Are there any movie/TV stars that said something like “I’ve made enough money for a lifetime, now I will go back to working in theater.” or something like that? I understand that in order to make it in the entertainment business, you need to be quite driven, so it is probably quite difficult to give up fame and fortune and adulation.
The only one I can think of who stepped away was Rick Moranis, in order to look after his kids. (But I think he has a movie coming out soon…)
Phoebe Cates is one that comes to mind. Not quite an A-list actor but she worked steadily through he 80s and 90s, then mostly stopped acting by the mid / late 90s, supposedly to focus on raising her two children.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was in a number of big films in the late '80s and '90s, but film career essentially ended after 2000’s The Perfect Storm. Since then, she’s done some TV and stage work. I don’t know how much of that was a conscious choice on her part (she does have two sons), versus movie roles becoming rarer for her once she reached her 40s.
Maybe you should have a separate category for actors who started out as child actors and then stopped as young adults. Into which category I submit Angus T. Jones, from Two and a Half Men. He had one sitcom appearance after that, and nothing since 2016.
Interesting quote from him on IMDB. Apparently he thought TaaHM was filth and didn’t want to be on it (no idea how old he was when he said or wrote that, but probably near the end of the run).
Jack Gleeson, the actor who played Joffrey in Game of Thrones, has claimed he is done with acting because he found playing the character and the audience reaction to him for it to be so unpleasant.
Dan Stevens quit ‘Downton Abbey’, ostensibly because he disliked film and TV work and wanted to return to the stage. But since then he’s been in all kinds of stuff, so either he thought twice about it or was offered too much money, or it was
We probably need a separate category for actors like Mira Sorvino, who ‘retired’ from Hollywood because she wouldn’t do Harvey Weinstein and he had her black-balled. I think there are a few of those…
There are also actors who ‘retired’ but in actuality they were simply unable to get meaningful work. It sounds better to say you retired than that the only acting gig you can get is for a commercial for local car dealer,