once served as a Deputy Sheriff! His duties included the California-Mexico line, and he has a special interest in border issues. His work was made into a reality show on A&E! Check it out to Steven Seagal, in real life action.

Macaulay Culkin

Run or hide, there is nothing he can do: Macaulay Culkin just has a recognizable face, and there’s ni getting around it! Mac is widely considered one of the most successful child actors of all time, thanks to his lead role in the Home Alone films. Shooting to fame at a young age, just ten in the first one, he made a fortune. But it seems that was a bit overwhelming!

The actor decided to take a break from the spotlight in 1994. Struggling with addiction, he focused a lot more on personal life. Now, he has reemerged as a musical man: Macaulay currently sings and plays kazoo for The Pizza Underground, a comedy rock group!

Frankie Muniz

Anyone who grew up in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s will know this face, right away from Malcolm in the Middle. While many people look different as adults, Frankie Muniz really doesn’t. He’s totally recognizable today! After the show, he was in Big Fat Liar and My Dog Skip. But he moved on to other things, in the end. What is Frankie up to, these days?

Frankie signed a 2-year-deal with Jensen Motorsport in the early 2000’s, and he has been racing professionally ever since. And he has plenty of hobbies that take up his time, too: The former actor loves drumming, and he was a drummer for a short time for Kingsfoul!

Zia McCabe

Zia McCabe is the female everyone recognizes from The Dandy Warhols posters in the 90’s. Her songs live on, in pop culture. But she has taken a step back from music, completely. These days, she’s busy with Oregon real estate!

Rough Trade

Being an agent is a very different job, to be sure. There are rules to be followed! According to Zia: “There’s quite a bit of rebranding between the way people see you as a rock star and the way people see you doing a complicated legal transaction for them…I was expecting everyone to go, ‘Zia’s smart, she can do this.’ Some people still think I’m just drunk every day.” No way, not anymore!

Peter Ostrum

Literally magic on screen, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory will always an original. Even if they keep remaking it, fans have a special spot in their hearts for Peter Ostrum, the actor who played Charlie. But few have really researched his story, after the film. Shockingly, Peter was never seen in a movie again!

Never fear, he only left movie making. Safe and sound, Peter pursued his other passion. Doggos and kitties really fascinated him, it turns out. The youngster moved to upstate New York and went to veterinary school. Happy and fulfilled, he practices as a vet to this day!

Ryan Reynolds

Funnyman Ryan Reynolds is well known for his comedy hits, one after another for two decades. He also get attention for his real-life marriage to blonde bombshell Blake Lively. Fans would have been happy enough for him with that, but Ryan decided an extra career would make things even tastier. Behold, Aviation Gin!

Aviation Gin

According to Ryan: “I’m a great introduction to the product, but then the product can speak for itself.” Today, it happens to be one of the top-rated brands in the gin world. But Ryan is just getting started with his business track. Recently, he bought a significant stake in Mint Mobile. Deadpool may have been exciting, but discount phone service is the final frontier!

Emma Watson

Harry Potter and Emma Watson will be linked, now and forever. But since this major phase of her life is done, the actress has decided to take on a different job as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. While Emma does still act, her work for the HeForShe campaign has gotten plenty of attention. 

UN Women

According to Emma: “The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly.” She has been promoting girls’ education with visits to Bangladesh and Zambia, and tried to get the word out about fair trade and organic clothing in Africa. And she seems to be finding meaning in her mission!

Ariana Richards

Terrifying, but true: Jurassic Park brought Ariana Richards onto fame radar. Fans may remember her as the girl who brought dinosaurs to life! After appearing in the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Ariana mysteriously all but disappeared from the scene. Did she go extinct, like the dinos?

Except for a brief appearance in a TV movie, Ariana really has been quiet. In college, she found a different passion: Ariana has been exploring her artistic side as a painter. With a degree in Fine Arts and Drama from Skidmore College, she’s well prepared!

Leonardo DiCaprio

From Catch Me if You Can to Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio usually steals the show. His ability to get the attention of an audience has been transformed into a bit of a second passion, in recent years. A longtime environmental activist,the actor established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation way back in 1998! 

Instagram / @leonardodicaprio

The organization focuses on issues like preserving Earth’s biodiversity, climate change, and supporting renewable energy. It presents documentaries online and funds debt-for-nature swaps in real life. Should Leo ever tire of scripts, he has a pretty meaningful plan B waiting for him!

