Life beyond thespic stardomBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Some stars make so much money that they don’t have to do anything else. Others, however, feel the need to have sidelines not just for additional income, but also because they want to express themselves in other ways, to give vent to their nonperforming impulses and talents.
Take the iconic singer, Tony Bennett. He’s still a popular performing artist, but he’s similarly made a name for himself as a visual artist, with some of his paintings fetching a lot of money.
Ditto for former screen siren, Gina Lollobrigida, who’s carved an alternative niche as a photographer and book author.
For her part, Julie Andrews has joined a rather large aggregation of stars who have become authors of books for children, with some of their illustrated stories ending up on bestseller lists.
Paul Newman, who used to be a top draw in the movies, was a chef and philanthropist before he passed away in 2008. His salad dressings, which he used to just give to family members and friends, have become so popular that he’s had to set up a huge food production business.
The big difference is that Newman’s business, “Newman’s Own,” donates all of its profits to charity. Since 1982, his food and drink products have raised over $200 million!
Apart from music-making, the late Beatle George Harrison produced movies, too! The quiet Beatle founded HandMade Films with Dennis O’Brien many years ago to bankroll the production of “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” a controversial project that had difficulty finding the usual financing.
Since then, Harrison’s company acquired the reputation for producing “risky” projects that may not otherwise have been produced, like “Time Bandits,” “Withnail and I” and “The Long Good Friday.”
What about Paul McCartney? He’s still very much in the music biz. And Ringo Starr? He’s successfully launched a new career as a voice-over artist for TV and film projects!
Mickey Rourke was a popular leading man in the ’80s, but made a big career shift in 1991, and became a professional boxer. How well did he do in the ring? Well, he never lost a fight in his three-year career as a professional pugilist!
Significantly, he made a comeback as an actor in 2008, playing a has-been in “The Wrestler,” and his portrayal was so good that it even got an Oscar nomination!
Al Green was a popular R&B singer in the ’70s, but a personal tragedy moved him to reevaluate his life, and he has reinvented himself—as an ordained pastor!
Peter Ostrum was a child actor (“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”), but realized that acting and stardom weren’t for him. So, he turned down a three-year contract and instead studied to be— a veterinarian!
Roger Daltrey was the front man of the hit rock ’n’ roll band, The Who, for decades. His job now is much less glitzy and stressful—he runs his own trout farm, the Lakedown Trout Fishery!
DJ and electronica musician Moby has given up the thrills and treats of show business and is now the owner of a tea shop, “TeaNY,” which is known for its 100-percent natural ingredients.
On the local entertainment scene, we have our share of stars, who are also weekend visual artists, led by action hero Cesar Montano, who has had his own one-man art exhibit. Luis Manzano has a fleet of taxi cabs; Vina Morales, a chain of beauty salons— while Sheryl Cruz makes really interesting handbags!
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