He was one of the biggest stars in the 80s and 90s, but he seems to have completely vanished from the big screen. Rick Moranis starred in so many of your favorite movies including Space Balls, Ghostbusters, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but it feels like decades since we have seen him in anything. Well, that's because it's been 20 years since he was seen on screen.
It isn't often that you see actors voluntarily leave at the height of the career, but that is exactly what Moranis did. Rick Moranis took a step back from acting in 1997 and has yet to make his way back to the spotlight.
He has done a few things here and there, but only as a voice actor. But why would such a talented and beloved actor leave such a lucrative career behind? The reason he left is actually super heartbreaking.
No one expected the successful actor to vanish from the spotlight, least of all himself. He was doing great work in movies that are still classics to this day, but life threw some huge obstacles at his family and he couldn't deal with them in front of a camera.
Life can change in an instant. For Rick Moranis, it was a traumatic moment that forced him to take a step back and change everything about his life...
Having a strong support system is really important when you are in a career that is under so much scrutiny. Being in Hollywood isn't easy, but having family and friends who are there for you make it a little less lonely. Rick Moranis married Ann Belsky back in 1986 and together they had two children. To him, his family was the most important thing in the world, so that's why when the worst thing imaginable happened he had to step back.
Moranis' wife Ann passed away in 1997 from breast cancer. They had two young children together and since his wife would longer be home with the kids, he decided that he would become a stay-at-home-dad. In 2015 he told The Hollywood Reporter that "I took a break, which turned into a longer break."
It seems that his "longer break" has extended for 20 years and he doesn't have any plans to return. He still finds it strange that people are so fascinated with the fact that he stopped acting. In an interview with Jesse Thorn on the podcast Bullseye, he said, "Stuff happens to people everyday, and they make adjustments to their lives for all kinds of reasons, there was nothing unusual about what happened or what I did."
He said "The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home-dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn't have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence … But because I came from celebrity and fame and what was the peak of a career, that was intriguing to people. To me, it wasn't that. I didn't have anything to do with that. It was work, and it was just time to make an adjustment."
Moranis said there were a few things that he misses about working in movies. He said that with raising kids comes "a lot of sameness" and that he "missed the people and I missed the very refreshing nature of doing something radically different every day," adding that, "[Being a stay-at-home parent] is a very different kind of life than being on the set with Aykroyd and Murray and Steve Martin."
He has no regrets about his choices and is happy that he chose to stay home with his family. He has found a way to continue his creative efforts by starting to do more voice acting in the Brother Bear series and then in The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie, but both of those projects ended 10 years ago now.
Now that his kids are grown up he is open to a "come-back". He says that "I'm interested in anything that I would find interesting. "I still get the occasional query about a film or television role and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I'll probably do it." He is holding out for something that he is really excited about, saying that "I'm happy with the things I said yes to, and I'm very happy with the many things I've said no to. Yes, I am picky, and I'll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me."
Most recently he was offered a cameo in the new Ghostbusters remake and he turned it down even though pretty much everyone else was in it. He said that "[It] didn't appeal to me," but that he wishes them well.
Do you miss Rick Moranis? He was such a big part of all of our childhoods, it's strange to realize that it's been 20 years since we have seen him in any new roles.