I was a huge movie star in the 90s and 00s but quit fame for a ‘normal’ job after roles got too sexy | The Sun

I was a huge movie star in the 90s and 00s but quit fame for a ‘normal’ job after roles got too sexy | The Sun

BACK in the Nineties and Noughties, Leelee Sobieski was rarely off screens, appearing in a string of memorable movies.

But by her mid-20s, the actress slowly stepped away from the limelight and started doing something completely different altogether.

Leelee arrived on the scene in the late 90s and starred in several notable films including Never Been Kissed, Deep Impact, Joy Ride, and Here on Earth.

In 1999, she earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of the titular character in the miniseries Joan of Arc, which also led to Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

She got her second Golden Globe nod for her role in the miniseries Uprising.

But by the early 2010s, she'd moved on to TV guest appearances on Drop Dead Diva and The Good Wife and a starring role on the short-lived 2012 CBS police drama NYC 22.

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And then she decided to quit acting entirely.

In early 2009, she began dating fashion designer Adam Kimmel and they were engaged that May.

Their daughter, Louisiana Ray ("Lewi" for short), arrived that December with their son, Martin, who followed in 2014.

Her departure from acting coincided with wanting to spend time with her family, as she explained to Vogue in 2012, "Ninety percent of acting roles involve so much sexual stuff with other people, and I don’t want to do that.

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"It’s such a strange fire to play with, and our relationship is surely strong enough to handle it, but if you’re going to walk through fire, there has to be something incredible on the other side.”

Furthering her previous point, Sobieski told Another Magazine in 2018: "It's kind of a gross industry … In acting, you're selling your appearance so much."

Now 40, Sobieski goes by her married name, Leelee Kimmel, and works as a professional artist at her Upper East Side studio, in New York.

The former actress had been painting for years, but her art finally debuted publicly in 2018.

She was anxious about how her work would be received given her past.

"I thought that because of my past, my work would be judged harshly," she told Artnet News after her first gallery show. "I had to make sure that if everybody really hated them, I would still feel good about it.

"This is really what's inside of me, and I'm not trying to be anybody else."

But now she's confident enough in her work to share it on her Instagram, which has over 35,000 followers.

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Sobieski has also shown her work in galleries around the world, including exhibitions in Paris, London, China, and South Korea.

According to a 2018 MutualArt article, her artwork can sell for up to $37,500 but has likely reached a higher mark in recent years. 

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