Home Celebrity Famous Celebrities Who Now Work Normal Jobs

Famous Celebrities Who Now Work Normal Jobs

Darren April 27, 2023

We always think celebrities have perfect lives, but in real life, that’s not always the case. Many of them hate the pressures and stresses of trying to maintain success in Hollywood. They resent the paparazzi for following them everywhere. Some child stars also grow up and fall on hard times after they realize they don’t want to live their parents’ dreams. In fact, several famous figures work normal jobs because they wanted to pursue a passion.

Others fell out of the industry and were tired of the grind. That’s why they decided to do something else or to use their career earnings for a fresh start. It’s fascinating to see some of the biggest stars who changed their minds. Some of them dipped their feet back into the celebrity life at some point, but it’s not their main focus anymore. Check out former celebrities who – for whatever reason – now work normal jobs below.

British GQ

Viggo Mortensen

Mortensen rose to superstardom as the quintessential hero Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He instantly became one of the most desirable men on the planet. He could have had a role he wanted after the saga but he didn’t want to keep on the Hollywood grind. Mortensen has one of the most interesting normal jobs on this list because he runs an independent publishing house.


The Danish-American star opened Perceval Press because he wanted to promote fine arts. According to their website, they focus on art, critical writing, and poetry, as well as visual mediums. Mortensen continues acting in indie movies but this is his real passion. However, don’t try to send him fan mail through Perceval Press because they will destroy it unopened.

TV Guide

Jack Gleeson

Gleeson played one of the best TV villains in history when he starred as King Joffrey in Game of Thrones. The Irish actor received hate mail because his character was so believably awful. Some fans couldn’t separate the actor from his craft. Finally, Gleeson decided to quit acting and instead chose to further his education by going back to university.


He studied psychology at Trinity College Dublin after he knocked acting on the head. This shocked fans because he had so much talent and they predicted a bright future. But Gleeson had other motivations and interests so he walked away. In 2020, he appeared in a BBC series but academia still appears to be his future (via TV Guide).


Phoebe Cates

It’s amazing what happened to Cates because she was one of the most exciting stars of her era. She set pulses racing in that iconic red bikini in Fast Times in Ridgemont High. Then she disappeared at the height of her fame and confused everybody. She constantly appears on lists of stars who vanished off the radar.


But there’s a good reason why Cates quit the stressors of Hollywood. She made a lot of money from her roles and decided to use her savings to pursue normal jobs. Cates owns a boutique fashion store and turned her attention toward clothing. Meanwhile, she also raised a family after she became a mother (via NZ Herald).


George Foreman

Foreman is one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever, but that’s not why he’s on this list. The former champion also had some normal jobs that he took during and after his sporting career. He fell into despair after losing to Muhammad Ali and became a preacher for almost a decade before his return to boxing (via Comic Book).


Then, after he finally quit for good, he became a wildly successful entrepreneur. Foreman’s line of electric grills became a global phenomenon and earned him millions of dollars. He didn’t design the appliances but he endorsed them and they became a fixture in American homes. Now people refer to the grills as their ‘George Foreman.’

The Guardian

Gwyneth Paltrow

Perhaps we’re stretching by saying that Paltrow quit acting to pursue normal jobs. Anybody who follows her career will agree that she’s a wacky personality. But the Oscar winner decided to work in the wellness industry with mixed results. She is the CEO of Goop, one of the most polarizing lifestyle brands in the world.

Fox News

Many critics think that her advice is unsafe and lacks scientific credence. However, Paltrow continues to plow on and even released a Netflix documentary about Goop. It seems that Goop is going nowhere like something that stuck itself to the bottom of a shoe. Maybe Paltrow should return to her day job (via AP News).


Tito Ortiz

Ortiz was one of the most popular UFC fighters of his era. The larger-than-life star won the UFC light heavyweight championship and also had a well-known rivalry with Chuck Liddell. The pair were the faces of their generation but they pursued other interests when they retired. It’s weird to think of fighters having normal jobs, but Ortiz entered politics in his native home of California.

Voice of OC

He became the Mayor of Huntington Beach but unfortunately, it didn’t go well. The council ousted him because he was useless and made crazy statements. Ortiz was also a conspiracy theorist and didn’t support government policies during the global health crisis. In the end, his political career came crashing down a lot quicker than his fighting career did (via Newsweek).

Afro Tech

MC Hammer

These days it feels like everybody is working with the tech industry in some fashion. Celebrities across the world created NFTs and endorsed cryptocurrencies because they thought it was an easy way to grab money. However, Hammer went one step further and decided to create a search engine, WireDoo.


Unfortunately for Hammer, this was an unmitigated failure. The company almost ruined him but Hammer never gave up and continues to work in the industry. Everybody loves a trier so we have to give him some respect. He is one of the most influential rappers ever so he probably thinks that he can do anything (via American Songwriter).

Mama Mia

Nikki Blonsky

Blonsky starred in John Travolta’s Hairspray remake but it didn’t turn into the career she expected. Now she’s working one of the most normal jobs on this list. She’s a professional hairdresser after she gave up on acting. Blonsky qualified as a beauty industry specialist and now that’s her passion (via Mama Mia).

