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Top 10 Celebrities Who Started out Dirt Poor And Are Now Rich and Famous

When they were growing up they had no idea that they will become rich and famous, loved by millions of fans. These celebrities started out being dirt poor and because of their ambition, and a little dose of luck, they became some of the most popular Hollywood celebrities and managed to turn things around for them.

Now they have millions in the bank, expensive houses, millions of fans and they are living proof that it’s not impossible to chase your dreams.

Let’s take a look at 10 Hollywood celebrities who are now rich and famous even though they were very poor while growing up.

1. Leighton Meester

Leighton was born in a federal prison in Texas because her mother was sent to jail for selling drugs. She was raised by her grandmother until her mother was released from prison and she was into acting ever since she was little.

She started to work as a model when she was a teenager and made her acting debut in a Law & Order episode. She became famous once she was included in the Gossip Girl cast.

2. Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah was the youngest of her family’s children. She was poor when she was a kid, growing up in a small town in Ohio. Her parents divorced when she was only 2 years old and shortly thereafter her mother got remarried. Sarah’s road to fame started out very fast: she got her first role on Broadway when she was only 11 years old.

She moved to Hollywood in 1981 to star in Square Pegs and right now she has a fortune of around $130 million.

3. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah, the richest TV celebrity in the world, started out dirt poor. She was born in Mississippi as the child of unwed parents. Oprah was raised by her grandmother until she was 6 years old after which she moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother and step sister.

When she was 9 years old she was sexually abused and at age 14 she gave birth to a child who passed away shortly after birth. Later, she was sent to live with the man she considers her father, a barber from Tennessee.

However, the future had only good things in store for Oprah because she is now the owner of her very own media empire and she is worth approximately $3 billion.

4. Hilary Swank

Swank dropped out of high school, grew up in a trailer park in Washington and suffered a lot because of her peers because they used to mock her for being poor.

Her parents split when she was only 15 years old and Hilary moved to California with her mother to pursue a career in acting. Because they were too poor to rent an apartment, they slept in the car for a while.

Well, her pain was not for nothing because, so far, Hilary won two Oscar awards and her net worth is estimated at around $40 million.

5. J.K. Rowling

The idea to create the Harry Potter character came to J.K. Rowling as she was traveling from Manchester to London, in a trail that was delayed four hours.

However, in the next seven years she had to deal with the death of her mother, a divorce, and poverty, all while trying to raise her only daughter, on welfare.

In 1995 she sent the first manuscript to 12 publishers and they all rejected it. However, one year later, editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury accepted it thanks to his 8 years old daughter who liked the Harry Potter story. And this was the beginning of Rowling’s road to a fortune of $1 billion.

6. Jim Carrey

Born and raised in Canada, comedian Jim Carrey didn’t had too many reasons to laugh while growing up. During high school he lived in a trailer with his family and worked as a janitor. When he was 15 years old he dropped out of high school and started to do comedy acts. Now he is one of the most appreciated comedian in the world.

7. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise grew up in a very poor family dominated by his drunken father who often abused Tom as a child.

When they moved to Ottawa, Canada, Tom discovered his passion for acting. After his parents divorced, Tom and his sisters moved back to the United States with his mother.

Tom pursued acting and he succeeded as today he is one of the most popular and best paid Hollywood actors.

8. Charlize Theron

Charlize was born in South Africa and she had it tough when she was a kid. Before becoming rich and famous, Charlize Theron witnessed a troubling event: when she was only 15 years old she watched her mother shooting her father to death, in self defense. She was strong and continued with her life.

When she was 16 she moved to Milan, and later to New York to pursue ballet. When this failed to have a positive impact, because of her knees, Charlize became interested in acting and the rest is history.

9. Stephen King

Stephen King’s father abandoned his family when the author was only 2 years old and his mother had a very hard time finding work.

When Stephen was 11 years old his mother managed to find a steady income. Stephen admitted that his relatives helped his family a lot. After making it big with the Carrie hit back in 1973, Stephen King continued to write and he published more than 40 novels to date.

10. Eminem

Eminem’s mother was only 15 when she gave birth to him. His father abandoned him when he was only 1 year and a half so his mother raised him alone. After moving from one city to another and living in a Detroit trailer park for many years, Eminem became interested in rap music and at age 14 her performed under the alias M&M.