The HOOK

6 Child Actors Who Gave Up Hollywood For Normal Jobs

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

Acting can be a ruthless mistress. You could be the most wanted person in Hollywood one day and then be promoting sofas for a low-key British brand on daytime television the next.

Acting can be a ruthless mistress. You could be the most wanted person in Hollywood one day and then be promoting sofas for a low-key British brand on daytime television the next. Sure, some people wait it out and have huge career renaissances – a la Michael Keaton – but that doesn’t happen to everyone.

It’s even harder for child actors to be cast once they hit puberty. They often get thrown in a trap where they’re simultaneously typecast as kids but are too old to play kids.

That’s why some people drop out of the acting game altogether; either that or they just decided they didn’t like acting anymore.

Such as…

Skandar Keynes – Political Adviser

Back in 2003, Skandar Keynes captured hearts across the world as the only kid in the first Chronicles of Narnia film who could actually act. He was in the next two after that and then not much happened for him in the world of acting.

As of 2016, the now 27-year-old announced that he was no longer pursuing the world of acting, and instead became the parliamentary adviser to Tory MP Crispin Blunt. Most actors’ back-up plan, I believe…

Ariana Richards – Artist

A theme that will occur a few times in this article, things dried up for Richards in Hollywood after her role as a super-hacker in Jurassic Park. Hiding from dinos in kitchen cupboards is all well and good, but it only gets you so far.

With that, and after a few small-time appearances and odd jobs in the media, Ariana Richards focuses mainly on her painting now.

Peter Ostrum – Vet

Vet as in animal doctor, not ex-soldier.

Ostrum appeared only once on our screens as Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – which as one-time gigs go, isn’t a bad one.

After that, he decided to pursue his love for animals, and became a vet. He only auditioned for one more role, and that was in Equus.

Mara Wilson – Writer

Everyone loved Matilda – the best superhero film to date – Miracle on 34th Street and Mrs Doubtfire, so you’d have thought that Wilson’s acting career from then on would have been all peaches and cream, but no.

While she does still do some work, like voice-acting in Bojack Horseman, Wilson now focuses mainly on her writing and podcasting.

Jeff Cohen – Lawyer

Of course.

Famous mainly for the truffle shuffle, Jeff Cohen’s role in The Goonies is legendary. He was the first one to befriend Sloth, he loved ice cream, and he was just damn lovable.

But Cohen decided to end on a high, ditched the hair and the stomach and did what any of us would have done; he became an entertainment lawyer.

Danny Lloyd – Biology teacher

I suppose it would be hard to follow up on a Jack Nicholson-fronted Kubrick film, so Danny Lloyd didn’t bother.

Well, he had one more gig in a TV film called Will: G. Gordon Liddy, followed by a short stint as a pig farmer. As of now, Danny is a biology teacher at a community college.