5 Forgotten Teen Idols – Inside the Lives of Celebrities Now Far from the Spotlight

Celebrities like John Walmsley, Leif Garrett, Bo Derek, and more gave up their Hollywood lives for more normal ones. Some of these stars relocated to quieter places while others took on selfless medical work.

Ali MacGraw, Bobby Sherman, and other celebrities are now living completely different lives than the ones they led while in Hollywood. Some of them found their true callings like activism and more. Read on to learn all about what they’re doing now.

John Walmsley’s Life after “The Waltons”

Jon Walmsley was famously known for playing the role of John-Boy’s younger brother, Jason Walton, on the television series “The Waltons,” which premiered in 1972 and ran for nine seasons until 1981.

Jon Walmsley as Jason Walton and Judy Norton Taylor as Mary Ellen Walton on the set of an episode of “The Waltons” on September 20, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

Since October 2019, Walmsley has been living away from the spotlight in Cornwall, Britain, after relocating from California, Living an anonymous life with her wife, Marion, the pair doesn’t have any children.

Walmsley’s parents were originally from Lancashire, Britain. They relocated to California when he was two, and he fell in love with Cornwall during a visit. Speaking about his anonymity in the quiet town, the voice of Christopher Robin for Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” said:

“I don’t really get recognized as I changed my look a few years ago and now look quite different than on ‘The Waltons.'”

Instead of being upset that people didn’t know who he was, the successful musician shared how being anonymous was an advantage for him because he was a people-watcher. He noted how people tended to act differently around celebrities.

Walmsley said he and his wife loved the coastal path, the woods, the sea, the sheep, the farms, the wild ponies, the cows, and the “good food” where they now live. He explained how they’d gone there for vacations for years and that it started feeling like home.

On his music website, Walmsley recalled how he and his wife had chosen not to go on vacation in 2018 but to move to England in the summer. By June of that year, they’d already sold their car and RV and bid their friends and neighbors in Maine goodbye.

Some of the items Walmsley took with him to England included two parakeets he inherited from his mother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. The actor and Marion started a new life, bought a car, opened a bank account, and registered with the National Health Service.

The couple has since been enjoying the moors, coastal paths, historic churches, and pubs in Cornwall. According to IMDb, Walmsley retired from acting and seemed to be thriving out of the spotlight. In a 2018 Thanksgiving post on Facebook, Marion was photographed kissing her husband on the cheek, with him confessing how “thankful” he was for his wife.

A drastic change in his appearance was also evident—he was gaunter, and his full red hair was replaced by shorter grays. He was also sporting a gray beard and mustache. This was a far cry from his images in February and June 2015, when he looked more like what his fans were used to. Being out of the limelight has been good for Jon Walmsley, who celebrated a big milestone in 2023 – turning 67!

Leif Garrett- The former Teen Heartthrob

Leif Garrett, along with David and Shaun Cassidy and the Bay City Rollers, was one of the names people thought of when it came to ’70s teenage idols. The “I Was Made for Dancin'” singer earned worldwide fans for his boyish looks and pop songs.

Leif Garrett during Music File Photos in the 1970s in Los Angeles | Source: Getty Images

However, in 2023, he saddened fans when they saw his look at age 61. The star was a wholesome act that was inoffensive to his mainly pre-teenage girl fans and their parents, but his adult career was doomed.

In the mid-’80s, his career was pretty much done, although Garrett went back to acting in movies that didn’t gain much traction. Sadly, he was also struggling with substance abuse and the guilt over his involvement in one of his friends, Roland Winkler, becoming paralyzed from a car accident.

Leif Garrett posing for a photo circa 1970 | Source: Getty Images

Over two decades ago, Garrett was drunk and high when he drove off the Hollywood Freeway, leaving Winkler, who died in 2017, paralyzed.

On March 30, 2023, author and actress Ginger Coyote shared a Facebook photo of Garrett and revealed it was what he looked like the last time she saw him. In the image, he looked different while wearing a bandana on his head, a scarf, and a jacket.

One fan responded to the post with a sad word for his appearance, “Aww.” Another person noted how they’d had “such a crush” on the singer for the longest time but that his story tugged at their heartstrings, while someone else could only say:


Leif Garrett in 1977 at the Music File Photos in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

On March 20, 2023, another fan shared what looked like an album cover of one of Garrett’s offerings when he was still a big celebrity. The person revealed that they had his pictures on their wall in 1997. Someone else thought what happened to him and Winkler was a “shame,” and the actor became addicted to illegal substances.

The singer once confessed what led to his addiction and downfall, with the details, possibly shocking his fans. During his 2020 interview, Garrett revealed that when he was a teenage idol, his managers lied and said he was sick from exhaustion when they were pushing for his shows to be sold out.

The musician had to feign sickness and was “living this lie.” The goal was for him to come off as having a perfect image of what they wanted from him, but he knew it was wrong. As a young man, he also had a chance to have a musical career, but instead of starting immediately with training, his voice was processed until it barely sounded like him.

A background singer, Jim Haas, was brought in, and the person’s voice was quite prominent, and sometimes Garrett felt like they were making that person’s record and not his. The star felt like they were taking advantage of him for his looks when all he wanted to do was act.


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