It may seem like celebrities have everything, and many do, but not all of them had it easy getting there. Just because they’re now rich and famous doesn’t mean that these stars don’t know what it’s like to struggle. Whether it be for the sake of following their Hollywood dreams or because they had lifelong issues with money, these 40+ A-listers were homeless before they made it big.
Jennifer Lopez decided to take a chance by opting for homelessness as a means to pursue her career in the film industry. Fortunately, it paid off and now as a successful singer and actress, she is a millionaire. Although her mother desired her to attend college, Jennifer had different aspirations.
JLo took a risk by moving into her dance studio and sleeping on the couch. However, her hard work and determination paid off as she got her first gig within a month, and within a year she landed a role in the popular television show In Living Color which made her famous. It’s evident that taking that chance was a wise decision for JLo.
Due to financial difficulties in Jim Carrey’s family, he left school at the age of 16 to contribute to their earnings which eventually led him to become a comedian.
Jim had experienced some difficult situations in his life but he never exaggerated them. He amusingly shared that when his father lost his job, they became homeless for a while. However, being from Canada, he thought they were just on a camping trip. Today, Jim is doing well and has established the Better U Foundation, and he is also contributing to various charitable causes.
Tiffany Haddish found herself without a home when she was 18 years old and her grandmother kicked her out of the house. To make do, she slept on friends’ couches and stored her possessions in her car. However, things changed for the better after she met Kevin Hart in a fortuitous meeting.
He handed me $300 and suggested, “Get yourself a place to stay for the week. Afterwards, make a list of objectives you want to accomplish and work on achieving them.” Presently, they frequently work together on their films and both possess a net worth in millions.
Prior to his breakthrough with Rocky, Sylvester Stallone experienced a period of homelessness. During this time, he had not yet managed to sell the now-iconic script for the movie. As a result, he made the difficult decision to sell his dog for a mere $50.
Sylvester succeeded in lifting Rocky and then repurchased his dog for an enormous amount of $3,000. What’s intriguing is the fact that the individual who sold and bought the dog in Rocky appeared as the person who asked Rocky if he had won.
When Chris Pratt was 19 years old, he was voluntarily homeless, which he appears to view as a unique experience. Along with a friend, the actor relocated to Hawaii and began serving as a waiter.
Chris clarified that he and his companions had only worked for a few hours per week, around 15 to 20 hours, to afford basic necessities such as gas, food, and fishing gear. He mentioned that it was a pleasant time, but we cannot assume that being homeless is a delightful experience according to popular opinion.
In the past, getting a chance to perform on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson was a great opportunity for a comedian to become successful. Drew Carey, who was 19 years old at the time, was trying to achieve this goal but faced a hardship of being homeless and living in his car.
The host of The Price Is Right, Drew, lived in his car for a year and a half, and sold plasma to earn money. His appearance on Johnny Carson’s show was a turning point that helped him start his successful career, according to him.
When Hilary Swank was only a teenager, she and her mother relocated to Los Angeles from their trailer park home with the intention of Hilary pursuing an acting career.
However, the pair started their trip with only $75, so they were homeless for a while and slept in their car or on an air mattress at a friend’s house. Luckily, it only took Hilary a few months to get steady acting work and get into a better financial situation.
In 1985, Steve Harvey was married with two kids and had a job as an insurance salesman. However, everything changed when the comedian won his first-ever stand-up competition. Steve decided that he had to pursue a career in comedy, so he quit his job, which affected his ability to provide for his family.
This created a domino effect in which Steve’s marriage ended, as did his relationship with his children. Harvey lived out of his car for three years before finally making it big with Showtime at the Apollo.
Things seemed to happen in reverse with William Shatner. He became homeless after landing his big break with Star Trek, rather than before. After his marriage ended, and Star Trek went off the air, William still had to provide for his children but no longer had a hit show.
“I had three kids and was totally broke. I managed to find work back east on the straw-hat circuit – summer stock – but couldn’t afford hotels, so I lived out of the back of my truck, under a hard shell.”
Rose McGowan was just 15 years old when she became homeless. The actress grew up in an unsafe environment, which resulted in her seeking emancipation from her parents. “I was homeless, I was on my own, and I was very lonely. I was entirely focused on just surviving.”
Eventually, Rose was offered an acting job, which she accepted as a way to pay for a place to sleep at night. Nowadays, McGowan has left acting and works as a social justice activist.
Tyler Perry saved up all his money ($12,000) to put on the autobiographical play I Know I’ve Been Changed. Unfortunately, only about 30 people came to see the production. The show failed twice more, resulting in Tyler living out of his car so he could continue to finance the show.
After roughly three months of homelessness, things finally turned around for Tyler as his play gained traction. Now the very street that he was homeless on in Atlanta, Georgia, has a sign that reads “Tyler Perry Studios.”
Halle Berry’s career began in New York, where she worked as a model. However, modeling doesn’t pay much for those just starting out and Halle soon found herself in financial trouble. She asked her mom to send her some money but was turned down.
The actress ended up living in a homeless shelter but doesn’t resent her mother’s decision not to bail her out. “Shelter life was part of figuring it out for a minute.” Eventually, Halle got a waitressing job to hold her over until her acting career took off.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Today, Dwayne Johnson is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. However, there was a time when his family was evicted from home after home. The Rock turned to theft in order to help his family pay their bills and had been to jail eight times by the time he turned 17.
Those hardships are exactly what led Dwayne to become The Rock. “It was about, ‘What can I control with these two hands?’ The only thing I could do was train and build my body.”
Selma Blair was homeless for a while but seems to be at peace with the choices that led her there. The actress admits to spending money on a Versace dress rather than rent. “I was basically homeless, living in the Salvation Army in New York City.”
She continued, “I was 21 years old, and I saved up all my money [for the designer dress] that I should have saved up for rent at the Salvation Army.” Well, that’s definitely a choice.
Sam Worthington was living out of his car when James Cameron personally invited him to audition for Avatar. Since then, Sam has credited James with changing his life.