Navigating the spotlight can be tricky. Navigating the end of the spotlight can be even trickier.
Some stars move into logically-connected careers (Mark Hamill’s largest post-Luke Skywalker role was voicing The Joker for Batman: The Animated Series).
Then again, some stars … don’t. These are nine stars with the post-fame careers that we (and maybe they) never saw coming.
Peter Weller, Art History
Peter Weller’s booming baritone (“Your move, creep!”) anchored three Robocop movies. After that, though, he abruptly pivoted into the world of art history. Weller has spent large chunks of the past 20 years in Italy, and he is currently working towards a PhD in Italian Renaissance art history from UCLA.
Jeff Cohen, Lawyer
There’s precious little truffle-shuffling in the current day-to-day of Jeff Cohen, best known in film-land as Chunk from The Goonies: He’s an entertainment lawyer now. Then again, apparently a rowdy crowd of 10,000 Berkeley students once pressured him into doing the dance at a football game, so maybe that first sentence wasn’t entirely accurate.
Michael Schoeffling, Carpenter
Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles makes custom furniture in Pennsylvania. That is so diametrically opposed to his pretty rich boy image from Sixteen Candles as to be sublime.
Jonathan Bennett, Spin Instructor
Bennett, who played object of Lohan-lust Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, has been keeping busy in between acting jobs by working as a spin instructor in L.A. Bennett hasn’t forgotten his roots, though: His Twitter bio references a line in Mean Girls: “I get it … my hair looks sexy pushed back.”
Taran Noah Smith, Vegan Food Entrepeneur
The actor who played the youngest of Tim Allen’s three boys on Home Improvement (all three actors who played them had three names, by the way – conspiracy?) started his own vegan cheese company, Playfood, and has also worked as an installation artist.
Vanilla Ice, House Flipper
Long after “Ice Ice Baby” and “Ninja Rap,” the former Rob Van Winkle‘s career took a decidedly non-musical turn. Ice started flipping houses, beginning with a few he bought at the height of his success, and discovered he was pretty good at it. How good? Well, as of last year, he didn’t even know how many houses he actually owned, which is not a problem a lot of unsuccessful real estate magnates have.
David Lee Roth, EMT
During Van Halen’s heyday, more people probably expected Roth to be rescued by EMTs rather than do the rescuing. So, it was more than a little odd that the wild singer got EMT training in the early 2000s, eventually participating in over 200 individual rides. Linda Reissman, Roth’s EMT consultant and tutor, told The New York Post that “[Roth] has probably turned out to be one of the best students I have ever had.”
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Missile Designer
Yes, a guy who used to play with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers (and whose nickname is also a strain of potent marijuana) works on missile defense for the U.S. government. No, we’re not joking. It started as a hobby and a few magazine subscriptions, and now Baxter consults for the NSA. To quote the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange trip it’s been.
Deborah Foreman, Fitness Instructor
The Valley Girl star is now a certified Pilates instructor and teaches yoga. She also hand-makes jewelry, and she owns a web design business called Fried Ham Productions. We consider making it to the gym after work twice a week a major life accomplishment.
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