Rags to riches: These famous stars once struggled for food
There are some like Josh Brolin (of Thanos fame), Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men actor) and Gwyneth Paltrow (of Iron Man fame), who had their paths smoothened before they forayed into the entertainment industry, courtesy their famous parents. However, we also have others who weren't born with a silver spoon, but emerged victorious, triumphing over hardships. Let's see who those bravehearts are.
This list has to start with Oprah Winfrey. Today worth $2.6bn, Oprah's childhood and teenage years were terrible. She faced repeated sexual abuse by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend starting when she was 9, became pregnant at 14, lost the child shortly after giving birth, was born in extreme poverty in Mississippi, to an unmarried teenage mother... her trauma was endless.
However, Vernon Winfrey, noted as her biological father, made sure Oprah focused on education. She eventually secured a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, won a beauty pageant, read news at a local radio station, and slowly progressed to hosting AM Chicago, which became the highest-rated talk show in Chicago. Today the 65-year-old media mogul has her own network, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Who could imagine "the king of the world" Leonardo Dicaprio, featuring in this one, but in actuality, his childhood was spent in a sordid area in LA. He witnessed drugs, poverty, prostitution, and violence at a very tender age. Recalling those days, he had said, "It goes back to that neighborhood. I grew up very poor, I (also) got to see the other side."
One of Hollywood's most bankable stars, Tom Cruise, didn't have poor parents, per se: His father was an electrical engineer, and mother, a special education teacher. But his father was "a merchant of chaos," who thrashed him repeatedly. When Cruise was 11-12, his parents divorced, and his mother did four jobs to pay bills. He grew up in near poverty till Top Gun happened.
Overnight fame is JK Rowling's another name. Once living in abject poverty having lost her mother to multiple sclerosis, divorce from her first husband, and being a single mother to a daughter, all in a span of seven years, Rowling survived on welfare during that period. In 1997, when Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone got published, the author never looked back since.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria, devastated by World War-II. That year, food shortages led to a riot in Vienna. And where Arnold and his family lived, things were worse, forcing his mother to go from one farm to another foraging for butter, sugar and grain. The house in which Arnold grew up in lacked a phone or plumbing. Today, he's sitting atop millions.
Popular singer Selena Gomez was born to a 16-year-old, and throughout her childhood, she faced financial troubles. Her mother did three jobs just to provide food to the children, which would often be dollar store spaghetti. "I was frustrated that my parents weren't together. (But) my mom gave up everything for me, supported me, sacrificed her life for me," Selena had said once.
Listed as among the 100 most influential people by TIME, Jennifer Lopez needs no introduction. But in her growing up years, she lived with her poor family in a small apartment in the Castle Hill neighborhood. Besides summing it all up in Jenny From the Block, JLo also said in an interview how her parents' struggle instilled the value of hard work in her.