While we think we know celebrities inside and out, there is a good portion of their lives that we have never seen before. Here’s something you’ve probably wondered about – what were they like as kids? Did they show signs of one day becoming the world-renowned stars that they are today? What was life like for them growing up? In order to give us an idea of what these beloved Hollywood figures were like, we found these rare photos of your favorite celebs before they were famous. You will be surprised to see that they were once ordinary people just like us.
1. Robin Williams In His Senior Year Of High School In 1969
When Robin Williams was a senior in college, he decided to go to college and study political science. However, he quickly realized it wasn’t the field for him and dropped out to pursue acting. He studied theater for three years at the College of Marin in California.
One of his professors realized how talented Williams was and cast him in the musical Oliver!. He later attended Julliard, and during the summers he worked as a busboy. After graduating, Williams worked odd jobs until he got his big break on Mork & Mindy.
2. Adele Was A Huge Spice Girls Fan
In case you missed it, Adele was and probably still is the biggest Spice Girls fan in the world. The British singer grew up with their music and had their posters plastered all over her bedroom walls. As a child, Adele was already interested in signing, and she became obsessed with voices.
Adele spent much of her youth in Brockwell Park, playing the guitar and singing to friends. Years later, she drove by and started crying because she really missed the memories she made in that special place.
3. Keanu Reeves Circa 1984
In high school, Keanu Reeves was a successful ice hockey goalkeeper and considered going pro but decided to pursue acting when he was 15 instead. He made his debut in 1984 on an episode of the series Hangin’, which allowed him to get more roles on teen dramas.
Reeves was also interested in music and formed an alternative band in 1991. Surprisingly, it was moderately successful, and they were active until the early 2000s. His big break was in Point Break, and this helped him shoot to stardom.
4. Catherine Zeta-Jones In Her Grade School Photo
Catherine Zeta-Jones’ school uniform made her look like she belongs to the Gryffindor house. She must have been in first or second grade at the time, and she couldn’t be cuter. The actress was born in Wales, and in school, she would participate in stage shows.
At a young age, she gained local media attention when her rendition of a Shirley Bassey song won a Junior Star Trail talent competition. Zeta-Jones would take trips to London with her dance troupe, where she also auditioned for shows.
5. Morgan Freeman In The Air Force
When Morgan Freeman was just nine years old, he starred in his school play and later won a statewide drama competition. He performed in the radio show in high school, and it earned him a drama scholarship from Jackson State University.
However, instead of taking the scholarship, he enlisted in the Air Force and served between 1955 to 1959. After his service, Freeman worked as a transcript clerk for Los Angeles City College and studied arts there. He was also a dancer until he started getting steady acting jobs.
6. Anne Hathaway As A Clown Witch
It seems that Anne Hathaway was practicing for The Witches before she was even famous. Besides looking exactly the same, she seems to have confused a witch and a clown in this mashup of a costume. Surprisingly, Hathaway’s parents didn’t want her to pursue acting.
Hathaway wanted to become a nun during childhood because she was raised with really strong Roman Catholic values. However, acting was always in the back of her mind, and we’re grateful she chose to entertain us on the big screen.
7. Joe Biden When He Was 26
Unsurprisingly, Joe Biden was the class president in school and played on the basketball team. He also briefly played football in college but decided to focus on his studies instead. When he graduated from the University of Delaware, he worked as a clerk at a law firm.
Biden eventually took the bar exam and began practicing law. This helped propel his career, and he served in the US Senate for 36 years before serving as vice president with Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Say what you will about his politics but it’s undeniable that he was so handsome back in his day.
8. Madonna’s Childhood Close-Up
Little Madonna was bright-eyed and looking towards the stars as a child. The singer grew up in the Detroit suburbs with her five siblings, and her family would call her “Little Nonnie” because her mom was also named Madonna.
Madonna was known for rebelling at school after her mother passed away, and her dad decided to sign her up for piano lessons and ballet classes. Her dance teacher was the one who encouraged her to pursue a career in dance.
9. Jim Carrey In The ’80s
As teenagers, Jim Carrey’s family struggled financially. Therefore, he and his brother John took up jobs as a janitor and security guard at a tire factory. While working at the factory, Carrey dropped out of school to perform comedy in downtown Toronto.
He steadily increased his local popularity as an impressionist and stand-up comic going on tour and appearing on television. His shows made him more popular and landed him the roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, which helped him become the actor he is today.
