Famous Faces

Posted: April 12, 2008 in Acceptance, Homelessness, Misconceptions

Last night, after I published my post, I kicked off my shoes and turned on the television.

I had originally intended to get to bed early but it didn’t work out that way. During one of the commercials breaks, it said that William Shatner was going to be one of the guests on the Tonight Show. Since I’m a Star Trek fan (or as they’re commonly known – a Trekkie) I decided to stay up and watch.  

Despite being tired and yawning throughout most of Jay Leno’s monologue, I managed to keep awake long enough to watch his interviewing of Mr. Shatner. My eyes popped wide open when it was mentioned that Mr. Shatner had been homeless for a brief time after the cancellation of the Star Trek series. He had lived in his pick-up truck. Then Mr. Leno admitted that he had lived in his car for awhile when he was younger.

Talk about a wake up call.

After that I couldn’t leave it alone. I had to see if there were any other well known personalities who had experienced homelessness at one time or another in their lives. So I logged back onto the Internet and did a quick search.

I found a list which contained the names of 154 well known people: 115 men; 39 women.

On the list there were 6 Oscar winners; 8 Emmy Award winners; 1 Nobel Prize Winner; 1 who was Knighted; 9 Grammy Award winners; 6 Best Selling authors; and one who even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I have to tell you that I was surprised at some of the names on the list. And, these are just the ones who have come forward and admitted to having been homeless. I’m willing to bet that there are other well known people who have been homeless at some time in their lives, but who do not want anyone else to know about it.

I’ve always maintained that homelessness can afflict anyone. The list I found proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The question I have in my mind: how they were treated by the community around them during the time they were homeless?

Some of them hadn’t yet become "famous." Their recognition came after the fact. So, although I’m guessing, I would venture to say that one or two of them had been ill treated by others who were "housed."

There is another thought I have going around in my mind: just because a person is homeless today, doesn’t mean that at sometime in the future they will be. And, it could turn out that that person may potentially have a significant impact on society once they do get back into the mainstream of society.

Here’s the link to the list.

Noted Individuals Who Have Experienced Homelessness

You may be as surprised by who is on the list as I was.

  1. AnAmerican says:

    Like yourself, I am a huge William Shatner fan and find his current character on Boston Legal to be one of the best parts he has ever had.

    One of the reasons I enjoy Shatner is his enthusiasm for his choosen profession. Could it be that he has a gratitide for his work due to to his time as a homeless man that few can understand?


    What comes to mind is the phrase, “You don’t love what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

    Quite often, when we lose something, if we’re fortunate enough to regain it, we have a deeper appreciation for what we have instead of what we’d like to have.

    – m –

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