Did you know some ormer actors pursued different career paths after making a name for themselves? Let’s take a look at those who either took an acting hiatus or completely retired from the industry.
After actors gained fame debuting in hit television shows, some decided to pursue alternative careers. They found their true calling outside of Hollywood, finding success in the “real world.”
Jennifer Stone – ER Nurse
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We all fell in love with Alex Russo’s best friend, Harper Finkle, on the hit Disney Channel show Wizards of Waverly Place. While she is known for her eccentric fashion, she also acts as Alex’s conscience with her intelligence and good manners. Jennifer Stone seemed to embrace this good-natured character, falling into a career in healthcare as an emergency room nurse.
After getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 20, she began to dive into healthcare. Jennifer had a negative experience dealing with healthcare after her diagnosis, so she took matters into her own hands and educated herself. The actress wanted to ensure that others received a more positive experience than her and got the help they needed. After enrolling in nursing school, she volunteered at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, eventually acquiring a job. Jennifer considered the hospital community her home, collaborating with like-minded people. The actress even made headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing her experience as a front-line worker and advocating for people to follow health protocols.
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Dylan Sprouse – Mead Brewer
Dylan Sprouse is definitely living the sweet life after starring on his hit Disney Channel show, The Suite Life on Deck, with his twin brother Cole Sprouse. While Cole continued his acting career, being featured in Riverdale, Dylan found a career as a master brewer. He manages a brewery in Brooklyn in 2017 named All-Wise Meadery, after his Heathen religion. He implements ancient techniques, which involve minimal intervention in the process, and infuse the product with natural elements like tea, herbs, and vegetables.
His interest in mead started as a teen. He tells People Magazine, “I was also interested in the history and the lore … I don’t think there’s been a part of my life since I was 16 years old when I didn’t have a batch of mead brewing.”
After his career on Disney Channel, Dylan studied video game design at NYU, all the while brewing mead in his college dorm…with his resident advisor. It’s safe to say that he lived the college experience on his own terms. All that practice in his dorm made him the youngest master brewer in the U.S.
Danielle Fishel – Bloomingdale’s Gift-Wrapper
Boy Meets World wasn’t the last thing Danielle Fisher wrapped up. After finishing the classic 1990s sitcom, Fishel, who plays Topanga Lawrence, found a fulfilling career at a Bloomingdale’s department store in Newport Beach, California.
Danielle acquired the job as a gift-wrapper after impressing the store’s manager with her gift-wrapping skills. At first, an employee was unable to wrap a set of wine glasses she was purchasing as a wedding gift. The store manager came to reprimand the employee but ended up handing Danielle his card.
The actress decided to fill out the application and ended up getting hired. She tells Insider that she enjoys wrapping presents and even said that she was great at customer service. Some people would recognize her from the show or ask if others told her she looks like Topanga. She would reply with a simple “yes.”
Reed Alexander – Journalist
Carly’s nemesis, Nevel, on Nickelodeon’s ICarly, is no longer making people “rue the day” on Nevelocity.com. Instead, former actor Reed Alexander found another public platform. Reed is now a journalist for the highly acclaimed Business Insider and Wall Street Journal. He covers the business of the entertainment industry and Wall Street’s bank investments.
After ICarly, Reed no longer felt acting to be his calling. He went off to earn a degree in journalism at NYU earning a master’s at Columbia University. On the podcast Growing Up With Devon, the former actor explains that he was around journalists when on the show and became interested in their work. He wanted to interview people and have “smart conversations with fascinating people.”
He certainly maintained his public platform, earning a place in one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the Next Generation for 2022.
Frankie Muniz – Race Car Driver
Best known for his role as Malcolm in Malcolm In The Middle, Frankie Muniz has most notably pursued a career as a race car driver. According to the Associated Press, the actor is leading in the ARCA series and expressed his goal to reach the Cup series. He entered 14 races once the show ended in 2006. Three years later, he ended up in a crash and sustained injuries severe enough to keep him from the track for a couple of years. Frankie grew up as a fan of the sport, attending competitions in Charlotte and even having the opportunity to drive the pace car in 2001.
He tells AP News that he never wanted to be an actor, saying that when he entered racing he said to himself, “I chose this. And when I put my helmet on and leave pit land, as much as I don’t know, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”