Fame isn't all that it's cracked up to be and the entertainment industry is known to be a fickle one. Although setting your sights on conquering Hollywood or the music industry doesn't always guarantee success or a secure future, these former celebrities have (mostly) taken their post-fame careers in stride and have branched out into other (mostly) successful, if not entirely random, careers.
Steven Seagal hit the big-time in the late ‘80s to the mid-‘90s, becoming the go-to action hero for anything involving a jaded law enforcement character that Bruce Willis was too busy for and Clint Eastwood was too old to play. His string of hit films included Above The Law, Hard To Kill, Out For Justice, and Under Siege, which basically sounds like the resume of a guy you don’t want to mess with.
Unfortunately for Seagal, by the late ‘90s his run of good luck had petered out and films such as On Deadly Ground, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, and Fire Down Below all failed critically and commercially.
While Seagal is still acting/producing/writing/being a Jack of all trades, he has yet to reach the level of fame he previously enjoyed and instead has put his energy into a variety of other pursuits.
Having trained in the art of Aikido since the age of 13 (even becoming the head of an organization called Tenshin Aikido in Osaka, Japan), Seagal also co-owned an Aikido dojo in West Hollywood until 1997, trained successful Brazilian mixed martial artists Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida before their individual wins, and was appointed the guardian and bodyguard of Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo, the 10th Panchen Lama of Tibet's only child, while she studied in the United States.
But wait, there's more.
He was recognized as a reincarnation of a 17th-century Tertön by a Tibetan lama, created a reality show based on his role as a reserve deputy sheriff in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, pursued philanthropic causes and was awarded the PETA Humanitarian Award in 1999, became friends with Vladimir Putin, gained Serbian citizenship, and released his first album in 2005.
Forever known as Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle, Muniz enjoyed considerable fame during the early 2000s, riding his MitM-fame to star in commercially successful films like Big Fat Liar and Agent Cody Banks (as well as its sequel) alongside then It-Girls Hilary Duff and Amanda Bynes. He also provided voice work for Racing Stripes and an episode of The Simpsons, before making cameos as himself in Stuck On You and Arrested Development.
By 2006, Muniz announced that he would be taking a break from acting in order to pursue his other passion - race car driving. He signed a two-year full-time deal with Jensen Motorsport in the Formula BMW competition, though his early racing career wasn't entirely successful and he was often amongst the last to finish. He did, however, win the Jovy Marcelo award for sportsmanship in 2008 as voted by his fellow drivers.
Apart from his love of racing, Muniz also pursued music, playing the drums for an unsigned band called You Hang Up, before joining Kingsfoil as a drummer in 2012 and then announcing his departure in 2014. He's since made appearances in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, but you can still catch a glimpse of his drumming days on YouTube.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse
From somehow managing to make movie-goers emotional with the line "I wipe my own ass!" in Big Daddy to becoming huge Disney stars with The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Dylan and Cole Sprouse became the most popular set of acting twins since the Olsens stole hearts in Full House and Lindsay Lohan pretended to be two people in The Parent Trap. With the huge success of The Suite Life - the show even earned three Emmy Award nominations - the Sprouse's became teen heartthrobs, launched a clothing line and even a magazine under the name Sprouse Bros Brand, and were named the highest-earning teenage Disney television actors in 2010.
Following the success of The Suite Life, both brothers enrolled at New York University, where they graduated with honors in 2015 - Cole as an archaeology major and Dylan in video game design. Since 2011, Cole has been pursing photography, posting his more artistic works on his personal Instagram while his other account, camera_duels, is dedicated to taking photos of the fans trying to take photos of him.
Dylan, on the other hand, was spotted working as a restaurant host in New York City in 2013, much to the confusion and surprise of fans. At the time, he defended himself by writing a Tumblr post:
I did not take this job because I “lost all my money”, I am financially secure, and took this job as a way to primarily feed my over bountiful video game addiction. I also too this as a way to try a new experience, working somewhat below the means I’m used to, as well as a way to socialize and get out of the house.
Power to him! Not only is he veering away from the usual troubles young stars often fall into (his Twitter bio hilariously states, "Child actor who didn't do meth"), but he and his brother are also International Ambassadors of the Koyamada Foundation, where they work to promote "peace, friendship, education and cultural diversity within international youth communities."
Other than being collectively known as "Oh, That Guy!" in '90s teen comedies, Chris Owen also enjoyed some fame as The Sherminator in the American Pie franchise, milking the role for all that it was worth in Every. Single. Title in the American Pie series (that includes all of the direct-to-video ones you never watched).
Once the roles stopped coming in for kleptomaniacs, canteen bullies, and other Sherman-esque characters, Owen worked sporadically, picking up roles in The Mist and an episode of The Mentalist. He also did some photography work on a film called The Horse Trader but otherwise, his most consistent work has come from working as a waiter in a Los Angeles sushi restaurant, called Sushi Roku.
According to his IMDB page, Owen is currently filming The Epidemic while another film called Off-Time is in post-production. No word on whether he still works as a waiter (which, for all we know, he may enjoy!) though it goes to show how quickly Hollywood can take you in and spit you out.
Another Disney Channel alumni, Kevin is the oldest of the Jonas clan and was one-third of The Jonas Brothers band back in their heyday. Together they starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock (alongside Demi Lovato), their own Disney Channel television series JONAS, and toured the world with four albums, a Grammy Award nomination, and an American Music Award under their belts. Separately, he starred alongside his wife, Danielle Deleasa, in their own reality show, Married to Jonas, which ran for two seasons.
Following on from his success as a teen heartthrob and eventual family-man, Kevin set his sights on other non-musical pursuits. While his brothers have enjoyed stints on Scream Queens and Grease: Live, Kevin turned to construction, a little-known pursuit that surprised viewers of The Real Housewives of New Jersey when he appeared in an episode as Kathy Wakile’s contractor.
Kevin launched his own company called JonasWerner, where they specialize in the "construction of custom homes and residential remodels throughout New Jersey," and by the looks of it, the venture is doing very well.
Jeff Cohen will always have a special place in the hearts of The Goonies fans. Playing the kinda-annoying-but-still-lovable Chunk, he will forever be remembered for his love of Baby Ruth's and the now-immortal Truffle Shuffle (and if you don't remember the Truffle Shuffle, you probably didn't have a childhood).
Following on from the success of The Goonies, Cohen took up bit parts in Family Ties and voiceover work in Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, but otherwise continued living life as a normal teenager, taking up football in high school and shedding the weight that made him famous. Moving away from the acting, Cohen made the transition to the business side of the film industry with the help of his Goonies director Richard Donner. He earned a degree in Business Administration at UC Berkeley in 1996 and then became an entertainment lawyer following his graduation from the UCLA School of Law in 2000.