7 Celebrities Who Grew Up Poor

year ago

It’s hard to believe that Oprah Winfrey used to wear potato sacks instead of clothes and that Halle Berry once lived in a shelter. It’s easy to assume that the richest celebrities have always had a life with no worries and everything was given to them on a silver platter. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as some celebrities know exactly what it’s like to be hungry and poor.

1. Selena Gomez

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Selena Gomez’s parents got divorced when she was 5. They struggled financially, but her mom, Amanda, was determined to show her daughter the world, taking her to museums and concerts. Gomez’s grandparents always supported them however they could, but the mother wanted to do everything on her own.

The singer recollects, “I was frustrated that my parents weren’t together because my mom had to do 3 jobs to support me. We’d get stuck in traffic all the time and search for pennies to get petrol for the car.”

2. Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey was born to a poor Mississippi family in 1954. She would share a single bath towel with her half-siblings and wear clothes made from potato sacks. Her grandmother hoped that she would find “some good white folks when you grow up, treat you right, treat you nice.” Later, she went to live with her dad, who created a favorable environment for her academic and social development.

3. Hilary Swank

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Despite being a millionaire, Hilary Swank still uses coupons, sews her own clothes, and lives a humble life on a ranch. The actress grew up in a trailer park in Washington. Not only was her childhood poor, but it was also lonely. Swank spent her free time reading books and watching movies.

She recollects, “I grew up feeling like an outsider because we had no money. A lot of parents didn’t want their kids playing with me, even though the kids didn’t care.”

4. Mark Wahlberg

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Mark Wahlberg grew up in a poor family in Boston. He shared a room with 5 of his brothers, and living with them wasn’t easy, “You had brothers that were teenagers, and they were doing stuff that teenagers do, and you don’t understand what it is or why they’re doing it.”

Wahlberg was also a troubled kid — he was charged, tried, and served 45 days in prison. The actor says, “I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. I’d ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine, and I never wanted to go back. I had to learn to stay on the straight and narrow.”

5. Scarlett Johansson

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She lived in a low-income family of 4 kids that lived on welfare, and they relied on public food assistance. The actress says, “By the time my twin brother and I came around, I think my parents’ marriage had a lot of strain. We were on food stamps. My mom tried to be as much of a buffer as possible with that experience. It was a lot.”

Once Johansson turned 7, her mother started taking her to auditions, and it was definitely worth it!

6. Kate Winslet

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Kate Winslet grew up in a working-class family, and they always had to tighten their belts. She had to wear hand-me-downs and secondhand shoes. Nevertheless, the actress had a happy childhood in a loving family.

7. Halle Berry

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Halle Berry didn’t grow up in wealth either. The actress came to New York with some cash from a modeling gig to start a new life. The attempt wasn’t successful, so she called home for help. Her mother refused to help her financially, and Berry stopped talking to her for a while.

The actress had to stay in a homeless shelter. Berry says, “It’s probably one of the best things she did for me because it taught me. She said, ’If you want to be there, then you be there. You work it out.’ And I had to work it out. Shelter life was part of figuring it out.”

Hollywood has lots of secrets, and we’re revealing some of them. This article explains why some of our favorite actors decided to quit their jobs, as these celebrities could have been doctors but chose acting instead, and here, they open up about their health struggles (we didn’t know Nick Jonas has diabetes).

In this article, we conducted an investigation and found out why J. Lo’s marriages failed. Don’t forget to check out this article to find out what it’s like to date a celebrity.

Preview photo credit Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/East News, Grosby Group/East News


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