The life of a celebrity seems to be a glamorous one from the outside, but the reality is that things aren’t often as rosy as they appear for people who have achieved fame. It’s often easy to forget that celebrities are people like everyone else, and some of them have either come from humble beginnings or made it big and then lost everything through either poor decisions or unfortunate circumstances.
Today we’re counting down 10 well-known celebrities who have either experienced homelessness before they became big stars or fell from grace and found themselves homeless after making it big.
Stick around for the entire list and you’ll see how one celebrity nearly lost her career before it began because of homelessness and health problems at the same time, while another spent his middle school years living in a car in the Midwest!
10. Ted Williams
No, not the famous slugger for the Boston Red Sox. This Ted Williams battled addiction and found himself on the streets of Ohio in 2011 with nothing but the clothes on his back and what he termed a God-given gift of a golden radio voice. Fortunately, that’s all he needed, as his voice caught the attention of reporters in Columbus, leading him to voiceover work with Kraft and Pepsi and the publication of his autobiography, A Golden Voice.
His life’s by no means easy today, but he’s off the streets and moving forward.
9. Debbie Clark
In the early 1990’s, American Gladiators was a nationwide phenomenon. Kids spent their Saturdays watching everyday people battle against warriors known as gladiators, and the show allowed their personalities to shine, making it a hit. Unfortunately, the show was also notorious for being stingy with its licensing, which led to several gladiators being replaced in 1993. One was Debbie Clark, who competed from 1991 to 1993 as Storm. Though she made good money on the show, two years isn’t long, and having to escape domestic violence left her and her son on the street in 2011 before Sean Sheppard and her fellow gladiators stepped in to help.
Read on to see which famous comedian spent his teenage years in a van in Canada!
8. Jim Carrey
Life on The Truman Show would have looked good to the funnyman when he was growing up, as he dropped out of high school and spent most of his teen years living in a van with his family. But the situation helped him become who he is today, as he developed his famous sense of humor to help get him through the reality he faced every day.
7. Phil McGraw
As a rule, doctors in any field tend to get paid a lot. As another rule, that doesn’t apply to interns. That was the case for Phil McGraw’s father, leaving the man who would eventually become Dr. Phil to spend his childhood living in a car in Kansas City. Once the elder McGraw completed his internship though, things took off for the pair, and the younger McGraw is now worth over a quarter of a billion dollars.
Check out No. 6 to see an NBA player who was homeless while still collecting an NBA paycheck!
6. Delonte West
The 2011 NBA lockout was devastating to several players, but none were hit harder than Delonte West, who had blown through all of his NBA money and was no longer collecting a paycheck while locked out. Things didn’t improve once play resumed, because West’s criminal record made landlords skittish about renting to him, leaving him to make his home in the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room when the team wasn’t on the road. Luckily for him, that stopped once owner Mark Cuban found out and helped set him up with a living situation.
Take a look at No. 5 to see the lineman who went from the streets to the NFL and the big screen!
5. Michael Oher
Full disclosure: Carolina Panthers tackle Michael Oher is not a fan of The Blind Side. It makes sense, because offensive linemen usually only get attention when they’ve done something wrong. In Oher’s case, he’s never been able to escape its spotlight, and it’s prevented people from seeing a pretty good football player who’s got a Super Bowl ring for his troubles. His story is well known, as he spent years going through the foster system and homelessness before being adopted by the Tuohy family and eventually reaching the NFL.
4. Randy Quaid
In Major League II, Randy Quaid spends the entire movie yelling at Charlie Sheen’s Rick Vaughn and looking like a homeless man in the process, wearing the same outfit to just about every game. In real life, Quaid’s story is far less humorous, as he and his wife have been caught squatting in a property they once owned and skipping out on a five-digit hotel bill.
Check out No. 3 to see which James Bond actor was homeless before joining the series!
3. Daniel Craig
It’s quite a feat to go from the benches of London to the next Bond, and that’s exactly where Daniel Craig’s path has led him. Years before taking the role of 007, Craig was sleeping on park benches in London trying to make ends meet as a struggling actor in search of a hit. Considering that Casino Royale alone grossed almost $600 million, it’s safe to say Craig won’t be returning to the benches anytime soon.
Jewel’s career almost didn’t happen. She was once fired from her job for reportedly turning down her boss’ offer to sleep with him, and that meant she couldn’t afford her rent. Throw in that the singer had kidney problems and no insurance, and she was left with a situation that left her homeless and nearly dead. Luckily, much like Ted Williams, her beautiful voice became her saving grace.
Check out the genius who quit college and later created a product that’s on college campuses everywhere in slide No. 1!
1. Steve Jobs
There’s a line from an Eli Young Band song called “Fight” that says, “You’ve got to spend your last dime before you ever make a million.” That fits Steve Jobs pretty well, as he dropped out of college, lost his dorm room as a result and found himself on the streets collecting glass bottles to earn enough money to buy food. Four years later, Jobs and Steve Wozniak constructed the Apple II and changed the world forever. At the time of his death in 2011, Steve Jobs had made a million more than 10,000 times over, earning a net worth of $10.2 billion.
Readers, did you enjoy our list of people who have seen both ends of the spectrum of rags and riches? Did any of the information change your opinion about any of these celebrities? Were there any celebrities that you think we missed in our list of 10, and if so, what made their story so compelling to you? Did any of the celebrities on our list surprise you or make you more interested in learning more about their stories? Let us know what your thoughts were in the comments below and make sure to like and share this story within your circle of friends!