If you have never experienced homelessness, then you are extremely fortunate. Many of the celebs we know today experienced being homeless before they became successful. Living out in the streets is a traumatic experience that can damage one's physical and emotional well-being. However, these stars didn't let misfortune stand in the way of them accomplishing their dreams. Some people appear to have it all in life: influence, fame, money, and power. When we look at them, we dream about being in their shoes. It is unfortunate that most of us make prejudicial notions about the homeless. It is important to know that being homeless can happen to anyone at any time. It even happens to those with great drive and work ethics.
The homeless individual suffers from high levels of stress, dissatisfaction with poverty, lack of control over their housing situation and poor living situations. They frequently also feel extremely secluded, particularly when temporary lodging is offered and they can't repay the kindness. As a matter of fact, these rags-to-riches stories are real, and they just don't happen in the movies. Most influential and successful individuals in the world never started off that way. However, others spent their nights on the streets, on a friend's sofa and in a stranger's car. As the stories of these celebs suggest, life can take a turn at any juncture, and being homeless cannot define a person's future life. Despite being displaced from their homes, their lives turned around at one point. Today these celebrities have become an inspiration to others who dream of a proficient career. Knowing that someone is successful and came from nothing inspires us. So this article highlights 20 celebs who used to be homeless before their fame.
20 Daniel Craig
At one point in time, Daniel Craig ended up becoming homeless. When he was 16 years old, Craig acted in school plays. His mother noticed he took a liking to the theatre and his mom started going to his performances. He enrolled in the Everyman's Theater in Liverpool. Around this same time, he dropped out of school and joined the National Youth Theater. He relocated to London where he could concentrate more on his acting. In order to pay for his training and upkeep, he worked part-time in restaurants. Later on, he joined the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He graduated in 1991. After graduating from the National Youth Theater, Daniel Craig didn’t find a secure acting gig. Supporting himself financially became a critical challenge and this is when he ended up being homeless sleeping on the park benches in London. Daniel landed his first on-screen role in The Power of One, in 1992. He then picked up small gigs and then caught the eye of a casting agent where he played a major role in the James Bond movies.
19 Jennifer Lopez
When we see Jennifer wearing a mink jacket and patent-leather stilettos similar to the ones she put on for W’s Fall Fashion Preview, people can gain inspiration from her misfortunate background. At the age of 18, Jennifer moved out of her Bronx home, determined to be a star. Jennifer told the press that she had quarrels with her mom. She goes on to say, “My mom and I butted heads. I did not want to go to college. I wanted to try making a living as a full-time dancer. I was homeless.” She spent the nights sleeping in a small folding bed in her dance studio. It took a little bit of time, then Lopez's career finally took off. After ten months of pounding the pavement, she received work as a Fly Girl on In Living Color. From that period on, Jennifer has become a movie star, a fashion entrepreneur and became a multi-platinum album singer. Lopez always gives her five-year-old twins Emme and Max encouragement and always tells them that they can accomplish anything if they put their minds to it. Lopez wants to bring them up so they will not have the same struggle she did.
18 David Letterman
At one point in time, David Letterman, America’s greatest late-night talk show host experienced homelessness. The comedian grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He always admired his dad's capability of taking words and making them funny. When still a young boy, his father suffered from a heart attack while his father was 36 years old. Fortunately, his father survived the attack. This whole experience really shook him up. 11 years later, the Letterman’s father passed away. Afterwards, David went to college and pursued a career in broadcasting. He later worked at the WBST Ball State University campus radio station. After a short period of time, he was fired from the station due to lack of fondness for classical music. He created his own campus radio station, WAGO-AM 570. He later landed a job on WNTS-AM as a radio talk show host. His wife back then and his brother encouraged him to move to Los Angeles. Due to a lack of income, he was forced to sleep out of his Chevrolet pick-up truck. After a time looking around for work, he was noticed by Jimmie Walker, and Letterman received a writing job on The Starland Vocal Band Show. He became good at his craft and started getting referral work. He eventually became a morning show comedian on NBC. From then he received financial backing to do the talk show, Late Night with David Letterman.
