19 Celebrities Who Were Orphaned As Children

List of Famous Orphans, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Some very famous people were left orphaned after their parents died or abandoned their families. Famous political leaders, actors, authors and musicians have all been orphans. Some celebrities lost their parents when they were very young, while others became orphans when they were teenagers. These famous people were either raised by family or placed in orphanages and foster homes.

Who is the most famous orphan? Marilyn Monroe tops our list. There is some discrepancies about the identity of Marilyn Monroe's father, but by all accounts he was not present during her childhood. Her mother was mentally unstable and placed Monroe, then known by the name Norma Jeane Baker, with a foster family. When Monroe was seven she was declared a ward of the state. She was raised by her mother's friend for a few years, but she later spent time in an orphanage, more foster homes and with other family members.

Malcolm X's father died when Malcolm X was just six years old. He died under suspicious circumstances in a streetcar accident, but the family suspected that he was murdered by a white racist group. When Malcolm X was 12, his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and spent the next 24 years in a state hospital. Malcolm X lived in foster homes for a few years and eventually he stayed with his half-sister.

Do you think that being an orphan played into the success of these famous folks. Share your thoughts in the comments section.