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Celebrities Who Worked at Hooters Before They Were Famous

We’ve all got to start somewhere. It’s a well-established fact that many stars’ first roles were as servers or bartenders at a restaurant. It’s been said that many of the demands of these jobs closely mimic those placed on actors, including improvisation, memorization, and the ability to stay calm and collected under pressure. Anyone that’s worked in food service before can tell you that it takes a “thick skin” to be a server.

For instance, before he landed his breakthrough role on Parks & Recreation, Chris Pratt worked at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Other stars that waited tables before making it big include Sarah Silverman, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Anniston.

For many aspiring actresses and models looking to get a bit of exposure while earning a living, working at Hooters seemed to check both of those boxes. This restaurant chain has long been notorious for being a place where attractive girls wearing skimpy outfits have pretended as though they actually enjoy having men constantly ogling at them. Women who can thrive in this environment prove that they have what it takes to put up with the substantially more demanding and high-stakes realm of Hollywood.

In this video, we’ll be taking a look at several stars who leveraged their time working at Hooters to help launch their Hollywood careers.

Facts Verse Presents: Celebrities Who Worked at Hooters Before They Were Famous

Amy Adams

This six-time Academy Award-nominated actress is arguably best known for her recent role in the HBO suspense series Sharp Objects. That series was based on a novel by Gillian Flynn and featured Adams in the role of a crime-solving journalist named Camille Preaker. Ironically, in the show, Adams showed virtually no skin due to her character’s history with scars, but pretty much right out of high school, Adams took a job as a waitress at Hooters, where showing off her skin was literally part of the job description.

A couple of years ago, Adams told Entertainment Tonight that she actually really enjoyed the job. She started out as a hostess but soon moved on to waiting tables. She went on to tell the outlet that it was a great way for her to earn money.

Adams never suspected that working at that minimum wage job would eventually lead to her big-screen success. Initially, she had aspirations of becoming a dancer. Eventually, after she earned enough cash, she left the job, bought a car, and found employment working at a company called Chanhassen Dinner Theatres which is based out of Minnesota. Soon enough, she was discovered by a Hollywood talent agent, and the rest is history.

LeAnn Tweeden

Tweeden is known by most for hosting a number of popular sports talk shows, but she actually ended up landing those jobs thanks to her lengthy career as a model. Before she worked with The Best Damn Sports Show Period and Fox Sports Net, Tweeden worked as a lingerie and swimsuit model. Prior to that, she was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant.

Currently, Tweeden is co-host of Dr. Drew Midday Live on Radio 790 KABC in LA.

In 2010, she married a California Air National Guard pilot named Chris Dougherty. The two have since had two children, a son named Kane and a daughter named Kaia.

Jerri Manthey

Manthey rose to prominence, briefly gaining celebrity status, after her stint appearing on the reality program Survivor. In fact, she was one of the earliest cast members of that show. Before that, however, she worked at a Hooters location in her hometown.

In 2001, Manthey posed nude for Playboy. In March of 2010, while Survivor: Heroes vs Villains was still airing, she was removed from a flight in Charlotte, North Carolina after she got into a heated argument with a flight attendant.

LeAngela Davis

Before she appeared on America’s Next Top Model, Davis worked at Hooters. In fact, she’s never fully broken ties with the restaurant chain. Since 2007, she’s been featured in every issue of Hooters Magazine. It’s safe to say that if it weren’t for Hooters, Davis’ modeling career would have never gotten off the ground.

Vienna Girardi

This star has built quite a career for herself as a television reality star. In 2002, she appeared on The Bachelor. Eight years later, she joined the cast of the spin-off series, Bachelor Pad. Also in 2010, she appeared on the special The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding.

For a brief bit, Girardi was married to Josh Riley, but after the two divorced, she found employment working at Hooters in order to make end’s meet and keep food on the table.

Alison Waite

Waite is one of two former Playboy Playmates whose careers received a significant jump start after working at a Hooters restaurant. Not just another pretty face, Waite is a resident of California, where she majored in Gerontology at San Diego State University. She graduated with her master’s degree in 2005.

While working her way through college, Waite worked at Hooters. It was there that she was discovered by Hugh Hefner.

