ByBen Turner, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. This is a no-muggle space.
Ben Turner

Many of us were taken aback last week when Miley Cyrus alluded to retirement when she said it would be her last red carpet ever. For someone so young and on top of her game, it's unusual to take such a radical step by ducking out of the limelight at a time when the GP simply can't get enough of them.

Unusual, yes, but it has happened with other celebs before, who were also at the top of their game when they made the bold decision to rapidly withdraw from the media when everything was professionally going well.

Here is a list of 10 celebrities who gave it all up at the peak of their fame.

1. Miley Cyrus

She went from Disney star to the most controversial pop icon of her generation. Miley's controversy worked in her favor as her image has formed part of the millennial Zeitgeist; hits like 'Wrecking Ball' and 'We Can't Stop' have achieved massive commercial success, and the star has collected a heap of awards and nominations.

That's why it was surprising last week when she posted on Instagram saying that it would be her last red carpet ever. Hopefully the 22-year-old will rethink her decision if she truly does intend to retire.

2. Lauryn Hill

When Lauryn Hill went solo and broke off from The Fugees, no one could have predicted the immediate success her first solo album 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,' would have.

In its first week, the album became the highest selling opening sales for a female artist ever. The album was nominated for 10 Grammys and won 5.

Lauryn featured on the covers of Time and Esquire and was heralded as being a driving component in the assimilation of hip hop into mainstream music -- a trend that is still popular to this day.

However, just when everyone's attention shifted to Lauryn's sophomore album, the star went AWOL. At an unplugged event, which featured her and her guitar at an incredibly stripped back event, Lauryn debuted some new song ideas. She discussed how her discomfort with the illusion of fame, her stifling perfectionism, and mental health issues had made her take a step back. She also wanted to reconnect with her religion.

She was known for saying:

"How did this thing that I love so much so easily and so quickly turn into something I loathe and hate?

To this day, Lauryn never followed up with a sophomore album, even though there are many demos lying about.

3. Kel Mitchell

For a '90s child, Keenan and Kel is up there with shows like Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Friends as being childhood defining. After the hit show ended, Kel went into obscurity while his co-star, Keenan Thompson, went on to SNL.

Some speculate that it was the bad relationship that developed between Kel and Keenan that made Kel pull back, and others say he wanted to move to more behind-the-scenes roles.

Kel went so quiet that for many years people believed he had committed suicide.

4. Kevin Jonas

Unlikes his two brothers who have maintained their public profiles, Kevin left his glistening pop career to become a contractor. Perhaps he is now following his true passion.

5. Adele (for several years)

Adele is a funny one because she hasn't retired, but rather does 4 or 5 year retirements between her once-in-a-generation successful albums. After '21' went on to become the biggest selling album of the 21st century, selling 30 million copies worldwide and earning a heap of awards, Adele immediately left the spotlight.

At one point she was ready to completely retire as things had gone so well that she thought it would be nice to leave the industry on a positive note. Furthermore, when it came to writing new material she found herself suffering from writer's block.

In the end, it was the birth of her son that made her rethink her retirement plans and gave her the inspiration to write '25,' which is doing incredibly well in the charts. Although, you can expect her to take another retirement for 5 to 7 years once '25' has settled down!

6. Macauley Culkin

This childhood super star really had it all: being friends with Michael Jackson and appearing in one of his music videos, being the star of Home Alone, and being proclaimed the biggest childhood star of his time.

Then all of a sudden, at age 14, the star decided to retire from the spotlight. This was done in an effort to spite his father, Kit, who did not sound like a pleasant person and was very mean to Macauley.

"My father was overbearing. Very controlling. He was always the way he is, even before my success. He’d play mind games to make sure I knew my place."

Another reason why Macauley retired may have just been because he was so damn rich for a 14-year-old.

"I'd made enough money by 12 to never have to work again."

These days, Macauley is working on music.

7. Mara Wilson

Mara's childhood acting career was not short of impressive. Matilda, Miracle on 34th Street and Mrs. Doubtfire were massive movies in their time. But after 2000's Thomas and the Magic Rail Road, Mara stopped acting.

Mara discovered that there were other outlets for her "creative urges" and she went to New York University to do a degree in Art.

On getting back into acting, this is what Mara had to say:

"It's not my 'thing' anymore, if it ever was. Yes, I do still act [on stage] sometimes. But when I do, it's with people I know and trust, people who respect me as a person and appreciate what I have to offer.”

8. Rick Moranis

Moranis's career was doing incredibly well, appearing in films like Ghostbusters and Honey! I Shrunk the Kids. But in 1997, Moranis left Hollywood to become a full time stay-at-home dad. A few years earlier he lost wife to breast cancer and realized the importance of being present in his kids' lives rather than as a movie star father they would get to know through the screen.

Moranis claimed that he, himself, had a very nice childhood and he wanted to create that for his kids as much as he could.

"When my kids came home, there was music, and there were lights on, and there were great smells coming out of the kitchen [...] it was just a joyful place to be, and what's what I wanted.
90 percent of success is just being there."

9. Frankie Muniz

At the tender age of 19, the Malcolm in the Middle star had $40,000,000.00 in the bank. I think any of us would also retire if we had similar funds, am I right?

It seems that Frankie has been enjoying his life as much as possible. He has taken up race car driving, is now engaged and is also known for doing a lot of traveling.

10. Ariana Richards

Richards played the young girl Lex Murphy in the first Jurassic Park film. During her adolescence she realized that education was important and so she put the breaks on her rising acting career to get her Bachelor's from Skidmore College.

The now 36-year-old enjoys a career as a painter. She even sent Steven Spielberg, with whom she has kept in touch, one of her paintings that now hangs proudly in his office (the one below that recreates the 'jelly scene' from Jurassic Park).

Ariana is one of the only retirees that doesn't have such a firm lid on her acting career. Saying that when she isn't too engrossed in her world in front of the easel, she does keep an eye on what is happening in Hollywood.

The picture on the right was made by Richards
The picture on the right was made by Richards


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