25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

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Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. It seems like everyone wants to be famous these days, but believe it or not, some very popular celebrities have decided to step out of the spotlight. Some famous people quit because they don't want to deal with the pressure of being a celebrity, while others quit so that they can raise a family.

Who is the most famous person who quit being famous? Elizabeth Hurley tops our list. In 2002, the Austin Powers actress stopped acting so that she could raise her son. "I just can't really make movies as well as be a mum and live in England," she told New York Magazine. "Something had to give, and I decided it wasn't going to be my relationship with my son. I decided I wanted to take him to school every day, which I do." Other famous actresses who quit being famous include Phoebe Cates, Meg Ryan, and Greta Garbo.

Dave Chappelle stunned fans and Hollywood insiders when he left the super successful "Chappelle's Show" at the height of its popularity in 2005. Chappelle took a trip to South Africa to regroup. He spoke about the decision, stating, "coming here I don't have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I'm interested in the kind of person I've got to become. I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced."

Why do you think these famous people decided to step out of the spotlight? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  1. Elizabeth Hurley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    In 2002, Austin Powers actress Elizabeth Hurley stopped acting so that she could raise her son.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Basingstoke, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor
    • Credits: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Bedazzled, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Serving Sara
  2. Sean Connery is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain
    In 2003, Sean Connery retired from Hollywood after his box office flop The League of Extraordinary Gentleman was released.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: Fountainbridge, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Dr. No, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock
  3. Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: kate gabrielle/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
    In 1965, Cary Grant retired from acting to focus on being a father.  He was 62 at the time.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 82 (1904-1986)
    • Birthplace: Horfield, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Actor
    • Credits: His Girl Friday, Notorious, North by Northwest, Charade
  4. Dave Chappelle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
    Dave Chappelle stunned fans and Hollywood insiders when he left the super successful "Chappelle's Show" at the height of its popularity in 2005. Chappelle took a trip to South Africa to regroup. He spoke about the decision, stating, "Coming here, I don't have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I'm interested in the kind of person I've got to become. I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced."
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
    • Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Block Party, Half Baked, Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth
  5. Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock
    In 1967, 39-year-old Shirley Temple turned her back on Hollywood. She went on to become an ambassador to the United Nations.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 86 (1928-2014)
    • Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Politician, Diplomat, Actor, Singer, Dancer
    • Credits: The Little Princess, Fort Apache, Heidi, Shirley Temple's Storybook
  6. Phoebe Cates is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High actress Phoebe Cates retired from acting in 1994 to raise her children and to spend time with her husband, Kevin Kline.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Entrepreneur, Model, Actor
    • Credits: Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Drop Dead Fred
  7. Meg Ryan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock
    Actress Meg Ryan stepped out of the Hollywood spotlight after she divorced her husband, Dennis Quaid, in 2001.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Sleepless in Seattle, Anastasia, When Harry Met Sally..., You've Got Mail
  8. Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous
    Photo: Chris Boland/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson withdrew from the spotlight from the late '70s until the 2000s due to drug addiction and mental illness.
    more ABOUT
    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Bassist, Arranger, Record producer, Pianist, Musician, + more
    • Credits: Forrest Gump, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Apocalypse Now
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