Celebrities Who Have Experienced Homelessness


Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelessness

This is a list of celebrities and other prominent and famous individuals who have experienced being homeless for a brief or extended period at one time in their lives, either as children or adults. If available, the location of where the person slept at night is indicated in parentheses. ”Camping“ refers to homeless camping, not recreational camping.

Total Names: 171
Males: 129
Females: 42

Billionaires: 1
Millionaires: uncounted
Nobel Prize Winners: 1
Nobel Prize Nominees: 2  (includes above)
Oscar Winners: 6
Oscar Nominees: 10  (includes above)
Emmy Award Winners: 8
Emmy Award Nominees: 11  (includes above)
Grammy Award Winners: 9
Grammy Award Nominees: 14  (includes above)
Best-Selling Authors: 8
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients (U.S.’s highest civilian honor): 1
Knighthoods: 1


Lionel Aldridge . . . American football player; television sportscaster-analyst; played in two winning Super Bowl games (homeless for 2 1/2 years). Photo: The Topps Company.

Rubina Ali . . . actress (age 9, outdoor camping in Mumbai, India after municipal workers destroyed her family’s makeshift home located in the slums) (source: news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/124888, “She’s world famous . . . and now homeless. The family of Rubina Ali, the 9-year-old girl who portrayed the young Latika in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, is trying to find shelter after authorities in Mumbai bulldozed their shanty house. This comes less than a week after the home of costar Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10 (young Salim) was demolished.”).

Matthew Ansara . . . actor; son of actress Barbara Eden and actor Michael Ansara (streets in the Los Angeles area) (sources: 20/20 Downtown, ABC-TV newsmagazine, January 30, 2002, Barbara Eden oncamera sit-down interview conducted by Connie Chung / People magazine, March 11, 2002, Barbara Eden print interview).
Nathaniel Ayers . . . classical street musician; musical prodigy; subject of the book and 2009 film The Soloist starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx as Ayers. (“Skid Row” in Los Angeles; developed schizophrenia during his second year of training at Juilliard School). Pictured: poster from the film.

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John Drew Barrymore . . . actor; father of actress Drew Barrymore (streets/shelters).
Jean-Michel Basquiat . . . artist-actor (streets of New York City where he began as a graffiti artist and found fame as a canvas artist with the help of Andy Warhol. The poster at right is for a 1996 movie based on his life. The cast included actors Jeffrey Wright [title role], Benicio Del Toro, David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Parker Posey, Courtney Love, and Tatum O’Neal.).
Arthur Bell . . . ballet dancer (streets of Brooklyn in New York City). Photo: CNN.
Halle Berry . . . Oscar-winning and Emmy Award-winning actress (shelter in New York City) (sources: Reader’s Digest, April 2007, cover story: “Halle Berry: From homeless shelter to Hollywood fame.” Page: 89: RD: “Is it true that when you moved to New York to begin your acting career, you lived in a shelter?” Berry: “Very briefly. …I wasn’t working for a while. RD: “How old were you then?” Berry: “I probably was about 21. But a girl had to do what a girl had to do. You can do that when you’re 21 and ambitious, and your eyes are this big and you don’t want to go home.” / US magazine, April 22, 2007: “Halle Berry was homeless. Berry slept at a shelter in NYC after her mom refused to send her money.”) .
Danny Bonaduce . . . actor; radio-show host; American author (car, just before beginning his radio career).
Matt Borlenghi . . . Emmy Award-nominated actor (streets/truck/outdoor camping in Santa Monica, California) (sources: Entertainment Tonight, June 13, 2002, Matt Borlenghi oncamera sit-down interview conducted by Maria Menounos / Entertainment Tonight website article, June 12, 2002) .
John Green Brady (John G. Brady) . . . governor of Alaska 1897-1906 (streets of New York City during his childhood; sent west on one of many “orphan trains,” accompanied on this particular trip by future North Dakota governor Andrew Burke). Photo: Alaska State Library.
Sherry Brantley . . . American author; lecturer.
T. Casey Brennan . . . American author (homeless shelter in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA).
Shannon Briggs . . . boxer (streets of New York City while a teenager).
Wes Browning . . . artist; writer; former university professor (cars/kitchen floor of friend’s apartment/couch at friend’s business).
Buddha (Gautama Siddhartha) . . . religious leader; source for Buddhism; Enlightened One in the Buddhism religion (outdoor camping). Photo: artist’s rendering.
Andrew Burke . . . governor of North Dakota 1870-1873 (streets of New York City during his childhood; sent west on one of many “orphan trains,” accompanied on this particular trip by future Alaska governor John Green Brady).

