Celebs That Ended Up In Totally Regular Jobs

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The following article includes brief mentions of sexual assault allegations, suicide, and mental health issues.

There's no business like show business, and for some people, that's a good thing that includes critical acclaim, red carpets, and big money. For others, fame brings unwanted scrutiny, intense pressure, and seriously hectic schedules that celebrities would rather avoid. Some of these stars ditched the limelight in favor of low-key lives, parenthood, childhood, or hobbies. Others didn't have much of a choice, because, well, Hollywood is a cruel and fickle place. One minute you're making headlines, and the next, you're scouring the classifieds and auditioning for a job at a Trader Joe's.

From former heartthrobs and sitcom favorites to chart-topping musicians and reality stars, find out who's selling shoes, who's bagging groceries, who's playing Mr. Mom, and who's taking your order. '90s icons, child stars, even a "Harry Potter" alum, and a Jonas Brother have all made this list of celebs who ended up working totally regular jobs.

Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Freddie Prinze, Jr. was every '90s and early '00s teenage girl's dream man, with his most notable movies including, "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "She's All That," and "Scooby-Doo," where he got to star alongside his wife and fellow actor, Sarah Michelle Gellar. While he still does some acting here and there, having done voice over work for the Disney XD series "Star Wars: Rebels," and rejoining the cast for the revival of "Punky Brewster," he's switched up careers entirely.

These days, Prinze's primary job has been working as a chef. In 2016, People reported that the star was releasing his first cookbook entitled "Back to the Kitchen," and shared, "I got my first acting job six months into culinary school, and I was thinking, 'Wait, they're going to pay me what?' The per diem back then was more than I was making a week at the restaurant I worked at, so I was gone." He added, "But it was something I always wanted to do. Cooking was something my mother and I always did together.'"

The actor had also told GQ that same year that he wanted to be a "stay-at-home dad" for his two kids. Prinze and Gellar are parents to a daughter named Charlotte, born in 2009, and a son named Rocky, born in 2012. Prinze shared, "I wanted to cook breakfast and dinner for my kids every day."

Nikki Blonsky

Nikki Blonsky was a fantastic Tracy Turnblad in 2007's "Hairspray" — her first big-screen role — and she rode that wave of success to star in the ABC Family (now Freeform) series "Huge" in 2010. However, Hollywood hasn't always been kind to Blonsky, who has expressed frustration with the challenge of pursuing roles for plus-sized women.

In an episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" the actor shared, "I just had so many meetings with people telling me, 'Well, you're so beautiful and you have such a gorgeous face, but maybe if you just lost a little [weight] in your backside ... .' I'm like, 'Wait, I'm not a Mr. Potato Head doll that you can just put this on and take that off. No, it doesn't work like that.' So, I was kind of stuck."

Despite not being able to land many promising roles, Blonsky hasn't stopped hustling. According to E! News, to make ends meet between acting and voice-over gigs, she worked in a high-end shoe store in her native Long Island and as a cosmetologist in a salon. At the time of this writing, however, Blonsky is set to make a return to the big screen, alongside actors Vivica A. Fox and Tyrese Gibson in the thriller "Bosco."


Tiffany Darwish, better known as just Tiffany, was a 1980s sensation, with her stunning face, fiery red hair, and catchy cover of "I Think We're Alone Now." These days, instead of shooting music videos in malls, she hawks vintage clothes in her shop, Tiffany's Boutique, in Nashville, Tennessee.

She told the New York Daily News, "I was a shopaholic as a teenager. I've been collecting vintage pieces for 10 years now [for my] tiny little store." She added, "I'm still involved in the music industry, so I'm always traveling. And shopping!" Tiffany talked more about her boutique and her inspiration behind it to People, sharing, "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool to open up a boutique that is a little bit of glamour, and a little bit different?' I'm a real girl. I get it. I gain weight, I lose weight. My styles change. My goal is to provide fashion for real women — any size, any age.'"

Tiffany never really left music and had released several albums in the '90s and 2000s, but they never amounted to the same success as her debut record, which featured the above-mentioned tune "I Think We're Alone Now." She has released a total of eleven full-length albums, with her latest entitled "Shadows," which debuted in 2021.

Dylan Sprouse

Former "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" star Dylan Sprouse sent fans (and haters) into a tizzy in 2013, when it was revealed that he worked as a host in a New York City restaurant while going to college. He took to his Tumblr page to clarify that he wasn't broke, just trying to live that normal life.

