When we think of celebrities we tend to associate them with fame, wealth and fortune. Celebrities live a life of glitz and glamour, often wanting for nothing. Their purses can cost more than my car for crying out loud! Some literally have more money than they know what to do with. Sure most well known actors and musicians are raking in the big bucks now, but these fifteen famous folk below have not always found themselves rolling in the dough. Many celebrities came from humble beginnings to say the least, others had to work menial jobs and scrape together change to feed and cloth themselves, but these fifteen celebs were actually homeless at one point or another! They lived in homeless shelters, in their cars and even on the streets!
It's hard to imagine superstars like like Halle Berry and Jenifer Lopez sleeping anywhere but some tripped out mansion worth millions. Today Jenifer Lopez is reportedly worth three hundred and sixty million dollars, I bet she never would have dreamed that possible when she found herself searching for a roof to put over her head.
I suppose it's true: no matter where you come from or what lows you face, there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
14 Halle Berry - Lived In A Homeless Centre
Ms. Halle Berry is one of the world's most recognized actresses. To date she is the only African American woman to have ever won an Academy Award for Best Actress and is worth roughly seventy million dollars. The last few decades have been good to the stunningly talented momma of two, but life wasn't always so comfortable. After Halle moved to New York City in hopes of making it in show business, she spent some time living in a homeless shelter. When the A list actress was asked about the time she spent sans housing she said, "it was rough, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do." I applaud your ambition and tenacity Ms. Berry. I would have trucked it back home with my tail between my legs had I been in your position.
13 Jennifer Lopez - Spent Nights In A Dance Studio
Back before she was J-Lo, and even before she was Jenny From The Block, she was Jenny Without A Home! The multi-talented, ridiculously gorgeous mother to twins, Max and Emme is now worth a whopping three hundred and sixty thousand dollars, but that wasn't always so. An eighteen year old Jennifer Lopez found herself crashing on a sofa in her dance studio after her and mama Guadalupe had a falling out over Jen's choice of career path. Mama Lopez was adamant Jenifer get an education and go to college, but Jenny from the block had other ideas for her future and wanted to dance full time. She ended up winning the war of wills, but not before spending some time kicked out of her family home for going against her mom's wishes. Mama Lopez clearly wasn't playing!
12 Heather Mills - Lived In A Cardboard Box
Before she was the wife of Sir Paul McCarthy, Heather Mills was a resident of the mean streets of London. Although these days Mills is best known for having one of the most explosive marriages and divorces in celebrity history, she wasn't always such a well known name. Prior to finding a talent for walking the catwalk, the former model was living a very unglamorous life. After a tumultuous childhood, living with her abusive father and siblings, Heather ran away and joined the circus...literally. During her time working for a fun fair, she lived in a cardboard box under the Waterloo Station for about four months. She literally went from living in a cardboard box to making out with roughly fifty million dollars in her divorce settlement from Beatles great, Paul McCartney. That is a serious climb up the social ladder for a girl who came from nothing and nowhere good.
11 Jewel - No Indoor Plumbing
The artist Jewel is best known for being a singer, songwriter, poet, author, producer and actress. She can sing, play guitar, and freaking yodel while here I am barely able to walk in a straight line most days. Jewel has been nominated for four Grammy awards and has sold over thirty million albums worldwide. She is also a mother to six year old son Kase with ex husband Ty Murray. While there is clearly no end to this mama's talents, she was by no means born with a silver spoon in her month. In fact she spent her younger years living in the Alaskan woods with her father and no indoor plumbing. After attending a prestigious vocal school in Michigan she toured the country singing and performing. After a long night of jamming in bars she returned home...to her car. At least she lived in warm and sunny California when she was homeless.
10 Kelly Clarkson - Apartment Caught Fire
Kelly Clarkson is the powerful vocalist and chart ranking pop songstress that got her big break when she blew away the competition on the hit television show American Idol, season one. These days Kelly is enjoys massive musical success, she married into country music royalty, (her hubby is the stepson to Reba Mcentire,) and is now a mama to two beautiful babies. Life wasn't always so blissful for Kelly though. Back in 2011 she packed up and moved out to California to try her hand in the music industry. When her apartment caught fire and burned to the ground she resorted to living in her car. Eventually she moved back home to Texas and ended up auditioning for American Idol. I'm sure car living was the pits, but I bet you she thanks her lucky stars for that fire now!
9 Shania Twain - Escaping Her Step-Father
Country music star Shania Twain is certainly a rags to riches story if there ever was one. The five time Grammy Award winner grew up with less than stellar conditions in rugged and reclusive Timmins, Ontario. Along with her siblings Twain learned to fend for herself by chopping wood, and hunting in order to keep food on the table and warmth in their impoverished home. The marriage between Twain's mother and step-father was a rocky one at best. At Twain's insistence her mother finally gathered the kiddos up and drove nearly 700 kilometers to a homeless shelter in Toronto. The family lived there for some time before returning to Timmins a few years later. Shania got her musical start singing in bars at age eight to help earn money for the family. She hated the bar atmosphere, but loved the music. It was that love of music and some seriously hard work that helped Ms. Twain reach the levels of success that she has.
