TORONTO — A Janet Jackson fan who circulated a “Missing” poster for the pop star managed to get a response.
“Too funny, too sweet,” Jackson tweeted on April 17 — her first tweet since December.
The 48-year-old singer hasn’t released an album since 2008’s Discipline, hasn’t toured since 2011, and hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2010’s For Colored Girls.
Jackson has made only a handful of public appearances — including fashion shows last November and in February 2013 and AmfAR events in February 2013 and May 2012.
Earlier this month, a fan posted a mock call for “information about Janet Jackson and her return to the music industry.”
It read: “Seriously Janet, where the hell are you? We NEED you back. We miss you. Your fans miss you. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NEEDS YOU. Come back and show these young whippersnappers how it’s done.”
The poster was tweeted by Jimmy Jam, who produced a number of Jackson’s hits.
A few days after acknowledging the poster, Jackson tweeted the cryptic: “Letting go doesn’t mean you stop.”
Jackson, who married Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012, has released 10 albums since 1982 with hits like “Nasty,” “Rhythm Nation,” “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “Together Again.” With sales of more than 140 million, she is recognized as one of the top-selling artists in music history.
Her acting career includes TV’s Good Times and movies like Poetic Justice and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Jackson’s decision to step out of the spotlight for at least the last three years has us wondering about other big stars who went missing from pop culture.
Here are five we wouldn’t mind seeing again:
The Toronto-born actor shot to fame on SCTV and went on to star in movies like Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Little Shop of Horrors and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. But, Moranis hasn’t made a movie since 1997.
For several years, Moranis focused on doing voice work on animated projects like Brother Bear and Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids — but declined to voice Bob in a new animated Bob and Doug McKenzie series that aired on Global in 2009.
Now 62, Moranis remains largely out of the spotlight. He released a comedy album, My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs, in 2013 and occasionally makes appearances at fan conventions.
In 2005, he told USA Today that he gave up acting after losing his wife to cancer. “I’m a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the traveling involved in making movies,” he explained.
“So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
The world watched Jonathan Taylor Thomas grow up on the sitcom Home Improvement, on which he played middle son Randy Taylor. He also voiced Young Simba in The Lion King and starred in movies like Wild America and I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
Thomas left Home Improvement in 1998 to focus on academics. He studied philosophy and history at Harvard University, attended St. Andrews University in Scotland and graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies.
Thomas, now 33, hasn’t completely disappeared from the spotlight. After nearly a decade away from TV, he made guest appearances on his former TV dad Tim Allen’s new series Last Man Standing.
She was one of the busiest movie stars in the world and regularly made tabloid headlines thanks to her marriage to Dennis Quaid and relationship with Russell Crowe. Ryan’s hit movies included When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, City of Angels and You’ve Got Mail.
After 2009’s Serious Moonlight, Ryan stopped making movies and — except for appearances on Web Therapy in 2011 and 2013 — seemed to disappear from the spotlight.
Now 53, Ryan seems ready for a comeback. She recently directed Ithaca, in which she appears with Tom Hanks, Sam Shepard and her son Jack Quaid, and she has a role in the upcoming film Fan Girl.
Macchio was a huge star thanks to starring roles in 1983’s The Outsiders, 1984’s The Karate Kid (and its two sequels) and 1992’s My Cousin Vinny.
Since the late ’90s, though, audiences haven’t seen much of Macchio.
His movie career now consists of small roles in forgettable films. Now 53, the actor had a recurring role on Ugly Betty and made guest appearances on episodes of Psych and How I Met Your Mother.
Macchio, who placed fourth on Dancing with the Stars in 2011, remains active on Twitter, where he has fewer than 150,000 followers.
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Prinze Jr. was everywhere in the late ’90s and early ’00s — and then seemed to be nowhere.
He became famous in movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That and Scooby-Doo and won Teen Choice Awards and a Kids’ Choice Award.
But, Prinze Jr. hasn’t been seen on the big screen since 2008.
Now 39, the actor does voice work on the animated series Star Wars Rebels and for video games. He has also had guest roles on episodes of shows like Bones and Witches of East End.
Prinze Jr. has also been busy being a dad to Charlotte and Rocky, his children with actress Sarah Michelle Gellar.
He remains active on social media, regularly tweeting to his nearly 50,000 followers.