Happy 86th birthday to Pope Benedict, the first pope in 719 years to resign the papacy out of his own free will. To be fair, another pope was did give up his fancy hat a little more recently (a mere 598 years ago), but that was because he was forced to, so your record is still very impressive. So now that we live in a world where two guys are walking around in white being referred to as His Holiness, my eyes are opened to the other celebrities who chose a similar path. They’re milling about even now, exchanging eye contact with real normals, waiting in line for their coffee, and just generally flitting around under the radar in their self-induced retirement. They’re among us even now, whether you know it or not, so I figured I’d point them out for all to see: 9 Celebrities Who, Like Pope Benedict, Totally Threw In The Towel:
1. Ryan Gosling. Oh man, you guys, Viva La Gosline. It’s not permanent, thank Gos, but Ryan has announced that he’ll be taking a break from acting now, at the peak of his career, when all the eyes and loins of the nation are turned his way. Honestly it’s probably not a bad idea; the waves of heat coming off the ardor of America’s women were starting to melt the world’s ice caps.
2. Amanda Bynes. Hello can of worms, do you mind if I open you? Amanda announced her retirement from acting in 2011, apparently in order to focus 100% of her time on her extremely befuddling Twitter and current full-scale meltdown.
3. Michael Jordan. The king of throwing in the towel and then scooping it back up again to take another shower. He retired from the NBA at the tippity-top of his career in 1993, then came back in 1995, then retired again in 1998…and then came back again in 2001 to retire again for realsies in 2003. And don’t even get me started on his baseball career. Luckily he’s never officially retired from acting, though, so we don’t have to rule out a second Space Jam. I have to believe it’s still coming.
4. Julia Roberts. She never officially retired, but when you’re arguably the most famous actress in the world and then two years later you’ve dropped off the face of the earth to go live in New Mexico and pop out babies, only returning for bit parts in Mirror Mirror and to encourage the career of your niece Emma…it’s safe to say you threw in the towel.
5. Brad Pitt. This one’s really a preemptive strike, as Brad has vowed to quit acting within the next three years. So gird your loins everybody, cause that one’s gonna be jarring. (Fun fact: this is the second time I’ve used the word ‘loins’ in this post. You’re welcome.)
6. Lance Armstrong. Some would say that Lance didn’t officially retire from cycling until 2005 (and then again in 2011 after returning to race the Tour de France a few more times), but I’d say his retirement was pretty much official the first time he swapped out all the blood in his body for fresh stuff, wouldn’t you?
7. Hilary Duff. Okay yeah, so she hasn’t officially thrown in the towel, but I betcha know more about her adorable baby Luca right now than you know about any of her upcoming projects, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
8. Cary Grant. Mayhaps you don’t all know this, because I didn’t, but Cary retired at age sixty-two when his daughter was born, and no amount of incentives in the form of money or fame could lure him back into the spotlight. Gotta give the man props for that.
9. Adele. Thank GOD she changed her mind, but for a second there after her son Angelo was born, Adele was making noises about being done recording and touring. Aka personally shattering the hopes and dreams of every straight female and gay male in a ten million mile radius. (Yes, I’m including life on other planets.)
So there they are, Pope Benedict, you old towel-thrower you. You’re in good company, so hold onto your hat and enjoy your retirement. Just…stay off of Twitter.