ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

It's a common notion that your younger years are the time to really make it in an industry, especially in entertainment. While it's tough to deny that being a buxom blonde 25-year-old would lend itself to easier networking, it's certainly not always the case.

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of actors and actresses in Hollywood who had to work for years before they finally became the stars we know them as today.

Since most of these actors worked tirelessly in the industry for years before their big breaks and mass commercial success, this should be a lesson in perseverance and determination. Here are 16 actors and actresses who didn't have their big break

1. Harrison Ford

Big break: Star Wars: Episode IV (1977)
Age: 35

2. Jon Hamm

Big break: Mad Men (2007)
Age: 36

3. Gene Hackman

Big break: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Age: 37

4. Jeremy Renner

Big break: The Hurt Locker (2009)
Age: 37

5. Tim Allen

Big break: Home Improvement (1991)
Age: 38

6. Steve Carell

Big break: Bruce Almighty (2003)
Age: 39

7. Connie Britton

Big break: Friday Night Lights (2006)
Age: 39

8. Lucille Ball

Big break: I Love Lucy (1951)
Age: 40

9. Jane Lynch

Big break: Best in Show (2000)
Age: 40

10. Melissa McCarthy

Big break: Known for Gilmore Girls, but didn't get her big break until Bridesmaids (2011)
Age: 41

11. Alan Rickman

Big break: Die Hard (1988)
Age: 42

12. Kathy Bates

Big break: Misery (1990)
Age: 43

13. Rodney Dangerfield

Big break: The Ed Sullivan Show (1967)
Age: 46

14. Samuel L. Jackson

Big break: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Age: 46

15. Christoph Waltz

Big break: Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Age: 53

Knowing that these entertainers trudged through their 20s with minimal success and keep working towards their goals makes me feel like I can do just about anything. If you can dream it, you can do it!


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