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Special Report

Second Acts

Edited By Mark Lewis and Michael Noer

In these perilous economic times, even people who still have jobs fear that they may soon have to scrounge up a second act for their careers. Fear not: It can be done, and done very well. Here we feature seven people who at some point in their lives managed to segue from Plan A to Plan B and find fulfillment along the way.


The Late Bloomer

Kathryn Joosten

I took up acting at 42 and segued from desperate housewife to "Desperate Housewives."


The Archaeologist

After 24 years in the Navy, Wayne Abrahamson retired to launch a new career.

The Chef

Allan Levine was an unhappy geophysicist who yearned for fulfillment and found it in the kitchen.

The Harvard Fellow

Bob Whelan made his pile on Wall Street. Now he's retooling himself for public service.

The Mystery Novelist

Annette Meyers set out to write books, but was diverted to Broadway. Then the plot thickened.

The Photographer

Judy Reisman wasn't looking for a second act. But when a good one came along, she pounced.

The Ski Instructor

Alan Mayfield retired to the golf course, but it didn't take. So he went back to work--as a ski bum.

In Pictures

Celebrity Second Acts

Nicole Perlroth

Ever feel like ditching your boring day job and chasing a dream? It worked for these now-famous movie stars and musicians.

Second Acts

Nicole Perlroth

Laid off? Fear not. It's never too late to start over with a second career.

When I Grow Up: Kids' Dream Jobs

David M. Ewalt

Kids may fantasize about becoming firefighters, but wait until they find out what the job pays.

See Also:Dream Life

The Dream Life


Emmys After 50

Kathryn Joosten's change of life from RN to TV's "Desperate Housewives."

Murder, She Wrote

Novelist Annette Meyers used her Wall Street years as the foundation for her mysteries.

Stockbroker Turns Screenwriter

How Karen Lutz jumped from stocks to writing popular comedies.


Steve Forbes
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