Celebs Who Have Never Worked A Regular Job

Celebrities are almost all rich, and nearly all of them earn huge fortunes for being in movies, singing love songs, or holding still so a photographer can take a picture of them wearing fancy designer duds. Being an actor, musician, or model is nice work if you can get it. But, of course, many of our most beloved entertainers had to work their way up to stardom, honing their craft and toiling hard to get to their place at the top of civilization. Others, however, were fortunate enough to be born into wealth. That or they were so talented at such a young age that they were able to start their journey to fame as kids. 

Here are some of those lucky celebs who never had to work a "real" job a day in their life — or, at least, they've never had to earn a hard day's pay outside of the entertainment industry.

Charlize Theron danced her way to the top

Sure, Charlize Theron worked before she became a big-time Oscar-winning movie star, but a lot of her life directly led to her life as a big-name actress. After attending Johannesburg's National School of the Arts in her native South Africa, she won a modeling contract at the age of 16 and moved to Milan, a fashion hotbed in Italy. That entertained her for a while (and paid enough) to get her to the United States, where she trained as a dancer at the legendary Joffrey Ballet School (via WSJ. Magazine). When she hurt a knee, she realized she'd have to do something else, and logically she decided on acting.

But Theron didn't have to pay her dues in Hollywood with commercials or playing dead bodies on crime procedurals shows for long ... or at all. The way she was discovered was pure kismet. After moving to Hollywood in 1995, Theron was about out of money, so her mother sent her a check from South Africa. She went to a bank to cash it, but the teller refused ... leading Theron to throw a fit. An agent was in the bank at the time, and, liking Theron's sass (and appreciating her otherworldly good looks), he gave her his business card. Within a year, Theron's film career began in earnest with the film 2 Days in the Valley.

LeBron James career trajectory was a slam dunk

There's footage all over YouTube of a high school-age LeBron James playing NBA-level basketball, absolutely dominating his opponents. It's no wonder he was so heavily recruited and why he was the no. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, even though he didn't play college ball. James' choice to go pro at 18 paid off well for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, both of whom won an NBA championship thanks to "The King." 

What has never surfaced on YouTube: LeBron James working in a mail room or fetching coffee as an intern. That's because those things didn't happen. James was set up for the basketball life from such an early age that he needed to focus on honing his skills even more, and he didn't have time to work. Lucky for him, he went straight from high school to the NBA and quickly became a multimillionaire.

For Ariana Grande, money was not a 'Problem'

Ariana Grande has lived through a lot of fame cycles, so it feels like she's been around forever. The fiercely ponytailed, Pete Davidson-loving superstar hit the pop culture radar in 2010, taking on the archetypal goofy best friend role on the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious. She later reprised her role as Cat with Jennette McCurdy from iCarly on the mutual spinoff Sam & Cat. But what Grande really wanted to do was sing — something she'd been doing professionally and semi-professionally since she was a child, performing with children's theaters and symphonies in and around Florida. 

Grande had moved to L.A. at the age of 14 with aspirations of recording R&B albums, only to wind up in the Broadway musical 13 on the other side of the country. Soon after, she got the Nickelodeon jobs before she eventually left TV behind in 2014 and became a full-time pop sensation. Grande never had the time to work some other job because she was all in on her career from a very early point.

Jim Henson was movin' right along in high school

Few people changed the landscape of American pop culture the way Jim Henson did. Before he came along, puppet-based entertainment was one of two things: either kid stuff or an artsy European display. With the development of his puppet creations, which were alternately deeply humanized and absolutely zany, he created one of the most enduring and beloved brands of all time. He's helped steer educational television with Sesame Street, which is still on the air after nearly 50 years, and he's created family-friendly comedies like The Muppet Show, various Muppet films, and Fraggle Rock.

Obviously, Henson possessed some genius-level talent and was off on his path fairly early, though he didn't necessarily always want to be a puppeteer. He reportedly first wanted to be an artist or to just merely work in television. In 1954, he got his first job in the entertainment history, constructing puppets for a local Saturday morning kiddie show in Washington, D.C. called The Junior Morning ShowHenson was still in high school at the time. 

Then, as an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Maryland, Henson got his own TV show: Sam and Friends, a five-minute daily show that ran in between a local news broadcast and The Tonight Show. And, before long, he was producing Muppet-starring national commercials.

Jay-Z had 99 problems and some lame job wasn't one

Jay-Z's career path was just your typical success story: Get born, grow up on the streets, sell crack, become a successful rapper, marry Beyoncé, and then buy and sell part of the Brooklyn Nets. Okay, so maybe that's not a likely life trajectory for most, and admittedly the rapper didn't exactly have it easy. Hova's success is actually a testament to the power of working hard, being talented, and knowing how to hustle. But Jay-Z knew from an early age that he wasn't going to make a decent living (let alone get rich) working at a regular 9-to-5 gig or at some soul-crushing minimum-wage job. And so, he responded to his environmental cues.