10. Taylor Swift Made Tie-Dye Trendy Before Everyone
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Taylor Swift became interested in musical theater and started performing in the local youth theater. She also traveled regularly to New York for vocal and acting lessons. She was inspired by Shania Twain and shifted her focus to country music.
At age 11, Swift traveled with her mom to Nashville to pursue her music career dreams. Swift submitted demos to record labels but was rejected. However, she kept trying until someone finally took her seriously when she was a bit older.
11. Susan Sarandon When She Was 17
Not only was Susan Sarandon gorgeous as a teenager, but she was also very talented. In her college years, she studied drama and supported herself by cutting hair, cleaning houses, and working as a switchboard operator.
Not long after she graduated, Sarandon landed a role in the film Joe, which propelled her to get more parts in movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It turned into a cult classic, and people knew her name wherever she went.
12. Selena Gomez’s Face Has Not Changed
Selena Gomez has always been the most adorable human ever since she was a little girl. Born and raised in Texas, Gomez first became interested in entertainment when she saw her mom preparing for stage productions. Gomez then began to audition for many roles.
While auditioning for Barney and Friends, Gomez met Demi Lovato and the two both landed roles on the show. She said she learned everything about acting and stage production while working on Barney, and she was released when she got too old for the show.
13. Peter Dinklage In The 1980s
We could never imagine Peter Dinklage with a mullet until now. Dinklage realized he wanted to start acting when he was just a teenager after he saw the production of True West by Sam Shepard. That play ended up determining the direction of his life.
After studying drama in college, Dinklage struggled to get well-paying roles, so he worked at a data processing company to make ends meet. He wasn’t getting any parts because he refused to play characters that focused on his achondroplasia. Finally, in 2003, he got his big break in The Station Agent and was nominated for a SAG award for it.
14. Little Baby Beyonce
You might not recognize her as a baby, but this tiny tot grew up to be Queen Bey herself. As a child, Beyonce enrolled in dance classes, and the teacher discovered she was also a talented singer when she heard her humming a song.
Beyonce’s interest in performing continued after she won her school talent show when she was seven. Her parents enrolled her in a music school after that to develop her talents, and Beyonce continued onto an arts high school as well.
15. Tom Hanks In His High School Yearbook
After reading Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh and watching the performance, Tom Hanks decided he wanted to become an actor. He enrolled in the theater program at California State University Sacremento and would work in the theater when he wasn’t studying.
Eventually, Hanks decided to drop out and went on to audition for any small role he could find. After the success of Splash, he became a recognizable face and landed the role in Big. It was that movie that made him an established actor in Hollywood.
16. Jennifer Garner Hanging Out On The Swings
When Jennifer Garner was little, her mother used to call her “ragamuffin,” and we can see why now. The actress had an interesting upbringing that she joked was practically Amish because her parents were so strict about what she and her sisters did.
Initially, Garner went to college to study chemistry but quickly changed her major to theater. She would spend her summers working stock theater and found a passion for acting through this job. She also moved from South Carolina to LA once she graduated.
17. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Looking Ripped At 15
Is anyone really surprised that The Rock was already a muscle man by the time he was a teenager? Before starting his acting career, he was succeeding in sports and started playing professional football not long after he graduated from college.
His nickname “The Rock” came from his days in the wrestling ring, and by the late 1990s, he was already a star being offered roles in movies. The movie that really changed his career was The Mummy Returns in 2001.
18. Nirvana In 1990
Three years before Nirvana was formed, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic met at school. They had a few drummers before being introduced to Dave Grohl in 1990. Their first album, Bleach, was released in 1989 and became a favorite for college radio stations.
Nirvana found mainstream success with their single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in 1991 from the album Nevermind. The album sold 400,000 copies in just a week and 30 million worldwide.
19. Sean Connery During His Time With The Royal Navy
Mr. 007 wasn’t always an action-fighting international man of mystery. Sean Connery used to be a milkman in Edinburgh before joining the Royal Navy when he was 16. After three years, he was discharged on medical grounds and returned to his hometown.
After the navy, Connery carried a few jobs like a lorry driver, a lifeguard, a laborer, and an artist’s model for Edinburgh College of Art. In the 1950s, he finally started getting roles and an extra, but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet. He had to work as a babysitter until he got more significant parts.
20. Angelina Jolie Has Always Been Gorgeous
When we were 16, we certainly didn’t look like this, but Angelina Jolie has always been stunning. As a child, she enjoyed watching movies with her mother, which inspired her to start acting. Jolie attended the Lee Staberg Theater Institute for two years and appeared in a few productions.
