It’s easy to assume that celebrities are born into easy lives filled with opportunities that us average individuals would never be offered. The truth is that success is often created despite incredible hardships. Here are three celebrities who were faced with misfortune early on in their lives but went on to become some of the most famous, successful individuals on the planet.
At just 2 feet 8 inches tall, Verne Troyer is one of the shortest men in the world but he has never let his unique predicament stop him from becoming an A-List celebrity. Though he appeared in numerous movies as both an actor and a stuntman throughout the 90s, Troyer rose to fame in 1999 after featuring in ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’ alongside Mike Myers. He continues to maintain a successful career to this day. Most notably Verne Troyer and bgo came together to create ‘The Boss’, a character that patrons of the online casino “bgo” are encouraged to beat at a variety of games.
Born in Sturgis, Michigan, on January 1, 1969, Troyer was diagnosed with cartilage-hair hypoplasia dwarfism fairly early on in his life. Still, Troyer has always said that his parents “never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals.” Troyer has admitted to hiding in lockers throughout his school days in attempts to scare the other children, antics that possibly lead to him being crowned Prom King.
With two Golden Globes and a lengthy acting career under his belt, it is hard to believe that comedian Jim Carrey was once homeless. From an early age, Carrey was incredibly extroverted and could often be found performing sketches for anyone who would pay attention. In fact, Carrey believed in his natural comedic talents so much that he even posted his resume to The Carol Burnett Show at just 10 years old.
Unfortunately, soon after Carrey turned 12 his father lost his job and the family were forced to move away from their hometown and live in a camper van. Every member of the Carrey family took janitorial and security jobs to help them get by, including Jim, who worked 8-hour shifts after school to help out. Carrey has described this section of his life as a traumatic kick in the guts. Thankfully, Carrey has managed to put this part of his life behind him and has gone on to have a wonderfully successful career.
Finally, there’s the legend herself Oprah Winfrey. With one of the most successful careers in history and a net worth of over $2.9 billion, it’s hard to believe that Winfrey was able to overcome some of the hardships she faced as a child.
Winfrey was born into an economically challenged area of Milwaukee to a single, teenage mother in 1954. Soon after she was born, Winfrey’s mother departed for a short time and so Oprah was left to live with her grandmother in terrible conditions until the age of six. At nine, Oprah was sexually assaulted by her cousin and as she grew older a family friend, her mother’s boyfriend, and her uncle all began to abuse the young girl. At 13, Oprah ran away from home and at 14 she became pregnant with a premature son who died shortly after being born.
Despite all of this, Oprah went on to excel in drama and public-speaking classes at high school and eventually became the Oprah Winfrey we all know and love today.