16 Celebrities with Surprising Jobs Before They Were Famouse

Not every celebrity was born in the spotlight. Some of the rich and famous spent numerous years working their way up the Hollywood ladder. And before that, well, they were just working! Here are 16 celebrities with surprising jobs before they were famous:

1. Hugh Jackman


Hugh Jackman, most famously known for playing Wolverine in the X-Men movies, used to be a PE Teacher. Working at Uppingham School in Rutland, Jackman taught physical education at this leading British public school.

2. Kanye West


Before breaking into the industry as a successful rapper, Kanye West worked as a sales assistant in Gap. We can’t see him wining employee of the month however, with his lyrics from his debut album ‘The College Dropout’ proclaiming that he used to steal from the store!

3. Matthew Morrison


Although he caught his big Broadway break fairly young at the age of 19, Matthew Morrison also worked in Gap and as a waiter for a few years after graduating secondary school.

4. Whoopi Goldberg

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Actress Whoopi Goldberg arrives at the Sunset Marquis Hotel 50th anniversary birthday bash at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on November 16, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

Whoopi Goldberg worked as a Morgue Beautician. She took the job because she was trained as a beautician. Reportedly, her boss once hid in one of the drawers and jumped out at her as a way to reassure her that ‘there’s nothing to be scared of.’ Hmm, we wonder how well that worked!

5. Johnny Depp


Before becoming one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, Johnny Depp worked as a telemarketer selling ballpoint pens over the phone.

6. Channing Tatum


Not only did Channing Tatum play a stripper in Magic Mike, but he also worked as one in real life when he was 19 years old. Tatum worked in a strip club in Tampa, Florida for eight months after high school.

7. Christopher Walken

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Actor Christopher Walken attends a meet the cast photocall of "A Behanding In Spokane" at Sardi's on February 1, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Perhaps one of the most shocking of all former celebrity jobs, Christopher Walken used to work as a Lion Tamer in a circus. He worked with one lioness named Sheba and said that she was ‘very sweet, like a dog.’

8. Jennifer Hudson

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 04: Actress-singer Jennifer Hudson attends Variety's 5th Annual Power of Women event presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)

Now an extremely successful singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson worked in fast food chain Burger King back in her late teens. She confessed that she quit this job to pursue her dream of making it in the music industry.

9. Michelle Keegan

Michelle Keegan arrives for the TV Choice awards at the Park Lane Hilton in central London, England, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP) -

Michelle Keegan, well-known for her role on Coronation Street, worked as a check-in assistant at Manchester Airport before taking to the small screen.

10. Eva Mendes

Actress Eva Mendes arrives at the Hollywood screening of her movie "Holy Motors" during AFI FEST in Los Angeles, California November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT) - RTR39YTM

After getting her work permit at the age of 15, Eva Mendes worked at a food stand in a Californian shopping mall serving pizza and pasta. Mendes said that she really enjoyed her first job, but she wasn’t very good at it!

11. Lucy Liu


Knowing that breaking into the world of acting was going to be tough at first, Lucy Liu worked seven days a week in three different jobs to make money to support her dream. She worked simultaneously as a secretary, restaurant hostess and an aerobics instructor, her dedication is seriously impressive!

12. Gerard Butler


Gerard Butler studied law at Glasgow University and practiced as a lawyer after graduation. The draw of the spotlight was apparently too strong for Butler, who left his first law firm to pursue his acting career.

13. George Clooney


Now one of the world’s most renowned actors, George Clooney used to be a door-to-door insurance salesman. Clooney joked that on his first day he sold only one insurance policy and the guy he sold it to died the same day! Ouch…

14. Rachel McAdams


Rachel McAdams spent three years working in McDonalds, apparently she wasn’t so great an employee and once broke the orange juice machine!

15. Barack Obama


Barack Obama worked in American Ice-Cream store chain Baskin-Robbins. Reportedly, he ate too much ice cream in his time there and consequently doesn’t like it anymore.

16. Ozzy Osbourne

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 14: Ozzy Osbourne attends the Classic Rock Roll of Honour at The Roundhouse on November 14, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

Before becoming the front man for Black Sabbath, Ozzy, also known as The Prince of Darkness, worked in a slaughterhouse.


Annabel Usher, Content Editor

Categorized as Other

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