Before they rose to stardom, many of today’s celebrities struggled to make ends meet. Some were more than just poor: they were the homeless type who had to work several times as hard to survive the brutal conditions of the streets. Others had to resort to illegal activities just to have something eat at the end of the day. From living in crowded shelters to spending the night in vehicles, these celebrities had to do whatever it takes to make it out alive. Eventually, these same celebrities managed to turn their lives around and have inspired others to understand that it can be possible to start from nothing and ending with something.
Here are 17 of today’s celebrities, who, at some point in their past lives, had to live homeless for some time before hitting it big:
1. Daniel Craig
Daniel, the latest actor in the Bond franchise, didn’t always come out as classy as he was in his 007 films. As a struggling actor back in the day, he would spend night after night sleeping on park benches. But nowadays, it’s never the case.
2. Halle Berry
Halle, an Oscar winning actress, is a combination of beauty, talent, and brains. Before her breakout Hollywood career, she lived at a shelter in New York while trying to land an acting job. This time around, she’s bagged multiple awards from a number of impressive films.
3. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah, a multi-millionaire, actress, and TV host, spent several years with her grandmother wearing dresses mostly made out of potato sack. After being molested at age 13, she was sent to live with her father, where her life turned around for the better.
4. J.K. Rowling
J.K., fresh off her brutal divorce in the 90s, not only had a child at the time, but she had to live on welfare. Her famous Harry Potter series was done in coffee shops just so she could get her daughter to sleep. Now, she’s a world-renowned author with a reputation.
5. Jim Carrey
Jim wasn’t always the funny man back in the day. As a child, he dropped out of school and had to be content living in a van with his family. His poor life led him to live on his older sister’s lawn (in a tent). But that changed big time years later as a comedian/actor.
6. Hilary Swank
Hilary went through a very rough childhood. At age 15, her parents separated. She, along with her mother, moved from to L.A. from Washington with only $75 in cash while living in a car. It took sometime before they could finally afford a family apartment.
7. Mariah Carey
Mariah spent a bulk of her childhood in the poorest area in Long Island. Aside from singing, she did a number of forgettable things. Later on, she moved to New York where she was discovered by a label exec, who helped her gain fame worldwide as a singer.
8. Justin Bieber
Justin was dirt poor years ago. Based on his personal accounts, he had to live in a house infested by rodents and with a rarely-filled fridge. A bulk of his diet were mostly mac and cheese. But these days, he’s a multi-millionaire singer with a number of hits on his belt.
9. Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg spent his childhood growing up in squalor. His teen days were mostly spent on selling drugs. After taking several trips to jail, he decided to make rap mixtapes. He sent some of his demos to a friend, who happened to be the step brother of the famous Dr. Dre.
Jay-Z, a world renowned American rapper and multi-millionaire, grew up at a time when bread was considered a premium item. After being involved in violence and drugs, he decided to enter the world of rap. Not long after, he gained worldwide status and fame.
11. Mark Walhberg
Mark dropped out of school at a tender age of 14 to be a thug. After getting selling and using drugs, he sought help from his older brother, who had connections in Hollywood. Shortly after, he landed a rap record deal before breaking out into the acting world.
12. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo spent a bulk of his childhood hounded by drug lords, thugs, and prostitutes. Even with all that, he managed to look beyond the streets by working hard to land big acting roles. And it paid off. Now he’s one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood.
13. Demi Moore
Demi spent her childhood years living in a trailer park. One of her greatest misfortunes at that time was dealing with an unemployed and abusive father. Desperate for a better life, she dropped out of school for Hollywood at just 16 years of age. Now she’s famous.
14. Phil McGraw
Phil, aka “Dr. Phil,” spent a majority of his childhood living in a car with his father. Even when that’s not possible, he would sneak in to the YMCA whenever he could. Now he owns a talk show, earns millions of dollars in contracts, and has garnered a huge fan base.
15. David Letterman
David, one of the longest running (now retired) and wealthy TV hosts in the U.S., recalled living in an outdated pickup for extended periods of time. Years later, he moved to Los Angeles before appearing on his very own show in New York. And the rest is history.
16. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester is one of the most known action actors in the world. It’s hard to imagine a younger version of himself sleeping for weeks at a local bus station. His luck turned for the better when an adult film company offered to pay him $100 a day. Now, he’s rich.
17. Steve Jobs
Steve, a tech billionaires in the globe, didn’t take the easy route to success. He spent years returning soda bottles for nickel deposits just so he can have something eat. He would walk for miles every weekend just so he can sleep inside his friend’s home — on a floor.
Life was never easy for these homeless-turned-celebrities. But if there’s one thing going on for them, it’s their lives getting better by the day. With more roles in the entertainment industry and a bright future ahead of them, it’s no surprise they’re making the most of what is being offered. While it may be hard to imagine these celebs struggling to make ends meet initially, their inspiring stories are indeed worth mentioning. This only shows that the path to success and fame for some was never an easy one. Sometimes it takes persistence and a bit of luck to finally land the spotlight in the world of showbiz.