17 Sylvester Stallone
The way that Sylvester Stallone was raised would make the average person go insane. Stallone, nowadays known as Sly, is one of the greatest action heroes in the entertainment industry. He didn’t emerge in Hollywood with ease as most of us may tend to think. While trying to make a living as an actor, he spent most of his early adult life with no place to call home. During this period, Stallone spent his night sleeping on benches in the Port Authority bus station. He started writing his future hit, Rocky, during this time. He was very determined on playing Rocky in the film, and he declined to sell it to anyone until the purchaser would grant him the opportunity to play the leading role. Offers came in, but the motivated actor/writer opted to live homeless. Stallone knew Rocky was going to be a success and never gave up his dream to star in the movie that he created. Stallone along the way performed in movies he is not proud of in order to make extra money to eat.
16 Steven Jobs
The late Steven Jobs had an interesting life before becoming famous. The Apple’s innovator, in the tech world, has not always had an easy life and success was not always on his side. Steven, during his growing period, spent most of his life depending on other people for support. His life in college was very challenging. Most of the time he had to sleep on the floor in his friend’s rooms as he did not have enough money to rent a dormitory. During this time, Steven would collect coke bottles and trade them in for money. Doing this gave him money which he used to get a decent meal at least once a week. To obtain one good meal, Jobs would travel up to ten miles across town on Sunday nights so that he could eat at his favorite restaurant. His hard times made Jobs the man that he turned out to be, and before he died, he was one of the world's greatest success stories.
15 Chris Pratt
Many people know Chris Pratt as a current superstar in his whirling performance in the movie the Guardians of the Galaxy. Before this, he was the lovable Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec. When Chris was growing up, life was not so good for him. Chris Pratt was a homeless man residing in Hawaii long before taming the dinosaurs in Jurassic World or fighting off super anti-heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a young man in Hawaii, Pratt lived in a van by the ocean. The hopeful Pratt waited on tables to earn his living. Chris impressed a director while working at the restaurant. The director immediately gave Chris a copy of his script because he found Pratt to be charming and funny. Chris moved back to the mainland and captured the hearts of many different people. Everything turned out well for the actor, and he became a superstar. The first acting part he played was in Cursed Part 3. That was the film script that he received when he was a waiter.
14 Dr. Phil
Many people tune into Dr. Phil during their hard times. The TV personality also has an interesting story behind him. On his show, he often reflects on the chaotic life that he experienced during his younger days. He uses this experience to mentor people. While doing this, he also remembers his journey to success. The feel good guru was born in Vinita, Oklahoma. He was the only boy in the family of four. Dr. Phil and his father departed from their family because of the hardship they had due to lack of resources. Phil and his father would sleep in their car until they could afford a YMCA that took in lodgers for a weekly rate. Dr. Phil then went to college on a football scholarship, where after a few years he realized that he had a passion for Psychology. According to him, his rough past made him able to relate to the worries of the typical person.
13 Sam Worthington
Before moving to Perth, Australia, Sam Worthington lived and was born in South East England. In Australia, Sam lived a rather standard life working as a bricklayer. When he was 19, he was interviewed for a scholarship to go to the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Wales. Sam completed his art program and began obtaining minor indie roles as an actor. Worthington received Australia’s top film award due to his role in Somersaults, in 2004. Prior to his role in Somersaults, his work in indie films did not pay him enough money for him to pay for his bills. As a result of this, he was forced to live out of his car. Sam landed the role in a David Cameron film, and since then he has had roles in the Terminator series and began getting work doing commercials. Sam says, “Not everybody’s path is the same and just because you’re in the limelight, doesn’t mean you still don’t have struggles along the way.”
12 Shania Twain
Like many musicians, Shania Twain has an interesting life story. The musician has sold more than 85 million records to date. She is one of the prettiest and successful Canadian singer-songwriters. Despite this, she has had a bumpy road to success. The musician was born in Windsor, Canada. Later, her parents divorced. Her mother Sharon married Jerry Twain who adopted Shania and her sisters. Later, the family relocated to Timmins where Shania’s little brother was born. The family had a humble lifestyle, and at times their income was not sufficient to cater to basic commodities like food and clothing. At times the food was scarce. Shania’s mother also suffered from depression. In 1979, Sharon and Shania's siblings moved away from Timmins due to hard times. Shania eventually recorded her first song at ten years old and would perform at dive bars.
