Seeing a celebrity step out of the spotlight feels like losing touch with a friend. What are they doing and why can’t you know about it? It’s often a necessary step to get away from the pressure of fame. They may step away forever, and no longer actresses. They choose school, family, other business ventures, or a normal life.
Celebrities may also take a temporary hiatus. They stop making films or TV shows, and fans wonder what they’ve been up to until they come back.
Keep watching to learn about major names that are no longer actresses, not even close.
Kelly started her career as a model. She then became famous for her role in 1985’s Weird Science.
Her career seemed bright, and she landed a part in 1990’s Hard to Kill. That was where she met her husband Steven Seagal. They had a public, messy divorce in 1996, and it convinced her to quit the film industry altogether.
Kelly told Fox News that becoming famous when she was young didn’t do her a bit of good. She even considered it traumatizing.
Kellyl admits that being famous isn’t for everyone. She doesn’t consider herself a “Hollywood girl” who wanted constant attention but, more than anything, she wanted to shield her three children from it.
She lived in the wilderness with no TV or strong internet for 25 years. Then, she dropped her representation and focused on living a simple life with her family, including three children and three grandchildren.
She appears onscreen a few times since but now, she’s no longer an actress, the last one being 2021’s Tomorrow’s Today. She said that there was always a small itch to return, but a script had to be “special” to lure her back after her departure. A cop movie where a mother and ex-wife of a former gangster help him reform was enough to pull her out of the wilderness.
Debra’s career was at its peak in 1994. She’d starred in a variety of successful projects such as Terms of Endearment, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Shadowlands. She also had three Academy Award nominations under her belt.
1994 was also the year that she retired from the business for six years. It was a short hiatus but left a mark because of how much of a major name she had become. Rosanna Arquette made a documentary in 2022 about the pressure put on women in Hollywood and named it after her: Searching for Debra Winger.
Debra has spoken about her decision several times. Her primary reason was a desire to spend more time with her family. And now, she’s no longer an actress. She has a son named Noah with her first husband, Timothy Hutton, and another son, Babe, with her current husband Arliss Howard.
Debra tells The Guardian in 2002 that there are several reasons she leaves. She didn’t want to have to leave her family for months to complete a film just to get a large paycheck. The roles she receives aren’t interesting enough. Her mother was also reaching the end of her life at the time. She was concerned about the pressures put on an actress once they turn 40.
Walking away helped Debra feel free. She didn’t have to base her self-worth on what others thought of her. She didn’t have to spend her time auditioning and waiting for acceptance calls. Her time could be spent with her family and on her other passions such as charity work, writing, and gardening.
She never wanted her retirement from acting to be permanent, though. She’s been slowly returning to films such as 2001’s Big Bad Love and 2008’s Rachel Getting Married. Her most recent role was in the 2021 series Mr. Corman. She’s just pleased to be able to control her career in her own way and choose roles on her own time.
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Danica McKellar was a major star in The Wonder Years from 1988-1993. It was a role that could have catapulted her to fame, but instead, it was her last performance.
Danica decided to go to school to UCLA. Once she was there, she realized how closely she’d be associated with the role. Everyone on campus would shout out “Hey Winnie!” She wanted to escape it and find herself and develop her own identity. She also found it difficult to balance acting and schoolwork and needed to choose one or the other.
Experiencing these struggles while she was young helped her learn how to protect her family from them. She told her 11-year-old son Draco, who appeared on one episode of The Wonder Years, that she’d never push him towards being an actor. At the same time, she would support him and enroll him in classes if that was what he wanted.
Danica decided to focus on school once The Wonder Years ended. And now she’s no longer an actress. She graduated summa cum laude with a mathematics degree in 1988. She’s also published 11 children’s books to encourage the younger generation to develop a love of mathematics.
At the age of 18, Susan managed a feat that many actresses only dream of; starring in two hit series, The Partridge Family and LA Law. That put her amongst the likes of Carrol O’Connor, Bill Bixby, and Mary Tyler Moore.
She received many offers for roles after that and, after many successes, began turning them down. One of her most notable snugs was the role of Sandy in Grease. Olivia Newton John was even considered for her role as Laurie on The Partridge Family.
She appeared in the 2002 LA Law reunion movie but not in the Partridge Family reunion due to a falling out with the cast. Her final film was Rain in 2003, and her final TV appearance was an episode of Third Watch in 2004.
It turned out that Susan left the business to be a mother, wife, and activist. She has a daughter Sarah with Lenn Hirshan in 1976. Her early success gave her the financial security to walk away.
Today, she lives in upstate New York with her husband Bernard Sofonski. Her daughter briefly acted but never made a major career out of it. Despite the drama, she also expressed condolences after the death of her Partridge Family costar and friend Suzanne Cough on April 27, 2015.
Phoebe is best known for her role in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She followed it up with Drop Dead Fred and the Gremlins films and became an icon of the 80s and 90s.
Then, all of a sudden, there was a major gap in her appearances. She showed up in 2001’s The Anniversary Party but hasn’t appeared on screen in person again. The last time she was even close to the spotlight was when she voiced her Gremlins character in the 2015 video game Lego Dimensions.
Motherhood may have been the reason. She has two children, Greta and Owen, with her husband Kevin Kline. They met while auditioning for The Big Chill. She didn’t get the role, but he hired her former assistant to set up a date. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and family.
The couple intended to alternate so that they were never working at the same time. Kevin kept acting, but Phoebe would stay with the children.
She now has a new business venture. She opened her store, Blue Tree, on Madison Avenue in 2005. Kevin helped come up with the name, referencing the blue trees in Fauvist paintings. It’s a general store selling clothing, jewelry, home goods, and more.
The couple never forced their children into the spotlight, and their daughter Greta says they were never into celebrity culture. She’s a musician who performed with Porches from 2013-2015 and now plays as Frankie Cosmos. Owen produces and writes. Both of them have appeared in films such as The Squid and the Whale and The Anniversary Party.
Bridget was essentially born into the entertainment industry as part of the famous Fonda family. Her first role was when she was five, and she worked with her father Peter in 1969’s Easy Rider. She also studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It seemed like her career could eclipse those of her family members.
Jane made a name for herself in films such as The Godfather Part III and Single White Female. Her work in Scandal and the TV movie After Amy earned her two Golden Globe nominations. Her final major credit was in the 2002 miniseries Snow Queen.
Life began to change after that, for worse and for better. She fractured a vertebra after a rollover car collision in February 2003. A month later, she got engaged to Danny Elfman. They had their son Oliver in 2005. She became a mother and dropped out of the spotlight.
Sometime later, Bridget was spotted at the Los Angeles International Airport. The press asked if she intended to start her acting career up again. She gave a very clear “no” and said, “It’s too nice being a civilian.”
There is one thing that does still bother her from time to time. It’s the question that haunts many members of famous families. She does wonder what it would have been like to not be part of the Fonda family. She also wonders if she would be even more at peace knowing that everything she achieved was done by herself and had nothing to do with her lineage.
Karyn stole the show in almost every project she was in. That included shows and movies such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Major Payne, and The Job.
Her final appearance was in 2002’s Sweet Thing. After that, she shifted her focus entirely.
Karyn now has a daughter named Lana and a son named Nico. She spends her time raising them, but she also has another “baby” to take care of.
Karyn started a non-profit called the Sweet Blackberry Foundation in 2002. It creates animated films and books about lesser-known Black heroes. She’s also become a successful writer and has published three children’s books to date.
Which actresses do you wish would come back to the limelight? Let us know in the comments.