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Cappadonna . . . rap music singer (self-imposed homelessness on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland: “It was by choice. But it was more of my way of rebelling against the materialistic world.”).

Cally Cardwell . . . mother of actress-singer Lena Cardwell (public transportation terminals in New York City with her daughter).

Lena Cardwell . . . actress-singer (train, bus, and subway terminals in New York City for two years as a child with her mother). Photo: NBC-TV.
Drew Carey . . . Emmy Award-nominated actor-writer-producer-comedian; best-selling American author (star of the television series The Drew Carey Show) (car) (source: Entertainment Tonight, May 23, 2002; birthdays segment, co-host Mary Hart: “Which star of The Drew Carey Show once lived out of his car? That’s Drew Carey himself, who turns 44 today.”)
Jim Carrey . . . actor-writer-producer-comedian (yellow VW van in various Canadian locations with older brother John Carrey, older sister Rita Carrey, and parents Percy Carrey and Kathleen Carrey/outdoor camping in a tent with his family in the backyard of the home of his older married sister, Patricia Carrey).

Lenedra Carroll . . . mother and manager of Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel (VW van; one of two used by mother and daughter).

Todd Chaisson . . . singer-musician; lead vocalist of the band “Substance D” (cardboard box in the back of a grocery store in North Hollywood, California).
Charlie Chaplin . . . Oscar-winning actor-writer-director-producer; British-born author; knighted (streets of London during his childhood after his father died and his mother suffered a mental breakdown).
John Chapman . . . early American naturalist-nurseryman who traveled the American Midwest planting, harvesting, selling, and giving away apple trees; legendized in stories, poems, and songs as “Johnny Appleseed” (outdoor camping/barns).

Kelly Clarkson . . . Grammy Award-winning singer; American Idol television talent show 1st-season winner 2002  (car/shelter, with her female roommate after a major structural fire forced them out of a 71-unit apartment building in West Hollywood, California in March 2002) (source: Inside Edition television newsmagazine, September 5, 2002; story/interview with her roommate-fellow Texan, actress-singer-dancer Janet Harvick.  Janet:  “It was really, really rough because we had just moved here, and we had just moved in the day of the fire. We knew nobody here—I mean nobody, so the night of the fire, the next day, and night, we stayed in our car.” / US Weekly magazine, September 23, 2002; print story:  “‘My apartment [building] burned down; my car got towed twice,’ recalls Clarkson, who, with nowhere to go, lived in a homeless shelter for several days.”) Photo: TV Guide.

Willy Chow . . . martial arts master instructor (streets/outdoor camping in Hawaii).

Kurt Cobain . . . Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-musician; rock star; lead vocalist of the band “Nirvana” (outdoor camping under a bridge in Aberdeen, Washington USA/cardboard box on the porch of a drummer friend/hallway floor of an apartment building/hospital waiting room/old couch in a garage). (source: book, Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of kurt Cobain, by Charles R. Cross, 2001).
Photo: Rolling Stone magazine.
James A. Conrad . . . American author; physics researcher (car/outdoor camping; hurricane). Photo: jamesaconrad.com.
Daniel Craig . . . actor; James Bond in the 007 movies (park bench in London while a struggling actor).
(source: Daily Mail newspaper, October 14, 2005).

