8 Celebrities Who Peaked Before They Were Famous

Because it turns out celebrities exist even before we hear about them.

So many celebrities seem to build their entire lives around careers in entertainment.

Good for them. They knew what they wanted to do, and they were actually lucky and talented enough to be successful. But for a lot of these people, it's hard to imagine how they would function in the world without their celebrity status. That's why people freak out when they find out that Taylor Swift can cook. She not only eats people food, she actually knows how to prepare it! Do you think she even washes her own dishes?!

But there is another class of celebrity. People who had full, interesting, and often insane lives before anyone had ever heard of them. People like...

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Before They Were Stars—Madonna Pre-Fame Jobs

Even before fame, Everyone wondered, Who's That Girl?

madonna pre famous jobs—before music, dancing, movies, and motherhood, Madge had some gigs she would Live to Tell about

Today's most famous Material Girl wasn't always a mega-star.

Madonna worked some "normal" jobs before wearing ass-less chaps and playing tonsil hockey with Britney Spears.

Of course, "Madge" has a full-time staff and enough money to never work again for even a day for the rest of her eccentric life, but she still rocks the concert stage like no other bitch in the business.

But before music, dancing, movies, and motherhood, Madonna had some gigs that she would Live to Tell about.

Take 4 Minutes and read on for a few surprises from Madonna's past.

You'll be wondering, Who's That Girl?

As per Biography, Madonna attended the University of Michigan with a full scholarship to their dance program.

A sorority sister she was not, but her dancing skills led her to the opportunity to study with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in The Big Apple.

However, she dropped out of school to pursue her dreams of stardom.

Biography tells us that in order to make ends meet, Madonna took some "interesting" jobs in the city.

Madonna pre-famous jobs:

One of which was nude modeling for art classes.

Madonna's not shy about showing some skin, so this must have been the perfect gig for the exhibitionist. Sitting around while others were ogling her was something she'd probably do for free!

She was also a waitress at the swanky Russian Tea Room.

Vodka and caviar are right up Madge's alley so she must have swiped a taste or two from some unfinished dinner plates. Classy.

In other food news, Popcrush notes that while in NYC, Madonna also worked at Dunkin' Donuts. While donuts don't make for a dancer's body, a munchkin here and there helped keep Madonna's energy up.

Lucky for her, the "time to make the donuts" was short-lived.

In fact, Popcrush quotes Madonna confessing, "I was sacked from Dunkin' Donuts for squirting the donuts jelly all over the customers!"

Well, that's one way to Express Yourself, we suppose.

More appropriate for Madonna's taste, Zimbio notes that the singer did some modeling as well while in NYC.

Anything to get in front of a camera is a job well-done for Madonna.

Soon, as per Biography, Madonna got a studio band together and a friend wrote her first hit, Everybody.

It soared to the top of the dance charts in 1982 and by the next year, a full-length album was recorded.

Madonna must have had her own Lucky Star, because ever since, she's been one of the biggest celebs of all time.

Take a Bow, Madonna, you're Into the Groove for life!

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It's hard to imagine a time when the name Sarah Jessica Parker came up and the first thing that came to mind wasn't "Carrie Bradshaw."

Sex and the City will go down in history as one of the best NYC-based series ever created, and thanks to the part played by SJP, any modern gal knows whether or not she's a "Carrie."

Sure, all turned out splendid for Carrie—she became a published author, her friendships stayed tight year after year, and of course, she finally got hitched to "Mr. Big."

And as we know, SJP's real life ain't all too shabby either. She lives luxuriously in Manhattan with her actor hubby Matthew Broderick, and hangs with A-list pals including reality TV host with the most, Andy Cohen.

But before fame and fortune, Sarah was a girl from a large family of modest means trying to make her way into the spotlight. As we know, Sarah succeeded, but not without struggle. Here's a taste of SJP pre-fame, and why you'll be rooting for our fave sex columnist even more once you're done reading.


Before They Were Stars—Jon Bon Jovi Pre-Fame Jobs
Before They Were Stars—Brad Pitt Pre-Fame Jobs
Before They Were Stars—Nicki Minaj Pre Fame Jobs

According to Biography, Sarah grew up in "relative poverty" as the fourth of eight (take that Kate Gosslin) siblings. Her talents blossomed early, either due to need or desire, and Sarah helped the family monetarily by performing in dancing and singing gigs in the community of Nelsonville, Ohio. Just like Honey Boo Boo… kinda.

Despite the family's hardships, the family moved to Cincinnati where Sarah took singing, theater, and ballet classes, as per The Muse, and was cast in the Broadway revival of William Archibald's The Innocents, as per Wikipedia, after she and four of her siblings appeared in a production of The Sound of Music in Missouri.

In 1979, Sarah landed a dream-come-true role for a young girl as the star of Annie on Broadway in Manhattan until 1980, as per Biography, and before long, she landed a gig in Footloose, according to Viralscape, in the role of "Rusty."

Soon SJP made it to the small screen as a total geek in her role on the TV show, Square Pegs, according to Biography. Her geekiness was a far cry from the Carrie Bradshaw she'd portray in decades to come!

