Boman Irani: A late entrant in Hindi films, the super-talented Boman was employed with a popular five-star hotel in Mumbai as a waiter and room service staff. Later, he also helped his mother in running their ancestral bakery shop in South Mumbai.
Sunny Leone: No we are not referring to her days as an adult star. Before that bold career move of hers, she actually worked at a German bakery, and later at a tax and retirement firm.
R Madhavan: South superstar, Madhavan is a very good orator, which is why he started a small business on conducting workshops on communication and public speaking, after graduating with a degree in electronics.
Jacqueline Fernandez: The former beauty queen, Jacqueline had worked as a TV reporter in Sri Lanka, and even covered news dealing with political turmoil in the country.
Ameesha Patel: The 'Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai' actress was good at studies. She learned Economics at the Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and after graduation worked as an economic analyst at a securities firm.
Soha Ali Khan: The actress who holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science worked for the Ford Foundation and Citibank before deciding to enter films, in sync with the family tradition.
Akshay Kumar: A black belt in Taekwondo, Khiladi Kumar worked as a chef and a waiter in Bangkok. After returning to Mumbai, he started teaching martial arts as well. Owing to his good looks, he landed some modelling assignments, and films soon followed.
John Abraham: As a youngster, John joined a media firm, which unfortunately closed down due to financial issues. He then joined a famous ad agency in Mumbai as a media planner before modelling and, subsequently, films happened.
Johnny Lever: One of the greatest comedians of Bollywood, Johnny had to quit studies while still in school owing to financial problems in his family. To support the family, he started selling pens on the streets of Mumbai, but in a unique fashion, by imitating Bollywood stars. Thankfully, his talent was recognised, and he started entertaining audiences on the big screen as well.
Arshad Warsi: Forced by dire financial circumstances, Arshad Warsi started working as a door-to-door cosmetics salesman at the age of 17. He also worked in a photo lab. Having had a keen interest in dancing, he went on to start his own dance studio and form a dance troupe. It was here that he met Maria Goretti, his wife. While choreographing shows for Bharat Dabholkar, he got an opportunity to choreograph the title track for the film 'Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja' (1993). He got his acting break in Bollywood in Amitabh Bachchan's production company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation's first production 'Tere Mere Sapne' in 1996.
Rajinikanth: Owing to his humble background, the south superstar had to do various tasks like that of a coolie and carpenter to support himself and his family financially. He later joined Bangalore Transport Service as a bus conductor. Shivaji Rao Gaikwad though was always interested in seeing himself on the big screen and fulfilled his dream following years of struggle.
Raaj Kumar: One of the most stylish actors of Hindi cinema, Raaj Kumar was a sub-inspector in Mumbai Police. Now we know the secret behind why he pulled off khaki characters with nonchalance.
Zeenat Aman: One of Bollywood's sex symbols from the 70s and 80, Zeenat's first job was as a journalist for a leading film magazine. However, after a modelling opportunity came her way, her career focus changed.
Smita Patil: A legend of Indian cinema, Smita worked as a television newscaster for Doordarshan in the 1970s.
Amrish Puri: While trying to make a mark as an actor in theatre, the legendary villain needed a job to survive in Mumbai (then Bombay). He thus joined the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Ashok Kumar: Dadamoni was a lab assistant in Himanshu Rai's studio, and became an actor by accident. The male lead of Rai's 1936 film 'Jeevan Naiya' went absconding with heroine Devika Rani (Rai's wife), after which the filmmaker gave the hero's role to Kumar. Rest is history.
Balraj Sahni: In the late 1930s, the versatile actor went to England and worked in BBC-London's Hindi service as a radio announcer. He returned to India in 1943, and the pursued an acting career.
Sunil Dutt: The late actor was a popular radio announcer on the legendary radio station, Radio Ceylon. He interviewed superstars like Dilip Kumar and Shammi Kapoor on his show. As fate would have it, he ended up becoming an equally big star.
Did you know Boman Irani once worked as a room service staff for a popular hotel? Or that Sunny Leone worked at a German bakery, and later at a tax and retirement firm? On Boman Irani's birthday, we bring you a list of Bollywood celebs who were in a different profession before entering films
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe