It looks like some people have it all in life: power, fame, influence, and money. Most of us often look up to them and dream about becoming just like them. What would you say though if we told you that some of the most famous celebrities and successful people struggled more than your average Joe. In fact, some famous people were actually once Homeless. Today, we are going to highlight 25 Famous People Who Were Once Homeless. These celebrities give new meaning to the saying “everything comes with a price,” and used their struggles in life as their main inspiration to achieve their greatest goals.
Last Updated on
There are so many stories and rumors about the legendary frontman of the Doors that we can’t be sure where the truth begins and ends. However, some things about one of the greatest poets and rock stars in music history are undoubtedly true such as him being homeless when he was still struggling with his music and writing career.
Most of his fans will tell you how Jim lived during his short but great career in a cheap hotel on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, but not many know that before Morrison made it big he used to be homeless and slept in just about anyplace you can literally imagine. Rumors has it that he even spent quite a few nights under the pier at Venice Beach.
The “Million Dollar Baby” from Nebraska is one of Hollywood’s and this generation’s most talented actresses with an estimated net worth of $40 million, two Academy Awards for Best Actress in a leading role under her belt, and a luxurious home in the mecca of the movie industry.
Back in the early ’90s, however, when she and her mother moved to Los Angeles and before Hillary started her acting career, they had to sleep in the car.
Sam Worthington went from a homeless actor to megastar overnight, and that’s not even an overstatement. Though we don’t know much about Sam’s history before he became the hero in multiple blockbusters, he did confess that he was sleeping in his car when he auditioned for the role of Jake Sully in Avatar. Now he is enjoying life in his little “palace” in Hawaii.
You may consider the first and only (to date) African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role as being synonymous with fame, influence, wealth, and sex appeal. Nevertheless for Halle Berry life hasn’t always been easy.
Two failed marriages, a few bad relationships, and a suicide attempt might sound bad enough but Halle spent some time being homeless at the beginning of her acting career as well. However, Halle confessed during an interview with Reader’s Digest that this experience made her stronger and taught her how to live through any situation, even if that meant she had to spend a few nights in a public shelter.
Before Suze Orman became a television host, a best-selling author, and one of the world’s most famous financial gurus, she got to experience financial woes and homelessness firsthand. Soon after graduating from high school, Orman left Chicago and moved to Berkeley, California in order to pursue her dreams. She worked hard as a waitress and lived out of her van for a long time before she finally borrowed money from her friends with which she started her first restaurant business.
The queen of the ’90s country music scene and probably the most commercially successful female country singer ever can probably enjoy any kind of luxury she desires (and how couldn’t she with an estimated net worth of $350 million)?
However, way before Shania conquered the charts, she struggled with a series of problems including poverty, domestic violence and homelessness. She stayed in various shelters in Toronto and slept on buses while at twenty-two she had to raise and provide for her younger siblings after their parents died in a tragic car accident.
The most famous actor of the first half of the twentieth century and without a doubt the king of the silent era had a really tough time growing up. His father died when Charlie was still young and his mother (from whom he inherited his bipolar disorder) was often hospitalized in different asylums leaving Chaplin to work and sleep on the cold streets of London before he was even ten years old.
The beautiful singer-songwriter and guitarist from Utah became a ’90s icon when her 1995 debut album, Pieces of You became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time selling over 15 million copies. After that, Jewel released more platinum albums and numerous sold-out concerts followed earning her four Grammy Awards and of course millions of dollars. Not bad for a girl who lived out of her VW when she was about eighteen and dreamt of a decent music career.
These days, Steve Harvey has many things to be thankful for such as a hit syndicated daytime talk show named after him, a few best sellers, a happy marriage with his wife Marjorie, and two luxurious houses in Chicago and Atlanta among many other things.
Back in the late ’80s though, life wasn’t anything like it is now for Steve and after a bad marriage and an even worse divorce he found himself homeless; sleeping in hotels or in his 1976 Ford Tempo depending on his budget. But no one can describe better what Steve Harvey went through back then than he can himself:
I had nowhere to go. A week is really the maximum one can do. This was three years! It was rock bottom. But even in my darkest days I had faith it would turn around.
Kelly Clarkson is the “Original American Idol,” thanks to winning one of America’s favorite reality-TV music talent competitions at the end of its first season. Since then many winners and stars have emerged from the same show but none have managed to achieve or match Clarkson’s commercial success and album sales.
However, before her hit singles dominated the charts and brought her millions in record sales, Clarkson spent a lot of time trying hard and being homeless. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles her new apartment burnt down and the singer; who was unemployed and broke at the time, had to live in her car or at shelters before she auditioned for American Idol.
Carmen Electra introduced herself to the world as the new Pamela Anderson in the role of Lani McKenzie in Baywatch. Unfortunately, she never became the ultimate sex symbol she was supposed to be and since then would be noticed more for her glamorous lifestyle and bizarre relationships rather than her acting career.
However, Carmen has not always lived a glamorous lifestyle. Thanks to her then boyfriend’s thievery; Carmen spent a couple of years homeless and in Los Angeles’ shelters before finally getting a shot at becoming Baywatch’s new hot babe.
Beck introduced his music to the world in quite a bizarre way with lyrics such as “I am a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?”
Digging into his past, we discovered that his lyrics where inspired by the rough time he experienced before he made it in the music business. When Beck first moved to New York City; poverty, homelessness, and lack of food were daily routines for Beck months before he released the gold hit “Loser,” which became a smash hit on MTV and literally saved the singer from further misery.
The current James Bond made over $20 million ($17 million plus bonuses for certain box-office milestones) from his last Bond film (Skyfall) alone; enough money to feed him and his family for the rest of his life. A good thing too since in an interview, Craig stated that he has done some pretty awful things in order to survive. Taking this statement into account we’re not surprised to learn that he slept on park benches while trying to make it big as an actor.
Michael Oher’s story is probably one of the most touching and emotional stories in the world of sports and was the inspiration behind the bestselling book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and the blockbuster film The Blind Side (which grossed over $300 million). The journey from homelessness to the NFL wasn’t easy for Michael but as he said in an interview, he doesn’t regret the experience because the difficulties he faced made him the man he is today.
At the Hollywood Walk of Fame induction of former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash back in 2012, Charlie Sheen said (among other things):
It’s quite fitting that Slash is getting a star on the very street Axl Rose will one day be sleeping on.
Even though we’re not really sure what motivated Charlie to target Axl like that, the great vocalist didn’t sweat the statement, and how could he since being homeless isn’t something new to him. When he first moved to California and before he made it big, the famous rock star slept on his friends’ floor. With an estimated net worth of $150 million we honestly can’t see how Charlie’s prediction can ever become true. But then again, you never know.
The famous Chinese director who has given the world the epic blockbusters Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II had to deal with life’s rough side from a very young age. Poverty and lack of food on many occasions was standard for Woo’s family since his father had tuberculosis and could not work and provide for his family. Additionally, when the Woo was only seven he became homeless after the family home was burned to the ground in a fire.
For the next two years the family would wander from shelter to shelter until they managed to get a new place to live a normal life again
There’s no doubt that the earnings of only one of the many Rocky and Rambo films alone would be enough for any of us everyday people to have a great life without having to work for the rest of our lives, but for Stallone’s delicate and expensive taste, one film could never be enough.
Against all odds Sly managed to become one of the most commercially successful action movie stars of all time and a pop icon of our era despite the fact that as a young man he had to spend about three weeks sleeping at the Port Authority bus station. It was then when he came across an ad for an adult film that was paying about $100 a day and the rest is history.
The woman who broke color barriers when she became the first black Cat-Woman in history had some really hard times in early childhood. Way before she introduced us to that playful, sexy Grrrrrr the famous actress-singer was an unwanted child, had to deal with racism and prejudice which was pretty standard for her times and at some point was homeless and had to sleep on the rooftops of random buildings in New York.
What comes to mind first when you hear the name Steve Jobs? Let us guess: money, money, money, and more money, correct?
What if we told you that the co-founder, former chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. was once broke and homeless?
According to his own claims the father of the IPhone didn’t have a dorm room as a student and had to sleep on the floor in friends’ rooms. He also returned Coke bottles for the nickel deposits to buy food, while he would walk seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
The Latina superstar might today be an absolute sex symbol and one of the most admired music stars with an estimated net worth of $250 million, but many of you might not know about her hard-knock life before money and fame.
Way before J.Lo became a fashion icon and a role model for girls around the world, she was sleeping on a sofa in her dance studio because her mom, Guadalupe Rodriguez, didn’t always agree with her career choices and the arguments between them often forced Lopez to find shelter where she worked. Her mom wanted Jennifer to go to college while the famous star wanted to pursue a dancing career. Who said mama is always right?
Jim Carrey is nowadays one of the greatest comedic actors of our generation and one of the richest with a net worth of about $150 million, but from what we’ve learned about his early years life wasn’t always that funny or generous to him.
The youngest child in his family, when he was only fifteen his father lost his job, and everything in the Carrey family’s life quickly spiraled out of control and they lost their apartment. The family then moved into their van where they spent a significant amount of time until they rented a new place and Jim left school to work as a janitor to support his family.
With a nearly $300 million net worth and an annual salary exceeding $70 million, Dr. Phil might be the richest psychologist in modern history, while his “crib” in Beverly Hills looks more like a palace than an ordinary home. If one takes a look at McGraw’s past during the early ’60s they will discover that Dr. Phil didn’t always have it so easy. Coming from a very poor traditional American family from Oklahoma Phil McGraw was introduced to poverty and homelessness at a young age and spent a big part of his childhood living with his father in their car or staying at YMCAs when circumstances allowed it.
According to Forbes David Letterman is one of the richest and most influential television hosts and comedians in America and makes an estimated $50 million each year from his late-night television talk show alone. If, however, you think that Letterman always had it this good you’re sorely mistaken.
He had it pretty hard and almost forty years ago when the media guru was landing in Los Angeles he used his 1973 Chevy pickup as his home. We don’t even want to imagine what he had to go through for several months before he finally got his break and started writing jokes for Jimmy Walker, which was the stepping stone to the incredible career that followed.
John Paul DeJoria
John Paul DeJoria, cofounder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company, is now a famous billionaire and philanthropist who can enjoy every pleasure and luxury life has to offer, speaking in financial terms of course. However, life during the better part of his childhood wasn’t that great. His parents divorced when he was only two and DeJoria began to work (selling newspapers on the street) at the age of nine. As a teen he joined a street gang and as a result of this he spent many nights and days on the streets of LA which were his only “home” for a short period. He would find the right path in life only after his high school math teacher would tell him that with the way he acted and lived he would never succeed at anything, an “insult” for which John Paul DeJoria will probably be grateful for the rest of his days.
Mr. Kentucky Fried Chicken is without a doubt one of the most recognizable and rich food businessmen in history but before that he used to be filthy poor and homeless. His father died when he was only five and his mother quickly remarried. When he was ten the colonel decided to leave his house because he couldn’t take his stepfather’s constant beatings and abuse. He remained homeless for a really long time and did many jobs in his life until he came up with his own “secret” recipe and became the father of KFC. He didn’t even have his own house until he was forty years old.