Evangeline Lilly makes shock retirement announcement

Evangeline Lilly has stunned her fans by announcing she is quitting the acting world.

The 44-year-old actress discovered an old video from 2006 in which she shared her dream of retiring by 2016 - and she is now following through with the plan.

Taking to Instagram on Monday, the actress shared a clip that appeared to have been filmed during the production of hit show Lost which she starred in from 2004 until 2010.

The clip showed her declaring, "I am terrified to admit this to the rest of the acting world, but ideally ten years from now I'd like to be a retired actress, and I would like to have a family, and I'd like to be writing."

In an accompanying statement, Evangeline revealed she was now going to honour her past dream, albeit eight years late.

She wrote, "Thank you @lost_theothers for digging up this (nearly twenty-year-old) footage of me speaking out my dreams under (what looks like) a full moon."

She continued, "I am so filled with joy and contentment today as I live out my vision. Praise God, I feel so grateful for my blessings. Stepping away from what seems like the obvious choice (wealth and fame) can feel scary at times, but stepping into your dharma replaces the fear with fulfillment.(sic)"

The Ant-Man star did, however, offer fans some hope she could make a return to screens at a future date, adding, "I might return to Hollywood one day, but, for now, this is where I belong. A new season has arrived, and I AM READY...and I AM HAPPY."

Canadian actress Evangeline has enjoyed a glittering career that stretches back to 2002, when she landed her first role on teen superhero drama Smallville.

She went on to land a number of high-profile roles in films including The Hobbit trilogy, Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.