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Jacqueline Danforth . . . daughter of television journalist Barbara Walters and theatrical producer Lee Guber; founder-executive director of Daughters, Inc. / New Horizons Wilderness Program for young women (ran away from home in 1984 at age 15 and hitchhiked approximately 800 miles across the southwest United States for a month) (source: Dateline NBC TV newsmagazine, October 18, 2002, Jackie Danforth and Barbara Walters oncamera interview conducted by host Jane Pauley.  Jackie: “I ended up hitchhiking with some guy that I, you know, met on the street. And he [eventually] went through my wallet and found a phone number.”  Barbara: “And he called me. And then I knew where she was, thank God.”). Photo: Daughters, Inc.
Frenchie Davis . . . singer; American Idol television talent show 2nd-season semifinalist contestant; Entertainment Tonight special correspondent (homeless for three months; stayed with friends) (sources: Entertainment Tonight, Februrary 12, 2003; Us Weekly magazine, March 3-10, 2003). Photo: American Idol.

John Paul DeJoria . . . Billionaire American businessman; co-founder and spokesperson of the hair-care company “John Paul Mitchell Systems” (homeless twice in his early 20s as a single father in Los Angeles).

Tyler Denk . . . male model (streets) (source: Entertainment Tonight, September 2, 2002; interview/story, co-host Bob Goen: “. . . and soon he was living on the street.”).
Troy Donahue . . . actor (temporary shelters/outdoor camping in Central Park in New York City). Photo: TV Guide.

Jack Dowling . . . artist (homeless for a year in New York City after the apartment building in which he lived was condemned by the City and given to New York University).

Bobby Driscoll . . . Oscar-winning actor (as child star); the original voice of Walt Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan animated movie (died alone of a heart attack at age 31 in a vacant tenement building in New York City).
D-Vine . . . rap music star (homeless shelter after his mother died).
Andrea Dworkin . . . American author (under a bridge in Amsterdam/cot in a movie theater/streets/temporary shelters).

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George Eads . . . actor (one of the stars of the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) (car, in Los Angeles while a struggling actor).

Michael Elliot . . . American screenwriter-producer (streets of Philadelphia for a time while a teenager after dropping out of high school).

Janice Erlbaum . . . American author (shelter in New York City for a time while a teenager).

Lars Eighner . . . American author (streets/vacant buildings/outdoor camping).
Philip Emeagwali . . . supercomputer scientist; lecturer; one of the pioneers of the Internet (refugee camps and abandoned buildings with his family during his childhood in Nigeria/streets of Washington DC). Photo: emeagwali.com.
Tiffany Evans . . . singer; Star Search 2003 Grand Champion in Junior Vocalist category (van, with family). Photo: Star Search/CBS-TV.
Robert Evans . . . Oscar-nominated American film producer (Chinatown, Marathon Man, Urban Cowboy, Popeye, etc.); movie studio executive; author (source: USA Today newspaper “Talk Today” online chat, July 25, 2002. Q: “Did you ever experience homelessness for any length of time? A: “I was living in Havana [as a young man] and was ordered to leave, put on a plane, and landed on a beach. For 24 hours, I was in Key West and was homeless.”).

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Richard Fagan . . . American songwriter; has written six number-one hit songs and albums featuring his songs have sold over 25 million copies (homeless twice in the 1970s after being discharged from military service in the Vietnam War).
June Fairchild . . . actress (shelter/streets in downtown Los Angeles) (source: Entertainment Tonight, July 4, 2002; oncamera interview, including oncamera visits to homeless locations).
Roch Fautch . . . artist (homeless for about three months after he got divorced).
Doug Ferrari . . . stand-up comedian (car/homeless shelters in San Francisco).

Ella Fitzgerald . . . Grammy Award-winning singer; U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (streets of Harlem in New York City for a year while a teenager just before she won an amateur singing talent contest at the Apollo Theater).
Blaze Foley . . . singer-songwriter (friends’ couches/pool tables in nightclubs/dumpsters).

John Francis . . . American author; founder of Planetwalk (walked across the United States and South America beginning in the 1970s).

