Not everyone is born a star. For some celebrities, it takes years of hard work, small roles, and persistence to make it in show business.
This was the case for Jeremy Renner, who didn’t get his big break until “The Hurt Locker” in 2008 when he was 37 years old.
He went on to become Hawkeye in 2012’s $US1.5 billion hit “The Avengers” and is now a household name.
Yet, Renner isn’t the only late-bloomer when it comes to fame and success in Hollywood.
Jon Hamm, 42, spent years starring in minor roles while trying to become an A-list actor. According to his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt, he almost gave it all up.
'He would just say, 'I'm going to hang it up, it's not going to work out,'' Westfeldt told The Huffington Post.
However, Hamm landed the 'Mad Men' role in 2007 even though he felt he was at 'the bottom of the list' and created one of the most interesting characters in the history of television.
For the first half of his life, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
It wasn't until director George Lucas saw Ford doing some wood-working at a studio while having auditions for a space film he was shooting called 'Star Wars' that things changed.
The rest became history in a galaxy far, far away.
In the last three years, Jessica Chastain's career has shot into the stratosphere with award-winning performances in films like 'Zero Dark 30,' but early on she had trouble getting roles.
'Being a redhead and not having very conventionally modern looks, it was confusing for people and they didn't know exactly where to put me,' she told the Huffington Post about her early career struggles.
That changed when Chastain landed her breakout role in 2011's 'The Help.' Next, the 36-year-old will star in Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' alongside Matthew McConaughey.
The man who would go on to become Mr. Chow in the 'The Hangover' series could have been known as Dr. Chow.
Comedian Ken Jeong spent nearly 20 years trying to break into the business doing stand-up while also practicing medicine as a physician.
While Jeong had small roles in films like 'Knocked Up' (in which he played a doctor), it wasn't until 2009's 'The Hangover' that Jeong transitioned away from medicine and fully embraced the fame of celebrity.
Samuel L. Jackson has starred in hit movies such as 'A Time To Kill' and 'Snakes on a Plane.'
Jackson's role in the film became almost immediately iconic which led to Jackson starring in other popular films like 'The Avengers,' and the 'Star Wars' prequels leading to one of the coolest careers in Hollywood.
Joosten was a mother and psychiatric nurse for years, but after hearing her mother confess on her deathbed that she 'regretted not having pursued her dreams,' Joosten signed up for acting classes at age 42 in order to pursue her own.
After more than a decade, she eventually landed the role of loveable secretary Mrs. Landingham on 'The West Wing' at age 60.
Joosten went on to win an Emmy for 'Desperate Housewives' before her death in 2012.
Before Ang Lee won awards for directing he could have won 'World's Greatest Dad' for being a stay-at-home dad.
After graduating from NYU film school with a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production, Lee stayed home 'cooking, picking up (the) kids from school, and doing housework' while his wife, a molecular biologist, went to work.
Lee nearly became a computer engineer after years of not being able to get into movie-making. With support from his wife to keep at it, Lee directed his first movie 'Pushing Hands' at 38.
Jane Lynch, 53, had been in Hollywood for decades taking small roles on TV and in films like 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' and 'Role Models' but it wasn't until a role on a Fox show that she hit the big time.
In 2009, Lynch joined the cast of 'Glee' as the gym teacher everyone loves to hate, Sue Sylvester.
Lucille Ball was a pioneer for both female comedians and for comedy after creating one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, 'I Love Lucy' in 1951.
However, she didn't become Lucy Ricardo until she was 40.
Before 'I Love Lucy,' Ball went from role to role in films. However, once television became a prominent medium she (along with her husband and co-star Desi Arnaz) tried to sell her vaudeville act to networks. That act became the prototype for 'I Love Lucy.'
'I Love Lucy' was a huge success, and would go on to help create the modern sitcom (the show was one of the first sitcoms in history to use the three camera filming format which is standard in sitcoms today) while also making Ball a star.
That changed in 1988 when the morning show Philbin was working on became the nationally syndicated 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.' After almost 20 years of working on TV, Philbin's chemistry with Kathie Lee made the show a success and gave him national exposure.
At 57, it was the first time the name Regis was in the nation's lexicon. He's been a part of pop culture ever since, most notably for hosting game show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'
Rickman was a trained actor who pursued a career in show business for years, but it wasn't until producer Joel Silver saw the actor in a stage play version of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' that his career took off.
Those were the stars who didn't get their big breaks until later in life. Now, see who changed their name ...
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