Most celebrities have held a variety of jobs before striking it big in the entertainment field. Many of them worked in finance, in some capacity, before becoming rich and famous. Here are some notable examples of celebrities who once dabbled in the finance space:
(For related reading, see Winning Celebrities And The Companies They Endorse.)
TUTORIAL: Financial Careers
Whoopi Goldberg is a beloved multi-talented figure, whose job titles include comedian, actress, political activist, author, and talk show host. But early in her career, Goldberg paid the bills by working as a bank teller.
Raymond Albert "Ray" Romano is an American actor and stand-up comedian, best known for his critically-acclaimed hit sitcom: Everybody Loves Raymond. But before throwing his hat into the show biz ring, Romano studied to become an accountant and then worked as a bank teller, where he met his wife, Anna.
Before Red Foo, one half of the party rock band LMFAO, got his groove on with hits like Sexy and I Know It and Get Crazy, he made his living as a day trader. Foo still invests today, although his current portfolio holdings tilt towards less risky blue-chip companies, such as Apple Inc.
Erin Isabelle Burnett is currently the anchor of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. But she previously co-anchored CNBC's Squawk On The Street program and hosted CNBC's Street Signs show. Burnett began her career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs, where she specialized in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. (Check out Biggest Merger And Acquisition Disasters.)
Timothy Maxwell "Max" Keiser is an American broadcaster, filmmaker, and co-founder of the Hollywood Stock Exchange, an online multiplayer game where players use simulated money to virtually invest in all things related to entertainment, including actors, directors, and upcoming films. Keiser previously worked in finance for 25 years, starting out his career as a Wall Street stockbroker.
Method actor Shia Labeouf got hooked on trading stocks doing research for his role in the movie Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Labeouf prepared for this role by shadowing real-life operatives at the now-defunct New York investment firm John Thomas Financial, where he turned $20,000 into a whopping $489,000.
Lou Dobbs, an American author, journalist, radio deejay, and television host on the Fox Business Network, worked as a cash-management specialist for Union Bank in Los Angeles after graduating from Harvard University.
Martha Stewart is best known for teaching us how to cook the perfect chicken and decorate our homes with flair through her mega-conglomerate Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. But few people know that this powerhouse began her career as a New York stockbroker.
Before A-list actress Demi Moore starred in hit films like Indecent Proposal, GI Jane, and Striptease, she worked for a debt collection agency.
The Bottom Line
Before raking in the big bucks and basking in the glow of Tinseltown, many celebrities held white-collar jobs in finance. These positions served as valuable stepping stones that helped shape who they became.
(For additional reading, check out Celebrities You Can Bank On.)