Many times, we have looked at celebrities and imagined how easy and glamorous their lives might be. However, for most of the biggest stars today, fame was something they had to sacrifice a lot for. In fact, the most famous names and personalities we know today have been homeless before achieving their current lifestyle.
While James Franco was never homeless, in 2002 he was seen living on the streets in order to prepare for a role. Talk about being professional!
Below is a list of certain celebrities that may surprise you with their once-homeless status. Some of the stories are heart-wrenching, but they are evidence of the hard work celebrities have put into their careers:
5. Jewel Kilcher Shines in Adversity
Jewel Kilcher, more commonly known as simply Jewel, hasn’t always had an easy life. She was born in Utah and raised in Alaska. Before she became a famous singer and songwriter, Jewel used to perform in bars and taverns with her father. This was when she was quite a young girl, was the only way they could make ends meet. However, she moved out and started living on her own when she was only fifteen. She learned to yodel and play the guitar when she was growing up.
The teenager then lived in a cabin without any basic facilities such as heating. She didn’t have a car, so would usually use a horse or ask someone for a ride to work every day in 1993; she decided to move to Michigan and started penning her own tunes and lyrics. She mostly performed in coffeehouses. However, she once refused to comply with an employer’s advances and was thus refused her paycheck.
For some time, then, Jewel had to live out of her car as she was unable to pay rent for her apartment. She would drive around, working as a barista and performing in cafes. She was soon discovered by Ina Vainshtein after another singer recommended the latter to listen to her. Vainshtein came to hear Jewel sing with an Atlantic Records representative.
Eventually, Jewel was paid to record her demo and is now a known singer of soulful ballads as well as other genres. She has sold over thirty million albums worldwide after the debut album Pieces of You came out.
4. Steve Jobs Needed Free Meals
This is just the beginning of quite a few surprises! Few people know that Steve Jobs is actually Syrian, being born to an unwed couple from that region. He was adopted by his parents and learned to have a love of the mechanical from his adoptive father. Always a bright child, he was bored by the conventional schooling system and had trouble making friends his own age. However, he had befriended all the local engineers before long.
Eventually, Jobs’ adoptive parents would use all their life savings to enroll him in Reed College. However, they could not afford to pitch in for a dorm room. Jobs was essentially homeless at that time. He would spend the night on the floor of a friend’s dorm room. For food, he would get free meals from the Hare Krishna temple or collect and sell Coca-Cola bottles.
We know how this story ends. Even though Jobs tragically passed away in 2011, he was worth a whopping $10.2 billion at the time of his death. The technology he brought to the masses has greatly changed our lives today. Were it not for this brilliance, our lives may have been very different indeed.
3. Chris Pratt before His Big Break
Had a great time greeting fans from Tokyo. These magical lot were dressed up like he Guardians. Moments like this you realize how much a movie can mean to people around the world. I can't believe I get to be one of the stars bringing this movie to the screen. I've been crying a lot on this tour. Because, you know… they just can't get my latte right. And I try to tel them "Peruvian breast milk!" How hard is that?still nothing. Urrrrgh. But seriously… The reason I've been routinely breaking down like a baby child is my overwhelming gratitude to @jamesgunn And I'm not even drinking so we're talking about authentic tears. I can't wait for the world to know my secret. #gotgvol2 is unlike any other movie in cinematic history. Up there with Godfather2 for greatest sequel of all time. And is far and away the greatest spectacle film ever. If you don't have tix, link in my bio, probably gonna be sold out if not already. If not no biggie, you'll see it eventually. 😊🙏🙌♥️👆
Chris Pratt has really risen through the Hollywood ranks before our very eyes in these past few years. No doubt, his big break was playing the goofy and lovable Andy in the hit series Parks and Recreation. After that, he went on to star in the Jurassic Park movie and many other prolific roles.
Pratt had actually wanted to be famous since he was a child. This was his answer to the ever-present question of what he wanted to be when he grew up. However, he had no idea of just how to accomplish this goal.
At first, it seemed like being famous would just remain a dream for Pratt. He was a community college dropout and worked two jobs. Being a daytime dancer and a discount ticket salesman, however, only earned him enough for gas and food. Rent was absolutely out of the question, so he essentially lived in his van during that time.
He also worked at Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant at the age of 19 when he was living in Maui, Hawaii. Actress Rae Dawn Chon noticed him serving tables and decided he was perfect for a role in a horror movie. From there on, there was no looking back. Chris Pratt is now one of the most loveable and recognized names and faces within the industry. He has worked in huge roles and is generally well loved for his talent and humor. His net worth right now is around $30 million.
2. Jennifer Lopez the Bronx Kid
It can be hard to imagine J Lo being down and out on her luck. However, this is exactly what happened when she realized what her calling was. Now worth a stunning $320 million, Lopez was actually born in the Bronx area of New York.
While her family did not have much money, they insisted on enrolling their daughters in singing and dancing lessons. They wanted the best for their children, and these lessons were supposed to teach them to work ethics. They also kept the kids out of trouble, which is a huge factor considering the area they lived in. When in her final year at Preston high school, Lopez heard about some auditions for teenage girls. She quickly landed a minor role in the work “My Little Girl”. This was the point when she decided acting was her main aim.
However, there were some problems. She dropped out of Baruch College after just one semester and told her parents about her acting aspirations. Her parents were less than supportive, maintaining that Latinas just do not leave everything for an acting career. She hence had to leave home at the age of eighteen with nowhere to go. She would even sleep in a cot in dance studios but never gave up on her goal. Eventually, she became a fly girl dancer and became a sensation soon enough.
1. Sylvester Stallone Making His Way
Very few people would not recognize Sylvester Stallone today. He has a distinctive voice and appearance, not to mention his fame through the Rocky series. We know that he was the brain behind these highly successful movies. However, many may not realize just what kind of position he was in before he penned the story that started it all.
In the 1980s, Stallone found himself living on the streets. He was evicted from his apartment and worked in minor off-Broadway stage plays as well as some small films. However, no matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to make ends meet. Eventually, he had to sell off his dog for fifty dollars.
In this stage of misery, he spent four days penning down his idea for Rocky. This was essentially the story of an underdog boxer who made his way to fame through sheer talent. However, his script was turned down more often than not. Finally, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chertoff took an interest but were hesitant about Stallone’s demand to play the lead. He was quite adamant about this part of the deal, so the producers eventually caved.
This was obviously a smart move since the first film in the Rocky series was nominated for several awards. This included that of Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Now, Stallone is a highly respected actor, and the Rocky saga is still ongoing. Perhaps the happiest part about this is that he was able to buy his dog back!
It is said that the finest steel gets sent through the hottest flames. Perhaps their down-and-out days had something to do with highlighting the talents of these celebrities. We do know that they were very lucky to have come out of this experience strong and successful!