They Starred In Your Favorite Childhood TV Shows and Movies, But Now They Have ‘Regular’ Jobs

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No matter how talented or famous a celebrity is, there usually comes a time when they fade from the limelight. But even if we’ve stopped paying attention, their lives still go on. Some take their money and have a boring retirement, while others go back to ‘regular’ jobs. Below we’ve rounded up a list of some of your favorite childhood stars and what they are up to nowadays. Have a look!

#1. Tony Danza – High School Teacher

He’s best known for Who’s The Boss? and the sitcom Taxi (plus you may remember him from that movie Angels in the Outfield), but in 2009 Danza decided to quit acting and become an English teacher at Northeast High School in Pennsylvania. He tried to start a reality show about his position at the school, but had a falling out with the producers who thought that it wasn’t dramatic enough.

#2. Tom Selleck – Rancher

The highlights of Tom Selleck’s broad acting career include 3 Men and a Baby and the CBS show Blue Bloods, but he’s most recognized in the crime drama show Magnum P.I. Currently Selleck lives on a 60-acre avocado farm in California. Ironically, he hates avocados.

#3. Gary Coleman – Security Guard

“What you talkin’ about, Willis?” Gary Coleman was undoubtedly one of the most loved child stars of the ‘80s, most notably for Diff’rent Strokes. By the late ‘80s his acting career began to decline, but in 1989 he won $1.2 million in a legal suit. Soon after that he became a security guard, but medical bills and other difficulties (including legal fees after assaulting an autograph-seeker while working in a mall) caused him to file for bankruptcy protection in 1999.

#4. Charlie Korsmo – Lawyer, Professor, Political Activist

You may remember him from Dick Tracy, What About Bob?, or Can’t Hardly Wait. Or if you can’t remember any of those movies, you’ll probably fondly recall his role in Hook. Apparently acting wasn’t entirely his passion, so he earned his degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000. He worked for the EPA, eventually receiving a law degree from Yale Law School in 2006. In 2011, he was nominated by President Obama to serve in the US Senate in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. He is currently a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

#5. Ariana Richards – Artist

Though her acting career was fairly sparse, Ariana is most remembered for her role in Jurassic Park. Even though she won numerous Favorite Newcomer and Young Artist awards for the role, it wasn’t enough to launch a career. Instead, she chose to become an artist. She’s done rather well for herself, even winning first place in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition in 2005.

#6. Kevin Jonas – Marketing Entrepreneur

Whether you liked them (let’s face it, only teenage girls loved them) or absolutely despised them, the Jonas Brothers were the biggest boy band group of the 2000s. After the brothers disbanded, Kevin – the eldest – ended up becoming CEO of The Blu Market – a company that helps influencers increase their social media reach with major brands and advertisers.

#7. Liam Gallagher – Clothing Entrepreneur

Liam Gallagher rose to fame as the lead singer of the rock band Oasis, but after some rather poor decisions (including an attempt to start his own band), he ended up becoming unfavorable in the public eye and found himself running low on funds. So he started his own fashion line called Pretty Green which specializes in unique and trendy apparel.

#8. Kirk Cameron – Evangelist

Kirk Cameron is most well known for his Golden Globe-nominated role in the sitcom Growing Pains. Though he never gave up acting entirely, he did have a major life reevaluation after his conversion to Christianity. He currently works in Christian ministry and has done several faith-based movies such as Left Behind and Fireproof.

#9. Michael Schoeffling – Carpenter

Though he had other roles in Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken and Mermaids, Michael’s most prominent role was in Sixteen Candles. His acting declined due to a lack of roles and a need to raise a family with a more steady income, so he started his own woodworking shop where he makes handcrafted furniture.

#10. Tommy Rettig – Computer Software Engineer

Tommy Rettig is most remembered and loved for his role as Jeff in the beloved ‘50s TV show Lassie. He found the transition from child star to adult difficult and eventually decided to go into computer engineering. For the last 15 years of his life, he was a database programmer expert.

#11. Danny Lloyd – Pig Farmer, Biology Professor

“Redrum!” Danny Lloyd is most well known (well, really only known) as Danny from The Shining. He tried to continue acting into his teens, but could never manage to land a role. So instead he drove a tractor on a pig farm; then, in 2007, he became a biology professor at a community college in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

#12. Al Franken – Senator

Franken was one of the original two writers (and occasional performer) of Saturday Night Live. He received Emmy nominations and other various awards for his efforts in television writing and producing. During the 2008 elections, Franken was elected to the US Senate, and was later re-elected.

#13. Steven Seagal – Deputy Chief

Despite often appearing like he just raided your grandma’s tablecloth collection, Steven Seagal has had an impressive career in martial arts and playing special forces units in movies, including On Deadly Ground, Above the Law, and Under Siege. He has employed his martial arts, marksmanship, and brutal combat in many of his movies. In the late ‘80s he taught these maneuvers to the Louisiana police force and was soon after asked to join the force, where he has been a Reserve Deputy Chief ever since.

