Fun News & Giveaway: What celebrities did before becoming famous - The Mommy Insider

Fun News & Giveaway: What celebrities did before becoming famous

by Alicia on May 27, 2009 in Celebrity Moms, New posts, Past Giveaways

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I stumbled across this information this morning, not sure how, and had to share it with you.  I find some of the pre-celebrity jobs fascinating such as the coffin polishing __________ (ya’ gotta keep reading!).   Do you know what a celebrity did before becoming famous? What about Prince, Kate Gosselin (yes, her), or Tom Cruise<UPDATE:  The celebrities I listed have all been listed by now.. be creative in your celebrity search! Do the research and leave the info, including a link to the source, in the comments below and I will give one random commenter a $10 gift certificate!  Entries will be accepted until 10pm May 29th and I will announce the winner right here in this post!

Whoopi Goldberg was a bricklayer.  That’s a tough job!

Russell Crowe was a waiter.  I’m sure he got some great tips from the ladies.

Gwen Stefani’s previous job was as a Dairy Queen cleaner.  Wacky huh?

Johnny Depp was a telemarketer!  What a bummer..wasting his good looks by sitting in a cubicle bugging people on the phone.

Pink was a McDonald’s worker.

Simon Cowell worked in the post room.

Madonna worked in a doughnut factory.  WHAT?

Colin Farrell was a dance teacher.  Not the suspected sexy kind of dancing.. line dancing!

Barack Obama was an ice cream seller.  How much more ‘all-American’ can you get?

Geri Halliwell, pre Spice Girls, was a Turkish game show hostess.  Huh, can you picture that?

Brad Pitt was a chicken dancer for a Mexican restaurant.  His job was to entice people to eat at the restaurant.  Couldn’t he have just stood there as himself, not a chicken?

Harrison Ford was a carpenter.  I can’t really vision that one.

Sean Connery was a coffin polisher.  I can vision that.

Annie Lennox was a waitress at a cafe in North London.

Source: Virgin Media

Congratulations to the winner of the gift certificate, Lily K.!

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken September 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Chris Cornell worked as a cook in seattle


Veronica Garrett May 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Sally Struthers cleaned houses.


Alexis May 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Christopher Walkin worked at a circus and even tamed lions


Barrie May 29, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Eddie Vedder worked the night shift at a gas station before he was in Pearl Jam


Terry C May 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Oprah: Radio Announcer
Oprah got a lucky and early start to her career. From “Arriving at a radio station to collect a watch she had won through a promotional contest, a 16-year-old Winfrey read for producers and secured herself a spot as an on-air reporter earning $100 per week.”

braaisjo at gmail dot com


Lily Kwan May 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Andy Bell from Erasure used to work in a meat packing plant.


Charlene Kuser May 29, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Whoopi Goldberg used to work as a bricklayer in the days before she took the comedy and film world by storm.


Donna K May 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm
Nicole Gladitz May 29, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Alec Baldwin was a bouncer


Lori Z. May 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Faith Hill sold t-shirts. I bet her looks made that business pretty successful…


Ann May 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Annette Bening worked as a cook on a charter boat.


Gianna May 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Rob Schneider once worked in an ice cream parlor washing dishes.


DENISE May 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

In September 1950, ELVIS PRESLEY occasionally worked evenings as an usher at Loew’s State Theater — his first job to boost the family income, but his mother made him quit as she feared it was affecting his school work. He worked again at Loew’s in June the following year, but was fired after a fistfight over a female employee.



Katharina May 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Michelle Obama has has a couple of very prestigious jobs before become first lady! :-) She worked as a staff member for Chicago mayor at the time, Richard Daley.

Mrs. Obama also worked at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

One link to this information is found at:


kathy pease May 29, 2009 at 11:56 am
Rebecca L May 29, 2009 at 10:42 am

Brad Pitt supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for “el Pollo Loco” before becoming a famous actor.

beckydsl13 at gmail dot com.


Tammy May 29, 2009 at 9:57 am

After leaving the university, Liam Neeson worked in a variety of small jobs, from fork-lift operator at Guinness to truck driver.


Erika D Duritsky May 29, 2009 at 9:35 am

* Before he was Knocked Up and Superbad, director Judd Apatow washed dishes in a comedy club just to get close to the comedians.

* “The Office” star Steve Carrell puts in crazy hours to film his sitcom, but he’s used to it: He was a third-shift cashier at the Store 24 convenience store.

* Simon Cowell worked his music industry connections even way back when. His first job was as a mailroom clerk for EMI Music Publishing where his father worked.

* Miley Cyrus scrubbed toilets at age 11 — but did she wield the brush as Miley or Hannah Montana?

* Johnny Depp sold pens over the phone before his acting debut in Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes, it’s weird, but so is he — in a good way.

* Do you want funny with that? Tina Fey worked at a swimming pool snack bar at age 14 — long before “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.”

* Before taking orders from Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway had an even more demanding boss: The 3-year-old she babysat.

* “American Idol” alum and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson started her working life at Burger King. After mentioning the company in an interview, BK made sure she never has to pay for another Whopper (or any other of the chain’s food) for the rest of her life.

* Long before she was one of the “Desperate Housewives,” Eva Longoria apparently was desperate for work. She was hired as a cashier at Wendy’s at age 13 after forging documents to appear older.

* Not to be outdone by Longoria, Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, washed dishes at a Hawaii pizza place when he was 13.
* David Letterman made his mark in retail before taking over the land of late night talk shows. He was a stock boy at Atlas grocery store in Indianapolis.

* Reality star and metal god Ozzy Osbourne worked in a slaughterhouse — practice for biting the heads off doves?

