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12 Bigtime Celebs Who Overcame Hollywood Rejection

It's hard to start out. That's true in any field. When you're young and inexperienced, you're going to make a lot of mistakes and there's going to be a lot of rejection before you finally make your wa

It's hard to start out. That's true in any field. When you're young and inexperienced, you're going to make a lot of mistakes and there's going to be a lot of rejection before you finally make your way. That's especially true in Hollywood, one of the most unforgiving places to try to rise through the ranks. Of course, most people who aim for stardom don't make it. Hey, the world needs waiters too. But there are a few who eventually break out. For them, the years of struggle and rejection is all worth it.

This is a list of the stars whose careers got off to a bumpy start, who had to overcome adversity and who had to ignore painful rejection before finally getting their big breaks. Many of them came tantalizingly close to stardom early, and then had to wait years for another chance. Others slogged through forgettable and regrettable roles, repeatedly just missing their opportunity for stardom. Until, of course, it finally came.

This list is dedicated to anyone who was ever fired. Each person on this list took a shot and had to start all over again. Most of us live far from Hollywood, but it's nice to remember that a person can suffer personal humiliation and still bounce back. A person can, say, be fired from a lowly fast food job on their first day and still one day end up being one of the most powerful entertainers in the world.

12 Madonna

11 Julia Louis-Dreyfus

10 Julie Andrews

9 Amy Adams

8 Lady Gaga

7 Kerry Washington

6 Eric Stoltz

5 Lisa Kudrow

4 Matthew Perry

3 Jerry Seinfeld

2 Jon Hamm

1 Harrison Ford

By any measure, Harrison Ford is one of the most successful actors of the last 40 years, anchoring two iconic franchises in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and making memorable appearances in countless other movies. But he had trouble getting started. Early in his career, he was under contract to a studio at $150 a week and a talent scout told him that he would never make it in Hollywood. More than a decade later, after Ford had become one of the most recognizable actors on the planet, the same exec spotted the star having lunch. He had the waiter deliver a card that read "I missed my bet." Ford looked up but couldn't figure out which of the people at the table was the guy who had doubted his talent 15 years earlier.

Sources: IMDB, MTV, NYPost, DailyMail, WMagazine

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12 Bigtime Celebs Who Overcame Hollywood Rejection