Why Teen Heartthrob Bobby Sherman Gave Up His Hollywood Career
If you were a teen in the late 60s and early 70s, you’ll know who Bobby Sherman is. The former teen heartthrob was all the rage back then, releasing a number of successful hit songs including 1969’s “Little Woman.” In addition to writing songs and performing, Sherman also landed some successful acting gigs. He had slews of obsessed fans, and performed concerts to sold-out crowds across North America. So why, at the height of it all, did Sherman choose to abandon his Hollywood stardom for a completely different life?
Let’s start by taking it back to the beginning. Sherman was born and raised in California, and was said to possess musical talents from an early age. While studying childhood psychology at Pierce College just outside of Los Angeles, Sherman began dating a girlfriend who would inadvertently change the course of his life. One night, she brought Sherman along to a cast party for The Greatest Story Ever Told. Many big time Hollywood actors, singers, and agents were present at this party. With some of his friends playing music on a stage, Sherman decided to seize the moment and get up there and sing. Actor Sal Mineo just happened to be watching, and decided to help Sherman realize his potential. Within just a few days, an agent had reached out and Sherman was booking auditions.
Soon after, Sherman experienced his first bout of fame after appearing as a regular cast member on the TV show Shindig! By the time the show ended just a couple of years later, Sherman was becoming a household name. He went on to land other notable acting roles, and his singing career really took off. Between 1962 and 1976, Sherman released 107 songs, 23 singles, and 10 albums. He earned seven gold singles, one platinum single, and five gold albums. The sellout crowds at his concerts were so loud, Sherman ended up experiencing hearing loss after touring.
So why, at the height of his fame, did Sherman choose to leave it all behind? “I’d film five days a week, get on a plane on a Friday night and go someplace for matinee and evening shows Saturday and Sunday, then get on a plane and go back to the studio to start filming again,” he revealed to The Washington Post. “It was so hectic for three years that I didn’t know what home was.” Though he didn’t immediately retire from the limelight, he began to pull back. He was busy raising his two boys, which is ultimately what led him into his next career venture.
“As kids grow up, they fall down, scrape their knees, get bloody noses,” Sherman said. “My ex-wife was very squeamish when it came to blood, especially our kids’ blood, so it was kind of up to me. I took a basic first aid-CPR class, just in case, and found I had a knack for it. Eventually, if I’d be driving down the street and there was an accident and there was no medical help on hand, I’d get out and, since I usually had some stuff with me, I’d help.” And so, Sherman went on to graduate as an emergency medical technician, later gaining his certification in defibrillation, and ultimately becoming an instructor. When the Los Angeles Police Department caught wind of this, Sherman was invited to join their training academy. In 1992, he became a sworn police officer with the LAPD, as well as their chief medical training officer.
“There’s not a better feeling in the world than knowing these people are out there, helping someone out, saving someone’s life,” he explained. Sherman has even delivered five babies since entering the medical field. “It’s tremendously rewarding, which is why I always say in concert that everyone should take the time to learn first aid and CPR, because it works.” Today, 79-year-old Sherman is involved in charitable causes and enjoys spending time with his current wife, Brigette, who he married in 2011. Though Sherman enjoyed his fair share of the spotlight, he ended up answering a calling that was far more important to him – helping others.