The Hollywood stars who quit acting

By Genevieve Hassan
Entertainment reporter

image source, EPA

Daniel Day-Lewis surprised Hollywood this week by announcing his retirement from acting.

Although he still has one film due to be released later this year - Phantom Thread, based on the fashion world of 1950s London - after he finishes its promotion he "will no longer be working as an actor".

Whether he can be tempted back out of retirement remains to be seen, but here are nine other stars who have quit the profession.

Cameron Diaz

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You might not have realised, but Cameron Diaz hasn't been in a film since 2014's Annie, nor does she have any films in the pipeline.

She recently explained why she stepped out of the spotlight at an event run by her best mate, Gwyneth Paltrow.

"I just went, 'I can't really say who I am to myself.' Which is a hard thing to face up to. I felt the need to make myself whole," she said at a Goop Wellness Summit.

In the years since, she has married Good Charlotte singer Benji Madden and published two books - The Body Book, a health and fitness manual, and The Longevity Book, about the art and science of growing older.

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Once voted the sexiest man of the 20th Century, James Bond star Sir Sean Connery quit acting after filming The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003.

He didn't officially confirm his retirement until he received the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award in 2006.

Although according to his friend Sir Michael Caine, it was the movie business that retired the Bond star "because he didn't want to play small parts about old men and they weren't offering him any young parts in romantic leads".

Sir Sean has since been enjoying retirement, spending his days playing golf and has been spotted at the odd tennis tournament.

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Canadian actor Rick Moranis rose up Hollywood's ranks after appearing in hit films such as Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Little Shop of Horrors and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

However he began scaling back his acting work after his wife died of cancer in 1991 and retired from on-screen work completely in 1997 to concentrate on raising his children.

"I'm a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the travelling involved in making movies," he told USA Today in 2005.

"So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn't miss it."

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One of the most famous child actors, Shirley Temple was awarded a special juvenile Oscar in 1935 for her contribution to film that year when she was just seven years old.

But as she grew older her appeal declined and she retired from acting in 1950 at the grand old age of 22.

She returned to the spotlight in the late 1960s as a politician and diplomat, and became the US ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989.

She continued to work in public service including for the United Nations until she died in 2014 aged 85.

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As King Joffrey on hit TV show Game of Thrones, (SPOILER ALERT) Jack Gleeson played one of the most hated characters on TV for three years, but when his character was killed off in season three, the star decided to kill off his acting career too.

"I've been acting since age eight," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to... whereas up until now it was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun - I enjoyed it.

"When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It's not like I hate it, it's just not what I want to do."

Gleeson went on to study philosophy and theology at Dublin's Trinity College, although he dipped a toe back into performing when he took a puppet show, called Bears in Space, to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and London's Soho Theatre in 2015.

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Amanda Bynes hit the big time in her teens when she scored her own programme - The Amanda Show - on Nickelodeon.

A string of teen films followed which you may have seen more than once or twice on TV recently - What a Girl Wants (2003), where she finds out her dad is Colin Firth who is trying to become prime minister; She's the Man (2006), a modern take on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; and the big-screen adaptation of the musical Hairspray.

Once touted as a young Lucille Ball, her last film role was in 2010 - the same year she tweeted: "If I don't love something anymore I stop doing it. I don't love acting anymore so I've stopped doing it."

In the years since, she's had more than one brush with the law for drunk driving and substance abuse, but the actress - who is now 31 - recently gave an interview saying she was now three years sober and wanted to start acting again.

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"I want to be alone," Greta Garbo was famed for saying - and in the end, she really meant it.

The actress was one of Hollywood's most enigmatic stars in the 1930s. Desperate for privacy, she never gave any interviews, signed autographs or attended premieres - much to the frustration of the press.

She retired from acting when she was 36, saying she was "tired of Hollywood" and "wanted to live another life".

But her early retirement and subsequent reclusiveness meant she remained eternally young on screen and in people's minds.

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After a five-decade career and Oscar wins in 1971 for The French Connection and 1992 for Unforgiven, Gene Hackman told veteran US TV host Larry King in 2004 he was retiring.

Four years later in an interview with Reuters he said although he missed acting, he didn't want to do it any longer.

"The business for me is very stressful. The compromises that you have to make in films are just part of the beast, and it had gotten to a point where I just didn't feel like I wanted to do it anymore," he said.

Since he retired, he's written three novels.

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Doris Day was one of the biggest stars by the 1960s thanks to her double singing and acting career, in films such as Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk and Move Over, Darling.

Her last film was in 1968 and after a brief stint on TV, announced she was retiring from acting in 1975.

Now 95, she has since dedicated her life to working as an animal welfare advocate, and set up the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978.

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