Your tip
RadarOnlineRadarOnline
BREAKING NEWS

From Rags to Riches: 24 Stars Who Lived on the Streets Before They Became Household Names

Composite photo of Carmen Electra and other stars.
Source: MEGA

Learn all about the stars who were homeless before making it big.

Jul. 6 2024, Published 7:30 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to FlipboardShare to Email
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Carmen Electra

carmen electra
Source: MEGA

Carmen Electra launched her career with her first album and got the chance to appear in Prince's shows. However, she faced an issue when her then-boyfriend stole her money, which led her to become homeless.

Still, she chose to look at the brighter side and told the Las Vegas Review-Journal what she learned from the experience.

"I love it, because you know what? Maybe that's what gave me the drive to be in this business, and stick it out, and really push myself and make it happen," she said. "I made a decision to do it on my own ... and to be an independent woman, and I'm proud of that.

Electra added, "Situations like that really bring you down to earth. I'm so grateful. I'm grateful for everything that I have and everything I've been able to accomplish."

Article continues below advertisement

Chris Pratt

chris pratt
Source: MEGA

Before starring in big franchises like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, Chris Pratt experienced homelessness when he got a one-way ticket to Maui, Hawaii.

"We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies," he told The Independent. "You know it was a charming time."

Fortunately, actress Rae Dawn Chong met him at a restaurant and cast him for her directorial debut, Cursed Part III.

Daniel Craig

daniel craig
Source: MEGA

Daniel Craig spent his sleepless nights on park benches in London before heading to Hollywood. He later found success and became part of different films, including the James Bond franchise.

Article continues below advertisement

Drew Carey

drew carey
Source: MEGA

Drew Carey has one of the most inspiring stories in Hollywood.

He ended up homeless in Las Vegas and sold plasma for $40 to buy mac and cheese. Carey also informed the attendees of the 2010 benefit for the Friends of Youth organization that he wanted to see his brother but experienced the worst while on his way.

Article continues below advertisement

Dwayne Johnson

dwayne johnson
Source: MEGA

Though he is now one of the highest-paid actors in the world, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had a rough start before he became a wrestler and actor.

During the 2018 LA Family Housing Awards ceremony, the Jumanji actor opened up about the poverty he and his family experienced and how it felt like to be homeless.

"What makes this award special to me — not only because it's being presented to me by this beautiful family — is that when I was 14 we were evicted, living in Honolulu, Hawaii," he shared. "We were evicted and forced off the island, and we didn't have a place to live. I wound up moving to a little motel outside Nashville, Tennessee. It's a crazy story for another time."

Article continues below advertisement

Eartha Kitt

eartha kitt
Source: MEGA

Eartha Kitt, who died on Christmas Day in 2008, became homeless when she left the house of her aunt Marnie Kitt. While working in a New York factory, she tried getting her rest while on rooftops or on the subways.

Article continues below advertisement

Halle Berry

halle berry
Source: MEGA

Speaking with People in 2017, Halle Berry looked back at the time she spent all the money she earned from a modeling job and ended up being homeless after her mother refused to send her money. She remained in that state for three months, but she was able to see the silver lining.

"That's probably one of the best things [my mother] did for me because it taught me," Berry said. [My mother] said, 'If you want to be there, then you be there. You work it out.' And I had to work it out."

Article continues below advertisement

Hilary Swank

hilary swank
Source: MEGA

While pursuing a career in the acting industry, Hilary Swank and her mother lived in a car and empty house for months.

"We had a friend who was selling their house. And so they said, 'You know, there's no furniture, but you can stay there at night. And then, during the day, you have to leave so we can try and sell it.' So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And left in the morning," she told 60 Minutes.

Fortunately, they were able to have their own home after several months as Swank scored roles in Hollywood.

Article continues below advertisement

James Cameron

james cameron
Source: MEGA

While writing The Terminator, award-winning filmmaker James Cameron needed to make ends meet, which also meant living in his car.

He ended up selling the rights to the screenplay for $1 as the production companies did not want him to be in charge of the film, which ended up making $77 million worldwide.

Article continues below advertisement

Jennifer Lopez

jennifer lopez
Source: MEGA

Jennifer Lopez became homeless after she argued with her mother over her desire to pursue dancing. She stayed at the dance studio, where she underwent training until she booked a dancing gig in Europe.

Article continues below advertisement

Jim Carrey

jim carrey
Source: MEGA

Jim Carrey lost his home after his father was let go from his job. Their family then lived in a tent at a park in Ontario for eight months while they worked as janitors and security guards.

