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10+ Celebrities Who Used To Be Homeless

Sarah Kester

Everyone has to start somewhere.

While most celebs pursued their desired profession with hot water, a bed to sleep in, and a roof over their heads, that wasn't the case for everyone.

These 10+ celebs had a much rougher go at it, with some forced to live on the streets when they were children.

Here are their stories from when they were homeless.

1. James Cameron

Instagram | @jamescameron

Even one of the most famous directors in the world had to start somewhere.

He was living out of his car while he wrote The Terminator. He got his big break when he sold the film for a dollar and directed the film himself.

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2. Hilary Swank

Instagram | @hilaryswank

The Million Dollar Baby actress comes from very humble beginnings.

She grew up in a trailer park before she and her mother were sleeping in a friend's empty house. But since the friend was selling the house, they couldn't stay there during the day.

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"So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And left in the morning," she told CBS.


Eventually, they ended up living out of their car for a few weeks. Thankfully, this was short-lived, as the Oscar-winning actress eventually landed parts for acting.

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The Price Is Right host did not have an easy childhood. His father died when he was eight years old and he became homeless in Las Vegas.

At one point, he began selling plasma just to earn money for food, like boxed mac and cheese.

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4. Jim Carrey

ABC via YouTube

The comedian's early life was the opposite of funny. After his father lost his job, Jim and his family lived out of a Volkswagen camper van.

He quit school at 16 so he could work full-time to help support his family.

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She's known as a financial guru know, but for many years, she didn't have a dime to her name.

She and her friends lived out of a van during the 1970s this time while she worked as a waitress to make ends meet.

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The actress found way over her head (and without a roof over her head) when she moved away from home to pursue acting.

She lived in a homeless shelter when she ran out of money and her mom refused to help her out.

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7. David Letterman

Instagram | @letterman

The road to fame wasn't easy. When the former late-night TV show host made the move from Indiana to California, he lived out of his 1973 Chevy pickup truck.

Thankfully, he soon got his big break as a writer for comedian Jimmie Walker.

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8. Kelsey Grammer

Giphy | Paramount+

While the Fraiser actor was lucky enough to attend Julliard on a scholarship, he still had to work two jobs to make ends meets.

Whenever he was unable to, he was forced to sleep in a park.

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9. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram | @jlo

The singer's early life could seriously be a movie.

She lived on a sofa in a dance studio when she was 18 after fighting with her mother about pursuing dance as a career. Clearly, her risk paid off.

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10. Harry Houdini

Wikimedia |

Not even the greatest magician ever alive could money appear out of thin air. His struggles all started when he was just a young boy.

He would shine shoes, beg for money, and sell newspapers to make money.

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When he was 12, he ran away from home, although not much is known about that year.

Wikimedia |,_3c12416u_(cropped).jpg

It's safe to presume that he lived on the streets during that time. When he returned home, he worked several odd jobs before pursuing magic full-time.

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11. William Shatner

Instagram | @williamshatner

When Star Trek went off the air in 1969, it left the actor who played Captain Kirk extremely cash-strapped.

Soon, he had no choice but to live out of the back of his truck under a hard shell.

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"It had a little stove, a toilet, and I’d drive from theater to theater," he told Metro.

Giphy | NBC

"The only comfort came from my dog, who sat in the passenger seat and gave me perspective on everything. Otherwise, it would have just been me counting my losses," he said.

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12. Michael Oher

Instagram | @michaeloher

He's the famous football player whose life story inspired the film, The Blind Side.

Since his mother was a drug addict and his father was in jail most of his young life, Michael found himself either living in foster homes or on the streets.

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13. Charlie Chaplin

Giphy | hoppip

This is yet another celeb who a tragic childhood.

After his father died of alcoholism when Charlie was 10 and his mother was put in a mental hospital, the famous late comedian found himself living on the streets at 14.

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Choosing to pursue a career as a comedian left the Family Fued host living out of his 1976 Ford Tempo.

“I sat down and started crying, but a voice said, ‘If you keep going, I’m going to take you places you’ve never been,’ “ he told People. “It was like God said, ‘Don’t quit, you’re almost there.’”

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Before he became Andy from Parks and Recreation and Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, he was just a dude living out of his van in Hawaii.

"It's a pretty awesome place to be homeless," he told The Independent.

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"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 continued.

Giphy | MTV Movie & TV Awards

He was working at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company when he met actress, Rae Dawn Chong, who cast him in his first movie.

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