8 Actors Who Now Work Regular Jobs

While many actors enter the industry and continue to ascend to further stardom, there are many actors who now work regular jobs. However, this is not to discredit their time in the spotlight. Many actors choose to step away from the limelight voluntarily to pursue other avenues or to live a more normal life away from the press.

It’s a common misconception that actors are constantly working on big projects, but the reality is that many actors work regular jobs in between roles to make ends meet. In fact, it’s not uncommon for actors to have multiple jobs or side hustles to supplement their income. This is especially true for those who are just starting out or between projects. Additionally, it’s also common for child stars to experience a different reality when they enter adulthood. Many child stars who were catapulted to fame at a young age find themselves struggling to transition into adult roles, and some may even decide that acting isn’t for them after all. So, here are 8 actors who now work regular jobs away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood.

Actor Name Movie/TV Show Name Now Works At Designation
Reed Alexander iCarly Insider Correspondent
Danny Pintauro Who’s the Boss Austin Pets Alive Vet Tech
Chris Owen American Pie Sushi restaurant in Santa Monica Waiter
Thomas Turgoose This Is England Local pub Bartender and DJ
Jeff Cohen The Goonies Entertainment law firm in Los Angeles Entertainment Lawyer
Peter Ostrum Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Countryside Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian
Jennifer Stone Wizards of Waverly Place Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center ER Nurse
Mara Wilson Matilda Freelance Writer

8. Reed Alexander

Actors Who Now Work Regular Jobs: Reed Alexander

Reed Alexander’s early career in show business was marked by great promise, as he landed roles in popular shows like Will & Grace and the hit Nickelodeon series iCarly. As a child star, he showcased his talent and charm on screen, captivating audiences with his performances. However, as he entered adulthood, Alexander made the unexpected decision to step away from acting and pursue a different path. He now works as a correspondent for Insider, where he covers the business of entertainment and the global media industry.

7. Danny Pintauro

Katherine Helmond, Danny Pintauro, and Judith Light in Who's the Boss? (1984)

Danny Pintauro was one of the most recognizable child stars of the 1980s, with a string of memorable roles to his name. He starred in the cult horror classic Cujo, alongside Dee Wallace, and landed a recurring role as Jonathan Bower on the popular sitcom Who’s the Boss. However, as he grew older, Pintauro made a drastic career change, leaving Hollywood behind to pursue a new passion in Texas. He relocated to Austin, where he began working as a vet tech at Austin Pets Alive, dedicating himself to helping animals in need. Despite stepping away from acting full-time, Pintauro still occasionally returns to the screen, with his most recent appearance being in the 2022 TV movie A Country Christmas Harmony.

6. Chris Owen

Actors Who Now Work Regular Jobs: Chris Owen

Chris Owen is most renowned for his role as Sherman “The Sherminator” in the classic teen comedy American Pie. He has also starred in acclaimed movies like October Sky and The Mist. However, as his roles became less easy to come by, he was spotted working as a waiter at a Sushi restaurant in Santa Monica. Despite this, Owen’s work as a waiter was merely a way to supplement his income in between acting roles. Although he hasn’t quite broke out in Hollywood after the success of American Pie, he still lands roles occasionally. In 2024, he starred in the lead role of the low-budget drama movie Money Game.

5. Thomas Turgoose

Thomas Turgoose in This is England

Thomas Turgoose was discovered by somewhat of an accident. While Shane Meadows was auditioning for his film This Is England at a youth centre in Grimsby, England, Turgoose joined the queue on a whim. However, he had one request – to be paid £5 for his audition. This cheeky attitude resonated with Meadows and Turgoose was subsequently cast in the lead role. From here, the two would work together many more times. However, outside of his work with Meadows, Turgoose’s roles have been rather sparse. To make ends meet, he works behind the bar at his local pub and DJs in the evening.

4. Jeff Cohen

Actors Who Now Work Regular Jobs: Jeff Cohen

The Goonies, a beloved adventure film of the 1980s, catapulted many of its young stars to global fame. While Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, and Sean Astin went on to achieve widespread recognition, Jeff Cohen‘s role as Chunk remains one of the most iconic. However, after the film’s success, Cohen surprisingly stepped away from the spotlight. He made only a few appearances in the following years, with his last credited role coming in the 1991 TV movie Perfect Harmony. Cohen’s decision to leave Hollywood was marked by a desire for education and a new career path. He earned his juris doctor from the UCLA School of Law and is now a successful entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, having traded in his acting shoes for a briefcase.

3. Peter Ostrum

Actors Who Now Work Regular Jobs: Peter Ostrum

Peter Ostrum‘s portrayal of Charlie Bucket in the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is an iconic role that has endured for generations. Despite being a part of one of the most beloved films of all time, Ostrum never pursued another acting role. Instead, he followed his passion for animals and began practicing as a veterinarian at Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Lowville, New York in July 1985. He continued to work as a veterinarian until his retirement in September 2023. Today, Ostrum still resides in New York with his wife and occasionally makes public appearances to share his experiences and insights about his time on the set of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

2. Jennifer Stone

Jennifer Stone

Jennifer Stone, a talented young actress known for her roles in the TV series Wizards of Waverly Place and the film Mean Girls 2, began her acting career at a remarkably young age, starring in stage productions at just six years old. As she rose to fame, Stone made a surprising decision to leave the spotlight behind, opting to pursue a college education instead. She initially studied psychology, but later switched to nursing, earning her degree from a prestigious institution. After completing her studies, Stone landed a job at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where she has been working in the ER since 2020. Her last credited acting role was in the 2019 film Santa Girl, marking a full-circle transition from Hollywood to healthcare.

1. Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson in Matilda (1996)

Mara Wilson was a beloved fixture in Hollywood’s early 1990s, captivating audiences with her precocious performances in iconic films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. At the height of her fame, Wilson’s talent and charisma earned her widespread acclaim and recognition. However, in a shocking move, she stepped away from acting at the peak of her success. In an interview with The Guardian in 2023, Wilson revealed the profound impact that her mother’s passing from cancer had on her life, as well as the struggles she faced with intrusive journalists and demanding fans. With characteristic candor, she shared her candid thoughts on the challenges of being a child star, stating: “I don’t think you can be a child star without there being some kind of lasting damage.”

Today, Wilson mostly writes. In 2016, she released her memoir “Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame“. She also lends her voice to many audiobooks and the podcast, Welcome to Night Vale. She tries her best to live a quiet life in New York City.

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