15 Celebs Who Ended Up Being Famous Purely By Accident

Ever heard of the saying "right place, right time?" Well, let's just agree that some people are a bit luckier than others. There are two types of people in this world: people who work for what they want and people who get everything handed to them on a silver plater.

Some people just have it, and they don't even need to try. But this isn't to say that being famous doesn't have its downfalls. Just because someone picked you up and raised you to the top, it doesn't mean that they will stay there and hold you forever. Eventually you will have to put in some work and continue down the path you were brought to.

Funny enough, some actors spend half their lives pursuing a dream that will never come true, and some are just born into it. It doesn't seem fair but hey, if it happened to you, you wouldn't be complaining. So next time you leave the house with messy hair and sweatpants, remember that you never know whether or not there's a Hollywood talent scout lurking in the shadows. Maybe today is your lucky day, maybe not. You've been warned.


15 Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly refers to her success as an actress as a "happy accident." In truth, the Canadian actress never really wanted to be in the limelight at all. She was discovered walking down the street by a modelling agent who convinced her to audition. Lilly wouldn't have considered the agent's proposition if she hadn't needed to pay for her tuition at the University of British Colombia, where she was studying International Relations. "One of the strange things about my acting career is that I never aspired to it and I really didn’t work hard at all to get there," said Lilly. The Lost star has recently accomplished her own dreams of becoming a published writer and decided to focus on a different vocation. However, she has had a hard time completely abandoning her acting career and has re-surfaced in movies such as The Hobbit and Ant-Man.

14 John Wayne


John Wayne is a legend in the movie industry. His sultry drawl and indolent walk are what made him the perfect candidate to act in Western and war-type movies. But the great John Wayne wasn't always keen on the idea of acting. Before his acting career debuted, Wayne went by the name of Marion Morrison, and Morrison only had one dream: playing professional football. Morrison's world came crashing down in 1926 when he gravely injured his shoulder while body surfing. As a result of the incident, Morrison was kicked off the football team, lost his scholarship at USC and was forced to quit when he could no longer pay for his room and board. Morrison's old coach was the one who set him up with a job at Fox Studios, and it wasn't long before someone noticed Morrison's acting potential and the iconic John Wayne was born.

13 Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron knew from a young age that she wanted to be a model, but the thought of obtaining this by means of an acting career had never crossed her mind. The beautiful South African actress started modelling at the age of 14 and later decided it would be best if she moved to America to pursue her dreams. However, life got hard and complicated after she parted ways with her mother and Theron became accustomed to the life of a struggling model. One day, her mother sent Theron a check and she went to the bank to cash it. But the teller was too skeptical and refused to accept the South African bank draft. Furious, Theron argued loudly over the refusal, and curiously enough attracted the attention of a Hollywood talent scout waiting in line behind her. By the end of the day, Theron had been signed to his agency and her career had taken a turn for the better.

12 Pamela Anderson


Pamela Anderson always knew that she belonged on a beach in California, living the life of a celebrity. What she didn't know was how she was going to end up there. Anderson was born in British Columbia and started off her career by modelling and working as an extra in small-time Vancouver films. The Canadian model even became a fitness instructor and took great pleasure in modelling fitness and swimsuit wear. There is no doubt that Anderson would have eventually found her way to L.A. on her own, but she did receive a little bit of help. When Anderson was 22 years old, she attended a football game in B.C. with some friends. Unknowingly to her, her choice of outfit (a Labatt crop-top) would change her life forever. Call it a fluke, but the camera man from the game happened to film young Anderson and the crowd went wild. "Who is the girl in the Labatt top?" The exposure caused Anderson's career to rise exponentially.

11 Harrison Ford

When it comes to Harrison Ford, it is surprising to find out that before this great actor had his big break, he was actually a carpenter. Ford realized he wanted to become an actor while he was enrolled at Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he studied English and philosophy. Ford who eventually went on to become Han Solo in the Star Wars Trilogy, had been repeatedly told by numerous casting agents that he would never make it in the business. But it wasn't until Ford and George Lucas met that Ford went from a struggling carpenter to a renowned actor. "I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han," said Ford. "I was quite surprised when I was offered the part." Lucas is also to thank for Ford's first role ever in American Graffiti.

10 Mel Gibson


Mel Gibson is an American actor-turned-filmmaker who has had the fortunate chance to rise up in Hollywood. Gibson was born in New York but moved to Australia when he was 12 years old. His father had just received a big sum of money after suing the government and decided to start fresh in the land down under. Unknowingly, this decision would cause Gibson to fall into the hands of the acting world. Years later, Gibson agreed to give his friend a lift to an audition. When the day came, Gibson presented himself with scrapes and bruises all over his face from the previous night's bar fight. The director of the movie instantly locked eyes on Gibson's face and figured he would be perfect for the role of a freak. The director told Gibson to come back when he was healed up and audition. But when Gibson came back looking healed and fresh, the director was surprised to see a handsome face beneath the bruises and gave him the lead role in Mad Max.

9 Sarah Michelle Gellar

Most of us know Sarah Michelle Gellar as the tough blonde from Buffy The Vampire Slayer but how much do we really know about her? For one, the actress has been married to Freddie Prinze Jr. since 2002. The couple met on the set of I Know What You Did Last Summer back in 1997 and have been happily married since. Gellar is also a black belt in Tae Kwon and once placed fourth in the Madison Square Garden Competition. But how did Gellar come into her fame? Well, she was discovered by a talent scout at four years old, when she and her single mother were seen eating at a local restaurant in New York City. Gellar started to act right away, be it in commercials or movies. Gellar was actually sued by McDonald's for having done a Burger King commercial that clearly bashed its opponent by name. As a result, Gellar was banned from entering the franchise.


