From Rags To Riches: 20 Celebs Who Lived Out Of Their Car

So, typically when someone buys a car, it is to get around. There are times it will be used to travel or give someone a ride, but one thing people do not usually use it for is a home.

Unfortunately for some, this is not the case and if they want a roof over their heads, their car is their home because they're struggling so much. Now, when it comes to celebrities, it is hard to picture them struggling. We see them traveling all the time, wearing big flashy jewelry and name-brand clothes, sporting luxury cars and living in big mansions, and it makes it seem like they were always rich.

For some, they had the luxury of growing up with money, but others were really poor before hitting the big time. Here is a list of 20 celebrities who had to live out of their cars at some point in their lives.

20 Kelly Clarkson Lost Her Apartment


Nowadays, the beautiful Kelly Clarkson is supposedly worth $29 million, but she wasn’t always this big. In fact, she actually grew up poor in a small town out in Texas.

According to Time, Kelly Clarkson decided to set sail for Los Angeles to try to make it as a singer. She was living in a small apartment for a bit until it burned down, leaving her homeless and resulting in her having to live out of her car. After a while, she gave up and made the long drive back to Texas.

It wasn’t until she received a call back in 2002 for the TV show American Idol that her luck finally changed.

19 Hilary Swank Lived In An Oldsmobile While She Waited For Her Big Break


Has anyone noticed that Hilary Swank seems to always gravitate toward underdog roles? Well, there is a reason for that.

According to Time, the Academy Award winning actress grew up in a trailer park. As a teen, she moved to California with her mother to pursue an acting career. They ended up having to live out of a car for a few weeks, as well as stay in an empty house.

She told CBS, "We had a friend who was selling their house. And so they said, 'You know, there's no furniture, but you can stay there at night. And then, during the day, you have to leave so we can try and sell it.' So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And left in the morning."

18 Drew Carey Lived In His Car For Almost Two Years Before He Was Noticed


Before Drew Carey became host of his own talkshow, the Drew Carey Show, and the host of The Price is Right, he was a struggling comedian in Cleveland.

Zimbio reports that Drew was 18 years old when he went on a cross-country trip from Ohio all the way to Cleveland to see his brother. He was homeless for a while in Las Vegas, where he had to sell blood for cash and sleep in his car. He eventually found some work as a bank teller and a waiter at Denny's.

17 Sam Worthington Lost Everything


Before the incredibly handsome Sam Worthington received his big break with roles in Avatar and Clash of the Titans, the Australian actor was unemployed and struggling.

The Times Of India reports that Sam was living in his car before he signed up to star in Avatar. Now he is living the glorious life with his wife, model Lara Bingle, and their newborn son. He's also sold his Hawaii properties for $5 million, as Pacific Business News reports.

16 Jewel Lived In Her Car As She Toured The States Waiting For Her Big Moment


Jewel first got her big break back in the 90s. Before she made it big though, she was homeless.

As Huffington Post reports, the singer left her abusive, alcoholic father to live in an unheated cabin. She would ride a horse or hitchhike to work in Alaska. When she got a job, she refused her employer's flirtatious and didn't get paid, resulting in her being kicked out of her California apartment. She lived out of her car in San Diego for a year, writing poetry and songs, and performing gigs at a cafe.

"It’s very difficult to work your way out of that when you don’t have a physical address to put on a job application,” Jewel said, according to the site.

15 Chris Pratt Took A One-Way Ticket To Hawaii And Just Lived A Free Life

via enews

Chris Pratt has been having huge career success thanks to roles in hit movies like Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. Before all his fame and career success, he struggled, at one point even living out of a mice-infested van.

At the age of 19 Chris accepted a one-way ticked to Maui, Hawaii from a friend and lived in a flea and mice-infested van, but he claimed it was awesome.

"We just drank and smoked and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies," Pratt said. "You know it was a charming time."

But his break was around the corner. He met an actress friend who cast him in a debut, and the rest is history!