"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, and took this job as a way to primarily feed my over bountiful video game addiction," Sprouse shared (via Us Weekly), adding, "I also took 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 ... in no way do I think any experience is a step down for me, but rather a new step in another direction."

Sprouse's LinkedIn profile also reads that the actor is a Master Brewer and owner of the Brooklyn, New York-based All-Wise Meadery, which has been around since 2017. Talking to People in 2018, Sprouse shared that he has had a passion for brewing mead since he was a teenager and would even brew in his college dorm. "It's something that I love to do, and it's not acting which is very important for creatives in general — to do other things," he said.

Jonathan Bennett

"Mean Girls" star Jonathan Bennett went from smooching an in-her-prime Lindsay Lohan to becoming a spin instructor. In 2013, BuzzFeed reported that the erstwhile Aaron Samuels was a staffer at Flywheel in Los Angeles, where he reportedly specializes in encouraging aspiring stars in his classes. Are you suddenly interested in working out again?

ABC News reported that the actor's bio for his new gig read, "Behind the pedals, Jonathan brings to the cycling world his positive attitude. He strives to bring out the best in all riders, leaving them feeling accomplished and ready to face the day."

We hate to break it to you, but Bennett eventually bounced back into showbiz when he became the host of "Cake Wars" on the Food Network. Grool, indeed. He also starred alongside Hilary Duff in the 2019 horror film "The Haunting of Sharon Tate," and took up roles in several holiday Hallmark movies, including "Christmas Made to Over" and "The Christmas House." Bennett is also keeping busy with his new podcast "PRIDEcast," which launched in May 2022. He shared on Instagram, "PRIDECast is your weekly dose of love, laughter, and hopefully a little inspiration for our entire LGBTQIA+ family."

Michael Schoeffling

Fans of the 1984 comedy-romance "Sixteen Candles" are well aware of hunk Michael Schoeffling, who starred as heartthrob Jake Ryan in the iconic movie. After starring alongside actor Molly Ringwald, he went on to star in several films in the late '80s and the 1991 movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." However, that would be the last time fans got to see Schoeffling in a movie after he ultimately left Hollywood for good.

Very little is known about Schoeffling's life, with Us Weekly reporting that he changed up his career and started his own woodworking business. The Washington Post shared that, in 2004, the former actor was living near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with his wife, Valerie, and their two children at the time.

Fans of the '80s dreamboat can follow his all-grownup daughter, Scarlett, on Instagram, where she has shared adorable throwback photos of her dad. Although her father left the entertainment scene, Scarlett can be seen in the 2020 film "Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story."

Charlie Korsmo

Charlie Korsmo, who starred as Robin Williams' son in 1991's "Hook," left Hollywood as a teen. He later admitted to the New York Daily News that he just wanted to be a kid, stating, "At 13, I realized I didn't have any friends my own age." He decided to do what any other normal teenager would be doing at his age — going to school to get his degree.

The Daily News reported that Korsmo earned a degree in physics, and later served as an advisor for the Department of Homeland Security after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He attended Yale Law, then became a lawyer and professor, working at Case Western Reserve's School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. Korsmo revealed that his acting experience actually helps him on the job. "As a professor you are on your feet in front of a crowd a few hours a day," he said, adding, "It's not quite the same as being an actor, but the experience takes away some of the nervousness."

According to ABC News, before Korsmo enrolled in college, he briefly returned to his acting roots when he starred in the 1998 film "Can't Hardly Wait" alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt. His last acting credit, as of this writing, is 2018's "Chained for Life."

Kevin Jonas

When the Jonas Brothers broke up in 2013, fans were left heartbroken, but brothers Joe and Nick Jonas continued to make music, with Nick becoming a solo artist, and Joe forming the funk-pop band DNCE. Kevin Jonas, on the other hand, switched up careers and became a contractor.

"I've always looked at everything I do as a business, including the Jonas Brothers," Kevin told the New York Daily News. "I like to get my hands dirty. I've been blessed in my life where I get to say, 'You know what? I want to do this.'" His blue-collar job does bring some risks, however. "I jacked up my thumb yesterday and put a drill bit right through my thumb nail," he said. "It comes with the trade ... whatever gets the job done."

According to AD, the same year the band split, Kevin created his company JonasWerner Homes, with its Instagram account stating that his business "specializes in custom built homes." However, fans were ecstatic to hear that the three JoBros reunited in 2019 with the release of their song "Sucker" off their album "Happiness Begins." In March 2022, People announced that Kevin would add host to his resume after he and other brother Frankie Jonas appeared in the ABC reality series "Claim to Fame."

