Even after years of determination and hard work, thousands of people have failed to become a star while some of the most well-known celebrities achieved greatness just by chance and solely due to a stroke of luck. Being present at the right place at the right time, here are some celebrities discovered out of the blue:
15. Harrison Ford
Fed up from making ends meet as a carpenter, Harrison Ford made his goal of establishing himself as an actor only to have minor roles in television shows and a few uncredited roles in movies.
Once hired by director George Lucas to read the lines for the actors auditioning for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the filmmaker was convinced that Ford would be a perfect asset to the film and awarded him the lead role of Han Solo.
With more than 50 movies under his belt, Ford has starred in numerous blockbuster movies such as Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, Air Force One, and the installments of Indiana Jones and Star Wars.
14. Vin Diesel
Passionate about becoming a household name in Hollywood, young Vin Diesel directed Multi-Facial, a short film he also starred in as a struggling actor. Accepted for screening at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, it caught the eye of director Steven Spielberg.
Two years later, Diesel directed and starred in his first-ever feature film titled Strays and again impressed the Hollywood director who became motivated to write a special part for him in his then-upcoming film, Saving Private Ryan – launching a promising career.
13. Danny Trejo
While working as a drug counselor, a patient requested to accompany him on the set of Runaway Train. Based on his rugged look, Danny Trejo was immediately cast as a boxer in the movie for a daily pay of $320.
Since then, the actor has enjoyed a fair share of success and fame in more than 250 films and numerous roles on television to the point of being regarded as a “film legend” by several media outlets.
12. Sarah Michelle Gellar
At the tender age of four, Sarah Michelle Gellar was noticed by an agent while eating at a restaurant in Upper Manhattan, New York. Soon after appearing in a Burger King commercial in which she criticized McDonald’s, her acting career launched.
Gaining success at a very early point of her career in mainstream films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2, Gellar is best known for her lead role as Buffy Summers in the supernatural television show Buff the Vampire Slayer.
11. Channing Tatum
As a fast-rising star, Channing Tatum has big things ahead of him but that would have not been possible if he had decided to keep his job as a male stripper. Moving to Miami to do something better with his life, Tatum was soon spotted by a modeling scout on the street.
Quickly accepting the offer, Tatum appeared in print ads for Nautica and The Gap. His modeling work helped him appear in a few television commercials and music videos before eventually establishing him as a fine actor.
10. Evangeline Lilly
Working as a waitress and a flight attendant to pay for her educational endeavors, Evangeline Lilly’s life took a different turn when she was noticed by an agent from Ford Modeling Agency while walking on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia.
Reluctant about becoming an actress, she did not sign but took the agent’s business card. Facing the ever-growing hardships of odd jobs, Lilly finally contacted the agency and began appearing in television commercials before getting her big break of starring in Lost as Kate Austen.
9. Will Smith
With an amazing career as an actor, some people find it hard to believe that Will Smith first started as a rapper in the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Lost while going to a sporting event, Smith asked for directions from a man in the local parking lot.
Out of all people, he turned out to be producer Benny Medina. Already aware of Smith and his work, Medina discussed with him about starring in a new sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and his career as an acclaimed actor began.
8. Nick Jonas
As one of the most talented boy bands in a long time, the Jonas Brothers have continued to make music and steal the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. However, things could have been much different if their mother did not take then-6-year-old Nick with her for a haircut.
When someone overheard him singing, he referred Nick to a show business manager, and a year later, Nick began to star in Broadway shows. Utilizing his success to begin a music career, he eventually bagged a recording gig for himself and his older brothers Kevin and Joe and that is how The Jonas Brothers were formed.
7. Lana Turner
Education is important and skipping classes is never a wise decision. However, in the case of Lana Turner, it landed her a career as an actress. Then a 16-year-old Hollywood High School student skipped a typing class and went to Top Hat Malt Shop where was spotted by the publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.
Astounded by her beauty, he quickly referred her to actor and agent Zeppo Marx. Once graduating and signing with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $100 a week, Turner excelled exceptionally as an actress in the black-and-white era of Hollywood.
6. Charlize Theron
To become a professional dancer, Charlize Theron moved from South Africa to New York for dance classes but a knee injury forced her to make other plans. While arguing with a bank teller to withdraw money from an account in South Africa, Theron was discovered by a talent agent who offered his help to become an actress.
Though her earlier movies were far from extraordinary, Theron gradually improved herself over the years as a talented performer to the point of winning an Academy Award for Best Actress once from two nominations.
5. Eva Mendes
When an agent noticed her in the background of one of her friends’ portfolios, he immediately contacted Eva Mendes to hire her as an actress. Even though her success in the early stages was very minimal, the road to commendation gradually appeared.
Apart from being an actress, Mendes has served as a model and ambassador for Revlon, Calvin Klein, Reebok, Pantene shampoo, Magnum ice cream, Thierry Mugler perfume, and Morgan clothing brands.
4. Pamela Anderson
Before Pamela Anderson was hailed as the most beautiful woman in the world, she was merely a fitness instructor. Who would have thought that one faithful day of attending a B.C Lions football game would change her entire future instantaneously?
Wearing a tight Labatt beer t-shirt, Anderson received rowdy applause when she appeared for a few seconds on the stadium’s huge video screen. The Labatt beer company received abundant phone calls about her and was forced to hire her as their spokesmodel. Within a year, Anderson had a Playboy shoot and eventually started her career as an actress.
3. Johnny Depp
As the most versatile actor in Hollywood, it is astonishing to know that acting was not at all a goal for Johnny Depp. When his ambition of being a rockstar failed to take him anywhere, Depp spent much of his days drenched in boredom.
Once his friend asked to accompany him to the auditions of Nightmare on Elm Street, Depp was happy to oblige because he “had nothing else to do”. Much to the dismay of his friend, director Wes Craven cast him as the heroin’s boyfriend.
Today, Depp is a certified A-lister in Hollywood and also got to live his dream of becoming a musician by collaborating with several musicians now and then such as Marilyn Manson and the rock band Oasis.
2. Marilyn Monroe
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, the last thing anyone expected from her was to become a pop-cultural icon when it comes to beauty. To capture morale-boosting photographs of young women helping in World War II, photographer David Conover shot some photos of Norma in a factory where she worked.
Seeing how photogenic she was, Conover recommended Norma pursue a career in modeling. Taking on the stage name of Marilyn Monroe, she quickly became a big-time model and later an actress. Even more than fifty years after her apparent suicide, Monroe remains a beauty queen known for her incredible sex appeal and charisma.
1. Justin Bieber
Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is arguably the most popular singer alive today and his fame can be compared with Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley. Destined for greatness, Bieber learned to play guitar, drums, piano, and the trumpet at a very early age.
When his mother uploaded several of his singing performances on YouTube for his family and friends can see, talent manager Scooter Braun quickly contacted his mother to help his son pursue a singing career and the rest is history.
Do you have any names to add to this list of celebrities discovered out of the blue? Feel free to leave a comment below!