Past Celebrities Who Humbly Work Real Jobs Now
It’s not always easy to maintain a glamorous lifestyle, so when the other shoe drops for celebrities and famous athletes, they have to buckle down and get a real job. This is not an attempt to poke fun, but more of a realistic look at how everyone, at some point, does whatever it takes to make ends meet.
“Who’s the Boss” star Tony Danza went after a lifelong dream and got a job teaching 10th grade English at a high school in Philadelphia. Mr. Danza – to his students – of course went on to make a book out of his experience called “I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had.” In his time teaching, Danza took on an extreme appreciation for the hardships of being a teacher in this day and age, offering his guidance after a troublesome New York youth.
Former Supersonics superstar Shawn Kemp had to roll up his sleeves and coach high school basketball to help pay child support after his NBA career was over. He did this on top of running a Seattle area restaurant called Oskar’s Kitchen.
Robert Matthew Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, began renovating and flipping homes and now teaches classes on real estate investing. His show “Vanilla Ice Project” is in its fourth season, a hot show for the DIY Network, flipping and pimping out mansions in his hometown of Palm Beach for the wealthy and well-to-do. The “Ice Ice Baby” also happens to have a book, “Get Rich Flipping Houses,” out now.
Former action star and decorated humanitarian Steven Seagal served at his security for nearly two decades under the radar as a Louisiana reserve duty sheriff. Of course his side job became the premise for an A&E television series, “Steven Seagal: Lawman,” in which Seagal plays himself and performs his own stunts. Season 3 moved the show to Arizona where Seagal teamed up with the local sheriff to infiltrate the Maricopa County school systems.
M.C. Hammer, the pop rap icon of the 1980s “U Can’t Touch This” was touched by the Lord and is better known now as Pastor Hammer than M.C. In 1997, Hammer began his ministry on a Trinity Broadcasting Network show, called “M.C. Hammer And Friends,” about the life of a humbled pastor on the verge of bankruptcy after becoming surprisingly broke and in deep tax debt. After a failed attempt at penning an inspirational book on fatherhood, the master of all trades has become a bit of a media mogul.
In the midst of the 2011 lockout, NBA guard Delonte West got a job at the Regency Furniture Showroom. This, in addition to working on a rap album and getting arrested with loaded weapons on a motorcycle, led to a fairly memorable year for Delonte. The lockout has since been lifted, but everyone remembers the tweets of his part-time employment very fondly.
Wu-Tang Clan member Cappadonna gave up his worldly possessions to have a fresh start living on the streets. After a bout of difficulties with his wife, he opted for the simple life after receiving only one royalty check in his entire career. Cappadonna briefly made a living driving a cab and taking the abuse of the everyday cabbie, getting ripped off and listening to everyone’s problems. He has since put out more music and reconciled with his wife, living back at home.
This one isn’t current, but it’s a good example of how celeb status can be fleeting and fickle. In the ’80s, even after signing a record deal, pop singer Cyndi Lauper worked in retail, waited tables at IHOP and sang at local clubs to make extra cash.
Former NBA forward Antoine Walker went broke after several bad investments and heavy spending. Now the ex-all-star has started playing in D-leagues to pay off debts after spending $110 million and getting caught for fraud in Nevada. After winning both titles in both college and pro basketball, Walker is now the subject of a “riches to rags” documentary called “Gone in an Instant.”
Sonny Liston, former world famous boxer, turned nightclub bouncer after his career was over in order to make ends meet. He died of an apparent drug overdose in 1970.
Jon Gosselin, the former father figure of “John and Kate Plus 8,” began installing solar panels for an energy company and waiting tables in Pennsylvania after failing to find work once he and his wife split. The dad of eight used to live in a million-dollar home but now lives in a cabin without internet. After his stint in reality TV, with Gosselin claiming to make more than $20 thousand per episode in 2009 alone, Jon hit rock bottom and was eventually let go from waiting tables after blowing off shifts and showing up late. In 2014, his ex-wife claims Jon began blackmailing her for money.
Better known as Chunk from the 1985 Spielberg/Richard Donner classic, “The Goonies,” Jeff Cohen is now an entertainment lawyer. After Cohen hit puberty, he was forced into early retirement and started using his film connections to work in the business side of the industry. After completing his degree at the UCLA School of Law, he passed the bar and began working as an entertainment lawyer. The Hollywood Reporter recently named Cohen in their Top 35 Executives Under 35.
Another childhood star from movies like “Hook” and “What About Bob?” Charlie Korsmo starred in his final role in 1998 in the hit “Can’t Hardly Wait.” He received a physics degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000, graduated from Yale Law School in 2006 and passed the bar in 2007. Korsmo now works as a law professor at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
“Hairspray” musical actress Nikki Blonsky earned her way onto the John Waters’ remake in 2007, but since then she has ironically received her cosmetology license to work as a makeup artist in a New York hair salon. Appearing in the occasional guest spot in television for “Ugly Betty” and “Smash,” the young singer now focuses on a stable way of living in between acting and singing gigs.
The ’80s pop star Tiffany rode the wave of success with hits like her 1987 cover song, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” but after a long stretch of small-time music, television and film gigs, Tiffany returned to the simple life. But first, she posed nude in Playboy back in 2002 after her records failed to sell. Now she runs a vintage shop called “Tiffany’s Boutique” off of Highway 76 in White House, Tennessee.