12 Celebrities Who Were Once Dirt Poor

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3. Billy Bob Thornton

The star of Armageddon and the TV series Fargo, actor Billy Bob Thornton started out rough.

He was born in Hot Springs in Arkansas, to an unusual couple. His mother was a psychic, and his father a history teacher and a basketball coach. Along with his two brothers, the family lived with their grandparents’ and a dozen other siblings in a log cabin in the woods. They mostly ate what their grandfather managed to hunt down that day, be it a deer or a possum, and Thornton learned how to read by the light of a coal-oil lamp. They had no running water, nor electricity.

After moving to Malvern, Thornton spent the rest of his childhood in the town, and later on he would undertake a series of minor jobs: he drove bulldozers at a construction site, worked as a maintenance man at a nursing home, and even attempted to become a rock musician by working as a roadie.

As he tried to get his big break as an actor, Thornton worked alongside a friend to create several TV show and movie scripts. One of them proved to be the turning point in his career – Sling Blade. Grossing $65 million as a box office hit, Thornton got his ticket to Hollywood and an Oscar award.

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