16 Famous People That Struggled In Their Twenties

Who here is in their 20's and completely freaking out about the future? I'm not gonna lie, if you aren't terrified about the future, then you are the luckiest person around. But hold up, I have some information that is sure to make you feel better. Some of the most successful people in business, music and entertainment were exactly where you are today. So fear not. These people are proof that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

1. J.K Rowling.


J.K Rowling was 25 when she came up with the idea for everyones favourite wizard Harry Potter. She thought it up during a delayed four hour train ride in 1990. She started writing the first book that evening, but it took her years to actually finish it. She was working as a secretary in an office when Harry first appeared on paper, and she got fired for daydreaming about him too much!

2. Jennifer Hudson.



Before auditioning for American Idol and becoming one of the biggest pop/movie stars in the world, Hudson worked in Burger King to support herself through school. If that isn't an inspiration to all of us in less than glamorous jobs, I don't know what is.

3. Lucille Ball


During her twenties, Ball was known as the "Queen of the B's" thanks to her frequent roles in B-movies. Her agent recommended she find a new career, and it wasn’t until 40 that Ball became a household name on I Love Lucy.


4. Tina Fey


The Queen of Comedy hasn't always been the most in-demand female comedian in the world. In her twenties, Fey was working at a YMCA to support her dream of becoming a comedy writer. She worked very hard for years until her big break came when she begun writing for Saturday Night Live. (Without Fey there would have been no Mean Girls)

5. Hilary Swank



Swank was so broke throughout her early film career that she lived in her car with her mother.

6. Walt Disney


At 24, he had Oswaldo the Rabbit, his first successful cartoon character, stolen from him by Universal Studios. At 25, MGM told him no one would ever like Mickey Mouse. At one point in his twenties, Disney was so poor that he resorted to eating dog food. Disney was was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." He also faced several bankruptcies with his earlier businesses before he built Disneyland. So don't worry, that student loan won't bring you down forever.


7. Sylvester Stallone


Before Rocky became a big hit, Stallone was so poor that he resorted to selling his beloved dog for 50 dollars, in order to get by. He immediately bought the dog back once the film was picked up. It ended up costing him 15,000 dollars and a small part in the Rocky movie.

8. Jennifer Lopez



After a single semester of college, J-Lo dropped out and lived on the floor of a dance studio, performing in small clubs while pursuing her dreams of becoming a dancer.

9. Oprah Winfrey


Winfrey was fired from her job hosting the evening news slot at a Baltimore News Station in 1977 at the age of 23. She said "I had no idea what I was in for or that this was going to be the greatest growing period of my adult life. It shook me to my very core.” Yet another case of 'got fired? no problem.'


10. Tim Allen


Allen spent two years in federal prison for selling cocaine in his mid-20s. Think of that the next time you feel like you’ve hit a personal low. HE'S SANTA CLAUS FOR GOD'S SAKE.

11. Freddie Mercury



Before becoming one of the greatest rock artists of all time, Freddie was just a creative kid from Zanzibar. Mercury sold second-hand clothes in the Kensington Market in London with then-girlfriend Mary Austin. He also held a job at Heathrow Airport. He was 24 years old when he formed the band 'Queen,' and it wasn't until he was 29 years old that the song 'Bohemian Rhapsody' changed his life forever.

12. Bill Gates.


He dropped out of Harvard University in his junior year. Sure, it was to start a multibillion dollar company, but still. He must have felt a little twinge of parental disappointment, no?


13. Kristen Wiig


Wiig spent her twenties working every odd job imaginable, from selling peaches to babysitting to drawing bodies of plastic surgery patients. SNL finally noticed her work with the Groundlings and hired her at 32. Imagine if we had to live in a world without Bridesmaids... No.. It's too horrible.

14. Zach Galifianakis



While trying to jump-start his standup career, Galifianakis spent a large portion of his twenties as a busboy in an upscale Manhattan strip club.

15. Judi Dench


Dench worked in several theatres throughout Britain long before Hollywood knew who she was. She was an experienced actress by the time she was recognised globally. It wasn't until the 1995 Bond classic 'Golden Eye' that she became a household name in Hollywood. Dench was 61 when the movie was released and since then she has won an Oscar and been nominated for six other Academy Awards.

16. Steve Carrell


Carell worked lots of jobs to survive as an aspiring actor in the 1990's. Even though he is most known for his work on Anchorman, it was his role as Michael Scott in NBC’s ‘The Office’ that really put his acting skills on display. Carell was 43 years old when he landed this role.

Áine O'Donnell

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