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Those were the Diaz We look at the A-List actors who quit at the top of their game for new careers

Actors who skipped silver screen fame for their true calling

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Cameron Diaz retired from acting and says she's happy as a mom

Cameron Diaz retired from acting and says she's happy as a mom

Cameron Diaz retired from acting and says she's happy as a mom

She’s the A-list star who walked away from Hollywood at the very height of her fame.

Cameron Diaz was a household name with a successful movie career when she decided to quietly step out of the limelight in 2014.

Diaz later revealed that she’d retired from acting — and judging by an interview she did with comedian Kevin Hart this week, she has no intention of returning any time soon.

She told Hart that she felt “whole” now that she’d stepped off the Hollywood wheel as she turned 40, able to manage her own life and even find time for love, marriage and family.

Diaz explained that “when you do something at a really high level for a long period of time” other parts of your life “have to sort of be handed off to other people”.

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Freddie Prinze Jnr quit acting for wrestling.

Freddie Prinze Jnr quit acting for wrestling.

Freddie Prinze Jnr quit acting for wrestling.

 

She added: “For me, I just really wanted to make my life manageable by me. My routine in a day is literally what I can manage to do by myself. I feel whole.”

Since quitting, Diaz met and married Benji Madden and the couple now have a daughter, Raddix. “I don’t have what it takes to give making a movie what it needs to be made. All of my energy is here,” she added.

It also gave her the chance to explore other career moves —Diaz has developed a wine brand and written two lifestyle books.

While it’s rare to see stars walking away from their field at the height of their success, others have decided the fame game is not for them and retired or pursued other careers.

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Amanda Bynes followed her passion for fashion.

Amanda Bynes followed her passion for fashion.

Amanda Bynes followed her passion for fashion.

 

Among them is Irish-based actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who quit acting in 2009 and since then has only been drawn back for two movie performances.

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After the second of those, The Phantom Thread, was released in 2017, Daniel said he was done for good, sending shockwaves through the industry.

He went public, he later said, because he wanted to “draw a line” under his decision, adding: “The impulse to quit took root in me.” “It was something I had to do,” he said of his decision.

“I need to believe in the value of what I’m doing. The work can seem vital. Irresistible, even. And if an audience believes it, that should be good enough for me.

But, lately, it isn’t.” The star, who has dual Irish and English citizenship, now divides his time between Ireland and New York.

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Actor Portia de Rossi, who is the wife of Ellen
DeGeneres, followed her passion for art.

Actor Portia de Rossi, who is the wife of Ellen DeGeneres, followed her passion for art.

Actor Portia de Rossi, who is the wife of Ellen DeGeneres, followed her passion for art.

 

Freddie Prinze Jr was one of the biggest names of the noughties, starring in hit movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and She’s All That. Stardom beckoned — but Freddie surprised his fans when he walked away from a screen career to pursue his other great passion — wrestling.

The star worked as a producer and director in WWE for many years before turning to commentary in recent times. Though he still does some voiceover work, he now leaves most of the acting to his wife, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Frankie Muniz became one of the biggest teen stars on the planet when he shone in Malcolm in the Middle, which became a global hit.

A longterm career in TV and film beckoned with hits like Agent Cody Banks and Big Fat Liar but Frankie decided to pursue a complete career U-turn by turning to his interest in motor racing.

He initially drove the pace car for iconic US race the Daytona 500, before driving for Jensen Motorsport.

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Kevin Jonas is an entrepreneur.

Kevin Jonas is an entrepreneur.

Kevin Jonas is an entrepreneur.

 

While he still dabbles in the occasional project — like horror/comedy Sharknado — for fun, most of Frankie’s time is spent pursuing other ventures including music and healthfoods.

Kevin Jonas found fame as one of the members of global superstars The Jonas Brothers.

A life in the public eye beckoned, but while brothers Nick and Joe pursued solo music projects, and Nick is also building a name for himself as an actor, Kevin shunned the limelight, developing his career as an entrepreneur with numerous property interests.

He still takes part in occasional legacy gigs with his brothers, but these days you’re more likely to find him in a boardroom than a bandroom.

Amanda Bynes was a big name in the movie business, with hit roles in films like She’s the Man and Easy A. But after struggling with personal issues and a number of very public scrapes and meltdowns, Amanda opted to quit.

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Daniel Day Lewis.

Daniel Day Lewis.

Daniel Day Lewis.

 

“I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid,” she later said in an interview. She later returned to college to study fashion and design. Now a successful designer, she admits she struggled after stepping down.

“I just had no purpose in life. I’d been working my whole life and [now] I was doing nothing.”

Portia de Rossi is another big name star who was feeling unfulfilled after years of acting in series like Ally McBeal and Arrested Development. The wife of Ellen DeGeneres turned to consumer art and set up a company that reproduces paintings.

“I was approaching 45 and I was wondering is there something that I could tackle now that I’ve never done before that would be really challenging and different,” she said.

“I kind of knew what acting would look like for me for the next 10,20 years, so I decided to quit and start a business.” She continues to run it to this day.

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