For some celebrities, living in the spotlight at all times becomes too much, and they often explore other career paths. From leaving Hollywood for law school to writing memoirs, check out which celebs work other, unexpected jobs.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar has been acting since her childhood, with roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cruel Intentions, and various other productions. However, Gellar wasn't satisfied with only being an actress.
So, she used her love of food and cooking to create her own e-commerce and culinary brand, Foodstirs. Sarah also published a cookbook, and is constantly working on new products for her brand, as well as getting people to sample what she's selling. Hence why she's seen in a supermarket in the above photo.
Dylan Sprouse began his Hollywood career as a child, starring in Adam Sandler's Big Daddy. Then, he and his brother Cole starred in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, but eventually, he discovered a passion for brewing meads and started to learn the skills that are needed in the industry.
Sprouse realized that he wasn't pleased with the products being sold, so he was determined to brew his own. Today, he's the CEO and head mazer of All Wise Meadery, continually working on perfecting his recipes for the beverages. Sprouse takes a lot of pride in his work and has a lot planned for the future.
Danica McKellar rose to the spotlight during the 80s and 90s when she appeared in The Wonder Years as a child. She later graduated from UCLA with a degree in mathematics and realized this was her true calling. McKellar began publishing math books to make the subject more appealing to children.
She wrote her first book, Math Doesn't Suck, in 2018 to help middle school-aged students understand different mathematical concepts. "I use stories and relatable strategies for young people to realize math is fun and is all around us in everyday, real ways," she explained. McKellar also creates videos to engage people in exciting ways.
Anyone who watched Full House knows Andrea Barber, who played the one and only Kimmy Gibler. After the series ended, Barber didn't do much acting. Instead, she attended Whittier College to study English. She later furthered her degree at the University of York in England.
Barber even worked at Whittier College, leading the International Programs department before launching her career as an author. Besides being a full-time mom, Andrea published her book Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again, giving fans a closer look into her life as a working woman.
Shaquille O'Neal is an absolute legend in the NBA, who also did some acting over the years. He played the police officer in Grown Ups 2, but truthfully, he works as a policeman in real life. He spent numerous years as a reserve police officer in South Florida, as he feels this is an incredibly meaningful job.
But O'Neal didn't get into law enforcement because of a desire to have power; He wants to help keep his community safe. "When I was coming up, the police were loved and respected, but you know, it's tough for both sides right now," Shaq explained. Today, he's working for the Georgia Sheriff's office.
Lauren Conrad first entered the spotlight during her high school days. She starred in the reality shows Laguna Beach and The Hills. We saw the teen graduate from high school, fall in love, and get tangled up in a lot of drama. But after she left The Hills in 2009, Conrad said she needed time to "emotionally recover."
After parting ways with former BFF Heidi Montag, Conrad was ready to begin a new chapter. As for today? Lauren's hard at work as a published author and an entrepreneur. She built an entire lifestyle empire from the ground up and has big plans for the future, working on various business strategies every day.
Jim Carrey's been thriving in Hollywood for decades, but we've learned over the years that acting isn't his only passion. When he's not on a movie set or working on other productions, Carrey can usually be found with a paintbrush in hand, bringing his creative visions to life.
He's even showed off his work in various galleries, as many art lovers are dying to get their hands on one of Carrey's pieces. He revealed that he's always loved drawing and painting, but "I thought it would go away when I went back to work as an actor," said Carrey. "But I can't stop drawing."
With season two of the Saved By the Bell reboot underway, many fans are wondering why Lark Voorhies is no longer a part of the cast. She first rose to fame for her role as Lisa Marie Turtle in the iconic sitcom but eventually decided to take another path.
After leaving her Hollywood career in the past, Voorhies became a self-published author, spending her days writing book after book. Since then, she's made a few TV appearances, but today she's mainly focused on writing, as she's extremely proud of the three books she's published so far.
After his character was written off in Game of Thrones, Jack Gleeson retired from acting altogether. "The lifestyle that comes with being an actor in a successful TV show isn't something I gravitate towards," he revealed. So, Gleeson started to focus more on academics and studied at Trinity College in Dublin.
He and a few friends founded their own theater company called Collapsing Horse, which is considered one of Ireland's most exciting theater groups. Today, Jack is still doing some acting, but strictly on stage, not in front of a Hollywood camera, and is continuing to improve his company.
Nikki Blonsky certainly made her mark in Hollywood with her lead role in Hairspray, playing the one and only Tracy Turnblad. However, even with her success in the film, Blonsky's acting career didn't quite take off. A few years later, she got her cosmetology license and began working at a salon.
Blonsky didn't give up her dream of acting, but she used her salon job as a way to make some extra cash in the meantime. "It's true I'm working @ Superstar Salon as a makeup artist & more I'm proud 2 b workin & helping pay bills BUT I'll NEVER lose sight of my dreams," she tweeted in 2011.
