It’s no secret that a lot of celebrities struggle on their way up the ladder of fame. After all, there’s a reason why the starving artist thing is such a cliché. But some of the most successful members of our grand society struggled so much that they found themselves not just broke but flat out homeless. Yes, the following nine famous folks all found themselves sleeping on park benches or fighting junkies for beds in the ol’ homeless shelter, and so the next time you sneer at one of them because they can’t possibly understand what it’s like for the little people just remember that yes, yes they can.
Photo credit: Halle Berry image by s_bukley/Shutterstock
9 Halle Berry
When Halle Berry first left home to try to make it she quickly found herself broke and with no place to stay. Stranded in New York City, she called her mom for help and her mom told her that she could either come home or make it on her own, without any help. Halle chose to give it a go and ended up spending time bouncing between homeless shelters. Today, I’m sure Guyism would just offer to put her up for a couple of nights in their offices because hey, we’re just that damn classy (why yes, Halle, no clothes Friday is just company policy… ) but Guyism wasn’t around back then to give Halle a warm bed to sleep in. Truly, it was a more savage and uncivilized world.
Photo credit: Halle Berry image by DFree/Shutterstock
8 Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is very open about the fact that his sense of humor was developed in the face of the immense struggles he faced as a kid – particularly the fact that he and his family lived for a while out of the back of a van. Eventually, Jim moved into a swank new tent in his sister’s backyard. Maybe if he had been allowed to at least sleep in her garage that sense of humor would have been further refined and we wouldn’t have been subjected to Ace Ventura II. Or maybe we should just force Jim to live on the street again, just for a few weeks, or at least until he discovers how to be funny again.
Photo credit: Jim Carrey image by s_bukley/Shutterstock
7 Shania Twain
Shania Twain’s family was so poor growing up that they often went without food. Amazingly enough, Shania was actually better off after the family became homeless for a time because she was fed every day at a shelter. Read that again and you’ll realize that Shania was pretty much destined for country music. About the only thing missing from that story is a dead dog.
Photo credit: Shania Twain image by Featureflash/Shutterstock
6 Djimon Hounsou
A lot of creative types suffer from temporary homelessness while they try to score a job but Djimon Hounsou’s story is a little more raw than that. As a young teenager, he moved from his native Benin to Paris, where he spent the next couple of years living in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, scrounging for food and literally fighting for survival. No, seriously he fought other dudes just to get by. Eventually, he was discovered by a modeling agent and things changed for him in a hurry. So, the moral of this story is that if you’re homeless and want to make it out just be really, really good looking. Truly inspirational.
Photo credit: Control Arms, Flickr
Before she hit it big, Jewel lived out of her van, traveling around to coffee shops and street corners, singing and I’m guessing yodeling at people, which honestly is pretty par for the course when it comes to crazy homeless people. No, but really, while Jewel was technically homeless her life didn’t seem that much different than most struggling musicians living out of their tour bus. She also claims that she was forced into this vagabond lifestyle after turning down the advances of her lecherous boss which sounds like the plot of a Lifetime movie, but then again Jewel is basically the Lifetime Network version of a pop-star so I guess it works.
Photo credit: Jewel image by s_bukley/Shutterstock
4 Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington claims that he was living out of his car when he got the starring role in Avatar although it wouldn’t surprise me if he was actually living on one of James Cameron’s green-screens with a car superimposed on it. Worthington is kind of a weird dude as it seems like he was basically homeless by choice, as he’s since said he enjoys the transient lifestyle and doesn’t want to deal with bills and mortgages and pesky things like that. I mean, who does? But a little paperwork is slightly preferable to having a raccoon gnaw on your balls while you sleep. Call me crazy.
Photo credit: Rossella Vetrano, Flickr
3 David Letterman
David Letterman is the perfect example of a dude who took a chance on himself and saw it pay off big. He moved to Los Angeles from his native Indiana even though he had no job, no place to go and only an old pickup truck to live out of, trusting that he was smart enough and funny enough to get a job as a comedy writer – which he of course did. We’re still checking on the rumor that Paul Shaffer lived in his glove-box.
Photo credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Flickr
2 Daniel Craig
Yes, James Bond used to be homeless. Let’s face it, in these troubling times, a homeless Bond is actually pretty appropriate. Craig says that while he was trying to land acting jobs he actually slept on London park benches. I’m guessing the benches had names like Pussy Galore or Mounds O’Plenty. Also, those benches probably all have an STD now. You know, because Bond is basically a sex addict? Okay, let’s just move on…
Photo credit: YouTube/Columbia
1 Jesus Christ
Nobody ever really talks about this but Jesus was straight up homeless. In fact if he were alive today, most of his worshippers would probably call him a junkie and tell him to get a job. Of course it’s easier to be homeless when you can just make food appear out of nowhere and can get a nice bottle of red wine every time it rains. It does make you wonder how he and his boys paid for the last supper, though. I bet they dined and ditched. But really, even though they ignore it in church, all the signs of a homeless dude were there – every story about him involves him hanging around outside, he was raised by a foster family after his dad ran out on his mom following a one night stand, he looks like a hippie and the cops are always hassling him. Naturally, in order to be closer to Jesus, all you rich dudes should send me all your money and give me your homes. I’ll make this sacrifice for you because I’m just that good a person. You’re welcome.
Photo credit: midiman, Flickr