10 Celebs Who Gave Up Promising Careers To Act

Just like everyone else, celebrities, stars, famous people (or whatever you would like to refer to them as) have not always been famous. Yes, some of them were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and some of them were born into a talent dynasty. However, this does not guarantee that they will too be as successful as their parents, siblings or cousins. Most of the time they too had to scrimp and save every penny, work odd end jobs to stay afloat, and some of them never meant to end up in the entertainment business. They had other dreams and aspirations; lawyers, doctors, teachers and scientists, you know the normal stuff that you actually have to go to university for. Nevertheless, let’s be 100% real; if you too had a chance to have fame and fortune, most of you would leave an equally rewarding career to pursue it. We are used to hearing stories of hard times and someone rising from the ashes like a phoenix to transform themselves; but truth be told the celebrities you are going to see on this list were doing just fine before falling into fame and if it was not for their love of the arts, they would still be living a pretty comfortable life today. With jobs like custom furniture maker, politician and educator, there is no way you can lose in life. If you were ever curious about what some of your favorite celebrities were doing before they were entertaining you, here is a list that will peak your interest.


10 Harrison Ford – Carpenter

Before becoming an actor, Harrison Ford used to build custom furniture for celebrities. He has reportedly built furniture for the likes of Richard Dreyfuss and Joan Didion. However, his foray into carpentry was because he bought a house that he wanted to fix up but could not afford to. So he came up with the brilliant idea to make furniture, sell it and buy nicer furniture for his house. Granted, life before Han Solo was most likely rough. However, when you take a good look at Ford you can still see that rugged, carpenter look on him. We wonder if he still makes his own furniture.

9 Hugh Grant – Journalist

Actor Hugh Grant worked a lot of odd end jobs before he landed his first role in acting; one of these jobs was a journalist of sorts; putting his English degree to good work, Grant wrote book reviews for a local paper. He also wrote comedy sketches and radio commercials for a local radio station; one can say he was always destined to claim fame in some aspect of the entertainment world. It is kind of ironic that Grant has had so many viscous run-ins with paparazzi, and will not hesitate to sue a tabloid for false statements. One would assume he would have more sympathy for a profession he once dipped his toes in.

8 Jerry Springer – Politics And Law

Before Jerry Springer was the host of one the trashiest shows on television, he was actually doing pretty well for himself. He tried his hand in politics, working as Robert Kennedy’s campaign manager. During that time he was a law school graduate and taking the bar to be a practicing lawyer. He eventually went on to work as a lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1977 became Mayor of Cincinnati for one year. This guy has had many prominent careers and still ended up on the edgy talk show. However, his talk show was wildly successful and till this day holds the record as one of the most watch daytime talk shows.

7 Evangeline Lilly – Flight Attendant

Before she was a Lost actress, Evangeline Lilly was no stranger to planes because she worked as a flight attendant and got to wear those cute little outfits. However, Lilly does not agree with the whole cute outfit thing; in fact, she once stated that she considered it the “worst job ever”. As a flight attendant, one would assume that it can be exciting because you get to travel the world and experience different cultures, but according to Lilly the job had “no redeeming qualities". She explained, "I didn’t like people, I didn’t like the destinations”. She complained of her feet swelling and “accidentally” farting on a passenger. Yikes, nothing motivates you like hate.

6 Hugh Jackman – P.E. Teacher

Being a teacher is an outstanding career with great benefits; you get summers off, every holiday off, you get to inspire young minds and if you are like Hugh Jackman, you get to teach sports all day while staying in shape. Jackman was a physical education teacher before he was Wolverine and Jean Valjean; this could be why he is so in shape and truly enjoys keeping a healthy body. In fact, Jackman even ran into one of his former students on a red carpet press event and took the time to reminisce with him about his time as his P.E. teacher; how can you not love this guy?

5 Gerard Butler – Lawyer

After graduating from a Glasgow Law school, Gerard Butler was well on his way to being a prominent lawyer until he was quickly fired from his first job because he was horrible at showing up to work on time (due to the fact that he was doing gigs with his band most nights at local pubs). That must have been the spark he needed to pursue his dreams because he never went back to the high profile field and opted for a job in entertainment instead. It was still a few years before he made it big, but not even being broke could force him to fall back on his degree.

4 Sheryl Crow – Primary School Teacher

Well at least we know that she always loved to Soak Up The Sun; singer Sheryl Crow tried her hand at teaching primary school before she made her debut in music. Crow taught music to cute little kids at Kellison Elementary School in Missouri, and this gave her the flexibility to play gigs on weekends and evenings. She only taught for about three years because she was way too talented to stay hidden for long. How jealous are you that a bunch of kids were able to attend several free Sheryl Crow concerts before you even knew what her name was?


3 Connie Britton – Aerobics Instructor

Being in shape is what helps actress Connie Britton, belt out those amazing tunes as Rayna James on Nashville and just think, she owes all that musical success to being an aerobics instructor. Before breaking into acting, the actress taught several fitness classes and told E! News that she was so into her job that she wore leopard leg warmers, a bandanna and tight bike shorts. Seeing how she looks today, she must have looked even better as a young up and coming aerobics instructor. What do you think; can she jump back into the fitness games considering the craze it is currently on?

2 Ellen DeGeneres – Paralegal

Ellen DeGeneres working in anything but comedy is hard to image; but nonetheless it happened. Before DeGeneres was a talk show host, stand up comedian and gay rights activist, she was a paralegal working in a law office. A boring desk job for her most would assume. She obtained her diploma at UC Irvine while doing stand up comedy on the side (a stress reliever). However, DeGeneres quickly realized the career was not for her and decided to dedicate more time to comedy and acting (and thank god she did). What would a world without Ellen D look like? Slightly less funny.

1 Ken Jeong - Doctor

Funny guy Ken Jeong was a doctor before he traded the ER scrubs in for a mic stand. Jeong told People magazine that he always had a passion for acting but did not act on it until he played a doctor in the film Knocked Up!. He stated that his wife saw that he had caught the acting bug and was very instrumental in him pursing this as a second career. Proof that he still has a passion for medicine can be seen in Jeong’s new ABC show Dr. Ken, where he plays (that’s right you guessed it) a comedic doctor. Mirroring life much?


Give TheRichest a Thumbs up!

More in LifeStyle