Leonardo DiCaprio was raised by a single mom who worked several jobs to make ends meet. (Photo: Archive)
When growing up, Jim Carrey lived with his whole family in a VW camper parked next to the tire rim factory where they worked. He also had many low-paying jobs; he was a janitor, a construction worker and a picture frame factory worker. (Photo: Archive)
J-Lo was homeless for a while, after getting in a fight with her mom, who didn’t believe she could make it as a dancer. (Photo: Archive)
Selena Gomez was born to a 16-year-old single mom who struggled financially throughout Selena’s childhood. (Photo: Archive)
Nicki Minaj moved to the US from Port of Spain in Trinidad when she was 5 years old. She lived in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Queens, New York. (Photo: Archive)
Celine Dion was born to a massive French-Canadian family of 14 children. He parents struggled to provide for her and her siblings when they were growing up. (Photo: Archive)
Eminem grew up moving back and forth between Missouri and Michigan with his single mom. Eventually, the pair settled in a lower-middle class neighborhood. He got bullied quite a bit in school and even got a concussion because of it. (Photo: Archive)
JK Rowling started out as a struggling, single mother living off handouts from the government. (Photo: Archive)
Hilary Swank was raised in a trailer park in Bellingham, Washington. At age 15 she moved with her mom to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, and they lived out of her mom’s car until Swank landed some minor roles. (Photo: Archive)
Leighton Meester was actually born in a Texas prison while her mother served time for drug smuggling. Meester lived with her grandmother in Florida until her mother was released. (Photo: Archive)
Shania Twain was raised in a violent household where she grew up with three siblings, impoverished and often suffering from hunger. When she turned 21, her mother and stepfather were in a fatal car accident, and Twain sang in local resorts to support her three younger siblings. (Photo: Archive)
Tom Cruise recalls growing up in near poverty and being abused by his father, whom Cruise now describes as a bully and coward. (Photo: Archive)
Demi Moore was born is Roswell, New Mexico, and raised in a trailer park by her alcoholic mother and stepfather. (Photo: Archive)
Sarah Jessica Parker, was the youngest of four children, born to struggling parents. After her mother remarried, four more children would be born, and the family had difficulty getting by, as her mother was a housewife, and her stepfather was a truck driver. (Photo: Archive)
Jay Z grew up humbly in Brooklyn’s Marcy Housing Projects, and was involved in crime while growing up. He sold drugs to make ends meet. (Photo: Archive)
Oprah Winfrey, who was raised by her grandmother, was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother. She was raped at the age of 9 and became pregnant at 14 (her son died in infancy). (Photo: Archive)
When Stephen King was just a few years old, his father walked out on the family. That left just his mother to make ends meet for Stephen and his older brother. Stephen’s family had to live with–and borrow money from–relatives. (Photo: Archive)
Fame, fortune, and success. What we read about celebrities in gossip magazines and in the Internet, is an enviable life of luxury and glamour. But for some of them, it was not always like that.
Without food or a roof above their heads, and living off of government’s assistance, these celebrities lived a completely different childhood from the extravagances they enjoy today.
With determination, hard work, and a little bit of luck, some of the most famous faces in the entertainment industry beat the odds and became successful despite their meager origins. These musicians, authors, actors, and TV hosts are now some of the most influential personalities of our time.
Their dreams have taken them far.
These are some of the celebrities who lived in poverty before reaching stardom in Hollywood.