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10 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless

By The Hyperhive


30 April 2024

©️ Vecteezy

Hollywood’s glitz and glamour often paint a picture of overnight success. But behind the dazzling smiles and red carpets lie stories of trial and tribulations. Many celebrities we admire today once walked a path far harsher, struggling with poverty and homelessness. This is a list of 10 celebrities who were homeless once in their lifetime and came out of it through patience and perseverance.

10 Celebrities Who Were Once Homeless

These “rags to riches” journeys are testaments to the power of the human spirit. Here are some inspiring stories of celebrities who overcame homelessness:

1. Chris Pratt

Before gracing the screens as Star-Lord, Pratt spent time living in a van in Maui, Havai. A friend of his bought a one-way ticket for him and he just went. He credits his resourcefulness and unwavering belief in himself for his eventual Hollywood breakthrough. His positive attitude sure paid off.

Discribing that time Pratt said, We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies.”

It was the same year, that actress Rae Dawn Chong met him while he was serving tables at a restaurant in Maui. She took note of his good looks and decided to cast him in her directorial debut “Cursed Part III.”

Talking about the event, Pratt said, “The moment she told me she was bringing me to LA, I knew. I was like, ‘This is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.'”

celebrities who were homeless
©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

2. Steve Harvey

The Emmy Award-winning comedian spent a period homeless in his twenties while struggling to break into the comedy scene. He persevered, eventually becoming a household name in stand-up, television, and radio. As he said to People “one or two gigs fell through,” and he found himself homeless. According to People, the TV personality lived in his 1976 Ford Tempo for three years. He washed in bathrooms, gas stations, and swimming pool showers.

celebrities who were homeless
©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

3. Halle Berry

At 21, with dreams of becoming an actress, Berry found herself homeless in New York City. That’s because when she did not have any more money, her mother decided to stop supporting her. She ended up in a homeless center.

“It 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,” said she in an interview with Readers Digest.

She persevered, eventually landing roles that led to her becoming the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

celebrities who were homeless
©️ Entertainment Stock / Vecteezy

4. Jim Carrey

The iconic comedian’s path to fame wasn’t paved with laughter. As a teenager, Carrey and his family struggled financially, even living in a van at times. They used to park in different places in Canada before ending up in a tent in his older sister’s yard. According to him, these tough times made him the comedian he became. His dedication to comedy paid off, turning him into one of Hollywood’s richest stars.

celebrities who were homeless
©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

5. Daniel Craig

The man behind James Bond once faced homelessness in his early twenties while pursuing acting in London. He found shelter with friends and even slept on park benches. His determination landed him the iconic role that propelled him to international fame.

©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

6. Kelly Clarkson

The “American Idol” winner’s path to fame wasn’t always glamorous. Early in her career, Clarkson faced financial hardship and even spent a short time homeless. According to Time, for a short the powerhouse singer was living in her car because her apartment was damaged in a fire.

Her powerful voice and determination led her to superstardom, making her the first winner of American Idol.

©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

7. Hilary Swank

The two-time Academy Award-winning actress experienced homelessness with her mother while traveling the country for her dance training.

Talking to CBS News, she explained “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.” 

Her unwavering spirit and dedication to her craft propelled her to Hollywood success.

©️ Actor Stock / Vecteezy

8. Jennifer Lopez

Who would have thought that Jennifer Lopes would be on a ‘celebrities who were homeless’ list? “I was homeless, but I told her, ‘This is what I have to do.'” This is what J.Lo accepted to have told her mother to W Magazine. Before becoming J.Lo, the superstar faced homelessness early in her career while chasing her acting dreams in New York City. She famously slept in a dance studio and eventually landed roles that launched her into music and film superstardom.

©️ Jennifer Lopez Stock / Vecteezy

9. Shania Twain

Escaping an abusive home and living in shelters as a teenager, Shania Twain’s story is one of incredible resilience. Her musical talent and unwavering spirit led her to become one of the best-selling country music artists of all time.

In her memoir “From This Moment On” she wrote everything about that time of her life, describing in detail the time her mum brought a paper with the address of a homeless shelter and how they all slept on “open rooms designed for large groups.”

©️ Shania Twain Stock / Vecteezy

10. Charlie Chaplin

Even celebrity icons like Charlie Chaplin were onde homeless. As a child, Chaplin and his family experienced financial hardship, which forced them to live in workhouses and shelters. According to, his mother ended up in a psychiatric hospital after his father died. This forced him and his brother to start working at a really young age. His talent for performance eventually propelled him to become a silent film legend.

©️ Charlie Chaplin / YouTube

These celebrities’ success stories serve not only as entertainment but also as a powerful message of hope. They remind us that even in the face of immense challenges, dreams can be achieved through hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of Hollywood magic.

Who are the most inspiring celebrities in your opinion? Share your insight in the comments below.

You may also like: Stand-Up Comedians Who Became Amazing Actors

The Hyperhive

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