Rick Moranis was becoming an increasingly popular actor in Hollywood when he suddenly disappeared from the big screen. His reason for quitting the film industry is tragic. However, he may be persuaded to make a comeback to acting, which is what we’ve all been waiting for!
Rick Moranis was a huge star in the 1980s and ’90s
The Canadian comedian found early success when he joined SCTV in 1980, starring as Bob McKenzie in The Great White North comedy sketch. The role later earned its own film, titled The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew (1983).
Moranis’ career really took off during the late 1980s and ’90s as he transitioned to American films. He starred in many major movies that made him a legend in Hollywood, including the original Ghostbusters films, Spaceballs (1987) and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.
However, his acting career was abruptly brought to an end. Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves was his final film, released in 1997.
A tragedy caused a shift in focus
At the height of his career, Moranis and his family were struck by tragedy. He’d married his wife, Ann Belsky, in 1986 and they had two children together. Sadly, in 1991, Belsky died from breast cancer at just 35 years old. Interestingly it was never Moranis’ intention to step away from the big screen, but, following the loss of his wife, he knew he had to shift his focus to raising their children.
“It wasn’t a formal decision,” Moranis explained. “It began in an already busy year where I declined a film that was being shot out of town as the school year was beginning.” He added, “Stuff happens to people all the time, and people make adjustments, change careers, move to another city. Really, that’s all I did.”
Moranis feels the shift was completely normal and that the only reason anyone paid any attention was because he was famous.
“The decision in my case to become a stay-at-home dad, which people do all the time, I guess wouldn’t have meant as much to people if I had had a very simple kind of make-a-living existence… But because I came from celebrity and fame and what was the peak of a career, that was intriguing to people. To me, it wasn’t that. I didn’t have anything to do with that. It was work, and it was just time to make an adjustment,” he said.
Rick Moranis didn’t entirely ‘disappear’
Although Moranis hasn’t appeared in a live-action film for over 25 years, he hasn’t disappeared entirely from the entertainment business – in fact, even he doesn’t consider himself fully retired. That’s because he’s kept busy doing other kinds of work.
Moranis has done some voice acting in the past, including in Brother Bear (2003) and Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids (2003). He also created the Bob & Doug (2009-13) animated television series and released multiple comedy albums, one of which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album.
Additionally, he’s written op-eds for The New York Times.
What’s important is that Moranis doesn’t feel any regret about stepping away from his acting career. “I was working with really interesting people, wonderful people,” he explained. “I went from that to being at home with a couple of little kids, which is a very different lifestyle. But it was important to me. I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. My life is wonderful.”
Many roles have been turned down
It’s no surprise Moranis has been offered several roles over the years, but has turned them all down.
“I’m happy with the things I said yes to, and I’m very happy with the many things I’ve said no to. Yes, I am picky, and I’ll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me,” he said. “I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I’ll probably do it.”
Some of the offers have been for remakes and spin-offs of movies he starred in earlier in his career. When the 2016 Ghostbusters remake was being filmed, Moranis turned down an appearance, saying, “I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?” There were also rumors he might appear in Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021), but this also didn’t happen.
Moranis once mentioned, “I’m surprised that Disney hasn’t done Honey, I Shrunk the Grandkids.” However, his prediction came partially true, as he was later offered a role in a new spin-off of the film called Shrunk, which he’s slated to appear in. The movie is supposed to center on his character’s now grown-up son, who will be played by Josh Gad.
Rick Moranis has been on-screen since his departure – just not in films
Moranis admitted that, now that his children are grown up, he’s thought about making a return to acting. “I missed the people and I missed the very refreshing nature of doing something radically different every day. [Being a stay-at-home parent] is a very different kind of life than being on the set with Aykroyd and Murray and Steve Martin,” he said.
That could explain why he agreed to appear in the Disney+ docuseries Prop Culture in 2020. The episode focused on props from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Moranis said, “If [Honey, I Shrunk the Kids] were made today, it would be made very differently, probably just with green screen and computer-generated stuff.”
Beyond that, Moranis has made a few appearances elsewhere, including a commercial with Ryan Reynolds.
Victim of an attack
Despite laying low recently, Moranis made headlines after he became the victim of a random attack in New York City.
In 2020, a man approached him in the street, punched him in the face, and fled the scene. Moranis suffered minor injuries and filed a police report. As it turned out, he wasn’t the only victim that afternoon. Marquis Ventura, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was swiftly caught and pleaded guilty to several accounts of assault.
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Shrunk is in pre-production, and we can’t wait to see Rick Moranis return to acting when it’s released!
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