Jesse Jane

This adult film star discovered at a fairly young age where her talents lied and what her most significant assets were. Her career began in modeling before she shifted gears and entered the adult movie industry. Before all of that, however, she was a server at a southern California Hooters location.

Samantha Burke

While she might not be a massive star, Burke is best known for being the mother of actor Jude Law’s fourth child. The two struck up a relationship in 2008, and Burke gave birth to their daughter in September 2009.

Before meeting Law, Burke worked as a Hooters girl. She then did some work as a fashion model. Recently, however, she seems to have been widely out of the spotlight.

Holly Madison

This model is easily one of the most famous former Hooters girls. She worked at Hooters when she was a teen, right out of high school. It was there that she was discovered by Hugh Hefner. Not only did Hef transform her into a Playboy Playmate, but the two also entered into a steamy hot romantic relationship for a spell.

Naya Rivera

Best known for her prominent role on Glee, Rivera spent the bulk of her adult life in front of the camera, cashing in on her looks. Before her Hollywood career took off, she worked at a California-area Hooters restaurant.

She got her start as a child actress and model, appearing in national TV ads. When she was four, she was cast in the role of Hillary Winston on the short-lived sitcom The Royal Family. From 2009 to 2015, she portrayed the lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee. That role earned her critical acclaim and various accolades, including a SAG Award and an Alma Award. She and the rest of the cast also earned two Grammy Award nominations.

She’s went on to take a stab at a solo music career and used her platform to raise awareness for LGBT, immigrant, and women’s rights.

On July 8, 2020, while swimming with her four-year-old son, Rivera drowned at Lake Piru in Santa Clarita, California. After a five-day search, her body was recovered from the lake, and she was offically pronounced dead at the age of 33.

Chrissy Teigen

Teigen is a model and TV personality who made her pro-modeling debut in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She later appeared on the magazine’s 50th-anniversary cover alongside Lily Aldridge and Nina Agdal.

From 2015 to 2016, she was a panelist on the syndicated daytime talk program FABLife. After that she co-hosted the musical competition series Lip Sync Battle from 2015 to 2019. Most recently, she was a judge on the comedy competition Bring The Funny.

Teigen was born in Delta, Utah. When she was still a baby, her family moved to Snohomish, Washington, where her parents ran a tavern. When she was 15, her family relocated once again to Huntington Beach, California. For a brief time before she landed her modeling career, Teigen worked at a surf shop. After leaving that job, she briefly worked as a Hooters Girl in Miami, Florida.

Katrina Darrell

Darrell rose to fame when she appeared on the eighth season of American Idol, where she was known as the “Bikini Girl”. Shortly before she auditioned for the singing competition, she was fired from her job at Hooters.

According to an interview with Fox News, Darrell worked at the chain for three months but failed to rise through the ranks to become a waitress. More than likely, she was a hostess, as that’s where the majority of the Hooter’s girls get their start.

Evidently, she was fired after she repeatedly left her shifts early to attend various auditions instead.

Anna Burns

Burns is married to NFL player Wes Walker. Before she met her husband, she worked as a Hooters girl.

While working at a North Carolina Hooters restaurant, she won the 2005 Miss Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant. Since then, she’s appeared in numerous issues of the official hooters Magazine in addition to gracing the pages of the chain’s annual calendar.

Teri Harrison

Model and Playboy Playmate Teri Harrison worked at Hooters and competed in the chain’s yearly beauty pageant before she appeared on The Price Is Right as one of Barker’s Beauty’s from 2002 to 2005.

Harrison has also appeared in radio commercials for WLZR and KDKB.

At one point, Harrison was married to Morgan Rose, the drummer of the rock band Sevendust. The two had one child together before divorcing.

Hooter’s has gotten a pretty bad wrap in the last few years – especially regarding their hiring practices and perceived promotion of misogyny – but as we’ve seen, the restaurant chain has served as a pretty effective launching board for a lot of models and actresses who have gone on to do bigger and better things.

Nobody should shame anyone for where they once worked before making it big. Like we said at the outset, we all got to start somewhere.

On that note, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up by handing the mic over to you. Did you know that stars like Naya Rivera, Amy Adams, and Chrissy Teigen all got their start working at Hooters and that many former Hooters waitresses have gone on to be featured in the pages of the Hooters Magazine? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for watching!

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