Jon Gosselin

While Kate Gosselin continued her reality TV stardom with "Kate Plus 8," ex-husband Jon Gosselin opted for a more low-key life post-divorce. The former TV patriarch wound up working as a DJ as well as a cook at T.G.I. Fridays. In 2016, he told ET that the latter was just a hobby. According to Jon, "I only work there eight hours a week, because I like to do it. Why can't I work at a restaurant? I like to cook. My buddy needed help so I said. 'OK, why not? I'll sauté!'"

However, Jon reportedly quit Fridays soon after a photo of him at the eatery was widely publicized. "I'm not going to work there anymore because now the trust and the teamwork is gone," he told Dallas radio station 103.7 KVIL FM (via Page Six). "Because now someone took a picture of me and sold it to TMZ. Thanks a lot, man! Now I gotta go through all of this stuff and now I gotta leave a job that I was passionate about," Jon further shared.

Page Six later reported that, after his brief time as chef at T.G.I. Fridays, Jon gave stripping a try to make extra cash in 2017. According to his LinkedIn, Jon also worked in I.T. for several years, with his most recent job listed at Amazon, as of this writing, where he's worked as an I.T. Support Associate II.

Peter Ostrum

Peter Ostrum starred alongside Gene Wilder in "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory." He played Charlie, the beloved little boy with a heart of gold, then he never acted in another movie. "After the film, I always denied my involvement with Willy Wonka. I didn't really want to have anything to do with it," he told Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" in 2014. What did he do instead?

Ostrum became a veterinarian in Lowville, New York. "For me, veterinary medicine is a really nice mix between using your head, using your brain, problem-solving, but at the same time, there's a physical aspect of the work that I enjoy," he said. "I won't get fat doing this job! You're always on the go and each day is a little bit different."

Ostrum is passionate about his work as a vet, with his bio on the Countryside Veterinary Clinic stating that he graduated from Cornell University, where he got his veterinary degree in 1984. As a senior partner at the New York based clinic, Ostrum deals with "dairy production medicine, nutrition, the New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program, and embryo transfer."

Chris Owen

"American Pie" star Chris Owen still acts, but he also reportedly waits tables at a high-end sushi eatery to pay the bills.

According to Daily Star, photos were taken of Owen working as a waiter at the Los Angeles restaurant Sushi Roku. "Life doesn't always go the way you planned," he admitted to the New York Daily News. "I love acting and this job lets me stay in the fight." Though big roles may not be racing his way, Owen's apparently made a lasting impression as Chuck Sherman in the "Pie" franchise. "I get recognized a lot," he said. "I walk up to the table and see the look in their eyes. ... People get excited and it feels good. I like connecting with people for that brief moment in time."

Owen, aka "The Sherminator," appeared in three movies in the "American Pie" franchise — and a reported "American Pie 5" might be in the works. Actor Tara Reid, who starred as Vicky in the films, told ET in 2021, "It might happen. OK, I can't tell you when, because I don't really know when, because we have to get all the actors and at the same time to get our schedules together." Interestingly, Owen and his "American Pie" co-star were both in the 2018 in the comedy "The Last Sharknado: It's About Time."

Josh Saviano

Josh Saviano is best known for his role as Paul Pfeiffer in the beloved '80s sitcom "The Wonder Years." The show spanned six seasons and concluded in 1993, with Saviano also saying goodbye to Hollywood.

Retired from acting, Saviano finished up his schooling after graduating from Yale University in 1998 with a degree in political science. According to Us Weekly, he later attended Yeshiva University, where he earned his J.D. degree, and in 2003 became a lawyer after joining a law firm based in New York. In 2015, Saviano founded Act 3 advisors, and in 2018, co-founded and has remained president of Spotlight Advisory Group.

However, the lawyer appeared to be itching for an acting gig after he appeared in three episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" in the mid-2010s. He's also still close with his former "The Wonder Years" co-star, Fred Savage, by the way. In fact, the guys made an appearance on the Jumbotron at a New York Rangers game in 2016. True friendship never dies!

Al Green

Soul singer Al Green has won 14 Grammys, sold millions of records, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll, Gospel, and Songwriters Halls of Fame. While he still records and performs occasionally, he left the bulk of his past as a crooner behind to devote his life to religion in the late '70s. After being attacked by an angry lover in 1974 (she then died by suicide in his home), he grew more serious about his spirituality. Green became a Baptist preacher in Memphis, Tennessee, where he's served at the Full Gospel Tabernacle for more than 40 years.