#14. Mercedes Lander – Real Estate Investor

Mercedes Lander co-founded her musical group Kittie in 1996, a band that was known for its variations of metal (including heavy metal, death metal, and alternative metal). The band did fairly well for itself – selling over 600,000 copies of its most popular album – but after the group took a break in 2012 Mercedes decided to hang up the sticks and get her real estate license, where she currently flips houses and sells them in her hometown of London, Ontario.

#15. Jeff Cohen – Lawyer

Jeff Cohen is most well loved for his role as Chunk in The Goonies. Since he couldn’t get a job doing the Truffle Shuffle after he hit puberty and shed his baby fat, Jeff became a UCLA law graduate in 2000 and later co-founded his own law firm in Beverly Hills.

#16. Vanilla Ice – Real Estate Investor


He may have made it big as a famous rapper, but Vanilla Ice eventually figured out that real estate was just as lucrative. He had invested in several homes for himself during his 20s and eventually discovered that they were simply collecting too many cobwebs, so he sold them and made quite a profit. Now he has his own reality show in which he buys stately mansions and fixes them up to get a maximum return on his investment.

#17. Nikki Blonsky – Hairstylist

Though she had some other minor roles throughout her brief acting career, Nikki did land a sizeable role in the movie Hairspray. She still goes for acting auditions, but she ended up getting her cosmetology license and uses it as a part-time hairstylist.

#18. Lyle Preslar – Lawyer

Lyle began his career as vocalist for The Extorts, afterwards becoming guitarist and songwriter for the hardcore punk band State of Alert. He was well known for playing rapidly while maintaining accuracy. But he eventually decided to rock it out in law, and he graduated from Rutgers School of Law in Newark and currently practices in New York state.

#19. George Foreman – Business Entrepreneur

“Big George” is a two-time heavyweight champion and a Olympic gold medalist. George Foreman retired at the age of 28 but returned a decade later to great success. He attributed his success to healthy eating and soon after partnered with Salton, Inc to create the famous fat-reducing Foreman grill. Well over 100 million grills have been sold since then.

#20. Dylan Sprouse – Student, Restaurant Host

Dylan Sprouse was a Disney Channel star back in the day of Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven. He starred in the show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (and its subsequent relaunch The Suite Life on Deck) along with his twin brother, but his acting career hasn’t gone any further. He has since enrolled at NYU studying video game design and even took up a job as a restaurant host to support his extreme gaming.

#21. Jonathan Bennett – Workout Trainer

Jonathan Bennett is most known as Lindsay Lohan’s love interest in Mean Girls. Currently he is an indoor cycling instructor for Flywheel Sports in Los Angeles.

#22. Frankie Muniz – Racecar Driver

Frankie Muniz was most well-known as a child actor in movies like Big Fat Liar and Agent Cody Banks, as well as playing Malcolm in the popular TV show Malcolm in the Middle. In 2004 he was a celebrity participant in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, placing first among the celebrity constituents. He enjoyed it so much that in 2006 he signed a contract as a driver for Jensen Motorsport. He raced until 2009 when he suffered from a wrist injury.

#23. Jon Gosselin – Waiter

Jon was pretty big in the public eye when he was a dad in the reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 (that was pre-Duggars when 8 kids was a lot). But so many kids meant so little time to develop a strong marriage, and their divorce in 2009 was a heated ordeal. Jon ended up taking a job waiting tables at a pub, and only sees some of his kids.

#24. Taran Noah Smith – Organic Foods

Taran is known best as the youngest son in Home Improvement. By the time the show ended, he had decided that acting was no longer something that interested him. In 2005 he started a business called Playfood that specialized in organic and vegan foods.

#25. Brittany Ashton Holmes – Coffee Barista, College Student

Brittany was quite the little cutie in The Little Rascals and had a couple other smaller roles after that, but she never took her acting career any further. Currently she lives in Los Angeles and is working at Starbucks when she isn’t completing her degree in political science.

#26. Chris Owen – Sushi Waiter

He may be the epitome of the ugly nerd, but the Sherminator from American Pie certainly didn’t have the typical nerd luck with the ladies. Unfortunately, Chris Owen hasn’t had very much luck with his acting career (though he’s had some pretty good luck with the whole ugly nerd appearance thing) and is currently working as a waiter in an upscale Los Angeles sushi restaurant.

#27. Peter Ostrum – Veterinarian

To this day, Peter Ostrum’s performance in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory remains among the most endearing and heartfelt performances from a child actor. But following his one and only movie performance, he became particularly interested in veterinarian work and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. He still practices today in New York.

#28. Josh Saviano – Corporate Lawyer

Josh Saviano is most remembered as Paul from The Wonder Years. Despite rumors that he eventually became Marilyn Manson, Josh actually earned his political science degree at Yale. He currently is running two startup law firms that he founded.

#29. Michael Maronna – Electrician

Michael’s earliest acting role was in Home Alone but the show that earned him the most prominence was Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete in the ‘90s. Following his brief career in acting, however, Michael became an on-set electrician. He has done electrical work on such films as Sex and the City and Men In Black 3.