1. First of all — did you know James Lipton was a pimp in France?
After befriending a prostitute in Paris, he became a pimp, saying this about that year in his life: “I did a roaring business, and I was able to live for a year. The French mecs didn’t exploit women. They represented them, like agents. And they took a cut. That’s how I lived. I was going through my rites of passage, no question about it. It was a great year of my life.”
2. And Sylvester Stallone’s first movie was in a porn called Party at Kitty and Stud’s.
Rocky is a porn star! The move came out in 1970, and it was his very first acting role.
3. Christopher Walken also has a different kind of past: He traveled with the circus when he was 15 as a lion tamer.
A LION TAMER. AN ACTUAL LION TAMER.
4. And around that same age, Jake Gyllenhaal was given his first driving lesson by Paul Newman.
Mr. Newman was a friend of the family’s.
5. Steve Buscemi spent his early days as a New York City firefighter.
There he is in the upper left sitting on the truck. After 9/11 he went back to his old firehouse and helped out.
6. And before he broke up fights on a daytime talk show… Jerry Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati!
He held the position in 1977.
PRETTY CRAZY, RIGHT? Well, this is even crazier — some celebrities are REALLY smart…
7. Dolph Lundgren has a master’s degree in chemical engineering and won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at MIT.
He was a Ph.D. student when he met Grace Jones and moved to New York, eventually leading to modeling and acting.
8. Natalie Portman has been published in TWO scientific journals.
And went to Harvard. NO BIG DEAL.
9. Kesha has an IQ of 140 and scored 1500 on her SATs.
Tryin’ to get a little bit tipsy… on SCIENCE!!! WOOH SCIENCE!
10. Danica McKellar is a mathematician and has a theorem named after her.
It’s called the McKellar–Winn theorem.
11. And 14-year-old Nolan Gould is a member of high IQ society Mensa.
He’s a genius.
12. Elton John isn’t actually Elton John… he’s Reginald Dwight.
13. Mindy Kaling was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam…
14. Vin Diesel’s name is an anagram of “I END LIVES.”
15. And Marilyn Manson’s real name is Brian.
Brian Hugh Warner to be exact. MOVING ALONG…
16. Tom Hanks is a third cousin, four generations removed, of Abraham Lincoln.
Their common ancestor is John Hanks, who is Abraham Lincoln’s great-great-grandfather and Tom Hanks’ great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.
17. And Oona Chaplin (from Game of Thrones) is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin!
Her mother was Geraldine Chaplin, whose father was Charlie Chaplin.
OK, READY FOR THESE?
18. During World War II, Audrey Hepburn was a courier for resistance fighters in Holland.
She lived through the war in Amsterdam, where she was partly raised.
19. Woody Harrelson’s dad was an assassin.
His estranged father was the killer of federal judge John H. Wood Jr.; Harrelson has said he visited his father in federal prison.
20. Samuel L. Jackson was part of a group of students that held a group of trustees at Morehouse College hostage, one of which was Martin Luther King Sr.
The reason for the hostage situation was a demand for the school to change its curriculum and governance. The school eventually did, but Jackson was suspended and didn’t return.
21. Geena Davis is an archer who made it to the semifinals in the qualification rounds for the 2000 Olympics.
She had only started archery two years prior and placed 24th out of 300 candidates.
22. Tim Allen was arrested in 1978 for possession of 1.4 pounds of cocaine and was jailed for two years.
He got his sentence shortened by naming other people, and was then let out on parole.