Jolie later studied drama at NYU and starred in her brother’s student films. However, her first leading role as a professional actress wasn’t until 1992 in Cyborg 2, but she didn’t like the outcome and didn’t audition for anything else for a year.
21. Millie Bobby Brown Looks Like She Is Up To Something
While it hasn’t been that long since Millie Bobby Brown was a child, the 17-year-old actress has blossomed into a beautiful young lady. Born in Spain to English parents, she found a love for acting early on in life and made her acting debut when she was nine in Once Upon A Time.
After just a few performances, Brown landed her breakthrough role in Stranger Things as Eleven. Her performance earned her many nominations at such a young age. Today she is a little older but just as sassy as she was in this photo.
22. Christoph Waltz In 1975
You might know Christopher Waltz from Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained, but before he was a huge star, he was just a boy with a dream. Waltz was interested in theater early on since he went to the opera for the first time when he was 10. After that, he would go twice a week.
When Waltz attended University, he studied acting, but his true passion was singing and opera. Eventually, he realized his voice wasn’t meant for singing, and he started working as a stage actor and director on a German television show called Wenn Man Sich Traut before his breakthrough role in 2009.
23. Eminem In The ’80s Before He Was Rap God
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up. The first rap song Eminem ever heard was “Reckless” by Ice-T, Chris “The Glove” Taylor, and David Storrs in 1984. It inspired him to start rapping himself when he was 14. About ten years later, he released his first album, which was a commercial failure.
Everything in Eminem’s career changed when he adopted the name Slim Shady and released a new album in 1997, Slim Shady EP. The album caught the attention of Dr. Dre and he invited Eminem to work together to release another EP two years later.
24. Lady Gaga In The 2000s
Since she was a child, music has been a part of Lady Gaga’s life, when she started learning the piano at age four. Her passion only grew over the years, and she started performing at open mic nights when she was a teenager.
Gaga also studied method acting for ten years but didn’t get any significant roles in her auditions. While studying in New York, she was performing when a talent scout helped her find her way to superstardom.
25. Bob Marley Without His Dreadlocks
If you are like us, you have probably never seen Bob Marley without his dreadlocks, but there was a time when he didn’t have them. In 1964 when he released his song “Rude Boy,” he had a buzz cut and dressed much differently.
Marley started playing music in primary school with his friends before moving to Kingston and starting a vocal duo. However, the group didn’t rise to fame until the ’70s when they signed a contract with Island Records.
26. Christian Bale As A Dashing Teenager
As a teenager, Christian Bale was inspired to become an actor after he studied the work of Gary Oldman. The first time he appeared on television was in a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor in 1982. However, Bale’s first stage debut wasn’t until 1984 in The Nerd with Rowan Atkinson.
Two years later, Bale appeared in his first movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. He then gained attention and more roles, which made him question his career choice. However, Kenneth Branagh talked him out of giving up on his career.
27. Jennifer Aniston Dressed As A Witch For Halloween In 1986
Jennifer Aniston discovered her love of acting when she was attending a Waldorf school at age 11. Her first job was in an off-Broadway production, but she had to take jobs on the side to support herself. She was a telemarketer, waitress, and bike messenger.
Anniston’s first regular TV role was on a show called Molloy in 1990 before she got her big break as Rachel Green in Friends. She was just 17 when she took this picture, and we wonder if she knew how famous she would be back then.
28. Tommy Lee Jones While Playing As An Offensive Guard At St. Mark’s School Of Texas
As a teenager, Tommy Lee Jones got a football scholarship that allowed him to attend a boarding school in Dallas, where he took an interest in theater and played in some student productions. He then graduated and attended Harvard University, where he continued to play football and appear in theater productions.
After graduating, Jones decided to move to New York to pursue acting, and he got his first movie role in 1970, playing a Harvard student in Love Story. It must not have been hard for him to play this role, considering he had just graduated from Harvard.
29. Quentin Tarantino In 1983
Quentin Tarantino started showing an interest in films when he was just a young boy. At age 15, he worked as an usher for an adult movie theater and worked in a video store for five years. By watching movies at the store, Tarantino learned a lot about movie-making.
Tarantino was later paid to watch movies (how do we get that job?) and got his first job in Hollywood in 1986 as a PA. A few years later, he wrote his first movie, launching the career of one of the most admired film directors in Hollywood today.
