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Rick Moranis Confirms Why He Left Hollywood 20+ Years Ago

Rick Moranis is perhaps one of the most talented and most liked actors of his generation. He gave us so many great roles in the Second City Television show, the Ghostbusters films, My Blue Heaven, The Honey I Shrunk The Kids films, and so much more. And yet, we don’t hear from Rick Moranis anymore – and we’d like to know why.

Rick Moranis has now spoken about why he left Hollywood and why he decided to pursue a rather early retirement. However, we are going to see an upcoming film from him and there’s still so much to learn about his life and career.

So, how did Rick Moranis get his start? Let’s have a look back at his life’s journey…

Rick Moranis Confirms Why He Left Hollywood 20+ Years Ago. Join FactsVerse to learn about his life, career, and why he stepped out of the limelight…


Frederick Allan Moranis was born on April 18, 1953, in Toronto, Canada. While he didn’t come from a show business background, he clearly had ambitions to entertain others from a young age. In the 1970s, he began his career as a radio disc jockey. He performed under the name Rick Allan and soon found out that he had a knack for making others laugh.

He performed at a variety of radio stations in Toronto and he and his partner Rob Cowan eventually performed on CBC-TV. They performed a spoof of the popular broadcast “Hockey Night In Canada” and this became a huge hit. They were often asked to perform this sketch again and again and often gave life performances.

He eventually partnered up with fellow performer Ken Finkleman and the two of them appeared several times on 90 Minutes Live – also hosted by CBC. These performances made Rick Moranis very well-known in his native Canada.

These sketches should Rick Moranis’ unique comic style and how he was suited for satire and slapstick together. As the 1970s progressed, he was become more and more known across Canada and he became respected by his seniors in the entertainment industry.

While the 1970s is when he got his start, it was the 1980s that was the perfect decade for Rick Moranis. He never joined the Second City Troupe yet in 1980, he was asked to join the third season of the popular sketch comedy show Second City Television. This show helped catapult him even further to the mainstream and its where he was able to show off his best skills – particularly characters and impressions.

His appearances on Second City Television showed Canadians what a versatile performer he was. But it wasn’t only in The Great White North where Rick Moranis’ talent was appreciated. There were also filmmakers and producers alike south of the border who felt that Rick Moranis had great potential.

It was in the 1980s that he would join Hollywood and embark upon a successful career as a comedy actor.

What follows is the story of one of the most successful comedy actors of his generation and one who was an absolute staple for comedy films both in the 1980s and 1990s.


In the 1980s, following his success on Second City Television, Rick Moranis made the move to the United States and began his career as a Hollywood actor.

He had one feature film behind him: Strange Brew – where he played Bob McKenzie, a character he played in many sketches on Second City Television. His first role in an American film was a supporting role in the film Streets of Fire.

That same year, 1984, however was the year when his first major hit was released. This was the film where he acted alongside other Hollywood stars, including fellow Canadian Dan Akroyd, but still managed to hold his own. This was the film that solidified him as a Hollywood star.

The film, of course, was Ghostbusters. In the film, Rick Moranis played Louis Tully. This was a supporting role and yet Rick Moranis still made one of the most memorable characters in the film. The role was initially offered to another popular comedian, and Canadian, John Candy.

But John Candy didn’t quite understand the character nor did he find it appealing. Director Ivan Reitman then offered the role to Rick Moranis who embraced the character perfectly. He helped shape the character and gave the character the idiosyncracies that you see on screen. He even ad-libbed many of the lines from the film. The film was a major hit and despite being part of an ensemble cast – Rick Moranis managed to stand out with his role of Louis Tully. He reprised this role in Ghostbusters 2.

His other well-known films in the 1980s included Little Shop of Horrors, Brewster’s Millions, Head Office, Club Paradise, The Wild Life, and of course – Spaceballs and Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

The latter two films are known to be two of his most famous films and Honey I Shrunk the Kids did lead to a couple of sequels. His portrayal of ‘Dark Helmet’ in Spaceballs is probably one of the greatest comic performances in any Mel Brooks film.

In the 1990s, Rick Moranis focused mainly on more realistic films with more mature performances. But this didn’t by any means mean that we didn’t get to see his comic genius. His performance as FBI Agent Barney Coopersmith in My Blue Heaven is highly regarded as one of his best performances so much so that he didn’t get overshadowed by co-star Steve Martin. Likewise, another Barney, this time Barney Rubble in The Flintstones is often thought of as the best live-action depiction of the famous cartoon character.

He continued to work regularly throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s. But since 2003, we haven’t really seen much of Rick Moranis. Before we find out why, we must also look into his personal life.


Rick Moranis was married to Ann Belsky who sadly died on February 4, 1991, – the day before what would have been her 35th birthday. She had been suffering from cancer and succumbed to the illness.

The loss was of course very harrowing for Rick and for his children. One must also remember that this was following the 1980s, which was the decade where he became a Hollywood star. In the 1990s, he continued to work and continued to succeed as an actor – giving us many more memorable performances and becoming a star once again to a newer generation.

In the 1990s, he truly showed his versatility and how he could take on different types of roles. And yet, behind these excellent acting performances was a grieving man who had to deal with the loss of his wife and the challenges of raising children on his own.

He also would later mention that he didn’t quite enjoy some of the blockbuster film work even though he gave great performances. He didn’t see himself as an actor who could interpret someone else’s character. Rather, he saw himself as a creator who wanted ultimate creative freedom for characters – something that blockbuster films didn’t allow.

He decided to take a break from acting to look after his children – and later mentioned that this break just got longer and longer and that he didn’t miss acting. He didn’t appear in the 2016 Ghostbusters film – a reboot of the series – which led to rumors that he had truly retired.

But he stated that he hadn’t retired – but he was now going to be very selective with his roles.

He began releasing comedy music albums which were a huge success and even appeared on Conan O’Brian’s talk show to discuss his music career.

He also reunited with Dave Thomas to appear in a reunion show featuring the Bob and Doug McKenzie characters. He’s also been more open about his experience with Ghostbusters and stated that he’s lost touch with Dan Akroyd and that he didn’t feel there was an interesting story of where Louis Tully was going forward as a character.

In 2018, he re-voiced the character of Dark Helmet from Spaceballs in an episode of the TV series The Goldbergs. He also appeared in an episode of the show Prop Culture in which he discussed the role and the film.

In 2021, he appeared as himself in the documentary film An Afternoon with SCTV. This documentary, directed by Martin Scorsese, featured Rick Moranis reuniting with his colleagues to discuss their experiences with Second City Television.

In 2020, a major announcement was made regarding Rick Moranis’ career. He was to reprise his role as Wayne in the film Shrunk – another sequel to Honey I Shrunk The Kids. However, due to the pandemic – the filming was halted and then began again in late 2022. According to IMDB, this is currently his only upcoming production.

So, we now know that Rick Moranis left Hollywood to look after his children and as time passed by, he realized he didn’t miss it. He’s also now more outspoken about the fact that he got bored with some of his roles and that the major blockbusters didn’t appeal to him. He may have left Hollywood but he hasn’t exactly retired – he’s just looking for better roles and wishes to be more selective – just as he was at the beginning of his career.

What we can see in the future from Rick Moranis is yet to be seen…

So, now let’s hear from you:

Are you a fan of Rick Moranis? Did you know about his life and why he decided to quit acting? While we miss his roles we understand why he took a break and we are looking forward to his upcoming production.

In fact, here’s what we want to know from you:

Do you think that it’s best for an actor or actress to quit while they are ahead?

Or should they keep pursuing their career until audiences get bored of them – even if they don’t end on a high note?

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