Since the beginning of time, humans have thought that it is a good idea to document their lives in pictures. We have cave paintings from the prehistoric era, we have portraits of nobles from the Middle Ages, and since the beginning of the 19th century, we have photography. You could say that humans freeze time in these still pictures to make some memories last for eternity.
It is not only fun to capture and reminisce about your own memories, but also to see what other people looked like when they were younger or at a certain point in their life. Have you ever wondered what celebrities looked like before they got famous? What did they do in their life and how did they find their way to stardom? If you have, here are some photos of well-known people before they achieved mainstream popularity.
18-Year-Old Robin Williams In His Senior Year Of High School In 1969
Robin Williams started studying political science, but realized that this field was not for him and dropped out to pursue acting. He studied theatre for three years at the College of Marin in California. One of the professors, James Dunn, said that he realized how talented Williams was when he was cast in the musical Oliver! as Fagin. When he attended Juilliard, during summers he worked as a busboy. After he graduated, he tended a bar, but managed to work his way up to making his first stand-up performance. Later he appeared in television and one of the shows was Mork & Mindy (1978-1982), which can be credited with making Williams famous.
Keanu Reeves Circa 1984
Keanu Reeves was a successful ice hockey goalkeeper and he was considering becoming a professional ice hockey player, but he made up his mind to become an actor when he was 15. He made his acting debut in 1984 in an episode of the television series called Hangin' In. In the late 1980s, Reeves got some roles in dramas aimed at teen audiences. Reeves also wanted to give music a try and in 1991, he formed an alternative rock band called Dogstar, which was moderately successful and was active until the early 2000s. In 1991, he got a leading role in Point Break and in 1994 he starred in Speed, which established him as an action movie hero and he rose to stardom for playing Neo in the science fiction series The Matrix in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Morgan Freeman In Air Force Somwhere In Between 1955 And 1959
Morgan Freeman made a debut as an actor in a school play when he was 9 years old. He won a statewide drama competition when he was 12. While in high school, he performed in a radio show. He got a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, but he chose to enlist in the United States Air Force instead. After the service, Freeman worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles City College and also studied arts there. In addition to that, he worked as a dancer and started getting acting jobs. He became famous in the 1970s for his role in the children's television series The Electric Company.
26-Year-Old Joe Biden Circa 1968
In school, Joe Biden was class president and played basketball. He also briefly played football in college. When he graduated in 1968, Biden started working at a Wilmington law firm as a clerk. Later, he was admitted to the Delaware bar and practiced law. Joe Biden served in the United States Senate for 36 years from 1973 through 2009. He became a more familiar face not only in the US, but also in international politics in 2009 when he went on to serve as vice president of the United States with President Barack Obama.
Jim Carrey In The 1980s
Jim Carrey’s family struggled financially, so he and his brother John, teenagers at that time, would work as janitors and security guards at a tire factory. While working at the factory, Jim Carrey dropped out of school and started to perform comedy in downtown Toronto. He was steadily increasing his local Toronto-area popularity as an impressionist stand-up comic, going on a tour and appearing on television. The show that made him more popular and landed him the roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and The Mask (1994), which skyrocketed his career, was In Living Color.
Susan Sarandon When She Was 17 Years Old In 1963
Susan Sarandon studied drama and, during her college years, supported herself by cutting hair, cleaning houses, and working as a switchboard operator. Not long after she graduated, Sarandon started her acting career in the drama film Joe. Then she appeared in several movies until she landed a part in the musical comedy horror film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). It was a cult favorite and later, her career really picked up the pace when she appeared in The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Bull Durham (1988).
Peter Dinklage In The 1980s
The moment Dinklage realised he really wanted to pursue a career in acting was in his teen years. In 1984, he saw the production of the play True West written by Sam Shepard and it inspired him so much that it determined the direction of his life. Dinklage went to Bennington College and studied drama there. But at the beginning of his career, Dinklage struggled. He had to work at a data processing company for six years to make ends meet. He wasn't getting any work as an actor partially because he refused roles where the focus of the character would be his achondroplasia. But his time to shine came with the 2003 movie The Station Agent, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor. And the role that made Dinklage's name known worldwide was of Tyrion Lannister in the fantasy drama Game of Thrones.