30. Clint Eastwood As A High School Senior
Clint Eastwood looks much different than we know him today with his dapper hair and babyface. After graduating from Oakland Technical High School, he held various jobs, including hay baler, logger, and truck driver, before being drafted into the Army during the Korean War.
Eastwood was stationed in California, where he served as a swimming instructor. After the army, he appeared in a few TV series before he got his big break in 1959 in Rawhide. Eastwood gained international fame and is still acting today at 90-years-old.
31. Vin Diesel When He Had Hair
We had no idea what color hair Vin Diesel had before seeing this picture. The famously bald actor started performing on stage when he was just seven years old in the children’s play Dinosaur Door in New York. Theater continued to be a big part of his life when he was a teenager as well.
Vin Diesel started college but dropped out to begin screenwriting. Diesel’s first role was in 1990 in an uncredited role, but Steven Speilburg later cast him in Saving Private Ryan, which helped him get his foot in the door for more parts.
32. Katy Perry In 2001
You might not recognize Katy Perry without her signature black locks, but her hair is naturally dirty blond. The pop star began vocal lessons at age nine while singing in church. For her 13th birthday, Perry received a guitar and started playing songs she wrote.
Perry took dance lessons to learn swing, Lindy Hop, and jitterbug, all popular dance styles in the ’50s. Also, her first album was released under the name Katy Hudson, and it had a lot of Christian music before she changed up her style.
33. David Harbour In 1994
David Harbour hasn’t changed much over the years besides his hairstyle. Harbour began acting in the 1990s, and his first professional job was on Broadway in the revival of The Rainmaker. He also had minor roles in Law & Order: SVU.
As he gained notoriety in Hollywood, Harbour became a more recognizable face. However, it wasn’t until he was cast in Stranger Things that a role really changed his life. This role actually helped him land other parts.
34. Mark Zuckerberg At Harvard Where He Created Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg looked less like a robot back in his college days, but someone should have told him to clean up his room. The Facebook founder began writing software when he was in middle school, and his father hired him a private tutor to help his son’s interests.
Zuckerberg would create video games, and his artistic friend would draw the graphics. In college, he became a programming prodigy and created a few new programs before Facebook. It’s funny that this teenager is now one of the richest men in the world.
35. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson In His Childhood Class Picture
Before he was a buff action star, The Rock was just a cute little buck-toothed child. He grew up in New Zealand and across the US as his family moved around often. As a child, he was always into sports and looked up to his dad, who was a former professional wrestler.
Because of his connections with the wrestling world, The Rock secured a contract with WWF for eight years before pursuing an acting career. Today he is one of the highest-grossing and highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
36. Rihanna Looks Exactly The Same (Sort Of)
Little baby Rihanna before she was the CEO of Fenty and Savage X Fenty. The Barbados native grew up listening to reggae music, which later inspired her own sound. However, she didn’t get into singing right away as she was an army cadet at a sub-military program.
While in the program, Rihanna met a singer-songwriter who inspired her to pursue a music career. Although we aren’t getting new music any time soon, we have to appreciate how far this baby came from a small island to worldwide fame.
37. Usher Was Probably Flirting With The Camera
Usher is known for his smooth RnB jams that make women everywhere swoon, and we can imagine he was a very flirty baby too. At his young age, he was already showing off his smolder for the camera.
As a child, his mother told him to join the church choir because he was so talented. Then his grandmother considered he could sing professionally once she heard him. The family decided to move to Atlanta to give him a better opportunity to become something.
38. Heidi Klum Collecting Easter Eggs
As a child growing up in Germany, Heidi Klum was known for her beauty. A friend convinced her to join a modeling contest, and she won out of 25,000 contestants, and she was offered a modeling contract. After graduating from high school, she accepted the contract.
She was going to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school, but the modeling contract was more promising. Klum proved herself quickly and landed on the cover of French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish Vogue.
39. Julia Roberts Practicing Her Vocals
We can’t tell if Julia Roberts was in shock, singing, or yelling in this picture, but we would like to think she is singing. She looks a lot like her niece Emma Roberts here, and we can see the resemblance in their family.
As a child, she wanted to be a veterinarian, but once she made it to college, she decided to drop out, move to New York and pursue acting. Once there, she signed with a modeling agency and enrolled in acting classes.
40. Amanda Seyfried Was Beautiful Even As A Baby
It’s no surprise that Amanda Seyfried was a gorgeous baby because she is such a beautiful adult. As a teenager, she began modeling when she was ten in print ads for Limited Too with Leighton Meester. She was also featured on the cover of three Sweet Valley High novels.
