9 Sadly Dark Pasts From Your Favorite Celebrities

Superstars might have everything they want at first glance. On the other hand, a large proportion of A-list stars have only been able to achieve recognition after overcoming a troubled past that may have been marked by substance misuse, physical or sexual assault, or other forms of personal tragedy.
Join us today as we look at some of the most well-known people in the entertainment world and find out what obstacles they had to overcome on the path to success in their respective fields. Below is the list of the nine dark pasts from your favorite celebrities.

9. Woody Harrelson

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Woody Harrelson has killed in movies (notably Natural Born Killers), but his father did it for real. Charles Harrelson was a hitman for high-level mobsters throughout Woody's boyhood. He was locked up for good in 1979 after murdering a judge. Woody visited his dad in jail and described him as "intelligent, well-read, and engaging." After an unsuccessful escape attempt in the 1990s, Charles was placed in a maximum-security prison and died of a heart attack in 2007.

8. Lady Gaga

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Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, always seems confident in all she does. She was raped at 19 and spent years in counseling for PTSD. The singer, composer, and actor were so traumatized by the incident that she refused to discuss it for years. I tried to forget it. Finally, it was a gigantic, hideous beast. Face the demon to heal.”

7. Keanu Reeves

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'Sad Keanu' has been a meme for so long that you may not know how tragic his backstory is. His heroin-smuggling father abandoned Reeves. Later, River Phoenix died of a heroin overdose. At the height of Reeves' career, he and Jennifer Syme lost their daughter in 1999; 18 months later, Syme perished in a vehicle accident. Reeves has been reluctant to talk about these events but appreciates his generosity and positivity.

6. Trevor Noah

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Trevor Noah grew raised in apartheid-era South Africa. His white father and black mother were so frowned upon at the time that Noah's mother Patricia pretended to be his nanny in public. Noah's mother remarried, but her new husband was abusive to Noah and Patricia. Shingange shot Patricia in the leg and head; she survived, but he threatened to kill Noah after challenging his stepfather. 2011 saw Shingange's arrest.

5. Samuel L Jackson

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Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most successful movie stars. Jackson's early years were marked by radicalism at Atlanta's Morehouse College. Jackson, outraged by the killing of Martin Luther King Jr., took Morehouse College trustees (including Martin Luther King Sr.) hostage, demanding educational reform. Jackson was ejected for unauthorized imprisonment.

4. Robert Downey Jr

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Robert Downey Jr. has a history of drug addiction, but you may not realize it started at age 6. At that age, Robert Downey Sr. introduced his son to marijuana. By age 8, Downey was doing heavier narcotics. After a series of arrests, the problem nearly destroyed his acting career. In the early 2000s, he ultimately kicked the habit thanks to a 12-step program, meditation, yoga, and martial arts.

3. Madonna

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Madonna had a dreadful experience after relocating to New York to establish her career. The singer said a seemingly friendly man enticed her into an apartment building by offering to let her use his phone. The singer admits she didn't report the crime because it was 'pointless' No good. It's humiliating." Madonna's NYC apartment was also broken into three times.

2. Jim Carrey

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Funnyman Jim Carrey is a successful comic actor, but he wasn't always this way. Carrey was poor as a child. His family lived in a van after his father lost his job since they had no consistent income. Jim quit high school at 15 to work as a janitor to make ends meet. Jim Carrey moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue comedy and acting.

1. Drew Barrymore

 troubled past Source: Getty Images

Like Robert Downey Jr., Drew Barrymore was young and introduced to alcohol and drugs. The E.T. actress was an alcoholic by age 11 and a cocaine addict a few years later. At 14, Barrymore's excessive partying (facilitated by an irresponsible mother) caught up with her, and she attempted suicide. Barrymore rebuilt her life in the following years, becoming a successful actress, producer, entrepreneur, and talk show presenter.
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