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11 Famous Celebs Who Were Penniless Before Becoming Big

Hollywood undoubtedly has a lot of luxury. Who is cast in what may be significantly influenced by factors like age, appearance, and who you know? However, not every celebrity was born wealthy, with connections and an advantage in their field. These 15 famous people were almost penniless before they became successful. Some were homeless and forced to live in shelters or automobiles, while others had nothing in their bank accounts.

Even for the most gifted individuals, performing is by no means an assured profession. Finding success in music, film, television, or comedy can take years of arduous labor, and many individuals think about quitting or giving up altogether. Fortunately, though, these celebrities persevered through the tough times, and today they are all worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

1. Mila Kunis

Source: Getty Images

Kunis and her family escaped to the United States after the Soviet Union collapsed. She and her family were so poor that she claims she was forced to eat “ketchup soup” as a youngster. Though she lied about her age to get her breakthrough role on That ’70s Show, you can’t blame her after all, she went through.

2. Morgan Freeman

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Freeman was reared by his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi, but had traveled about as a child. Despite being granted a theatre scholarship at Jackson State University, Freeman enrolled in the newly desegregated Air Force. He then left the army in 1959 and began attending acting and dance classes, appearing in various plays. But his breakout part in Street Smart came when he was 50.

3. Tom Cruise

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With an aggressive father who could hardly hold down a job, Cruise grew up on the edge of poverty. Ultimately, his mother had to work three jobs to provide for Cruise and his three sisters. By the time Cruise was 12 years old, his parents had separated, and he had attended 15 different schools, all of which had been challenging for him because of his frequent bullying and dyslexia.

4. Selena Gomez

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You’ll be amazed by the life this triple-threat performer comes from, but she still ranks among the top stars in the world. Gomez’s mother struggled to provide for them both after giving birth to her when she was just 16 years old. According to Gomez, they regularly got spaghetti from the dollar store for dinner and had to hunt for quarters simply to pay for petrol.

5. Jim Carrey

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While Jim Carrey is a comedian, his childhood was not. Carrey’s family became homeless when he was a child, and he was forced to live in a tent near Lake Ontario. They all became janitors and security guards in exchange for accommodation across the street from the tire plant where they worked. Carrey began his comedic career as a youngster, and despite their poverty, his family backed him as he battled to make it famous.

6. Chris Pratt

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Pratt dropped out of college and worked as a bargain ticket salesman/stripper before landing roles in every major Hollywood film. He then resided in a tent in Maui, where he spent his days working, drinking, and smoking marijuana. It sounds a lot like his breakout character on Parks and Recreation.

7. Samuel L. Jackson

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Jackson’s grandparents and industrial worker mother reared him in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he also attended many segregated schools. Jackson started advocating for equal rights after MLK was killed and was detained for kidnapping several people and keeping them hostage while seeking reform at their institution. He ultimately met with Black Power activists, but not before his mother had dispatched him to Los Angeles after the FBI had forewarned her about the organization.

8. Mark Wahlberg

Source: Getty Images

Wahlberg used and sold narcotics while growing up on the streets of Boston. He also engaged in several violent altercations, some of which were hate crimes that landed him in jail for attempted murder. However, Wahlberg eventually altered his ways and became one of Hollywood’s most adored and well-paid actors throughout his hip-hop career.

9. Sylvester Stallone

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Stallone’s life was an underdog tale, much like Rocky’s. Stallone eventually spent three weeks sleeping at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and to make ends meet, he even appeared in a softcore pornographic movie. But when Sylvester’s script for Rocky was taken up, he finally hit it rich after several odd jobs and modest acting gigs.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio

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This Academy Award-winning actor wasn’t always the glitzy, glamorous figure you see now. While growing up in East Hollywood, his mother was a secretary, while his father created and distributed underground comics. DiCaprio says the neighborhood where he resided was filled with crime and violence and that it looked like a scene from Taxi Driver.

11. Joaquin Phoenix

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As a kid, Joaquin and his family were members of the Children of God religious cult and had traveled across South America and Puerto Rico as missionaries. After Joaquin’s father could not work, they ultimately left the cult and relocated to Los Angeles. However, once his mother met talent agent Iris Burton, he and his siblings began receiving modest roles on television.

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