4 Times Oscar Nominee Marsha Mason Revealed Why She Threw Away Her Fame, Quit Hollywood, And Didn't Regret It

Date June 28, 2018

Marsha Mason was once the Hollywood's leading actress, but at one point she decided to leave it all behind. How did her career burn so bright, but then abruptly flicker out?

Unexpected success

Mason never planned on being on the big screen. Her passion was theatre, so she wanted to dedicate her life to the stage. Marsha's Broadway debut Cactus Flower (1965) grabbed the attention of some Hollywood producers and she quickly transitioned to being in front of the camera.

© Max Dugan Returns (1983) / Twentieth Century Fox

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Her film debut in Blume in Love (1973) blew away famous Hollywood screenwriter Neil Simon, who wanted to write brilliant characters for Marsha, as well as make her his wife.

© The Goodbye Girl (1977) / Warner Bros.

The two got married in 1973. Simon was very protective of Mason and didn't let her work with anyone else. But what followed were years of smashing success and public acknowledgment of her talents.

© The Goodbye Girl (1977) / Warner Bros.

The couple's collaboration brought Marsha four Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globes. It's safe to say their partnership worked out very well for Mason.

Turning point

But good things don't last long. Neil and Marsha divorced in 1983, and Mason, who got used to being guided by her husband, was left alone in a harsh Hollywood environment.

Mason didn't know what to do with herself. In an interview with PEOPLE, the actress recalled:

I tried to make a life for myself in Los Angeles on my own. I built a house out in the Palisades for about five years and I did some work out there, but the business was changing. It was getting very youth oriented. I was in my 40s when I did Heartbreak Ridge, so I kept it sort of alive. But it was not easy.

© Heartbreak Ridge (1986) / Jay Weston Productions

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In the middle of 90s, Marsha decided to step back and take a break from Hollywood life. She focused on race cars, which was her big hobby, and enjoyed her peaceful life.


Successful business and return to acting

At some point, Mason got interested in gardening. She became so good at it that she formed a partnership with the herbal company and supplied them with medicinal herbs from her farm.

But in 2014, Marsha felt the city life calling her back, so she sold her farm and moved to New York. Not long after, the 76-year-old actress got a role in a sitcom Grace and Frankie alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, as well as a few additional projects.


Marsha Mason's career and life were full of ups and downs, but it's amazing to see how she always found something she loves and was never afraid of change.

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