- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2009

Is he for real? After the forthcoming feature “Two Lovers,” actor and, thanks to David Letterman, national punch line Joaquin Phoenix supposedly will bow out of the movie business — a retiree at age 34. Good work if you can get it, as did these Disillusioned Ones, who, unlike rapper Jay-Z, really meant it.

1. J.D. Salinger — The old misanthrope just this month reached age 90, still hiding away in his Cornish, N.H., redoubt.

2. Greta Garbo — After World War II, the Swedish-born silent-film beauty quit the business and managed to live in relative seclusion in New York City.

3. Harper Lee — The 1960 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” was the Alabaman’s first and last novel. In a rare public appearance in 2007 to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Miss Lee said, “Well, it’s better to be silent than to be a fool.”

4. Sly Stone — Before he emerged at the 2006 Grammy Awards, few were even sure where the vanished Family Stone frontman lived.

5. Garth Brooks — The best-selling country star has, with the exception of the odd charity gig, held fast to his 2000 vow of family-focused retirement. His rollicking appearance at the “We Are One” inaugural celebration last month reminded country fans of what they’ve been missing all these years.

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