Retired and Loving Life! Stars Who Stepped Away From Hollywood and Couldn’t Be Happier

Plenty of A-list stars decided to call it a day on their acting careers by retiring from Hollywood. Some started their own businesses while others just enjoy the quiet life. These famous names decided to quit the industry and couldn't be happier.

Robert Redford

A cameo in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame notwithstanding, Robert, 87, announced he was done with acting after 2018’s The Old Man & the Gun. But he’s not one to call it retirement. “To me retirement means quitting something. I mean there’s this life to lead. Why not live it as much as you can as long as you can?”

Gene Hackman

Because of stress, Gene, who turns 94 on January 30, left showbiz following 2004’s Welcome to Mooseport and has delved into writing. “It’s very relaxing for me. You’re sitting there by yourself, as opposed to having 90 people sitting around waiting for you to entertain them!”

David Caruso

After CSI: Miami ended in 2012, David, 68, departed Hollywood for California’s San Fernando Valley and the quiet life — which suits him just fine. As he’s said, “I’m not ever gonna be real valuable as a celebrity. I don’t have the chops for it.”

Phoebe Cates

The star of 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High enjoyed slowing down after 1994’s Princess Caraboo to raise a family with husband Kevin Kline, then start her own NYC boutique, Blue Tree. “Acting really wasn’t an option for me,” said Phoebe, 60. “I wasn’t driven to do it again.”

Daniel Day-Lewis

“It was something I had to do,” confessed the three-time Oscar winner, 66, about his decision to stop acting after 2017’s Phantom Thread and “explore the world in a different way.” Still, he added, “I won’t know which way [I’ll] go. But I’m not going to stay idle. I don’t fear the stony silence.”

Jack Nicholson

Though Jack, 86, has never officially retired, the Oscar-winning star of pics à la 1983’s Terms of Endearment hasn’t made a movie since 2010’s How Do You Know. And according to his longtime pal, record producer Lou Adler, Jack’s OK with that. “He wants to be quiet. He wants to eat what he wants. He wants to live the life he wants."

Victoria Principal

Following TV’s Titans in 2010, this Dallas alum, 74, left acting to be a titan in her own right — with a successful cosmetics line, Principal Secret. “[The best part is] working for myself and being willing to take all of the blame when things go wrong and happy to take the credit when I get it right.”

Michael Caine

After more than 160 films, including 1966’s Alfie, Sir Michael, 90, announced his retirement with last year’s pic The Great Escaper. And, like Gene Hackman, he’s now content just putting pen to paper. “With writing you don’t have to get out of bed!”

Ali McGraw

When a tour of the play Love Letters, with pal Ryan O’Neal, ended in 2017, Ali, 84, settled back into her quiet life in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “I love it here because there are grown-up women — women who aren’t afraid to let their hair go gray.”