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Walk of Fame

Real Life Rags-To-Riches Stories

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It may come as a surprise to most people, but long before achieving fame and fortune several celebrities struggled through periods of homelessness. Whether they are singers, actors or ball players, here’s a look at some formerly-homeless celebrities’ times of difficulty and how far they have come since.

Movie Stars

Often funny and sometimes very serious actor Jim Carey spent some of his childhood living in a van. Surprisingly, Carey has spoken of that time as a happy one as it took his family out of miserable situation working in a large factory. Carey has gone on to star in numerous films including Dumb & Dumber and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Independent

Halle Berry, who is now an Oscar winner, spent some time living in a homeless shelter in the city while trying to make it in acting. She speaks of the experience as a positive one saying, “I became a person who knows that I will always make my own way.”

Athletes

A book and a movie have been based on the fascinating life of Michael Oher. He struggled greatly in his youth as he moved between foster care and homelessness. Oher went on to become a top NFL prospect.

SB Nation

Bill Schuffenhauer spent pieces of his youth without a home. He spent time in a number of foster homes and even resorted to finding food in garbage cans just to get by until his grandmother took him in. Schuffenhauer went on to become an Olympic bobsledder.

Musicians

Before inking a deal with Atlantic Records, singer/songwriter Jewel spent time living in her car. This was the result of her refusal to have sex with her boss who then fired her, leaving her unable to pay rent. Jewel went on to see a great deal of success in the music business.

NPR

Legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald was homeless for a period of time before making her big debut at the Apollo Theater in 1934. She went on to win over a dozen Grammy Awards and received medals from two presidents.

While it may be hard to imagine some of the biggest names in movies, sports, and music having ever been homeless, but for these celebrities that reality was once very real. Fortunately, these stars were able to overcome the difficulties put before them and went on to do great things.

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