It’s a long hard slog to reach the pinnacle of Mount Celebrity. Unless you win a reality TV show, fame is elusive despite years of hard work, taking odd jobs to pay bills and suffer constant rejection. Most celebrities become burger-flippers, waitresses, and bartenders before making it big, but some have had more interesting jobs. Undertakers and adult film-set designers have lost out to the world of showbiz before finally finding their true calling. Celebrities who had interesting previous careers are featured below:
Sly is a pugnacious, tough and brave soul given that his early colleagues were much more vicious and competitive than Apollo Creed. He abandoned the University of Miami’s Drama Department without attaining his degree, and headed to NYC to seek out stardom but cleaned out lion cages at Central Park Zoo. It was probably good training for his later fights as Stallone plays characters that are scared of none!
Angelina has a macabre side as she married first hubby Jonny Lee Miller, wearing a shirt with Jonny’s name written in blood. After this, she and her second husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton, wore tiny vials of each other’s blood on their necks. Not very surprising as Jolie dabbled in funeral directing and her grandfather’s funeral helped her become an undertaker, qualifying at 14, but then decided upon acting. A teenage morbid phase which took things to the extreme?
Professor Brian Cox, the TV-presenter/physics expert failed as a pop star playing keyboards for the D:Ream band which composed the New Labour anthem -“Things Can Only Get Better”. In 1997, things did get better for New Labour, with a landslide majority but didn’t get better for the band which slid into obscurity. Brian Cox emerged years later with his show, “Wonders of the Solar System”.
Taking up casual jobs to pay her bills, actress Whoopi Goldberg was a make-up artist when she landed up in California, but she was doing make up on corpses in an actual mortuary! According to Goldberg, her manager had to talk her out of getting over her fears which helped her to work surrounded by the dead without being scared to death of them. She was glad to give that job up!
Roald Dahl maybe Sophie Dahl’s Granddad but before writing children’s books, he was a fighter pilot working in the military in the Squadron No.8 RAF in Egypt. He crashed in 1940 but survived to again take to the skies in the Greek campaign in 1941 and shooting down 5 enemy aircraft, made him a flying ace. By the end of WWII, he retired as a Wing Commander, but decided that writing children’s’ books was a gentler career.
A member of the famed 1980s Brat Pack, actress Demi Moore left school at 16 to pursue acting as a career, but surprisingly, was also a professional debt collector! Did Demi do the punching and kneecap breaking, given how ladylike and timid she is. She probably got all the debts collected peacefully and did not have to wield a baseball bat!
Tom is a deep believer in the Church of Scientology, but he was so taken with the Catholic Church that he spent time studying at a Franciscan seminary, to be a priest. May have been a good fit with persistent rumours of homosexuality? Sadly for all Catholics, Cruise was more “Reacher” than a preacher and a different church now has his undivided loyalty.
Sean Connery was destined to charm cinema audiences but could have been a milkman. The young Connery was a model for artists and a coffin polisher, a bodybuilder, labourer and lorry driver before he joined the Royal Navy and eventually did some acting!
In 1960, aspiring to become a football professional, he tried out for the Brentford FC, a 3rd Division club, but was rejected and he chose music as the choice was between playing football and singing. Luckily, Rod Stewart had other careers as silk screen printer, a funeral home gravedigger. Undertaking maybe actually be a novel pre-fame celebrity job of choice!