12 people who went from being homeless to ruling Hollywood

When we think about celebrities, we often think about their cars or fancy beachhouses, or the A-list parties they go to. From the outside looking in, it feels as though they have it all. A gorgeous partner, movies lined up for years and a future that seems all but set. Sure, some of these stars have had it handed to them because they were born into 'movie royalty', but many have actually worked their way up the ladder, starting from scratch and eventually making it into the big leagues.

Also, read: 5 of the greatest moments in entertainment history that everyone missed

Here are 12 celebrities who were at one point homeless, but fought against all the odds to become a Hollywood star:

#12 Christian Olivo

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Olivo purposely decided to stay homeless, instead spending his money on a gym membership and acting classes. Instead of chasing girls, he focused on himself, spending time perfecting his acting and honing his athletic prowess.

The actor has now landed roles in FX's Versace: American Crime Story and HBO's Insecure. He's not neglected his academics either, graduating summa cum laude (the highest form of distinction) after getting a perfect math score on his Scholastic Aptitude Test.

#11 John Woo

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A major influence on the action genre, Woo is now synonymous with high-tempo action sequences, Mexican standoffs and the use of slow motion. Known for films such as Hard Target, Broken Arrow, and Mission: Impossible 2, Woo had a difficult upbringing. Born into a poor family, he sometimes didn't even have food to eat as his father had tuberculosis and couldn't work. He then became homeless after their home was burned down in the big Shek Kip Mei fire of 1953.  His perseverance was his biggest asset and now, he's one of Hollywood's most respected directors.

#10 W.C. Fields

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Fields left his home in 1891 after a spat with his father and for a while, quite literally lived in a hole. He then moved into a room above a wheelwright's shop that was furnished with discarded chairs and stools and lived off food that his friends took from their homes. He also stole bakery items from stores and milk from residents' porches to sustain himself.

Starting off his entertainment career as a juggler, he got his first big break when he joined the Ziegfeld Follies. Soon after, his Hollywood career took off, working in films such as The Bank Dick and My Little Chickadee; work that he is still highly regarded for.