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What happened to Michelle Pfeiffer? - The reason she stepped away from the limelight

The Catwoman actress is married to Big Little Lies producer David E. Kelley

Michelle Pfeiffer 2007 Hairspray Premiere
Hannah Hargrave
Hannah HargraveUS Deputy Editor
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Michelle Pfeiffer has a decorated and lengthy career as a Hollywood actress but there was a time when she decided to retreat from the spotlight and press pause on her profession. 

Now, the 65 year old is well and truly front and center again and is thriving with new roles both on the big screen and TV. 

But what caused her to step back from Tinseltown when her career was still in bloom?

WATCH: Michelle Pfeiffer still has her Catwoman whip - and her skills

Michelle was a leading lady in the 80s and 90s in movies such as Scarface, Dangerous Minds and The Witches of Eastwick

She has racked up eight Golden Globe nominations and three Oscar nods but her family became her priority as she pulled back the reins on acting.

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To begin with, Michelle and her longtime husband, David. E. Kelley, were able to juggle raising Claudia and John - who are now 30 and 28 - with working.

michelle pfeiffer david e kelly ant man and the wasp premiere 2018© Getty Images
Michelle and her husband David E. Kelley have been together for 29 years

However, it soon became apparent to Michelle that she would have to sacrifice raising her children the way that she wanted if she continued on the path she was going. "Before the kids were born, my work was my life — and it was in a good way," she told Town & Country

"When they were small, I could just pack them up and bring them with me. But then it became, ‘Okay, how long will this separate the family unit?’ 

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"When they got into school it became even more complicated, because I didn’t want to just take them out of their routine, so I would shoot in the summer and tried to not be away for more than two or three weeks at a time. 

michelle pfeiffer husband children© Getty Images
Michelle and David share two children together

"It became challenging for people to hire me, because it was too complicated. It was easier to get somebody else to do the part."

Michelle also said she was in a complex area in her career, telling The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast: "I was also sort of in this in-between place. I sort of didn't feel like I was really. A leading lady. I wasn't a grandma yet, but I, I wasn't also like an ingenue."

michelle pfeiffer children throwback
When her children were young, she would take them to work with her

It was when her daughter began making plans to leave home that Michelle really considered launching herself back into the workplace. "I realized my daughter was looking at colleges, and I saw the writing on the wall," Michelle added to Town & Country

"I thought, 'This is going to hit me really hard. It's time for me to get back into moviemaking.'"

michelle pfeiffer© Photo: Getty Images
She has no regrets about stepping away for her family

Not that it was easy for her. "Your seat is never saved in this industry," the Ant-Man actress said. "It’s very competitive."

However, Michelle has never shied away from hard work and now confesses: "I'm at an age when the parts are getting more interesting again for me. I guess the timing of it really worked out, because I don't feel I missed out on much."

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