Tom Hanks In 1974
Tom Hanks decided he wanted to be an actor after reading Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh and watching the performance. So he enrolled into the theatre programme at California State University. When he didn’t have to study, Tom Hanks played in the theatre and worked backstage. Eventually he dropped out and went to audition after audition until he started getting small roles. Those roles paved a path to getting a role in Ron Howard's Splash (1984). The movie was a success and after that, Tom Hanks became a recognizable face. But it was with Big (1984) that he became an established Hollywood star.
15-Year-Old Dwayne Johnson Circa 1987
Dwayne Johnson, or The Rock, is a well-known actor, who appeared in a good amount of successful movies. Actually, his films have grossed over $10.5 billion worldwide, and that makes him one of the world's highest-grossing actors. But before he started his acting career, Dwayne Johnson was succeeding in sports. At first, he was professionally playing football, but not long after he graduated college, he started his career as a professional wrestler. The nickname The Rock comes from his days in the ring. He became quite a star by the late 1990s and that led to being offered to appear in movies. The movie that made him a wrestler who is also a movie star was 2001’s The Mummy Returns.
Nirvana In 1990
Singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic met at school and three years later formed a band. They had a few drummers before finally being introduced to Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana’s first album Bleach was released in 1989 and became a favorite of college radio stations. They initially sold 40,000 copies. The group found mainstream success with their single Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991 from the album Nevermind, which became so popular it was selling 400,000 copies a week in the US and eventually sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Sean Connery During His Time With The Royal Navy In 1946
Sean Connery's first job was as a milkman in Edinburgh before he joined the Royal Navy at age 16. After 3 years, he was discharged on medical grounds and returned to his hometown. There he had quite a few jobs: a lorry driver, a lifeguard, a labourer, an artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art, and a coffin polisher. In the 1950s, Connery started getting roles as extras, but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet, so he worked part-time as a babysitter. Later, Connery appeared in several movies, even getting lead roles, but the one that made him a renowned actor was that of James Bond in the 1960s.
16-Year-Old Angelina Jolie In Circa 1991
Angelina Jolie liked watching movies with her mother when she was little and that was mostly what inspired her interest in acting. Jolie attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for two years and appeared in some stage productions. Later, Jolie studied drama at New York University. She appeared in her brother’s student films as well as several music videos, and worked as a model. Her first leading role as a professional actress was in 1993 in Cyborg 2, but she didn’t like the outcome and that made her not audition for a year. Jolie’s first breakthrough could be considered her portrayal of supermodel Gia Carangi in Gia (1998). And the role that made her an international superstar was that of Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Rider in 2001.
Christoph Waltz In 1975
Christoph Waltz wasn’t interested in theatre at the beginning. Since the first time he went to an opera at age 10, he was fascinated by it and would visit it twice a week. Although he studied acting in university, he didn’t forget about his true passion and at the same time studied singing and opera. Eventually, he decided that his voice wasn’t suited for opera singing. At first Waltz worked as a stage actor and also directed a German television production, Wenn Man Sich Traut. His breakthrough movie was Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009), after which he started receiving numerous awards for acting.
Eminem In The 1980s
The first rap song Eminem ever heard was Reckless by Ice-T, Chris "The Glove" Taylor & David Storrs, released in 1984. He began rapping himself when he was 14. Eminem released his first album Infinite in 1996, but it was a commercial failure. Everything changed when he adopted the character Slim Shady and released a new album in 1997, Slim Shady EP. The album caught the attention of Dr. Dre of Aftermath Entertainment. He invited Eminem to work together and released the album Slim Shady LP in 1999, which brought Eminem worldwide fame.
Lady Gaga In The 2000s
Music was a part of Lady Gaga’s life since childhood, when she started learning the piano at age 4. As a teenager, she played at open mic nights. She also studied method acting for ten years, but she didn’t get any significant roles in her auditions. While studying in New York, she performed in clubs until she was noticed by a talent scout and that helped her on her way to stardom. Lady Gaga got famous after her debut album The Fame, which included the singles Just Dance and Poker Face. The latter was the world's best-selling single of 2009.
Bob Marley When The Song "Rude Boy" Was Released In 1964
Bob Marley started to play music in primary school with his friend Neville Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer). After moving to Trenchtown, Kingston, the two friends got to know Higgs and Wilson, a successful vocal duo. Higgs was the one who helped Bob Marley to learn to play the guitar. In 1963, Bob Marley and his friends founded the group Teenagers, and after a few name changes, they stuck to The Wailers. Their single Simmer Down sold an estimated 70,000 copies. The band’s rise to stardom began in the 1970s when they signed a contract with Island Records and released Catch a Fire.