Nikki Blonsky

In an ironic turn of events, Nikki Blonsky, the star of Hairspray, now literally works with Hairspray. After playing the lead role in the successful adaptation of the film, people certainly recognize her at the salon. At first, they probably think they are imagining things. But no, it’s really Nikki!

Nikki continues to act, now and then. But she needed a side job, in between her big deals. Why not try cosmetology school? In the end, that’s exactly what she did. With her license, she now works as a hair stylist and make-up artist in New York. She’s still on the scene, but behind the scenes!

Mia Khalifa

Former adult actress Mia Khalifa is so much than anyone knew. Now retired from the industry, she speaks out against the practices targeting young girls. Some would say she’s become a bit of an activist! With interviews on the BBC and all around the world, people have been noticing she’s incredibly articulate. Why not hear her out?


Youth exploitation is not the only issue Mia has been using her public platform to address. As a famous native of Lebanon, Mia jumped into action to raise money for victims of the recent port explosion. She actioned off personal items on eBay and managed to get $100,000 for the Lebanese Red Cross. Go Mia, go!

Brittany Ashton Holmes

Brittany Ashton Holmes definitely had a taste of fame when she was a little girl. Brit played the adorable Darla in The Little Rascals, as a friendly reminder. But that life is not for everyone, and she said goodbye and good riddance to it all. The actress left Hollywood as her role ended, and was raised as a normal kid.

As an emerging adult, Brittany worked as a barista to independent pay for a degree in political science. And she loved having a regular job! She explained: “I was an actress when I was little and did this movie called Little RascalsIt’s like really embarrassing to watch, and I don’t want to act anymore.” Fair enough, Brittany! 

Maia Brewton

Maia Brewton is a child star who gained fame for her role in Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Adventures in Babysitting. But she grew up and grew out of acting, it seems. Maia did study theatre and w0rked as a bartender to pay the bills in early adulthood. But she soon decided it was time to leave one bar for another, and took herself to law school!

These days Maia is a practicing attorney, and a graduate from Yale. Openly lesbian as an adult, she is now married to Lara Spotts. The couple has twin boys, which is no small responsibility. Maia Brewton is a busy lady!

Jonathan Bennett

The dreamy Jonathan Bennet will always seem a little familiar, no matter what he tries to do in the real world. Who can forget Mean Girls, and the central role he played? No one, but gorgeous high schooler Aaron Samuels is no longer Lindsay Lohan’s fictional love interest. As of now, he has a different career!

Done with teen drama, Jon became a spinning instructor! Nowadays, he works at Flywheels in Los Angeles. But he’s in the area, if he ever wants to sign up for a gig. Recently, he resurfaced when he appeared in Ariana Grande’s music video for “Thank u, Next”. It was a parody of the cult favorite, and she had to hire him!

Hank Aaron

From major league baseball player to major car dealership. Hank Aaron is the player who everyone knows for being Babe Ruth’s home run record.

Once he retired, he didn’t slow down and opened Hank Aaron’s car dealership in Georgia. And he did very well, maybe because he gave an autograph with every car he sold! He also worked as the corporate vice president of community relations for TBS.

Erykah Badu 

Neo-soul singer Erykah Badu had a career in the 90’s that isn’t totally over. It’s just faded into the background of her other passions, though she does still make music. Fans may not know she got a very traditional certification, along the way. What does she do, when she is not performing?


Interestingly, the singer is also a practicing doula. Erykah shared: “I started studying on my own, different techniques, and the variables of what being a doula is about…I learned to originally be like water, in the place that I was, so that I could be a container for whatever they need. I love being of service in that way.” On and on, she goes!

Danny Bonaduce

Yes, it was decades ago. But who can forget The Partridge Family? It’s been syndicated for so long, that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know Danny Bonaduce, the little redhead boy in the show. But an adult, he doesn’t act. His job description has changed significantly!


In the late 1980s, the former child actor began a career in radio. Today, he is a morning staple in Seattle. He shared: “Seattle is the most beautiful city I have ever seen…The first time I visited, I thought someone put a major metropolitan city in the middle of Yosemite National Park. I can’t believe I get to live and work here.” Fans are happy too, Danny Bonaduce!

Gary Coleman

Although Gary Coleman has passed on, it’s worth seeing what he was up to, post Hollywood life. Known for his role on the series Different Strokes, he himself did take a different stroke after the series. Though not the tallest, at only 4 feet and 7 inches, Gary became a security guard!

