What Stars Earned Before Their Big Breaks

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Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine some of the biggest stars in entertainment today once had to struggle their way to the top doing odd jobs just to make ends meet.

Now, the salaries of some of the biggest names like Johnny Depp and Oprah Winfrey have been revealed both before and after they made their big break in TV, film and more.

Oprah Winfrey — When the Queen of Media first started out as a host on AM Chicago in 1984, she earned $200,000. Not a bad chunk of change, but when compared to her $290 yearly earnings now, it seems like pocket change.


Suzanne Collins — The woman behind the huge Hunger Games book series now earns a whopping $10 million since the book has taken off. When she first started as a TV writer in 1991, she earned $31,000.


Johnny Depp — Before becoming Hollywood’s most famous film chameleon, Depp was a humble pen phone salesman earning about $13,500 before his big break on 21 Jump Street in 1983. Compared to his current earnings in 2012, Depp made $50 million.


Snooki — The Jersey Shore starlet first earned $45,000 as a reality TV star, but after the show took off, she now earns $1.5 million.


Carrie Underwood — Before becoming an American Idol, Carrie was a waitress at a pizza shop earning $15,000 compared to her $20 million paycheck today.


Jon Hamm — The handsome Don Draper paid his way as a waiter earning around $14,000. Nowadays, the Mad Men star gets paid $170,000 per episode.

[Source: Parade]

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