10 Celebs Who Were Rejected Before Making it Big

We have all heard stories of models and actors who were just minding their own business at the mall, when they were suddenly “discovered.” They just happened to be at the right place at the right time for the right person to notice their good looks, and the rest, as they say, is history. For some people, it’s easy. But for the majority of celebrities,  their big break didn’t come until they put in a lot of hard work, and suffered a lot of rejection. We have all had setbacks in our career journeys, but imagine being an aspiring actress and being told you will never be cast in a movie because of something as arbitrary, and seemingly unimportant as the size of your nose? That’s exactly what happened to Glee star, Lea Michele.

Some of the biggest writers, artists, musicians, and actors were told they would never make it in the business, and they should just quit. But lucky for us, they didn’t listen. For all the almost famous people out there who chose to give up because of a little criticism,  here are 10 stories of celebrities whose perseverance paid off, big time.


9 Jim Lee - Comic Book Artist

After taking a friend's advice and attending a New York comics convention, Lee was able to show his portfolio to some editors in person. There he met editor, Archie Goodwin, who invited him to Marvel Comics. Lee was invited to pencil a mid-list series called Alpha Fight. He went on to fill in for the regular illustrator of the Uncanny X-Men, and eventually ended up launching his own X-Men series, called X-Men Volume 2. The first issue is still the bestselling comic book of all time, at over 8.1 million copies sold. He has also worked on various Batman, and Superman titles, and he has been the co-publisher of DC Comics since 2010. Guess he made the right move not going to med school.

8 Andy Warhol - Painter


Pop art icon, Andy Warhol's work was not always in high demand. There is now a museum in Pittsburgh dedicated solely to his work, but there was a time when established museums weren't interested in displaying his art.

7 Steven Spielberg - Director/Producer

6 Kurt Vonnegut - Author


The editor was very apologetic, saying the pieces were just not "well adapted for our purpose" and were not "quite compelling enough for final acceptance." But writing is one of those professions that inevitably comes with a lot of rejection letters, and Vonnegut was not a quitter. He was known for his social commentary mixed with science fiction themes that were highly original and engaging.

6. U2 - Rockstars

5 Walt Disney - Cartoonist

4 Anna Wintour - Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue


3 Tim Burton - Director


2 Stephen King - Novelist


1 Madonna - International Popstar


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