We think it's fair to say that a lot of children dream of being actors. Just ask our long-suffering drama teachers how many precocious brats they had to watch pretending to be dogs every Saturday morning.
So it probably takes a special kind of kid to have that fame within their grasp and let it go to rejoin the rest of humanity.
1. Danny Lloyd (The Shining) – Biology teacher
To be perfectly honest, if we had had to go through the experience of filming Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, we would have probably seriously considered packing it in.
Seven-year-old Danny Lloyd only had one more project in him – a TV film called Will: G. Gordon Liddy. After a stint as a pig farmer, he now teaches biology at a community college in Kentucky.
2. Jeff Cohen (The Goonies) – Lawyer
Jeff 'Chunk' Cohen has been immortalised in meme form forever thanks to a little dance called the Truffle Shuffle. Superman director Richard Donner introduced Cohen to the business side of Hollywood, and he now operates as a hot-shot entertainment lawyer.
Most of his Goonies co-stars stuck with the acting game, though Jonathan "Data" Ke Quan almost got out too, ending up as a stuntman.
3. Mara Wilson (Matilda) – Writer
Mara Wilson will reign forever as the cutest, most precocious little girl the '90s had to offer thanks to Matilda, Miracle on 34th Street and Mrs Doubtfire.
Although not completely retired from acting (recently she's done some voice work for BoJack Horseman, and is podcast Welcome to Night Vale's Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home), she has put it on the backburner to focus on writing.
4. Omri Katz (Hocus Pocus) – Hairdresser
The Eerie, Indiana actor stole a thousand hearts in the early '90s with his dreamy, floppy hair, but his heart seemed to go out of acting after Disney's cult classic Hocus Pocus.
The word is that he's now a hairdresser working in Los Angeles, although he did sort-of come out of retirement in 2006 for this 'interesting' NSFW short Perfect Girl.
5. Peter Ostrum (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) – Veterinarian
Charlie Bucket actor Peter Ostrum bowed out of acting after a single credit for the beloved Roald Dahl adaptation. He discovered a love of horses and trained as a vet instead.
Apparently the only other role he ever auditioned for was for Equus on Broadway, which surely must have been a coincidence.
6. Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park) – Artist
One-time Tremors star Ariana Richards has gone down in pop culture history for hiding in terror in a kitchen cupboard while an animatronic velociraptor stalked nearby, hungry for her young blood. How much higher could she hope to rise?
After a few more acting jobs (including a cameo in The Lost World and a one-episode guest spot on Boy Meets World), she mainly focuses on her painting these days.
7. Carrie Henn (Aliens) – Primary school teacher
What is it about famously hiding from monsters that puts young women off acting? Aliens' Newt only has one credit to her name.
Now she is a fourth grade teacher, which we're informed means 9-to-10-year-olds – so that's primary school, right? These days they mostly come out at 8.45am, and again after lunch. Mostly.
8. Charlie Korsmo (Hook) – Law professor
Best known as Robin Williams's conflicted son in Steven Spielberg's Peter Pan sequel, Korsmo is another child actor who was bitten by the law bug. After Hook, he came back to acting only once more, seven years down the line, for teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait.
Since then, he has earned a law degree from Yale (which, as American television has taught us, is a big deal), and currently teaches at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.
9. Jason Zimbler (Clarissa Explains it All) – Software designer
Better known as the most annoying brother ever – Ferguson W Darling – Clarissa Explains it All was actually Zimbler's last acting credit, although he did later earn a degree in theatre directing (and, uh, business admin).
He was running a theatre company in Portland, but he heard the televisual call again (sort of) and moved to New York to work as a software designer for HBO.
Bonus: Mayim Bialik
We wanted to bring Blossom's Mayim Bialik into this since she became a real-life professional neuroscientist, but she blew it by going back into acting in The Big Bang Theory.
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