10 Hollywood Success Stories Against All Odds

Added by Andrew Tyson on Apr 5, 2019
Hollywood Success Stories

Hollywood can eat talent up and spit it right back out. It’s hard to get a break, and even harder to stay relevant. The struggle to get to Hollywood can be difficult, and some have faced greater challenges than others. While these actors, writers, and directors have had to battle great odds to become successes, those battles have given them the strength to stay relevant in a town where fame is extremely fleeting.

Another great list you might enjoy is about famous trios from history. The list contains fictional and non-fictional characters who've made a name for themselves.


Keanu Reeves

Career: Actor

Born in Lebanon to English and American parents who quickly separated, Reeves spent much of his childhood moving around, with no stable family or place to live. His mother remarried three more times, and moved Reeves around the world, from New York City to Sydney, Australia. For the most part, he was raised by grandparents and nannies in Toronto. Dyslexic and disruptive, he attended four different high schools in five years, never attaining a diploma. One thing he found to excel at was acting, taking on stage roles as early as age nine. Even when he was able to get to Hollywood and find a foothold, he still faced obstacles, with his close friend River Phoenix dying of an overdose, losing a stillborn daughter, and then losing his girlfriend in a car accident. Still, Keanu continued to work, getting a star on the Walk of Fame and continuing to act in and produce award-winning films.


Cesar Millan

Career: Dog trainer, host of "The Dog Whisperer" TV series

Born into poverty in Mexico, Millan grew up on his family’s Sinaloa farm. Bullied due to his affinity for spending time with dogs, Millan as a kid already had an idea what he wanted to do for a living. At age 21 he crossed into the United States illegally, unable to speak any English and without a visa. He had no family or job waiting for him, and he crossed with only the clothes on his back and a goal.

After arriving in the United States, he lived on the streets for a while but eventually was able to get a job, and then room and board, at a dog grooming parlor. From there, he worked his way up, building a client list and connecting with celebrities, to the point where he is now a Hollywood star.

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