10 Celebrities Who Grew Up in Poverty and Bravely Rose Above It

10 months ago

Even though we might often think we know everything there is to know about our favorite superstars, they never fail to surprise us with new stories and confessions. While they don’t lose sleep worrying about money now, not all of them can remember having a carefree and happy childhood.

We’d never expect that some of the wealthiest celebrities had to work hard to make ends meet. Bright Side brings you 10 stories about celebrities who went from rags to riches.

1. Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t always have electricity.

Sarah Jessica Parker grew up in Ohio with 7 siblings. As all of them were being raised on one income, the family often couldn’t afford to pay for their basic needs. The actress who brought Carrie Bradshaw to life recalls waiting in a line for free lunch during school breaks. And since they didn’t always have electricity, Christmases and birthdays were kind of a luxury for them.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio lived his role from Titanic in real life.

The Great Gatsby and Titanic star, Leonardo DiCaprio, has lived both of these roles in real life. The neighborhood where he lived wasn’t really safe for children. DiCaprio saw crime and fights regularly, which led him to the need to see “the other side of the spectrum” through his roles. However, he has successfully proven himself as an actor, and thus the boy whose parents could hardly put food on the table is now one of the highest-paid Hollywood actors.

3. Selena Gomez had financial issues in childhood.

Selena Gomez, music and movie star, revealed the struggles she and her mother went through in the past. Selena’s mom gave birth to her when she was only 16. Raising a child at such an early age was truly difficult, and at times Selena’s mother had to work 3 jobs just to put food on the table.

4. Mila Kunis didn’t have toys.

Black Swan star, Mila Kunis, recalls her family being really poor during her childhood. Toys were a luxury that she couldn’t have, and sometimes the only food available was ketchup soup. However, Mila discovered her acting talent and attended drama school. With her first role on That ’70s Show, she acted her way out of poverty.

5. Dolly Parton slept on straw beds.

Dolly Parton was one of 12 siblings who lived in a rural area of Eastern Tennessee. They grew up in a house that didn’t have running water, gas, or electricity. One of the most famous country singers lived a true country life — the beds she and her siblings used to sleep on were made of straw.

6. Tom Cruise was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Tom Cruise’s family struggled with poverty since he was a child, but financial issues weren’t the only problem for young Cruise. An intelligent and capable boy, he noticed that he couldn’t keep up with his peers at school and was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 7.

However, Tom didn’t let his disability stop him from achieving his dreams. After his mother got injured at work, he took over the main role in the house. Tom worked several jobs while regularly performing in drama classes and school plays.

7. Celine Dion grew up in a poor household with 13 siblings

Celine Dion grew up as the youngest of 14 children in a poor family from Quebec. She discovered her talent for music at an early age and started singing in her parents’ bar. Celine recalls living in an overcrowded house and having to share a bed with 3 or 4 siblings.

Despite that, she insists that her family was only deprived of money, but not love and affection. And with that, she didn’t feel like anything else was necessary.

8. Sylvester Stallone spent few years in a foster family.

Sylvester Stallone’s parents didn’t live in a loving atmosphere, and that affected him and his younger brother. Since the household he lived in was dysfunctional, he had to spend some of his earliest years in foster care. Stallone had dreamt about an acting career since he was a young boy. While he was penniless and waiting for a role, he worked all sorts of jobs, from cleaning lions’ cages to ushering at a movie theater.

9. Kelly Clarkson lost an apartment in a fire.

Around the time Kelly Clarkson auditioned for American Idol, she was homeless for a short period of time. She, reportedly, lost her apartment in a fire and had to sleep in her car for 3 days. Kelly admitted that she didn’t perceive participating in American Idol as a pathway to a successful career. The only thing she had in mind at that point was having to pay the bills.

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t have plumbing at home.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria, where he spent his childhood. His family didn’t have much money back then, and Schwarzenegger remembers his mother having to forage for butter, sugar, and grain. The house they lived in didn’t have plumbing or a phone, and one of the highlights of that period was when the family got a refrigerator.

Which of these stories was most surprising for you? Do you know about other celebrities who’ve risen to fame even after having a difficult childhood? Tell us in the comments.

Tom Cruise’s journey in Hollywood is filled with unique achievements and quirks. Recognized for his acting prowess, he has received numerous awards, including three Golden Globes. Notably, Cruise often performs his own stunts, dismissing the need for stunt doubles. His commitment to authenticity is evident in films like “Mission Impossible,” where he performed daring sequences himself. Cruise’s compassionate nature is also highlighted by his acts of kindness, such as aiding accident victims. Interestingly, he once aspired to be a priest and has had intriguing relationships with numbers, especially concerning his marriages.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s comment about Kate Winslet’s body during the filming of “Titanic” had a profound impact on her. DiCaprio remarked on the importance of Winslet’s natural body shape, challenging societal norms of the time. This conversation empowered Winslet to become a beacon of body positivity, advocating for self-acceptance and challenging beauty standards.


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