Some celebrities who achieved fame and fortune in Hollywood decided to pursue other paths in life. This article showcases some examples of actors, singers, and reality TV stars who traded the red carpet for normal jobs.
One of the most surprising career changes was that of Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”. He was 12 years old when he was cast as Charlie, but he never acted again after that. He is now a veterinarian in upstate New York working with large animals, mostly in the dairy industry. “Acting was fine, but I wanted something more steady, and the key is to find something that you love doing, and that’s what my profession has given to me,” he told the American Veterinary Medical Association in an interview in 2000.
Another former child star who left Hollywood for a different career was Jennifer Stone, who played Harper Finkle on “Wizards of Waverly Place”. She graduated from nursing school in December 2019 and started her nursing career on the brink of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am blessed to be able to help in any way that I can, but I look at the nurses that I’m learning from as the heroes,” she told Deadline in April 2020.
Some celebrities worked normal jobs while still pursuing their entertainment endeavors. Geoffrey Owens, who starred on “The Cosby Show”, worked as a cashier at Trader Joe’s for a steadier source of income and spoke out against “job shaming” he experienced. “There’s no job better than another … every job is worthwhile,” he told Good Morning America. He still works as an actor, teacher, and director.
Dylan Sprouse, who starred on “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, opened the All-Wise Meadery in Brooklyn, New York, with two business partners in 2018 and is the CEO and head mazer. He also continues to act in indie projects. He explained his decision to work as a restaurant host while studying at NYU on Tumblr: “To clear up the air (which is admittedly pretty rude), I did not take this job because I ‘lost all my money.’ I am financially secure…I also [see] this as a way to try a new experience, working somewhat below the means I’m used to, as well as a way to socialize and get out of the house.”
Kevin Jonas, who was part of the Jonas Brothers band, ventured into tech and developed an app called Yood while the band was on hiatus. The app helps users find nearby restaurants based on their preferences. “I’ve always had a passion for the tech space and creating something that helps people connect with others,” he told Mashable.
From law enforcement to education, from business to brewing, these celebrities have found new ways to express themselves and contribute to society. They prove that fame is not everything, and that sometimes a normal job can be more fulfilling than a glamorous one.
– 20+ Celebrities Who Traded The Red Carpet For Normal Jobs, Tiffy Taffy, July 21, 2022
– Celebrities Who Worked Normal Jobs After Becoming Famous, Insider, August 19, 2022
– 16 Celebrities Who Had Normal Second Jobs After Fame, BuzzFeed, September 28, 2022
– These Celebrities Worked Normal Jobs After Getting Famous, TheThings, February 8, 2023