Amidst the glitz and glamour that surrounds the world of Hollywood celebrities are invaluable stories of struggles and battles with life-crippling health conditions. On the surface, we see these talented individuals who are raking millions for multi-million grossing movies, add campaigns and other projects. We see them instantly commanding attention wherever they go. They even have a group of professional photographers who have dedicated their career taking snap shots of a peek to their daily lives.
There are celebrities that can be considered as experts in beating the odds of their own lives. Their successful career and fat bank account are more than enough proof of that. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey are hugely popular for turning their lives around with hard work, talent and luck. However, there are those whom you never thought had their own struggles and spent time helping and inspiring others to be fearless in taking their own chances in life.
Rags to Riches
For as young as ten years old, some celebrities have started taking risks in hopes of furthering their life through their craft.
Shia LaBoeuf was ten years old when he started realizing that the only way for him to live the good life is through acting. Son of a Vietnam veteran who was unable to hold a steady job, Shia figured out that he could make good money for his family as an actor. When he was ten years old, he leafed through the yellow pages to find himself a manager. Over the phone, he pretended to be his own manager to convince the listed manager to take him. It must have been quite a phone call because after that, he found his way under Steven Spielberg’s wing and casted him in mega blockbuster hits like Disturbia, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Skull and all Transformer movie franchises.
Mark Wahlberg, fondly known as Marky Mark, grew up in a neighborhood where stealing and dealing drugs are part of the day-to-day scene. Eventually, due to financial problems also lived that kind of lifestyle. At his lowest point, he was sent to jail due to an assault case and stayed there for 50 days. After his release from jail, he decided to turn his life around. With the help of his brother Donnie, a member of then popular all-male group- the New Kids on the Block, he got his first big hit in the music business. Later on, he tried acting and as they say, the rest is history.
Jim Carey may be the world’s most famous rags-to-riches comedian, but life wasn’t even close to funny when he was younger. Jim spent his childhood in a camper van in Canada. He worked at a tire factory eight hours a day to help his family with the bills. Because his family was so poor, he dropped out of high school. Then he moved to LA, where he found his way to Rodney Dangerfield, who was a famous comedian at that time. With Dangerfield’s help, he got in touch with the Wayans, and that is where is exciting career has taken off. With then girlfriend Jenny McCarthy, who has an autistic son, Jim got himself involved in organizations that support children with autism.
In sickness and health
Most of celebrities hide the truth behind their alleged addiction or debilitating disease, fearing that it would tarnish their value as hot commodities. But in the case of Hollywood juggernauts Robert Downey Jr. and Michael J. Fox, they never hid any detail of their struggle with their health problems.
Robert Downey Jr. may be known for his character, the Iron Man, but the current generation is not entirely familiar with the early
struggles that he had with drugs. Robert did it all – drugs, illegal possession and carrying of firearms, trespassing and DUI. At work, major motion picture production companies don’t pay his fees in full unless he finishes the movie he signed up for, fearing that he might not be able to finish his contract due to his condition. Finally, he got hold of his life and got back up. For over eight years, Robert stayed sober and plans to stick with sobriety. His remarkable story continues to be as inspiration to the younger generations of Hollywood artists in valuing work ethics and discipline in pursuing their craft as their own lifestyle.
On the other hand, Michael J. Fox is known as a very successful actor back in the 80s and 90s. As a teen, his movies dominated the box office arena. However, by 1991, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he kept for a while. Finally, he decided to go public with his disease in 1998. Since then, he became an advocate and active supporter of organizations that researches potential cures for Parkinson’s disease. In search for cure, he established the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help provide funding to advance the current researches done to cure Parkinson’s disease. Michael has authored many inspiring books. Lucky Man is a memoir of his inspiring personal accounts on how he managed the road of acceptance and how he accomplished more things despite of his debilitating disease.
Life does not discriminate on the type of people when it comes to problems and difficulties. Struggles and hardships happen to everyone, ordinary people and celebrities alike. In CelebritySpeakers.com.au, featured speakers agree that the only way to get through life is by looking forward, drawing courage to put yourself out there and to face the odds and hope for the best.