Benjamin Franklin . . . one of the Founding Fathers of the United States; one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence; best-selling American author, statesman, printer, scientist, inventor, philosopher (ran away from home in Boston at age 17 via a ship journey to New York City, then made his way to Philadelphia on foot and by boat) (source, his autobiography: Memoires De La Vie Privee, published in 1791, a year after his death: “So I sold some of my books to raise a little money, was taken on board privately, and as we had a fair wind, in three days I found myself in New York, near three hundred miles from home, a boy of but seventeen, without the least recommendation to or knowledge of any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket.”).
Franko B . . . artist (homeless for a few years).
Leslie Frederick . . . singer-songwriter; photographer; American author (VW van/sleeping next to her motorcycle at roadside rest stops).

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Chris Gardner . . . Multimillionaire stockbroker; American author; the 2006 movie the Pursuit of Happyness starring Wil Smith was based on his life (subway stations, trains, bathrooms, church-run shelter with his son in California).

John Garfield . . . Oscar-nominated actor (outdoor camping/freight trains).
Mary Gauthier . . . singer-songwriter (streets during her teen years after running away from her alcoholic parents’ home).
Charles Gayle . . . jazz musician (streets and abandoned buildings in New York City).
Joe Gilliam Jr. . . . American football player; youth football camp operator; played in two winning Super Bowl games; Sports Illustrated magazine cover subject September 23, 1974 (streets/sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge in Nashville, Tennessee). Photo: Sports Illustrated magazine.

Bruce Goldwell . . . American author (outdoor camping in Venice Beach and Santa Monica, California for nearly a decade).

Kelsey Grammer . . . Emmy Award-winning actor (star of the television series Frasier) (outdoor camping in back of a theater behind his motorcycle) (source: Entertainment Tonight, December 12, 2001, celebrity “Rags to Riches” story segment, snippet from a 1994 ET sit-down interview).
Cary Grant . . . . Oscar-winning actor (streets of Southampton, England during a summer in his youth at the time of World War I) (source: book, Cary Grant: A Biography, by Marc Eliot, 2004, page 31: “Archie then volunteered for summer work as a messenger and gofer on the military docks, often sleeping in alleys at night if he didn’t make enough money to rent a cot in a flophouse.”).
Woody Guthrie . . . folk singer-songwriter; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; author (freight trains/outdoor camping).

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Janet Harvick . . . actress-singer-dancer (car/shelter, with soon-to-be rock star Kelly Clarkson after a fire damaged their apartment building in West Hollywood, California; see also above entry for Kelly Clarkson).

Lemuel Hill . . . Native American artist (streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles during the ages 15-21/outdoor camping in Central Park after moving to New York City).

Cheri Honkala . . . human rights advocate; American author; playwright; mother of actor Mark Webber (streets/vacant buildings/homeless shelters, with her son). Photo: ABC News.
Fiona Horne . . . Australian-born singer; author; rock star; “Australia’s most famous witch” (streets of Kings Cross, Australia).
Harry Houdini . . . magician; escape artist; paranormal investigator; Hungarian-born American author (streets/outdoor camping/temporary shelters; left home at age 12 in search of work and traveled for two years on his own, making his way from Wisconsin to Missouri and settling finally in New York City).
Djimon Hounsou . . . West African-born (Benisese) Oscar-nominated actor; former model (subway/streets/outdoor camping near the Eiffel Tower for two years beginning at age 13).
James Byron Huggins . . . best-selling American author; journalist; former police officer (car/camping in the woods after using his life savings to help religious freedom activists in Romania).

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Don Imus . . . radio-show host; photographer; best-selling American author (between the dryers in a Laundromat in Hollywood, California).

William A. Inman . . . early American attorney; Republican prosecutor-judge (homeless during his youth after both his parents died).
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail . . . actor (age 10, outdoor camping in Mumbai, India after municipal workers destroyed his family’s makeshift home located in the slums) (source: news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/124888).

Burl Ives . . . Oscar-winning actor; Grammy Award-winning folk singer; American author (freight trains/outdoor camping; hitchhiked in the 1930s while in his early 20s across America, Canada, and Mexico).

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Tom Jackson . . . singer-actor (streets of Winnipeg, Canada).
Vinnie James . . . singer-songwriter (streets in Virginia as a teenager; later as an adult, a shelter in Sacramento, California). Photo: vinniejames.com.

Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua of Nazareth) . . . religious leader; source for Christianity; the Christ; God and Savior in the Christian religion (outdoor camping/temporary shelters).

“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58).

Jewel . . . Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter (1979 VW van; joined eventually by her mother/manager Lenedra Carroll, who lived out of her own VW van. Jewel: “I was homeless when I was 18.” (quote source: TV Guide magazine, March 16-22, 2009, pg 9).

Randy Johnson . . . American NFL football player (Bread of Life Mission homeless shelter in Punta Gorda, Florida, 1999) (source: Charlotte Sun newspaper, Florida, May 10 1999, republished September 26, 2009 after his death).

Stacii Jae Johnson . . . actress. (source: article: Los Angeles Sentinel, January 8, 1997, “Actress, Was Homeless, Now Has Name on Silver Screen.”)

Henry Lee Jost . . . lawyer; mayor of Kansas City, Missouri USA 1912-1916 (streets of New York City during his childhood; sent west on one of many “orphan trains”).

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Michael Kalesniko . . . Canadian film director-writer-actor (car, with a friend one summer in the 1980s in Canada as they looked for work).
Michelle Kennedy . . . American author (car). Photo: mishakennedy.com.
Chris Thomas King . . . Grammy Award-winning American Blues musician; actor (public parks in London, England). Photo: Living Blues magazine, June/July/August 2003.
Eartha Kitt . . . Grammy Award-nominated singer; Emmy Award-nominated actress; American author (apartment building rooftops in New York City).
KRS-One (Lawrence Parker) . . . rap music star (homeless shelter in Bronx, New York City). Photo: MTV News.

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Dick Lane . . . American football player; National Football League Hall of Fame inductee (abandoned in a dumpster at the age of three months and then adopted by the woman who found him) (source: Time magazine, February 11, 2002, obituary).

Richard LeMieux . . . American author, former sports writer; former medical directory publisher (van for two years in Bremerton, Washington state in the early 2000s).

Josiah Leming . . . singer-songwriter; American Idol 2008 contestant (car, Mercury Topaz).

David Letterman . . . Emmy Award-winning television writer-comedian; talk-show host; American author (host of the television talk-show Late Show with David Letterman) (red 1973 Chevy pickup truck).
Isaac Levitan . . . Lithuanian-born Russian artist (empty school rooms in Moscow, Russia after his parents died). Photo: Self-portrait, 1880s. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Trasey Lewis . . . granddaughter of producer-writer-Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (shelter in Las Vegas, Nevada).

Lil’ Kim . . . Grammy Award-winning rap singer; actress (car, for a time during her youth with her mother).
Vachel Lindsay . . . American poet (traveled by foot on three “tramps” around the U.S. between 1906 and 1912 reciting his poems in exchange for food and shelter).
Agustin Lira . . . Mexican-born singer-songwriter-musician; film music composer; playwright; a member of the music group Alma (outdoor camping/barns). Photo: Hector Amezcua.

Traci Lords . . . actress-singer-songwriter; American author; former model (outdoor camping while a youth under a bridge one night with other runaway youths, as described in her autobiography Underneath It All).
Li Lu . . . author (homeless for a year after a 1976 earthquake in China). Photo: CNN.

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Richard Mackenzie . . . Scottish-born author; golf caddie manager.

