Many actors spend years trying to find their place in Hollywood, but some only succeed to turn their backs on the glitzy world of showbiz.
Many child stars have grown up to realize that they don’t think acting is for them and have gone on to completely different careers.
While some household names have grown weary of the industry and turned their backs on the glitz and glamor of the entertainment world.
Matilda actress Mara Wilson was one of the most requested child stars of the 1990s, but then retired from acting to focus on a new job as a writer.
There have been a lot more actors over the years who have thrown in the towel and found happiness doing a job they really love.
Little Lex has grown up from his old days of escaping creepy dinosaurs.
The mother of a 41-year-old rose to fame in the 1990s blockbuster Jurassic Park playing the role of computer-savvy teenager Lex Murphy.
After filming Steven Spielberg’s adventure film, Ariana graduated in Fine Arts and Theater.
Ariana went to marry Mark Bolton, a stuntman and former Irish Defense Force soldier.
The couple welcomed their first child, a girl born in 2015.
Ariana now works as a portrait painter and has her own gallery in Portland, Oregon.
The actress, who starred as Kate Beringer on cult hit Gremlins and starred in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, has quit her filming days.
Phoebe now lives in New York City with her actor husband Kevin Kline, whom she met while filming her audition for The Big Chill in 1983.
She opened a fashion boutique named Blue Tree in 2005, located on wealthy Madison Avenue in New York City.
Although the actor retired after only two years in the showbiz industry, Danny walked away with a striking reputation for his groundbreaking performance in The Shining.
Danny Torrance was a character most horror fans will remember today and the young actor was only 10 years old when he took on the role.
Now 48, Danny Lloyd works as a college professor and has six children with his wife, Jessi Diana.
Mara is without a doubt one of the most memorable child actors to ever work in the industry.
She starred in several iconic 1990s films, including Miracle on 34th Street and Mrs. Doubtfire.
However, Mara is perhaps best known for playing the lead role of Matilda Wormwood in Matilda, the movie.
She retired in 2000 to pursue a career in writing.
Henry Enrique Estrada, better known as Erik, notably starred as Officer Francis Llewelyn, aka “Ponch” Poncherello, in the crime drama television series CHiPS.
It seems his acting career really foreshadowed what would happen in Erik’s real life later, as the actor became a reserve police officer.
Since 2016, Erik has worked in St. Anthony, Idaho.
This music star made a name for herself with her breakthrough role in 2007 as Tracy Tumbland in Hairspray.
Although her performance received two Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globe nominations as well as a SAG Award, the actress and singer decided to leave the stage soon after.
She became a professional makeup artist at the Superstar Salon in New York after earning her bachelor’s degree in cosmetology.
Erik Per Sullivan
Erik is known for his role as eccentric little Dewey, the younger brother of Malcolm in the Middle alongside actor Bryan Cranston.
The actor, now 30, retired shortly after completing the popular series and continued his education at the University of Southern California in 2009.
Even though Erik was credited with a few gigs – including the voice of Sheldon the Seahorse in Finding Nemo – he’s kept a pretty low profile ever since.
It has been more difficult for the singer and actor to stay away from the spotlight after the success of the Jonas Brothers and especially with his high-profile siblings.
Nonetheless, Kevin paused in the public eye before returning to music.
After playing his pivotal role as Jason in Disney’s Camp Rock, Kevin worked as an entrepreneur.
The 33-year-old father of two is currently co-owner of Jonas Werner Fine Custom Homes.
The 1980s idol was best known for his role as Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles.
However, following an active and popular life within the industry, Michael disappeared from the scene.
Since 2019, he has reportedly lived with his wife in Pennsylvania, where he has a carpentry workshop.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were – and arguably could still be – the world’s most famous twins.
They both made their business debuts as Michelle Tanner on the popular sitcom Full House.
The Olsen twins went on to star in several teenage comedy films, before quitting acting altogether in the early 2010s.
They both went on to become highly respected fashion designers.
Mary-Kate and Ashley are the owners of The Row, a luxury clothing line.
Rick Moranis has become a household name with roles in films like Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
The 68-year-old father-of-two made the decision to stop acting after the tragic loss of his wife Ann Belsky to cancer in 1991.
He became a stay-at-home dad and focused on raising his children.
Rick has since made a comeback and recently reprized his role as Wayne Szalinski in Shrunk, a new sequel to the Honey series, I Shrunk the Kids.
Jeff, who rose to fame as a child actor in the 1980s, completely changed his career path into his adult life.
The 46-year-old star, best remembered for playing the role of Chunk in The Goonies, has become a lawyer.
He founded his own company in 2002.
Former model and actor Lucas also chose a career in law.
The 41-year-old Texan starred as Spider in School of Rock and appeared in campaigns for designers such as Gucci, Versace and Calvin Klein.
He went to law school and is now the attorney for Tyler County, Texas.
Former Disney star Jennifer left the industry to help others.
The actress, who played Harper in Wizards of Waverly Place alongside pop star Selena Gomez, has become a registered nurse.
She would also have fought on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peter, who played Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, also left Hollywood to pursue a very different career.
The 63-year-old father of two left Hollywood to become a veterinarian.
He went to veterinary school and now works primarily with horses and cows at a practice in Lowville, New York.
As another actor turned lawyer, Charlie, 42, has been recognized for his portrayal of The Kid in Dick Tracy and Jack Banning in Hook.
The father of two is now a law professor at Case Western Reserve University Law School.
He was also appointed by former US President Barack Obama to the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation Board of Trustees in 2011.