7 Famous Hollywood Stars Who Shocked Everyone With Their Acting Retirement- Daniel Day Lewis, Brendan Fraser and More

7 Famous Hollywood Stars Who Shocked Everyone With Their Acting Retirement- Daniel Day Lewis, Brendan Fraser and More
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Hollywood has always been a hectic and challenging industry. It takes years or even decades for an actor or actress to make a name for themselves. Once they are at the zenith, they continue to deliver exceptional performances in order to entertain the viewers of bring about a social message, before announcing their heart-breaking departure.


Yet, there have been some artists who stepped away from the world of acting or took an early break, disappointing fans worldwide. Here are seven famous Hollywood superstars who shocked everyone by their acting retirement.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis

Hollywood actor Daniel Day-Lewis
The million-dollar smile of Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis has given many blockbusters in the Hollywood industry such as Lincoln, There Will Be Blood, and The Last of the Mohicans. He is also the first three-time Oscar recipient of the Best Actor Award for his role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Following a hiatus of five years after winning the Oscar in 2012, Lewis returned to acting for Phantom Thread.


As it turned out, the 2017 American historical drama was his last acting role. Daniel Day-Lewis, then aged 60, announced his retirement and claimed that he had responsibility as an artist, and even though the audience believed in his work, he didn’t. His role as Reynolds Woodcock in Phantom Thread made him earn yet another nomination in the Academy Awards.

Also Read: Daniel Day-Lewis Threw His Film Career Away After He Felt Belittled on Stage

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow had a stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts, wife to Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.). She played side roles in the Iron Man franchise and even appeared in the superhit Avengers: Endgame movie. Iron Man died in the movie and it is enough reason for Pepper Potts to not return to MCU as per Paltrow.


Last year, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that she had lost her love for acting. The Academy Award winner for Best Actress for her role in Shakespeare In Love insisted that she wanted to focus on her Goop brand and spend quality time with her family. Her last known film appearance was in She Said (2022) although she hasn’t ruled out working in a movie directed by her husband, Brad Fulchuk.

3. Brendan Fraser

THE WHALE Trailer 2 (2022)

An acting sensation from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Brendan Fraser has starred in notable roles in films like George of the Jungle, The Mummy franchise, Encino Man, and Crash. He was at the pinnacle when, in a tragic turn, the actor took a lengthy break from Hollywood after being allegedly s*xually assaulted by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk.


The incident made Fraser reclusive. He stopped trusting the industry and even believed that he was blacklisted from Hollywood. Fortunately, he revitalized his love for acting in Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move (2021) and Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale (2022). Brendan Fraser is not planning to stop anytime soon and fans await his next film, an American comedy named Brothers.

4. Sean Connery

Sean Connery
The O.G. ‘007’ Sean Connery

Sean Connery passed away at the age of 90 on October 31, 2022. The Scottish-born actor was best known for his portrayal of British spy and agent James Bond, and the father of Indiana Jones, Henry Jones. In his last movie, released in 2003, Connery played the role of Allan Quartermain.

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman became the reason for Sean Connery’s exit from Hollywood. He was frustrated by the production and blamed director Stephen Norrington for the film not being appealing to the viewers. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the actor was heavily involved in the editing process to try and salvage the film.


Also Read: Sean Connery Threatened to Quit James Bond

Connery was offered roles in the Lord of the Rings franchise and even the Harry Potter franchise. It would’ve been interesting to see how he fared in the roles of Gandalf and Albus Dumbledore.

5. Kay Panabaker

Kay Panabaker
Kay Panabaker’s Disney love

Kay Panabaker’s breakout role came when she starred as Nikki Westerly in Summerland (2004). She became a part of Disney Channel in 2006 and starred alongside her sister, Danielle Panabaker, as well as Zac Efron and Dylan Sprouse. After playing Rosa in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta in 2012, Panabaker retired from acting and became a zoologist in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


Apart from her love for animals, one of the speculated reasons for Kay’s exit from Hollywood is the demands of the industry. While speaking in an interview with Naperville Magazine, she mentioned that a director told the then-21-year-old to lose weight for her role in Summerville even though she was just 100 pounds. It made her lose interest in the Hollywood sphere.

6. Meg Ryan

WHAT HAPPENS LATER | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street

Like many other superstars, Meg Ryan quit working full-time in Hollywood because she lost her passion for the industry. Family commitments also influenced her decision. She made her directorial debut with Ithaca in 2015 in which she also acted.


Following beloved roles in rom-coms like You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan will be returning to acting after eight years in the upcoming movie What Happens Later. It is scheduled to be released on November 3. Ryan has both acted and directed the rom-com in which ex-lovers Willa and Bill rekindle their passion for each other.

Also Read: Tom Hanks Turned Down $92M Movie With Meg Ryan

7. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey

From being a notoriously memorable superhero in The Mask to fighting a beloved children’s character as Dr. Robotnik in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Jim Carrey undoubtedly has had an illustrious career. He is a two-time Golden Globe winner, a five-time Teen Choice Award winner, and a four-time People’s Choice Award winner. Thus, it came as a shock when Carrey quit acting and chose to stay away from the limelight.


During an interview, the 61-year-old actor mentioned that he didn’t get any ‘challenging’ roles that would’ve kept his interest in acting intact. Moreover, he couldn’t cope with the hectic Hollywood schedules anymore. Terming a retirement to be fun, it doesn’t seem like Jim Carrey will be back in the acting industry after reprising his role in Sonic The Hedgehog 2.

Source: Instagram


Written by Spandan Chatterjee

Articles Published: 166

Spandan Chatterjee is a Freelance Anime Writer at FandomWire.

Spandan, who has been in the content industry for over two years, uses his passion for anime in his writing. He delivers the latest news, theories, and facts about various manga's including Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, and Bleach.

After completing his B.A. degree in English, Spandan is now pursuing a Masters degree in the same field.