Hollywood is a vicious city. Some celebs enjoy A-List status for most of their life, while others get eaten up and spit out alive.
If you haven’t heard from your favorite teen heartthrob in a few years, chances are he’s still trying to make it as an actor, just not doing very well at it. Macaulay Culkin, I’m looking at you!
But then there are some curious stars that straight up turned their back on Hollywood for entirely new careers. These are the celebs that quit Hollywood!
Shirley Temple: Shirley Temple was the most prolific child actor of all time. Between the years of 1933 and her retirement at age 12, she made 24 films! It was many years later in 1967 when she unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives. She was eventually appointed US Ambassador to Ghana and then switched to the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia until 1992.
Danica McKellar: After playing the adorable Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” the actress temporarily left Hollywood to become a mathematician. She went to UCLA and graduated summa cum laude in 1998 with a math degree and a published article under her belt. She’s also published three popular math books, one is called “Hot X: Algebra Exposed.” Err, ok?
Kirk Cameron: After playing Mike Seaver on the show “Growing Pains,” Kirk Cameron ditched Hollywood to make evangelical Christian films. He started in the “Left Behind” film series based off the popular Christian books series about the resurrection.
Dave Chappelle: Comedian Dave Chappelle was enjoying a very promising career when suddenly during production of the third season of “Chappelle’s Show” he just walked off the set and headed to South Africa, giving no notice or return date. He showed up a month later when he did some surprise stand-up shows. His imdb page has basically been stagnant since his return from Africa.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT, as we call him) was THE hunk of the 90’s. He could have had a Brad Pitt-esque career and turned it all down to go to school. Bleh, He went to Harvard right after high-school, then he went to school in Scotland and two years ago he graduated from Columbia University.
Kal Penn: You know him as one half of Harold and Kumar, but two years ago the actor took a job at the White House. I know, right? He’s now returned to Hollywood and returned to “House” and a few episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.”