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Stallone, Monroe, Steisand's unglamorous past

Monojit Lahiri |

Updated: January 15, 2013, 7:19 PM IST
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Stallone, Monroe, Steisand's unglamorous past
From Marlyn Monroe to Barbara Streisand, all had a humble beginning before they made it big in showbiz.

Okay quick ... who is Barbara Streisand? An amazing powerhouse of starry talent, right? Sly Stallone? The zillion dollar Rocky and Rambo hunk, na? What about Tom Cruise? Oooh, the sexy dreamboat all women love but who loves wife Katie to insanity, huh? And La Monroe? La Loren? Oh Jeezus, those eternally sublime, sinful, delicious sex symbols with bodies that could wake the dead? Marlon Brando? C'mon, who can forget the Godfather of all stars, the idol of guys like, De Niro and Pacino and every single actor on earth obsessed with pursuing performances that reek of truth, power and intensity?

But what if we told you that these divine creatures whom the world admired and adored as the epitome of glamour had the most mundane and an un-glamorous past that one could ever image? Read on:

Lets start with funny girl, Barbara S. Do you know she began her working life at a New York Chop Suey restaurant and later played baby-sitter for the owners? This is nothing compared to mard Rambo! Stallone was (reportedly) slung out of fourteen schools in eleven years, ( a world record?) before he was forced to follow his dad in his business- the beauty parlour business! He hated it and after deliberately chopping off hair of some models, was fired with ceremony!

Next up, is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV who had to earn his keep after his parents divorced when he was twelve, leaving his mom to raise four children, single-handedly. Everyone pooled in doing something or the other. Tom too helped out by being a gardener but had secret plans of being a priest! Luckily, acting turned up and changed his and our life forever.

In 1944, Norma Jean Dougherty worked at California's Radio Plane aircraft factory. The chores involved inspection of parachutes and spraying of aeroplane fuselages. He worked wearing overalls and one day accidentally, an army photographer took some shots of her. Her natural flair prompted the photographer to send her to modeling agency - and bingo, Marlyn Monroe was born! As a struggling actress in Rome, Sophia Loren got by appearing in popular strip cartoons that ran in Italian papers. She usually portrayed negative characters- a gypsy or an Arab! She practiced her grotesque, loud, "Naples School of acting" every night, until providence stepped in. The rest is history.

Finally, the great Don Corleone! Do you know the iconic method actor (whose 'On The Waterfront and 'Street Car Named Desire' remain cult classics) began life as a labourer for the Tile Drainage & Construction Company in Libertyville, Illinois, laying tiles in ditches to drain marshy farmland? Later, he was to become a watchman, Lemonade salesman, lift operator at a Department store where (allegedly) after yelling his lungs out announcing "Fourth Floor, Lingerie; Fifth Floor, Foundation Garments" for four days, he fled!

So all you struggling actors, wherever you are and whatever crappy, mundane, boring and dumb work you are engaged in, remember, if Stallone could work in a beauty parlour, Brando as a liftman, Cruise as a Gardener and Monroe as an inspector of parachutes ... hey, you are in amazing company!

First Published: January 15, 2013, 7:19 PM IST
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