Ever wondered where the little superstar from Home Alone went? He’s not the only one to strike it big in the ballpark and then make a quick exit. (Well Macaulay Culkin did try to make a comeback later but who cares now?)

Here’s a list of actors who became Hollywood stars and found a place in our hearts, but couldn’t last long in the industry and departed earlier than we would have expected.

Rick Moranis

The late 90’s actor, who worked in some of the biggest comedies of the time, including ‘The Flintstones’, ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’, and many more worth watching spectacular movies, left the world of cinema in 1997 and hasn’t appeared in any live action film ever since.
His reason for taking an early exit from the world of cinema shocked many people. Just like any other good man, Moranis put his family first and took the responsibility of his kids after his wife’s sudden death.
The former actor did lend his voice for a few animated films though, including Disney’s Brother Bear franchise, along with releasing comedy albums.

2. Michael Schoeffling

Remember the high school boy of ‘Sixteen Candles’ from 1984? If you’re from that era, you’d be wondering where Michael Schoeffling has been lately. Could anyone have imagined that the actor from ‘Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken’ now runs a furniture business?
Yes, that high school crush of the 80’s era now lives in Pennsylvania, making stuff up with wood. Surprisingly, his wife also gave up on her modeling and career. His exit from Hollywood is so far in the past that we can’t even find out how he looks now!

3. Cynthia Rhodes


Known for giving top-notch performances in films like ‘Staying Alive’, the former actress of the 1980’s won the hearts of the audience. Her roles in ‘Flash Dance’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’ grabbed the attention of various film critics and she also received major acclamation for her excellent work. In 1991, she made her last appearance as a dance instructor in ‘Dirty Dancing’ where she was cast opposite Patrick Swayze. The director of ‘Staying Alive’ revealed interesting facts about her choices, referring to Cynthia’s continuous rejection of roles with demand for nudity. In fact Rhodes even refused to pose for the Playboy magazine. Her independent decisions surprised many in the times when cinema was mainly run by patriarchs.
She eventually decided to put her film career aside after becoming a mother of three kids.

4. Peter Ostrum

Have you ever wondered where little Charlie from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ disappeared? (You probably weren’t even born in 1971 to remember it, to be fair.) Interestingly, unlike our Harry Potter favourites, Ostrum declined the 3-film contract offered to him and decided that he was done with acting forever. The one-film wonder decided to leave the limelight and went on to become a renowned Veterinary Professional. Ostrum still has a special place for the movie in his heart and he often meets kids and students and tells them about his experience at “Chocolate Factory”. He was featured on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Kid Stars” in 2005

5. Bridget Fonda


Fans often ponder about Bridget Fonda’s early departure after the TV movie Snow Queen. The actress from Single White Female [1992] was the recipient of much wealth and fame. She took to the limelight with her very first role and was highly praised for everything she did in almost every movie. Even after being credited with a list of successful films under her belt, she chose to voluntarily retire from films. Fonda hasn’t appeared on the big screen since 2002, but even after staying away from the reels for more than a decade, she still grabs the attention of the paparazzi whenever she stands beside her award-winning husband Danny Elfman
on the red carpet.

6. Marissa Ribisi

The 1993 film ‘Dazed and Confused’ wouldn’t have been the big hit it was without Marissa, and this is not what we but trade-analytics say even today. The twin sister of actor ‘Giovanni Ribisi’ was expected to have a great career in films. Her co-written film ‘Some Girl’ was the talk of the town for every film spectator. With films like ‘Pleasantville and ‘Don’s Plum’, everyone thought she would last long, but in 2003, ‘Watching Ellie’ became her last film and after that, she didn’t make any appearance.

7. Mike Vitar

In the early 1990’s, when many films did not appeal to the teenage audience, there was a motion picture ‘Sandlot’ that got immense love from the younger baseball loving audience. The character of Jet Rodriguez took Mike to the heights of popularity as a young actor. Despite doing films like ‘The Mighty Ducks 2′, he drifted away from the world of films. In the year 1997, he joined the Los Angeles Fire Department and went on to become a firefighter.
He was in the news recently though, when he faced legal trouble along with his companions for assaulting a man to the death, in 2014.

8. Ilan Mitchell Smith

Could anyone have imagined a sci-fi film where two nerds created a girlfriend on their computer? Possibly not without Ilan Mitchell Smith, who was cast alongside Anthony Michael Hall in the teen film Weird Science. Even after portraying great roles in amazing movies like ‘Identity Crises’, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ (1989) and in a few episodes of the television series ‘Silk Stalkings’, he shifted his focus away from films. After leaving Hollywood, he earned his Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at Texas A&M University.

10. Kevin Jonas

The Jonas Brothers were an overnight sensation just a few years ago and though we still have Joe and Nick around, we haven’t really seen Kevin Jonas ever since their boy band split up in 2013. Kevin was part of a few but famous films and television shows with his brothers, including the Camp Rock series and Hannah Montana, but after parting ways with his brothers, he went on to found the real-estate development, construction company called JonasWerner, and is the co-CEO of The Blu Market company.
Even half a decade later, we still remember Kevin every time we come across the name Jonas, which is a lot, to be honest.

Deep inside, we all remember these stars and we often wonder what movies today would be if they were still around. Better? Worse? We’ll leave it to your imagination.

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