They have worked as pen salesmen, hawkers, cookie scoopers, ballet dancers, firefighters, professional soccer players, shoe salesmen, restaurant hostesses, lion cage tenders, lifeguards, mascots, bellhops and telemarketers. Think of any role and they have done it. These men and women have undertaken different jobs to stay afloat before becoming celebrities. (For related reading, see Winning Celebrities And The Companies They Endorse.)

TUTORIAL: Financial Careers

Some celebrities worked in finance before they became rich and famous. Some worked part-time jobs, while others worked full-time. Here are some of the notable ones.

Whoopi Goldberg is an American comedian, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, author and a talk show host. She sustained herself while looking for acting jobs by working as a bank teller, a bricklayer and a cosmetologist at a mortuary.

Raymond Albert "Ray" Romano is an American actor, writer and stand-up comedian. He studied to become an accountant, and then worked as a bank teller where he met his wife Anna.

Red Foo, one half of the party rock band LMFAO, was tracking stocks as a kid under his father Barry Gordon's guidance. Before he made the room groove, he held a job as a day trader. He still invests, though his portfolio has become less risky. He believes that Apple's stock is a big winner.

Erin Isabelle Burnett is the anchor of CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront." She was the co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk On The Street" program and the host of CNBC's "Street Signs" program. Burnett began her career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs in investment banking. Her work included the areas of mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. (To learn more, check out Biggest Merger And Acquisition Disasters.)

Timothy Maxwell "Max" Keiser is an American broadcaster and film-maker. He was the co-founder of the Hollywood Stock Exchange. He has worked in finance for about 25 years and started his career as a stock broker on Wall Street.

Method Actor
Shia Labeouf isn't leaving his day job … yet. He got hooked on trading stocks while he worked on his movie "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps." Preparing for his role at John Thomas Financial, he managed to turn his $20,000 to around $489,000, extending his midas touch from movies to finance.

Lou Dobbs is an American journalist, radio host, television host on the Fox Business Network and author. Dobbs worked as a cash-management specialist for Union Bank in Los Angeles after graduating from Harvard University.

Martha Stewart made her millions teaching us how to bake and decorate homes better. She started her career as a stock broker in New York.

The iconic Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) worked as an insurance salesman before his famed career as founder of KFC.

It is difficult to imagine Demi Moore the star of "Indecent Proposal," "GI Jane" and "Striptease" as an employee in a debt collection agency, but she was.

Moving up the Ladder
Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, started out as a secretary and then moved into a broker position at Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, a commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Brett Ratner, director of the "Rush Hour" movies, worked as a stockbroker at South Richmond Securities on Wall Street.

Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand worked as a foreign exchange dealer at Elders Finance in Wellington, before rising to be head foreign exchange trader in two short years. He has also served as Merrill Lynch's head of foreign exchange. He chose to jump from the high volatility of the world of finance to the more volatile field of politics.

Former British Prime Minister Sir John Major took a correspondence course in banking after being passed over for a bus conductor's job. He joined as a junior executive at Standard Chartered Bank before moving up the ladder.

Rick Yune, the handsome, chilling villain from "Die Another Day" was not new to taking risks, having been a hedge fund trader post graduating from Wharton Business School. At the age of 21, he joined as a trainee at a hedge fund. When it was relatively difficult for a newbie to land a role in a hedge fund, he found it "humbling" to be entrusted with so much responsibility. He also enjoyed the role for its risk and not knowing what to expect next. He, however, was more attracted to the calling of acting.

Michael Roiff, the independent film producer, initially started his career in the world of finance. He briefly worked as a management consultant at CIBC World Markets and The Parthenon Group before he set off to produce his first film "Waitress" in 2007.

The Bottom Line
Before the big bucks and glamour, these celebrities worked at regular white collar jobs, like a lot of us. They were ready to work many jobs to land the one they loved. You never know when the spotlight will shine on you! (For additional reading, check out Celebrities You Can Bank On.)

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    This is What Donald Trump's Portfolio Looks Like

    Find out what Donald Trump's portfolio looks like and gain some interesting insights into the way the billionaire's investment mind works.
  2. Personal Finance

    4 Famous People Whose Finances Were Under Conservatorship

    Understand what conservatorship is and how it comes about during the legal process. Learn about four celebrities who were placed under conservatorship.
  3. Stock Analysis

    7 Trump Businesses You Didn't Know Existed

    Understand what Donald Trump is best known for and the types of income streams he's created. Learn about seven obscure businesses he owns.
  4. Estate Planning

    A Look At Robin Williams' Net Worth and What Happened to His Estate

    Understand what happened to Robin Williams' estate and what his estate included. Learn about the court battle over his remaining possessions.
  5. Markets

    Star Wars The Force Awakens a Legacy of Star Destroyer-Sized Revenues (DIS)

    The next installment of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, has just been released. Worldwide revenue is expected in the billions.
  6. Your Clients

    What Working with Celebrity Clients is Really Like

    Expect excitement as well as the mundane when dealing with celebrity clients. Some will be charming; others...not so much. Here's what else to anticipate.
  7. Your Practice

    How to Add Celebrities to Your Client Roster

    The trick to landing celebrity clients is a subset of the skill of acquiring clients in general. Here are some strategies to help break into this world.
  8. Wealth Management

    A Look At Britney Spears' Net Worth and Her Conservatorship

    Discover how Britney Spears' net worth plunged in 2007 and has since been growing under the management and direction of her conservatorship.
  9. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  10. Investing

    From Supermodel to Entrepreneur: Gisele Bündchen's Sejaa Pure Skincare

    As one of the highest-paid models in history, Bündchen has turned her name and image into a worldwide brand, and Sejaa is part of her massive empire.
  1. Why did the Department of Justice launch an inquiry into the sale of ImClone shares ...

    On December 28, 2001, the FDA announced that it was rejecting ImClone's new cancer drug, Erbitux. The drug represented a ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Who is Mr. Copper?

    A sense of mystery still surrounds Yasuo Hamanaka, a.k.a. Mr. Copper, and the magnitude of his losses. From his perch at ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why did dotcom companies crash so drastically?

    The craze of the dotcom bubble and the flood of capital that came with it led to many back-of-the-napkin business models ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Where can I find information on different companies so that I won't have to read ...

    Financial portal websites, such as Yahoo Finance or Google Finance allows the average investor to view content related to ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center