As they say, dynamite comes in small packages. Despite his work enforcing rule, Gary had a temper at times. Once, when a fan asked for an autograph, he refused. A fight ensued, and the actor punched a woman in the face — not once, but many times! Unsurprisingly, he was suspended for a year. Who would have guessed?

Charlie Korsmo

A one time gig was enough for Charlie Korsmo. As the adorable lost boy alongside Robin Williams in Hook,  it appears the youngster wasn’t so hooked on Hollywood itself. While he said goodbye to the industry, that only meant he had room for other dreams. Since the movie, Charlie has accomplished more than enough!

Charlie was a pretty sharp guy, all along. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That’s MIT, people! Then, he went on to receive a law degree from Yale. Today, Charlie Korsmo is now an Assistant Professor of Law. No more maritime crime!

Al Green

Back in the 70’s, Al Green was one of the most popular performers in America. Even now, hits like “Here I Am (Come and Take Me),” “Let’s Stay Together,” and “Love and Happiness” keep him a household name. But despite his fame and fortune, Al wanted more out of life. What did he change about his career?


Al actually became more involved in his own faith after a personal tragedy. The star became an ordained minister and switched to releasing gospel records. Along the way, he started something big: Check out the Full Gospel Tabernacle church in Memphis to see Al in his element. There’s a Sunday service, every week!


This hip hop artist is best known for his catchy rap songs and well, being Beyonce’s husband. So what was he before he became the first man or the voice behind 99 problems? You might be shocked to hear.

Jay Z was in fact, a drug dealer. He has admitted to once being a crack dealer and claims that it actually made him a lot more savvy with his cash.

He explained,  “I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”

Michael Schoeffling

80’s teen film is genre of its own, and the cult classics definitely include Sixteen Candles. Michael Schoeffling was total eye candy as Jake Ryan, and he left girls wanting more. Sadly, he was off the market pretty quickly. And then, he disappeared! What did he do, after leaving the fame scene?

Michael did have a handful of roles after the film, but no more now. After leaving Hollywood, he moved to Virginia to help raise his kids with his ex-wife. He creates handmade furniture, for income! The former dreamboat owns a woodwork shop and focuses on carpentry. Who could have guessed?

Rebecca Ritters

It’s certainly been awhile! Rebecca Ritters played the only child of Philip and Julie Martin in the show Neighbours. But when the actress said goodbye to the cameras, she said goodbye to Hollywood. What is she up to, in her second career and private life?

In college, she has received a degree In Politics and International Relations from The University of Melbourne. Today, she works as a producer for Deutsche Welle, in Berlin. DW is a German public broadcaster available in 30 languages. Pretty serious stuff, compared to the sitcom world!

Michael Maronna

Nineties flashback time: Michael Maronna is definitely the guy who acted as Big Pete Wrigley in The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Yes, he looked familiar, didn’t he? Truthfully, he has been MIA since his Nickelodeon show, though. Michael stepped back from acting, though he is still present in the Hollywood world.

It might actually shock young talent on set that grew up watching him, but Mike has a behind the scenes role as an electrician. He has worked on big productions, like Sex and the City, Notorious, Nurse Jackie, and Elementary. Probably a fun surprise, if anyone recognized him!


Kelis is bossy. She has a milkshake brings all the boys straight to her yard. But that yard looks very different at the moment: The hiphop legend has moved to a farm! Kelis is now a natural chef, with just as much to say as ever.

Instagram / @kelis

She explained on Instagram: ”Since I moved to a farm, I have gotten the chance to meet several local farmers from a small area. It is very important to me to source the best ingredients. And right now. During these times. This is absolutely the way to do it. Support your local farmers and eat better…get your Sunday BbQ!” Sounds delicious and nutritious, Kelis!

Josh Saviano

Saviano had his time in the limelight, long, long ago. As the child actor who portrayed Kevin Arnold’s best friend on The Wonder Years, it must have been a good gig. But now that those wonder years are over, Josh has done very well for himself in other ways.

The on screen nerd went on to study political science at Yale, and then went to law school. These days, he looks very different as a handsome practicing attorney! Josh lives with a lawyer wife and their child in New York. A full second chapter, anyone would agree!

Jason Zimbler

Everyone recognizes Melissa Joan Hart, the star of Clarissa Explains it All. But whatever happened to her little brother on the show? Actor Jason Zimbler seems to have snuck under the radar, but it’s time to examine his career. It may appear he has disappeared from Hollywood, but he is still secretly involved. How, though?

