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14 Celebs Whose Families Either Cut Them Off Or Risked Everything To Support Them

14 Celebs Whose Families Either Cut Them Off Or Risked Everything To Support Them

Unless you already have family ties to the industry, trying to "make it" in entertainment can be a pretty significant risk. Even "nepo babies" don't always have parents who are willing to support their dreams. Some aspiring performers' families withdraw their financial or emotional support, effectively cutting them off, while others are willing to put everything on the line.

Here are seven celebs' families who cut them off for pursuing Hollywood careers:

1.Stevie Nicks supported herself and her then-boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham, by cleaning houses and waiting tables after her parents financially cut her off following her decision to drop out of college and pursue music.

Stevie performing on stage with microphone, wearing layered clothing and boots, with band members in background
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She told CBS Sunday Morning, "I was doing that to support my music, my music pal, Lindsey, and some other friends, too, you know, that didn't have hardly anything. So, I was the one who actually was able to pay the rent and pay the money to keep our Toyota running. And so it's like, I didn't mind at all because I did not expect my boyfriend, Lindsey, to get a job. Because what in the world would he do?"

2.Dakota Johnson told Today, "[My dad Don Johnson] cut me off. It was difficult, but I figured it out. He said to everybody — by 'everybody,' I mean all of my siblings ... he calls it the 'payroll.' It's an allowance. He said if you go to college, you still get an allowance. And I was like, 'Well, I'm going to be an actress,' so he was like, 'Alright, well, you're on your own.'"

Don and Dakota standing together at an event
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

She said, "I did some little modeling jobs that helped me pay my rent, and then I started auditioning and got some jobs...I definitely had moments where I couldn't afford groceries and things like that, and I needed to ask my mom [Melanie Griffith] to help me. She was the nice one."

3.Gwyneth Paltrow told Glamour, "I went to UC Santa Barbara, and when I quit to try to be an actress, my dad [director Bruce Paltrow] was like, 'That's great, but I'm not gonna help you.'"

Bruce embracing Gwyneth holding an Oscar statuette at an event
Lucy Nicholson / AFP via Getty Images

She continued, "I was like, 'Yeah, right.' And he was like, 'No, I'm not.' So I got an apartment with a roommate; I worked as a hostess at a restaurant; I would scrounge quarters to buy Starbucks — and walk there to save gas. I remember once asking my dad for money, like, 'Please, I'm really stuck. Can you help?' And he said, 'You're more than welcome to come over for dinner.' That was it."

4.After five years in the army, Kris Kristofferson was supposed to become an English teacher at West Point but decided to become a songwriter in Nashville instead. His mom and dad essentially disowned him.

Kris with acoustic guitar performing on stage
Dave J Hogan / Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

He supported himself as a Columbia Recording Studios custodian, making $58 a week. He also bartended part-time.

Eventually, his wife left him and took their kids back to California. It took five years before his music career took off, and artists like Janis Joplin and Johnny Cash were collaborating with him.

He told People, "I'm still amazed at my audacity. I mean, when you've been thrown out of Nero's Cactus Canyon steakhouse — and I had been — how are you ever gonna get on the Grand Ole Opry? But whatever momentum carried me back then helped me through performing and acting. I found it terrifying, but I was doing it. After that, it was like stepping onto a roller coaster."

5.Jennifer Lopez told W Magazine, "My mom and I butted heads. I didn't want to go to college — I wanted to try dance full-time. So she and I had a break. I started sleeping on the sofa in the dance studio. I was homeless, but I told her, 'This is what I have to do.'"

Jennifer Lopez in a plunging neckline gown with embellished skirt at a premiere
Axelle / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She continued, "A few months later, I landed a job dancing in Europe. When I got back, I booked In Living Color. I became a Fly Girl and moved to LA. It all happened in a year."

6.Heather Graham's parents supported her acting career as a teenager, but she allegedly rebelled against her Catholic upbringing and stopped talking to them while filming Boogie Nights. Her parents reportedly told USA Weekend that their "hearts and arms are open to her," but she said, "It's like saying if what they did didn't hurt me, I could have a relationship with them. But I have to respect my feelings."

Heather Graham posing in sleeveless dress with a twist-front detail at the Santa Barbara Film Festival
Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

She reportedly also said, "I don't see [us overcoming the estrangement], but maybe it's possible. Either they would have to recognize certain things, or I would have to move beyond the stage of caring about it."

7.And early in Julie Chen's broadcasting career, a news director/agent allegedly told her that she'd never make it in broadcasting unless she changed her eye shape. Consumed by the criticism, she ultimately decided to get double eyelid surgery. On The Talk, she said, "It divided the [extended] family. Members of my family wanted to disown me if I got it done."

Julie Chen smiles in a bright top with a long necklace and earrings
Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

She said, "No one's more proud of being Chinese than I am, and I have to live with the decisions I've made. Every decision I've made…it got [me] to where we are today, and I'm not going to look back."