When asked about his career change, Green told The Memphis Commercial Appeal in 2016, "I done did a lot of stuff, man. There's some things I'd like to do, maybe [play] three or four cities of the United States and then go back to the house and read some more of the [Bible]. I'm not hankering for anything, not really."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Angus T. Jones

"Two and a Half Men" star Angus T. Jones left the hit CBS series — where he reportedly made $300,000 per episode — because its storylines, especially as he got older, conflicted with his Christian beliefs. So, what happened to Angus T. Jones after he exited the series? He enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder, then took a break from school to found the Tonite event production company with Sean "Diddy" Combs' son, Justin Combs.

Speaking to Billboard about the venture and his career change, Jones admitted that making the jump into music was "a completely new thought for me" — and suggested he'd softened his stance somewhat regarding his sitcom past. "I am now fully understanding what people meant when they told me that 'Two and a Half Men' was one of the best jobs ever if not the best job ever," said Jones. "That was the opportunity of a lifetime and everyone's always told me that. ... I'm really actually understanding myself now. It's showed me what it takes to put on a good show."

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Like her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar transitioned from acting into the food business. The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star co-developed a non-GMO, organic baking mix company called Foodstirs in 2015.

The mom of two told People, "I always joke with my kids like being an actor is a very abstract job. For the longest time my kids, because my kids are still little, they thought I got my hair and makeup done for a living and thought that was a job." She added, "Now they watched us have an idea, create it, make it a tangible product and now when they go to the stores that we shop in all the time, they see it on the shelves, and that's incredible to me. It kind of blows my mind."

Gellar also told CNBC that her celebrity was a "double-edged sword" when she launched her own business. While one might think being famous would give an entrepreneur a leg up, the actor argued that fame comes with "more eyes on us and more anticipation of failure." Gellar added, "It certainly helps to have my platform to spread the word, but it takes that much more to be accepted as a serious businesswoman."

Michael Maronna

"The Adventures of Pete & Pete" star Michael Maronna, who starred as Big Pete, still works in TV, but not in the same capacity. As he told The Washington Times in 2015, "I'm a best boy electrician on an NBC show called 'Shades of Blue.' I do lighting. The show stars Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta." Aside from "Shades of Blue," which wrapped in August 2018, Maronna has also worked on "The Normal Heart," "Elementary," "Nurse Jackie," "Men In Black 3," and other films and TV shows as an electrician.

Maronna and pal Danny Tamberelli (aka Little Pete) also lead a podcast aptly called "The Adventures of Danny & Mike." Maronna said that project got underway "when Danny couldn't make rent. On the 31st he said, 'We should do this podcast.' Five days later we got Danny some rent money'" and "a fine, comfortable couch that he can clean every so often."

Clearly, these guys are still hilarious, and at least one of them is happy with their current situation pursuing everyman endeavors. "But we're so damn busy," Maronna said, quipping, "I have a full-time job and Dan is busy trying to get that couch together."

Andrew Shue

Andrew Shue starred on "Melrose Place" from 1992 to 1999, and, after leaving the primetime soap, he turned his efforts online. The actor, who's married to ABC News anchor Amy Robach, founded CafeMom, one of the early so-called mommy blogs, in 2006.

"As rewarding and rich as that time of life is, being a mom can be isolating because no one has any idea how overwhelmed each mom is, how conflicted they are about performing all their roles well," he told NJ.com. "Moms don't think they do anything well." Aside from wanting to help mothers at a difficult time, Shue admitted he was tired of the Hollywood grind, saying, "I didn't like having to promote myself and to constantly make myself interesting to people."

In addition to his successful website, Shue also co-founded Do Something, an organization for young people that empowers them to take action on issues that are important to them. In 2021, Shue and Robach became authors when they published a children's book called entitled "Better Together," which was inspired by their blended family.

Geoffrey Owens

Geoffrey Owens played Bill Cosby's son-in-law, Elvin Tibideaux, on "The Cosby Show," which had its reruns pulled from airwaves in April 2018 in light of the titular character's sexual assault allegations — meaning all the actors on the series stopped receiving residuals.

Photos of Owens working as a cashier in a Trader Joe's in New Jersey went viral that September. He told "Good Morning America" that while he wasn't ashamed of his job, he kept the gig on the DL because he didn't want the entertainment industry to think he'd quit. "I've been teaching acting directing for 30-plus years, but it got to a point where it just didn't add up enough and you gotta do what you gotta do. I wanted a job where I could have some flexibility, try to stay in the business," he said.