Today, Jason is basically unrecognizable from his glory days on Nick. But he’s around: As it turns out, he works as a software designer for HBO. Millions have benefited from his talents, behind the scenes and off the screen. Surprise, surprise!

Kevin Jonas

The Jonas Brothers used to be one of the most popular bands around when the heartthrob teenagers rose to fame in 2005. They officially split up in 2013 each going their own way.

While Nick and Joe stayed in the spotlight, Kevin took a step away from music. He created and launched an app for food searching called Yood which gives the user the location and phone number of the highest rated restaurant closest.

Now that’s an app I am interested in!

Jack Gleeson

Gleeson had a big dose of fame when he played the character everyone loved to hate- the evil King Joffrey on Game of Thrones.

Then, when his character was killed off, he surprisingly said goodbye to Hollywood (for the time being at least) and went on to study theology and philosophy at Trinity College in Dublin. Yet he did not forget his fans and still attends some G.O.T conventions.

Danny Lloyd

He was the golden boy of horrors when he starred in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. He was so young! Lloyd claims when filming he did not even realize it was a horror and thought it was just about a family in a hotel.

Lloyd left acting as he left his youth behind and in 2007 became a biology professor at a community college in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

Nick Offerman

Sometimes actor’s TV life and real-life mesh in weird and wonderful ways, and that is what happened with Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation”.

In the series, Nick is a bacon enthusiast, and an accomplished woodwork, a talent which he has in reality too.

Nick owns his own distinguished yet unpretentious Offerman Woodshop in East L.A. where he worked with a small group of talented craftsmen to create some incredible woodwork structured from canoes to tables.

Danny Tamberelli

Starting out his career as Little Pete in “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”, Danny has gone on to be a man of many many talents.

With a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts focusing on music performance and booking management, Tamberelli is also the bassist and vocalist for the rock band ‘Jounce; as well as the bassist for the pop band “Every Good Boy”.

Wait there’s more – he has also done some voice work including lending his voice to the character of Jimmy De Santa in Grand Theft Auto V. In 2014, he started a podcast with former “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” co-star Michael Maronna.

Susan Boyle

The world was shaken when an unpresumptuous Boyle captured our attention on America’s Got Talent with her rendition of ‘ I Dreamed a Dream’ and coming second in the show.

Despite having various success in the music industry past America’s Got Talent, Boyle applied too be a cashier in 2014 – to everyone’s surprise. According to her “I just went in on the off-chance.

It was kind of a desire to be normal. And it was a quiet period. I just got panicky (about fame). But I wouldn’t want to scrap the job I already have (music). I absolutely love it.”

Lisa Jakub

She will always have a warm place in our heart as the child star from “Mrs. Doubtfire“ and “Independence Day”, but Jakub made the decision to pursue her other passions and today is a happily retired actor, author, speaker, writing teacher, and yoga teacher.

Marisa Tomei

Her acting career started with a bang when she received an Oscar for her role of Mona Lisa Vito in the 1992 film “My Cousin Vinny”.

Since then she has remained an audience favorite and featured in films like “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” and “The Big Short.” While her acting career continues, she has taken time out for her other passions too and has even released fitness videos to the public.

Brandon Call

Brandon Call seems to have downgraded quite a bit from his days as the child star who rose to fame in the mid-’80s. Back then, Call had roles on shows like “Baywatch”, “Magnum P.I” and of course, playing J.T in the series “Step by Step”.

After that Call made the decision to retire from acting and all but disappeared. Today many reports that Call is working at his parent’s gas station in California.

Danielle Colby

To the public, Danielle Colby is known for her role on the series “American Pickers” on the history channel, but before all that, she worked as a dancer.

Her success on the show even allowed her to open her own burlesque dance academy called “Dannie Diesel’s Bump ‘n’ Grind Academy.”

Rita Wilson

She has starred in some fan-favorite films such as s Sleepless in Seattle, Now and Then, Jingle All the Way, The Story of Us and Runaway Bride.

However, Rita Wilson, wife of Tom Hanks, stepped away from the acting game and today puts her creativity to other use- writing. She is a contributor to some popular magazines including “Huffington Post”.

Lyssa Chapman

Like her father, Lyssa Chapman is also a bounty hunter and appeared on the reality series “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. Still, that’s not her only project and she has her own business on the side called No Tan Lines LLP in Hawaii.

