Four years ago, Sly Stone was a celebrity lived in a Napa Valley home complete with a vineyard, and owned several luxury vehicles. Now, thanks to a drug habit, he only owns one Van. Also, he lives in it.
That’s right. The Sly & The Family Stone funk legend has fallen on tough times that have forced the 68-year old to live homeless on the streets. However, he’s got a good attitude and is working hard on new material in an attempt to stage a comeback. If history has taught us anything, a little perseverance goes a long way. Just look at these formerly homeless celebrities who struggled before making it in the business of show.
Some girls drop out of school to model in Paris before breaking into acting. From there it’s all runway shows and dating hot European men and giggly pillowfights with their hot model roommates. Others (like Halle Berry) move to New York and live in a homeless shelter. From there it’s all running away from cops and being peed on and fighting over pillows with your crazy hobo roommates.
Turns out that Tom Jane didn’t need to do that deep research for his role in Homeless Dad. He’d already lived on the streets before making it as an actor. “You have to sacrifice everything you have. I was homeless for a couple of months there. I stayed in welfare hotels in downtown L.A. and when I wasn’t doing that I was living off of food stamps.” Also, “I just want my kids back.”
As a teenager, Jim Carrey and his family lived out of a VW van. A few years later, while on the stand-up comedy circuit, the family upgraded to a tent on his older sister’s lawn. Or was it a downgrade? I don’t really understand the homeless ranking system.
Turnabout is fair play. Sly Stallone may have copied Sly Stone’s name, but now Sly Stone is going to copy Sly Stallone’s homelessness. Stallone once said, “I was broke and basically sleeping in the Port Authority bus station for three weeks straight. I read in a trade paper about this film [The Party at Kitty and Studs”, 1970] that was paying $100 a day—for a $100 a day I would wreak havoc. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked for two days for $200 and got myself out of the bus station.” Then he bought that awesome robot in Rocky IV.
Believe it or not, but the guy whose prime talent is imitating squeaky shoes and apple-biting had a hard time early in his career. Winslow found himself homeless in Venice Beach after hitchhiking to Hollywood from Colorado. On the plus side, it gave him ample opportunity to work on his seagull impression.
While coming up as a model and an actor, Djimon Hounsou slept in the subways and camped by the Eiffel Tower for two years. He was thirteen. Think about that the next time your son would rather play Nintendo DS than help out with yard work.
Before Charlie Chaplin became famous for playing “The Tramp,” he was just a normal tramp. Chaplin lived on the streets of London as a young boy after his father passed away and his mom was taken into a mental health facility. That’s pretty rough. No wonder he was so quiet.
Carmen Electra found herself homeless in her early 20’s after her boyfriend stole her life savings. She once told The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “You know, I had a couple of years of being homeless in Hollywood. I remember sitting on a park bench in the valley. I was crying because I was stranded. It was over 100 degrees outside.” That explains a lot. I’ll never question her appearance in Setzer-Friedberg films again.
Kelsey Grammer used to camp out in an alley behind his motorcycle. There’s no record of how long this went on, but it’s impressive considering all the work Grammer has got over the years and the mini-empire he is building. In addition to having run through some pretty hot tail, he also sounds like he’d be a Hide and Seek pro.
Before finding his way to the big screen, Snow Day star Mark Webber and his mother were homeless. They lived together on the streets, in vacant buildings, and in homeless shelters. Well, that explains his style of dress.
Former child star Danny Bonaduce lived out of his car just before landing his gig as a radio host. He’s lived in the gym ever since then.