Peter Ostrum lived pretty much every child's dream when he starred as Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory back in 1971. But apparently, acting wasn't his true calling, as Ostrum later switched gears and pursued an entirely different career.
Because of his love for animals, Ostrum decided to attend veterinarian school to give animals the very best care. Today, he's a clinic partner at Countryside Veterinary Clinic in New York. He also appeared in a reality series titled Vets on Call, giving viewers a glimpse into his job.
Jennie Garth starred in the series Beverly Hills, 90210, which turned out to be a top-rated show. She then appeared in the modern reboot, 90210, but later decided to leave Hollywood and give something else a try. So, Jennie launched her own business, called MomGiftBox.com.
Jennie puts together gift boxes geared towards mothers that contain local, high-quality products, including jewelry, perfume, more. "I am so excited to share my favorite things with other moms, hoping they can take a few moments every day to indulge themselves," Garth explained.
Nick Offerman, famous for his role in Parks and Recreation, is an incredibly skilled woodworker. He first learned how to make a masterpiece with a hammer and nails from his father, and today, Offerman runs his very own woodshop in Los Angeles, creating unique pieces with his bare hands.
He's up for just about any challenge in the shop and spends most of his time building exquisite furniture, small boats, and whatever else his customers ask for. Offerman and his team mostly work with fallen trees they find in the environment to avoid cutting down healthy ones whenever possible.
Jeff Cohen began his acting career when he starred in The Goonies, playing Chunk back in 1985. While this role certainly helped Cohen get his foot in the door, he wanted to be known for something other than the "fat kid" in the movie. For starters, he became incredibly fit in high school, and things only went up from there.
Jeff studied at Berkeley and then attended law school at UCLA, which put him on the path of being the successful lawyer he is today. He's a founding partner at Cohen & Gardner, LLP, and when he's not acting or practicing law, Cohen can also be found writing, as he's a published author.
After an incredibly successful Hollywood career, Cameron Diaz retired from acting in 2020, but that doesn't mean she's no longer a working woman. She teamed up with Katherine Power to create Avaline, a brand-new wine company made with organic grapes.
When embarking on this new adventure, Diaz wanted to create a cleaner product and put her all into this exciting business. She and Katherine spent years developing their ideal wines and figuring out how to market them in the most appealing way possible. Cheers to that!
Kevin Jonas first rose to fame alongside his brothers, Joe and Nick, after forming their band The Jonas Brothers back in 2005. However, the band split a few years later, as the brothers decided to focus on their solo careers. And that's when Kevin pursued an entirely different career; He became a contractor.
A few years ago, we caught a glimpse of him in action on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, working on one of the cast member's homes. "He's built his fair share of homes over the past few years, and this is his next phase of life," explained RHONJ cast member Kathy Wakile.
You might not recognize Mara Wilson as an adult, but as a child, she starred in Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and other classic films. However, during her time at NYU, Wilson realized that acting was no longer her passion. She wanted to focus more on writing instead.
As for today? "I feel good about myself, and I feel like I'm sort of in control of my own story and my own narrative," Wilson explained. In 2016, she published a book called Where Am I Now? and wrote numerous plays. While she's no longer an actress, Mara's working hard as a writer, and she's loving the journey!
Like Jeff Cohen, Josh Saviano also left Hollywood to become a lawyer, and he never turned back. Saviano was a famous child actor, starring in The Wonder Years during the 80s and 90s. After he finished filming the series, he later attended Yale University and then got a job as a paralegal.
This gave Saviano the motivation to go to law school, which led him to a successful career working for a major law firm. However, in 2013, Josh left the practice to work on some of his own projects; His own law firm and a celebrity brand consultancy. So, in a way, he came back to the entertainment industry!
Frankie Muniz seemed to do it all in the early 2000s, starring in Big Fat Liar, Malcolm in the Middle, and numerous other productions. But around 2006, his acting career slowed down, and he pursued work out of the spotlight. And that's when Muniz joined Jensen Motorsport as a racecar driver.
Frankie's been racing ever since, and he can't get enough of the adrenaline that the race track brings. However, he revealed that he suffered a few injuries from the sport, which has impacted his memory slightly. Luckily, his family is extremely supportive and works with Muniz to help restore his memory.
During her teenage years, Amanda Bynes was an iconic Nickelodeon actress, and she even landed her own series, The Amanda Show. Then she moved onto her major movie career, starring in She's the Man, What a Girl Wants, and other popular films. However, Bynes eventually moved onto a totally different path.
In May of 2020, Amanda shared, "getting my Bachelor's degree from FIDM… Taking online classes, trying to get a 4.0 GPA." Today, she's pursuing a career in fashion and working on launching an online store in the future. She may not be on the big screen anymore, but Bynes is certainly working hard.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Like his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. also spends a lot of time in the kitchen, working countless hours to succeed in the culinary industry. He starred in She's All That and Scooby-Doo during his younger years, but today, Prinze is the proud author of his own cookbook.
