In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Freddie Prinze Jr. was one of Hollywood’s biggest teen heartthrobs, thanks to a series of rom-coms and his longtime romance with Sarah Michelle Gellar. But he hasn’t acted in anything big since 2002, and many pop culture fans wonder what happened to the actor.
It’s easy to judge a guy who quits his career to focus on raising his family. But it’s also true that most actors enter the business with a shelf life, and Prinze was no exception. But he wasn’t the stereotypical Los Angeles transplant who was chewed up and spit back out by Hollywood.
Instead, he had one major goal in mind when he was growing up: to be a good father. It was especially important to him because his own father, comedian and actor Freddie Prinze Sr., committed suicide just ten months after his birth. So Prinze was raised by his “crazy” mother, as well as a handful of family friends who served as surrogate fathers, including Bob Wall (who Prinze called his uncle) and Ron De Blasio (whom he affectionately nicknamed “Uncle”).
And that’s exactly what Prinze is doing now. He still works in showbiz—he’s writing a television show and producing a film—but for the most part, he spends his time with his wife and their two kids, doing stuff they all love to do: talk Star Wars, cook and eat pancakes. We caught up with the actor to find out more about his life and his plans for a comeback.