If there's a fundamental pursuit in this day and age, it's chasing fame. In days gone by without television, radio, the cinema, and the Internet, you could only be famous within a very small circle of people. Today, you can reach the entire world.
Yet. not everybody who achieves fame decides that they want to keep it. While they may be the envy of every dreamer's eye, some people find that being famous isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
All of the following people made it. They reached the heights of global recognition and then they walked away. Let's see why they did it.
1. Jack Gleeson
Jack Gleeson shot to stardom when the HBO smash hit Game of Thrones put him in every living room in the world. He didn't like it, and quit to return to education.
2. Gene Hackman
It wasn't a lack of success that saw Gene Hackman pack his bags and leave Hollywood. He wanted to become a writer, and he has. Since 2004, he's published a bunch of novels.
3. Phoebe Cates
In an unusual move in these more enlightened times, Phoebe Cates decided that she'd rather raise a family than raise her star profile. So she did.
4. Rick Moranis
Who you going to call? Well, if you're a Hollywood agent, it won't be Rick Moranis. Rick quit acting to raise his children after his wife died in 1991.
5. Shirley Temple
Once the nation's biggest original superstars, it seems that Shirley Temple didn't like falling out of favor with the fickle tastes of the public. When her audience numbers began to dip, she quit.
6. Geena Davis
Once one of the biggest stars in the world, Geena Davis decided to let acting take a back seat in her life in favor of activism.
7. Ariana Richards
Ariana's gone from Jurassic Park to interior decorating. She did do a little bit of TV before retiring, but it appears acting's no longer her thing.
8. Liz Hurley
Liz Hurley had a meteoric rise to fame first as Hugh Grant's girlfriend and then as a model and actress herself. Then she abruptly quit and moved to England to raise a family.
9. Freddie Prinze Jr.
He was a big star when he was young, but Freddie Prinze Jr. has given up acting completely and says that he just found the business aspect of things a huge turn-off.
10. Karyn Parsons
Karyn may have played the materialistic Hilary on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but in real life, she quit acting to work for charity and has been doing so for more than 10 years.
11. Lark Voorhies
Lark was in the smash hit Saved by the Bell and was expected to go on to great things. Instead, she stopped acting for a decade to focus on painting.
12. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
The role of Tim Allen's son shot Jonathan Taylor Thomas into the limelight, but showing that he was still completely down to earth, he quit acting and went to Harvard instead.
13. Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo was a mere 36 years old when she decided that she'd had enough of the poisoned tongues of the critics and walked out on Hollywood for good.
14. Sean Connery
Sean Connery was a global superstar, and perhaps that was simply enough for him. In 2003, he announced his retirement and stopped acting for good.
15. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes was doing fine on Nickelodeon (or so everyone thought) until she had a messy, public breakdown. That was enough for her, and she went back to school instead of doing TV.
So there you have it. Many people aspire to Hollywood, but not all those who reach their goals want to stay there. There are many good reasons to ditch the glamour and lead a different life.
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