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Michael J. Fox, Dolly Parton among stars who struggled with poverty before Hollywood success - Joggingvideo.com
25.8 C
New York
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Michael J. Fox, Dolly Parton among stars who struggled with poverty before Hollywood success

Hollywood is known as the home to the rich and famous, filled with stars who are worth millions upon millions of dollars.

While some were born into that wealth, many others weren’t. There are several actors and singers who were either born into poverty or struggled with it before they caught the break that launched their careers.

Michael J. Fox is the latest celebrity to share this kind of story, revealing that he was dumpster diving before becoming a household name.

A split image of Michael J. Fox from "Family Ties" and from a benefit this year.

Michael J. Fox’s transformation from his “Family Ties” days to his advocacy work now. (NBC / Terry Wyatt)

Fox admitted it took some time before he landed the role of Alex P. Keaton on “Family Ties,” the job that put him on the map.

As he worked a few small gigs that didn’t pay much, he found himself slowly selling off every piece of furniture in his apartment. He recalled living on a steady diet of McDonald’s and eventually just eating packets of jelly that he’d swipe from restaurants.

“I was living on the margins,” he explained in a recent interview. “I was 18 years old, with no money, no connections, literally dumpster diving for food.”

Michael J.Fox speaks at a Q+A

Michael J.Fox speaks at the Q&A for “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” at the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for SXSW)

Dolly Parton

A split image of Dolly Parton as a child and in present day.

Dolly Parton grew up in a one-bedroom cabin with her parents and 11 brothers and sisters. (Michael Ochs Archives/Suzanne Cordeiro)

Unlike Fox, Dolly Parton grew up in extreme poverty, although she’s said she doesn’t look back at her childhood through that lens.

She added, “It’s made me what I am. It’s that spiritual base; it’s that family; love of family; it’s just that simple life, feeling like part of nature.”

A photo of Dolly Parton playing guitar in 1974.

Country singer Dolly Parton performs onstage with an acoustic guitar circa 1974. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Parton was born in 1946, the fourth of 12 children in her family. She grew up in the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee, and much of her childhood was spent sharing a one-bedroom cabin with her parents and 11 brothers and sisters.

DOLLY PARTON CREDITS FAITH FOR BEING ‘GUIDING LIGHT’: ‘THROUGH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE’

While he was homeless, he didn’t particularly mind it, telling The Independent in 2014 that Hawaii was “a pretty awesome place to be homeless.”


 

 
 

 
 
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“We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food and fishing supplies,” he said then. “You know, it was a charming time.”

In 2020, he shared that his financial struggles went even further back, mentioning in an Instagram Live video that he and his family sometimes relied on food banks when he was growing up.

Chris Pratt wearing a white button down and red jacket smiles on the red carpet

Chris Pratt is now one of the highest-paid actors in the business. (Leon Bennett/FilmMagic)

“I grew up in a small town, we had 7,000 people in our town, and we had some economic hard times, and we had a food bank nearby and I’m not ashamed to say that there were moments when my family would need to eat from a food bank,” he said while urging his followers to donate to the charity Feeding America at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“There’s no shame in it – especially right now with what we are going through. There is help out there, and you can find that help and get that help, and there’s nothing wrong with needing that help.”

Growing up in a poor family with four other children, Twain recounted in a 2020 interview with The Sun that she’d started working as a singer at just 8 years old, spending late nights playing in bars around town to help her parents out.

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“Before I even graduated from high school, I’d done years of singing Top 40 country, Top 40 rock, folk, every genre,” she said.


 

 
 

 
 
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In a “Nightline” interview, she said that despite helping out financially as much as she could, there were still days that she went to school hungry.

“It’s very hard to concentrate when your stomach’s rumbling,” she said. “I would certainly never have humiliated myself enough to reach out and ask for help and say, ‘You know, I’m hungry. Can I have that apple that you’re not going to eat?'” she recounted. “I didn’t have the courage to do that.”

In a tweet he shared in 2019, he spoke more about his family’s financial situation, revealing that there was also no running water in the home he grew up in with his parents and older brother.

“Here’s a flashback,” he wrote. “I grew up without running water, so I didn’t know what a shower was until I was 15 and joined the gym. This basin and a washcloth was how we bathed.”

He showed a photo for reference, and added, “My brother and I would schlep the water from the well to the house, and then we would all clean ourselves – first my mother, then my father, then my brother, then me. The water was dirty by the time it was our turn but my brother and I weren’t going to schlep back to the well.”

In another interview, he recalled, “We lived in this little house, and there was no food. It was really my mother had to go out and beg for food when she went from farm to farm and beg for food… it was really horrible.”

“It really was like ‘Taxi Driver’ in a lot of ways… I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2014, explaining that there was a “major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere.”

In that area, he said it wasn’t out of the norm to see “people smoking crack and shooting heroin”.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the Golden Globes

Leonardo DiCaprio became an actor partly because he wanted to get out of his poverty-stricken neighborhood. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

‘TITANIC’ DIRECTOR JAMES CAMERON HAD TO CONVINCE LEONARDO DICAPRIO TO DO FILM: ‘HE THOUGHT IT WAS TOO EASY’

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