Everyone faces adversity at some point in their life, but it’s hard to know how to overcome it when you don’t have any role models.
Many celebrities start life with considerable advantages, but not all have an easy road. Numerous famous people overcame incredible odds to achieve their success.
Here are five celebrities who triumphed over adversity. They had to face unspeakable things. But overcoming all the challenges shaped them into inspiring figures.
1. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah’s real name is Dana Elaine Owens, but she changed it to the name she’s known as. She’s been able to accomplish astonishing feats in her career. First, she established herself as a rapper. Then, Queen released all sorts of songs, including “Ladies First,” which was a hit early in her career.
In the music industry, she released the first album by a female rapper to break barriers. One important song in her career was “U. N.I.T.Y.” It was vital because it talked about violence against women.
Queen talked about women’s rights in a male-dominated industry before the Me Too movement. If that wasn’t enough, she began a successful career in acting, starring in the sitcom Living Single which ran from 1993 to 1998. She became a household name in Hollywood shortly after that.
She’s done all this despite carrying around a heartbreaking piece of history. She was sexually molested when she was a child. She was left in the care of a babysitter, and that person violated her. She didn’t come to terms with this until she was older, confided to her parents, and sought mental health care.
As part of giving back to the community, the superstar will create new affordable housing in Newark, NJ, through Blue Sugar Corporation — her real estate investment firm.
2. Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson has made a name for herself in so many ways. She’s been a Hollywood name for some time, starring in notable films like “Sin City” and “Deathproof” to name a few. She’s also made a splash in popular modern T.V. shows, including “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.”
These are some big Marvel TV shows out there. If that isn’t enough, she’s also a strong political advocate for the planet.
Rosario Dawson’s family lived as squatters in New York City, where she learned the value of fixing up broken things or reusing items. These lessons helped her see how important it is to conserve and much more.
She strongly advocates for housing rights, higher minimum wage, and more. One big reason she supports people like Bernie Sanders is that she wants to help those struggling like her.
From a family of squatters to having an average net worth of $8 million is truly an inspiring journey.
3. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone is a significant action star of the 80s. He made some of the biggest movies of the time. Names like Rambo and Rocky are a part of popular culture because of him, yet they did not guarantee his success. Stallone’s mother suffered complications during labor that caused the doctors to use forceps during young Sylvester’s birth.
Sadly, her doctors made a few mistakes during his birth and severed a nerve in the baby’s face. After that, there was no going back. Stallone would live with this damage that caused paralysis on his face. Stallone has a snarling look he’s known for because of this paralysis.
On top of that, the slurred speech many people know Stallone for results from this paralysis. Hollywood has always favored people without any physical issues. Sure, Hollywood is getting better with representation and not always looking to hire people that look like models, but during the 80s, things weren’t looking so great for Stallone.
The idea that someone with a speech impediment and an inability to move his face could become a movie star seemed far-fetched, yet that’s what happened.
Stallone wrote the story of “Rocky” himself. This person overcame the odds, even though no one thought he could. It’s easy to see that he drew inspiration from his own life and created a film nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won three of them.
4. Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer became a household name early in his career due to his portrayal of Dr. Frasier Crane. It is a character he perfected in the show “Cheers” and the spinoff called “Frasier.” The character lived on television for over two decades, yet Grammer did more with his career than just playing that character.
He played the character of Beast in the early X-Men movies that helped create the superhero movie genre. What’s incredible and surprising is that an actor known for his comedic prowess has such a dark background. During his rise to stardom, Grammer dealt with cocaine addiction, which was something he was able to overcome later in his career.
His addiction issues might be more understandable when one dives into his life a little more. When Grammer was 13 years of age, his father was killed at the hands of a psychopath. And if that wasn’t enough, two of his half brothers died not long after in a scuba-diving incident, which Kelsey took quite hard.
Not long after that, tragedy struck his family again with the death of his 18-year-old sister, Karen. Even more terrifying is that she was abducted and killed by Colorado’s spree killer, Freddie Glenn. Kelsey had to identify his sister’s body because her mother couldn’t do it.
5. Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho came out as bisexual. She didn’t talk about this for most of her career, which is one thing she kept inside her heart.
Cho rose to fame thanks to her comedic chops. She’s sold-out shows throughout her career as a standup comedian. She is a standup most of the time, but she’s also dabbled in other artistic mediums, like fashion, acting, and singing. Cho was in movies like “Face/Off” and shows like “Sex and the City.”
There’s no doubt that Margaret Cho has talent, but her life wasn’t always as glamorous or as good. She’s seen the harsher side of life. When she was young, she was raped by a family friend and a close friend whom she trusted. Most people dismissed it whenever Cho brought it up, thinking it was a joke.
Some even pointed out that she wasn’t pretty enough to warrant such an attack. Cho didn’t only deal with sexual attacks; she also had to deal with taunting and bullying in school. Some people made fun of her race. Others poked fun at her weight, and some taunted her for being a lesbian.
These five celebrities triumphed over adversity and proved that creating generational wealth is possible if you work hard enough. People like these show the world that human beings are incredibly resilient and the world can be brutal but beautiful simultaneously.