However, for some, waving goodbye to soapland can be followed with a bump back down to earth, as they struggle to find more acting work.
One such star is former ‘EastEnders’ actress Shana Swash, who is now pulling pints in a north London pub.
Shana, who played troubled teen mum Demi Miller, has taken up bar work, having stepped out of the limelight since leaving the BBC soap in 2006.
She was photographed outside her place of work having a cigarette, while other pictures showed her behind the bar serving customers.
Shana joined ‘EastEnders’ in 2004, when bosses decided to introduce the family of popular character Mickey, who just happened to be played by her real-life brother Joe Swash.
The pair replicated their sibling relationship on-screen, and Shana’s character went on to have a number of high-profile storylines, including giving birth aged 13, and becoming involved in a Romeo and Juliet style romance with the father of her baby, Leo.
After the pair entered the world of drug dealing, she was distraught when Leo later died from an overdose, and the character left Walford soon after to begin a new life with mum Rosie in the Cotswolds as a housekeeper.
Brothers Darren and Mickey remained on the Square in the years that followed, and Joe has since gone on to have a successful career as a presenter, fronting ITV2 spin-off show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! NOW!’, alongside Laura Whitmore.
Shana’s last-known acting role was in the play ‘Proud’ in 2009, having had a small part in Scottish soap ‘River City’ in 2008.
Joe recently admitted that he would be open to the idea of an ‘EastEnders’ return, but only if his on-screen family joined him.
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