The recent announcement that Shelley Duvall will be returning to the big screen after a long hiatus is welcome news for those who enjoyed her performances. Radiation. Although she made it big in Hollywood 20 years ago, she decided it wasn’t for her anymore.
Duvall isn’t alone in deciding that Hollywood stardom isn’t worth the trouble and headaches of being in the industry. After achieving some success in a given film, some go on to pursue careers in other fields. Reddit users have identified a number of such actors.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is often considered one of the best family films of all time. It manages to stay true to the disturbing spirit of Roald Dahl’s novel while also having a lighter touch. There is no doubt that her hero Charlie was charmingly portrayed by Peter Ostrum.
LijeBailey42 notes, “He’s become a vet by profession, though he’s attended many cast reunions (conventions, DVD commentaries, etc.) over the years. Considering how easy it is for child actors in particular to have their lives derailed by early stardom, Ostrum’s career choice and success is all the more remarkable.
For some, Radiation is one of the best horror movies ever made (although as a Stephen King adaptation it leaves something to be desired). There is no doubt that Danny Lloyd’s portrayal of Danny Torrance is one of the best aspects of the film as it shows the essential nature of the character.
An8thofFeanor has this to say: “He became a professor at a community college and didn’t appear on screen again until a brief cameo in Doctor Sleep.” Like many child actors, he wisely chose to leave Hollywood and pursue a career with fewer trials and potential pitfalls.
The best years of our lives is truly a classic Hollywood masterpiece. Among other things, it is an emotionally resonant exploration of the types of lives that people attempt to lead after a catastrophic event such as World War II. Of particular note is the actor Harold Russell, who lost both hands in real life and whose character in the film also experienced this.
CaptainCanuck15 reminds a reader that “director William Wyler encouraged him to go back to school after filming. The best years of our lives packed.” Considering how powerful Russell’s performance was (he won an Oscar for it), it’s still rather sad that he didn’t make it in the industry longer.
The Back to the future movies are some of the most popular films of the 80s and still hold a strong nostalgia for many who grew up during that time. Claudia Wells was particularly notable for her portrayal of Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s girlfriend.
However, she did not return for the sequel. As rnilbog writes: “She did it to take care of her mother who had cancer.” In fact, she would go on to become a successful businesswoman in her own right, which shows how much it is possible to create a career out of the limelight even though she was in such a prominent role.
The Crying Game excited quite a few comments when it came out. This was largely because it features the transgender character Dil, a revelation that occurs throughout the film and was considered a “twist” at the time and now clearly problematic. Jay Davidson’s performance as the character has been rightly praised for its emotional richness and authenticity.
As oohlah2 states: “Jay Davidson […] he was nominated for an Academy Award for his first film, The Crying Game 1992. After that, he only made 3 more films, one of which was Stargate.” Like many others before and since, Davidson decided to leave the industry before it could crush him.
Jurassic Park is probably one of the best films of the nineties and casts a very long shadow over the history of science fiction. It also featured a very memorable cast of characters, one of them being a young Lex who turns out to be a computer wizard and her ability to manipulate computers is exactly what allows her to restart the power to the park.
Even though Ariana Richards gives a memorable performance in the film, she ended up not doing many projects after that. As ConstableGrey says, “She had a few minor roles in the 1990s, but then became a full-time performer.
Moira Shearer is best known for appearing in The Haunting and the Beautiful Red shoes. She gave a remarkable performance, made all the more so by the fact that she was trained as a dancer and not an actress.
As Vernawoods notes, “She was very scared to take the part Red shoes because she didn’t think she could return to her ballet career after that, since ballet was never taken seriously on film. In fact, she only starred in two other Powell & Pressburger films. Although she has acted in remarkably few films, she has earned her place in the Hollywood firmament thanks to Red shoes.
There are few films like it The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is widely regarded as one of the best cult films. Although Tim Curry steals the show as the delightfully campy Dr. Frank, Peter Hinwood also made an impression as the muscular hunk the Doctor creates.
However, it was actually one of only three film appearances he made. AnyNamesLeftAnymore writes: “Without looking down, Peter Hinwood as Rocky Horror just didn’t like acting and is now an antiques dealer.” Although he now values the quiet life he leads, he still made an impression in Rocky Horror.
Many actors have stepped into the iconic role of James Bond. Although George Lazenby is not usually regarded as one of the best Bonds, given that he only starred in one film, he still deserves a lot of credit for fitting into the role quite seamlessly.
CassiusCreed says this about Lazenby’s career: “George Lazenby once played James Bond and then gave it all away. There is a document about him called Becoming Bond which is great. The life that guy led was absurd.” While he may not be as prominent as Connery, Moore, Brosnan or Craig, it’s still impossible not to admire Lazenby.
Although she might be better known for her music, Bjork has also dabbled in other performing arts, especially acting. Most notably, as sgmctabnxjs points out, “Bjork carried Lars von Trier Dancer in the Dark. She won Best Actress at the Cannes and European Film Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film itself also won the main awards. She then said she would never act again (though she has done a little since then, but nothing major).
Her self-imposed exile from Hollywood makes it all the more remarkable that she appears in a bleak historical epic Northerner. Although her appearance is brief, it is definitely memorable.
NEXT: 9 actors with the longest breaks between starring roles