The perceptions of celebrities in our minds are often those involving glamour and luxury. We see them in blockbuster hits on the big screen or hear them singing songs that play on the radio repeatedly. Because our exposure to them comes after they have "made it," it is hard to imagine them as anything other than what they are today. Just as it is hard to picture your parents before they were your parents, it is difficult to picture celebs as regular, everyday folk - which they all were at some point in their lives.
An even more consequential reminder is the grind that some celebrities had to go through on their journey to success; a gauntlet that included stints of homelessness for some. Here are a few of those stories - 10 Celebrities Who Lived In Their Cars.
Phillip McGraw, aka Dr. Phil, emerged in the '90s after regular appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. His popularity on the show ultimately led to him getting his own gig, as the host of Dr. Phil in 2002, a role for which most people know him today.
Giving life advice is his trade, but many people do not know that this advice comes from a more relateable source than just a millionaire talking head. When he was 12, he moved to Kansas City with his father, who was interning as a psychologist there. During this time, his father could not afford a roof to go over the struggling families' heads, so they lived out of his car for a brief period of time. Today, Dr. Phil attributes those hard times to his current success, stating that it taught him perseverance, dealing with adversity, and work ethic.
Dr. Phil is now worth an estimated $400 million.
The mantle at Hilary Swank's home should serve as a routine reminder for the 44 year old of how far she has come throughout her illustrious career. A winner of two Academy Awards, Swank is in a rare club of actors and actresses who have won multiple Oscars.
Her early childhood was spent in a trailer park in Washington. When Swank was just 15, her father left her and her mother. Being supportive of her daughter's dreams, her mother, Judy Kay, drove the duo to Los Angeles so that Hilary could further pursue a career in acting. They lived out of her mother's vehicle until they saved up enough money to rent a cheap apartment. Hilary has called her mom the biggest inspiration on her acting career, and does not forget this time of her life, saying that it helps her "to not take what [she] has for granted."
Hilary Swank is now worth an estimated $40 million.
A rare combination of actor, director, and screenwriter, Tyler Perry may be most well known for the popularity of his Madea universe. Although the 49 year old has generated a ton of success for himself over the years, including most recently for his iteration of Colin Powell in Vice, his career is one that ended almost as soon as it began.
After moving to Atlanta to pursue his initial dream to become a play-write, Perry invested his entire life savings of $12,000 into a play he wrote called, "I Know I've Been Changed." It was a less than stellar opening act, leaving him broke and living out of his car. He continued to persevere, determined to get it right. After multiple stints in and out of run down hotels and many sleepless nights in his car, he finally perfected it, and released it again. The rest, as they say, is history.
Tyler Perry is now worth an estimated $400 million.
As the director of Titanic and Avatar, two of the highest grossing films of all time, James Cameron is far removed from his professional struggles in the '80s. While he was writing the script for what would eventually become his break-out film, Terminator, Cameron had little more than pennies to his name. For a brief phase of this script writing process, James Cameron lived out of his car, having nowhere else to go.
When he pitched the movie to producers, they fell in love with the script but were hesitant to allow him to direct the blockbuster, as he had hardly any experience. Cameron ended up selling the rights to Terminator for $1, on the agreement that he would be allowed to direct his movie that he had become so emotionally connected to. He did, and now he is one of the highest earned directors of all time.
James Cameron is now worth an estimated $700 million.
Differing from his co-stars on this list, William Shatner's nights spent in a car came after he found success - arguably his most successful venture, to boot.
Now 87 years young, William Shatner became a household name while playing Captain Kirk in the beloved Star Trek television series. But after the series' temporary end in 1969, Shatner's life, in his own words, spiraled. He had just finalized a divorce and became strapped for cash. So strapped in fact, that James T. Kirk himself lived out of his truck - just a man, his dog, a small stove, and a toilet. Shatner would eventually find himself again, going on to reprise his role as Captain Kirk in multiple Star Trek ventures over the years, and win a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards for his work as Denny Crane in Boston Legal.
William Shatner is now worth an estimated $100 million.
A true darling of the '90s for her beautiful lyrics and soul moving voice, Jewel Kilcher literally willed her way to the top of the musical charts. After growing up in Alaska with an alcoholic and abusive father, Jewel moved out at 15 to attend Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Following her graduation at age 18, she moved to California, where she drove around from city to city, playing her music anywhere she could, for anyone who would listen. For an entire year she did this, living out of her car the whole time, until she finally caught a break when John Hogan, lead singer of the band Rust, heard her singing at a San Diego coffee shop.
Jewel is now worth an estimated $30 million.
As one of televisions hottest faces, and surely a game show host legend for his work on Family Feud, Steve Harvey was not always able to make people laugh with the ease that he does today. In the 1980s, Harvey was post-divorce and beating his head against a brick wall trying to find his way into the comedy game. Money became so tight for the struggling comedian that he began living out of his 1976 Ford Tempo.
Harvey says that this was the rock bottom moment of his life, but he always had faith that it would eventually turn around, even in his "darkest days." He finally found fortune, getting his first break on Showtime at the Apollo.
Steve Harvey is now worth an estimated $100 million.
David Letterman is universally regarded as a television legend, solidifying his place on the Mount Rushmore of late night talk shows. He first hosted Late Night with David Letterman in 1982, and he went on to host the Late Show with David Letterman from 1992-2015. Today, he hosts the Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
Before he made it onto our television screens every night, Letterman was little more than a young man with a dream. With no money, experience, or connections, he drove from Indiana to California in pursuit of show business. Work came slowly, and he was forced to live in his car until he found opportunity writing jokes for comedian Jimmy Walker.
David Letterman is now worth an estimated $425 million.
Before leading a diverse career of slapsticks like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber, to dramas like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey faced a road of trial and hardship. As a child, Jim's father had a hard time keeping work, so they lived out of a Volkswagen van for an extended period of time; this until they upgraded to a tent in his older sister's backyard. It became so dire that Jim Carrey ultimately dropped out of school to work as a janitor to help the family financially.
Carrey says that this tough time in his early life gave him the sense of humor that he has today. In 1990, he broke out on the sketch comedy series In Living Color and went on to tear up the '90s and 2000s, finding stardom naturally after getting that first initial chance.
Jim Carrey is now worth an estimated $150 million.
In a rise to prominence that almost defies all logic, Chris Pratt went from relatively unknown funny man from Parks and Rec to blockbuster superstar in the blink of an eye - landing big budget roles in Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers Infinity War.
When he was just 19 years old, Pratt dropped out of college and purchased a one-way ticket to Maui, Hawaii with his best friend at the time. He worked as a waiter at Bubba Gump's Shrimp, and lived out of a van. One fateful day, he hit it off with Rae Dawn Chung, who was left with such a high impression of him that she cast him in her directorial debut, Cursed Part III.
''The moment she told me she was bringing me to LA, I knew,'' Pratt says. ''I was like, 'This is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.'''
Chris Pratt is now worth an estimated $30 million.