Celebrity Life Struggles

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Multiple homes in exotic locations, countless expensive cars and designer clothing are just some of the perks of leading a celebrity life. But whether living out of a car, enduring a difficult childhood or depending on government handouts to get by, some celebs haven’t always have it that easy. Many celebrities have true rags-to-riches tales to tell.

Jim Carey

For Carey, one of the most successful comedians of all time, the master of physical humor and star of movies such as Dumb and Dumber and Bruce Almighty, life hasn’t always been a barrel of laughs. At the age of 15, he and his siblings were forced to quit school and work long shifts in a factory while living out of a VW camper van after his father lost his job. The family’s fortunes leveled out in his late teens, but it was only after slumming it as a low-paid comedian for several years that success finally knocked on his door.

Chris Pratt

The world fell in love with Chris Pratt in his portrayal as Andy Dyer in Parks and Recreation. This lead to more recent Hollywood successes, including Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. And yet, Pratt is open about the fact that at the age of 19, his buddy and he both lived out of a van in Maui, Hawaii. His first gig as an actor at this time paid him a modest $700, which he lived on for the next year of his life! His luck continued to slowly turn from this point onward.

David Letterman

As the longest-running late-night talk show host in U.S. history, Letterman’s career sounds pretty rosy. And yet, before his 32-year reign began, things were far from legendary. At the age of 28, Letterman’s dreams of becoming a comic writer lead him to fill a pick-up truck with his belongings (and his then wife) and head to L.A. He then lived in this very truck while he struggled to make ends meet, until success finally came seven years later in the form of Late Night with David Letterman. The rest, as they say, is Hollywood history.

Oprah Winfrey

Speaking of TV show hosts, is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Oprah Winfrey? With a fortune spanning an estimated $3.2 billion, she is more than a celebrity – she is a household name. Winfrey also happens to be the first black female billionaire in history. Nevertheless, at the tender age of 9, her family was so poverty-stricken, she was forced to wear dresses made from potato sacks. By the age of just 13, she ran away from home due to the physical abuse at the hands of male relatives, which she had endured for years. She settled on a career in media, first starting locally, before hitting the big time with The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Leighton Meester

Talk about getting tongues wagging from the word go, the singer and star of Gossip Girl was born in a Texas prison where her mother was serving a jail sentence for her part in a drug smuggling ring. Meester went on to live with her grandparents in Florida for a number of years before moving to L.A. in pursuit of success. This just happened to come her way following parts in TV crime show Law and Order.

J.K. Rowling

Possibly the most famous rags-to-riches story, Joanne Rowling was a single mother living on government assistance in Edinburgh, Scotland, when she began writing the Harry Potter series, which was finally published after years of rejection from publishers. Never one to forget her roots, recently, Rowling forfeited her position on the coveted Forbes rich list due to her sizeable, ongoing charitable donations, which downgraded her from a billionaire to a mere millionaire, instead. Perhaps the recent success of the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will mean she makes her to the billionaire roster, once again.

50 Cent

Curtis Jackson’s mother was a drug dealer at just 15 years of age when he was born in Queens, New York. Then, when he was just 8 years old, she was tragically murdered, and so he moved in with his grandparents, plus eight uncles and aunts. Jackson began to deal drugs, himself, by the time he was 12. Thanks to his record deal in 2002, he is now known to the world as 50 Cent, and one of the most successful rappers in the world – worth an estimated $15 million.


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