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Rare Photos of Celebrities Before They Were Famous

In the era of Botox, plastic surgery, hair transplants, and more, we often find that celebs look pretty young and fresh for longer than perhaps they should. But even as they age and can pay to look their best, we have to remember that they all came from somewhere. And that means they grew up, just like everyone else, with awkward haircuts, terrible outfits, and weird smiles. In this video, we taking a look at some rare photos of celebs that capture them before they became famous. From Tina Fey, to Robin Williams, to Bill Nye, check out these hilarious photos of early stars, as Facts Verse presents: Rare Photos of Celebrities Before They Were Famous!

Robin Williams

The late Robin Williams may have left this world far too soon, but not before he gave us decades of entertainment and laughter. The beloved comic spent his early years perofmirng stand up, being charming on talk shows, and starring in sitcoms like Mork and Mindy. Eventually he shifted into movies, making us laugh, cry, and everything in between in features like Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, and Mrs. Doubtfire. But before all of that, he was an ordinary kid, with dreams of making it big. He worked as a bartender, a busboy, and other odd jobs to make ends meet in his early days. And even before that, he attended high school. This early photo of Robin, before he was a household name, is from his senior year in high school, when he was 18. He looks a bit younger, but still has that same wry smirk that made us all love watching him on screen.

Jim Carrey

Speaking of legendary funnymen, here’s a great shot of Jim Carrey, circa the 1980’s. Carrey’s early days of struggle are well known, as his family tried their best to make ends meet in Canada. They were even homeless for a brief time. This was back in the days when Carrey wrote a million dollar check to himself, promising to one day make enough money that he could cash it and not have it bounce. And boy did he over deliver on that promise. In his heyday, Jim was the highest paid actor in showbiz, raking in millions for lead roles in movies like Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, and The Mask. Jim has had a long career, and has even expanded into the world of art in his later years. But early on, he and his brother took on odd jobs like being janitors and security guards. At some point he dropped out of school, starting doing stand up in Toronto, and the rest is history.

Morgan Freeman

In the movie, Bruce Almighty, Morgan Freeman starred along Jim Carrey, literally playing God. His screen presence and famous voice made for a perfect choice to play a deity, and it was just one of the many roles he’s played to tremendous acclaim over the course of his long career. This shot is of Freeman as an enlisted member of the US Air Force. He served from 1955 to 1959, so the picture would have to be from some time during that span. Serving in the Air Force was something he chose to do, even though at the time he was already on his way to becoming a working actor. That’s because he’d been offered a drama scholarship to Jackson State University. But the call to serve was too strong, and he joined the Air Force instead. But of course, upon completing his service, he dove back in headfirst to acting. He had a starring role in The Electric Company, a kids TV show, in the 1970’s, and from there it was only upwards. He’s one of the most cherished talents of all time in the film and TV world.

Tom Hanks

If the hair in this photo seems a little off, we can blame it on the decade. Because it’s of Tom Hanks in 1974, when haircuts like this weren’t ALL that unusual. But we’re happy it’s not one he has kept to this day. Hanks got the inspiration to become an actor when he read a play called “The Iceman Cometh” by Eugene O’Neill. So, around the time this photo was taken, he enrolled at Cal State University to study in their theater program. He balanced his studies with acting in school productions, as well as working on the crew for a local theater. Like many actors, he decided that he’d had enough schooling, and wanted to get out into the real world. So he dropped out of school and started auditioning. After a few minor successes, including the sitcom, Bosom Buddies, Hanks finally became a big name after landing a lead role in the movie, “Splash.” Fast forward a few decades and Hanks is now perhaps the most beloved movie icon in American history, and has the many awards and accolades that go along with it.


This photo of music legend, Prince, was taken in 1975, when the budding star was only 17. But judging by the afro, the great clothing choices, and the vibe, he was clearly not in an awkward teen stage. It’s quite possible Prince was just born cool. Of course, he wasn’t born famous, so he had to work hard to hone his craft as a performer and a songwriter. And that he did. In the year this photo was taken, Prince joined his first band and they got signed to a record deal. However, his talent was too great to be a part of someone else’s outfit. He went solo and within 5 years was already making waves. By the mid-1980’s he was already one of the biggest names in the industry, selling out venues and churning out hits. Though we lost the eccentric, sexy, and uber-talented singer/songwriter in 2016, his music will undoubtedly be playing for as long as there are devices still around to play music on.

Susan Sarandon

This shot of legendary actress Susan Sarandon from 1963 puts her at around 17 years old. But her gorgeous and highly recognizable look has clearly been with her for her entire life. Sarandon has had a lengthy and successful career as one of the top stars in her field, churning in performances as varied as Janet Weiss in the campy Rocky Horror Picture Show, to the sexy vixen Annie Savoy in Bull Durham, to the stoic and compassionate Sister Helen Prejean in her Oscar winning role in Dead Man Walking. Sarandon has seemed to defy the laws of aging too, as she has remained gorgeous as she gets up there in years.

Bill Gates

While Bill Gates isn’t a Hollywood celebrity, he’s certainly one of the biggest celebs in the world. The founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is considered one of the most brilliant tech founders in history, and has occasionally been the richest man in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s been well behaved all the time. This photo shows him at perhaps not one of the best days of his life. In 1977, he was arrested in Albuquerque for failing to stop at a stop sign, and for not having his license with him when he was pulled over. So, a 22-year old Bill was dragged to the station and these mug shots were taken of him. Perhaps the wry smile in his photo is because he knew someday he’d be able to buy this whole police station if he wanted, or even the city of Albuquerque.

Bill Nye

Bill Nye, aka Bill Nye the Science Guy has enjoyed a long career as the purveyor of science knowledge for kids of all ages. More recently he’s taken on the role of debunking science related myths on social media. Before that he had a long running TV show where he not only made basic science concepts easier to understand, but fun to learn about as well. In this photo, Nye sits with some microscopes in his 9th grade class at the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC. Clearly he was into science from an early age, and it’s nice that he was able to make a career out of it!

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani has had a long and storied career as a part of the seminal pop-punk band, No Doubt, as a solo artist, and as a judge on reality TV. For decades now, she’s been the epitome of cool, female empowerment, and talent. But before any of her fame and fortune, she was just a girl (she what we did there?) looking to play music with her friends. This photo is of an 18 year old Gwen in 1987, posing with her friends and bandmates in No Doubt. This was clearly before Gwen had discovered her trademark looks as a fashion and rock diva. But we can’t blame her for rocking what looks like an outfit she stole from a teacher. She was just a youngster! Thankfully she managed to branch out from this look and became the music legend we know and love!        

Tina Fey

Tina Fey has become a standard bearer for comedy in the last few decades, having written for and starred on SNL, and created the all time classic sitcom, 30 Rock. Add in the mix her many movies like Baby Mama and Mean Girls, plus a bestselling memoir, and clearly Tina is the epitome of comedic success. But clearly before she became an icon of the entertainment industry she had to go through some awkward phases. Case in point: This photo, which shows a 16-year-old Tina posing with her brother and rock star Elvis Costello. Even though Tina looks a little bit thrown by the encounter, we’re sure she was incredibly psyched to meet the music legend. And fortunately she figured out some cooler ways to pose for photos in the years since.

Now it’s time to hear from you! Which of these early celeb photos was the funniest to see? Let us know in the comments section below!

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