At 17, Seyfried decided to stop modeling and started working as a waitress in a retirement community. During that time, she took vocal lessons, studied opera, and trained with a Broadway coach. From here, she slowly got roles on TV as she continued to audition.
41. Britney Spears In Her Original Diva State
Oops, she did it again! Britney Spears always had that star power, and you can see it here in her childhood photo. From a young age, she already had an interest in singing, dancing, and entertaining people with her vibrant personality.
While her adult life hasn’t been so easy, one thing is for sure; that little girl grew up to be one of the best performers. If only people would let her make her music and live her life the way she wants to, she would be so much happier.
42. Christina Aguilera Halloween Circa 1985
This looks nothing like the Christina Aguilera we know and love today, but she was an adorable little girl. As a child, she moved around a lot because of her father’s military service. However, when her parents divorced, she used music as a way to escape.
As a child, Aguilera was drawn to soul and blues music because of her grandmother’s records, and she would practice singing to them. She won her first talent show at age eight for her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
43. Gigi Hadid With Her Grandma
Gigi Hadid was ready to be a model since the day she was born. As a child, she considered herself a tomboy because she was always into sports, especially basketball, but that changed as she got older, and her mom saw the potential she had as a model.
Hadid comes from a family of models, and you can see she gets her beauty from her mother’s side. She is pictured here with her late grandmother, who she would visit in Holland, where her mom grew up.
44. Katy Perry And The Easter Bunny
Have you ever noticed how creepy the Easter bunnies at the mall used to be (and still are)? Although it is hard to recognize her, that is a little Katy Perry posing in her pastel Sunday best with the Easter bunny.
Perry grew up in a religious household, so the holidays were very important to celebrate for her family. Her family didn’t have a lot of money, and they sometimes had to get food from the church’s food bank, but Perry enjoyed everything her parents were able to provide.
45. Miley Cyrus And Her Newborn Sister
When Miley Cyrus was first born, her parents named her Destiney; however, she was such a smiley baby, and they started calling her “smiley Miley” before legally changing her name. While missing one of her front teeth, she still has a huge grin on her face because she is holding her baby sister.
Miley and her younger sister Noah may have a seven-year age gap between them, but they are the closest sisters we have ever seen. Miley even said that Noah sometimes takes care of her even though she is the little sister.
46. Justin Timberlake Rocking Around The Christmas Tree
It seems that Justin Timberlake was always destined to be a musician. As a child growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, he was always surrounded by music. His grandpa introduced him to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and Timberlake would perform the songs for his family.
When Timberlake was 11, he appeared on the show Star Search performing country music. However, it was around that time that he started to get into RnB music like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Hie was so talented that he landed a spot on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
47. Margot Robbie And Her Big Brother
Margot Robbie and her big brother were adorable as children. Robbie grew up in Dalby, Queensland, where she was raised by a single mom after her parents divorced. She lived on a farm and was always an energetic child putting on shows around her house.
In an interview, Robbie once said that she was really dramatic and loved performing. She would watch any movie she could find on TV and re-enact it for her mom. She would even make her family pay to watch her shows, especially her magic shows.
48. Ariana Grande’s School Photo
If anything, we can thank Ariana Grande for her consistency with her high ponytail. As a child, Grande was already a natural performer and would participate with the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theater, playing her first title character in their version of Annie.
Grande also performed in The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast. When she was eight, she also performed on cruise ships, with South Florida Philharmonic. Everyone knew she would be a star with her vocal range, and she was just waiting to be discovered.
49. Sarah Jessica Parker Reading With Her Mom
As a child, Sarah Jessica Parker was one of eight children, and although her mom barely had time, she still found a moment to read to all of her children. Growing up in Nelsonville, Ohio, her parents tried to provide a lifestyle they couldn’t afford.
Parker remembers that the electricity would be shut off, or they would have to forgo Christmases and birthdays because her parents couldn’t afford the holidays. However, her mother found any free extracurricular activity to sign them up for so they would have “full, rich lives.”
50. Hilary Duff’s First Headshot Session
Although we know Hilary Duff as the bubbly Disney channel child, she looks pretty angry in her first headshot. When Duff posted this picture, she said she couldn’t believe how many auditions she took this picture to, and we wonder how many of those roles she actually got.
Duff wanted to be an actress from an early age, and her mom even relocated her family from Texas so her children would have more opportunities. Because of her acting career, she was homeschooled from age 8, and she got many minor roles until she landed Lizzie McGuire.