Celebrities with Unhappy Childhood

The age span that range from birth to adolescence is called childhood which is the early period in the development of growing children where adult’s behaviors affects children’s lives. The parents, family or neighborhood environment surrounding children can also affect children’s behavior as they grow up. Several famous celebrities has suffered an unhappy childhood.

1)  Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron, 40

Charlize Theron, 40

Charlize Theron  is a South African- American actress, producer and fashion model. Theron was raised in a farm owned by her parents in Benoni, Johannesburg. Theron’s father is an alcoholic. Her mother shot and killed her father on June 21, 1991, when her father was drunk and physically attacked her mother and threatened both her mother. Theron’s mother faced no charges since the shooting was legally adjudged to have been self-defense. Theron is fluent in English, and her first language is Afrikaans.

2)  Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, 65

Richard Pryor, 65

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic and actor. Pryor grew up in a brothel (a place where people may come to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute) owned by his grandmother, where his mother, Gertrude L. Thomas, worked as prostitute. Richard’s father, LeRoy “Buck Carter” Pryor (June 7, 1915 – September 27, 1968), was a former boxer and hustler (Someone who deceives others by drug dealing, pimp or or as male prostitute or a gambler). Pryor’s mother, who was an alcoholic, abandoned him when he was 10. Pryor was raised primarily by Marie Carter, his grandmother, a tall, violent woman who would beat him for any of his unusual or odd behavior. Pryor was sexually abused at age seven and he is one of four children raised in his grandmother’s brothel. At the age of 14, Pryor was expelled from school. From 1958 to 1960, Pryor served in the U.S. Army, however, he spent his entire stint in an army prison. According to The New Yorker in a 1999 profile about Pryor, Richard Pryor was in prison while stationed in Germany, for an incident that occurred, when he and some black soldiers beat and stabbed (though not fatally), a white soldier who was overly amused at the racially charged sections of Douglas Sirk’s 1959 movie, Imitation of Life. Pryor suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles on December 10, 2005, was taken to a local hospital after his wife’s attempts to resuscitate him but failed. Pryor was pronounced dead, at age 65, at 7:58 a.m. PST

3) Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, 62

Oprah Winfrey, 62

Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, dubbed as Queen of All Media, and best known for her The Oprah Winfrey Show talk show, which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history. Winfrey was born to an unmarried teenage mother.  Vernita Lee (born 1935) in Kosciusko, Mississippi, who worked as a housemaid. Winfrey’s known biological father, Vernon Winfrey (born 1933), a coal miner later became a barber and turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when Oprah was born. However, Noah Robinson, Sr. (born c. 1925), a farmer and a World War II veteran has claimed to be her biological father. Oprah’s mother traveled north after Winfrey’s birth and and she was raised by her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Presley Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963) where she spent her first six years living in rural poverty. Her grandmother who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of Winfrey. Her grandmother would hit her with a stick when she misbehave and did not do chores when she was a child. According to Winfrey when she was about nine years old, she was molested by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend, something she first announced on her TV show on a 1986 episode of her TV show regarding sexual abuse. After suffering years of abuse, Winfrey ran away from home at the age of 13. At age 14, Winfrey became pregnant but her son was prematurely born and died shortly after he was born. However, her family members refused to accept when Oprah Winfrey discussed the alleged abuse at age 24. Once Oprah Winfrey stated that she had chosen not to be a mother because she herself, had not been mothered well.

4)  Robert Downey

Robert Downey Jr, 50

Robert Downey Jr, 50

Robert John Downey Jr.  is an American actor, and billed as Hollywood’s highest-paid actors when he topped the Forbes list, and earned an estimated $80 million in earnings between June 2014 and June 2015. Downey’s father, Robert Downey Sr. is an actor and filmmaker, while his mother, Elsie Ann Ford, was also an actress, who appeared in Downey Sr.’s films. Downey Jr. was surrounded by drugs, during his childhood. His father, Downey Sr. is a drug addict, allowed Downey Jr. at age six, to use marijuana, an incident which his father has said he now regrets. Robert Downey stated that using drugs became an emotional bonding between him and his father. Downey’s stepmother Rosemary told author Alex Tresnlowski in a People Magazine article entitled Bad to Worse, on December 18, 2000, that Downey had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a few years ago and also stated that his bipolar disorder was “the reason he has a hard time staying sober”.

5) Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, 53

Tom Cruise, 53

Tom Cruise born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is an American actor and filmmaker. Tom Cruise was raised as Catholic and grew up in near poverty. Cruise’s family was dominated by his abusive father, whom Cruise has described as “a merchant of chaos.” Cruise stated that he was beaten by his father, who was a bully and coward.

6)  Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson, 78

Jack Nicholson, 78

John JosephJackNicholson  is an American actor and filmmaker, who has been in the movie industry for almost 60 years. Nicholson is the son of June Frances Nicholson (November 5, 1918 – July 31, 1963) a showgirl known by her stage name June Nilson. In 1936, June Nilson married Donald Furcillo (stage name Donald Rose) an Italian American showman, not knowing that Furcillo was already married. When Nicholson was born, his mother, June was only 17 years old, unmarried and uncertain of the father’s identity, and her parents agreed to raise their grandson, Nicholson as their own child and did not reveal his true parentage, and June would act as his older sister.Time magazine researchers learned, and informed Nicholson, in 1974, that his known older sister, June, was actually his mother, and his other “sister,” Lorraine, was really his aunt. By this time, Both his mother and grandmother had died in 1963 and 1970, respectively, and by that time, on finding out the truth, Nicholson stated it was “a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatizing…I was pretty well psychologically formed.” Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion in 2004, accompanied by his aunt Lorraine.

