Actors That We’re Sad No Longer Make Movies

Hollywood is a business that sees actors come and go in the blink of an eye. Although there are stars that stay in the limelight for most of their career and audiences can’t get enough of them, they eventually call it quits in their later years. These are some of the actors who hung up the towel before audiences decided they had seen enough of them.

Gene Hackman

Picture of Gene Hackman
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Gene Hackman had a career in Hollywood that covered six decades and he has the awards to prove it. Over the years, he received two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Some of his most popular films are The French Connection, Unforgiven, Bonnie and Clyde, and Mississippi Burning. He was notable for his ability to perform in all genres. His final film was in 2004’s Welcome to Mooseport,” although he did have a small uncredited role in Clint Eastwood’s film The Mule in 2018.

Sidney Poitier

Picture of Sidney Poitier
United Artists
United Artists

Sidney Poitier made history as the first African-American to ever win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in 1963’s Lilies of the Field. He is renowned for a number of films such as Blackboard Jungle, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs, Uptown Saturday Night, and more.

Interestingly Poitier was usually known to be picky about his roles, only selecting those that had some sort of social context behind them. His last work was in the 2001 TV movie The Last Brickmaker in America. Potier has also worked for the United Nations and been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rick Moranis

Picture of Rick Moranis
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Along with Martin Short and John Candy, Rick Moranis became popular after the success of the Canadian sketch series SCTV, with Moranis playing Bob McKenzie in the “Great White North” sketches.

From there, Moranis found himself as the star of many classic comedy films of the 1980s such as Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Little Shop of Horrors. Unfortunately, after his wife passed away from breast cancer in 1991, he quit acting to take care of his children, claiming that it was going to be a temporary break, but he never came back.

Cameron Diaz

Picture of Cameron Diaz
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures

making a name for herself in comedy films, Cameron Diaz was named the highest-paid actress in Hollywood in 2013. Diaz made her film debut alongside Jim Carrey in 1994’s The Mask, before moving along to My Best Friend’s Wedding, and There’s Something About Mary.

However, she took on more complicated roles in movies like Being John Malcovich, Vanilla Sky, and gangs of New York. Her final role was in the 2014 film adaptation of Annie before announcing her retirement in 2018.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Picture of Day-Lewis
Miramax Films
Miramax Films

Actors like Daniel Day-Lewis only come around maybe once in a generation in Hollywood. He’s not in every movie that’s released, but when he is, his performances are groundbreaking, and the movies are always highly anticipated.

A known method actor, Day-Lewis has taken on a series of challenging roles in films like Lincoln, Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood, and his most recent, Phantom Thread. Already having won three Academy Awards for Best Actor, he claims it was his last film, but only time will tell.

Phoebe Cates

Picture of Phoebe Cates
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Phoebe Cates came into popularity after starring in Gremlins and Gremlins 2 and become a teenage heartthrob after the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released. Thank to her massive rise to fame, she had plenty of film offers coming her way.

After a few less-than-impressive films, Cates married Kevin Kline and retired from acting to raise her children. Since 1994, she has appeared in just one film which was 2001’s The Anniversary Party, which was coincidentally directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Amanda Bynes

Picture of Amanda Bynes
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Amanda Bynes was one of the biggest child stars of her time. She got her start in the business on the sketch comedy series All That, leading her to have her own series developed called The Amanda Show.

She gained further popularity on the WB sitcom What I Like About You and feature films such as Big Fat Liar, She’s the Man, Hairspray, Easy A, and more. Unfortunately, due to her substance abuse and legal issues, she announced that she was taking a break from acting in 2010 and hasn’t returned since.

Robert Redford

Picture of Robert Redford
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Robert Redford started as a stage actor before switching to television in shows such as The Twilight Zone, Barefoot in the Park, and The Voice of Charlie Pont, which garnered him much popularity. During this time, Reford also made his transition to film in War Hunt, becoming a lead actor in the 1960s and 70s in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Way We Were, and All the President’s Men.

In the 1980s, Redford continued as more than an actor, taking up the director position, working on several successful projects garnering him countless accolades during that decade. After his 2018 film, The Old Man & The Gun, he announced his intentions to retire.

Brendan Fraser

Picture of Fraser
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Brendan Fraser was a leading man in comedy and fantasy films such as Looney Tunes: Back in Action, George of the Jungle, Bedazzled, and arguably his most well-known, The Mummy trilogy. Yet, after one of his more dramatic roles in Crash, Fraser took a step back from filmmaking.

During that time, he began delving into television in shows such as Texas Rising, the Affair, Trust, and the DC Universe series Doom Patrol. However, there are rumors that Fraser will star in an upcoming A24 film titled The Whale.

Jack Gleeson

Picture of Jack Gleeson
HBO
HBO

Although Jack Gleeson is best known for impressively pulling off the deplorable King Joffrey Baratheon in HBO’s Game of Thrones, he had done several feature films before that role.

