Before making it big, some celebrities led secret double lives working jobs they may not be proud of today. Escort work, in particular, helped launch more than a few huge careers. Let’s look at the rags-to-riches stories of 10 celebrities who were escorts before becoming household names.
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Marilyn Monroe – Rubbing Shoulders with Powerful Men
Long before becoming a global sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe allegedly worked as an vip escort in the late 1940s, accompanying powerful men on dates for $500 a day. While scandalous by the standards of the time, these connections helped introduce her to influential movie industry figures, kickstarting her meteoric rise to fame.
Brad Pitt – Trading Favors for a Place to Sleep
In his early days trying to break into Hollywood, future heartthrob Brad Pitt worked various odd jobs and favors for an older gay soap opera star. These allegedly included sexual favors in exchange for a place to sleep when Pitt was struggling to get by. While unconventional, these humble beginnings paved the way for his A-list acting career.
Denise Richards – High-Profile Escort Ring
Before becoming an actress, Denise Richards worked as part of the elite escort ring run by “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss in the 1990s. Fleiss’s prostitution ring had a long list of wealthy celebrities and power players as clients. As one of her most popular escorts, Richards likely mingled with big industry names and made connections that led to her meeting Charlie Sheen, whom Fleiss counted among her clients.
Russell Brand – Desperate Addiction-Fueled Escort Work
Comedic actor Russell Brand has been open about his past addictions fueling reckless behavior. As a struggling young comedian with a heroin habit to support, Brand resorted to desperate vip escort work, selling his body for drug money. While a dark chapter, this period filled with escorts and addiction ultimately connected Brand to the agent who helped him achieve sobriety and superstardom as an actor-comedian.
Raquel Welch – 1960s Escort to Modeling Fame
Prior to being a Hollywood sex icon, Raquel Welch worked for a time as a popular escort in the 1960s before getting her break. As her escort star rose, so did Welch’s connections, leading her to opportunity for work as a model with Neiman Marcus. This exposure helped catapult the sultry Welch’s modeling and eventual film career, capitalizing on her allure to become a bankable star.
Nancy Reagan – Alleged Hollywood Escort Past
While often a controversial First Lady, even Nancy Reagan had gigolo rumors trailing her early years, allegedly working as a Hollywood escort dating and entertaining actors as a starlet-for-hire in 1940s Los Angeles. This semi-scandalous gossip does suggest Reagan traded intimate professional favors long before meeting her husband President Ronald Reagan and rising to political fame in Washington.
Other Stories of Escorts Turned Megastars
- Denise Richards worked for Heidi Fleiss’s high-profile escort agency before marrying Charlie Sheen.
- Troubled comedian Russell Brand admitted to selling himself to fuel his addictions in his younger years.
- Raquel Welch’s career took off after working as an escort in the 1960s.
- Even Nancy Reagan made ends meet early on by allegedly dating and entertaining Hollywood actors.
Escort Work – A Stepping Stone for Many
While not the most dignified way to get a start in Hollywood, escort work helped bring many future celebrities into valuable connections, experiences, and notoriety during their difficult early years.
Of course, making it big as an actor or model often also requires natural talent, drive, and persistence. But for many celebrities on this list, leveraging their looks, charm and sexuality for escort work gave them their initial foothold in the exciting fast-paced world of entertainment and fame.
And the rest, as they say, is history! Their rags-to-riches stories continue to inspire wannabe actors and artists today to do whatever it takes to make their dreams a reality.
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