From Rags to Riches – Inspiring Stories of Celebrities Who Started From Humb

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Psychologists say that difficult life situations largely shape a person’s personality. Many stars faced serious problems in childhood: living in a trailer, working since age 5, and leaving home. Difficulties did not become an obstacle in their way but only hardened them and helped them become who they are now.

Today we will tell the stories of the most famous stars’ difficult childhoods. Since they overcame these challenges and reached the top, they can cope with anything.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron was the first African-born actress to win an Oscar for her performance in a leading role.

Theron grew up on a farm in South Africa and witnessed a tragedy at the age of 15: her mother shot her father in self-defense in front of her daughter. “I think this situation influenced my adult life in many ways… It was hard as a child to live next to an alcoholic and wake up not knowing what could happen,” the actress said.

At 16, Charlize began a long career as a model. She once won a modeling contest and soon traveled all over Europe until she was noticed by impresario John Crosby, who brought her to Hollywood.

Celine Dion

Celine Dion is one of the most popular singers in the world today. She came from a low-income family with many children: Celine was the 14th child.

From the age of 5, the girl helped to provide for the family: she performed songs in a small restaurant called the Old Barrel, which her parents ran.

As authoritative publications say, at 12, Cеline recorded her first song: her manager and future husband, RenĂ© Angeli, mortgaged his house to finance the recording. This was the beginning of Dion’s career – from her first recording, she became a star in the French-speaking world. 

Obviously, such autobiographic essay examples free your thinking from insecurity, the feeling that nothing will get better, and that there is no way out, as other people’s experiences inspire and motivate you to take action and overcome difficulties.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, who started his career at the age of 19, has become one of the most famous actors in the world today. In his interviews, Tom often says that he is grateful for his difficult childhood for his useful experience. A father who disrespected his mother, and poverty made the actor who he is today.

Tom Cruise’s parents divorced when he was 12 years old. So he stayed with his mother. To provide for 4 children, she constantly worked 2-3 unstable jobs, and the children worked part-time. But the actor’s mother soon got happily married, and Tom started acting in theater productions. He got his first leading role in the movie Risky Business when he was 21 years old, and his acting career began with it.

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank, one of our most famous actresses, won 2 Oscars for Best Actress in 2000 and 2005.

The actress’s career began with a part-time job. Hilary and her mother were very poor and did not have their own home – they spent the night in the car or at friends’ houses. At school, Hilary was severely humiliated for their poverty. As an adult, she says: “I knew from childhood what it meant to be an outcast.”

At the age of 15, the girl began to moonlight as an actress, acting in small roles. She got her first leading role at 20 in the movie The Karate Kid 4.

Demi Moore

Demi Moore is the first Hollywood actress with a fee of more than $10 million for a movie Golden Globe nominee.

As a child, the actress’s family moved all the time. Demi once believed that the family had changed 30 cities during her childhood.

Her mother and stepfather drank in the house, and there were always scandals and fights. At 16, Demi ran away from her parents and dropped out of school to pursue a career as a model and actress. Then she was rescued by musician Freddie Moore, Demi’s first husband, who brought her to Hollywood.

Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan, star of Charmed, was born into a family of a writer and artists. Her father joined the Children of God sect and dragged his wife and 6 children with him. This sect was a commune completely closed to the outside world.

When Rose was 10 years old, she and her mother escaped from there and moved to Washington, DC. There, Rose’s mother met a man who convinced her that Rose was a drug addict and sent her to a drug treatment clinic. A year later, the girl ran away and refused her parents’ custody. She began living with her grandmother, entered the Hollywood School of the Arts, and took up acting at the age of 14.

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester, an American actress who played one of the main roles in Gossip Girl, was practically born in prison. Her mother was serving a sentence for breaking the law. After the birth of her daughter, the woman was allowed to spend 3 months with her, after which she returned to prison, and Leighton was taken by her grandmother.


Since childhood, the girl has participated in local drama theater productions, and at the age of 11 she moved to New York with her mother and began a serious career.

Layton says about her mother’s past: “I realized that you can’t judge anyone, especially your parents, for what they did in the past because people change.” Despite such a serious mistake of her mother, the actress does not blame him for anything.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is a singer, fashion designer, producer, and the first Latin American actress to earn $1 million for a movie (Out of Sight).

The actress’s parents were immigrants from Puerto Rico: her mother was a teacher, and her father was a programmer. Jenny’s parents feared that she would fall under the harmful influence of the streets, and at age 5 sent her to a Catholic school for girls.

When Lopez decided to become an actress in her youth, her parents did not support her: they hoped that their daughter would be a lawyer. Jennifer left home and participated in all the auditions. Because of her background, she was reluctant to be cast for a long time and had to spend the night in dance studios. Her acting career took off in 1997, with the lead role in the movie Selena.