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50 first jobs of now famous actresses

  • 50 first jobs of now famous actresses

    Forbes’ most recent list of top-paid actresses reported that Jennifer Lawrence made $18 million in 2018. "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot made $10 million. But for most famous actresses, it wasn’t always that way. It’s hard to believe that one started out as a nanny and the other at Burger King. Like most people, they started at the bottom and worked their way up, taking odd jobs to make ends meet.

    Stacker went through interviews from talk shows, biographies, and publications like The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times to find the first jobs of 50 famous actresses. Data from Celebrity Net Worth and Bank Rate is also factored in to see just how far they’ve come. Some starlets seemed destined for fame, and others had to take on challenging gigs to earn celebrity status. Many actresses found a connection between their first jobs and acting, helping to mold these successful fan favorites into the stars we know and love.

  • Madonna: Dunkin' Donuts Cashier

    The "Material Girl” worked as a cashier at Dunkin' Donuts in New York City, though she only lasted a week. Why was she fired? "I was playing with the jelly squirter machine,” she told Howard Stern in a 2015 interview


  • Amy Poehler: Birthday Singer

    Comedian Amy Poehler's first job in New York was serving ice cream to "whiny kids" at a Manhattan parlor. Her claim to fame back then was singing to birthday boys and girls, leading her fellow employees in a chant.  

  • Eva Longoria: Wendy's Burger Flipper

    Longoria gushed about her time at Wendy’s in an interview with She started working there when she was 14, and continued for six years. She's even still in touch with her former manager. Soon after, a beauty pageant brought her to Hollywood, where she decided to stay and pursue acting. Today, the actress is worth $50 million.


  • Geena Davis: Human Mannequin

    Before she was an actress, Davis worked as a fashion model. After her Ann Taylor boss saw the crowd she’d attract pretending to be a mannequin in the display window, she hired her to do it full-time. "I had an uncanny ability to be still,” she said in an interview with NPR


  • Mariah Carey: Pet Shop Worker

    One of the world’s biggest divas wasn’t always worth $300 million. She revealed in an interview that her very first job was at a pet shop. She’d been talking voice lesson since the age of four, and was eventually signed to Columbia Records at 18.


  • Octavia Spencer: Production Crew

    Octavia Spencer started off working as part of the production crew for films like "Tom and Huck” after graduating from Alabama University with a degree in English. After several directors urged her to audition, she landed her first role.


  • Beyonce Knowles: Hair Sweeper

    The international superstar made her first paycheck (in the form of tips) by sweeping hair off the floor of her mother’s hair salon, Headliners. She had been entertaining customers since the age of six. According to an interview in Essence, Knowles used the money to pay for a season pass to Six Flags.


  • Emma Stone: Dog Treat Seller

    Stone started acting at the age of 11, getting her first break on a reality show called "In Search of the Partridge Family.” In a video for Hollywood Reporter, the actress revealed that her first non-acting job was selling dog treats from Three Dog Bakery at a Los Angeles farmers market.


  • Mila Kunis: Barbie Girl

    After Kunis’ family moved to the U.S. from the Ukraine when she was seven, her parents enrolled her in acting classes to improve her English. After booking her first job in a Barbie commercial, she got to keep the doll, which inspired her to keep working in the industry (in hopes of getting more free toys). She was cast in "That 70’s Show" at 14 years old.


  • Sarah Paulson: Pizza Seller

    During high school, Paulson worked a grand total of 24 hours at Circle Pizza. After calling her mom four times to ask how to spell "parmesan,” it was clear that the gig wasn’t for her. 


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