Being a bit-player in Hollywood is not exactly the most lucrative of professions. It could get extremely difficult, challenging, and even frustrating at times – as many bit players languish in relative anonymity for a number of years without ever making it to Tinseltown’s big league. Yes, being a bit-player can actually be a thankless job. However, those who get to wait around long enough to hit the jackpot are rewarded with fame and fortune beyond their wildest dreams.
The following list showcases the ten richest Hollywood celebrities who started out as extras or bit-players. After several years, and even a few decades for some of them, their hard work and dedication paid off and they are now recognized as members of Hollywood royalty.
Check it out and who knows if your favorite star is actually on the list.
10. Channing Tatum – Net worth: $14 million
Hollywood heartthrob Tatum started as a male stripper in Florida. His love for acting moved him to audition in small roles in Hollywood films. His most prominent bit-player role was as a member of a church choir in the Tom Cruise starrer War of the Worlds. His lead role in the dance film Step Up was instrumental to his career rise. He is not only a great dancer but an equally promising character actor.
9. Renee Zellweger – Net worth: $60 million
Zellweger grew up in an abusive household and had to survive her teenage years under very chaotic conditions. Her passion for acting motivated her to audition in bit roles. More often than not, her roles were very insignificant and her scenes were often edited out from the final cut. She got her big break when she starred as the lady love of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. She has since landed pivotal roles that were both commercially successful and critically praised.
Also Read : 10 Richest Celebrities Who Struggled in the Past
8. Ben Affleck – Net worth: $75 million
Affleck started out in bit roles which already showcased his good looks and enigmatic charm. His love for writing and acting enabled him to co-write a screenplay which would also catapult his star to fame. He has since then dabbled into film directing and producing and is one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors.
7. Matt Damon – Net worth: $100 million
Affleck’s childhood friend and best buddy, Damon tagged alongside Affleck as they auditioned for small roles in Hollywood films. He and Affleck hit it big in 1997, when Damon was cast as Will Hunting in an Oscar nominated film which he and Affleck also co-wrote.
6. Jackie Chan – Net worth: $130 million
In his struggling days, Chan worked as a construction worker and obscure martial artist in Australia and Hong Kong. This lasted for several years until his brand of martial arts, infused with comedy and action, became the benchmark of Hong Kong Cinema during its heyday a few decades back.
5. George Clooney – Net worth: $160 million
Clooney did not go directly to the movies. Instead, he auditioned and landed small roles in television dramas and sitcoms back in the 80’s and early 90’s. His good looks and acting skills then landed him the role of Dr. Douglas Ross in the 90’s medical drama ER, where he stayed for 3 seasons before establishing a bankable film and directing career.
4. Clint Eastwood – Net worth: $175 million
Eastwood’s bit roles in the 50’s and early 60’s were forgettable and even uncredited. However, you can’t put a good actor down. Dirty Harry rose to fame in gangster films on decades past and as a critically acclaimed director in the 90’s.
3. Brad Pitt – Net worth: $240 million
It was less than 30 years ago when this Academy Award nominated actor was a virtual nobody in films where his roles were dismal and trivial. However, his good looks and his intense acting potential were not left unnoticed. He began rising as an actor in the 90’s and is currently one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men.
Also Read : The Top 10 Highest Paid Hollywood Actors in 2016
2. Marilyn Monroe – Adjusted Net worth: $275 million
Monroe’s bit-player roles in the 40’s had her throwing one-liners or acting as passerby in her earliest films. Her star began to shine in the 50’s and is still considered the sexiest vixen of Hollywood more than 50 years after her demise.
1. Sylvester Stallone – Net worth: $280 million
Stallone struggled as a nobody for several years before landing the titular role of Rocky Balboa which catapulted him to superstardom. 40 years after the first Rocky film, everybody still knows who Stallone is.