Bright Side

9 Hollywood Celebrities That Have Gone Through Many Tragedies


Some people envy celebrities, their fame, money, and beauty. But if these people found out what they had to go through before they became famous, they wouldn’t envy them anymore. We’re sure that nobody would like to be in Charlize Theron’s shoes, whose mother shot her tyrant husband in front of her. And nobody would like to be Oprah Winfrey, who was molested by her own cousins and uncle.

Bright Side read the biographies of celebrities and found out that the lives of some of them are actually scripts that are ready for a dramatic movie.

Charlize Theron

43-year-old Charlize Theron is one of the most famous and beautiful actresses in Hollywood who also has an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and other awards. But by just looking at her, you would never guess what she had to go through when she was young. But, her father was an alcoholic and often beat her mother. And when the future movie star was 15 years old, during one of their fights, her father started shooting his gun in the air, threatening his wife and Charlize herself. Her mother’s patience had come to an end, so she took her own gun and shot her husband. What she did was considered to be self-defense and there were no charges against her.

At the age of 15, Theron also won a modeling competition secured a one-year-long contract with a modeling agency and traveled around Europe. Later, she entered a choreographic college because she wanted to become a ballet dancer. But at the age of 19, a knee injury put an end to her career. After that, she went to Los Angeles where she didn’t know anyone, she lived in a cheap hotel for several months, and she was almost starving because she didn’t have any money.

Then, in 1995, Theron went to the bank to cash a $500 check her mother sent her. When the bank teller refused, Theron started such a big scandal she could have already been awarded an Oscar in that moment. But her award was already on its way and producer John Crosby noticed her. He was able to recognize her talent, helped her enter acting school, and 3 years later, she starred in the movie that made her world-famous (The Devil’s Advocate with Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino).

Rose McGowan

The future star of Charmed was born in Florence into a family of Americans, Daniel and Terry. Her father Daniel was the manager of the Italian division of the sect called The Children of God. He, his wife, and their children were members of the sect. The sect prohibited any contact with the outside world, there were no newspapers, no TV, and the members were supposed to stay in dark rooms. The worst part was that the sect encouraged chaotic sexual relationships among the members. When David Berg, the man who organized the sect, wanted to involve children in that, Rose’s father realized it was time to escape. This was how the 9-year-old girl appeared in the US with her entire family.

In the US, Rose’s parents got divorced and Rose remained with her mother. Once, one of her lovers decided to get rid of the 14-year-old girl and convinced her mother that she was a drug addict. Rose was sent to a clinic but she managed to escape and be with her grandmother.

At the age of 16, McGowan left her grandmother and started to live with her boyfriend. At the time, she worked as a waitress, office employee, and a cashier. And when her boyfriend died, Rose became homeless, sleeping on the street sometimes.

Despite all of her tragedies, at the age of 17, Rose entered an art school in Seattle and her successful movie career started after that.

But in 2007, another tragedy happened to the actress. Rose got into a terrible car accident and glass from the windshield injured her eyes and her face. Surgeons managed to restore her vision and her face, but now she doesn’t look exactly like she used to.

Jim Carrey

Today, this Canadian-American actor is one of the most well-paid comedians in the US. But Jim’s youth was not that simple. When he was still at school, his family got into some big financial trouble. When his father Percy left his job and started a new one at a factory that made wheels, the entire family had to work there, too. Jim, his brother, and his sisters did the cleaning and washed the floors and toilets. At that time, the future comedian became a very shy child.

And when his parents decided to leave this job, all of them had to live in an RV. And it wasn’t until his father found a job that they moved to Burlington where they lived for 8 years.

At the same time, Jim’s mother was believed to have had a psychological disorder, a form of neurosis — she had hypochondria (she imagined that she had the diseases that she didn’t actually have).

When Carrey was 15 years old, his father took him to a comedy club called Yuk Yuk in Toronto. But his first show was such a big failure that the crowd was furious. He made his next attempt to show his talent 2 years later. This was the time when Jim became successful — he started doing stand-up shows and made his way to television and cinema.

Demi Moore

The father of the Ghost star left her mother before his daughter was even born. When Moore was only 3 months old, her mother got married to Dan Guynes, a newspaper advertising salesman who frequently changed jobs and lost all of his money gambling. As a result, the family had to move a lot. Also, her mother and stepfather had an alcohol addiction.

More than that, the future movie star wore braces as a child, and she also had crossed eyes, so she had to wear very big glasses and deal with constant bullying from her classmates. Fortunately, her mother was able to save enough money for surgery and fix this problem.

After her brother was born, her life became unbearable, and she often ran away from home. When she was 15 years old, her parents got divorced, and 2 years later, her stepfather took his life. At the age of 16, Demi left her home forever and at the age of 17, she fell in love with a popular rock musician named Freddy Moore, who left his wife and 2 children and got married to Demi. Freddy was the one who made it possible for her to become a movie star.

By the way, her mother battled her alcohol addiction for the rest of her life, and she was arrested for drunk driving several times. And this happened when Moore was already a famous actress. In the end, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she died several months later.

