As an average person you may often envy these more privileged, lavish living television personas we see on the big screen, or our own TV’s at home as our unwinding begins from your nine to five grind. Undoubtedly, Hollywood has birthed generations of these wealthy, talented, even talent lacking, stars living beautifully decorated lifestyles. Blinded by curtains of media tracking every move they make, it’s easy to overlook what early years entailed for celebrities. You’d be shocked to learn of some humble beginnings of some of Hollywood’s most appraised award-winning personalities. Rag’s to riches could define a select few of these icons we watch with our TV dinners, as they worked their way through the masses. Overcoming hardship and following their dreams, not all celebrities were born into the spotlight. Many started less fortunate than one might suspect, at first glance. Roll out the red carpet, and commence in your daily reading rituals for today’s list of top ten celebrity lives before they became famous.
1 Jim Carrey
Born January 17, 1962, Jim Carrey had his start in comedy at only fifteen years old at the Toronto comedy club, as he pursued a career in entertainment at an early age. From 1978-1979 Carrey worked as a janitor, to support his family, before boldly quitting to pursue his newfound career as an opening act for acclaimed comedians Buddy Hackett and Rodney Dangerfield. After years of following his dream as an entertainer, Carrey found his success from his 1994 role as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He began slingshotting himself into stardom and success in the industry, becoming one of Hollywoods greatest comics and leading star roles in many loved blockbusters.
2 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Since his birth in Austria in 1947, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life was not perfect by any means. Far from a pleasant youth, Arnold lived with his father, a former Nazi party member, and alcoholic police chief. Arnold’s early dreams as a bodybuilder found an escape in movies early on, through rigorous training, and devotion to his roles. As another struggle arose in his life for U.S. citizenship to live the American dream.
Shortly after his immigration to the U.S. Schwarzenegger received a Golden Globe Award for best newcomer in the 1976 film Stay Hungry and has only become more acclaimed since. Staring in iconic roles such as The Terminator and The Expendables series action movies. Later in 2003, Schwarzenegger would take his seat as the governor of California, promising stability and economic success for the state. Currently, Arnold Schwarzenegger is still acting in various roles.
3 Billy Bob Thornton
As Billy Bob Thornton grew up in rural Hot Springs, Arkansas, Billy, had his eyes set on the red carpet from a young age, doing just that. After moving to Los Angeles, California, He survived solely off odd jobs and script writing, life was harsh for young Thornton. Making his debut in the 1987 film Hunter’s Blood along with another television role that very same year, he had his first real start in his career.
Years later and various acting roles, Thornton wrote, directed and starred in the acclaimed movie, SlingBlade, earning him an Oscar award for best screenplay alongside an acting Oscar nod award for his role in A Simple Plan. Today Billy Bob Thornton is admired by critics and fans alike, for his work. Years later, Thornton’s keen eye and dynamic workability he can bring a fresh outlook to the industry works of Hollywood.
4 Snoop Dogg
Since his discovery in early 1990, by hip hop legend Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg has set his teeth in the industry and is here to stay. Born October 20, 1971, in Long Beach, California, Snoop got his nickname from his mother who said he looked like the Peanuts cartoon character Snoopy. Following his graduation, he had his fair share of police run-ins landing him several arrests for various crimes.
Using music as his escape Snoop recorded demos with his cousin Nate Dogg and buddy Warren G as 213. After his time with Dr. Dre and release of his first 1992 solo album, The Chronic, the 1993 album Doggystyle, reached No. 1 on the hip-hop billboards. Aside from controversy and early mistakes in life, Snoop Dogg has become a legend and inspiration to the industry for his abilities as a hip hop artist.
5 J.K. Rowling
Born July 31, 1965, Joanne Rowling, best known for her children’s book series Harry Potter, Rowling started her career as a struggling single mom. Far from comfortable living, trying to make ends meet, Rowling had her first big break after the publishing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She began earning herself credit as an international sensation. In 1999, Rowling was awarded more than three top spots in the New York Times best-seller list.
