Before they were Stars they were Truckers
Ever wonder what celebrities were up to before they became famous? Many started out in the hospitality industry, working at bars or restaurants. But guess what? Many also started out as truck drivers! And, who knows, maybe you’ll run into the next big actor/actress, musician or athlete while on the road.
The most famous of truckers? Elvis Presley. Before becoming the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis drove trucks in high school for Crown Electric company. Rumor has it, Elvis developed his iconic hair style from fellow drivers. While pursuing a career in music, Elvis met with the leader of a local band – Eddie Bond – trying out as a vocalist. Eddie turned Elvis down and even told him that he should stick to truck driving. I guess Eddie had no idea what he was missing out on, as Elvis would keep after his dream, going on to become the best-selling solo artist of all-time.
Two of the highest grossing movies of all time had a former trucker as its director, James Cameron. When James was young, he drove a truck so that he could save up money to buy his own film equipment to make his own short films. It took some time, but James worked his way up through Hollywood to become one of the most decorated directors of all time. Basically, you can attribute James’ success from his time on the road making money to pursue his dreams…well maybe not, but it’s still pretty neat that James was a truck driver at one point.
Sean Connery – This iconic actor dabbled in the transportation industry before becoming an Academy Award winner. Early in his career, Sean was a “lorry” (the British word for truck) driver in his home country of Scotland before getting his first big break in the film industry. And what a break it was –playing the role of James Bond in “Doctor No.” Sean was the first actor to play 007 the British secret agent. A role he played for five movies in the series.
Liam Neeson, the famous Irish actor, best-known for his role as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List and the protective father in the movie Taken, was also a lorry driver. Before becoming an actor, Liam drove a fork lift and a lorry for Guinness. Liam didn’t pursue a career in the film industry until a co-worker convinced him that he would make a good actor.
Remember Clark Griswold from the National Lampoon movie series? Well, Chevy Chase, whose real name is Cornelius Chase, played the character and he too was a truck driver early on in his career. Chevy got his early break as an original cast member on Saturday Night Live. Can you imagine what he’d be like on the road? Whoever he worked with must have more than a few stories to tell.
Country music recording artist Jason Aldean was out on the road before he became the star that he is today. While in his teens, Jason was driving across the state of Georgia for Pepsi, delivering its products to convenience stores. According to Jason, the truck didn’t have air conditioning, which made summers brutal. Well, Jason has done quite well for himself, having recorded eight highly successful albums. Jason’s time behind the wheel must’ve had some kind of impact on him. He wrote a song called Asphalt Cowboy, which is about being on the road, away from home. The song was released in 2005 and was featured on his first album called, simply enough, Jason Aldean.
While pursuing a career in the film industry, actor and filmmaker Robert Duvall drove a truck for a period of time before blossoming into a what would become a highly successful career in the film industry. Robert has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and played roles in blockbuster films such as To Kill a Mockingbird, True Grit, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Jack Reacher amongst others. Around the same time Robert was working as a driver, he was taking acting classes with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. What a class of actors that was.
Professional athletes, such as NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone and former NFL wide receiver Roy Williams have left their mark in the trucking industry. While playing for the Utah Jazz, Karl started his own fleet, Malone Enterprises Trucking Inc. The NBA star, nicknamed the Mailman, couldn’t deliver however, and after 18 months, the company shut down. While Malone’s company drew some large clients, due in part to his celebrity status, the company still struggled.
Roy’s company, RDUB Trucking, LLC has proven to be a success. The Midland, Texas based company is involved in the Texas oil industry and has been operating since 2012.
All of these celebrities have something in common…that truck driving provided a stepping-stone for them to accomplish their dreams. Hats off to them…and the future stars that are on the road today!