Before They Were Famous: Celebrities' and Their Common Jobs
Like most of us, the famous and celebrated had to pay dues by working in fairly mundane jobs.
It's comforting to know that the great majority of us are in the same boat. While we struggle and scrape to get that dream job in our chosen career, we labor in positions not particularly well suited for us, badly paid or just plain boring. The rich and famous, more often than not, are no different.
Here, then, are a host of examples of what the great and good did for a job before ascending to their current lofty positions.
Tom Cruise would have been a priest - for a brief time, he attended a seminary in Cincinnati. He also delivered newspapers when living in Kentucky.
Johnny Depp's smooth actor's voice came in handy in his pre-fame job as a telemarketer for a company that sold ballpoint pens.
Before his Olympic gold medal wins Carl Lewis worked behind the counter serving unhealthy food at McDonald's. Other notables who drew early paychecks at the Golden Arches include Macy Gray, Shania Twain and Jay Leno.
Dennis Rodman once supervised children as a camp counselor in Memphis before winning fame and notoriety as a basketball player and oddball celebrity.
Bill Cosby was a shoeshine man and produce salesman prior to enlisting in the US Navy.
For his first steady show business job, James Dean parked cars at CBS Studios.
Walt Disney and Ernest Hemingway drove ambulances for the Red Cross in World War I.
Morgan Freeman served his country in the Air Force, where he worked as a mechanic.
Sharp-tongued comedian and actor Redd Foxx (known to his mother as John Sanford) washed dishes at The Chicken Shack, a restaurant in New York. One of his co-workers was a waiter who would also later reach fame - Malcolm Little, better known as Malcolm X.
Bill Gates had a taste of politics in his early years - he was a Congressional page while a student at Harvard University.
In her first job, Jennifer Hudson toiled away making fast food at a Burger King in Chicago. After she mentioned this experience following her Oscar victory in 2007, the company gave her free food for life.
Stephen King earned a salary as a janitor and also taught English at a high school in Maine. He clocked in at a local textile mill and a laundromat as well.
Sidney Poitier had a job parking cars, but he was forced to abandon that career — he was fired because of his awful driving ability.
Quentin Tarantino worked in the perfect job for a future movie director - he was a clerk in a video store.
Tina Turner earned a paycheck as a nurse in a hospital's maternity ward.
So, you see, if you have dreams of one day becoming famous and you're currently working a job you don't love, well, things can always become better as these stars have shown.