Owens received an outpouring of support after the images went viral, including a $25,000 donation from Nicki Minaj and a job offer from Tyler Perry, which Owens accepted. "I hope what doesn't pass is this idea that people are rethinking about what it means to work — the honor of the working person and the dignity of work," he told "GMA." Owens added, "Every job is worthwhile and valuable."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Terry Crews

After Geoffrey Owens was shamed by some for working at Trader Joe's, athlete-turned-actor Terry Crews rushed to his defense on social media. "I swept floors AFTER [playing in] the @NFL," Crews tweeted in response to a story about Owens' grocery gig. "If need be, I'd do it again. Good honest work is nothing to be ashamed of."

Indeed, Crews has had other jobs in between his football career and his acting roles, including co-founding a furniture design firm and a stint as a courtroom sketch artist covering a high-profile murder case in Flint, Michigan. Though he's wildly successful today, the entertainer has made it clear that side hustles have always been a part of his equation. During a sit-down on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Crews said that "humility gets you far," noting that he put his artistic talents to use while playing in the NFL: "It would literally take me about two months to do a painting, and they would give me like five grand, and I would survive off that. My whole family survived off that."

Nate Richert

Nate Richert starred as Harvey Kinkle, actor Melissa Joan Hart's love interest on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," from 1996 to 2003. Since then, he's taken several decidedly un-Hollywood jobs to make ends meet. "I've been an actor for 32 yrs (since age 8)," Richert tweeted in 2018. "I'm extremely lucky to have had any success at all, let alone solid work in film and TV for 6yrs (20yrs ago). I'm currently a maintenance man, a janitor, a carpenter, and do whatever random jobs I can get to pay the bills."

Richert still performs and works as a songwriter, and he also happened to nab his first onscreen role since a 2006 short film called "H-e-n-r-y" in 2020. Further explaining his predicament in the same 2018 Twitter thread, however, he wrote in part, "Actors so very rarely have job security or consistent work, quality healthcare, a reasonable retirement. We are actors anyway because it is who we are at the core, for the love and need to bring the words on the page to life and to make you feel them. ... Not for fame, at least not in the traditional sense." Richert added, "Fame, to me, has only ever meant 'maybe more work someday.'"

Mike Vitar

Mike Vitar played Benjamin Franklin "Benny the Jet" Rodriguez in "The Sandlot," as well as Luis Mendoza in "D2: The Mighty Ducks" and its sequel "D3: The Mighty Ducks." However, he left Hollywood in 1997, when he was 19 years old, with Variety reporting that Vitar became a firefighter in Los Angeles.

The '90s movie star ran into legal trouble when he, another off-duty firefighter named Eric Carpenter, and a third pal named Thomas Molnar were accused of beating Samuel Chang, a college student who was handing out candy in Carpenter's neighborhood on Halloween, in 2015, per the Los Angeles Times. Chang wound up in the intensive care unit. Vitar and his buddies reached controversial plea deals that kept them out of prison. Vitar reportedly pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery and received three years of probation and community service. He was suspended for six months from the fire department before returning to work, as reported by The Times.

Vitar appears to be laying low ever since leaving showbiz behind, but he did meet up with his "Mighty Ducks" co-star, Marguerite Moreau, for a 20-year reunion back in 2014.

Chris Rankin

Chris Rankin played Percy Weasley, Ron Weasley's equally ginger brother, in the "Harry Potter" film franchise. While he's done some YouTube work since then, he told the BBC in 2008 that he planned to quit acting because, well, the magic was gone. "I went for the West End audition for the musical 'Wicked.' ... Usually when you go for TV and film auditions people are nice to you, they tell you 'thank you very much' and say they'll get back to you in the next few days," Rankin said. "In the West End auditions, they just say 'next,' and I thought, 'I don't enjoy this anymore.'"

Rankin left his job in front of the camera to pursue work behind it. He reportedly went to college to study directing and media production, and he served as an assistant production coordinator on "Downton Abbey" in 2015, "A Discovery of Witches" in 2018, and as a production secretary on the "Atlantis" TV series from 2014 to 2015.

Rankin may not be acting these days, but he is forever grateful for being a part of the magical cast of "Harry Potter." Celebrating the 20th anniversary since "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was released, he shared in 2021 (via BBC News), "I don't think it's unreasonable to say Potter changed, shaped, my life — it's crazy. If you had asked me 20 years ago if I thought I'd still be talking about Harry Potter on a daily basis I think I would have laughed in your face."

