5 successful celebrities who began their careers late

Sure, starting early in your chosen career can get you ahead of the competition. You’ve got time on your side. However, that didn’t stop these stars from beginning late and still striking it rich.

From the acting star who dealt with the dead, to a space cowboy who can also knock up a mean set of shelves, here are five celebrities who arrived late to the party.

1. Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres - celebrities successful later in life

Image credit: REX features

Everyone’s favourite talk show host worked as a paralegal and ‘oyster shucker’ before hitting the big time in the mid-1980s. Just goes to show no one achieves their dreams overnight. You just have to keep on swimming.

2. Martha Stewart

Ellen Degeneres - celebrities successful later in life

Image credit: REX features

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart wasn’t always the American national treasure she is now. She started modelling aged 15 for $50 an hour to help pay for college tuition, and later posed for Chanel. Then she became a stockbroker. It wasn’t until her thirties when she began restoration of a farmhouse, built in 1805, that she discovered her love of decoration. It was this which led her to set up a catering business.

3.Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg - celebrities successful later in life

Image credit: REX features

Before her big break in 1985 with Jumping Jack Flash, the  New York-born actress didn’t exactly lead a glamorous life. Instead, she worked in a funeral parlour, applying make-up to dead bodies. Nice.

4. J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling - 6 celebrities who started careers late

Image credit: REX features

The creator of Harry Potter was famously an unemployed single-mum surviving on benefits until the first instalment of the boy wizard’s story was published in 1997. She was 31 then, and it changed her life. Now worth an estimated £647m, starting late hasn’t seemed to have slowed her down…

5. Harrison Ford

>

Image credit: Shutterstock

This was a real late bloomer. Everyone’s favourite space rogue, Ford, worked as a carpenter until being discovered by George Lucas for the role of Han Solo at the age of 35. Indiana Jones soon followed and the rest is history

6. Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler - 6 celebrities who started careers late

Image credit: Shutterstock

The man who is Sparta acutally studied law at uni, and even bagged a job in the profession upon graduation. Unfortunately they let him go and he started acting at the age of 27, getting his first big break in 2007 as King Leonidas in greek war epic 300.