10 Famous Celebrities Who Were Poor

Inspiring stories of celebrities, actors, actresses and famous people give us personal thrust in life. It is really amazing to know the fact that some of the famous people we know as kids and from history were poor. Famous personalities such as Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger fought poverty to become wealthy and rich. This list is for those who think that life is really hard and want to overcome hardship. These guys are real-life heroes and we can conclude that nothing is impossible in life.

A list of ten famous people who were poor and have become rich later:

10. Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin is a world-famous comic character and is one of the most iconic figures in the film industry. He rose to fame during the era of silent films. After becoming popular, he became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp”. Many do not know the poor side of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s childhood was spent in hardship and poverty. Under the absence of his father, his mother struggled financially. Charlie Chaplin was sent to a workhouse twice before the age of nine. At the age of 14, his mother was sent to a mental asylum. At the age of 19, Chaplin became part of the prestigious Fred Karno Company which became the start towards his success. Eventually, Chaplin went to America. After appearing in films for the company in 1914, he rose to world prominence. By 1919, Chaplin was one of the best known figures in the world.

9. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is a famous stand-up comedian from Canada. Carrey is known for his highly energetic performances and great sense of humor. We can consider him as one of the funniest character on-screen. The Mask was one of his best movies we can never forget. In 2011, Carrey opened up to reveal his childhood trauma and poverty. At the age of 12, his father lost his job. During this time, Carrey had to work in a factory after school to make-up the financials of his family. The family had to live in a van for some time.

While Carrey was struggling to obtain a job, his father was helping the young comedian put together a stage act. In Toronto, Carrey’s first show at comedy club Yuk Yuk’s led to an impersonations bomb. During this period, he lost self-confidence and never thought of becoming a professional comedian. The family had to struggle financially to support Carrey’s ambition. Slowly, the family’s financials eased and Carrey went on to become a famous and reputed comedian during the 90s.

8. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

The world-famous singer, Jennifer Lopez was once homeless. In 2013, during an interview with W Magazine she made a revelation about the fact that she was homeless at the age of 18. Her family was relatively poor during her teenage. She fought with her mother Guadalupe Rodriguez over her career choices and was forced to sleep on a sofa in her dance studio. She continued to sleep in the sofa for some time until she came out with flying colors. The actress got successful within a year.

7. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

In 2014, Leonardo DiCaprio made a revelation about his poor childhood. The award-winning actor was a poor kid living in the violent streets of Los Angles. In the interview with Los Angeles Times, the actor told that he grew up “very old” in the run-down neighborhood of Los Angeles. His parents separated when he was just a year old. He mostly grew up with his mother. At the age of 15, he told his mother that “I want to become an actor”. DiCaprio went on to become a star because of his mother’s hard work and support. After appearing for several TV commercials in the 90s, he got chance to work for TV serials. This was the kick-start of acting career. He bought laurels, money, fame, Oscar, the Golden Globe and many more awards.

6. James Cameron

James Cameron

Many of us do not know the terrible side of James Cameron – one of the highest grossing filmmaker in the world. At one stage James Cameron was so poor that he had to eat scraps off food of room-service trays at a pensione he was staying at. He was even forced to steal bread for his livelihood. The Canadian director was not much known at one point in time. Pirahna II: The Spawning was the only film under his belt for some fame. That movie was not of so much success and Cameron ran out of money and trust. Nobody in the world was ready to sponsor the director to direct The Terminator which was just a script from the dreams of Cameron. The bankrupt and homeless Cameron had to sell the rights of The Terminator for a meagre amount of $1 as told by him to the Toronto Sun back in 2009. Cameron regrets this decision!

5. J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling is an inspiration for all those single moms and women out there. At one stage in her life she was homeless. In a 2008 Harvard commencement speech, J. K. Rowling said that “An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless … By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew”. J. K Rowling went into deep depressions and even considered suicide. She overcame the hardships to become one of the world’s wealthiest women and the UK’s best-selling author.

4. Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig had become one of the highest paid James Bond ever. Many do not know the poor side of Craig. Daniel Craig was once homeless and had to sleep on park benches in London. Those were his struggling days to become an actor. Daniel Craig is one of the several actors to have become rich from rags. The 007 actor had to even work part-time in restaurants during his teenage. Craig is a true example of how nothing in this world is impossible. His movie Skyfall became UK’s highest grossing film until 2015.

3. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

The stunning Mission: Impossible actor, Tom Cruise grew up in poverty and abusive environment. The American actor grew up in Syracuse, New York with his abusive father. The once poor Cruise hit hard to become rich quickly and luckily at a relatively young age. His acting career started at the age of 19 with the film Endless Love. Apart from his childhood stories, his marital life was also not so healthy. He had to divorce three of his spouses – Mimi Rogers, Nichole Kidman and Katie Holmes. From childhood poverty to great wealth, and simple dramas to big movies, he is a real life hero.

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The world-famous seven times Mr. Olympia and Terminator: Judgement Day hero was once poor as well. The muscle man was born in a tiny Austrian village of Thal in 1947. According to reports, Schwarzenegger’s family didn’t have enough finance to buy electricity, flush-toilets, or refrigerator. He was from a poor and modest family. They only had enough money to afford food rations. It is incredible for someone from such a humble background to have become a millionaire. He has been an inspiration with his acting and bodybuilding, if not politics.

1. Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan was another incredible human-being to have fought poverty. The action star was born to a poor family in China on April 7, 1954. The family was so poor that they were almost about to sell their baby Jackie Chan to a wealthy family. They were unable to afford the baby’s medical bills. But, they eventually kept him, worked really hard to raise him in Hong Kong. The family relocated to Australia where their hardship continued. At the age of seven, Chan was introduced to the China Drama Academy. The academy’s education, strictness and discipline helped Jackie Chan with his great achievements the world has seen.


Vinod Suthersan is an young tech enthusiast, Blogger addict, Internet craze and thriving to learn new things on the world of Internet.