Brian Dunkleman

In the first season of "American Idol," the now-ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest had a co-host: comedian Brian Dunkleman. Dunkleman didn't come back for the subsequent seasons of the singing competition juggernaut and, at the time of this writing, works as an Uber driver in Los Angeles.

Dunkleman's career shift was first reported by TMZ. The gossip rag unearthed documents from Dunkleman's divorce that revealed his source of income: He reportedly logs about 45 hours a week behind the wheel for the service, making about $800 to $1,000 a week. Dunkleman, who has a young son, told the site, "I chose to stop doing standup comedy and started driving an Uber so I could be there for my son as much as he needed after our life as we knew it was destroyed."

Former "The Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens, who was previously shamed for working at Trader Joe's, sent Dunkleman well wishes. "Hey, Brian! Geoffrey Owens here," Owens told People in a statement. "To say that I can relate to your situation is an understatement." He added, "There's a small amount of people who can truly understand what you're going through, and I'm one of them! Hang in there. And don't hide. Whatever you do, do it well and proudly. ... I think you're awesome, and I admire you!"

MC Hammer

MC Hammer was the biggest rapper in the world, but he would later become the biggest financial cautionary tale after he lost his millions. He's since given up on the entertainment world, save for the occasional commercial, but he's back in the black after becoming a tech investor.

Back in 2011, Billboard reported that Hammer had become one of the savviest tech gurus out there and was one of the earliest investors in companies like Square and Flipboard. He also expressed interest in Pandora and YouTube way before they became household names. "I'm interested in companies that can have a global impact on enterprise in general; things that can make your connected life more interesting and easier," Hammer told the magazine. "But always, I look for opportunities to support and expand the music business model or reinvigorate the music business model."

Still, don't discount a musical comeback from the rapper-turned-preacher-turned-venture-capitalist. He told Billboard, "Why not? Quincy Jones was 50 when he produced the 'Thriller' album. It's not unprecedented."

Vanilla Ice

Stop, collaborate, and list it: Vanilla Ice went from a rapper to a house flipper. The celeb, whose real name is Rob Van Winkle, told CNBC in 2012 that his house-flipping business is just as lucrative as rap was for him back in the early '90s, and he's been chronicling his work on "The Vanilla Ice Project" on the DIY Network. "They're both pretty good, to be honest with you," he said of his current cash flow compared to when he was a rapper. "The great thing is I found another passion that does make money."

Vanilla Ice went on, "The short sales, the foreclosures are great, but tax auctions are even better," adding, "If no one's bidding against you and it's an absolute auction, you can steal the homes for pennies on the dollar." He said that, in addition to making green, his houses go green, too, telling DIY Life in 2020, "We create less of a carbon footprint. We use a lot of LED lights. ... We installed a tankless water heater outside. It costs less to run, and you never run out of hot water."

The star even wrote a book on how to get rich flipping houses, which, he said, he got into by accident. Vanilla Ice apparently bought an apartment in New York City's elite Greenwich Village, as well as a property in Los Angeles, in his early 20s, but sold them because he was never home — and made a sweet profit.

Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson was the adorable child star of 1993's "Mrs. Doubtfire" and 1996's "Matilda." Then she disappeared from the public eye, embracing a career as a writer, though she makes occasional appearances on nostalgia-themed programs and does voiceover work once in a while, too. But more than anything these days, Wilson is an activist, promoting mental health awareness after being diagnosed with panic disorder, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder when she was 12 years old, as she revealed to the Independent.

In 2018, Wilson opened up to Entertainment Weekly about her time as a child star, stating, "I do think that being a child actor was difficult in some ways, like it made me more of a perfectionist. There were a lot of people out there who were very cruel. But I had a lot of great opportunities that a lot of other people didn't and I met a lot of wonderful people. You kind of have to come to peace with it all."

Wilson also recalled her child stardom, as well as her coming of age, in her book "Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame," which was published in 2016.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Karyn Parsons

Karyn Parsons starred as Hilary Banks in everyone's favorite '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and would later star in 1996's "Lush Life" and the early 2000s TV show "The Job." However, she eventually found her calling in an entirely new profession when she became a storyteller thanks to her non-profit Sweet Blackberry. 