Adam Makowicz . . . jazz pianist (small jazz club where he played and did chores; homeless for two years).
Harry Edmund Martinson . . . Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author (abandoned by his mother at an early age along with his sisters when his father died; later as an adult, he traveled for a time on a “homeless tramp” as a vagrant and vagabond, experiences that provided the basis for some of his writings).
Colin McCabe . . . Scottish-born actor (vacant building next to Union Train Station in Los Angeles). Photo: colinmccabe.com.
Sam McClain . . . Grammy Award-nominated blues singer (streets of Pensacola, Florida).
Pat McDonough . . . American author; Pulitzer Prize nominee (homeless shelter in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA during the winter of 1983-1984).
Rose McGowan . . . actress (streets/sleeping in nightclubs in Portland, Oregon). Photo: TV Guide.
Phil McGraw / “Dr. Phil” . . . TV talk show host; best-selling American author; former psychologist (age 12, Kansas City, Kansas USA, after he and his father moved there while the elder McGarw interned as a psychologist) (source: Globe tabloid newspaper, June 22, 2009, pg 42, “Dirt Poor Dr. Phil Lived in a Car!”: “TV shrink Dr. Phil McGraw is a multimillionaire now, but as a youth, he was so poor, he was homeless and living in a car. … ‘I was homeless living in a car with my dad. We eventually got a room at the downtown YMCA for five bucks a week…”).
Heather Mills . . . British model-television presenter; author; humanitarian; divorced wife of singer-songwriter Paul McCartney (outdoor camping at London’s Waterloo train station at age 14).
Ed Mitchell . . . former television reporter for ITN, BBC, CNBC, and media organizations (a bench next to a nightclub in Hove, Sussex). (sources: The Guardian, December 15, 2007; The Mail on Sunday, December 16, 2007 and December 23, 2007).
Jim Morrison . . . singer-songwriter; poet; lead singer and lyricist for the 1960s rock band “The Doors”; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (with The Doors) (rooftops/cars/under the pier at Venice Beach, California/friends’ couches).
John Muir . . . early American naturalist; advocate for the creation of U.S. national parks; founder of the Sierra Club; author (outdoor camping/farms/a cemetary; traveled by foot from Indianapolis, Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico coast in southern Florida).
Vali Myers . . . Australian artist; former ballet dancer (streets of Paris, France). Photo: 2002 documentary by producer-director Ruth Cullen.

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Michael Oher . . . American NFL football player; subject of the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and 2009 film The Blind Side (nominated for Best Picture Oscar) starring Sandra Bullock (winner, Best Actress Oscar) and Quinton Aaron as Oher. (homeless for a time as a teenager in Memphis, Tennessee). Pictured: poster from the film.
George Orwell . . . British author (shelter).

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Leon Powe “Road To NBA”



Gordon Parks . . . film director (Shaft, Super Cops, etc.); “Life” magazine photographer; best-selling American author (empty trolley cars at night while a teenager after his mother died).
Robert Pastorelli . . . Emmy Award-nominated actor (car, a 1967 Dodge, at age 43 while a struggling actor in New York City).

Jaco Pastorius . . . musician; bassist (bass guitarist) (outdoor camping in Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Tyler Perry . . . actor-director-writer-producer; playwright (car: Geo Metro convertible in the mid 1990s in Atlanta, Georgia USA) (source: Best Life magazine, April 2008, cover story: “A Longer, Richer Life: How Tyler Perry Went From Living in His Car to Commanding a $500 Million Enterprise (and Taking Control of the Starship Enterprise)”) Photo: tylerperry.com.
Charles Sanders Peirce . . . Harvard University-educated genius scientist; mathemetician; logician; philospher; American author; first psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences. (homeless and destitute for a time later in life, relied on charity from friends).

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Margaret Quenemoen . . . recreational clothing designer-manufacturer; mountain climber (car).

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Sally Jessy Raphael . . . Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host; American author (car).
Debbie Reynolds . . . Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress-singer; American author (car for awhile after her divorce in 1973 from Harry Karl, as mentioned in her autobiography). Photo: TV Guide.
Jonathan Richman . . . singer-songwriter-musician (outdoor camping in Central Park in New York City).
Jose Rios . . . Puerto Rican-born artist (streets/outdoor camping).
Shane Ritchie . . . British actor (streets of Plymouth in southeastern England for two weeks in 1980 at age 16).
Joan Rivers . . . Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host; TV-radio show host; best-selling American author; comedienne (car). Photo: TV Guide.
J.R. Richard (Janis Rodney Richard) . . . Houston Astros baseball player (under an Interstate highway bridge in Houston, Texas). Photo: Sports Illustrated magazine.
Archie Roach . . . Australian Aboriginal musician-songwriter; one of Australia’s most popular musicians (streets).
Frederick Rolfe (Baron Corvo) . . . British-born author; painter; photographer (outdoor camping next to canals in Venice, Italy).
Julia Rose . . . singer-songwriter-musician (streets of Fell’s Point district in Baltimore, Maryland).

