Life is hard, and many of us have struggled at some point. Whether it’s taking out a payday loan with outrageous interest, trying to survive on ramen noodles, or applying for government benefits, it’s never fun trying to make ends meet. For the following celebrities, however, things were much worse. 

Let’s take a look at a few actors, singers, and other personalities who had to fight for everything they have today.

Halle Berry

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In a 2017 interview, Halle opened up about how living in a New York homeless shelter before breaking into acting changed her forever. She said, “I mean, three months later, I was out of my cash. I called my mother and asked her to send me some money, and she said no.”

Berry continued, “That subsequently led to a year of not speaking to her because I was so upset that she wouldn’t help me. That’s probably one of the best things she did for me…She said, ‘If you want to be there, then you work it out.’ And I had to work it out.”

Viola Davis

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The Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe award winner Viola grew up in Rhode Island. Born on August 11, 1965, she was one of six children and said she was raised in poverty and dysfunction. 

“I grew up in apartments that were condemned and rat-infested, and I just always sort of wanted to be somebody. I just wanted to be good at something,” she said during her speech after winning an Academy Award. Viola is truly a success story.

You’d never believe this star had a rough start…

Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lynn was born in 1969 in New York. Despite her family having a good work ethic, they were poor. Lopez shared that she always had holes in her footwear when she was a kid. When she turned eighteen, she wanted to pursue dancing full-time. 

This led to her having a big fight with her mother. Jennifer slept on a couch every night in her dance studio before securing her first professional dancing job in Europe. Today, her net worth is over a whopping $400 million.

The next actor is one wholesome man! 

Jim Carrey

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Carrey was born in 1962 in Canada. The actor and his three older siblings had a middle-class life until their father lost his job when Carrey was twelve years old. The family was then forced to live in a van and take jobs in security and as janitors. 

Jim Carrey also worked over seven-hour shifts at a factory after school almost every day. He started as a stand-up comedian at the age of fifteen, performing in clubs. He’s now worth over $190 million.

Demi Moore

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Demetria Guynes, aka Demi Moore, was born on November 11, 1962, in New Mexico. Her mother and stepfather were both alcoholics. Demi was born cross-eyed and required two surgeries to correct her eye condition. Moore also had kidney disease and needed to go to the hospital frequently. 

When she was a teenager, she and her family had moved over thirty times because her parents had a hard time keeping their jobs, thus pulling them into poverty. Her mother had trouble with the law and was charged for arson and drunk driving. A few years later, her stepfather died to suicide. Today, everything has changed for the actor. She’s now worth over $150 million.

Dr. Phil McGraw

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Born on September 1, 1950, in Oklahoma, Phil grew up with a good mother, but he didn’t see her much as she worked all the time. His father was an alcoholic who drank every night with his work colleagues.

 Eventually, his father got sober, but it came at a price. In an interview, McGraw said, “When he quit, we traded alcoholism for being dirt-poor. We lived with my older sister, who was married and had a 1,100-square-foot house.” Phil also says he and his father worked paper routes to earn money for food and rent. 

Shania Twain

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Eilleen Regina Edwards, also known as Shania Twain, was born on August 28, 1965, in Ontario, Canada. Shania’s parents got divorced when she was little, but her mom remarried, and Shania was given the last name Twain after her stepfather. 

The family had very little money and resorted to eating mayonnaise sandwiches multiple times a week. After her parents passed away in an auto accident in 1987, she had to support her younger siblings by singing in clubs. After sending a demo track to a record label in Nashville, Twain changed her first name to Shania and began her career.


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Shawn Corey Carter, aka Jay-Z, was born on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Jay-Z grew up in the Marcy Projects, an area known for being a hotspot of crime and drug activity. He’s the youngest of four children. Carter’s father left the family when he was just eleven years old. 

The lyrics of his song “Murder Marcyville” talk about his struggle to live and not succumb to violence and crack cocaine addiction. Today, Jay-Z’s net worth is $1.6 billion.

50 Cent

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On July 6, 1975, Curtis Jackson III was born in Queens, New York. His mom was a drug dealer and passed away in a mysterious fire when he was only eight years old. 50 Cent wanted to be a boxer but started selling narcotics when he was just twelve. 

This eventually landed him in boot camp prison. Jackson chose 50 Cent as his name after reading about a Brooklyn criminal with the same name.

Can you guess who the next star on this list is?

Jimmy Carter

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James Earl Carter Jr. was born in Georgia on October 1, 1924, just before the horrid Great Depression that devastated thousands of families all over America. Jimmy Carter was the first US president who was born in a hospital. His small home didn’t have electricity or plumbing. 

Carter was a hard worker and would take produce from his family’s farm into town to sell it. His ability to save money turned things around for him. When he was thirteen, Carter purchased five houses for very little money. After renting out the homes, things got better from there.