Television has been a pivotal source of content and storytelling. It's able to tell a level of narrative that's often just too complex for a feature film. In addition to how it's helped revolutionize how we consume media, television has also been an important medium to discover the next big stars. So many celebrities have gotten their start and been discovered on the small screen.
Sometimes these stars remain mainstays of the medium or migrate over to film. However, what also sometimes happens is that celebrities will make a major splash on TV, but then disappear from the limelight. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it's always interesting when the biggest stars suddenly vanish. Accordingly, Here Are Why You’ll Never See Those 19 Stars On TV Again.
19 Terrence Howard – He’s “Bringing Truth To The World”
This is the most recent development on here considering that Howard is still on television. However, he stated in September of 2019 to Extra, that after this final season of Empire concludes, that he’ll be done with acting. Howard hasn’t been clear exactly about what he’ll do next, but he’s said that he’s “done pretending” and focused on “bringing truth to the world.”
18 Amanda Bynes – Pursuing An Education
Amanda Bynes had quite the storied career on Nickelodeon. She was not only a part of several shows, but she had her own series in the form of The Amanda Show. Bynes was even able to parlay this fame into a stint in film, too. Bynes had to retreat from fame from a little bit and has since focused herself on education. She's enrolled in California's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Even if Bynes does pivot back to acting, it seems like it would be in film instead of TV.
17 Jack Gleeson –Traded His Crown For Textbooks
Jack Gleeson played the character that everybody loved to hate on Game of Thrones, King Joffrey. Gleeson brought the slimy Joffrey to life for a number of years, but soon learned that acting wasn’t what he was interested in with his life. Now Gleeson studies theology and philosophy at Trinity College.
16 Sarah Michelle Gellar – She’s Focused On Baking And Her Family
Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn’t just the lead of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for seven seasons, as she’s popped up in more recent television series like Ringer and The Crazy Ones. In spite of these credits, Gellar has co-founded FoodSitrs, a company that puts together baking kits. To be fair, Gellar hasn’t officially retired from acting and it hasn’t been that long since she’s been on TV. She and her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. have taken a much more family-centric approach to life, but it’s not impossible for her to return to television.
15 Dylan Sprouse – He Runs A Brewery
Twins that become an acting duo can be tricky. That whole routine can be awfully cute when they’re young, but it can be difficult to maintain that appeal and chemistry in later years. Accordingly, of the two Sprouse twins from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Cole stayed in the acting game while Dylan exited. Dylan’s passion now lies in self-brewing. The former actor even operates his own brewery in Brooklyn.
14 Karyn Parsons – She’s Become A Charity Case
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air helped put Will Smith on many people's maps in a big way, but the entire Banks family was full of some considerable talent. Karyn Parsons gave a memorable performance as the spoiled, ungrateful member of the Banks family, Hilary. Parsons left the acting world and instead turned her efforts to charities. Parsons runs the Sweet Blackberry Foundation, which helps educate youth about important African American figures.
13 Jonathan Taylor Thomas – He Now Leads A Less Public Life
Of the Taylor children on Home Improvement, Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ Randy was absolutely the most popular. Thomas had an illustrious career outside of Home Improvement that also extended into film. Years later, he continued to act, but his roles were fewer and far between. Thomas says he was never that focused on fame. Instead, he went to Harvard and adopted a quieter life. He’s been uninvolved with TV and film since 2016.
12 Doris Day – She Pursued A More Solitary Life
Doris Day was as big as it gets back in the '50s and '60s. She wasn't just the star of her own series, The Doris Day Show, but also a major presence in cinemas. After the show's fifth season, she retreated from Hollywood for a more private life. The ways in which the industry had changed had irked her too much. Of course, Day recently passed away in 2019, but even before that her interests had long since shifted away from television.
11 Josh Saviano – He’s A Lawyer Now
Josh Saviano’s Paul Pfeiffer from The Wonder Years may have been a highly awkward child, but Saviano has blossomed into quite the competent adult. Paul was an important pillar of The Wonder Years, but he didn’t stay in the spotlight, which can often be the case with child actors. Instead, Saviano went to Yale and then became a practicing lawyer in New York.
