Hollywood can be a cutthroat business. One minute you’ve got your name in lights and are the star of the show, then the next minute, you’re being pushed aside to make way for the new one. From Eddie Murphy’s dwindling career after Beverly Hills Cop in 2016 to Vivica A’s disappearance after her string of popular 90’s/00’s movies.
Many Hollywood stars simply go on to other careers, whether that be becoming a director, a screenwriter, or even something completely different like becoming a professional poker player, as did the star of our focus – Shannon Elizabeth.
After becoming a teen idol in the ’80s and a poster girl in many American teenagers rooms, Elizabeth all but disappeared from the Hollywood scene. So, what exactly happened to Shannon Elizabeth? Below, we’ll take a look at Elizabeth’s early career, her golden days and where she’s ended up now.
Shannon Elizabeth’s early career
Best known for her portrayal of the exchange student from former Czechoslovakia in American Pie, Shannon Elizabeth first rose to fame from an early modelling career. As a star tennis player in high school, Elizabeth once considered a budding tennis career, however, those plans never came to action as she chose to pursue a modelling career instead.
In early 1990, Elizabeth made the move from Houston, Texas to New York where she began working for Ford and Elite modelling agencies. As an eye-catching young woman, Elizabeth had no shortage of gigs in the city and even made her first television debut for a sketch comedy series called MADtv in 1995.
From this point on, Elizabeth began appearing in a number of movies and tv shows in low key roles, including the 1997 horror movie – Jack Frost, action movie – Blast, and finally a larger role as the American exchange student in American Pie.
Shannon Elizabeth’s most notable performances
Elizabeth’s exceptional acting skills were first really noticed in the 1999 comedy hit by the Weitz brothers that revolved around five high school best friends. However, it was the success she gained from American Pie that really put her on the radar and after this movie, she began landing other major roles, including Buffy in the parody film Scary Movie.
Another notable comedy that Elizabeth appeared in was Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. After playing the role of Justice and Jason Mewes’ love interest, Elizabeth began to become a well-known face on American TV screens and Cinema HD apps across the country.
In 2001, Elizabeth made a comeback in the next American Pie where she again became an incredibly popular character, especially with the male audience where she got a number of raving reviews. Perhaps one of her most iconic positions though was her appearance in the iconic Christmas movie, Love Actually. Portraying the American beauty queen that Kris Marshall’s character falls in love with, Elizabeth again got highly commended reviews.
In 2005, Elizabeth began to take on leading roles in which one of her first was opposite Eddie McClintock in the hit wedding drama, Confessions of an American Bride. Unfortunately, the film didn’t go down well with critics and received a number of negative reviews. Luckily, this didn’t have too much of a negative effect on Elizabeth’s career as the lack of success of the movie was out down to the incompetence of the screenwriter and the inability to work out a decent storyline.
From 2006 to 2013, Shannon Elizabeth pretty much dropped off the radar in the TV and movie world, having barely appeared on the show. However, she made a brief comeback in 2014 by playing a leading role in the action crime drama, The Outsider. After a few more television and film appearances, Elizabeth pretty much dropped off the radar again.
Elizabeth’s budding poker career
While it was always known that Elizabeth played poker passionately as a hobby, she began to make this a full-time career, which explained her drop off the radar from 2006. Elizabeth claims that during this time she went on to lead a highly successful poker career, winning 12 tournaments between 2006 and 2010. From here, she became one of the leading poker players among celebrities.
Like many who followed in Elizabeth’s footsteps, fans got involved in a huge variety of online poker tournaments, just to help themselves understand more about what got the actress so hooked into this particular pastime. When playing online, players can benefit from being able to choose to play wherever and whenever they like. For budding poker champions like Elizabeth, it must have been tricky to sacrifice her poker scene and make way for a professional poker career, however, she seemed made for the job.
Shannon Elizabeth’s personal life
(A port in South Africa, with a blue sky and boats in the harbour, in front of a mountain backdrop)
As a very private person outside of her acting life, Elizabeth began dating actor and director Joseph D Reitman in 1995. After getting married in 2002, the couple, unfortunately, filed for divorce in 2005. However, before this, she founded a non-profit animal rescue organisation that rescued abandoned pets.
Today, Elizabeth lives a much quieter life in secluded South Africa where she campaigns about rhino poaching as a passionate wildlife advocate, among other animal-oriented fundraisers and charity affairs.
Overall, while Elizabeth started off in the film industry, it’s surprising that today she lives a far more sheltered life on the other side of the world.