Page Six

Everybody must find the thing that they love. Sometimes this means walking away from a more lucrative position. However, many people slog through jobs they hate because they want money. Then they use the profits to open a business that they love. That’s exactly what Blonsky did after she changed her life.

Entertainment Tonight

Kevin Jonas

The Jonas Brothers became a phenomenon in the 2000s on the Disney Channel. They turned this into mainstream success and had millions of teenage fans around the world. Finally, in 2013, the siblings called it quits and decided to focus on their careers. Most people wouldn’t expect them to do normal jobs but Kevin was an exception.


Kevin became a contractor and created a custom home-building company. The likes of Forbes and GQ ran features on his success because it was an unusual career path. However, there was always a chance that The Jonas Brothers would reunite. Finally, in 2023 they announced that they completed a new album (via Hollywood Life).


Al Green

Green is one of the greatest soul singers ever but that’s not what he does now. The 11-time Grammy Award winner knocked music on the head and decided to become a preacher instead of being a mere entertainer. He felt that music wasn’t the best way to touch people’s souls and now he wants to save them.

Tuko News

The Graceland native is the pastor at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis. He lived in Graceland for decades and wants to share the word with ordinary people. Many music fans take a pilgrimage to Green’s church because they want to hear the great man himself. The ordained pastor is passionate about his cause (via USA Today).


Emma Watson

The Harry Potter actress became one of the most famous stars of her generation. But as she grew older, she realized that she could do more important things with her celebrity. She decided to become an activist and use her reach as a force for good. Now Watson works regularly with the UN and is a vocal women’s rights speaker.

Harper’s Bazaar

Watson also collaborated with luxury brands like Burberry and Prada. However, these are minor roles for the Brown University graduate who wants to make the world a better place. These days she’s also more concerned about the environment and admires Greta Thunberg. It’s a difficult job but one that Watson cares passionately about (via E! Online).


Karyn Parsons

Parsons became a huge star because of her role as Hilary Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She became one of the pin-up girls of the decade and even Will Smith admitted he had a massive crush on her. Parsons had a minor movie career after Fresh Prince finished but she quickly turned to normal jobs.

Ebony Magazine

These days, Parsons is a committed activist and a writer. Her main interest is ensuring that everybody has access to education and that’s why she targets young black children. It’s a noble cause and one that she passionately pursues. Parsons’ last TV appearance was in 2002 so it’s clear what she cares about now (via WGCU).

British GQ

Dylan Sprouse

Sprouse became a child star alongside his more famous brother Cole when they starred in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Most child stars progress and become full-time stars but that’s not what happened with Dylan. He decided that life in the spotlight wasn’t that great and wanted to do something else.


That’s why he opened a mead brewery in Brooklyn and created a new drink. Meanwhile, Sprouse loves video gaming and earned a degree in video game design. Sometimes he takes small roles on TV but he’s more interested in his normal jobs. He likes to diversify because it makes things interesting (via Us Magazine).


Peter Ostrum

It’s easy to forget Ostrum exists but he was in one of the most iconic movies ever. He starred alongside Gene Wilder in the 1971 classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Everybody expected the child star to have a long Hollywood career but that’s not what happened. Instead, he turned his attention to normal jobs because he decided that fame wasn’t for him.

The Times

Ostrum made one of the most left-field choices on this list because he opted to become a veterinarian. Furthermore, he specialized in large animals because that was his passion. He deserves credit because it was brave to follow his dream. He potentially walked away from millions of dollars because he cares about animals (via The Times).

John Decker

Arnold Schwarzenegger

These days, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the biggest action star on the planet. But ‘Arnie’ dominated the box office in the eighties with massive franchises like Terminator and Predator. The former Mr. Olympia made a massive career change in 2003 when he became the Governor of California.

NBC News

He represented the Republican party but was relatively moderate during his time in office. Most analysts have mixed opinions of his tenure because he typically took a middle-of-the-road view. However, he did a reasonable job of balancing both sides of the aisle, so he deserves respect for that (via The Cold Wire).


Mara Wilson

There are many child stars on this list because they realized that they didn’t want to be actors after all. Often, their parents pushed them and they didn’t think about it. But the advantage of acting in a major movie is that they have the money to do normal jobs. Wilson is one of these because she became a writer.

Into Film

Maybe some people will think that being a writer is an unusual profession. But it’s less dramatic than starring in Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire. These days the NYU graduate focuses on web series and has no interest in acting. It’s wild because she could have potentially been a superstar but now nobody remembers what she looks like now (via ABC News).

Entertainment Weekly

Josh Saviano

Saviano was another child actor who decided that celebrity life wasn’t for him. We think that it’s the ideal life but the reality is that there is a lot of stress and pressure. Saviano played Paul Pfeiffer in The Wonder Years. The nerdy, awkward character was a popular figure in the show but the grown-up Saviano is very different.

