Fame doesn't last forever. One decade you're riding high on Learjets and call girls, the next you're hawking autographs and hand jobs behind the Porta Johns at the county fair.
Of course, not all celebrities leave the limelight kicking and screaming. Some merely flip fame the bird and pursue new, absolutely random forms of employment.
#7. Jeff Cohen a.k.a. Chunk from The Goonies
He was Chunk. You know who we mean. For our culturally illiterate readers who grew up on Big Love-style polygamist compounds, we'll just say that in 1985, Richard Donner (of Lethal Weapon fame) directed the greatest adventure movie starring an obese child in the history of cinema. That film was The Goonies and that obese child was Chunk, whose epically humiliating Truffle Shuffle gave an entire generation of husky children a reason to swim with their t-shirts on.
After the Spotlight:
He grew up to be a big-shot Hollywood attorney.
Many child stars ride out their one shtick until they're septum-deep in a bucket of Bolivian Marching Powder, but Cohen avoided child star purgatory. He dropped the acting (and the weight) and attended UC Berkeley, where he rode out his one shtick to campus fame: Cohen ran for Student Body President on the platform "Vote for Chunk" and performed the Truffle Shuffle at Cal football games.
After obtaining his undergrad, Cohen attended UCLA Law and later founded his own media law firm, which is sadly not named Chunk, Sloth & Associates.
In 2008, Cohen was named one of The Hollywood Reporter's Top 35 Executives under 35. We assume Cohen entered law to defend the less fortunate of the world (or at least greater Los Angeles). After all, the Truffle Shuffle basically set fat kids' civil rights back 20 years.
#6. James Brian Hellwig a.k.a. The Ultimate Warrior
The 1980s were more or less about four things:
B.) The best comedy movies ever;
C.) Dressing like a transvestite prostitute;
D.) The culmination of all of the above, a.k.a. the glory days of pro wrestling.
James Brian Hellwig jumped aboard the 'rasling train after being a professional body builder and quickly became one of the WWE's biggest superstars. "The Ultimate Warrior" was touted as the next Hulk Hogan and even pinned the Hulkster for the WWE Championship in a passing-of-the-torch match.
After a series contract disputes with WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, Hellwig left wrestling. The Ultimate Warrior lost the spotlight, and the world lost the finest dramatic monologist since Spalding Gray:
After the Spotlight:
He became a right-wing pundit.
Hellwig returned to wrestling after his WWE dispute but never reached his prior, higher echelons of man-hugging. When Hellwig finally hung up his multi-colored tights, he legally changed his name to "Warrior" and became a conservative motivational speaker. This was a curious career move given that Hellwig's previous gig wasn't public speaking, but incoherent rambling.
During this time, Warrior made national headlines for his eloquent views on homosexuality. And by "eloquent," we mean "rock stupid." In a speech at the University of Connecticut, Warrior stated that "queering doesn't make the world work." He later tried to clarify this remark by explaining that no babies would be born if dudes only goosed other dudes.
No offense Mr. Warrior, but when you've released a comic book that depicts you molesting Santa Claus, we're pretty sure you've lost any right whatsoever to make fun of homosexuals.
In the end, that little comment got Warrior fired from his position as a speaker for the Young Republicans of America. Nowadays, his madness is confined to his blog, The Warrior's Machete, where you can buy his totally-worth-it $2,950 Ultimate Warrior oil paintings.
#5. Peter Weller a.k.a. RoboCop
Just as the Ultimate Warrior gave the children of the 1980s hope that they could somehow turn a lifetime of simmering mental illness into a wrestling career, Peter Weller's RoboCop inspired 80s kids to pursue careers in law enforcement. Of course, this particular vision of "law enforcement" was based on dying, being resurrected as a cyborg and beating the crap out of Red from That 70's Show.
After the Spotlight:
He's a fine arts scholar.
Some readers might have seen Weller hosting the History Channel's Engineering an Empire. It turns out that while Weller's showbiz star was fading, his academic one was rising.
In 2004, Weller received a Master's in Roman and Renaissance Art from Syracuse University. That's right: Friggin' RoboCop went back to school to get his M.A. in ancient aesthetics.
"Did you know the Stanze di Raffaello was actually commissioned by Pope Julius II to be his apartment?"
"Wrong answer, scumbag."
62-year-old Weller is presently working on his Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art at UCLA. At this point in the article, we'd be inclined to rib Weller for pursuing the "least RoboCop degree in the world" or some shit, but we can't help but applaud the guy after seeing the Ultimate Warrior's forays into fine art.
#4. Mason Betha a.k.a. The Rapper Ma$e
In 1997, the rap roster of Bad Boy Records was spitting hotness onto America's airwaves. You had The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Lil' Kim, Cracked house favorites The LOX ("Money, power, respect!") and then Puffy's protege Ma$e.
The $ is so you won't confuse it with Mace, which also spits hotness in your face.
Ma$e's day job was to cameo on Bad Boy singles, wear whatever insane jumpsuit Puffy was sporting that week and live up to the expectations of being hip-hop's next big thing.
After the Spotlight:
He became a preacher.
Rather than take up the mantle of the deceased Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e went a completely different route. In 1999, he retired to become a pastor. Yes, the man previously known as Murda Ma$e left the industry to follow God's calling.
"And the good Lord sayeth unto thee, 'Out of inner streets blaze plenty freaks; be the bad boy everybody wanna meet.'"
It's not unusual for famous people to discover the Lord, but it usually happens when they hit the rockiest of bottoms (see: MC Hammer). Ma$e quit at the top of his game - he left Bad Boy, began his own ministry and even produced his own Christian TV program, Born To Succeed. Sadly, the show's not all Eucharists filled with beluga caviar and Cristal.
Good on Ma$e for cleaning up his act, but we can't abide by the show's U2-lite soundtrack and public access production values. Hype Williams used to direct your videos for fuck's sake.