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11 Celebrities Who Were Homeless Before They Became Famous

To honour World Homeless Day, we round up the stars who slept rough before they found fame

Halle Berry

As a struggling young actress living in Chicago, Halle Berry lived in and out of various homeless shelters. The now Oscar winner (and star of the X-Men franchise) has said that being homeless “taught me how to take care of myself, and that I could live through any situation. Even if it meant going to a shelter for a small stint, or living within my means, which were meager. I became a person who knows that I will always make my own way.


Daniel Craig

Today he’s the highest paid Bond actor, a man who has reportedly been offered a $150 million pay cheque to sign on for another film as the world’s most famous secret agent. But in his 20s he slept on park benches in London while trying to make ends meet as a thespian.

Jennifer Lopez

As an 18-year-old, Jennifer Lopez dreamed of becoming a famous dancer. Her mother had other ideas and wanted her daughter to go to college. When the two fought on the subject, Lopez left home and started sleeping on the couch in her local dance studio. Just months later, she landed a role in the film In Living Colour. Today, the triple threat singer, actress and dancer is worth a reported $300 million. 


Chris Pratt

As a youth living in Hawaii, Chris Pratt slept in his campervan. Today he’s one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men and the actor who headlines major franchises including Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Kelly Clarkson

Before breaking through as the first winner of American Idol Kelly Clarkson slept out of her car after her Los Angeles apartment burned down. Today the singer is a multi-Grammy award winning artist.

Sylvester Stallone

As a young man living in New York, Sylvester Stallone famously sold his dog for $50 while sleeping rough to make ends meet. Months later, when he wrote the script for Rocky and sold it to investors, he bought the dog back for $15,000 and the pair starred in the now-iconic boxing movie.

Hilary Swank

When she was just a teenager, Hilary Swank and her mother made the journey to Los Angeles so that she could kickstart her acting career. They lived out of their car, crashed at empty houses and slept on sofas for their first few months in the city. “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,'” Swank has said. “So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And then left in the morning.”


Sam Worthington

When he auditioned for Avatar in his 30s – the sci-fi film that sent the Australian actor’s star truly stratospheric – Sam Worthington was living out of his car, having sold all of his possessions. Today he is married to Lara Bingle and the pair are expecting their second child.

Misty Copeland

This ballerina went from being “pretty much homeless”, and living with her entire family in a one-room studio in Los Angeles, to becoming the American Ballet Company’s first African American principal dancer.

Jim Carrey

It was being homeless as a kid that gave Jim Carrey his outlandish sense of humour, the comedian has said. As a teenager Carrey was forced to drop out of school and live with his family in a campervan after his father lost his job. After a while driving around Canada, the family set up a tent in his older sister’s backyard and lived there. The time was a “traumatic kick in the guts,” Carrey has said.

Natasha Lyonne

Already a celebrated actress, thanks to her roles in American Pie and But I’m A Cheerleader, in her 20s Natasha Lyonne struggled with addiction and was homeless. Today, she’s the star of Orange is the New Black and is outspoken on addiction and homelessness.

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