Michael Douglas

74-year-old American actor and producer Michael Douglas has also had quite a lot of suffering in his life — both physical and moral. In 1980, an accident happened to the actor at a ski resort. The long treatment caused him to have to stop his career for 3 years.

In 2003-2004, Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones were stalked by Dawnette Knight. She was in love with the actor and she sent his wife letters with threats. In court, Catherine said that she was so shocked with the contents of the letters that she almost had a mental breakdown.

In 2010, the New York court sentenced the actor’s son from his first marriage, Cameron Douglas, to 5 years in prison for selling drugs.

That same year, the actor was diagnosed with throat cancer. He thought that the disease was caused by stress, alcohol abuse, and smoking. Fortunately, Michael managed to get cured in less than a year.

In 2013, the actor said he was going to divorce Catherine Zeta-Jones who he had spent more than 13 years with. The reason of his decision was that he had a serious depression that was caused by Catherine’s disease. If you didn’t know, in 2011, she was treated for her bipolar disorder. But at the end of that year, the actors made peace and continued to live together.

Oprah Winfrey

American TV host, actress, producer, and public figure Oprah Winfrey has been named one of the most influential celebrities on the planet many times. She is also the first black woman who became a billionaire. But Oprah’s childhood looks like a terrible thriller movie. Her mother was a housemaid and she had no time to raise her daughter. This is why Winfrey spent her first 6 years living with her grandmother. Later, her mother took her back and they moved to an old ghetto in Milwaukee.

When Oprah was 9 years old, she was molested by her cousins, her uncle, and his friend.

At the age of 14, she ran away from home because she had problems with her mother. Then, she got pregnant and had a premature baby that died soon after. After that, her mother sent Oprah to live with her father. He was ready to pay for her education, so at the age of 17 she had already won a competition on eloquence and became a student at Tennessee State University where she studied communication. At the same age, she became a CBS reporter and her career as the most famous TV host began.

Woody Harrelson

Woody was born into a poor family and they lived on the salary of his mother who worked as a secretary. When the future actor was only 3 years old, his parents got divorced. And 4 years later, his father Charles was sentenced to prison for murder. When he got out of prison, Charles started doing illegal things again, like dealing drugs. And in 1979, when Woody was already 18 years old, his father was sentenced to life in prison again. This time, he killed a district judge.

In the beginning, the actor didn’t have any contact with his father, but years later he started visiting him in jail. In 2007, Charles Harrelson was found dead in his cell and there were no signs of a violent death.

Jack Nicholson

The childhood and youth of one of the greatest actors in movie history were pretty ordinary, he was really interested in Jazz Fusion and jukeboxes. When he was young, he worked at MGM studio. There, he was noticed by producer Joe Pasternak who pushed Jack to become an actor.

By 1974, Nicholson was 37 years old and he was a pretty famous actor. And that was the year when Jack found out about a secret that completely shocked him. A journalist at Time, who was able to find out information that was hidden from him by everyone, told the actor the truth: his “older sister” June was actually his mother. His other sister, Lorraine confirmed the journalist’s words. But she, just like all the other members of his family, had no idea who the actor’s father was.

The thing was, June had Jack when she was only 16 years old. And in order to avoid the shame and give the girl a chance to build a career, her parents decided to raise the boy as their child. So, the people who Nicholson though were his parents for 37 years were actually his grandmother and grandfather. But by 1964, neither his biological mother nor his grandmother were alive.

Marilyn Monroe

The sex-symbol of the 1950s had both a difficult childhood and a tough life. It is not entirely known who the actress’s father was because her mother Gladys broke up with her husband Martin Mortensen before she got pregnant with the future movie star.

Because Gladys couldn’t pay enough attention to her daughter, Norma Jean (the real name of the star) spent her first 7 years in a family of caretakers where other adopted children grew up. In the summer of 1993, Gladys bought a small house in Hollywood and took her daughter back. But a few months later, her mother started showing symptoms of a psychological disorder and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Gladys was put into a state hospital where she spent the rest of her life without almost any contact with her daughter. So, Norma spent the next few years living with different families.

At the age of 16, Norma Jean got married to James Daugherty in order to be able to leave her foster family and start her new life. A year later, she found a job at an aircraft plant. And 2 years later, she met army photographer David Conover who asked Norma to pose for photos. She agreed, left her job at the plant, and started working at a modeling agency called Blue Book in Los Angeles. This was the job that made her popular. And just a year later, in 1946, she signed her first contract with 20th Century Fox which made her world-famous.

But Monroe’s celebrity life was still full of tragedies. She had a lot of romances, 3 divorces, she was pregnant twice and both times she lost her babies. Because of this life, she was unable to sleep well, she had to spend the night in very dark bedrooms, and take sleeping pills all the time. She spent February of 1961 in a psychiatric facility in New York. In the end, because of the trouble in her personal and professional life, the actress took her life in 1962.

Did you know any of these stories before? Whose story amazed you the most?