Parsons created Sweet Blackberry, a company that teaches children about inspiring African Americans, after learning about Virginia slave Henry "Box" Brown from her mother. Brown escaped to freedom when he mailed himself in a wooden crate to Philadelphia. Having not known about his brave and harrowing escape, Parsons created children's books so that they too could learn about Brown and other African American achievements. Some of her books include the story of Garrett Morgan, a Black man who created the traffic light, Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman to get her pilot's license, and Janet Collins, the first Black Prima ballerina.

"I wanted to make something really engaging and fun, kind of like a fairy tale story," Parsons told Blavity in 2019, adding, "The way we know fairy tales like the backs of our hands, like, why not take real people that have amazing stories and make these ... just as engaging for kids?" She has also written two children's books entitled "How High the Moon" and "Flying Free."

Erik Estrada

Erik Estrada has several acting credits to his name and continues to act today, but his most well-known role was starring as police officer Frank Poncherello in the 1977 television series "CHiPs." Estrada loved playing a cop so much, he became one in real life. In 2019, Estrada shared with Antenna TV, "I wanted to be a cop since I was 4 years old," but things changed as he got older when he "got bite by the acting bug." Interestingly, then, he got the gig as the California highway patrol officer in "CHiPs" and later in life got to live out his dream career. 

According to Today, Estrada started a policing career as a reserve police officer in Muncie, Indiana, in 2008, and became a full-time deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia a year later. In 2016, he was sworn in as a reserve police officer in St. Anthony, Idaho and shared on Twitter, "An honor for me and my partner Daryl Williams, we now serve saint Anthony police dept. Proudly." Today also reported that Estrada, who is the spokesman for the Safe Surfin' Foundation, also focuses on keeping children safe from online predators.

Jennifer Stone

"Wizards of Waverly Place" actor Jennifer Stone, who starred alongside Selena Gomez in the Disney show, has been extremely busy fighting COVID-19 as a registered nurse. 

Stone became a nurse after she found out that she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She shared with Beyond Type 1, "I felt like I found a balance that came to healthy place with [diabetes] — I am now ready to inspire other people and help make this world a more receptive place for this disease." The actor added, "I know how ignorant I was when I was first diagnosed; I want to help the world know more about the disease." 

In 2019, Stone graduated with a nursing degree and has since been working as an ER nurse. She later celebrated her accomplishments with a 2020 Instagram that read, "A very good friend of mine pointed out to me that today is #worldhealthday. It is also the day I went from a volunteer, then a student nurse, and now an RN resident. I just hope to live up to all of the amazing healthcare providers on the front lines now as I get ready to join them." In another 2021 post, the star shared the difficulties of jumping into her nursing duties right when the coronavirus pandemic hit: "I knew being a nurse wouldn't be easy, but I never could have anticipated starting at this pandemic, proportion. Last night was a rough one." 

Lucas Babin

Lucas Babin, a Criminal District Attorney for Tyler County, Texas, once played a shirtless guitar-playing rocker named Spider in the film "School of Rock." 

While he might be practicing law today, Babin had a very different career when he was known as a fashion model walking for shows like Roberto Cavalli and modeling for high-end designers Versace and Gucci, where he would make upwards of $7,000 daily, per Texas Monthly. Babin figured he'd give acting a shot and landed roles in "Sex and the City," "The Young and the Restless," and starred as "Handsome Prince" in Alanis Morissette's music video for "Precious Illusions" and played "Lover on the beach" in Paris Hilton's video for "Stars are Blind." Babin also dabbled in telenovelas, including 2005's "America." Of course, Babin's best known role was playing Spider in the 2003 comedy alongside Jack Black.

Talking about leaving Hollywood behind to become a lawyer, Babin later shared during an interview, "The entertainment industry, when you work and if you're working on ... an interesting project, it a lot of fun and can be very rewarding, but it's really, really uncertain, and I had a family to take care of, and I thought, 'Now's a good time for me to go back to school.'" Babin received his degree at the University of Houston Law School and later attained the District Attorney seat in 2018, per the Dallas Observer.

Reed Alexander

Reed Alexander was in his teens when he got the role of Nevel Papperman in Nickelodeon's "iCarly," but his passions for acting were fading as he became more interested in the world of journalism. Looking at his LinkedIn, Alexander has got one impressive resume and has worked as a journalist for companies such as HuffPost, the BBC, CNN, and the Dow Jones. 