7) Demi Moore

Demi Moore, 53, by David Shankbone

Demi Moore, 53, by David Shankbone

Demi Moore, born Demi Gene Guynes, is an American actress, filmmaker, former songwriter, and model. At age 16, Moore dropped out of high school to pursue an acting career, and appeared in a nude pictorial in 1981 in Oui magazine. Before Moore was born, her biological father, Charles Harmon, Sr. an Air Force airman, left her mother, Virginia King, after a two-month marriage. Demi Moore was three months old, when her mother married Dan Guynes, a newspaper advertising salesman who frequently changed jobs, as a result, the family moved many times. As a child, Demi Moore was cross-eyed and was corrected via two corrective surgeries. In 1991 interview, Moore said, “My dad was Dan Guynes. He raised me”. In October 1980 Dan Guynes committed suicide at age 37, two years after he separated from Moore’s mother. Moore broke off contact with her mother in 1990, when her mother walked away from a rehab stay, where Moore had paid for at the Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota. In 1993, her mother, Virginia Guynes posed nude for the High Society magazine, where she spoofed Demi Moore’s pregnancy in Vanity Fair and bodypaint covers, and parodied her love scene from the film Ghost. Demi Moore and Guynes reconciled shortly before Guynes died of cancer in July 1998 at age 54. Moore also suffered from kidney dysfunction. Moore married three months before her 17th birthday in August 1979, musician Freddy Moore, singer and leader of the band Boy at the time, at the The Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles, who was 12 years her senior. Demi began using Freddy’s surname during their marriage, as her stage name, Demi Moore. In September 1984, Demi Moore filed for divorce and was finalized on August 7, 1985.

8)  Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder, 44

Winona Ryder, 44

Winona Ryder born Winona Laura Horowitz, is an American actress, and one of the most profitable and iconic actress in 1990s. Ryder moved when she was age ten, and her family moved on again, this time to Petaluma, California. Ryder was bullied during her first days at Kenilworth Junior High by a group of her same age who mistook her for an soft and scrawny boy. She ended up being home schooled that year because of the incident. When Ryder was aged 12, she suffers from aquaphobia because of a traumatic near-drowning. This caused problems with the underwater scenes in the 1997 movie Alien: Resurrection, some of which had to be retake many times. Her personal life has attracted significant media attention. In the early 1990’s, Ryder’s relationship with actor Johnny Depp and her arrest for shoplifting in 2001, were constant subjects of tabloid media. Ryder has been open about her personal struggles with anxiety and depression.

9) Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx, 48

Jamie Foxx, 48

Jamie Foxx born Eric Marlon Bishop is an American actor, singer, and comedian, son of Darrell Bishop (changed his name to Shahid Abdula after his conversion to Islam), who sometimes worked as a stockbroker, and his mother, Louise Annette Talley Dixon. After his birth, Foxx was adopted and raised by Esther Marie Nelson (a domestic worker and nursery operator) and Mark Talley (a yard worker), Foxx mother’s adoptive parents. Foxx was raised in a racially segregated community of Terrell, and has little contact with his birth parents.  Foxx has often acknowledged his grandmother’s influence in his life as one of the greatest reasons for his success. Foxx was in third grade, when his teacher noticed his natural talent for telling jokes, then his teacher would use him as a reward, that Foxx would tell jokes, if the class behaved.

10)  Al Pacino

Al Pacino, 75

Al Pacino, 75

Alfredo JamesAlPacino is an American stage and film actor, filmmaker and screenwriter, and considered by the media and public as to be one of the greatest actors of all time. Pacino was born to Sicilian-American parents, Salvatore Pacino and Rose in New York (East Harlem). Pacino was two years old when his parents divorced. After the divorce, his mother moved to live with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi, near the Bronx Zoo. At age 17, Pacino dropped out of school, but he and his mother argued because she disagreed with his decision, and Pacino left home. Pacino worked at low-paying jobs after he run away such as, messenger, busboy, janitor, postal clerk, and at the Commentary magazine’s mail room to support his acting studies. He was involved into occasional fights and he was considered at school as something of a troublemaker as growing up in The Bronx. At the age of nine, Pacino began smoking and drinking, and at the age of 13, he used casual cannabis, but never used hard drugs, because his two close friends, ages 19 and 30, died from drug abuse. When Pacino was in his teens, he acted in plays at the New York’s theater underground basement but he was rejected for the Actors Studio. He then joined the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio), where he met his mentor and best friend, acting teacher Charlie Laughton (not the British actor Charles Laughton). During this time, Pacino was often unemployed and homeless, and sometimes slept on the street, in theaters, or at his friends’ houses. In 1962, Pacino’s mother died at the age of 43 in 1962, and in 1963, his grandfather James Gerardi, died, and he considered him as one of the most influential people in his life.

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