14 Tyler Perry Was Homeless For Six Years, Most In Which He Lived Out Of His Car


Tyler Perry. The man is a legend. But he wasn't always successful. He'd moved to Atlanta to launch a play. He'd saved up $12,000 and put the show up while working in a used car as a bill collector. "I thought 1,200 people would show up that weekend but only 30 showed up," he recalls, as reported by Project Casting. "My car payment, rent, everything was tied up, so I ended up homeless with no money and nothing to my name." During an interview with Essence magazine, Tyler joked by saying,

“Can you imagine a six-foot-five man sleeping in a Geo Metro?”

It would take years for him to make it, but all his effort paid off.

13 Suze Orman Lived Out Of Her Van With Friends While Traveling


Suze Orman is pretty well off now. She's an Emmy-winning financial adviser who's written many bestselling books. But, as Huffington Post reports, she once couldn't afford to live out of her van when she moved to California in the '70s. She'd take jobs to get by, such as clearing away trees. She was also a waitress and a group of her regular customers where she worked gave her a $50,000 loan to help her start her own restaurant. Unfortunately, she invested the money and lost it due to an unscrupulous broker. Although this devastated her, she used the experience to help her embark on a financial career.

12 Steve Harvey Spent Three Years Homeless While Trying To Become A Comedian


Steve Harvey is now a huge TV personality and author who seems to be on the top of the world, but at one point in his life he was homeless for three years.

During an interview with People, Harvey talked about how he had nothing and had to live  in his 1975 Ford Tempo. “I had nowhere to go,” he said, mentioning that he was forced to use an igloo cooler as a refrigerator. “It was rock bottom, but even in my darkest days, I had faith it would turn around.”

Then the call came in. The producers of Showtime at the Apollo wanted him to make an appearance, and his luck finally turned around.

11 Jim Carrey's Family Lost Everything And Had To Live Out Of Their Van


Before Jim Carrey was a big-time actor over in Hollywood, he had to live out of a van with his family.

“My father was a musician who got a ‘regular job’ to support his children," Jim said, as reported by A Plus. "When he lost that job though, that’s when everything fell apart. We went from ‘lower middle class’ to ‘poor.’ We were living out of a van. I had to quit school at the age of 15 to begin working to help support my family as a janitor.”

10 David Letterman Lived Out Of His Car After Moving To LA To Become A Comedy Writer


Ever noticed how David Letterman loves to collect cars by the dozen? Maybe it is because he is a huge car enthusiast, or maybe it has something to do with the fact he was once homeless and forced to live out of his car? Who knows.

About 40 years ago, Letterman went to Los Angeles to try to make it in the business, but didn't have a place to live so he lived out of his 1973 Chevy pickup truck, Journalistate reports. He ended up writing a gig for Jimmy Walker, and that was his big break. Now, he's one of the most respected talkshow hosts and comedians of all time.

9 Dr. Phil Lived Out Of The Car With His Dad As A Kid


So, we all know that Dr. Phil, aka Phil McGraw, is a great inspiration. He has had some pretty heavy stories on his show that have made us cry.

When one family were on his show, they were homeless and Dr. Phil opened up to them about his own struggles. "My dad and I had to split up from the rest of our family because we couldn't afford for everybody to stay together," he said, as Dr. Phil.com reports. "We spent a number of nights in our car, and then we found a room at the YMCA for $5 a week, and he and I lived there until we got an apartment that was close enough to school for me to walk. We got that in September, and we didn't have any electricity until December." He added,

"I've been there, and it does get better. You do get through it!

You guys have got to not give up hope in this situation."

8 William Shatner Lived Out Of His Pickup Truck After His Divorce


After the show Star Trek was cancelled in early 1969, William Shatner had a very hard time finding work. On top of that, he had just gone through a divorce that left him broke and with nowhere to go.

As Metro reports, the actor said he lived in a pickup truck. "It was the early 1970s and I was recently divorce," he said. "I had three kids and was totally broke. I managed to find work back east on the straw-hat circuit — summer stock — but couldn't afford hotels, so I lived out of the back of my truck, under a hard shell. It had a little stove, a toilet, and I'd drive from theater to theater. The only comfort came from my dog, who sat in the passenger seat and gave me perspective on everything."