8 Paula Jai Parker - Nights Spent In Hotel Rooms
Paula Jae Parker is an African American actress, comedian, and singer-songwriter who landed roles in films such as Hustle and Flow, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Friday, Sprung and Idlewide. Even with a strong resume to back her multitude of talents up, Parker claims that she was "blackballed" by prominent people in Hollywood who she thought were her friends and closest supporters. As a young woman trying to break into showbiz, she discovered that Hollywood was one big clique and you were either in...or you were out. Parker found herself on the "out" side and not able to land the movie roles that she had become accustomed to. This lack of work led to Parker finding herself homeless and living in an extended stay hotel for a period of time.
7 Lil' Kim - Kick Out As A Teen
This rapping, singing, songwriting Brooklyn native might be tiny in stature, but she is a giant when it comes to her personalty and style. Kim writes and raps about the finer things that life has to offer, but back when she was living under her father's iron fist, those were luxuries that she could only dream of. Her parents split up when Kim was nine years old and she took up residence with her ex-Marine father. They had a less than fairy-tale relationship and Kim's bad behavior finally got kicked out of the family home as a teen. She dropped out of high school and began living on the mean streets of New York. It was during these years that Lil' Kim met Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls. He would turn out to be a prominent factor in both her personal and professional life and success. Kim added "mother" to her resume when she delivered her darling daughter in 2014.
6 Patti Smith - Roaming Through The East Village
Patti Smith is an icon, a beacon of the punk rock movement in American musical history if you will. The singer, songwriter, and poet has more accolades and honors to her name than I have gray hairs on my head, but that is what happens when you are one of the most influential people in pop culture. People tend to worship you. Glorified she may be, but the road wasn't ever easy for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee. When she first moved out to New York City she teamed up with now- famed photographer Robert Maplethorpe. Together they lived the life of starving artists, like they were literally nearly homeless and lacking serious calories. She spent a solid few weeks homeless and roaming through the East Village. She later wrote of this time in a positive light saying that no one bothered her, she never encountered anything dangerous and she always felt that she belonged. Huh.
5 Ella Fitzgerald - Defied The Odds
The Queen of Jazz had one hell of a tough upbringing. To say that she overcame life's obstacles would be a vast understatement. Born in 1917 to an unwed couple, Ella was already at a disadvantage being a young, impoverished African American female in the earlier part of the century.. In under a year her biological parents had split and her mother took up with another man. This man would become a catalyst for Ella's determination to escape the life that she was born into. After her mother's untimely death in 1932, fifteen year old Ella ran away from home and found work as a lookout in a brothel. She was eventually apprehended by authorities, placed in an orphanage for a time only to escape and find refuge living on the streets. Ella began performing in amateur shows at age seventeen and it didn't take long for others to recognize that was she something special. The rest is pretty much history.
4 Traci Lords - Sought Refuge In A Homeless Shelter
Traci Lords is the bonified Queen of Adult Films, (pun definitely intended there.) Born Nora Louise Kuzma in the American Midwest, Lords moved out to Los Angeles with her mother and three sisters at the tender age of 12. After moving across country, Lords and her sisters were often homeless and left to seek refuge in homeless shelters when her mother would transition from boyfriend to boyfriend. At 15 she was posing in the flesh for adult film sites. She eventually got busted for underage performing, making her films totally illegal (and gross,) but also making her a really hot commodity. The mama to one retired from adult film and worked her way into mainstream television acting by landing roles on hit shows like Roseanne, Profiler, and Married With Children.
3 Eartha Kitt - Lived On The Streets
This actress, singer, song-writer's voice and style is legendary. She has been called one of the "world's most exciting human beings," and has been named as an influence by countless recording artists and actresses. Before she was a household name starring in Broadway productions like Carib Song and churning out hit songs like Santa Baby, she was growing up in countless, unstable environments. Born on a cotton plantation, Kitt was most likely the product of a rape. Never having a steady home to call her own, little Eartha bounced around living with various relatives until finally landing in New York where she lived with an adult female who might have been her biological mother. Kitt's caretakers weren't kind to her and often times abused the little girl so Eartha found solace running away from home and living on the streets.
2 Debbie Clark - Fell Into Homelessness With Her Son
I used to love the television show Gladiators! The female competitors on that show were buff and fierce and had super cool names like Gold and Ice. Gladiator Goddess, Storm, was a crowd favorite. She ruled the Joust and Powerball and was making roughly fifteen hundred dollars a day competing against contestants who thought they had what it took to overcome these women that appeared to be made of steel and grit. In 2011 Debbie had fallen on hard times and was reportedly homeless along with her ten year old son Crayton. Debbie struggled to take care of her son, who had both ADHD and a bevy of food allergies, but luckily got a second lease on life when View host, Sheri Shepard, stepped in and offered to pay half a year's rent, gas and electric bills. That is some serious luck there Storm!
1 Margot Kidder - Slept In Backyards
Margot Kidder played Superman's number one gal, Lois Lane and dated A list actors like Richard Pryor and and Canadian Prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Life was good for the brown haired beauty, but then she suffered a serious break from reality when mental illness took her in it's grips. Kidder suffered from schizophrenia and manic depression, conditions that rendered her unable to continue living life in the manner than she had become accustomed to. Suffering from paranoia, Kidder found herself toothless, disheveled and homeless and sleeping in cardboard boxes and back yards. Luckily family conducted an intervention, got her the help that she needed and Kidder straightened out her life before it was too late. She returned to film and theater acting and even spearheaded a mental wellness campaign. A turn around like that? Now THAT takes some Superwoman strength.