25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

Elizabeth Hurley: The Austin Powers actress chose to stay out of the spotlight to raise her son. She stopped acting in 2002. Well, mother knows best.

Sean Connery: His retirement from Hollywood happened after his box office flop. It was the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 that made him quit.

Cary Grant: At 62 years old, Cary Grant quit being famous to focus on being a father. That’s not bad at all. Salute to all the world’s great fathers.

Dave Chappelle: He shocked his fans when he left Chappelle’s Show at the height of his fame in 2005. Taking a trip to South Africa helped him decide to leave. He said that the industry is very extreme and he needed to become well-rounded and well-balanced if he wanted to continue.

Shirley Temple: From Hollywood to being a United Nations ambassador.  This is how Shirley Temple quit being famous in 1967.  With that good a mission, quitting isn’t bad at all. She just followed  her calling – and that is to serve.

Phoebe Cates: The actress stopped acting in 1994. She wanted to have more time with her husband, Kevin Kline and to raise her children as well.

Meg Ryan: After her divorce from Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan decided to turn her back on Hollywood in 2001.  Meg Ryan was one of America’s most loved sweethearts who captivated the hearts of many with her great acting and beautiful face.

Brian Wilson: The Beach Boys frontman did not want to be famous anymore from the late ‘70s to the 2000s due to mental illness and drug addiction.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas: The actor retired from acting in 2005. He wanted to continue pursuing his education at Harvard and Columbia. It was not a bad decision at all. After all, he just knew his priority was to pursue his education.

Greta Garbo: She was not comfortable being in the limelight. So, she decided to retire in 1941 at the age of 36.   She’s was one of those popular personalities that chose to turn her back on showbiz.

John Hughes: He is known for his films Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day off. But despite his popularity, he chose to opt for an ordinary life in the suburbs of Chicago in 1994.

Axl Rose: The Guns and Roses frontman did not stay in the limelight after the bad brake-up of the band in the late ‘90s.  This is one early retirement from the limelight that shocked fans all over the world.

Freddie Prinze Jr: The actor announced that he would leave acting for a while in 2003 because he thought that it was too weird. He was one of the most charming actors, but chose another path to stay clear of the “weird” world of showbiz.

Terrence Malick: The director is known for his masterful films like The Tree of Life. But he decided to live a normal life in a small Texas town.

Howard Hughes: The billionaire filmmaker became a loner in 1947. They say that he was solitary and alone in a dark screening room for about four months.

Rick Moranis: The Ghostbusters actor stopped acting just a few years after the death of his wife in 1991. He chose to be a full–time dad to his two lovely children.

Gene Hackman: Two-time Oscar winner decided not to continue with his acting career in 2004. But his artistic side is still shown in his three historical fiction novels that were written after his retirement.

J.D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye author did not want to be in the spotlight despite his popularity in 1951. He then stopped publishing stories in 1959 and officially refused interviews in 1980.

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird author has denied interviews when she gained her fame in 1960. She chose to help out her friend Truman Capote, who was actually the inspiration of the character Dill in her novel, with research for his own novel, In Cold Blood.

Lauryn Hill: Even with the success of her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, the singer still chose to leave the music industry. She spent 12 years in the business.

Taylor Momsen: The “Gossip Girl” actress stopped acting when she was 18 years old and chose to be in a band instead. It was in 2011 when she made her decision to stop acting. She is now making tours with her music and her band, The Pretty Reckless.

Syd Barrett: The co-founder of Pink Floyd was compelled to leave the band because of mental illness. He did not make any public appearance until he died in 2006.

Bobby Fischer: The chess superstar was not seen until 20 years later after his 1971 World Championship match. 1971 was also the year when he was gaining popularity.

Agnetha Fältskog: The ABBA band member decided to move to an island in Sweden after ABBA was disbanded in 1980s. The former ABBA singer said she hadn’t sung at all for 13 years after her decision.

Michael Schoeffling: The Sixteen Candles actor decided to be a full-time dad after leaving the acting industry in 1991. His has his own woodworking shop since leaving the acting business.