In 2017, he published his first cookbook, Back to the Kitchen, which includes a compilation of some of his favorite family recipes. Freddie also puts on cooking demos throughout the country while sharing his culinary passion with fans worldwide. Looks like this star's cooking up a storm, with a lot more in store!
Lucy Liu is an incredibly talented actress, known for her roles in Charlie's Angels, Elementary, and various other shows and movies. She's also directed multiple films, but when she's not in front of - or behind - the camera, Liu's typically in the studio painting beautiful canvases.
In 2006, Lucy began showing off her artwork at gallery shows in New York, L.A., Miami, and even some European cities. Daniel Chen, Liu's art dealer, said her pieces typically sell for around $10,000-$50,000. Clearly, Lucy's talented in more ways than one and has definitely established herself as an artist.
Over the years, Gwyneth Paltrow has taken a step back from acting to launch her business, Goop, a unique lifestyle brand. Paltrow started by typing up a weekly newsletter back in 2008, hopeful that her vision would take off. She wrote about different fashion and beauty products, guiding readers through the industry in a new light.
Today, Gwyneth's hard at work collaborating with other brands and putting together recipes and life advice for fans of the site. Goop covers travel, health, fashion, and other lifestyle topics to give users exactly what they're looking for. She's also published quite a few books and is busy building her brand every day.
Believe it or not, when Vanilla Ice isn't rapping his iconic lyrics, he can often be found on a construction site. That's right, Vanilla Ice has been flipping houses for years, and he's certainly talented in this area. In 2010, he showed off his design skills on the DIY Network with his own reality show, The Vanilla Ice Project.
The show gives an inside look at Vanilla's projects from start to finish, mostly mansions in Palm Beach, Florida. He carefully chooses every single detail of each house, from the countertops to the closets and everything in between. Maybe we'll consult him for our next home!
It's no secret that Serena Williams is the one to beat on the court, but it turns out that tennis isn't her only passion. When she wasn't smashing forehands, Williams worked tirelessly to launch her brand, S by Serena, designing beautiful clothing for all occasions.
"I'm really inspired by our consumers and our customers," Serena shared. "We get so much feedback, and we love that." Williams stays up to date with everything that happens within the company, as her main priority is pleasing her loyal customers. Plus, she's always busy drawing sketches of new designs.
You might remember Chris Owen as "The Sherminator" from the hilarious film American Pie. But his film career never really took off, and Owen took a different path. After the last American Pie movie wrapped, he continued living in Los Angeles and took a job as a waiter at a sushi restaurant.
Owen also works as a real estate agent, selling homes in Southern California. But he hasn't given up on acting; Chris is hopeful that he'll land more roles in the future. For now, though, he appears to be living life out of the spotlight until his next Hollywood gig comes, of course!
Ariana Richards rose to fame when she appeared in Jurassic Park in the 90s. She enjoyed her Hollywood career, but later on, Richards realized that she wanted to explore other options. So, she attended Skidmore College, hoping to establish herself in the art world.
Upon graduating, Ariana painted her way to the top with her incredible work that features landscapes and other figures. In October of 2005, she won first place at the National Professional Oil Painting Competition and has been hard at work ever since.
Angus T. Jones
You might remember Angus T. Jones for his iconic role as Jake Harper in Two and a Half Men. Jones won multiple awards for his work, but later on, he decided to go in a different direction. He didn't leave the entertainment industry entirely, but he's no longer the star of the show.
Today, Jones works alongside Justin Combs, P. Diddy's son, and Kene Orijoke, at an event production company called Tonite. Angus has taken on a managerial position, and according to Combs, "His personality and talent allows us to further realize our vision in markets that we didn't have immediate access to."
In the spirit of the Super Bowl, we wanted to point out one of the most unique NFL players, who, believe it or not, is a practicing doctor. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, making him the only active NFL player to practice medicine.
"Of course you want to be the best football player. You want to be the best doctor," said Duvernay-Tardif. "But to be able to combine both at the highest level… I think that's my biggest accomplishment." He actually opted out of the 2020-2021 NFL season due to the pandemic, but will hopefully be back on the field in the future.
Danielle Fishel had great success in Hollywood as an actress, model, director, and TV personality. One of her most memorable roles was in Boy Meets World, which aired in 1993. After graduating from college, Fishel hosted The Dish on the Style Network, but that's not all she's been up to.
Danielle is also a reporter for PopSugar, creating content based on today's pop culture. To add to the list, Fishel is a published author, and she's also developed a line of hair care products called Be Free. She says the brand was inspired by her incredible hair in Boy Meets World, as fans are dying to know her secret!