And now, here are seven celebs whose families made huge sacrifices so they could pursue their Hollywood dreams:

8.When Sydney Sweeney was 13, her family gave up their house and lives in Spokane so she could pursue acting in LA, where they ended up living in a motel. She told the Hollywood Reporter, "We lived in one room. My mom and I shared a bed, and my dad and little brother shared a couch."

Sydney Sweeney in an elegant off-shoulder dress with embellished details, posing at an event
Steven Simione / WireImage / Via Getty

She continued, "I thought that if I made enough money, I'd be able to buy my parents' house back and that I'd be able to put my parents back together. But when I turned 18, I only had $800 to my name. My parents weren't back together, and there was nothing I could do to help."

9.Jenna Ortega told Jimmy Kimmel Live, "Four or five times a week — my mom is a full-time ER nurse, but she would drive me. It was like a six, seven-hour round trip — LA and back — for auditions."

Jenna on red carpet wearing a strapless, floral embellished gown with a necklace
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

"And she has five other kids!" Jenna added.

10.When Taylor Swift was in eighth grade, her dad transferred his stockbroker job and relocated the family from Pennsylvania to Tennessee so she could pursue a music career in Nashville. At the time, her Sony/ATV Publishing deal had already made her the youngest person signed by a significant Nashville songwriting company.

Taylor Swift performs with a guitar, wearing a sparkly bodysuit
Ashok Kumar / Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Her mom, Andrea Swift, told Entertainment Weekly, "I never wanted to make that move about her 'making it.' Because what a horrible thing if it hadn't happened, for her to carry that kind of guilt or pressure around. And we moved far enough outside Nashville [to nearby Hendersonville] to where she didn't have to be going to school with producers' kids and label presidents' kids and be reminded constantly that she was struggling to make it. We've always told her that this is not about putting food on our table or making our dreams come true. There would always be an escape hatch into normal life if she decided this wasn't something she had to pursue. And, of course that's like saying to her, 'If you want to stop breathing, that's cool.'"

11.When Zendaya was in middle school, she and her dad moved from Oakland to LA so she could pursue acting. She told Glamour, "I was basically like, 'I want to do this,' and my dad quit his job as a teacher to make it happen. My mom stayed in Oakland because she had two jobs: teaching and working at the California Shakespeare Theater at night. Those two jobs paid for all of our car trips back and forth for the year I was auditioning. Luckily, I had parents who were like, 'You know what? We believe in you.'"

Zendaya in a glittery gown with a thigh-high slit, posing at the Challengers premiere
James Gourley / Getty Images

She continued, "I got my first job on the Disney Channel when I was 13, and it was just me and my dad in an apartment in downtown LA. It was very difficult because I was dealing with all the pivotal girl moments. I remember getting my period and him not knowing what to do. It was a weird transitional phase."

12.Millie Bobby Brown's mom and dad reportedly sold all they had to relocate to LA. They "went through tough times" and even borrowed money from her manager.

Millie in a patterned, sleeveless gown with thigh-high slit, standing on red carpet
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Netflix

Millie reportedly told the Daily Mail, "My older sister left. She didn't want to do [America] anymore. It was tears, tears, tears."

After their funds ran out, they all returned to the UK and lived with Millie's aunt. However, a few weeks later, she booked Stranger Things, so they headed back to the US.

13.Mckenna Grace booked Goodbye World and Crash & Bernstein right as her father was finishing medical school and was on the verge of getting into a highly desirable residency program in Dallas. However, the family couldn't afford for her and her mom to constantly fly to LA, nor did they want to be separated. So, he applied for a different residency program in southern California instead.

Mckenna in front of backdrop wearing a pinafore dress over a long-sleeved top
Karwai Tang / WireImage / Via Getty

Mckenna told Variety, "I've had blonde hair and lived in LA ever since."

14.And finally, Keke Palmer told the LA Times' The Envelope podcast, "Ultimately, what happened is that it just hit a point where my dad could no longer do a job because if he did a job, then there would be nobody to take care of my older sister and my younger siblings because my mom was always with me. So it was like, all of our roles were switched. I became the financial breadwinner because my career was bringing in the most money, and my parents wanted to support me, but they couldn't have their own jobs because their own jobs would not even allow them to really be able to sustain a stable household."

Keke in a tuxedo jacket, trousers, and cane at the NAACP Image Awards
Kayla Oaddams / FilmMagic / Via Getty

"So everybody's positions were flipped upside down, which is why some years after that, I did start to feel pressure. I started to realize that I was the financial breadwinner and that if I didn't have a job, who would have a job? Or how could my parents have a job? Or how could we sustain the same lifestyle even if they did have a job? Because I was making the kind of money that many people never make. It put us in a crazy position," she said.

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