You may remember this strapping young buck from The Sandlot. Mike Vitar played the role of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez. The Sandlot was up there with the most nostalgic films of all time for us millennials. But since the movie, Vitar quit acting and he became a fireman. However, he isn’t the hero you would think. Vitar just barely dodged prison after he was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon on a college student. The student’s heart stopped beating and he nearly died.
Austin St. John was the hunky red Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Like Vitar, St. John also went into a line of work that helps people. Unlike Vitar, he actually helps and not almost kills people. He is a certified paramedic.
Gene Hackman was a world-class actor for several decades. He officially retired from acting after his 2004 film, Welcome to Mooseport. Now Hackman works on historical fiction novels. His buddy Morgan Freeman was particularly upset he went into retirement. “He’s retired! Silly man,” Freeman said. “You take talent like that away from me! I’m not happy about that.”
Jeff Cohen was the adorable chubster named Chunk in the nostalgic classic, The Goonies. But while the “Truffle-Shuffle,” is seared into all our brains, Cohen put acting behind him. He now works as an entertainment lawyer. He’s also not chunky anymore.
While King Joffrey from Game of Thrones was the absolute worst, Jack Gleeson is actually a pretty nice guy. After Joffrey was killed off in 2014, Gleeson decided to focus on school. He went on to study philosophy and theology at Trinity College in Dublin, where he now lives.
Amanda Bynes was a child star who got her start on All That. She had a bunch of roles in teenage flicks, with her last being Easy A in 2010. But, Bynes suffered a very public nervous breakdown that took her through a few rehab stints. Now Bynes is focusing her energy on fashion and design.
You may remember Karyn Parsons as the pretty older sister Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She now does humanitarian work and works with a non-profit that educates the public about African-American historical figures.
Danny Lloyd and his finger played little Danny Torrance and Tony, respectively, in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film, The Shining. But, Danny gave up acting in ’82. Now he is a pig farmer and teaches biology at a community college in Kentucky.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, or JTT, was every girl’s heartthrob in the ‘90s. He appeared on all the J14 covers, and he was the voice of Simba in The Lion King. He also starred alongside Tim Allen in Home Improvement. But, after Home Improvement’s final season, JTT gave up on acting and focused on school. He went to Harvard and then studied abroad at St. Andrews.
Geena Davis had a very successful career as an actress, starring in films like Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own and Beetlejuice. Now Davis focuses on her non-profit organization, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The organization researches and advocates for gender equality in media.
Michael Schoeffling made a lot of teenage girls swoon in the 1980s. He starred in the movie Sixteen Candles opposite Molly Ringwald. Now he focuses on his family, and works as a carpenter in Pennsylvania.
Peter Ostrum played the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was his only role. Ostrum went to vet school and completed his degree in 1984. He now works as a veterinary doctor in Lowville, NY.
Kel Mitchell was half of the duo Kenan & Kel. But, unlike Kenan, who went on to have a successful career on Saturday Night Live, Kel decided to quit acting. He now focuses on his faith and his family. He did hint at a potential Good Burger remake.
America fell in love with Frankie Muniz (and Bryan Cranston … yumm) in Malcom in the Middle. After some small roles in films in his teenage years, he gave up on acting and tried his hand in various pursuits. He was a racecar driver until around 2011. He then also played drums in a band called Kingsfoil.
Oh, Daniel Day Lewis, he is arguably the greatest actor in the world. Nobody commits to a role like he does. But, sadly, Lewis declared this year that he is done with acting. His last role will be in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming film Phantom Thread. He’s only 60 years old, and has a lot more acting in him. But, he does have a flair for the dramatic, so who knows if he’ll ever return to acting.