* The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke is well-known for getting into fights. You may already know he worked as a professional boxer, but even before that, he was fired from one of his first jobs as an usher for brawling with a coworker.

* Call him the Good Humor man? Howard Stern worked as an ice cream truck driver.

* Country sensation — and yes, another “American Idol” alum — Carrie Underwood first worked her pipes over the gas station intercom as a cashier.


beth shepherd May 29, 2009 at 8:48 am

Brad Pitt earned a living by driving limousines for strip-o-grams and dressing up as a chicken to entice people to eat at a Mexican restaurant.
Thank you!


Kathy D May 29, 2009 at 7:34 am

Reba McEntire was a barrel I would have loved to see that….


Sonya May 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Rob Schneider once worked in an ice cream parlor washing dishes.


Linda Trepczyk May 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Cameron Diaz was a model


Auriette May 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm

John Wayne was working in the prop department when he was “discovered” by director John Ford.


theodore esteghamat May 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Britney spears appeared on Star Search when she was young.


Crystal F May 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Simon Baker went to school for nursing.

Thank you!


Tracy May 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Ryan Reynolds worked at a yacht club, nightclub and grocery store before his first acting job in a Canadian soap opera!


Tim May 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Bonnie Hunt was an oncology nurse before pursuing acting/comedy/writing


Geoff K May 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Here’s a great listings of celebrities’ early jobs — — I think my favorites that Jerry Seinfeld sold light bulbs (!) and Danny DeVito was a hair stylist (!!). Fun challenge – thanks for the giveaway!


Tracey May 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm
Kimbert May 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Tom Hanks started out as a popcorn and peanuts vendor at the Oakland Coliseum in California and once worked as a hotel bellhop carrying bags for a number of stars.

From the goodsite:


Charity S. May 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Renée Zellweger was a waitress.


Sheryl C May 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Tom Hanks…
Sold popcorn and peanuts as a teenager at the Oakland Coliseum


Caroline Fisher May 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Samuel L. Jackson was a social worker (after he got expelled from Morehouse for holding their Board of Trustees hostage…).


ktanjatk May 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm
Monique Rizzo May 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Thanks for the chance.


Ryan E. May 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm

BOB BARKER WAS A NAVY FIGHTER PILOT in WWII!!! How awesome is that. Another little fun fact: he also studied martial arts under CHUCK NORRIS!


valerie mabrey May 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

count me in


Rosanne May 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Rod Stewart worked as a grave digger. Your comments were funny. I cna see Harrison Ford as a carpenter. He has the build for an Here’s the link I found the info


katie May 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm

David Letterman was a weatherman before getting his own late night talk show!


Denise B. May 28, 2009 at 9:44 am

Dee Snider of “Twisted Sister” sang in the church choir.


Joanne Schultz May 28, 2009 at 9:36 am
Kate May 28, 2009 at 9:20 am

David Letterman – “Letterman was a stock boy at Atlas grocery store in Indianapolis. He also was a weatherman on the local news in Indianapolis.”


Melanie May 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

Amy Adams was a greeter at Gap!


jeanine May 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

drew carey once worked at denny’s before he was famous.


Carol G May 28, 2009 at 7:43 am

Naomi Judd was a registered nurse. Already knew that, but found a site just to fulfill requirements.


Sandra K321 May 28, 2009 at 6:53 am

At an early age, Tom Cruise joined a seminary in order to become a priest.



Anissa G May 28, 2009 at 5:59 am

Jennifer Aniston was both a telemarketer and waitress before hitting it big.


Linda Fish May 28, 2009 at 5:46 am

Sharon Stone worked at McDonald’s as a counter girl


Heather S May 28, 2009 at 5:41 am

Robert Pattinson (Edward in Twilight) was a male model. He began modeling at 12 years old he then played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter the Goblet of Fire.


Patricia Treskovich May 28, 2009 at 4:41 am

Kate Gosselin was a nurse


Nadine L May 28, 2009 at 4:40 am

Eddie Murphy was a shoe salesman in New York.


Diane Fisher May 28, 2009 at 12:22 am
Amber G May 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Maggie Gyllenhaal worked as a waitress in a Massachusetts restaurant:


vanessa May 27, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Kate Gosselin was a nurse


Singer Prince was in a band with his cousin.


Tom Cruise joined a seminary in order to become a priest. Cruise also spent a short time in Kentucky where he was a paperboy for the Louisville Courier-Journal.


Karen P May 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm

George Clooney worked in a tobacco field.


Mimi the kitten May 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Before persuing a career in radio and television, Oprah Winfrey competed in beauty pageants. She won the Nashville Miss Fire Prevention in high school and Miss Black Tennessee in 1971.


Lynda C May 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Kate Capshaw (Steven Spielberg’s wife)was a waitress at COCO’s restaurant in St. Louis in high school years. My husband knew her briefly back then.


Dddiva May 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Clay Aiken worked as a YMCA counselor in North Carolina before American Idol propelled him to pop stardom.


Julie May 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Thank you for the giveaway!


true May 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Ozzy Osbourne once worked in a slaughterhouse.



brenda helgeson May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

kate gosselin was a nurse. i know from watching the show


Jessica Golden May 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Reba McEntire was a barrel racer.


Abigail Caulder May 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Mikey and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance both worked at a Barnes and Noble bookstore before they got famous.


Amanda Hellen May 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm
Bev Maloy May 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm
Vicky H. May 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

As a teenager, Walt Disney was a Red Cross ambulance driver during WWI (he actually wanted to join the Army but was underage) for a year before finding work with an art studio.


Kristen May 27, 2009 at 11:40 am

Kate Gosselin was a nurse before she stepped into the world of reality television.


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