It is a salon with a variety of tanning bed options but is most known for their red-light therapy.

According to the website, red light therapy “has been proven effective for a wide range of healing and rejuvenating uses including anti-aging, hair loss prevention & regrowth, skin conditions, wound care, pain relief, and much more.”

Candace Cameron Bure

Talk about a rewarding job, Candace Cameron who was once known for her role on “Full House” now runs a wine label out of Napa Valley with her former NHL star husband Val Bure called Bure Family Wines.

She has also authored several books post-acting career.

Dylan Sprouse

From co-starring as the adorable orphan in the Adam Sandler film Big Daddy to being the stars of Zac and Cody, Dylan Sprouse moved along with his life.

While Cole is still in the Hollywood spectrum and has a role in Riverdale, Dylan used his time in NYU to start brewing his own mead, a fermented alcoholic beverage derived from honey featured as the beverage of choice in “Game of Thrones”.

At the tender age of 24, he is the youngest master brewer in the United States (not to mention dating Victoria Secret Model Barbra Pelvin).

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris’s name is synonymous to action films and he became something of an enigma. He will always be best remembered for his title role of “Walker, Texas Ranger.” However, his passions go beyond acting and karate.

Norris has proven to be more interested in the needs of others than in extending his acting resume. He has his own charity “Kickstart Kids” whose mission is to “use karate to teach character-building values to students in public schools.”

Today, over 8,500 students participate in the program.

John Travolta

John Travolta has been a Hollywood success story since day one with hit after hit after hit. But throughout it all, he harbored a passion for aviation, becoming something of a legend among pilots.

In fact, he owns several planes, including a Russian MIG fighter jet, which he can easily access at his home as it features his own personal runway. A perfect example of how fortune which fame gives you enables you to reach your other dreams.

Richard Rawlings

The central persona in the Fat N’ Loud” reality series Rawlings is a pro at turning old cars into profit. But when he is not focused on the car business you can find Richard chilling in his Bar N’ Grill live music venue which he owns and manages.

Robin Wright

Robin Wright has had a phenomenal acting carer throughout her life, starting with movies like “Princess Bride” and “Forrest Gump” and recently starring in “House of Cards” and “Wonder Woman”.

Despite her success, acting is not her priority nor her main passion and she prefers to be given the title of entrepreneur and philanthropist. Her most recent venture is “Pour Les Femmes”, a socially conscious luxury sleepwear company.


Fabio was such a successful model that he used it to leap into the world of acting and appeared in some B-list movies and commercials for products such as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”

But when he could no longer count on his looks, he opened “Happy Planet Vitamins”.

According to their website, their mission is “to empower individuals to lead healthier, more balanced lives through diet, exercise, and Healthy Planet Vitamins purest whey protein, purest glutamine, and purest colostrum products.”

Big Hoss

He found fame with his role in the reality tv show Pawn Stars, but his story is deeper than that.

Corey Harrison started working at the shop at only 9 years old! He is self-made and worked his way up to manager. He now has 10 percent partnership of the shop and focusses on many aspects of the business.

Lindsay Lohan

It’s no secret that Lindsay likes to party, but not just for pleasure, for business as well.

Lohan also opened a few name-brand clubs and after a few successful openings in Greece, she stated she would take over two islands in Dubai and open a few beach houses. That’s one powerhouse lady!

Matt Lauer

The former golden boy of NBC and successful news anchor of more than 20 years, Lauer was swiftly fired from the network after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced in 2017.

A close friend of Lauer told People, “I think he’ll retire…He wanted to run away and live with the money he had made and be with his family…This is definitely not the way he wanted to go out, but I don’t think he feels the need to be on air like some people, doing specials. I think he’ll have a quiet life and go golfing a ton.”

Ann Curry

Ann Currey is a celebrated journalist and news anchor who has been a reporter for over 30 years. However, she has also made time for her other passion- photography.

It started when she had a breast cancer scare. While waiting for the result Currey turned to photography to get hold of her spirits and she realized how much she needed that downtime in her life. She began setting aside time every week to take photos. “I choose to fill my days with what I’m passionate about, and live with purpose,” Curry said.

Frank Fritz

Another star of the series “American Pickers”, Fritz has a known love for motorcycling, so much so that his co-host on the series, Mike Wolfe, often has to stop him from making motorcycle impulse buys!

Frank has been the President of his local ABATE chapter for several years and even wrote a book about his passion titled “How to Pick Collectable Motorcycles.”