Now a financial reporter for Business Insider and adjunct professor at the University of Miami, as of this writing in 2022, Alexander told the Miami New Times how acting "wasn't enjoyable anymore" and how he'd made the difficult decision to leave it behind. "Even at 17 or 18, my decision to walk away from it made me question, well, who am I if I'm not an actor? I think just having the courage to leave situations is something a lot of people don't have," he shared. 

Although he's since been busy reporting the news, Alexander returned to the "iCarly" reboot for one episode in 2021.

Willa Ford

Willa Ford was among pop icons like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in the early 2000s, but Ford didn't find the same success as her pop star counterparts. And though most '90s babies can probably sing her racy tune and only hit, "I Wanna Be Bad," Ford sought other career opportunities until one finally stuck. 

Speaking about the end of her music career, she told Billboard in 2017, "I really took a step back because I felt like I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing at the time. I know that sounds crazy, but it was the perfect storm, and I walked away. It's really hard when you walk away to go back to it." Ford took up acting and starred as Anna Nicole Smith in a Lifetime film and also appeared in the "Friday the 13th" remake. However, she found her true passion in interior design. 

"As I was doing more and more design, I started recognizing I was feeling fulfilled in the same way as I was when I was in the studio every day. Acting didn't do that for me," she told Glamour in 2019. "It's such an interesting thing. [With music] it wasn't about being an artist; it was about creating the song. Now it's about creating the space. When I made the connection that I was feeling fulfilled, I took off as a designer." Ford launched her interior design company W Ford Interiors and was even seen helping Scott Disick on his E! TV series "Flip It Like Disick."

Jamie Walters

Jamie Walters was part of the '90s global hit television series "Beverly Hills, 90210" and was also behind the 1992 song "How Do You Talk to An Angel," which once sat at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, Walters walked away from Hollywood and became a firefighter-paramedic in California.

Entertainment Weekly spoke to Walters in 2020 and learned that the actor works at the Los Angeles City Fire Department and has been saving lives for quite some time. He shared, "Oh yeah, I've been working with them for almost seven years. I'm in it for the long haul. ... Of course, when I was busy doing the entertainment stuff, I was like, 'Hey, I'm gonna keep doing this as long as the ball's rolling.' Then, I was in my late 20's, and I decided I really wanted to start a family and do some other things with my life."

In 2019, the cast of "Beverly Hills, 90210" came together for a reboot series entitled "BH90210," and Walters did come back for an episode, but the former actor appears to want to get back into music. Walters also shared with EW, "My music was what opened the door for me into the acting world. ... So I'm gonna keep playing music, and if nothing else, get it out there for my old fans." 

Rita Wilson

In 2011, Rita Wilson went from actor to editor when she became the editor-at-large for the HuffPost's new site "Huff/Post40." Coming up with the site's name, Wilson's new position meant that she would be in charge of the entire website and hire a writing team to contribute stories that cater to people over the age of 40, per Entertainment Weekly.

"The Over 40s I have met are some of the most interesting, vibrant, curious, courageous, sexy, energetic people I know," Wilson — who, of course, also happens to be fellow actor Tom Hanks' longtime wife — shared. "Exploring the minds and hearts of this group of people is exciting. It's never too late to mix things up, change your life, to get to what you really should be doing — or want to be doing." she added, "As Mark Twain said, 'Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.' I can't wait to get started.'"

Wilson had worked for other major publications before collaborating with HuffPost, with CBS News reporting that she's also written for O, The Oprah Magazine and has been a contributing editor for Harper's Bazaar. Of course, Wilson continues to act, but this is definitely a cool side gig. 

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu found a passion for assisting soon-to-be mothers when she became a doula in 2001. Talking to People about the role, she shared, "I've always had a mothering nature. But I didn't plan on becoming a doula. I just wanted to care for my family and friends." After helping her best friend during a 52-hour labor, the singer realized, "When I saw the baby, I cried. I knew what I was supposed to do with my life."

Badu's duties as a doula are more than just talking to her clients to help ease their labor, however. She told People that she meets with her clients one month prior to the birth, where she sees with them weekly, comforts them throughout labor, even offering herbs to make tea from her own garden, and performs a healing practice called Reiki — all free of charge. She shared, "Nothing gives me more pleasure than being the welcoming committee for a mother's new joy."

According to BET, Badu was there for the birth of singer Teyana Taylor's second child after she had a home birth in 2020. Badu shared the news on Instagram along with a video of Taylor and Iman Shumpert's daughter, Rue Rose. "They did that. Thank you both for allowing me to assist. Love, proud Badoula — aka 'The welcoming Committee.'"