39 Celebrities Who Had Unbelievable Jobs Before They Were Famous

Lion tamer, anyone?

1. Jay Z was a drug dealer.

Larry Busacca / Getty

He was a crack dealer, and admits that it helped him become business savvy.

He explained: “I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”

2. Victoria Beckham played a sperm on roller skates for a BBC sex education show.

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Yes, really.

The show was called Body Matters.

3. Patrick Dempsey was a champion juggler.

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He came second in the International Jugglers Competition and the Junior Division in 1982 and 1983.

4. Channing Tatum was a stripper. Natch.

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Yep, he didn’t just play one in Magic Mike. He was one.

He did it for eight whole months when he was 19.

5. Whoopi Goldberg was a morgue beautician.

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Prior to that, she was a bricklayer.

6. Hugh Jackman was a PE teacher at Uppingham School.

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7. Jackman also worked as a party clown, charging $50 per show.

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8. Johnny Depp sold ballpoint pens over the phone.

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9. Michelle Keegan worked as a check-in agent at Manchester Airport.

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10. Kanye West worked as a sales assistant at Gap.

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We’d imagine he gave service with a smile.

11. Matthew Morrison also worked at Gap.

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12. Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s for three years.

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She said she ‘wasn’t a very good employee’ and broke the orange juice machine.

13. Jennifer Hudson worked at Burger King.

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14. Jennifer Aniston lasted just two weeks in telemarketing.

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15. Helen Mirren worked as a promoter for an amusement park in Southend on Sea.

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16. Jon Hamm worked as a set-dresser for porn films.

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Although he’s been quick to point out that the porn was strictly ‘soft-core’ and he basically ‘moved furniture around naked people’.


17. Amy Adams worked at Hooters.

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18. Jon Bon Jovi worked as a Christmas decoration maker.

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Yes, that’s a thing.

19. Matt LeBlanc was a carpenter.

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20. And so was Harrison Ford.

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21. Demi Moore worked as a debt collector.

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22. Jim Carrey was a cleaner in a factory.

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23. Vince Vaughn was a lifeguard at the YMCA.

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24. Despite being a Scientologist these days, Tom Cruise attended a Franciscan seminary and had aspirations of becoming a priest.

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25. Lucy Liu was an aerobics instructor.

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26. Gerard Butler got a law degree from Glasgow University, but was fired from his first job and hasn’t practiced law since.

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27. Agyness Deyn worked in a fish-and-chip shop.

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28. Angelina Jolie applied to become a funeral director.

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29. Eva Mendes sold hot dogs on sticks in a shopping mall.

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30. Evangeline Lilly worked as a flight attendant.

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31. Sheryl Crow was a primary school teacher.

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Oh, and she also wrote songs for Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, and Celine Dion as well as singing backing vocals for Michael Jackson on the side.

32. Ozzy Osbourne worked in a slaughterhouse.

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Which is nice.

33. George Clooney was a door-to-door insurance salesman.

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34. Mick Jagger worked as a porter in a psychiatric hospital.

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He also lost his virginity there — to a nurse in a store cupboard.

35. Cheryl Cole was working as a waitress before her audition for Popstars: The Rivals.

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36. Simon Cowell began his career as a post boy at EMI record label, before working his way up to the very top.

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37. Nicole Kidman worked as a massage therapist.

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She dropped out of school aged 17 to work and help with finances, after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

38. Danny De Vito was a hairdresser.

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39. And finally, Christopher Walken worked as a lion tamer at a circus.

Andrew H. Walker / Getty

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Ellie Woodward is a senior celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in London. Contact this reporter at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.
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