Darryl Rouson . . . Florida State Representative; lawyer; political activist (floor of an office building for a brief period, early 2000s) (source: Miami Herald, April 21, 2010: “Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, said he used to be homeless about a decade ago and slept on the floor of an office building. ‘I understand homelessness,’ he said. ‘I understand what it means to wash off in a public bathroom. This bill [making homelessness a hate crime in Florida] seeks to protect our weakest.'”

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“Colonel” Harland Sanders . . . businessman; founder-spokesperson of the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” fast-food restaurant chain (homeless at age 10 when his mother remarried and he left home due to altercations with his stepfather/car as an adult; slept in the backseat nightly because he could not afford lodging as he traveled around the United States and Canada, sometimes with his wife Claudia, trying to sign up restaurants to use his special fried chicken recipe for a franchise licensing fee).
Coltin Scott . . . actor (car, after moving to Los Angeles).
Kyle Secor . . . actor (car/yoga studio where he taught).

Ibn Shabazz . . . actor; screenwriter (shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina).

Tupac Shakur . . . actor; rap music star (homeless shelters).
William Shatner . . . Emmy Award-winning actor-director; best-selling Canadian-born American author (pick-up truck with a walk-in camper on the back for a time after his divorce due to financial difficulties after the cancellation of the television series Star Trek, in which he starred. Included in that time was traveling the east coast of the U.S. appearing in a play on the summer theater circuit and sleeping in the camper with his dog, a Doberman pinscher. Shatner: “I now had three children and an ex-wife to support and I was just about broke. I even lived out of a pick-up truck for a while.” Source: DailyMail.co.uk, May 11, 2008 / Shatner: “I lived out of the back of my truck, under a hard shell. It had a little stove, a toilet, and I’d drive from theater to theater. The only comfort came from my dog, who sat in the passenger seat and gave me perspective on everything.” Source: Details magazine, January 2008. / Shatner: “I’d been a working actor for decades, I’d starred in three failed TV series [Star Trek the most recent] , and I was a divorced father of three children living in the back of a truck.” Source: book: Up Until Now: The Autobiography, by William Shatner with David Fisher, 2008, page 159. / Also, earlier in his life, he hitchhiked across the U.S. with a male friend during a summer break after their freshman year in college. Source: from the same above autobiography, page 32: “We had no money, so we made signs reading ‘Two mcGill Freshman Seeing the U.S.’ and hit the road. We spent three months living in cars and sleeping on the grass and on the beach.”) Photo: Paramount Television/CBS Studios.
Martin Sheen . . . Emmy Award-winning actor-director-producer (New York City subway while a young struggling actor). Photo: TV Guide.
John Shirley . . . American author; screenwriter (streets of San Francisco).
Marc Singer . . . British-born director; documentary filmmaker; former model (subway tunnels in New York City for two years while making a documentary on the city’s homeless). Photo: Palm Pictures.
Leroy Skalstad (Leroy Allen Skalstad) . . . photojournalist; disabled Vietnam war veteran (streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Photo: Vietnam war era image.
Dave Sloan . . . American author; lecturer; poet (van/outdoor camping in the state of Georgia, USA). Photo: davesloan.com.
Monique Fagan Smith . . . artist (Central Park in New York City). Photo: Frank Palazzolo.
Patti Smith . . . Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter; poet (streets, parks, and subways in New York City).
William Smith . . . early British geologist; cartographer; created the world’s first geologic map in 1815; given the title “The Father of English Geology” (homeless for ten years due to debts after publishing his large format map; later recognized as a genius and given a lifelong pension by King William IV).
Sonique . . . British-born singer; (streets/homeless hostel at age 16 when her mother decided to return to her native island country of Trinidad).
Skip Spence . . . singer-songwriter; founding member of the band “Moby Grape”; original drummer for the band “Jefferson Airplane.”
Scott Stapp . . . Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter; lead vocalist of the band “Creed” (car). Photo: VH1.
Lee Stringer . . . American author (streets/subway tunnels in New York City). Photo: CNN.
Lauralee Summer . . . American author (shelters with her mother during her youth).
Hilary Swank . . . Oscar-winning actress (car, an Oldsmobile/one of two air mattresses on the floor of a friend’s vacant house at age 15-16 with her mother after the two moved to Los Angeles from Washington state by car). (source, among others: Reader’s Digest, January 2007, cover story: “Hilary Swank: How Her Risky Choice Paid Off” Page 102: “In 1989, when she was 15, Swank and her mom packed up their Oldsmobile Delta 88 and, with just $75, headed to Los Angeles. They lived in the car until a friend gave them a place to stay. Swank’s mom used a pay phone to book her daughter for auditions.”) Photo: Vanity Fair, August 2006.