7 Lil' Kim And Her Mom Lived In Their Car When They Ran Away


Lil’ Kim was known by many things in the 90s, one being a true beauty, another being a rap goddess. Before she found fame though, she lived in the streets.

Lil’ Kim (real name Kimberly Denise Jones), was only eight years old when her parents split up due to her father abusing her mother. She and her mom didn't have anywhere to go. "There was a time when my mother and I were living out of the trunk of her car," she said, as Complex reports. "We slept in the back seat."

She also found herself homeless again when she returned to her father and he kicked her out of the house when she was a teenager.

It wasn’t until the year 1994 when she was discovered by The Notorious B.I.G and joined the rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A that her life started to change.

6 Debbie Reynolds Had Financial Issues


It was due to unhealthy choices in romantic partners that actress and screen legend Debbie Reynolds found herself homeless. As Independent reports, she was taken in by two scoundrels who ended up stealing all her fortune, particularly her second husband who was a gambler. He left her with millions of dollars in debt. This caused her to have to live in her car. As the site reports, Reynolds said, "I was a romantic.

It never ceases to amaze me that people feel free to help themselves to my money and property." 

Here's hoping she's got better people in her life right now.

5 Colonel Sanders And His Wife Were Homeless While Looking For Someone To Buy His Chicken


When it comes to Colonel Sanders, aka Colonel Harland David Sanders, most know him as being the founder of the KFC food chain. What many do not know is that his life before that was a struggle.

He dropped out of school and was in and out of several jobs, before he became a cook. Instead of retiring at the age of 65, that was when he tried to pursue his dream. Borrowing $87, he used his chicken recipe to make fried chicken and sold it door-to-door. Before he became a billionaire by the time he was 88 years old, Colonel would try to get his name out there and that often resulted in him having to sleep in his car, The Verge reports.

4 Jim Morrison Was Homeless Before Hitting It Big In Music


Jim Morrison was pretty big in the music industry before his life was taken at the young age of 27. Before he co-founded The Doors, he lived a bohemian lifestyle.

According to More, Jim is rumoured to have slept in various places, such as underneath a pier at Venice beach. While homeless, he wrote a lot of his earlier songs for the band, The Doors. According to Factinate, Jim lived off a diet of canned beans and LSD.

3 Sally Jesse Raphael Was Homeless Before Her Career Took Off


Before Sally Jesse Raphael was a big-time celebrity known for her iconic red glasses, she was a struggling broadcaster who jumped from career to career.

According to Biography, when her first marriage ended in the '60s, Sally left Puerto Rico with her two sons, a companion and a foster son. They traveled around towns so Sally could find broadcasting work, but she often slept in her car during this time. She really battled to get regular work and was fired 18 times during this period, the site claims.

2 Danny Bonaduce Both Lived Out Of His Car And Signed Autographs


When it comes to Danny Bonaduce, aka Dante Daniel “Danny” Bonaduce, there really isn’t anything he hasn’t done.

Danny’s career first took off in the 1970s when he was hired for the role of Danny Partridge in the TV sitcom The Partridge Family. Unfortunately, during the 80s, his career started to wither. As Huffington Post reports, he was famous and homeless. After the show ended, he turned to illegal substances.

“I lived right behind this dumpster, but I lived in my car,” he says, as the site reports. “I’d wake up, kind of wipe my eyes, and I’d go right through the little arch and I’d be in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where everybody’s footprints are. I was still famous and people had no idea I lived behind the dumpster... I’d be taking pictures with people and signing autographs.”

1 James Cameron Could Barely Make Ends Meet Before Terminator


Before James Cameron was making it big with movies such as The Terminator and Avatar, he struggled just to make ends meet. In fact, he was homeless when he was writing The Terminator! SYFY reports that he'd been battling to afford permanent residence and was living out of his car.

He ended up selling the script for $1, in exchange for directing it. The movie went on to make $78 million worldwide.

References: Time, CBS, Time of India, Huffington Post, People

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