Best Life

After he quit acting, Saviano went to Yale and earned a degree in political science. Then he found his way into the legal world and became a partner in a high-end New York legal firm. He dipped his feet back into the entertainment industry when he used his legal experience to play an attorney on Law & Order for a couple of seasons (via Spotlight Advisory Group).

Dallas Observer

Vanilla Ice

It’s impossible to imagine certain celebrities doing normal jobs, but that’s exactly what Vanilla Ice does now. He was one of the most polarizing stars of the ’90s with his hit single ‘Ice Ice Baby.’ This hip-hop song went to number one on all of the charts. But David Bowie and Queen also sued him for ripping off their music.

Hip Hop DX

Later, he gave up music and became a rally driver but that’s not why he’s on this list. After enduring a bunch of legal problems, Ice decided to search for normal jobs. He began fitting lights as he stabilized his life and became an ordinary person. It was a huge fall from grace for the former megastar (via Euro News). But he still has his own line of custom lights that are shockingly called, ‘Vanilla Ice lights’.


Stipe Miocic

Miocic is arguably the greatest UFC heavyweight fighter ever, but that wasn’t his main passion. The former champion also has one of the most important normal jobs because he wants to serve society. He works as a firefighter in his native Cleveland, Ohio. It’s no surprise that locals consider him to be a hero.


This is amazing because many people try to use their athletic success into increased fame. But Miocic doesn’t want to star in movies or become a reality star. He is happy going to the firehouse every day and knowing that he makes a difference. It’s a noble attitude and he deserves a lot of respect (via ESPN).


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Gellar was one of the hottest stars of the ’90s. She became an icon as she starred as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also appeared in movies. But then she stopped acting and decided to focus on her family. Becoming a mother was the first of two normal jobs that she opted to pursue (via Life & Style).

She Knows

Meanwhile, Gellar also became an entrepreneur as she started a new company. She co-founded FoodStirs, a brand that promotes healthy ingredients. Nobody heard from Gellar for over a decade but she finally reemerged in 2023. Now she stars in another hit TV teen horror show, Wolf Pack.


Ali McGraw

McGraw was one of the most celebrated actresses of her era. She won a Golden Globe and was also an Oscar nominee in a glittering career. Meanwhile, the actress was a huge sex symbol and was regularly described as one of the most beautiful women in the world. But then she quit Hollywood and pursued normal jobs instead.

Closer Weekly

She developed an interest in yoga and it became one of the burning passions of her life. Furthermore, she became increasingly invested in animal rights charities and created a non-profit. McGraw decided that it was more important than pretending to be somebody else. It also helped her to learn more about herself and to deal with different traumas (via People).

LA Magazine

Donald Trump

We admit that most people wouldn’t include the former President of the United States on a list of normal jobs. But it is a political role and the winner represents the majority of the American people. Trump followed in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps by turning his celebrity into an election bid. He won his first election and served for four years but didn’t win a second term.


Trump was the star of The Apprentice for 11 years and was a regular at red-carpet events. Yes, he’s technically a businessman but the truth is that he was a reality TV star with a massive inheritance. Other celebrities like Oprah and Matthew McConaughey also considered running for political offices (via The Guardian).

The Austin Chronicle

Charlie Korsmo

Korsmo is another celebrity who decided to quit acting in favor of normal jobs. He famously starred with Robin Williams in Hook before he became a teen sensation in Can’t Hardly Wait. Everybody expected him to be competing for acting awards for the rest of his life. But Korsmo didn’t want to stay in Hollywood and changed direction.


He studied law at Yale and eventually became a professor in Cleveland. Korsmo achieved a different kind of greatness because he’s one of the most respected legal minds in Ohio. It’s amazing that he switched paths so easily and had amazing success. But Korsmo knew what he wanted to do and worked hard to achieve it (via Page Six).

ABC News

Jeremy Clarkson

We associate Clarkson with fast cars and laddish antics on Top Gear and The Grand Tour. The polarizing TV presenter has driven some of the most amazing vehicles in the world and traveled to far-flung locations. But he also has one of the most important normal jobs ever closer to home.


Clarkson owns a massive farm in Oxfordshire, UK. He actively manages the estate’s general affairs and has a keen interest in his animals. Amazon turned his experiences on the farm into a hit TV show. But there’s nothing make-believe about the real work that goes on behind the scenes (via Country Living).

Bon Appetit

Jeff Cohen

Everybody loves The Goonies because it’s one of the greatest kids’ movies ever. Cohen became a breakout star because he starred as Chunk in the classic adventure-comedy. ‘The Truffle Shuffle’ was one of the dances of the decade and it looked like Cohen would go on to do big things. In the end, that proved to be the case, but it wasn’t in acting (via Bon Appetit).


As Cohen grew up he realized that he wasn’t interested in a long Hollywood career. Instead, he used his earnings to fund his law degree. He graduated from UCLA and opened a firm in L.A. But Cohen maintains a lifelong friendship with former co-star Ke Huy Quan. He even negotiated Cohen’s contract for his Oscar-winning role in Everything Everywhere All At Once.