Judy Swank . . . mother of Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank (car, an Oldsmobile/friend’s vacant house, with daughter).

————— Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelesness —————


Tommy Tallarico . . . video game composer; writer-producer; elected to a term (2005-2007) on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (Grammy Awards) (Huntington Beach/car, for awhile after moving to Los Angeles from Springfield, Massachusetts). Photo: tallarico.com.

Howard Tate . . . Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter (streets/homeless for 10 years in Camden, New Jersey).

Joseph Teller . . . Father of magician-comedian Raymond Teller, the silent half of the magic-comedy act Penn & Teller (outdoor camping while a traveling teenager in late 1920s America).

Rob Thomas . . . Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter (park benches/beach; homeless for three years after turning 17). Photo: CNN.

Lupus Thunder . . . quitarist; member of the rock band “Bloodhound Gang” (homeless for a month).

Rino Thunder . . . Native American actor (Tompkins Square Park in New York City).
Bill Traylor . . . artist (streets/floor of a funeral home in Montgomery, Alabama USA).
Shania Twain . . . Grammy Award-winning singer (homeless shelter in Toronto, Canada in late 1978 at age 13 with her mother and siblings, as recalled in the book: Shania Twain: The Biography by Robin Eggar, 2005; Shania: “We drove to Toronto and went to a shelter. We finally got fed every day.”).

————— Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelesness —————


Jean-Claude Van Damme . . . actor (Los Angeles streets) (source: The Sun, UK newspaper, Feb 6, 2009, interview, Van Damme: “My eldest son doesn’t know how to deal with society because I over-protect him because of my last life of being on the street and sleeping on the street and starving in L.A. I didn’t want him to have that.”).

————— Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelesness —————


Mark Webber . . . actor (streets/vacant buildings/homeless shelters with his mother for a time during his youth).

Terri White . . . Broadway actress-singer (park bench for three months in 2008 in Manhattan, New York City after losing her apartment) (source: People magazine, November 23, 2009, pg 120, “Homeless to Broadway”: “Last year Toni nominee Terri White was sleeping on a park bench. Now she’s living a dream.”).

Todd Williams . . . American NFL football player (homeless for a time while a teenager).
Charlie Wilson . . . Grammy Award-nominated singer (outdoor camping in Hollywood, California for three years, 1993-1995) (sources: various, including USA Today newspaper, January 25, 2010).
Michael Winslow . . . actor; vocal effects impressionist (Venice Beach in California for a time after hitchhiking from Colorado).
David Wojnarowicz . . . artist; American author (streets of New York City).
John Woo . . . Chinese-born film director (Mission Impossible 2, Broken Arrow, Windtalkers, etc.) (outdoor camping/crude shelter; homeless at age seven along with his family after a major fire in Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1953 destroyed his home and those of 50,000 other residents: “There was a big fire. We were homeless for a year. We lost everything.”).
Sam Worthingtin . . . actor (car for a time while a struggling actor) (source: various, news interview: “I was living in my car before I signed up for ‘Avatar’.” / Star magazine, January 11, 2010, page 14: “Before Avatar, the actor admits, he was ‘living in his car.'”).

————— Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelesness —————


King Sonny Zorro (Andrew Jackson Duffield) . . . singer-songwriter-musician (Venice Beach in California).


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2 thoughts on “Celebrities Who Have Experienced Homelessness

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