11 Jim Cramer
People are all astonished when Jim opened up with his brush of the homeless on one of his shows. When he hit rock bottom, the prior hedge fund manager and provocative CNBC TV personality was a fresh graduate from Harvard Law. According to a report by Lee Brodie, “After a thief broke into his modest California apartment and stole absolutely everything, Cramer had nothing left and nowhere to go.” Jim was reported saying that he was living from day to day and those around him would help find places to shower, give him a change of clothes, and help provide a place for a decent night’s sleep. For about six months, Jim was without a home and was living out of his car. Thereafter, Cramer went back to Goldman Sachs where he advanced his own hedge fund and started MainStreet.com. Currently, Cramer’s net salary is roughly $50 to $100 million, hosting the Mad Money TV show.
10 Carmen Electra
Many of us admire the decent life that Carmen Electra lives today. Little did we know that before her fame, Carmen had a couple of years being homeless in Hollywood and this happened when she was 20 years old. At that time, her life was unpredictable. Carmen, who grew up as a ballerina in the popular city of Cincinnati, worked with Prince and cut an album. She also performed at his Glam Slam club in Los Angeles. It did not take long before the Prince gig terminated and Carmen was left jobless. All her slim savings from the Glam Slam club was stolen by her boyfriend and she found herself living on the streets. Carmen slept on a park bench in the valley where she spent a number of nights without knowing her fate. The temperature outside was almost 100 degrees. She had a moment where she almost gave up and planned to move back home to Cincinnati. Carmen asked a choreographer for help, who made introductions to a publicist and this led to her getting a manager which molded her career.
9 Tyler Perry
One of the most powerful filmmakers, writers, producers and actors in Hollywood today is Tyler Perry. Like other actors, his life is no exception. He suffered a homeless life in Atlanta, Georgia. Tyler Perry moved to Atlanta to launch his play. He saved up $12,000, and he lived out of a used car while putting on his show at the local theatre. He anticipated that around 1,200 people would attend the play, but unfortunately, only 30 people bought tickets. He ended up being homeless because all his money was tied up in the show. Tyler Perry performed the show for about seven years (1992-1998) without success. Then all of a sudden, in the seventh year, when he was about to give up, his play became a hit with audiences. His life changed because he started to obtain valuable feedback from the people that saw his play. Soon afterward, he became successful. According to Forbes Tyler Perry earned $130 million between 2010 and 2011.
8 Kurt Cobain
Since his young age, Cobain was a sickly child with bronchitis. His status deteriorated when he was seven because of his parent’s divorce. He stated in an interview that he never felt secured or loved. He became anti-social and he wasn't content in life. In addition, he says that his parent’s traumatic split is what drove him to write the songs that Nirvana did. After his parent's divorce, Kurt was moving in and out of various relative’s homes, and at one time he was homeless living under a bridge. When in high school, Cobain had trouble with some of his friends who didn’t like his artistry and iconoclastic attitude. Cobain also had horrible things put on his pick-up truck. In addition to that, Cobain was picked on for no reason. Cobain moved to Olympia in 1985. Before Nirvana emerged, Cobain started many different bands with other people. Nirvana was a one of a kind association between Cobain, bass player, Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, who played all kinds of instruments.
7 Cary Grant
Cary Grant is a British-born actor and he grew up in poverty. He is the only living child from a family that had problems and a mom that was suffering from an illness. When he was 11, his parents divorced. His father Elias went to Britain where he married another woman and started a new family. His mother Elsie disappeared allegedly to a shoreline resort, and this forced him to drop out of school at the age of 14. He joined Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. Along with his interactions with the Pender troupe, he learned acrobatics and pantomime during his visit in various parts of the English provinces. Grant also learned a different form of English pronunciation in the music halls in London. Cary was among the eight Pender boys selected to tour the U.S in July of 1920. Cary spent nights in the streets of Southampton, England and was forced to work on the docks in order for him to get something to eat.
6 Jim Morrison
The famous Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida. He had a brother and a sister, and he was the eldest of his siblings. His father worked in the military. Due to his father’s occupation, he moved from place to place during his younger days. Jim later attended UCLA where he studied literature and film. When in school he took an interest in writing and poetry. He successfully completed his studies and ended up homeless in the Breach area in Venice. He used to sleep on rooftops, in cars, and under the pier. It is during this period when he wrote the bulk of The Doors early work. A friend of his told the media that Morrison lived on canned beans during his homelessness period. After a few years, a new band was formed which performed small gigs and began to build up a following. Morrison believed that transforming your future at the worst times in your life makes for a good song that people can relate to.
