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Steve Guttenberg Left Career as He Wanted to Be Closer to His Family — He Married Again after 27 Years

Oyin Balogun
Aug 23, 2022
07:35 P.M.
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Steven Guttenberg enjoyed great success in the 80s, but at some point, he vanished from all screens, and his popularity faded. However, he did to be closer to his family, and now he is happy he made the decision all those years ago.

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Nobody can mention great stars from the 80s without naming Steve Guttenberg. The talented actor starred in many famous movies, including the "Police Academy" franchise, "Cocoon," and "Three Men and a Baby."

Guttenberg moved to Hollywood as a teenager, and in those early days, he got into acting by taking any role he could play. He once played the lead role in a teen sex comedy titled "The Chicken Chronicles."

Actor Steven Guttenberg on January 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Steven Guttenberg on January 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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He also lent his talents to make the Village People Musical, "Can't Stop The Music," a success. His career skyrocketed when he joined the cast of the ensemble in "Diner," a project led by Barry Levinson and created in 1982.

In 1984 he became a true movie star after "Police Academy," a movie he acted in, became a smash hit. From there, it was blue skies for Guttenberg.

He featured in the film's sequels, and along the way, he starred in hits like "Cocoon" and "Short Circuit." Despite his roles in these hit movies, Guttenberg was always in stealth mode and seemed to fly under the radar of many.

Actor Steve Guttenberg during the premiere of "A Novel Romance" at the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Steve Guttenberg during the premiere of "A Novel Romance" at the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Of course, his fame was not god-like, and he was not bagging awards like other top stars, but he was undoubtedly a star.

After an unsuccessful production at the start of the 90s, Guttenberg took a step back from acting. Between 1990 and 1995, he did not appear in any films and maintained a low profile.

Before he became an actor, Guttenberg harbored a desire to be a dentist. His disappearance came after the “Three Men and a Little Lady” premiere in 1990, when he decided to stop acting.

Actors Steve Guttenberg and Shannon Elizabeth at the premiere of "A Novel Romance" during the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actors Steve Guttenberg and Shannon Elizabeth at the premiere of "A Novel Romance" during the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Some years ago, Guttenberg released his memoir, "The Guttenberg Bible," covering his first decade in professional acting.

Around that time, he had an interview with A.V. Club in connection with the memoir's release, and during that session, he revealed what he thought about Hollywood.

Guttenberg called the roles great ones and has declared a desire to become the “older guy” because, in truth, that is exactly what he is.

Actor Steven Guttenberg at the "Religulous" Luncheon at Brasserie Ruhlmann on September 29, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Steven Guttenberg at the "Religulous" Luncheon at Brasserie Ruhlmann on September 29, 2008 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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He was asked by the interviewer if he was "turned off" by what Hollywood stood for as opposed to acting itself. He answered by saying that there were indeed values in the industry; however, he believed they were "skewed toward success."

He talked about how the most successful become near invincible and how the "value system" was dependent on physical attributes like how hot the actors are. Guttenberg said that he was unable to find real kinship in Hollywood. He said:

"It's not show-friendship; it's show-business."

Actor Steven Guttenberg during the special screening of "Behind the Burly Q" at MOMA on April 19, 2010 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Steven Guttenberg during the special screening of "Behind the Burly Q" at MOMA on April 19, 2010 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Guttenberg decided to quit acting because it had taken too much from him. He left his home at 17, and rather than enjoy those teenage years; he was busy working to make something of himself.

He missed a great deal of his teenhood, but he achieved what he set out to achieve, so all that was left was an intimacy with his family that had been missing. Unfortunately for his fans, he had to step back from acting to have time for family.

Guttenberg decided he would work when he wanted to, which freed him up, allowing him to experience many things, including starring in theatres, painting, and visiting his parents frequently.

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Actors Steve Guttenberg and Shannon Elizabeth during the premiere of "A Novel Romance" during the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actors Steve Guttenberg and Shannon Elizabeth during the premiere of "A Novel Romance" during the 2011 New York Independent Film Festival held at the Quad Cinema on May 5, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

HIS LIFE AFTER ACTING

During his A.V. Club interview, Guttenberg was asked what made him decide to go on a break between 1990 and 1995. He revealed that leaving home at 17 was very hard on his parents and family because it seemed like he had traveled to a "different planet."

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Guttenberg was always away from them for the following decade and admitted to missing many things with his family. He praised his career for opening many doors and providing his family with experiences and security, but he had to be away from them most of the time.

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He decided to stop appearing on screens at that time because he chose to reclaim some of the lost time with his family. Guttenberg stated that in show business, one "can't make a living," only "a fortune." He said:

"I wanted to just be a little closer to my family. You know, in show business, you can't make a living. You can only make a fortune but can't make a living."

His decision was a great one that gave him the closure he had been yearning for with his family and the freedom to pursue things he had always fancied, like theatre and painting.

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So in 2002, he started looking for ways to get into T.V. and landed a big role in "The Poseidon Adventure" in 2005. To date, one of his best performances on T.V. is his role as an arch manipulator named "Woody Goodman" on the hit series "Veronica Mars."

By the time he went back to acting in 1995, Guttenberg had dissolved his marriage to actress Denise Bixler. The talented man tied the knot again in January 2019 with a news anchor named Emily Smith.

The wedding was an intimate one, and it went down in Malibu. The pair met in 2014 when they were set up on a blind date by WCBS-TV correspondent Scott Rapoport, and they have been inseparable ever since.

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Steven Guttenberg and Emily Smith on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA. | Source: Getty Images

Steven Guttenberg and Emily Smith on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA. | Source: Getty Images

Rapoport saw what he had started with the blind date to the end and was present when his two quarries exchanged their vows.

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Guttenberg has come a long way from the man who was told he was unfit to be a movie star, but his fundamental values have remained intact. He says he wants "to get older" and become a father and later a grandfather.

Guttenberg called the roles great ones and has declared a desire to become the "older guy" because, in truth, that is what he is. Outside his acting works, Guttenberg has also been heavily invested in philanthropy.

Actor Steven Guttenberg during the special screening of "Behind the Burly Q" at MOMA on April 19, 2010 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Steven Guttenberg during the special screening of "Behind the Burly Q" at MOMA on April 19, 2010 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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He once received a key to Miami Beach for his efforts in doing charity dedicated to animals, but that's not the extent of his generosity. He is also known for his charity work for young folks and homeless people, all of which have endeared him to his fans.

They hope he continues to thrive and pursue his dreams in any way he sees fit; after all, everyone deserves to live a life they want regardless of what they do.

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