Three Celebrities With Zero Connections That Made It Big!

You’ll never guess these three celebrities who became insanely famous without having any connections in the Hollywood Industry— let’s see who they are!

It’s never easy becoming famous, especially if you come from a humble upbringing. People tend to look at these celebrities and automatically think– they must have grown up with money and that they are famous because of the connections they hold in the industry. Well, that’s not always true. There are many celebrities that come from rough childhoods and have been openly honest about it.

Leonardo DiCaprio

From What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to Titanic to The Great Gatsby and finally his latest movie, Don’t Look Up, Leonardo DiCaprio has quite the list of credits. However, his life wasn’t always so star-studded. He revealed back in February 2014 that he grew up in an unsafe and hardcore neighborhood. The 47-year-old stated that he grew up around prostitutes on his street corner and drug addicts in his alley. The star even stated that he was robbed at just five years old.

But this was the motivation that DiCaprio needed to get to where he is today as he told CBS Sunday Morning, “I think that gave me a lot of motivation to sort of, uh, I think to be successful really and try to do something else.” DiCaprio was referring to getting out of that environment.

Although DiCaprio never attended a real acting school, he did mention that he went to drama class in his junior year of high school, but he never had formal training.

How exactly did DiCaprio become this world-loved actor with such a troubled upbringing? Well, The Wolf of Wall Street star states that he grew up in an unartistic household. “I was always, kind of, imitating my dad’s friends and I would imitate everyone around us in the neighborhood,” DiCaprio told CBS Sunday Morning. The star stated that he found his calling once he knew people get paid for this.

Tom Cruise

Another huge celebrity that made it big without any connections is Top Gun star, Tom Cruise. Cruise has been open about his childhood and how he had been diagnosed with dyslexia as a child. He told TIME magazine, “It was a real problem for me.” The star also stated that he would confuse his letters, and was a slow reader. “I didn’t know how to use a dictionary. I tried, but I didn’t have a system where I could learn. I couldn’t catch up.”

Cruise also says in the same magazine article that Ron Hubbard, a prolific science-fiction novelist, helped him put a difficult childhood behind him. “I went to 15 different schools growing up,” he says, “because of par-ents divorcing, father losing jobs, transferring, trying to find another job.”

While Cruise’s father passed away in 1984, the actor mentioned that he still endures the trauma of being the new guy. “I thought, I can’t wait to grow up because it’s got to be better than this.” It’s safe to say that Cruise should be proud of what an amazing actor he has become!

Oprah Winfrey

From an American talk show host to a television producer to an actress and to an author and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of TV, has had a troubled childhood as well. Her mother, an unwed teenager, gave birth to Winfrey and spent the first five years on Winfrey’s grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Being raised on a farm was cruel, but if it wasn’t for her grandmother, Winfrey would not have been able to read very early, and even at the age of three, Winfrey was reciting poems and Bible verses in church.

“Despite the hardships of her physical environment, she enjoyed the loving support of her grandmother and the church community, who cherished her as a gifted child,” stated in the Academy of Achievement.

Her world, however, changed at the age of six when her mother sent her to Milwaukee. Her mother worked as a housemaid and became absent from Winfrey’s life. Disturbingly, Winfrey had been molested multiple times by male relatives. “The abuse, which lasted from the ages of nine to 13, was emotionally devastating,” the Academy of Achievement says. “When she tried to run away, she was sent to a juvenile detention home, only to be denied admission because all the beds were filled.”

Enduring even more trauma, Winfrey left at the age of 14, and after giving birth to a baby boy who later died in infancy, she went to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father became the safe and secure home that she needed. From then on, her path was full of success!

About the Author

Brianna DiMaio

Brianna DiMaio is a junior at The Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Digital Journalism and Media at the Bellisario College of Communications. She is currently an intern at AfterBuzz TV and Better Together with Maria Menounos.