The life of a Hollywood actor appears so amazing, enjoyable and glamorous, that we can’t understand why anyone would ever want to give it up.
We’re sure that the constant hounding by Paparazzi and fans would occasionally prove tiresome, and negative feedback from critics about your acting talents is bound to get you down sometimes. But surely the millionaire making pay packets and chance to star in some amazing movies would be more than enough to keep you pressing forward?
Below are eight Hollywood stars who decided to pack it all in and quit acting for good. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether they made the correct decision or not!
8. Rick Moranis
Rick Moranis starred in a number of the 1980’s biggest hits, including Ghostbusters, Spaceballs and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but the tragic death of his wife Ann Belsky from cancer in 1991 caused him to slowly leave the public eye, so he could instead focus on being a full time single dad.
Moranis said in 1997 that: “I’m a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage to raise my kids and to do the traveling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”
7. Cameron Diaz
Were we the only ones who had no idea that Cameron Diaz had retired from acting? Yes, the star of There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels and My Best Friend’s Wedding was last seen in 2014’s Annie, after which she quietly left the spotlight.
Diaz revealed in 2017 that she had become overwhelmed by the travel and work requirements of her acting career, saying “I can’t really say who I am to myself. Which is a hard thing to face up to. I felt the need to make myself whole.” She has since written two books, called The Body Book and The Longevity Book.
6. Daniel Day-Lewis
When you hear about the extreme lengths that three times Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis goes to in preparation for his roles, then it shouldn’t come as much surprised to hear that he’s decided to hang up his method acting boots.
Day-Lewis’ final role was in Phantom Thread, and although he seems adamant that it’s the last time we’ll see him on the silver screen, we wouldn’t be too surprised if he takes on another role when he decides that the time is right.
5. Shirley Temple
One of the most famous Hollywood child actors of all time, the late Shirley Temple was the number one US box office star between 1935 and 1938.
But as she grew into adulthood, Temple’s box office appeal declined, and she retired from acting in 1950 at the age of 22, later returning to the spotlight when she became the US ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989.
4. Gene Hackman
Two time Oscar winner Gene Hackman made his name in his 40s when he starred in The French Connection in 1971, and he subsequently starred in a number of other big movies, which included playing Lex Luthor in Superman and Superman II.
Hackman’s final role was in 2004’s critically panned Mooseport, and despite never officially confirming his retirement, he has not taken any more projects since, instead choosing to write novels.
3. Elizabeth Hurley
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery star Elizabeth Hurley decided to quit acting in 2002, so she could focus on raising her son Damian.
However, in 2015 Hurley did return to the small screen, starring in the E! original series The Royals, a US soap opera based on the Michelle Ray novel Falling for Hamlet.
2. Sir Sean Connery
Former James Bond Sir Sean Connery’s last movie role was in the critical and commercial failure The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, although he didn’t officially confirm his retirement until he picked up the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
According to his good friend Sir Michael Caine, Connery “didn’t want to play small parts about old men and they weren’t offering him any young parts in romantic leads.”
1. Meg Ryan
Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail star Meg Ryan quietly stepped away from the bright lights of Hollywood after she divorced her husband Dennis Quaid in 2001.
However, in 2015 Ryan did return to film making, making her directorial debut with Ithaca, a movie based on the 1943 novel The Human Comedy by William Saroyan.