From there, movie roles and more TV gigs took Sarah to the next level in her career, eventually landing her the iconic SATC role and many more since.

From rags to riches, this leading lady was a born star!

Jon Bon Jovi

Brad Pitt

Nicki Minaj


Nick Cannon

Luann de Lesseps

Sarah Jessica Parker

Charlize Theron

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but would it be as catchy?

If roses were called Eugene would your beloved really swoon over a dozen? Same goes for actors.

Many have changed their birth names to sound flashier to those influential Hollywood players.

The following stars aren’t who you thought they were. Do you think they’d still be successes if the credits read another way?

Alicia Keys

The talented and gorgeous Keys actually wasn’t born a Keys at all. Alicia’s birth name is actually Alicia Augello Cook.

Watch This Amazing Nun Sing Alicia Keys on The Voice Italy

We’re guessing the name change must have something to do with her inedible casseroles and burnt toast.

If A Woman’s Worth is all in her name, Alicia has the “keys” to our hearts.

Whoopi Goldberg

Unless her mom went bananas at birth and screamed “Whoopi” after the epidural set in, you may have guessed that Whoopi may not be The View host’s real name.

Whoopi Goldberg Farts on The View

That said, does she really look like a Caryn Elaine Johnson to you?

“You in danger girl” just doesn’t sound as foreboding from a woman plainly named Caryn.


Of course it would be ludicrous to name your child Ludacris (although we’re betting some crazed Ludacris fans have named their offspring as such).

Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges which is much more mainstream to say the least.

The change in name has surely worked out just fine for the rapper and actor – it’s What Them Girls Like.

Vin Diesel

While the name suits the strapping hunk of a man just perfectly, the Fast & Furious star was born Mark Sinclair, which sounds more like a buttoned-up businessman.

While no one messes with Diesel, you may have found Sinclair on the cutting room floor.

Sure, they are big stars now, but these famous film and TV superstars got their big break in the biz on sappy soap operas.

Who knew daytime television could transform these one-time nobodies into household names?

Courteney Cox and Demi Moore Are Now Interchangeable

Grannies, college kids, and housewives used to tune in to these former soap stars never knowing that one day they’d be Hollywood royalty. Take a step back in TV time and check out the stars who made their acting debuts in the sudsiest of ways.

Demi Moore

The sexy siren is well known for her flinty voice and starring roles in films such as A Few Good Men, Striptease, and G.I. Jane, but as a teenager, Ms. Moore landed her first TV gig on soap General Hospital.

She played the role of Jackie who had a steamy romance with an older fella, but left the soap after a year when she scored some bigger parts in films.

Patrick Swayze would have had a heck of a lonely time spinning pottery without Demi between his thighs.

Brad Pitt

Who knew Mr. Jolie was once a struggling actor playing the role of Chris on Another World?

You may remember him as a young stallion in the bad-ass chick movie, Thelma & Louise, but soap opera status for Brad is simply the pit(t)s.

Gwyneth Claims Brad Was Too Good for Her

Now the father-of-six is one of the most famous actors on the planet.

Another World… you ain’t kidding!

John Stamos

Uncle Jesse, is it so?

Indeed. This ageless heartthrob made his mark on the hit General Hospital at the tender age of 18 as foster child Blackie in the early ‘80s.

He stuck with the show for about 2 years before nabbing larger roles like that on Full House, ER and of course, those seductive Greek yogurt commercials.

Meg Ryan

The bubbly girl next door made her start on the popular soap, As the World Turns, playing, Betsy.

While she’s a bit off the Hollywood radar these days (aside from cruel plastic surgery jabs), who would have been Sleepless in Seattle or getting mail if Ms. Ryan stayed with daytime television?


Frontpage Popular News

Bruce Jenner Through The Years

Bruce Jenner has gone through a lot of changes over the years.

The former Olympian has often come under the spotlight for his changing face, with speculation that he has gone under the knife numerous times.

But the rumor mill really ramped up following his divorce from Keeping up With the Kardashians matriarch Kris Jenner.

There had been gossip for many years that Bruce liked to dress as a woman, with one of his three ex-wives, Chrystie Crownover, going public with claims that Jenner was a cross-dresser and that he wanted to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Crownover’s claims were initially taken with a large pinch of salt, however, recent developments have lent credibility, as Jenner’s appearance seemingly becomes more feminine by the day.

Although Bruce has yet to publicly confirm he is going through a gender transformation—that’s the general consensus, and tonight he will be sitting down for a two hour interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer to discuss his “journey.”

As Popdust previously reported, during the ABC 20/20 special, Jenner is expected to use the opportunity to bid “a farewell to Bruce”—and, although he won’t be dressing as a woman, or revealing his new gender appropriate name, according to TMZ, he sees the interview “as the most significant event associated with his sex change—more significant than the surgical procedures that will get him there.”

Ahead of tonight’s interview, Popdust takes a look back at Jenner over the years—from fresh faced High School senior, to 65-year-old father-of-six, bravely facing the biggest change of his life that anybody could ever fathom.

Check out the gallery below, and tune into ABC at 9/8 central to watch Diane Sawyer’s exclusive interview with Bruce Jenner.