Before gaining fame, some celebrities simply weren’t as lucky. Singers, actors, and models alike are just like regular people when it comes to taking less-than-desirable jobs as a result of feeling like they have no other choice. Money controls rent, the phone bill, child support, groceries — it’s a never ending list of expenses every month. Sometimes, the only way to get by is with a not-so-fun job. Beggars can’t be choosers in financially difficult times.
It may be surprising to think that some of the biggest names in Hollywood succumbed to that same pressure. Perhaps one of their projects fell flat, or maybe they spent all of their money faster than expected. This list includes icons such as Demi Moore, Cyndi Lauper, Cindy Crawford, and more!
In a way, it’s humbling to know these celebrities dealt with financial hardships, and it’s inspiring to see how they turned things around. Not everyone goes from rags to riches. It’s even possible to go from riches to rags, and then back to riches again. Check out these celeb’s stories!
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Amy Adams has no regrets about her past side gig as a waitress.Â Even then, she had her eye on the ball and wasn’t about to let some chicken wings stand in the way of her dreams.
You might be thinking about her acting career, but actually, what Amy wanted more than anything at the time was a new car. âI did it because I needed to buy a car,â she told Londonâs Mail in 2006Â (around the same time that she had a small role in The Office).
As soon as she saved up enough cash for a Chevrolet, she hung up her neon orange uniform and pursued greater endeavors.
Imagine going to the county fair and seeing Cindy Crawford standing by the booth, shucking corn and pouring sodas. Yep, that was a previous life for the now-supermodel. Cindy made a living as a corn-shucker after college making $4/hour, which seems like nothing now considering minimum wage often starts in the $8 margin. Cindy had no idea her life was about to change when a photographer spotted her and basically launched her modeling career. Now, Cindy is bringing in millions and has passed her modeling tips and tricks onto daughter Kaia Gerber who’s walked in Fashion Week around the world.
With such an eccentric personality, it’s no wonder Whoopi Goldberg worked some questionable jobs before fame. It all started in her teenage years when she dropped out of high school. First on the totem pole was a nighttime phone operator. Later in life, she became a beautician for the non-living. âI did peopleâs make-up […] actuallyâŚ I was good at that too,” she told The Telegraph in 2009. Turns out Whoopi’s cosmetology skills really came in handy at that time. This actress is a woman of many talents and we admire her for it.
Out of all the not-so-fun jobs on this list, Connie Britton’s actually isn’t that bad. The Nashville star worked as an aerobics instructor for many years. Although it was never her dream job, Connie admits that staying in top physical shape helped her out while she pursued an acting career in New York. We’re always so envious of fitness instructors because they’re being paid to work out, look good, and above all, feel good. Confidence starts from within. When asked how she got through the tough financial times, she said, âI ultimately taught aerobics and that was kind of how I got through it.“
Before becoming a real housewife, Lisa Rinna made her mark on TV as Bille Reed on NBC’s daytime soap opera Days Of Our Lives and Taylor McBride on FOX’s TV drama, Melrose Place. Lisa also appeared as the host of Soapnet’s talk show Soap Talk. With so many successes under her belt, it was surprising when the actress signed an endorsement deal with Depend — a brand of adult diapers. Maybe she wasn’t raking in as much money as everyone thought to support her family. “It’s fashionable,” she said of the diaper. “I am a champion of the positive self-image for women.”
Can you believe Nicole Kidman launched her acting career at 16? Most of us can’t get a text back from our high school crush… butÂ there was Nicole on the big screen. Her first film, Bush Christmas, was a success. It was expected to launch Nicole to stardom right then and there, but when her motherÂ got sick, everything came to a saddening halt. She then turned to study massage to help her mother with physical therapy, and she also worked as a massage therapist for a while before getting back into acting. We’re happy to say Nicole’s mother recovered.
Debt has got to be the least favored word in the English dictionary. But hey, maybe it isn’t so bad after knowing it used to be Demi Moore’s life. The actress was never in debt herself but that didn’t stop her from working for a debt collection agency. “I had to call people and say all thatÂ […]stuff to get them to pay up,” she told The Independent back in 1993. When you’re dealing with some money problems, the last thing you want to hear is a phone call from someone working Demi’s former job.
In her self-titled, tell-all memoir, 80s pop star Cyndi Lauper opened up about her tough road to success. As a teenager, she often went days without food because she couldn’t afford it. Nobody lent Cyndi a helping hand, but maybe that’s one of the reasons why she’s so strong now.
âStuff happens and then, you know, what are you going to do? I just wanted to be able to live through it, get to the other side of it,â she said.
Part of that included a waitressing gig at IHOP.
Fans often wonder how reality stars make their money after the show. In Farrah Abraham’s case, she literally has her hand in everything. She filmed movies, posted sponsored content to social media, launched her own line of toys, started a child’s clothing store — and that’s just the beginning. The Teen Mom star once owned a frozen yogurt shop in Lakeway, Texas, but after searching for Froco Fresh Frozen on Yelp, we can now see that it’s permanently closed. Maybe the reality star is so wrapped up in her other projects and raising Sophia that she has no time to sling frozen yogurt.
