Celebrities Who Had Weird Jobs Before They Were Famous  

Matthew Cole Weiss
4k votes 554 voters 65k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up the most surprising odd jobs.

Before they were famous, some of the biggest celebrities in the world were working odd jobs to make ends meet, just hustling and scraping by like anybody else. This list runs through celebs who found employment in strange and surprising places prior to landing their dream jobs.

Do you work at Olive Garden? McDonald's perhaps? Well, maybe you're about to hit it big in Hollywood! Yes, this could be your origin story, because just like the rest of us, Kanye West, Megan Fox, Brad Pitt, and Helen Mirren all had to take some pretty menial, bizarre, and even humiliating jobs before they made it.

That's just a taste of the celeb strangeness you'll find on this list. From selling pens over the phone to stripping for a couple dollar bills to doing makeup on dead people and even taming lions, the list of jobs that the rich and famous had before they were rich and famous reads like Kramer's resume on Seinfeld.

Vote up the stars you think worked the best (or the worst) gigs before Hollywood came calling.
back to page 1
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Celebrities Who Had Weird Jobs Before They Were Famous
Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Whoopi Goldberg was a trained beautician before she became a huge comedy star and Oscar winner. At one point, she took a job as a makeup artist at a mortuary. Her boss actually acclimated her to the creepy setting by hiding in a drawer usually occupied by corpses, slowly opening it, then waving to his employee. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Source: Now Magazine

More Whoopi Goldberg

#17 of 793 on American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #28 of 292 on The Funniest Female Comedians of All Time featuring The Forgotten, Controversial Love Between Whoopi Goldberg And Ted Danson Interesting Facts and Trivia About Whoopi Goldberg

Did this surprise you?
see more on Whoopi Goldberg
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Celebrities Who Had Weird Jobs Before They Were Famous
Photo: Alotofmillion/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Back in the day, the superstar pushed ballpoint pens on the phone. The trick, according to Depp, was promising someone a big prize like a trip to Tahiti if they bought a handful of pens. However, Depp's guilt led him him to abandon the job, though he credits the gig as his first insight into acting.

Source: Interview

More Johnny Depp

#17 of 1168 on The Best Actors in Film History #3 of 339 on The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting) featuring Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Johnny Depp Inside Johnny Depp And Hunter S. Thompson's Bizarre Bromance

Did this surprise you?
see more on Johnny Depp
Geena Davis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Celebrities Who Had Weird Jobs Before They Were Famous
Photo: Josh Hallet/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Before there was Thelma and Louise, there was Thelma and Anne... Taylor that is. It was at the clothing store where Davis posed as a mannequin in storefront windows alongside the actual mannequins. "Somebody saw me do that, and then he stopped to see what was now going to happen," Davis explains. "But I just froze. I didn't know, but I had an uncanny ability to be still." Her poses drew crowds left and right, which helped bulk up her resume when she turned to real high fashion modeling. 

Source: NPR

More Geena Davis

#18 of 45 on Celebrity Women Over 60 You Wouldn't Mind Your Dad Dating #8 of 14 on The Best Celebrities to Team With During the Zombie Apocalypse #25 of 61 on Celebrities You Want On Your Trivia Team #42 of 73 on The Best WTF With Marc Maron Podcast Episodes Of 2019

Did this surprise you?
see more on Geena Davis
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Celebrities Who Had Weird Jobs Before They Were Famous
Photo: Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Dustin Hoffman held many jobs while trying to make it as an actor, including being a doorman, stringing Hawaiian leis, checking coats, and even typing up the Yellow Pages, alongside 80 women. "I had no shame," Hoffman has said about his early job search.

Source: Vanity Fair

More Dustin Hoffman

#10 of 1169 on The Best Actors in Film History #5 of 126 on The Best Living American Actors #24 of 267 on The Best (Male) Actors Working Today featuring The Best Dustin Hoffman Movies

Did this surprise you?
see more on Dustin Hoffman