5 Stars Who Retired Way Too Soon (Like Daniel Day-Lewis)

Daniel Day-Lewis is going out on top.

How else can you describe the reclusive star, a man with three Oscars to his credit and all the critical acclaim anyone could receive, retiring at the peak of his powers?


Day-Lewis announced this week that he’s no longer pursuing acting roles following the late 2017 release of “Phantom Thread.” That film, directed by his “There Will Be Blood” collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson, ends an astonishing film career — assuming he stays true to his word.

Only Day-Lewis isn’t the only performer to call it quits earlier than expected. The following five stars did just that, leaving fans begging for more.

Gene Hackman

The “French Connection” star is a legend, the kind of actor who could turn even mediocre fare into something special. His work in “Superman,” “Unforgiven,” and “Hoosiers” etched a legacy few could equal.

Yet after the disappointing 2004 comedy “Welcome to Mooseport,” Hackman announced his retirement. Since then, he’s done some writing but kept his word about staying away from the big screen.

His gain remains our loss.

Tina Turner

The R&B legend’s legs got plenty of attention. It was her indomitable spirit that shook us to our core. Those pipes. Those performances. The sheer power of her presence made her iconic.

Yet at a time when rockers keep on rolling until the Grim Reaper taps on their shoulder, Turner decided to bow out gracefully.


“I can’t keep up with Janet Jackson. I’m not a diva like Diana Ross,” she said. “I’m rock and roll, but I’m happy I can do it one more time so people can remember me at my best.”

Sometimes the greats have a sense of timing as potent as their talent.

Sean Connery

Hackman called it quits on his own terms, but his final screen credit remains a blemish on his resume. The same holds true for Connery, whose last major film role came with 2003’s awful “League of Extraordinary Gentleman.”

Since then he’s been off the pop-culture radar. He’s hardly forgotten though.

Connery remains the quintessential James Bond. His acting career hardly ended when he gave up 007’s license to kill. In fact, in his later years he became renowned for his senior citizen sexuality.

Randy Quaid

Here’s one of the most peculiar Hollywood stories … ever. The versatile character actor generated some odd headlines following his turn in 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain.” Later, he started spouting conspiracy theories about dead celebrities and the mysterious forces that snuffed them out. He feared he could be next.

He hasn’t had a gig since 2009, and he may get in trouble if he steps foot in certain U.S. states again. It’s a long story.


He’s not officially retired from acting and said he wouldn’t mind taking on new gigs. His personal saga may prevent that from ever happening though.

Quaid may be a troubled soul, but his unique performances in movies like “Christmas Vacation,” “Kingpin” and “The Last Detail” are sorely missed.

Sidney Poitier

The first black actor to win an Academy Award brought so much more to Hollywood than just that record-smashing act. He inspired all of us with his dignity and grace. Iconic roles in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” “Blackboard Jungle” and “In the Heat of the Night” entranced us.

He did far more than entertain.

He smashed color barriers, paving the way for a more inclusive Hollywood. Yet the handsome star wasn’t driven to act. He took a break during most of the 1980s and then unofficially retired following the 2001 film “The Last Brickmaker in America.”



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