8 Channing Tatum


Channing Tatum started off his acting career by hitting rock-bottom. While some actor's journey to fame is gradual, Tatum's was a little more rocky. Tatum was discovered by an agent in the late 90's while on the streets of Miami. From then on, Tatum started modelling for Nautica, GAP, American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch. As Tatum's modelling and acting career started to kick off, his unsettling past as a stripper from the dark and dingy nightclubs of L.A. started to dissipate. Tatum landed his first on-camera gig in Ricky Martin's She Bangs music video back in the year 2000. In 2006, Tatum landed the role that would change his life ;the movie Step Up not only allowed him to show off his killer dance moves, but it also introduced him to his  co-star and future wife Jenna Dewan. Since then, Tatum has acted in over 20 movies, and has also revisited his past as a stripper by acting in the movie Magic Mike.

7 Hulk Hogan

You know you're in for a surprise when you see Hulk Hogan in a movie. He's either there to throw some things around, scream at kids or give you a knuckle sandwich. But what if I told you that Hogan became a pro-wrestler by simply looking the part? Before he was the great Hulk Hogan, he went by the name of Terry Gene Bollea and Bollea only had one dream; becoming a rock star. One night while Bollea and his band were preforming a gig, two wrestlers happened to stop by and watch the show. Since Bollea had dropped out of college to pursue his bassist career, he had started lifting weights in his free time. The wrestlers instantly noticed Bollea's physique and reported back to their coach Hiro Matsuda. Within a few weeks, Bollea exchanged his bass for some weights and just like that Hulk Hogan was born.

6 Ellen Pompeo


Ellen Pompeo got into acting by a stroke of good luck. The actress had spent two years of her life working as a cocktail waitress in a Miami bar, but one day, everything changed. A casting director stopped in for a cocktail and noticed that the waitress had some potential. Pompeo was instantly signed and quit her job to pursue her acting career in New York City. By 2002, she had already made appearances in movies such a Catch Me If You Can and Moonlight Mile. Although Pompeo has acted in a good amount of movies, the role that she is most known for is the one of Meredith Grey on the hit ABC's show Grey's Anatomy, which lasted 12 seasons.

5 Rosario Dawson

The beautiful actress basically grew up as a vagabond. Her mother, who had her at 17 years old, raised her in an abandoned apartment building where she lived out most of her childhood and teen years. The good thing about living in this building was that that is where Rosario Dawson got the chance to become an actress. One day, while 17 year old Dawson was sitting on the curb in front of the abandoned building, a photographer and screenwriter happened to pass by. The photographer, Larry Clark, had a knack for taking pictures of people who had a druggy-look to them. When he saw Dawson sitting there, he instantly asked her to audition in what would become Dawson's debutante role in Kids.

4 Jennifer Lawrence


Jennifer Lawrence has become a name that nearly everybody knows. The young actress has smitten the public with her down-to-earth personality and hilarious comebacks. Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky but was discovered at the age of 14 when her family made the amazing choice of spending spring break in New York City. Lawrence was stopped by an agent who thought she would be perfect for a role. The agent took a picture of Lawrence and took down the parent's contact info. Not even two days later the family was called and Lawrence was set up with an audition. The soon-to-be Hunger Games actress debuted her acting career by filming an MTV commercial and within a couple years was living in New York City and landing roles left and right. As of current day, the award-winning actress is contemplating pursuing a career as a movie director.

3 Joe Viterelli


Joe Viterelli is well known amongst the acting world as the perfect actor to play an Italian mobster. Viterelli has nailed the art of portraying someone you don't want to mess with. The interesting thing about this brilliant actor is that he was never really interested in acting at all. Instead, Viterelli rather enjoyed the simple kind of life. But as always, it's not what you know but who you know. Viterelli was good friends with actor Sean Penn's father Leo, who had tried time and time again to get Viterelli to pursue acting. But as always, the request was futile. It wasn't until Sean Penn asked him for a favor that Viterelli agreed to audition. The big guy enjoyed acting a lot more than he could have imagined. And with that said, Viterelli went on to pursue an acting career that would land him roles in over 40 films.

2 Natalie Portman


Natalie Portman has had the quite the towering career. From landing roles in Star Wars to combining her dancing and acting skills in Black Swan, the academy award winning actress has definitely been riding on a killer wave. Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel but immigrated to the United States when she was still in diapers. Already at a young age, it was easy to see that Portman would grow up to be a beautiful woman. When Portman was only 11 years old, she was stopped in a pizza shop by a representative of Revlon Cosmetics. The representative clearly saw potential in young Portman and tried to convince her to pursue a career in modelling. However, Portman thought modelling to be on the repetitious side and chose to pursue acting instead. Portman enrolled herself in the Usdan Theatre Arts Camp and the rest is history.

1 Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has always had a dark side to him, but he didn't always express it by means of acting. At one point in time, Depp use to close his eyes and picture himself as a rock star. Depp was part of a musical group called The Kids. The group itself did not do too shabby and even opened for hit bands like The Talking Heads. Unfortunately, the band was not a reliable source of income and Depp spent many months living in his buddy's car. In 1983, the 20-year-old Depp married Lori Allison and moved to L.A. to pursue his musical career. Believe it or not, Depp owes his acting career to Nicolas Cage. When Allison introduced her husband Depp to her ex-boyfriend Cage, sparks flew between the two. Cage instantly saw potential in Depp and did not waste time in introducing him to a Hollywood agent.

Sources: LATimes, Telegraph,

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