While his performance in Game of Thrones showed a lot of promise for the young actor, Gleeson felt that the profession was no longer for him. So, in 2014, he announced his retirement from acting to pursue academics and live a more typical life for a young man in his early 20s.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Picture of Thomas
ABC
ABC

Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a major childhood actor during the 1990s, most notably as Randy Taylor on the sitcom Home Improvement, voicing young Simba in The Lion King, and starring as Pinocchio in The Adventures of Pinocchio.

However, Thomas left Home Improvement in 1998 to focus on his education, studying philosophy and history at Harvard University and graduating from Columbia University School of General Studies in 2010. Since then, Thomas has appeared in a few Last Man Standing episodes with Tim Allen, but has no real intention of getting back into the business.

Winona Ryder

Picture of Winona Ryder
New World Pictures
New World Pictures

During the 1980s and into the 1990s, Winona Ryder was on fire with hit films such as Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Little Women, and more.

After starring in the Adam Sandler film Mr. Deeds, Ryder took a break from acting until she made a splash in the lead role on the television film When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story. Although she hasn’t been making films, her success as Joyce Byers on the hit Netflix series Stranger Things has audiences craving to see her on the big screen once again.

Emilio Estevez

Picture of Emilio Estevez
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

Emilio Estevez was a member of the “Brat Pack” in the 1980s, known for his roles in films such as The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, and St. Elmo’s Fire. Later in his career, he would make a resurgence in The Mighty Ducks, Repo Man, Maximum Overdrive, and Bobby, which he wrote and directed.

Incredibly, in 2017, it was announced this appearance in films had generated the highest return in investment on average of all Hollywood stars. Although he has been out of the spotlight for some time, in 2021, he will reprise his role as Coach Gordon Bombay in the Disney+ series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.

Jessica Lange

Picture of Jessica lange
paramount Pictures
paramount Pictures

Jessica Lange has had a highly successful career, earning her two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her film debut was in the 1976 remake of King Kong, and she continued to make movies throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.

However, in the 2010s, she began to focus on television, establishing herself as a dominant lead character in the FX horror anthology American Horror Story. Since then, she has continued to work in television with audiences patiently waiting for her to return to films after wowing audiences with her recent performances.

Michael Schoeffling

Picture of Michael Schoeffling
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Best known for playing Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles, Michael Schoeffling was a big name in the 1980s after working as a GQ model, and in films such as Vision Quest, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, Mermaids, and Sylvester.

However, after his time in the spotlight, Schoeffling decided to get out of Hollywood in the early 1990s. He then went on to make handcrafted wood furniture, even opening up his own woodworking shop. In 2005, he was named No.22 on Teen Magazine’s list of the “Biggest Hunks of the 1980s.”

Geena Davis

Picture of Geena Davis
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

After graduating from Boston University in 1979, Geena Davis signed with Zoli modeling agency before making her film debut in Tootsie in 1982. She became internationally famous after her performance in Beetlejuice in 1988 and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Accidental Tourist the same year.

Although she was in some box office successes, she was also in some failures such as Cutthroat Island and The Long Kiss Goodnight, which resulted in her stepping down as a major film actress. Since then, Davis has been in several television productions, with a few films sprinkled in here and there.

Warren Beatty

Picture of Warren Beatty
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Warren Beatty is an acclaimed actor, producer, director, and screenwriter that has been described as “the perfect producer.” Over his career that spanned over six decades, Warren Beatty was nominated for 15 Academy Awards and is the only person to have been nominated for acting, directing, writing, and producing the same film in Heaven Can Wait and again in Reds.

In 1999, he was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. However, in recent years, his films haven’t been as successful, and he has stayed relatively off the radar.

Bridget Fonda

Picture of Bridget Fonda
Miramax Films
Miramax Films

A member of Hollywood royalty, Bridget Fonda came into popularity in the 1990s, with some of her best roles in films such as The Godfather Part III, Singles, Single White Female, It Could Happen to You, and Jackie Brown.

However, her career began to fizzle out during the early 2000s after starring in the Jet Li film Kiss the Dragon. Her last roles were in the 2001 film The Whole Shebang and the TV movie Snow Queen.

Steve Martin

Picture of Steve Martin
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Steve Martin first came into popularity as a writer for The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour in the 1960s and later as a host on Saturday Night Live! In the 1970s. By the 1970s, Martin turned his attention toward acting, starring in numerous successful comedy hits such as The Jerk, Roxanne, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and more.

Later in his career, he starred in the Cheaper By The Dozen films and the romantic comedy It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep. Recently, he has been more focused on his music career, seemingly having turned most of his attention away from acting.

Mara Wilson

Picture of Mara Wilson
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures

After establishing herself as one of the biggest child actors of her generation, it seems that Mara Wilson made the personal decision to walk away from Hollywood, unlike most other child actors that are forced out.

Early on, Wilson starred in hits such as Mrs. Doutfire, Miracle on 34th Street. Matilda, and Thomas and the Magic Railroad. However, as she grew older, she concluded that people wanted her to change her appearance to fill roles, which she didn’t feel comfortable with.