Charts & Graphs

Where Are They Now?

Celebrities who dropped off the map.

Name Was Known As Age of Retirement Ostensible Reason Became
Steven Demetre Georgiou (1948–) Cat Stevens; singer / songwriter, teen idol, folk artist 29 Converted to Islam Yusuf Islam; supporter of fatwa against Salman Rushdie; aid worker in war-torn Bosnia; secular musician again in 2006 with An Other Cup
Bobby Fischer (1943–2008) Chess grandmaster; child prodigy, finicky opponent 29 Disagreed with World Chess Federation over playing conditions; experienced increased feeling of paranoia Eccentric anti-Semite; played first match in 20 years in 1992 against Boris Spaasky in Yugoslavia and won $3.65 million; renounced U.S. citizenship
Greta Garbo (1905–1990) Actress; star of European silent pictures and of Hollywood talkies 36 Horrified by poor reviews for Two-Faced Woman Recluse; traveled extensively; embodied her famous line from Grand Hotel, “I want to be alone”
Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) Avant-garde artist; inventor of ready-mades, prankster 36 Abandoned art for chess because it had “all the beauty of art—and much more” Chess master and journalist; wrote treatises on hypermodern endgame positions
Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891) Poet; homosexual, absinthe drinker 19 Shot with a revolver by his lover poet Paul Verlaine; exhausted his interest in poetry Soldier in Dutch colonial army in Java; foreman for construction company at a stone quarry in Cyprus; coffee and weapons trader in Yemen and Ethiopia
Peter Abelard (c. 1079–1142) Leading scholastic theologian and lecturer; master dialectician 40 Disgraced and castrated for having seduced and impregnated Héloïse Monk; attempted to teach again, but his work was declared heretical and burned; wrote The Story of My Misfortunes