10 Lark Voorhies – She’s A Painter
The entire cast of Saved by the Bell were so effortless in their roles that it seemed like all of them would remain big stars. Some of them stuck with the various permutations of the series and with acting in general, but others, like Lark Voorhies, went in another direction. Voorhies’ Lisa Turtle was one of the show’s best characters, but Voorhies is now a painter.
9 Danny Tamberelli – He’s Now A Musician
The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a fundamental show for many '90s babies. It was an adventurous, ambitious kid's show and both Petes were a great example of lovable siblings. Little Pete, the younger of the two, was played by Danny Tamberelli. Tamberelli is now a musician instead of an actor, but he does host a podcast with his Pete & Pete co-star, Michael Maronna, that focuses on their old series.
8 Taran Noah Smith – He Now Runs A Vegan Food Company
Home Improvement was one of the biggest sitcoms in the ‘90s and, at a time, its popularity even surpassed Seinfeld. The sitcom centered on Tim Allen’s Tim Taylor, but the entire family was important. Taran Noah Smith played the youngest child in the Taylor family and did good work in the role. Now, Smith has launched Playfood, a vegan food company that specializes in cashew cheese spreads.
7 Andrew Shue – Co-Founded A Network Of Parenting Blogs
Back in the '90s, FOX was home to some of the steamiest soap operas. Melrose Place was a constant source of scandalous storylines and sexy stars. Among the cast of heartthrobs was Andrew Shue. Shue made a big impression on Melrose, but he's left acting behind for a rather interesting career pivot. Shue is responsible for co-founding CaféMom, a network of websites that all cater towards parenting with a slant towards women.
6 Michael Maronna – He Works Behind The Scenes
Michael Maronna is the other member of the pivotal Adventures of Pete & Pete. Maronna played Big Pete and he definitely commanded a certain presence that made it seem like he’d have a long career in television. Maronna may no longer be an actor, but he’s curiously still working within the television industry. Maronna is now an electrician for film and television, and found a career on the other side of the camera.
5 Isaac Lidsky – He’s Become A Brilliant Jack Of All Trades
Saved by the Bell: The New Class doesn’t have the best reputation, but Isaac Lidsky stands out as Barton 'Weasel' Wyzell. Wyzell is only on the show for one season, but this is because Lidsky learned he’d be going blind due to retinitis. Lidsky accumulates an incredible resume along this journey. He goes to Harvard at 15, is a law clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and co-founded his own successful business.
4 Steven Anthony Lawrence - He Teaches Now
Most people remember Disney’s Even Stevens for how it put a young Shia Labeouf on the map. However, of the many eccentric characters on the series, the most chaotic was certainly “Beans.” Steven Anthony Lawrence played Beans with an unbridled glee. Lawrence may show up occasionally in commercials, but his focus now is on teaching. Lawrence teaches at USC and Berkeley while also instructing high school students, too.
3 Crystal McKellar – She Became A Harvard Girl
Crystal McKellar’s Becky Slater may not have been as much of a focus as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, but she was still a huge part of the series. Both Crystal and her sister, Danica, give amazing performances in the series, but Crystal would pursue other avenues with her life. McKellar got her J.D. at Harvard after studying at both Yale and Oxford. Now she’s the legal counsel and managing director for a prestigious management firm.
2 Portia De Rossi – She’s Become A Philanthropist
Portia De Rossi has had some very fortunate roles in comedic series like Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, and Better Off Ted. De Rossi still had plenty of cache, but she decided that she had “aged out” of acting and that she’d like to retire. Her appearance in Arrested Development’s fifth season is her final performance. Now she’s starting businesses and trying to give back.
1 Angus T. Jones – He’s In the Management Game Now
Angus T. Jones was the beloved “half man” in CBS’ long-running Two and a Half Men. His boyishness helped balance out the show’s bluer tendencies, but as Jones got older, he became more disillusioned with acting and Hollywood in general. After a very public admonishment of the series, Jones quit acting at 21 years old. Now he’s involved with management at the production company Tonite.
Sources: People.com, BusinessInsider.com, Ranker.com