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10 Wealthy Celebrities That Came From Extreme Poverty

It seems difficult for many of us to imagine that not all celebrities have always been as wealthy as they are today. Some celebrities weren't surrounded by caviar, bottles of Dom Perignon and over-flowing cash, while growing up. In fact, a number of stars came from very humble beginnings and beat the odds to obtain fortune and fame. Below is a list of ten very well-known and very rich celebrities that actually came from a background close to poverty.

10 Sarah Jessica Parker

It's hard to believe Sarah Jessica Parker, the woman who played columnist and fashionista, Carrie Bradshaw, on the hit television show Sex and the City for six seasons was ever poor. Parker grew up in Nelsonville, Ohio and told New York Times in 2000 about her childhood stating, ''We were on welfare. I remember being poor. There was no great way to hide it. We didn't have electricity sometimes. We didn't have Christmases sometimes, or we didn't have birthdays sometimes, or the bill collectors came, or the phone company would call and say, 'We're shutting your phones off.' And we were all old enough to either get the calls, or watch my mother's reactions or watch my parents shuffling the money around.'' Sarah was one of eight children and neither her mother, father or stepfather could support such a large family. The forty-nine year old actress is now worth $90 million.

9 Leonardo Dicaprio

These days, Leonardo Dicaprio lives a life full of yachts and private jets, but Dicaprio wasn't always accustomed to his extravagant lifestyle. Before making it big in Hollywood, Leo was just a poor kid living in L.A. surrounded by drugs and prostitution. Dicaprio told Los Angeles Times in February 2014, that he grew up in a poor and rundown neighborhood in Los Angeles. Drugs and prostitution were so prevalent in his neighborhood, that it turned him off to do drugs at a very young age, because he saw addiction all around him. The thirty-nine year old actor is worth over $200 million and now lives nowhere near his old neighborhood.

8 Tom Cruise

7 Hilary Swank

Two time Oscar winner, Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park in Washington. Swank's father left the family when she was young, leaving her mother to be a single parent with two children. At age fifteen, Hilary dropped out of high school. Her mother lost her job around the same time and the family packed up their car and moved to California, so Hilary could pursue her dream of becoming an actress. They lived in their car and stayed at friends' homes, until they could afford an apartment. Hilary landed several roles, but it wasn't until 1999, when she got the lead in Boys Don't Cry that her career took off. Although she only earned $75 a day for Boys Don't Cry, which came out to be a total of $3000, Swank is now worth an estimated $40 million.

6 Jim Carrey

5 Demi Moore

4 Shania Twain

3 Leighton Meester

2 J.K. Rowling

1 Oprah Winfrey

Before she was the Queen of Daytime, before she was an actress and before she launched her OWN cable network, Oprah Winfrey was a poor girl who grew up on a small pig farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Winfrey was born to unmarried teenage parents and was raised by her grandmother until age six, when she moved with her mother to Milwaukee, WI. Her mother was a maid, who worked very long hours and was not supportive, nor encouraging. At age 14, Oprah was sent to live with her father in Tennessee. He instilled a strong work ethic in her and was very strict, but encouraging with her education. As a child, Oprah was dressed in potato sacks and now, she only wears designer clothes. With a net worth of $2.9 billion, Oprah Winfrey is considered the richest African-American in the world.

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