These Celebrities Turned to Normal, Everyday Jobs After Their Fame Ran Out

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Jan 13, 2022

Fame and fortune is the American dream. It is a way to escape the everyday work life by jumping into the glamorous field of film or sports. In most cases, fame can become fleeting. When this happens, most celebrities are forced to reenter the workforce.

These 18 well known celebrities went to work normal jobs after all their fame ran out. These celebrities are TV actors, movie stars and professional athletes all of whom went back to a normal life and job after they left the spotlight.

1. Taran Smith – Then

Taran Noah Smith played the youngest son of Tim ‘The Toolman Taylor’ from 1991 to 1999 on hit sitcom Home Improvement. He won Young Artist Awards twice for his work on the show and was nominated two more times.


Taran was seven years old when he took on the persona of Mark Taylor and he was 16 when the show ended, and he had enough acting.


2. Taran Smith - Now

One year after Home Improvement ended Taran married international model Heidi Van Pelt who was 16 years his senior. The couple had a son Nolan Smith. Taran and his wife opened a vegan restaurant called Playfood before they divorced in 2007.


A short time later the restaurant failed.
Taran is currently living on a sailboat helping disaster relief charities.

3. Angelina Pivarnick – Then

MTVs Reality show Jersey Shore presented a assemblage of memorable characters to American pop culture. Among the most memorable personalities was The Situation, Snooki and Angelina Pivarnick, who was famously nicknamed the “Staten Island Dump.”

The nickname came from the very first episode when she showed up with her things in black trash bags like she couldn’t afford a suitcase – Right?!


It only got worse she seemed to enjoy picking fighting with the rest of the cast. After having her temper tantrums, she left both season one and two early then she finally got the boot.

Definitely, not someone you would want to show up if you had emergency, right?

4. Angelina Pivarnick - Now

After leaving Jersey Shore the second time, Pivarnick went on to another reality show called Couple’s Therapy she stayed there for two years.


Eventually she found her true calling and it’s a good thing reality shows are a bit hyped up because she is now an EMT.

Yes, I said an EMT.

5. Jeff Cohen – Then

He was cast in the movie The Goonies in 1985 in the iconic role of Chuck. If the director had been looking for an actor for a musical one hit wonder, he would have found it in Jeff Cohen

Jeffs’ comedic performance, accentuated by the legendary “truffle shuffle” dance, became one of the of the 1980s. Three decades later, Jeff Cohen’s dance is still referenced in pop culture.

Sadly, for audiences across America that was the less movie he made he appeared in a few guest star roles but that was all. He went a completely different direction in life.


6. Jeff Cohen - Now

Jeff Cohen had said that puberty ended his acting career early. Jeff was a heavy kid and after acting he was self-conscious about his weight. So, he lost a lot of weight, he joined his high school football team and found success and happiness as a ‘normal’ teenager.

After graduating from high school Cohen went to college and then law school and became an attorney. He went from being the talent in Hollywood to an entertainment attorney. One could say he returned to the entertainment business after all.


7. Mara Wilson – Then

Mara Wilson was an adorable little girl who had a natural talent as an actor and one of the most successful child actresses.

Her first role she played the daughter of Robin Williams’ in Mrs. Doubtfire then she went on to star in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street. Mara’s best role came in 1996, when she starred in Matilda. An adaption of the children’s book by Ronald Dahl’s.

Following the success of Matilda, Wilson was groomed to become a huge Hollywood star. However, she suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and wasn’t happy with the way the directors snuffed out her creativity, while making her repeat the same scenes over and over again until they felt she got it right.


8. Mara Wilson - Now

Wilson went to college at NYU’s Tisch Arts School and became a writer. She has written a memoir, a play, one woman show and several articles for websites.

She also did a few u-tube videos and pod cast. She is an advocate for mental illness in children.


9. Lisa and Louise Burns – Then

Twins Lisa and Louise Burns played the ghostly Grady twins in the Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining.

They enjoyed working with Jack Nicholson and praised Stanley Kubrick.


10. Lisa and Louise Burns - Now

The twins were stereotyped after The Shining and unable to get any other roles individually or as twins. This forced the girls into early retirement.

Lisa went to law school and became an attorney. Louise went on to become a published microbiologist.


11. John Cassisi – Then

Ironically, most people did not expect John Cassisi life to turn out the way it did considering his movie role.

The director was looking for a child to cast in his mob movie Bugsy Malone. He went to a school and asked the students to vote on who they thought was the “naughtiest” boy in their class, and Cassisi won and was cast as Fat Sam.

After that movie he had a role in Fish. That was the end of John’s acting career.

Although, the rest of his life was nothing short of a movie.


12. John Cassisi - Now

When his acting career ended, he started working in construction. Seems like an honorable job work hard everyday collect a paycheck at the end of the week.

Sounds good right? Wrong!

John was arrested in 2015, for a bribery scheme and was fine $500,000 and sentenced to two to six years in prison.

Making him a convicted felon.


13. Peter Ostrum - Then

Despite the success of Willie Wonka, Peter Ostrum turned down a three-film contract following its release.

He eschewed acting from that point on, instead focusing on being a veterinarian.


14. Peter Ostrum - Now

Ostrum earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, and works as a professional veterinarian in Upstate New York to this day.

While Ostrum has avoided most interview and publicity requests, he has appeared at a few Wonka anniversary events in recent years.


15. Adrian Dantley – Then

Adrian Dantley was an NBA player in the 1980s. He was on of the best basketball players of his time, he played for 15 years he was a two-time NBA scoring champ, Rookie of the year in 1977, and a six-time all-star player. He was entered into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

When he retired from playing the game, he became a high school and college coach. In the 2000’s he was the assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets, he was also the team’s acting head coach for several games during the 2010 season while head coach George Karl was battling cancer.


16. Adrian Dantley - Now

When his coaching career was over, Adrian became a crossing guard.

Many people had a difficult time understanding why all all-star basketball player would become a crossing guard. People assumed he blew through the millions he made as a player and coach and was struggling to make ends meet, that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, he became a crossing guard he enjoyed his job and the health benefits that came with it.

Obviously, if he were down on his luck, he would have pursued a higher paying, full time job. He was very content as a crossing guard, he worked a few hours a day, collected a little cash and had great benefits.


17. Angus T Jones- Then

Angus is best known for his role on Two and a Half Men as Jake Harper. The CBS sitcom is where he won two Young Artist Awards.

He also won a TV Land Award during his 10-year stint as one of the main characters on the show.


18. Angus T Jones- Now

After Angus’s fame, he became an event planner! Although he is no longer acting, he still is involved in the entertainment business.

Most recently he teamed up with Justin Combs (son of Sean “Diddy” Combs) to create Tonite, a “multimedia and event company.”