10 Actors Who Had Huge Movie Roles Who Left Hollywood, According to Reddit | Pretty Reel

The recent announcement of Shelley Duvall’s return to the big screen after a long hiatus is good news for those who enjoyed her performance in The Shining. Although she achieved a lot of success in Hollywood, 20 years ago she decided it wasn’t for her anymore.

Duvall isn’t the only one who decides Hollywood stardom isn’t worth the hassle and headache of staying in the business. After achieving some success in a given film, some pursue their careers in other fields. Reddit users have identified a number of these actors.

Peter Ostrum

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is often considered one of the best family movies ever made. It manages to stay true to the unsettling spirit of Roald Dahl’s novel, while having a lighter touch. There’s also no doubt that its hero, Charlie, is charmingly portrayed by Peter Ostrum.

LijeBailey42 remarks, “Professionally he became a veterinarian, although he has attended many cast meetings over the years (conventions, DVD commentaries, etc.). Given how very easy it is for child actors in particular to have their lives derailed by early stardom, Ostrum’s career choice and success is all the more remarkable.

Danny Lloyd

For some, The Shining is one of the best horror movies ever made (even if it leaves something to be desired as a Stephen King adaptation). There’s no doubt that it’s Danny Lloyd’s portrayal of Danny Torrance that’s one of the best aspects of the film, as it brings out the core essence of the character.

An8thofFeanor has this to say: “He became a community college teacher and was off screen until a brief appearance in Doctor Sleep. Like so many other child actors, he made the wise choice to leave Hollywood and pursue a career with fewer trials and potential pitfalls.

Harold Russell

The Best Years of Our Lives is truly a classic Hollywood masterpiece. Among other things, it’s an emotionally resonant exploration of the kinds of lives people try to lead in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event like World War II. Of particular note is actor Harold Russell who, in real life, lost both of his hands and who the character in the film also experienced.

CaptainCanuck15 reminds the reader that “director William Wyler encouraged him to go back to school after the production of The Best Years of Our Lives ended”. Considering how powerful Russell’s performance was (he won an Oscar for it), it’s still pretty sad that he didn’t pursue a longer career in the industry.

Claudia Wells

The Back to the Future films are some of the most beloved films of the 1980s, and they still hold a powerful nostalgia for many who grew up during the era. Claudia Wells was particularly notable for portraying the character of Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly’s girlfriend.

However, she did not return for the sequel. As rnilbog writes, “She did this to take care of her mother who had cancer. In fact, she would become a successful businesswoman in her own right, demonstrating just how much it is possible to create a career out of the spotlight, even after holding such a high position.

Jaye Davidson

The Crying Game garnered quite a few comments when it was released. Largely, that’s because it introduces a transgender character, Dil, a revelation that occurs halfway through the film and was considered a “twist” at the time and now obviously problematic. Jaye Davidson’s performance as the character has been rightly praised for its emotional richness and authenticity.

As oohlah2 says: “Jaye Davidson […] was nominated for an Oscar in his first film, The Crying Game 1992. He only did 3 more films after that, one of which was Stargate. Like many before and afters, Davidson made the choice to leave the industry before it could crush it.

Ariana Richards

Jurassic Park is arguably one of the best films of the 1990s, and it casts a very long shadow over science fiction history. It also featured a cast of very memorable characters, including young Lex, who turns out to be something of a computer genius, and his ability to manipulate computers is precisely what allows him to restart the park.

Although Ariana Richards gives a memorable performance in the film, she ultimately didn’t pursue many projects afterward. As ConstableGrey puts it, she “had a few small roles in the ’90s, but then became a full-time artist.”

Moira Shearer

Moira Shearer is best known for her appearance in the hauntingly beautiful film The Red Shoes. She delivered a remarkable performance, made all the more so by the fact that she was by training a dancer and not an actress.

As Vernawoods notes, “She was so apprehensive about playing the part in The Red Shoes because she didn’t think she could resume her ballet career afterwards because the ballet being filmed was never taken seriously.” She only really starred in two other Powell & Pressburger movies. Although she has acted in very few films, she has earned her place in the Hollywood firmament thanks to The Red Shoes.

Pierre Hinwood

There are few films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is widely regarded as one of the best cult films. Although Tim Curry steals the show as the delightfully campy Dr. Frank, Peter Hinwood also made an impression as the muscular hunk created by the doctor.

In fact, however, it was one of only three film appearances he made. AnyNamesLeftAnymore writes, “Without lowering his eyes, Peter Hinwood as Rocky Horror just didn’t like acting and he’s an antique dealer now.” Although he now cherishes the quiet life he leads, he still made a strong impression in Rocky Horror.

George Lazenby

Many actors have taken on the iconic role of James Bond. While George Lazenby isn’t generally considered one of the best Bonds out there, considering he’s only starred in one movie, he still deserves a lot of credit for his ability to pull off the role quite seamlessly.

CassiusCreed has this to say about Lazenby’s career: “George Lazenby played James Bond once, then gave it his all. There’s a documentary about him called Becoming Bond which is awesome. The life this guy led was absurd. Although he’s not as prominent as Connery, Moore, Brosnan or Craig, it’s still impossible not to admire Lazenby.


While perhaps best known for her music, Bjork has also dabbled in other performing arts, particularly acting. Specifically, as sgmctabnxjs points out, “Bjork directed Dancer in the Dark by Lars von Trier. She won Best Actress at Cannes and the European Film Awards, and was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film itself also won major awards. Then she said she was never going to perform again (though she’s done a bit since then, but nothing major). »

Given her voluntary exile from Hollywood, it’s all the more remarkable that she appears in the dark historical epic The Northman. Although her appearance there is brief, it is definitely memorable.

10 Actors Who Had Huge Movie Roles Who Left Hollywood, According to Reddit | Pretty Reel