Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

Famous Hollywood Relaunchers

During the financial downturn, I had to distract myself by focusing on something totally unrelated to Wall Street: Hollywood.

At the same time financial markets were collapsing worldwide, the movie "The Women" was released, starring Annette Bening and Meg Ryan, two actresses who took multi-year career breaks and then returned to the screen. They are not alone. Michelle Pfeiffer, Teri Hatcher and Calista Flockhart are among the growing group of prominent actresses who have relaunched back into acting after time away. Pfeiffer took a five-year break, Hatcher took six years, Flockhart took four, Ryan took six, and Bening, took not one, but two three-year breaks when her first and fourth children were born.

Almost all of these actresses came roaring back to more acclaim than when they left (the jury is still out on Ryan). Pfeiffer said, "it wasn't like riding a bike ... I felt rusty" (People, Aug, 2007), echoing the sentiments of women in all fields who have taken longer career breaks and then resumed careers. But then they return and prove to themselves and everyone else that after a short ramp-up period, they are as solid as they ever were.

Once women are back on the career track, people tend to forget they ever left. And that's precisely the point. Employers are recognizing that if a woman performed well in the past, there's a high likelihood that she'll do so again. Indeed, given her maturity and perspective, a former stay-at-home mom's career trajectory may well turn stratospheric.

Ironically and triumphantly, in an industry that rewards youth and continuity, these relauncher actresses are outshining their younger, pre-break selves with their maturity, perspective, focus and enthusiasm for being back at work. Can you name other actresses of the large and small screen who have returned after multi-year career breaks? To start you off with a few more ... Kirstie Alley, Debra Winger, Demi Moore ... who else?

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