What’s a woman as beautiful as Penelope Cruz doing wearing a mustache? And what’s with that Italian accent? There was a time when Penelope signed an endorsement deal to impersonate Mario in a Nintendo DS commercial. The commercial went a little something like this — Penelope and her model sister, Monica, are laying around looking stunning and playing the DS. The scene changes when Penelope loses the game and has toÂ dress up as Mario.
Only a couple of years after The Hills wrapped up, news broke that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt ran out of money and had to move into their parents’ homes.
In an attempt to financially recover, Heidi dropped her musical album Blackout, which didn’t do well.
That brought very little money in so she and Spencer moved onto a different path: selling healing crystals for 100 bucks a pop. “I am selling crystal necklaces. Very humble new beginnings, from being a millionaire â selling hundred dollar crystal necklaces. But hey, I love them.“
Back in 1989, Kim Basinger had dreams of creating a tourist attraction along the lines of a theme park or movie studio in Braselton, Georgia. In fact, she was so serious about it that she paid $20 million for a 1,691-acre town. Many expected Kim to take on the role as a tour guide of this town, but instead, she had to sell the property for a huge loss. This really took a toll on Kim’s finances. She’s listed as one of those actresses who lost nearly her entire fortune.
Deena Cortese isn’t a mom yet — but she is very much pregnant! After the original filming to Jersey Shore concluded, Deena turned her love for dogs into a career. Deena’s Instagram is now packed with dog pictures, dog detox teas, and training tips. Brace yourself for this, she is now a dog trainer. Fans were surprised when Deena didn’t sign on for the Jersey Shore reboot but turns out, she was a valid reason. Deena told BFF Snooki that she’s expecting her first baby!
The truth behind Jennifer Hudson’s past day jobs was revealed during her feud with Simon Cowell. After the America’s Got Talent judge was upset with Jennifer for not thanking him in her Oscar acceptance speech, she cleverly responded,
“If I’d been any better at my job when I was at Burger King, I wouldn’t be here either, so should I thank them, too?”
Going back to her burger-flipping and Whopper-making days, Jennifer worked at a franchise on East 87th and State Street in Chicago.Â TheÂ singer now has unlimited Burger King for life. Jelly!
Okay, the words “construction worker” are a bit of a stretch here. What we mean to say is Julia Styles left Hollywood to help build houses for Habitat For Humanity. Fans can now catch Julia on the TV series Riviera, but before that, she took a hiatus from theÂ glitz andÂ glam life to focus on various humanitarian organizations. When asked if it were possible for moms to return to acting, she said, âThatâs definitely possible. Iâve heard from some moms that they were excited to go back to work, but then felt the complete opposite. I donât think Iâll be that way.”
Fans of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey are well aware that Teresa Guidice had some legal issues. As you can imagine, living and working inside of a penitentiary wasn’t all that pleasant — Teresa said so herself. âI mean there was mold in the bathrooms. There was not running water constantly. The showers were freezing cold… I mean, the living conditions were really [unsavory],” she confessed to NBC News.
Teresa went from making millions on her Bravo TV to working for 12 cents an hour in the kitchen. On the bright side, at least her work distracted her from the tough times she was going through.
The only thing Blake Lively wanted was to have a successful website like Gwyneth Paltrow. Inspired by the lifestyle blog Goop, the Gossip Girl actress attempted to launch a blog of her own curated around handmade artisan crafts. âPeople want to get back to the magic of smaller, special and handmade,â she told Vogue in 2014. âPeople want things with meaning. I know that because I want that. This space doesnât exist, so Iâm creating it.â Sadly, no one bought into it, and only a year later, the site was shut down.
It never caught up to its original mission: Itâs not making a difference in peopleâs lives.
Millennials might not be familiar with the name Danica Mae McKellar, but rest assured she was a big star back in the day. Her most noted role was the role of Winnie Cooper on the hit television series, The Wonder Years. Since departing from acting, Danica published many of her own books as a successful author and also happens to be a mathematician. Her love for numbers blossomed when she went back to school at UCLA.
âI took a math class because I thought my brain was getting mushy. I did well, better than expected.”
No kidding, she aced her midterms with flying colors.
And just for good measure, we’re going to end this list with one more housewife — the unforgettable Sonja Morgan. On the show, her co-stars frequently poke fun at her for launching projects without ever following through. One of these projects involves a toaster oven from her home decor line. The idea was brought up years ago… but it’s 2018 and we still haven’t seen anything. “Oh yeah, itâs always been in the works,” Sonya said. “I clearly have a prototype made, which you saw on the show. What was initially started with Heather on the show was getting a brand ID and a logo.“
Bethenny Frankel is a woman on the move. She’s dabbled in TV with the Real Housewives Of New York, fashion with her own line of jeans, the beverage industry with SkinnyGirl, and now she’s making room for one more endeavor: deli meats.
In 2017, the businesswoman announced that her SkinnyGirl company will expand into the food industry. âProtein is the key to feeling full and satisfied which helps us avoid bad investment foods,â she said in a statement. âSkinnygirl Market Fresh Deli finally gives women and their families a healthy lunch solution with four flavor varieties that are all-natural and taste amazing.â
So, does this mean it’ll be released in the future?