"Crack was everywhere," the man born as Shawn Carter told Vanity Fair. "You look out in the puddles on the curbs — crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell." Jay-Z has stressed that he never used crack, but he did sell it. And although it gave him the business skills he'd need to sell himself and Rocawear, he does have some regrets. "I realized the effects on the community," he shared. "I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes." 

Paul Giamatti plays working-class guys even though he was never one

Paul Giamatti is a versatile actor, portraying everyone from the title character in HBO's John Adams to cult cartoonist Harvey Pekar in American Splendor, but he truly excels when portraying put-upon sad sacks — the kind of guys who have been chewed up and spit out by life time and time again. Well, that just speaks to Giamatti's incredible talent, because he does not seemingly pull from life to play guys like Miles Raymond in Sideways.

He was born and raised in New Haven, Conn., home of Yale University, where his father, A. Bartlett Giamatti, was the president of the hallowed institution. From there, the elder Giamatti moved on to become the commissioner of Major League Baseball. While other teens might have an after school job, the younger, future Oscar-nominated Giamatti couldn't because he was being educated at Choate, an extremely fancy boarding school. From there, it was on to Yale, a brief foray into animation, and then an acting career. When the subject of bad jobs came up in a joint 2016 Capitol File interview with his Billions co-star Maggie Siff, she talked about a temp job at a hedge fund; Giamatti deftly changed the subject to a weird indie movie he once filmed.

Work was not a 'Battlefield' for Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks, the youngest winner in American Idol history (she was just 17 when she competed in 2007), is the beneficiary of double circumstances that would preclude her from the working life: She grew up with a little money, and she started her singing career when she was but a child.

Her father is Phillippi Sparks, who was a cornerback with the New York Giants for eight seasons and the Dallas Cowboys for one. While that put some cash into the Sparks family's financial reserves — he received a $1.5 million signing bonus his final season in the NFL — the young future star was well on her way.

She competed in and won multiple talent contests, and she frequently sang the national anthem at sporting events in the Phoenix area. According to a vocal coach named Melissa Black in Star (via Today), 14-year-old Sparks took weekly voice lessons for nine months, and, by that point, she already had a manager. (Sure, it was her grandmother, but she had a manager nonetheless.) She even did a little modeling for Torrid, too. When you're one of the most famous singers in the country before you can vote, you just don't need to go work at Arby's.

How do you spell early success?

Not only did Tori Spelling grow up rich, but she also started acting professionally at age 8, well before when most Americans get their first "real" job. Both of those circumstances are due to the generosity of her father, TV mega-producer Aaron Spelling. He helped bring shows like The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels to the air, and, as a result, became a millionaire a hundred times over  —The Hollywood Reporter said he left behind an estate worth $500 million when he passed in 2006. 

The elder Spelling was also instrumental in getting a soap opera about rich teens at West Beverly Hills High School onto the air in the early days of Fox — we're talking about Beverly Hills, 90210, of course. Tori Spelling was cast as proud virgin Donna Martin on the series, though she claims she went into her audition with a fake name so as to claim she got the part due to her acting abilities and not nepotism. The producers knew it was her nonetheless, perhaps on account of how she'd been acting in Spelling shows like Vegas$ and Fantasy Island since she was a little kid. So, Tori Spelling certainly had no need or want to ever flip burgers.

Family money? That's hot

Paris Hilton loves to describe herself as an "heiress," which is like being an heir to a throne but with money instead of governmental authority. She's part of the wealthy Hilton family — her great-grandfather Conrad Hilton founded Hilton Hotels, so money for teenage needs like gas and class rings was never a problem (via Town & Country). 

Unlike her great-grandpa, Paris Hilton became a socialite and party animal and was called "New York's leading 'It Girl'" in 2001, the year she turned 20. But she really became famous in 2003, upon the back-to-back release of her sex tape and the debut of her reality show The Simple Life. The conceit of that show: Hilton and her friend, the apparently also-sheltered Nicole Richie, take jobs for the first time in their lives, working on a farm or slinging scoops at Dairy Queen. However, Hilton's since capitalized on her fame and celebrity by creating a personal brand, which is a kind of work. Also, she's DJ-ed a lot, but that hardly counts as a "real job," right?

The only way to Liv

Before Liv Tyler knew that her biological father was rock star Steven Tyler of Aerosmith — she found out when she was 8 years old — she was raised by her mother, model and singer Bebe Buell, and a father figure, Todd Rundgren, another rock star (via Hello!). Seeing as how she grew up in a well-to-do household and was the daughter of a model and a good-looking guy, Tyler was blessed with genetics that would carry her to a modeling career at 14, the age where other kids find work by manning a drive-through or mowing lawns. But despite being gorgeous, modeling didn't quite suit Tyler, and she got into acting instead, which apparently suited her very much. One of the celeb's first roles was in the music video for Aerosmith's "Crazy" in 1994, and, before long, she was on to Empire Records, That Thing You Do!, and The Lord of the Rings.