According to The Dumb and Dumber star, he tried to be the adult due to their family's status.

Article continues below advertisement

Kelly Clarkson

kelly clarkson
Source: MEGA

Prior to her American Idol win, Kelly Clarkson lived in her car after a fire damaged her apartment. With the little money she had, she tried her luck and became the first winner of the singing competition show.

MORE ON:
Carmen Electra
Article continues below advertisement

Kelsey Grammer

kelsey grammer
Source: MEGA

Kelsey Grammer worked two jobs while attending The Juilliard School.

"Well that was because it was still warm enough, I could actually sleep there ... for only a few weeks, really," Kelsey told journalist Graham Bensinger in 2019. "But I could sneak behind a certain bush and cover myself with the newspaper, and I was fine. And I showered over at Juilliard."

Article continues below advertisement

Natasha Lyonne

natasha lyonne
Source: MEGA

Natasha Lyonne struggled with homelessness after her DUI case in 2001.

Her neighbors complained about her while residing in a Gramercy Park apartment. After getting kicked out of the property, she suffered more due to her different health issues, including a heart infection and hepatitis C.

She fortunately went through it and starred in more shows, including Orange Is the New Black.

Article continues below advertisement

Phil McGraw

phil mcgraw
Source: MEGA

Phil McGraw was 12 when he became homeless. He resided in a car with his father in Kansas City.

The host eventually got his own degrees and joined his father's psychology practice until he became part of Hollywood.

Article continues below advertisement

Rose McGowan

rose mcgowan
Source: MEGA

In 2019, Rose McGowan told The Guardian she lived with other people before dealing with homelessness. Her acting jobs later helped her to get her own apartment.

"Being homeless again was always the biggest terror for me," Rose said. "So I took my first acting job."

Article continues below advertisement

Sam Worthington

sam worthington
Source: MEGA

Sam Worthington lived in his car and his close friends' home when he became homeless before fame.

"The journey has just started; I have to go far away in my voyage and have seen a lot of ups and down so far and I am ready for anything, anything that could happen — irrespective of good or bad," Sam told the Times of India. "I can still live in my car, and I am not at all trapped with stardom."

Article continues below advertisement

Selma Blair

selma blair
Source: MEGA

Selma Blair recalled her struggles during her interview with E! at a 2011 gathering celebrating the Versace for H&M collection.

"I was basically homeless, living in the Salvation Army in New York City. I was 21 years old, and I saved all up my money [for the designer dress] that I should have saved up for rent at the Salvation Army," she continued.

Article continues below advertisement

Shania Twain

shania twain
Source: MEGA

After growing up in an abusive household, Shania Twain stayed in a homeless shelter in Toronto together with her mother and siblings. She later opened up about the experience in her 2011 memoir, From This Moment On.

Article continues below advertisement

Steve Harvey

steve harvey
Source: MEGA

Steve Harvey endured his life inside his 1976 Ford Tempo for three years before finally scoring his big break. He used to wash up at gas stations, hotel bathrooms and swimming pool showers.

Article continues below advertisement

Sylvester Stallone

sylvester stallone
Source: MEGA

Sylvester Stallone had to make ends meet before his big break, with the Rocky star selling his dog for $40 to buy food. He also spent his nights at different locations, including the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Article continues below advertisement

Tiffany Haddish

tiffany haddish
Source: MEGA

Tiffany Haddish revealed she lived out of a car before starting her career. Kevin Hart later learned about her situation and gave her $300.

"[Hart] said, 'Find yourself a place for the week. And then write out a list of goals of what you want to do, and start accomplishing those goals.' And then I started attacking those goals," she recalled.

Article continues below advertisement

Tyler Perry

tyler perry
Source: MEGA

Tyler Perry has a rags to riches story that inspired other celebrities.

Before becoming a billionaire, he spent three months in a Geo Metro car.

"I was always keeping the faith, knowing that if I worked hard, did my absolute best, kept my integrity, honored every blessing, and remained grateful through it all that everything would work out. And it has, thank God," he said on Facebook while speaking about his Tyler Perry Studios.

Article continues below advertisement

William Shatner

william shatner
Source: MEGA

William Shatner was already in Hollywood when he became homeless and a divorced man while working on the set of Star Trek.

"It was the early 1970s, and I was recently divorced," he disclosed. "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."

Shatner found himself living in a pickup truck at the time.

Advertisement

DAILY. BREAKING. CELEBRITY NEWS. ALL FREE.

More From Radar Online

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.