After selling more than 450 million copies, the children’s fantasy novels became adapted into popular blockbusters. She has earned herself an estimated net worth of 850 million dollars. Most recently in 2016, Rowling has released other successful works, to include the film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
6 Mike Tyson
From the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world with a lightweight start in life, Micheal Gerard Tyson was born in Brooklyn, New York, June 30, 1966. Tyson was raised in a high crime Brooklyn neighborhood, ironically an easy target for bullies. His early life was far from easy, Forming a gang known as the Jolly Stompers. At only 11, Tyson had robbed a cash register at gunpoint.
After his failed attempts to join an Olympic team, his trainer “Cus” D’Amato pushed Tyson to train further in boxing, conceiving a game plan later earning Tyson the heavyweight champion title of the world before his 21st birthday. Mike Tyson is best known for his 58 fight career with more than 50 won, 44 as knockouts. Officially he lost only six and two to be ruled as no contest. Though Tyson has lived very lavishly due to his success, in recent years has become the center of many crimes, scandals, and financial hardships.
7 Shia LaBeouf
Starting in a performing street act alongside his parents as a toddler in Echo Park, Los Angeles, Shia LaBeouf has worked his way through the ranks from a young age. Shia’s father Jeffery a Vietnam veteran, and professional clown, along with his mother Shayna who had been a former dancer, did not give Shia the stable childhood. As his father grew deep into substance abuse, Shia, inspired by a fellow child actor began plotting his success. He started plunging himself into the business at only ten years old becoming a stand-up comedian at local comedy clubs.
At 14, Shia landed his first role on the Disney Channel’s show Even Stevens later winning himself a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. Within the same year, Shia landed his first-star role in the film adaptation of Louis Sacher’s novel Holes, and later achieving even bigger mainstream success. Today, Shia continues in his Hollywood pursuit as one of Hollywoods most iconic stars.
8 Mark Wahlberg
The youngest of nine other siblings, born in a working-class American family in 1971, Mark Wahlberg did not have a carefree childhood. After his parents separated, Mark found himself at 14, dropping out of school making a life out of the Boston streets. Stealing, Selling and even using drugs, found himself jailed two years later for his actions including his role in the beating of a Vietnamese man.
Dedicated to changing his life, Mark pursued bodybuilding and Rap leading to the success of his 1991 debut album Music for the People. At 22 years old and headed toward the demise of his career, Mark took up acting. Later landing his first big screen role in the television movie The Substitute. Since then, he has become among Hollywoods top paid entertainers earning an estimated net worth of 255 million dollars, from blockbuster roles such as Transformer: Age Of Extinction, Ted, and Daddy’s Home.
Marshall Bruce Mathers better known as Eminem lived a burdened youth just like most people. When Marshall was born, his father had abandoned him, denying any attempts to make contact with his son. His mother Deborah Mathers would end up caring for the young Marshall, never holding down jobs as they lived between schools and public housing projects. He later would find his passion and love for hip-hop as a use of language through hip hop.
As a way to express his youthful frustration; he entered into the rap scene competing in a competition known as “rap battling.” Following the birth of his daughter Hailie and working odd jobs, it wasn’t until Eminem released his Slim Shady EP that Dr. Dre discovered Marshall, so impressed with his work signing him that day in 1997. Since his entry into the industry, Eminem has become one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time, known to some as the Rap God among fans.
10 Oprah Winfrey
Born to a small farming community, and a troubled start in life, Oprah was subject to sexual abused by numerous male relatives. Moving to Nashville with her father Vernon, Oprah entered Tennessee University in 1971 and began her work in radio and television. After moving again in 1976 to Baltimore, Maryland, Oprah became a hit TV show host for People Are Talking and remained there for eight years until being recruited by Chicago TV for her very own host show A.M. Chicago.
Following her nationwide fame and success Oprah started The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, making her among the most acclaimed and highly paid African American women in the world. Oprah has achieved many likes of greatness, showing the world no matter how humble your begging you can change the world or be whatever you strive toward in life.