13 Celebrities Who Worked For Other Stars Before They Were FamousPublished on October 6, 2017. Updated May 8, 2019
Everyone has to start somewhere, and for many of Hollywood’s stars that often means working for other already established celebrities. As it turns out, the entertainment industry is a very small place, and sometimes all it takes is getting in with the right people, even if that meant babysitting their kids or organizing their closets before becoming a full-fledged star themselves. Here are 13 celebrities who took on jobs working for other stars before they were famous:
13. Jenna Dewan Tatum and Justin Timberlake
In 2006, Jenna Dewan, now Jenna Dewan-Tatum, landed her breakout role in Step Up and rose to stardom. Before the role, however, she was a professional dancer who was hired by big name artists as a backup dancer for their concerts and that included Justin Timberlake. Years later and after many rumors, Dewan Tatum admitted the pair had briefly dated during the time she was working as backup dancer for the singer, but it was never anything serious. Now she is a star in her own right and along with husband Channing Tatum is part of one of Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity relationships.
12. Kanye West and Jay-Z
Before he was one of the music industry’s biggest powerhouses himself, Kanye West got his start by working for none other than music mogul Jay-Z. West began his career by producing for different artists, but he got his break when he was hired to produce for artists off of Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records including work on Jay-Z’s own album 2001’s “The Blueprint.” Because of his growing reputation as an incredible producer, many were hesitant to sign West as a rapper and after a failed contract with Capitol Records, he was eventually “reluctantly” signed to Roc-A-Fella Records and went on to superstardom as a rapper.
11. Bethenny Frankel and Paris Hilton
Now Bethenny Frankel might be one of the most successful Real Housewives stars out of the entire franchise thanks to her Skinnygirl business and her books, but before she was a star, she was working for them. The Real Housewives of New York City star revealed that she was working as a hostess in Beverly Hills when she met Kyle Richards. Richards than got Frankel a job driving her nieces Paris and Nicky Hilton to school and Frankel then became the Hilton’s nanny and chef. “I’ve known Kyle for years. I used to work for Kathy Hilton and take Paris and Nicky to school and so I knew them through Kyle,” she told E! News.
10. Kiefer Sutherland and Blythe Danner
Keifer Sutherland and Blythe Danner never had a professional agreement about Sutherland working for the star, but he did help her out from time to time. In 2009, the talented actor revealed that while he was an up-and-coming actor working in theater with Danner in Williamstown, Massachusetts, she would often ask him to help out by watching her young daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, for an hour or two. “I think it was very funny how fast someone goes from 13 to 18, and obviously they look so different that when Gwyneth started to work, I thought, ‘Well, that must be another girl because I always remember her as being 11 or 12 years old,'” Sutherland stated.
9. Liza Minelli and Ron Howard
Things certainly came full circle for Liza Minelli and Ron Howard years after their first connection. When she was still a teenager, the legendary performer babysat Ron Howard who would go on to become a famous actor and filmmaker. In 2003, this previous relationship paid off when Howard personally asked Minelli to accept a role on his hit series Arrested Development as Lucille Austero.
8. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton
It is incredible to think of how quickly things can change when not so long, reality superstar Kim Kardashian West was not only unknown, but was working for celebrities. The mid-2000s were the peak of Paris Hilton’s fame and at the time she hired her best friend, Kim Kardashian, to be her assistant, closet organizer and stylist. Now, Kim Kardashian is one of the wealthiest celebrities on the planet and her entire family has reached an incredible amount of fame, completely eclipsing that of Paris Hilton’s days on The Simple Life.
7. Katie Lowes and Connie Britton
Now Katie Lowes is best known for her starring role as Quinn Perkins in Scandal, but before her big role she worked for Friday Night Lights and Nashville actress Connie Britton! After she got the part, Britton revealed that Lowes had been helping out as a part-time babysitter for Britton’s son Eyob, and Britton admitted she and Lowes were talking about hiring her on as her full-time nanny and assistant when Lowes got the news she was cast in Scandal. “I wanted her to be my nanny so badly and my assistant! She’s just such a phenomenal human and I remember having those conversations. She was helping me with my son, who was then just a baby, and then she said, ‘I got cast in this show called Scandal.'”
6. Mindy Kaling and Conan O’Brien
Minday Kaling is a fabulous actress and comedian who has graced shows like The Office with her talents and of course her very own series The Mindy Project, but before it all she was just another Hollywood hopeful. At 19 years old and still in college, Kaling worked as an intern for none other than Conan O’Brien on his show Late Night with Conan O’Brien. “I couldn’t believe how starstruck I was,” she recounted years later to O’Brien as a guest on his show. “It was my dream to be a guest on Conan. It seemed to crazy to think about. But I was also the worst intern that’s ever worked on the program…I wouldn’t do the things I was hired to do. I would kind of follow you around.”
5. Kim Kardashian and Heidi Montag
It wasn’t just Paris Hilton that Kim Kardashian was employed by before becoming a Hollywood queen herself. Former The Hills star Spencer Pratt revealed that his wife Heidi Pratt (Montag) hired Kim to organize her closets and that Kim was edited out of episodes The Hills where she was working for Heidi. Aside from Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag, Kim Kardashian was also hired as a closet stylist/organizer by celebrities including Serena Williams and Cindy Crawford.
4. Allison Williams and Tina Fey
Allison Williams didn’t want to coast off of her dad Brian Williams’ fame, but she did use his connections to get her close to the right people. While starting out her acting career, Williams’ father landed her the position of Tina Fey’s assistant during the summer that Fey was filming the movie Baby Mama as well as the show 30 Rock. “I wanted to learn the technical side of lighting and sound because, again, I wasn’t allowed to start acting until I graduated college. I wanted to know the drill. I wanted the first time I went on set to act to be totally stressless, except for the acting,” Williams said of what she learned. Now, she is a well-known actress in her own right after starring in Girls from 2012-2017 as well as the film Get Out.
3. Jon Hamm and Ellie Kemper
Back before his Mad Men days and before Kemper starred on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jon Hamm and Ellie Kemper knew each other away from Hollywood. Although Hamm didn’t directly work for Kemper, his employment ended up benefiting her because he was her high school drama teacher. “I was in ninth grade and he taught me the improv section of my theater class and everyone loved him,” Kemper revealed at a Television Critics Association panel.
2. Jennifer Garner and Stephen Colbert
In the mid-’90s Jennifer Garner was just another young actress looking for her big break and while she was landing small roles on TV series and TV movies like Harvest of Fire, Law & Order and Spin City, she needed other gigs to bring in extra cash. Luckily, Garner met Stephen Colbert during her small role on Spin City and he really took to the actress and was impressed by how “normal” she seemed which made her a good candidate to be his daughter’s babysitter. “He said, ‘You seem normal. Would you babysit for me?’ So my roommate and I babysat for little Madeleine.”
1. Eric Stonestreet and Garth Brooks
Eric Stonestreet may be a big guy, but the lovable Modern Family actor could never be considered intimidating, but it seems that wasn’t always the case. In the summer of 2017, the actor took to his Instagram to share some throwback photos of himself where he revealed that back in 1995 he used to work security including for country superstar Garth Brooks. The actor hilariously captioned the gallery of photos, which depict him attentively watching the crowd as Brooks performed with, “In 1995 I worked security for A (ONE) Garth Brooks concert in Manhattan Ks. Last night I finally got to say you’re welcome for keeping him safe that night and basically giving the wonderful career he’s had thus far. Thank you Garth for the amazing night I had with my #crew slash #squad #circles.”