Skip to main content

Main Area


50 first jobs of now famous actors

  • 50 first jobs of now famous actors

    First jobs: we’ve all had them, and they are rarely glamorous. Often, we are fetching coffee for our superiors, making copies, or doing data entry, all for the chance to climb the corporate ladder. But have you ever had to dress as a chicken, handing out fliers to promote a Mexican restaurant? How about paying the bills by working as an “exotic dancer?” Though they may be fabulous now, your favorite stars of the stage and screen usually did not start out that way.

    In many cases, humble beginnings led to a fierce work ethic and insatiable desire for success when holding out for fame and fortune seemed impossible. Read on to find out who made lemonade out of lemons—and went from rags to riches in the process.

  • Johnny Depp: Ballpoint Pen Salesman

    Johnny Depp’s first pre-acting gig was selling ballpoint pens over the phone. The "Pirates of the Caribbean” star found that this work helped him relate to people, a crucial skill for acting. "You had to call up these strangers and say, 'Hi, how ya doin'?' You made up a name like, 'Hey, it's Edward Quartermaine from California,'" Depp told Interview Magazine.


  • Tom Cruise: Bellhop

    Before starring in "Mission Impossible” (and did all his own stunts) Tom Cruise was carrying luggage to hotel rooms. Cruise held a number of odd jobs as a young person, and once thought about becoming a Catholic priest.


  • Ashton Kutcher: General Mills Cereal Dust Sweeper

    Kutcher got his first gig sweeping cereal dust off the floor at the General Mills factory in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His humble beginnings—paying for his studies in biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa—soon gave way to greater things, like starring in "That 70s Show.”


  • Justin Hartley: Lawn Mower

    TV star Justin Hartley used to mow neighborhood lawns with his brother for $20 each. Now that Hartley stars as Kevin Pearson on the Emmy-winning NBC series "This is Us,” he can probably afford to have someone mow his lawns for him.


  • Chace Crawford: Abercrombie & Fitch Store Greeter

    Heartthrob Chace Crawford of "Gossip Girl” fame was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a greeter for Abercrombie and Fitch while in high school. He looks back on the job with disdain, claiming he was so bored he would "beg them to let me work on the cash register.” His work paid off, as he became a model for the company’s sister brand, Hollister, and the rest is history.


  • Channing Tatum: Stripper

    The star of "Magic Mike” started his career as a stripper after dropping out of college. Though the story served as good fodder for his later film career, Tatum says that "there was nothing glamorous” about stripping, and he doesn’t miss it at all.


  • Hugh Jackman: High School PE Teacher

    Before starring on the screen and stage, Hugh Jackman was a high school gym teacher. He attributes his "Wolverine rage” to his turbulent teen years, and learned to channel that rage into sports—especially rugby.


  • Patrick Dempsey: Professional Juggler

    Though it’s a far cry from his role on "Grey’s Anatomy,” Patrick Dempsey once wanted to be a professional juggler. He even applied to join the Ringling Bros. Circus, but was rejected. 


  • Brad Pitt: El Pollo Loco Chicken Dancer

    Back before Brad Pitt was famous, he was just another guy in a chicken suit. He promoted El Pollo Loco chicken sandwiches on Sunset Boulevard in costume—a role he would probably rather forget.


  • Jon Hamm: Porn Set Dresser

    It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine the dark and mysterious Don Draper working on a porn set—but that’s exactly where Jon Hamm found himself before making it big. He described the job as "soul-crushing,” and seems glad to have moved on.


2018 All rights reserved.