When you see celebrities on the red carpet dressed, polished, and finessed by stylists and assistants, it’s hard to believe they ever had it rough. But you have a better chance at winning a slot machine jackpot than becoming famous. The road to fame and fortune isn’t easy, and even a-list movie stars worked some weird jobs to make ends meet in between acting gigs. These are the ten weirdest jobs that famous people held before they got their names in lights.
Mortuary hair stylist. Danny DeVito. His older sister, Angela, owned a beauty parlor who had a mix of young and old clientele. ‘Mr. Danny’, as he was known, would go to the mortuary after his clients passed to make sure they’d have a nice hairdo for the funeral. He joked on Lopez Tonight that deceased clients never complained about his styling.(x)
Mortuary makeup artist. Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopi was a licensed beautician when she saw an ad in the paper for a job at a mortuary. She took the job, but later told Oprah during a Masterclass it was a tough gig, and takes a special person who cares deeply about others, and wants them to look “worthy of a great send-off.”(x)
Lion tamer. Christopher Walken. This one isn’t surprising. For a summer when he was 16, he worked with an animal handler who had his own circus. The circus owner would do a show with a dozen big cats, and after Walken would come out with one old lion named Sheba, who he said was more like a dog. He also worked as a backup dancer in a cabaret while waiting for his big break. (x)
Party clown. Hugh Jackman. On Howard Stern’s talk show, Jackman talked about his early days as an actor before he gained the skills to be a success. For one job, he worked as a party clown for kids, and said that he was great for kids up to the age of 3. His bombed his last gig, for an 8-year-old, and to salvage the act he gave the kids raw eggs to throw at him, and let them wrestle him to the ground. (x)
Corn shucking. Cindy Crawford. On her Twitter bio, Crawford cites “corn shucking” as one of her unique skills along with bowling and pie baking. Turns out in middle and high school she worked in a cornfield, pulling the outer leaves off corn cobs. “I was good at it. I could do it really fast,” she told Fashion Magazine. (x)
YMCA lifeguard. Vince Vaughn. He didn’t last long as a lifeguard, but not because anyone drowned on his shifts. He was late too often, but said he learned a hard lesson about timeliness. (x)
Fruit sign spinner. Megan Fox. While working at a smoothie shop, once a week Fox had to go stand on the side of a highway dressed as a giant banana. As a result, she always carries $20 bills in her purse for tipping. (x)
Chicken coop cleaner. Matthew McConaughey. For a summer as an exchange student in Australia, McConaughey cleaned chicken coops and washed dishes to earn money. It’s hard to say which sounds worse; cleaning after chickens or the drastic weight loss for his movie roles.
Carnival barker. Helen Mirren. Worldwide treasure, Helen Mirren, grew up in “the British equivalent of Coney Island,” and spent her Saturdays working at the local carnival. She worked in a darts stall and was a ‘blag’ to get people into her stall. She says it’s the same as acting and was where she got her start. (x)
Typist for the Yellow Pages. Dustin Hoffman. At 90 wpm, it couldn’t have taken Hoffman long to type up the Yellow Pages, he also waited tables to get by until he made it big.(x)