Christian Bale In 1990
Christian Bale was inspired to become an actor after studying the work of actor Gary Oldman. The first time he appeared on television was in a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor in 1982. His first stage debut was in 1984 in The Nerd with Rowan Atkinson. Two years later, he appeared in his first movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. After that, he got leading roles in other movies and the attention he was getting made him rethink his career choice. But he was persuaded by another actor Kenneth Branagh to not give up on acting. Bale rose to the top in 2000 when he portrayed the serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
Jennifer Aniston Dressed As A Witch For Halloween In Circa 1986
Jennifer Aniston discovered acting when she was attending a Waldorf school at age 11. Aniston first worked in Off-Broadway productions and supported herself with part-time jobs which included working as a telemarketer, waitress, and bike messenger. In 1990, she got her first regular television role on Molloy. The show wasn’t successful, as well as a few others in which she appeared later. But she didn’t have to wait long after the last shows that failed, because she was offered the role of Rachel Green in Friends, which made her famous worldwide.
Tommy Lee Jones While Playing As An Offensive Guard At St. Mark’s School Of Texas In 1965
Tommy Lee Jones got a football scholarship that allowed him to attend a boarding school in Dallas where he found his interest in theatre and played in a few student productions. During his years at Harvard University, he continued to play football as well as appear in theatre productions on campus. After graduating, he moved to New York to pursue acting. He got his first movie role in 1970, playing a Harvard student in Love Story. He was also appearing on Broadway. Jones received awards for best supporting actor, one of them an Oscar for his role in the movie The Fugitive (1993), which was his big breakthrough.
Quentin Tarantino In 1983
Quentin Tarantino showed interest in movies and movie making when he was still at school. At age 15, he worked as an usher as an adult movie theatre. In the 1980s, he had a job as a recruiter in the aerospace industry, and he worked in a video store for 5 years. By watching movies at that store, Tarantino learned a lot about movie making and later, he was paid to watch movies. The first job he got at Hollywood was in 1986 as a production assistant. In 1992, he wrote and directed Reservoir Dogs, which made him a star director.
Clint Eastwood As A High School Senior In 1948
Clint Eastwood graduated the Oakland Technical High School and had various jobs, including a hay baler, a logger, a truck driver and steel-furnace stoker. In 1950, he was drafted into the US Army during the Korean war and he was stationed in California to serve as a swimming instructor. He appeared in a few TV series and got minor roles in movies before his big break in 1959 with the western Rawhide. He then gained international fame with The Man with No Name (1964), a spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone.
Vin Diesel In The 1980s
Vin Diesel first performed on stage when he was 7 in the children’s play Dinosaur Door, produced at Theatre for the New City in New York. Theatre was part of his life during his teenage years too and he later studied creative writing in NYC's Hunter College. He dropped out, but it led him to begin screenwriting. The first role Diesel got was in 1990 in a brief uncredited appearance in the drama film Awakenings. He was cast for a small role in Saving Private Ryan when Steven Spielberg saw Diesel’s short drama film Multi-Facial, in which he also starred. Vin Diesel became an action movie hero with The Fast and the Furious (2001), and XXX (2002).
Katy Perry In 2001
Katy Perry began vocal lessons at age 9 and started singing in church. At age 13, she got a guitar as her birthday present and started playing songs she wrote. She also took dancing lessons and learned how to swing, Lindy Hop, and jitterbug. In 2001, she released her debut album Katy Hudson, which contained contemporary Christian music, but it was commercially unsuccessful. Her second album, on the other hand, One of the Boys (2008), contained the singles I Kissed a Girl and Hot n Cold, which topped the charts and brought Katy Perry international fame.
David Harbour In 1994
David Harbour started acting in the late 1990s. His first professional job was on Broadway in the revival of The Rainmaker. He also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit and other TV shows, and had some minor roles in movies. He was gaining some notoriety in Hollywood, but it was Stranger Things (2016) that changed David Harbour’s life. The TV show was a huge hit and landed Harbour other major roles.
Mark Zuckerberg At Harvard In 2002
Mark Zuckerberg began writing software when he was in middle school. His father, seeing his son’s interest, hired a teacher to tutor him privately. Mark Zuckerberg would also create video games from the things his artistic friends would draw. During his time in college, he earned a reputation of a programming prodigy and he created a few programmes. One of them was Facebook, which initially was meant to connect Harvard students, but later on it spread to other universities, schools, businesses and finally became available to everyone.