“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”
Everyone loves to have it easy, no contest, but somehow, life doesn’t always turn out exactly the way we plan; no matter how crystal clear your vision might be or how super optimistic one is, a few bumps must get in the mix, for the lucky few that is, for others, they get to contend with a baggage of hurdles.
While some Hollywood A-List stars may have skyrocketed to sweet fame real early as kids or teens, many others didn’t quite have that luxury. Years of hustle, grind and rugged determination merged with unequaled passion was what it took to bring their dreams to life at long last.
Ironically, as the audience, it’s easy to get carried away with comparison of self when the spotlight finally shines, as we cheer excitedly with reverence forgetting the intense back work and untold pain to took for our favorite celebs to get to that point where we see the glitz, glam and yeah, the fab life.
So today we go down memory lane, as we recall 5 celebrities who didn’t have a smooth sailing ship to success, hitting fame later in life:
- MORGAN FREEMAN Driving Miss Daisy’ – 52
One of the most respected film stars no doubt. Known for his captivating performances complemented with his booming iconic deep voice, Morgan Freeman has made a name as one of Hollywood’s most revered actors and narrators.
The Academy award winning Million Dollar Baby star caught up on his love for acting from childhood and would always scrap together enough money to see movies. In 1959, Freeman left the Air Force and and moved to Hollywood, but it was no easy feat.
In 1967, he received little recognition after landing a part in an all African-American Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! He kept walking his way up till 1971 when he started appearing regularly on The Electric Company, a public television-produced children’s TV show, national exposure came, but he wasn’t there yet, he was still struggling.
In 1987, fate smiled as he was cast in the film Street Smart, it was a huge success for Freeman, earning him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but it wasn’t until age 52, after many feature roles that Driving Miss Daisy made the world recognise his exceptional talent and skill. He was a natural.
Freeman has since appeared in films as ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ ‘Glory,’ ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ and ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy, bagging notable awards such as: an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award among others.
- SAMUEL L. JACKSON. – LATE 40s – PULP FICTION
Commanding presence on and off screen, mega talented and an iconic figure, Samuel L. Jackson stands tall as one of Hollywood’s finest actors.
The prolific actor delved into the movie world
about 24 years ago in 1948 making his screen debut and appearing in several television films, landing small roles in Coming To America and Do The Right Thing.
Jackson made his feature film debut in the blaxploitation independent film Together for Days (1972). But at age 45, his big break came when he landed his first big role starring in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” as Jules Winnfield .
From then on, Samuel L. Jackson’s
film career skyrocketed, landing high profile roles in big budget movies including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America among others.
The legendary actor is a proud recipient of the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, 1995 · Pulp Fiction, MTV Movie Award for Best Jaw Dropping Moment,
Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead to name but a few.
- VIOLA DAVIS – 43- DOUBT
Viola Davis didn’t have a privileged upbringing by any means. The multi award winning actress ever since her debut in planet earth always had battles to contend with.
Born to her father, Dan Davis, a horse groomer and trainer and her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), a maid, factory worker and a civil rights activist, Davis didn’t have a smooth ride to success as she had to battle extreme poverty…before light shone.
The magnetic screen star made her debut with a small role as a nurse in 1996’s The Substance of Fire (1996). Soon after other small screen roles followed but it wasn’t until 2008 at age 43 when Viola Davis starred in the critically acclaimed movie “Doubt” that fame came calling, landing her nods at the Oscars and at the Golden Globes.
The academy award winning actress has since starred in several high profile movies including: How To Get Away With Murder, The Help, Fences etc.
Having won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, and two Tony Awards, she is the first black actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting.
- TIFFANY HADDISH – 37 – GIRLS TRIP
Award winning Hollywood star Tiffany Haddish had it real tough before fame: a turbulent childhood – her father left when she was aged 3, her mother later got injured in an accident masterminded by her new husband leaving her with brain damage while Tiffany at the tender age of nine had to take up sole responsibility of catering to her younger ones, eventually splitting up in foster homes.
Thankfully Haddish found her passion and delved into it. Although the screen star made her screen debut in 2005, it took years of small screen roles for her to finally land her big breakthrough in 2017 at age 37, with her acclaimed role as Dina in the comedy film Girls Trip where she starred alongside A-list co-stars like Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith.
The star actress has since established a super successful career in Hollywood with awards such as :MTV, BET, NAACP awards amongst others.
also makes history as the first black female stand-up comedian to host “Saturday Night Live.”
- OCTAVIA SPENCER – 39 – THE HELP
From an overlooked talent who spent decades in front of screens trying to get well deserved recognition to finally landing her place as one of black Hollywood’s leading ladies. Academy award winning star Ocravia Spencer is no doubt a presence in the film industry.
The talented screen star landed her first acting gig while working behind the scenes of 1996’s A Time to Kill. From there she moved on to small screen roles in; City of Angels, The Chronicle among others. 2011 would prove major for her film career when she starred in the hit drama The Help, her brilliant performance earned her an Academy Award and spotlight shone at last at the age of 39.
The film star has since gone on to star in high profile movies including: Hidden Figures, The Help, among others.
The 50 year old is a proud recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.
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