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30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless

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Celebrities are heralded for their talents and luxurious lifestyles that many of the public aspire to have as well. However, life wasn’t always easy for these celebrities.

While many of the rich and famous had humble beginnings, some spent their formative years trying desperately to break into the industry as homeless artists.

Read on below as we list 30 celebrities who were once homeless.

1. Chris Pratt

The hottest actor on the block right now, Chris Pratt has starred in Guardians of The Galaxy and  Jurassic World as well as the Parks and Rec TV show that launched him into the mainstream but it wasn’t always multi-million dollar roles and glitzy award ceremonies for Pratt who took a one-way ticket out to Hawaii on offer from a friend and then spent a period living out of a van whilst waiting tables.

When a director took note of his good looks, he was cast in Cursed Part III and was flown out to Los Angeles where he continued to struggle for a while longer but at least had a foot in the door.

2. James Cameron

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


The man who brought us two of the biggest films of all time in Titanic and Avatar was once living out of his car as a destitute scriptwriter struggling to make ends meet. When trying to pitch his screenplay of The Terminator, he was offered money for it but he refused to sell it unless he was made the director of the projector and many studios refused to take the risk.

Eventually, he sold the screenplay for just $1 to producer Gale Anne Hurd in return for him being named the director and the film went on to make $77m worldwide and spawn a huge franchise and launch Cameron’s ridiculously successful career.

3. Jim Carrey

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Canadian-American comedian and comic film star Jim Carrey saw his father lose his job and the family having to move into a VW camper van due to financial struggles that also led to a period where they camped on his elder sister’s front lawn. Despite this, the family was always supportive of Carrey’s showbiz aspirations although sometimes lacking the finances to help out.

Eventually, the family resolved their issues and Carrey’s career took off after his father would drive him to comedy clubs and help him come up with an act. Getting TV recognition, he then shot to fame as a film star in pieces such as Dumb and Dumber, Man On The Moon and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

4. Halle Berry

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


In 2002, Halle Berry won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball, which made her the only woman of color to win a Best Actress Academy Award to date, as of 2016. A massive movie star known for her roles in the X-Men franchise, the James Bond film Die Another Day and the thriller Swordfish.

Although critically acclaimed and with fame and riches to her name, Berry spent a period in a homeless shelter as a young 21-year-old, she had just moved to New York and run out of money and had to spend a stint in the shelter.

5. Dr. Phil

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Phil McGaw is best known as TV psychologist Dr. Phil but when aged 12, he lived out of a car with his father who had little money to support the pair as he interned as a Psychologist. Eventually, his father got full-time paying work and Phil followed him into the same line of work and joined his father’s firm after acquiring his own bachelor’s degree and Ph.D.

It was during this time that he was invited onto Oprah’s daytime TV show due to his expertise, friendly demeanor and charming Texan drawl. Eventually, he got his own syndicated show and became the star he is today.

6. Suze Orman

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


An Emmy-award winning financial advisor who has had several best selling books published leading to her becoming a multi-millionaire, Suze Orman once had to spend a few months living out the back of her van in 1973 as she took jobs clearing trees alongside a friend who also shared the van with her.

Now she tells people how to spend their money wisely and avoid getting into tough situations that she found herself in.

7. Daniel Craig

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Current James Bond and critically acclaimed actor Daniel Craig may now be one of the top-earning actors in the world and a huge name to boot but whilst living in London, he was a struggling actor who was waiting on tables and occasionally spending nights on park benches as he had nowhere else to go.

Now rubbing shoulders with the Queen of England herself in a skit for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, Daniel certainly has come a long way since those early days and cold nights.

8. Ella Fitzgerald

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Arguably the finest Jazz singer of her time, Ella Fitzgerald lived a life that involved her winning 13 Grammy awards and receiving medals from presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush having sung for Ronald Reagan in 1981. However, she ran away from home in early life and spent a period homeless until she debuted at the Apollo Theater in 1934.

So lauded was she that 9 years after her death she received a US postal stamp with her face on.

9. Chris Gardner

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Millionaire Chris Gardner spent years pursuing a career in finance despite having no experience in the field or even a college degree. He received a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program but the salary was not enough to support himself, his wife or his young son and so his wife left him.

Now he as two New York Times bestselling books under his belt: his autobiography “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” A film of his life was made, starring Will Smith called The Pursuit of Happyness and now he is a motivational speaker and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC.

10. Jewel

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


The American singer-songwriter who is now a multi-platinum and award-winning singer was fired from her job by her boss because she refused to sleep with him and so she couldn’t afford to pay rent. Continuing to write songs, she would perform at coffee shops and gained a loyal following until she ended up securing a record label deal.

Her first album Pieces of You went on to become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time shifting 12 million copies.

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