Here’s How These Celebrities Became Famous

Published on 07/02/2020
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Being famous might seem like something that would be achieved only by dedicated work and over a long period of time. While that is the case for many celebrities out there, it’s not necessarily true for all of them. In fact, there are many celebrities who are now famous and it happened to them at random. Even by accident! Instead of trying and trying to make a name for themselves over a matter of years, they just so happened to run into an agent that was searching for someone like them for a movie or TV show. After that, things were smooth sailing for these celebs.

Charlize Theron

When she was only 18, Charlize Theron moved to Hollywood and lived in a hotel room. She was using the shrinking savings she earned while modeling in New York City and got some help from her mother. All her meetings with agents on Hollywood Boulevard didn’t lead to anything. However, one day, she was trying to cash a  $500 check from her mother. The bank teller refused. The two then got into a screaming match. Eventually, a kind man approached and offered to help. Well, that man turned out to be the talent agent John Crosby. He offered to represent Theron and even sent her to acting classes. She landed her first role that same year.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Jennifer Lawrence

It’s quite difficult to believe that Jennifer Lawrence is only 25 years old seeing as she’s already won an Oscar. Well, it turns out that Jennifer was discovered accidentally. She was vacationing in New York City with her family at 14-years-old when she was spotted by a talent agent. Overnight, the agent turned her into a successful teen model and she even made her TV debut on the TV series, Monk, in 2006.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Marilyn Monroe

Who can ever forget about Marilyn Monroe? The iconic Hollywood celebrity was actually born a brunette. Additionally, her given name was Norma Jeane Mortenson and she spent the majority of her childhood going between foster homes and orphanages. During World War II, she was working for a U.S. military factory when a photographer shot a picture of her and put it in a magazine. At the time, she was married to a Marine named Jim who didn’t want his wife to have her own career. However, she wanted to go for it, so she left her old life, signed with a modeling agency, dyed her hair blonde, and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. As they say, the rest is history.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Meryl Streep

Not many actors have the same incredible natural talent that Oscar winner Meryl Streep has. All the same, Meryl appeared in several high school plays in her teen years, but she wasn’t all that interested in pursuing acting as a career. That is, until later in life. At Vassar College in 1969, Meryl got attention all across her campus for her role in the play Miss Julie. From there, it was smooth sailing toward an amazing career. “I don’t think anyone ever taught Meryl acting,” a Vassar drama professor said. “She really taught herself.”

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford’s story is a lot like Cinderella’s if she were a man. Harrison worked as a carpenter to help support his family. He was then hired by the legendary director George Lucas to build some cabinets in his home. It was the job of a lifetime for Harrison. George took a liking to the carpenter and offered Harrison a role in American Graffiti. From there, his career skyrocketed. This stroke of luck turned Harrison into one of the most famous actors ever.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt was a waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Maui when he was discovered. He spent his nights on the beach with his friends a lot of the time. While working, Chris met director Rae Dawn Chong. She decided to cast him in a horror movie she was directing. And so, Chris relocated to LA and stuck to acting. Now, he’s one of the world’s most famous actors. You never know who you might meet while waiting tables!

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone is a great example of a “rags to riches” story. The strongman was an incredibly poor struggling actor and screenwriter back in the 1970s. At a low point, Sylvester found himself trying to find places to sleep since he couldn’t afford to pay rent. Everything turned around for him after a while. His script for the movie Rocky was picked up. What’s more incredible is that he had written a draft for it in three days. Naturally, he played the lead role.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer was a struggling actress in Los Angeles with four failed TV shows under her belt. She then ran into the TV executive Warren Littlefield in a gas station so she asked him “Will it ever happen for me?”. The NBC boss encouraged her and told her not to give up. Just a few months later, he gave her the script for “Friends” and helped cast her as Rachel on the iconic show. Life is funny, isn’t it?

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was first discovered when she was only 11-years-old at a local pizza place. A Revlon representative spotted her and encouraged her to begin modeling. Natalie was flattered, but she told the representative that she didn’t want to be known for her appearance and wanted to act instead. Eventually, she was cast in an off-Broadway show and then landed her first big role in “The Professional” in 1994.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt got his big break kind of by accident. He had accompanied his friend to an acting audition since she needed a male partner to play a role with her. Strangely enough, Brad was the one to catch the agent’s eye. Once that happened, Brad started trying to make a name for himself in Los Angeles. It wasn’t long before he gained recognition for his iconic role in Thelma and Louise. Now look how far he’s come!

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Johnny Depp

A long time before he became Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp sold ballpoint pens over the phone. He called this job a “scam”. Later on, Depp was in Los Angeles when he was noticed by director Wes Craven who was a musician at the time. Cavern asked Depp to audition for him and what would you know, Depp snagged the role of Glen Lantz. This was when he made his film debut in “The Nightmare on Elm Street” in 1984.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum went for a rather unique job opportunity after finishing high school. This was instead of a college football scholarship. It turns out that he danced in an “All-male revue” in Tampa. While in that club, the actor said that a “sketchy dude” saw him perform and then suggested he pursue modeling. While the person might have been odd in Tatum’s eyes, he then took his advice and got a minor part in a Pepsi ad. That’s what got him into the leading role in 2006’s hit movie, Step Up.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

Rosario Dawson

Just like Jennifer Lawrence, Rosario Dawson was first spotted on the street in New York City. The 15-year-old was just hanging out on the porch of her Lower East Side apartment building with some friends when this all happened. Larry Clark, Kids director, and Harmony Korine just so happened to spot her. Clark went over to Dawson and told her about a movie he was working on and told her to come audition.

