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30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless

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11. Michael Oher

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


NFL football player Michael Oher spent time living on the streets whilst his mother fell into crack addiction and lived in public housing. Eventually adopted by a wealthy family, Oher was encouraged to pursue his football dreams by his foster parents and went on to play college football at the University of Mississippi, and drafted into the NFL in 2009 for the Baltimore Ravens.

His story was made into a book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game before going on to become a movie called The Blind Side which won Sandra Bullock an Oscar for the portrayal of his foster mother.

12. Jennifer Lopez

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Jenny from the block was living with her mother who wanted her to go to college but when she refused, saying she wanted to become an actor and dancer, she moved out at 18 and slept on the sofa of the dance studio where she practiced. A few months later she managed to land a job dancing in Europe.

Later she would perform in several stage shows singing, dancing and acting and eventually landed film roles as well as launching a hugely successful music career.

13. Harry Houdini

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Arguably the most famous escape artist and magician to ever have been, Harry Houdini knew he wanted to perform magic tricks and stunts at a very young age and, as such, ran away from home by hopping onto a passing freight train and eventually making it to Missouri. He was reunited with his father eventually and they moved to New York.

Out of work, his father and he had to panhandle on the streets and it wasn’t until he was 17 that Houdini began his professional career.

14. Charlie Chaplin

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Considered the world’s first movie star, the silent actor Charlie Chaplin was one of the first icons to rise from modest beginnings and become a wealthy respected member of the upper classes. And thanks to the birth of Hollywood, this was possible for people who weren’t from wealthy backgrounds.

Just take Chaplin’s rise to fame. Before he found fame in Tinseltown, Chaplin’s life in his native London saw him sleep rough after his died and his mother suffered a subsequent mental breakdown.

15. Hilary Swank

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park in California and was eventually left homeless after her mother couldn’t afford to pay rent and she was pursuing and acting career so they stayed in their car or in an empty house a friend was trying to sell at night but having to be gone during the day.

Winning two best actress Oscars before she was 30, Swank is now a highly lauded and in-demand actress.

16. Natasha Lyonne    

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Finding fame in the hit 90s movie American fame, Natasha Lyonne’s rise wasn’t plain sailing. Before her break she was a drug addict who spend many of her earlier years on the streets looking to get high.

Thankfully, Natasha Lyonne overcame her addiction and she is now an actress in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

17. Drew Carey

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


Living on the streets of Las Vegas for some time, Drew Carey would sell plasma for $40 a time so he could buy food. Eventually, his comedy career took off and he used that as a launch pad to get into television and writing and now he is a multimillionaire and philanthropist with his own sitcom and a share in a Major League Soccer Team.

He also has a best-selling book about his early life and career.

18. The Weeknd

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


The Weeknd has come a long way since his days surviving the harsh Toronto winters as a homeless teen. Now one of the wealthiest recording artists in the world, The Weeknd has touched upon is plight in many of his tracks, including the hit single Sidewalks in which he boasts, “Homeless to Forbes Lists.”

Explaining his past plight in more detail, he wrote in a rare Q & A with Reddit fans: “I left home when I was about 17 dropped out of high school and convinced Lamar [XO crew member] to do the same lol. We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friend’s s****y van and left one weekend and never came back.”

19. Ed Sheeran

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


It may sound rather odd that a middle-class country boy had to sleep rough but such was Sheeran’s dogged determination to make it on his own he often didn’t tell his parents how little money he had, and for the vast majority of his time as an unsigned artist he would sleep on people’s sofas.

The 26-year-old hitmaker even admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail that he slept by a heating duct outside Buckingham Palace when he couldn’t find a place to crash, which made for a fairytale story after Sheeran was asked to perform outside Buckingham Palace only a few years later for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.

Speaking about that time in his life, the Give Me Love singer said, “There was an arch outside Buckingham Palace that has a heating duct, and I spent a couple of nights there. That’s where I wrote the song Homeless and the lines “It’s not a homeless night for me, I’m just home less than I’d like to be.”

20. David Letterman

30 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless


One of America’s finest television and chatshow hosts didn’t get an easy start in show business. In his earlier years, Letterman lived out of his 1973 Chevy pickup truck when looking for work and he’d be the first to tell you that the infancy of his career was littered with rejection.

However, things began improving when he landed a job writing jokes for the great Jimmy Walker. It wasn’t long before Walker recognized Letterman’s talents, and he soon became a star in his own right.

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