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Celebrities who came from nothing: Inspiring rags-to-riches stories

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Rich & Famous
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By Stuart Hahn

October 12, 2022

Let’s face it – we all get envious of how charming celebrities’ lives are. Be it huge mansions, copious amounts of money, good looks, fame, or never having to worry about bills. Their lifestyle feels nothing less than a dream, and we would love to swap our boring lives with theirs any time of the day.  

While it may seem like these rich and famous celebs were born into luxury, there are some renowned celebrities who came from nothing. They played their cards (and their roles) right and carved their way to success.

These inspiring rags-to-riches stories prove that there is hope for everyone. It takes perseverance, hard work, and a good amount of good fortune to make it to the top. 

Check out these heart-touching stories of your favorite celebrities:

Leonardo DiCaprio


Apart from “Titanic”, which became the highest-grossing movie of all time, there are many other Oscar-winning movies that got Leo to where he is now.

Although he has a net worth of $260 million now, that wasn’t always the case. Growing up in L.A, his father sold comic books while his mother worked multiple jobs; neither of them earning enough money to spend a good life.

In an interview in 2016, he told the Telegraph magazine “Money was always on my mind, so I was always wondering how we were going to afford this and that. Acting seemed to be a shortcut out of the mess.”  

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah’s success story is truly remarkable and an inspiration to all. Born into poverty to a teen single mother in rural Mississippi, she was raised by her grandmother. After suffering from endless sexual and physical violence, Oprah was sent to live with her father in Tennessee. There, she started working for a local radio station after high school and that is when she discovered her passion for media.

At 19 years of age, she started working as a co-anchor for the local news. All her hard work and endurance did not go to waste for she now has a whopping net worth of $3.5 billion.

Leighton Meester

Our favorite queen bee from Gossip Girl was not always as chic and glamorous as she is now. She was born in a Texas prison as her mother served time for smuggling drugs. Her mother was allowed to spend 12 weeks with her newborn but was sent back to jail soon after. Leighton grew up with her grandmother in Florida until her mother got out of prison.

At the age of 10, she started modeling in New York. After four years, she started auditioning for different roles and started taking acting classes. After all her hardships, she is now worth approximately $3 million.


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