7 Actors Who Became Famous By Accident

Everyone in Hollywood has a story to share about how they landed their big acting break. Many came from nothing, worked dead-end jobs, and just tried to survive until they made it big. However, sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Here are seven actors and the random run-ins that launched their careers.

1. Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron | Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Theron’s big acting break came after she got into an argument with a bank teller. She was 18 going on 19 when she moved to Hollywood with only a suitcase. She was living in a gross, pay-by-the-hour hotel, trying to survive on the paychecks she had received from modeling in New York. One day, she was trying to cash her very last check, but the bank wouldn’t accept it because it was from a different state. From there, things got a little heated.

In an interview with Oprah, Theron said, “I’m like, ‘It’s survival, people.’ If I didn’t cash that check, I wouldn’t have had a place to sleep that night. I said to the teller, ‘You don’t understand—please!’ I was begging and pleading, and a gentleman came over and tried to help. I had to fill out a ton of paperwork and open an account, and I cashed the check.”

On Theron’s way out of the bank, the man who had helped her, John Crosby, approached her. Turns out, the helpful man was also a talent agent, and he offered to represent her. Lifetime writes that Crosby organized acting classes for Theron and within months, she had made her acting debut in Children of the Corn III.