5 Danny Bonaduce
Most of us know Danny as the redheaded child that was funny that was on the sitcom, The Partridge Family. Out of everyone that is on this list, Danny’s story is the most unique. Danny was raised by both of his parents. His father was hard on him, and despite the efforts of his mother trying to protect Danny from his father, her efforts didn’t stop his father from being so difficult. In 1974, The Partridge Family went off the air. Danny left home and ended spending nights in the streets of Hollywood. At this time, he suffered homelessness, and he was hooked on some pretty strange stuff. Danny says that during this time he lived in his car where he would wake up, wipe his eyes and proceed to the little arch of the Grauman's Chinese Theater where he would take pictures and sign autographs for his fans. He was still famous, and people had no idea of where he resided. Danny said, “People are very unaware of who need support and help, whether you’re a celebrity or not. I wasn’t willing to express what I was going through, even though a, how are you, would have gone a long way.”
4 Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey was born in St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands, in February 1955. At two years old, his parents divorced. Following the divorce, Kelsey’s mother went back to her parent’s home where Kelsey and his sister grew up. His life was fine for a while, then all of a sudden, one day his neighbor set fire to his father’s car. Kelsey ran out to see who did this, but unfortunately, the man who started the fire lost his life. Kelsey was 13 years old at the time. Misfortune still unfolded. Seven years later Kelsey's sister died. Despite all these tragedies, Kelsey successfully graduated from Juilliard. He ended up homeless in New York before his rise to fame while doing his theater work. When he was homeless, Kelsey camped out in an alley behind the theater. All these catastrophes didn’t stop him from achieving his dreams. He later got a role on Cheers and ended up playing Dr. Frasier Crane on Frasier.
3 Djimon Hounsou
Djimon is the story of an immigrant who came to this country for a decent life. Djimon is an African heartthrob as well as an award-winning artist. He was born in Cotonou, Benin. He migrated to Lyon, France where at the age of 13 years old he was trying to find worthwhile prospects that would lead to a good paying job. Life in Lyon was hard, and it forced Djimon and his brother to drop out of school. During this time, they lived on the streets. During his interview with the United States panel, Djimon said his experience as an immigrant was extremely difficult where he had to motivate himself just to survive. He said that he lived in the streets for a long duration, struggling to live from day to day where it was hard obtaining the proper necessities. After four years of a hard life, Djimon was discovered by a fashion designer and things began to look up for him. He starred in some music videos during the early 90s for Janet Jackson and Madonna. Not long after this, Djimon began his acting profession and starred in some of the most profound movies like Blood Diamond as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
2 Drew Carey
Drew Carey was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His father died when Carey was only eight years old. After the passing away of his father, things started to spiral downhill. He successfully graduated from high school, but unfortunately, he was disqualified from Kent State University in his junior years for his poor academic performance. After that, he joined the Marine Corps for six years. When returning home from the Marine Corps, he got stuck in Las Vegas on his way to Los Angeles. In order to survive, he sold his blood for $40 in a sitting and scrounged around the streets for something decent to eat. Carey, during an interview, stated that the only meal he had was water and bad meals during his homeless life. His bad meals consisted of horrible macaroni and cheese. He says that today, when he eats that kind of meal he goes for the expensive macaroni and cheese and adds chicken. According to him, his success came from his life of struggles.
1 William Shatner
Many of us are familiar with his face and name but do not know how success unfolded for William Shatner. In fact, this rising star was once homeless after he started getting work in the entertainment business. Shatner started his acting career getting minor roles and had the normal struggles before being cast on the famous hit show, Star Trek. The role that he played was Captain Kirk. He played this part on TV from 1966 to 1969 and this made him a huge hit, household name. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled and esteem fans were left wondering what the fate of Captain Kirk would be. It was then that Shatner divorced his wife. Shatner lived in the San Fernando Valley, sleeping on the bed camper of his truck. He still took part and advanced his career which supported his family. After some time, the Star Trek films kicked off again and Shatner was called upon to act as Captain Kirk.