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher was studying biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa in 1996. He also happened to belong to a frat at the time. One night, he was out at a bar and was spotted by a talent agent. The two spoke about Kutcher entering a state modeling competition. After winning this competition, Kutcher dropped out of college and became a professional model. He even appeared in Calvin Klein and Versace ads before he landed a leading role in That ’70s Show in 1998.

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher

Will Smith

Will Smith started his career in the ’80s as a rapper. His stage name was The Fresh Prince. You can probably guess where things go from here. Well, after his latest album didn’t do well, he went to the Arsenio Hall Show in hopes of kickstarting his career. He met Benny Medina there who heard about Smith and had an idea for a new TV show inspired by his life. That’s when Medina introduced Smith to the producer and Smith auditioned on the spot. Naturally, he got the part and starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The rest, as they say, is history.

Will Smith

Will Smith

Zac Efron

Zac Efron had a knack for performing from an early age. He got his first role in a local theater production with no previous training at age 11. With the encouragement of his 8th-grade drama teacher, Efron set his sights higher and started auditioning for TV and movie roles. He persisted and ended up landing the lead role in Disney’s High School Musical. This, of course, made him famous practically overnight.

Zac Efron

Zac Efron

Sofia Vergara

17-year-old Sofia Vergara was out having a fun day at the beach with her family when a talent scout noticed her. The scout asked to take a polaroid picture of the Colombian teen. Not even a year later, Vergara booked a Pepsi commercial, which just so happened to take place on a beach as well. After that, a series of TV roles followed, including her famous role of Gloria on the hit sitcom, Modern Family.

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara

Vin Diesel

Before he was a famous action star, Vin Diesel was Mark Sinclair who started his journey in a New York City theater. However, it’s not what you would expect. One night, he was caught messing around with his friends inside a theater. Instead of landing in handcuffs, he landed roles as a result, thanks to the benevolent artistic director. Diesel went on to appear in other Off-Off-Broadway shows before moving to Los Angeles. There, he wrote a short film which ended up being played at the Cannes Film Festival. That’s where several directors, including Steven Spielberg, took notice. Spielberg then wrote Diesel a part in Saving Private Ryan.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel

Burt Reynolds

Initially, Burt Reynolds had no interest in becoming an actor. He got a football scholarship to Florida State University and was even drafted by the Baltimore Colts (now the Indianapolis Colts). However, his NFL dreams were shattered the moment Reynolds suffered a career-ending injury. After that, he took a shot at acting and won a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse in New York. He performed a revival of Mister Roberts and then signed a TV contract, appearing on several shows over the next decade. In 1972, he hit the silver screen in Deliverance and became the huge star we know him as today.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey grew up in Texas with absolutely no interest in following his father’s footsteps into the oil industry. Instead, he decided he wanted to be an actor and appeared in several student films and commercials before becoming one of the world’s most famous actors. He got his big break at a hotel bar in Austin. He met a producer there who later introduced him to Richard Linklater who was casting for Dazed and Confused.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

Evangeline Lilly

As you know by now, it’s not uncommon for an agent or a scout to approach an attractive young woman with an offer to represent her. Evangeline Lilly was walking around British Columbia when she was stopped by a talent agent from Ford modeling. She’d never considered modeling before that moment, but she did need the money to pay for college. Not long after, she appeared in a Canadian commercial before hitting the small screen for small roles on TV series. Finally, in 2004, she made her big break when she started playing Kate on Lost.

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson might just be one of the most famous actors in the world today. No matter what film he appears in, he always has such a monumental presence. It was the famous movie, Pulp Fiction, which put him on the map as one of Hollywood’s best actors. In fact, Jackson was 45 when he played in the film alongside John Travolta. However, Quentin Tarantino took a liking to him. The director knew Jackson’s talent would have gone to waste if he didn’t make him famous.

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is someone who’s always adored acting and film. When he was a young child, he saved up every penny he could in order to go and watch movies. However, by the time he was a teen, he turned down a partial drama scholarship so he could have a career in the U.S. Air Force. In 1959, Freeman realized that acting was his true passion and moved to Hollywood to see what he could do. While he had some recognition for his role in a TV series, his big break came from his performance in Driving Miss Daisy when he was 52 years old.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

Hulk Hogan

Once upon a time, Hulk Hogan was a pitcher in Little League Baseball, attracting scouts from the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. However, his baseball career ended thanks to an injury. Before the future wrestler got into the business of wrestling and acting, he had something else in mind for his career. He had a true passion for music. In fact, he played bass for a band in Florida for a while. One night, an audience member thought he would make a good wrestler!

Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan

Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo was noticed by a casting director when she was bartending in New York City in the 1990s. That’s how she was able to get signed to an advertising campaign with L’Oreal. After several small roles in movies and on the show Friends, Pompeo finally got her big break. In 2005, she was cast as the iconic Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy. This is a role she’s been doing even till today!

Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo

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