Noted Individuals Have Experienced Homelessness

“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to […]

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“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” – Matthew 8:20

This is a (short) list of celebrities and other prominent and famous individuals who have experienced being homeless for a brief or extended period at one time in their lives, for whatever reason. Most of the folks in the arts went through hard times trying to make it in show business. For instance, Cary Grant (real name Archibald Leach…I wonder why he ever changed it?) lived in a park for a couple of months after being expelled from grammar school in 1918. His home life was hard; he had a distant father, and his mother, as his father told him, was “on a long holiday.” Twenty years later, he learned that his mother had actually been institutionalized for 25 years and was still alive and in a mental hospital. Cary himself struggled with depression later in life.

Day by day we chip away judgment and prejudice and the wall of stigma is slowly coming down.

• Lionel Aldridge: American football player; television sportscaster-analyst; played in two winning Super Bowl games.

• Drew Carey: Emmy Award-nominated actor-writer-producer-comedian.

• Jim Carrey: actor-writer-producer-comedian.

• Sir Charlie Chaplin: Oscar-winning actor-writer-director-producer.

• Kelly Clarkson: Grammy Award-winning singer; American Idol television talent show 1st-season winner.

• Kurt Cobain: Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter; lead vocalist of the band “Nirvana.”

• Daniel Craig: actor; newest James Bond in the 007 movies.

• George Eads: actor; one of the stars of the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

• Ella Fitzgerald: Grammy Award-winning singer; U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

• Chris Gardner: Multimillionaire stockbroker; American author; his life is the basis for the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Wil Smith.

• John Garfield: Oscar-nominated actor.

• Marvin Gaye: Motown Recording Artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member.

• Kelsey Grammer: Emmy Award-winning actor; star of the television series Frasier.

• Cary Grant: Oscar-nominated actor.

• Woody Guthrie: folk singer-songwriter.

• Harry Houdini: magician; escape artist.

• Don Imus: ex- radio-talk show host; best-selling American author.

• Burl Ives: Oscar-winning actor; Grammy Award-winning folk singer.

• Jesus of Nazareth: religious leader; source for Christianity; the Christ; God and Savior in the Christian religion.

• Jewel: Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter.

• David Letterman: Emmy Award-winning television writer-comedian; talk-show host.

• Lil’ Kim: Grammy Award-winning rap singer.

• Harry Edmund Martinson: Nobel Prize-winning Swedish author.

• Jim Morrison: singer-songwriter; poet; lead singer and lyricist for the 1960s rock band “The Doors“ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

• John Muir: early American naturalist; advocate for the creation of U.S. national parks; founder of the Sierra Club.

• George Orwell: British author of “Animal Farm” and “1984.”

• Gordon Parks: film director; best-selling American author.

• Charles Sanders Peirce: Harvard University-educated genius scientist; mathematician; logician; philosopher; American author; first psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

• Sally Jessy Raphael: Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host.

• Debbie Reynolds: Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress-singer.

• Joan Rivers: Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host; comedienne.

• “Colonel” Harland Sanders: businessman; founder of the “Kentucky Fried Chicken” fast-food restaurant chair.

• Tupac Shakur: actor; rap music star.

• William Shatner: Emmy Award-winning actor of the television and movie series “Star Trek.”

• Martin Sheen: Emmy Award-winning actor-director-producer.

• William Smith: British geologist/cartographer; “The Father of English Geology.”

• Hilary Swank: double Oscar-winning actress (for “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Million Dollar Baby.”)

• Rob Thomas: Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter for group “Matchbox 20.”

• Shania Twain: Grammy Award-winning country singer.

• John Woo: Hong-Kong action film director.

Pete Feigal can be contacted at [email protected]  Now that Pete’s eyesight is failing, he has discovered new careers as a national speaker and writer. Pete’s art is actually selling better now than ever. He says jokingly, when he dies, like all artists his art will become even more popular. “That’s when I’ll REALLY clean up!”Pete’s amazing aviation and motorcycle fine art prints and t-shirts can now be seen on Pete’s fledgling Web site at

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