Just because a talent makes it big on the big screen doesn’t mean they don’t have other interests. Sometimes, they pursue entertainment for a while, then transition to very different roles, some quite surprising. Many child stars have gone on to pursue careers in law, politics, and professorship. Here’s a look at a few such stars who became very recognizable faces before deciding to embark on a totally different career path.
Peter Ostrum. As a young boy, Ostrum played a lead role in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. He would later become the founding member of Steely Dan and part of the Doobie Brothers. However, he was also fascinated with military software and hardware. He ultimately pursued this passion by becoming a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Charles Korsmo. Korsmo was a celebrated child actor who had a lead role as Peter Pan’s son in original Hook film. He didn’t stay in the limelight long, though. Korsmo pursued a physics degree at Yale University, and he now teaches law at Case Western University.
Josh Saviano. Remember Paul from The Wonder Years? Many years later, Saviano was accepted by both Harvard and Yale, and pursued at political science career at the latter. He received a J.D. at Yeshiva’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and worked as a partner at international law firm Morrison Cohen for eleveen years before returning once again to this first love and founding Act 3 Advisors.
Crystal McKellar. Speaking of The Wonder Years, childhood wonder McKellar, who played Becky Slater, focused her energy on education in her later years. McKellar went on to study at Yale and Oxford and earned her J.D. at Harvard. Today, she’s the managing director and legal counsel for Mithril Capital Management.
Michael Schoeffling. Schoeffling made teenaged girls swoon as Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles, a character that became a centerpiece to the plot of the 2017 film Fun Mom Dinner with mid-aged moms still reminiscing about his good looks. Schoeffling decided not to capitalize on his gift and chose instead to leave acting for a quieter life focused on carpentry, reportedly opening a woodworking shop in the rural countryside.
These entertainment icons are excellent examples of what it means to be human – we’re complicated, unique, and don’t have to be married to one career path indefinitely. If you’re feeling the exciting draw of the entertainment world, but are harboring other passions you’d like to pursue, fear not! Figure out a way to balance your plate and you can be a jack of all trades.