10 Actors Who Have Quit Acting (Say it Ain't So, Brad Pitt!)

Sometimes even actors want to quit their jobs-- just like Brad Pitt.

-Lucia Peters, BettyConfidential.com

Brad PittBrad Pitt

Earlier this week, Brad Pitt announced on 60 Minutes that he plans to-gasp!-quit acting. Not only that, but he's got his exit strategy all thought out: Lately, he's been getting more into the producing side of things, so in a mere three years' time, that's where he plans to be. There also might be more kids in the future. Wait-- more? In addition to the six he and Angelina already have? Yep. "I don't know that we're finished," Brad said when asked how big he imagined his brood would get. Producing and kids? Quite a project, indeed!

Brad, though, is, of course, not the only actor who's ever quit. In fact, plenty have-including these 10 we've assembled right here. Some of them quit for personal reasons; some of them retired due to old age; and some of them… well, we're not really sure, but hey, it's their life. Furthermore, not all of them have actually stayed retired . Some of them (rather a lot of them, actually), later "un-quit," as it were. Which of these examples do you imagine Brad's quitting pattern will follow? Will he stay retired, like Sean Connery? Or will he un-quit, like Evangeline Lilly? Tell us what you think!

1. Taylor Momsen

Taylor MomsenTaylor Momsen

Taylor Momsen may have started out as sweet little Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but somewhere between there and the later seasons of Gossip Girl, she turned into a wild child. After getting into some trouble for her questionable behavior on the Gossip Girl set, her character was scheduled for an indefinite hiatus in 2010. Perhaps it wasn't a surprise, then, when she told Elle magazine that she'd quit acting to focus on music and her band, The Pretty Reckless. "Hopefully I'll be able to only do that for the rest of my life," she said. Let's just hope she can do it without imploding…

2. Amanda Bynes

Amanda BynesAmanda Bynes

Another former child star, Amanda Bynes launched her career during the golden age of '90s Nickelodeon, first as a cast member of All That and later as the star of her own show, The Amanda Show. In 2010, though, it seemed she'd had enough-or so she said. She announced on Twitter that she didn't love acting anymore, so she'd stopped doing it. A month later, though, she changed her mind, and along came Easy A. Go figure.

3. Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee CurtisJamie Lee Curtis

Former scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis told Access Hollywood in 2006, "I'm not an actor anymore. I really don't imagine I'll do that again. I'm just focused on my family and just can't imagine anything that's going to pull me away from them right now." She's actually made a few appearances onscreen since then-namely, 2007's Beverly Hills Chihuahua and 2010's You Again-but she's gone on to become an enormously successful author of children's books. Now that's something we can get behind!

4. Ryan Phillippe

Ryan PhillipeRyan Phillipe

After the release of The Lincoln Lawyer last summer and amidst a whirlwind of tabloid coverage about his romantic relationships, Ryan Phillippe told Page Six, "I think I'm going to end my acting career. I'm so introverted. I'm ready to be behind the scenes. I'm 36, but I've been doing this for 20 years." He has yet to make good on this, though; he's been steadily working in both film and television, including a 10-episode arc on Damages-his first regular TV gig since his breakout appearance on One Life to Live in the early '90s.

5. Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix

Just kidding! Joaquin Phoenix's "I quit" stunt ended up being just that: A stunt. In what became the biggest hoax of 2008, Joaquin announced that he was quitting acting to focus on a career as a rapper. This, of course, led to the immensely bizarre mockumentary I'm Still Here. And he is, in fact, still here; he'll be starring in Paul Thomas Anderson's next film, The Master, due out in 2012.

6. Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline LillyEvangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly stunned the world in 2010 when she announced that after Lost finished, she planned to retire from the business. "Acting is something I appreciate, and I think it's been an amazing experience, but I'm not passionate about acting the way you probably should be to call yourself an actor. I want to have some quiet space," she told E! Online. She may have not quite retired yet-she just made Real Steel, and she'll be appearing in Peter Jackson's much-anticipated film adaptation of The Hobbit as a newly-created elf character named Tauriel-but she's a new mom as well, so it's likely she'll be focusing on her family for a while now.

7. Kal Penn

Kal PennKal Penn

Kal Penn made perhaps the most drastic career change out of any retired actor when he left the business in order to go work for the Obama administration. His character on House was unceremoniously killed off, ensuring that he would never be obligated to appear on the show again. However, as of this year, he's back in show biz: He reprised the role that made him famous in the third Harold and Kumar film, which saw its release earlier this month, and he's been appearing as Robin's (Cobie Smulders) therapist/boyfriend on this season of How I Met Your Mother. So much for politics.

8. David Burtka

David BurtkaDavid Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris' partner David Burtka was once an actor as well (I saw him in the 2003 Broadway production of Gypsy, and believe you me, he was FANTASTIC), but as of 2009, he quit acting to become… a chef! He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2009 and has since been running a Los Angeles catering company called Gourmet M.D. Good for him!

9. Diane Lane

Diane LaneDiane Lane

Diane Lane called it quits in 2008 after she finished shooting Nights in Rodanthe with Richard Gere. "This film is the last film, and by that I could mean it in any way," she told Moviefone. But like so many others, she changed her mind not long after and starred in Secretariat, the 2010 Disney film about the 1973 Triple Crown-winning racehorse and his owner, Penny Chenery. She's also going to be taking on the role of Superman's Earth mom, Martha Kent, in Zack Snyder'sMan of Steel alongside Henry Caville. Not so retired after all, eh?

10. Sean Connery

Sean ConnerySean Connery

Ah, Sean Connery! James Bond! Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez! Zardoz! The famous Scot officially retired from his long and storied career in 2006 at the ripe old age of 76-and he's actually stayed retired. In fact, this past April, his spokesman confirmed yet again that he was good and finished with acting. He wouldn't even come out of retirement for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-because, as he put it, "Retirement is just too damned fun." Enjoy it, Sir Sean-you've earned it!



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