Celebrity Retiement Scorecard: Meg Tilly

Who is making it? Who is not? We've concocted retirement scorecards for some showcase retirees in entertainment, politics and sports. See the full list here.

Meg TillyWinner: Meg Tilly
Former occupation/notable position held: Academy Award-Nominated Actress
Activities during retirement: full-time mom; author
Retirement Report Card Grade: B+

A strikingly intense and dynamic screen presence, Meg Tilly's fade from acting came as a disappointment to fans of her work in films like 1983's The Big Chill and Agnes of God, for which she earned an Oscar nomination in 1986.

Tilly quit film in 1995 to raise her children, a decision quite possibly owing to the theme of her book Singing Songs, focusing on a sexually abusive stepfather, and that Tilly later confirmed was autobiographical.

The instinct to protect our children, from threats real or imagined, is primal and palpable. It transforms Tilly's choice to walk away from the craft at which she so excelled from confounding, to entirely logical and courageous.

That Tilly chose to write in retirement is healthy not just in helping her come to terms with a traumatic past, but in providing a new avenue for her creativity. Her second novel, Gemma, came out in 2006, was followed by Porcupine, a finalist for a major children's literature prize.

Tilly's just-short-of-"A" retirement grade perhaps owes to wishful thinking: that she may one day choose to un-retire from acting and delight her fans once again. Somehow you know if Tilly makes that choice, it will be a well-thought out and heartfelt one.

Michael Burnham is CEO of My Next Phase, a consulting firm offering non-financial retirement planning products and services (www.mynextphase.com).


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