Jobs Before They Were Famous: 10 Crazy Celebrity Careers
Celebrities seem to have the kind of careers that dreams are made of, but it’s often not the only one they’ve had. Whether starting out in a different industry or leaving show-business to pursue other passions, stars have tackled everything from medical careers, financial careers, and even a career as a spy. Yes, for real and you’ll never believe who it was! Here are 11 celebrities who have changed careers.
10. Ken Jeong
You may recognize him as Mr. Chow from The Hangover or perhaps Señor Ben Chang on Community. But there’s also a few out there who might remember funny man Ken Jeong as Dr. Jeong. Before he was making audiences laugh, he graduated with his medical degree from the University of North Carolina and completed his residency in New Orleans, the entire time working on his comedy material. When the opportunity presented itself, Ken entered and won the Big Easy Laff-Off and caught the attention of NBC president Brandon Tartikoff and The Improv Founder Budd Friedman who both encouraged him to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in entertainment. He did just that, but like all struggling newbies in Hollywood, he needed a side-gig to pay the bills. Unlike other struggling newbies in Hollywood, his side-gig was a position as a general practitioner at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Thankfully for audiences, Ken moved on from making a handful of patients laugh to making millions of fans laugh around the world.
9. Brad Pitt
According to Brad Pitt, “strippers changed my life.” No joke. His job was to drive male strippers “to bachelor parties and things. I’d pick them up, and at the gig I’d collect the money, play the bad Prince tapes and catch the girls’ clothes. It was not a wholesome atmosphere, and it got very depressing.” But ultimately it paid off when Brad made a valuable connection. “This girl – I’d never met her before – was in an acting class…I went and checked it out, and it really set me on the path to where I am now.” Thank you, random stranger girl!