Many famous people were raised in wealthy homes with top-notch education and access to the proper people. Some, though, rose to fame and success despite having extremely impoverished — and even horrifyingly brutal — upbringings.
You may turn to these celebs for motivation if you’ve been having a hard time at work or in your personal life (or both) and want to keep going. They went through some difficult and terrible years, but with perseverance and hard effort, they rose to the pinnacle of their industry.
Jim Carrey began practicing his impressions as a youngster and utilized his stand-up performance to amuse his family. This was a need for his parents. In the Canadian suburbs of Toronto, Carrey was born. After Jim and his siblings were born, his father abandoned his musical ambitions and switched to being an accountant, which Carrey claimed made his father unhappy.
Given that both of his parents suffered from episodes of depression, Carrey said to Rolling Stone that “to first of all give up a goal, to settle for something safe, and then have it not work out is a real double whammy.”
When Carrey’s father lost his job when he was 12 years old, things were difficult. Prior to the father finding employment at a tire rim plant in Scarborough, the family spent eight months residing in a tent. The owners gave the Carreys permission to reside in the home across the street in return for providing housekeeping and security services. The humorous actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he and his brother had to work eight-hour stints after school.
Painkiller abuse was a problem for Carrey’s mother. Carrey told The Hollywood Reporter, “[S]he was always there for me, she was always there in the house.” “But that’s desertion if you’re high on pills. The idea we have about ourselves is probably formed by the fact that we are all, to some extent, abandoned by someone or something.
As soon as he reached 16, Carrey quit school because he detested it. The family eventually left the manufacturing job, abandoned the house given by their employer, got into a Volkswagen camper van, and “lived like Gypsies,” according to him. In Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Carrey eventually had his big break when he performed as Rodney Dangerfield’s opening act. After that, he spent a few years touring with Rodney Dangerfield and polishing his act.
Demi Moore had a nomadic childhood, traveling from New Mexico to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, and California before she broke the record for highest-paid actress in Hollywood in 1995 with a then-record-setting $12.5 million for “Striptease.” Her dad needs her assistance to prevent her drunken, suicidal mother from committing suicide.
When Moore was a teenager, her mother would bring her to bars, and when she was 15 years old, a guy who claimed her mother had “whored” her out for $500 attacked her sexually. Moore began the performing profession at an early age after quitting school at 16, and when her career took off, she started abusing alcohol, and cocaine and acquired an eating issue. In her memoir, “Inside Out: A Memoir,” the actress candidly discusses both the failures and triumphs of her career.
Dolly Parton grew up in a log home close to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee as the fourth of 12 children. There was no indoor plumbing or power, and the doctor who delivered Dolly received a sack of cornmeal as payment instead of money. Their children were nourished by whatever the mountains and woodlands could provide them with because her father was a sharecropper.
There were twelve of us young people. We never consumed possum, as my father once said, “That’s like a darn rat.” Even turtles and frogs were consumed by us. I just remember the huge fat groundhogs or whistling pigs as they were sometimes known, and you’d cook ’em with sweet potatoes, and you’d have different methods of getting rid of some of that gamey taste,” Parton told Rolling Stone.
When she was younger, she fashioned her gowns out of sacks, but as she became older and more popular, she transformed those into something more scandalous.
“My appearance was actually a rural girl’s interpretation of glamour. I modeled my appearance after the local tramp. With her bleached hair and vibrant red lipstick, I thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world. She told Rolling Stone, “When people would remark, ‘Well, she’s just trash,’ I would think, ‘That’s what I want to be when I grow up.
Oprah Winfrey was raised by her grandmother until she was six years old. Her parents were young, indigent, and unmarried when she was born in a small southern town in Mississippi. She received the nickname “sack girl” from her friends when she was younger because she wore overalls made out of potato sacks. She was subjected to sexual and physical abuse by members of her family, including her cousin, uncle, and a close family friend. She received a beating from her grandma for playing in a well, leaving her with several welts.
When she was 14, she was pregnant, but the baby was born too soon and died. She eventually relocated to Nashville for high school, won a beauty pageant, graduated with honors, and at the age of 22, she was hired as the first female (and first African American) anchor at WLAC-TY in Nashville.
Tom Cruise’s youth may have seemed like an impossible task to complete. In a 2006 interview with Parade (shortly after freaking out on Oprah), Cruise claimed that he had had a near-poverty-stricken childhood with an aggressive electrical engineer father who frequently relocated the family because he was getting fired.
He was the type of person who would kick you if things went wrong. How he’d lure you in, make you feel secure, and then bam, was a valuable lesson in my life. I thought, “There must be something wrong with this person.” Not worth your faith. ‘Be cautious with him,’ advised Cruise.
He received a dyslexia diagnosis when he was seven years old. By the time he was 12, his parents had divorced, and he had attended 15 different schools, where he had experienced bullying. His mother finally landed in Cincinnati after working three jobs to support the family (he has three sisters). There, Cruise first intended to become a Catholic priest (ironic considering he is now the face of Scientology), but he later changed his mind and realized it wasn’t for him. In order to succeed, he left his high school graduation early and moved to Manhattan.
The life of Shania Twain has been sad. Her family had very little money when she was a child. She brought mustard sandwiches to school, but she didn’t eat them since she felt so ashamed. Jerry, who reared her, would frequently become physically abusive against his mother; in one instance, he knocked his mother out. He would later start abusing Shania physically and sexually, she admitted in 2017.
After her mother and stepfather died in a vehicle accident when Shania was 21 years old, Shania was left to care for her three younger siblings.
The majority of Johnny Cash’s boyhood and adolescence were spent in a five-room clapboard farmhouse in Dyess, Arkansas, which at the time was a New Deal-era resettlement colony for struggling farmers in need of a new start. By age eight, he began moving cotton bags across the fields. You were worn out, your back hurt badly, and your hands were sliced. It was the thing I detested the most. In “Cash: The Autobiography,” he stated, “Pretty much every lady I knew in Dyess had those pockmarked fingers.
Jack, his brother, had a fatal table saw the accident, and passed away in less than 24 hours. “The whole family,” including the mother who had just lost her son, “was back in the fields cutting cotton, working their ten-hour day” the day following the burial on Sunday.
The late 1930s saw Morgan Freeman—the son of a barber and a teacher—growing up in a community in northern Mississippi. But if you had no money, the south was a lot better place to be, and I was really poor growing up, truly poor, he told the Guardian, equating it to a slum of the South Side of Chicago, where he resided for a period before returning back to the Magnolia State.
Freeman participated in the school’s band, debate team, glee club, and glee club, and at the age of 12, he earned his first acting award for a one-act play. Yet in 1954, he enlisted in the freshly desegregated U.S. Air Force rather than accepting an acting scholarship for college. He served in the military for five years before leaving to join the dance and theatrical companies around the nation. His breakthrough came with “Street Smart” and “Driving Miss Daisy” in the late 1980s. He was 50.
In Los Angeles, Leonardo DiCaprio grew up close to the juncture of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue. Although it seems nice, DiCaprio compared it to the seedy, criminal-infested streets from “Taxi Driver” in the 1970s.
DiCaprio defended “The Wolf of Wall Street(according to “‘s to some detractors) exaltation of excess and immorality in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, saying: “Who am I to talk about this? That sprang from the fact that I had a really difficult upbringing and experienced the other end of the spectrum. In addition, he complained about being “beaten up” in public school and expressed a desire to leave to pursue acting, which he did in his junior year.