Celebrities | Pop Culture | 90s

11 Stars Who Left Hollywood To Pursue A Normal Career

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7. Kirk Cameron - Mike Seaver in Growing Pains

Kirk Cameron's role as the mischievous Mike Seaver in Growing Pains made him every 80s girl's crush, but upon realizing that this popularity was going straight to his head, he decided to go to church and "found God."

NY Daily News

After Growing Pains ended in 1992, Cameron decided to turn away from Hollywood and be "a follower of Jesus Christ." Unlike his famous sister, Full House's Candace Cameron Bure, Cameron no longer acts in mainstream productions. He founded an evangelistic ministry called The Way of the Master.

8. Pheobe Cates - Linda Barrett in Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Cates wooed fans with what Rolling Stone described as "the most memorable bikini-drop in cinema history" in the 1982 film Fast Times At Ridgemont High. The brunette bombshell later starred in Gremlins and landed roles in a variety of TV shows up until 2001 when she decided step away from the acting scene.

Cates along with her husband, actor Kevin Kline, and their two children moved to New York City where they still reside. In 2005, the actress opened her own boutique on Madison Avenue called Blue Tree.

9. Mike Maronna - Big Pete in The Adventures of Pete & Pete

Maronna rose to fame after he took on the role of older Pete Wrigley in the Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete & Pete. He also landed roles in box-office hits such as Home Alone and its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He had cameos in a few movies and television shows through the early 2000s, but decided to take a step back from acting.

Life & Style

Although he has always been passionate about the entertainment industry, Maronna had more of an interest in the behind-the-scenes aspects of film and television. Since 1996, he had worked as an electrician for films and television shows, including Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, and Elementary.

10. Mara Wilson - Matilda in Matilda

Mara Wilson is probably best known for playing the ever so charming Matilda in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel of the same name. She appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows, including Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street and Melrose Place before finding another calling.

Movie Creed Live

The former child actress attended New York's coveted Tisch School of Arts and is now pursuing a career in writing. As of 2013, she also works with Publicolor, a NYC-based nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged and high-risk youth with design-based programs that "mentor them for success in college, career, and life."

11. Michael Schoeffling - Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles

Even before starring in Sixteen Candles, Schoeffling was no stranger to the limelight. He modeled for GQ and was a gold medal-winning member of the United States National Junior Wrestling Team. After his role as the popular Jake Ryan alongside Molly Ringwald, he appeared in eight more films and an episode of Deadly Nightmares before retiring from acting in 1991.


Schoeffling currently lives with his wife, former model and actress Valerie C. Robinson, as well as their two children in Pennsylvania. He started a woodworking shop where he produces unique handcrafted furniture.

Would you like to see these former actors make a comeback?

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