Who they were and what they did before they became famous is a part of celebrities’ lives that we rarely consider. They were regular folks who had to go to the supermarket and the bank and work a 9 to 5 job to make ends meet.
While the majority of them boarded the bus each day to go to their 9 to 5, some of them had “more intriguing” ways to make ends meet.
It may come as a surprise to learn that several of your favourite actors have also worked as professional jugglers and strippers to supplement their income.
One of the most unusual and intriguing careers to emerge from Hollywood’s upper crust?
- A person who tames lions.
- Yeah, you read that correctly.
- Are you curious about who held that position?
- Here, you’ll find out as you read on.
Christopher Walken is a name synonymous with Hollywood greatness. Known for his unique speech patterns, dancing skills, and compelling roles, Walken has a career spanning over six decades. But did you know that he once had an unusual job at a circus? Let’s delve into the multifaceted life of this legendary actor.
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Find out which Actor Used to Work as a Lion Tamer at the Circus.
Even though it may come as a shock, Christopher Walken was the famous actor who worked as a lion tamer. Back in the forties, when he was a kid living in Astoria (in New York City), the circus was a common sight.
While today’s audiences (and he he) tend to frown upon the usage of animals in this way, it wasn’t so long ago that performers routinely brought animals as diverse as dogs, elephants, and lions onto the stage for audience enjoyment.
Walken started doing odd jobs during the summers when he was in middle school to put money down for the school year. At the age of 16, he took a job in the circus.
But How Did He Wind up Being a Lion Tamer, Exactly?
Well, the circus owner, who also doubled as the resident lion tamer, devised a performance in which Walken portrayed both his son and his trainee. They would work together to tame a dozen lions on stage, and then the owner would leave, leaving Walken alone with the final lion.
According to Walken, the lion in question was an older gentleman who was more dog than lion. When he requested, she would turn over, hop, and do other things. Furthermore, he has been quoted as claiming that she was his favourite animal to work with throughout his time with the circus.
Explain who Christopher Walken is.
Despite the fact that Christopher Walken is most known for his roles in films like Annie Hall, Batman Returns, and Pulp Fiction, he began his career in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comic. In addition to acting, directing, and writing for the cinema, he has also worked as a stage actor.
His New York City-born mother had always had a secret desire for him to become famous, so he entered the world with that goal in mind. He is the middle child of three, and his mother started all of them out as background and commercial performers in the area as soon as she could.
In the 1972 sci-fi flick The Happiness Cage, he made his debut as a leading man in the role of James Reese. From there, he went on to have a fruitful career in film and television, culminating with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (1978) for his work in The Deer Hunter.
Weird Pre-Fame Careers of Other Celebs
It’s not just Walken who, before their fame, worked in an unlikely field.
If you’re looking for more, here are a couple more that you might not have heard of.
- Rod Stewart worked as a mortician. A gravedigger’s job is to prepare burial plots at a cemetery for the bodies of the deceased to be interred. This job helped British superstar Rod Steward, who suffered from a crippling dread of mortality as a teenager, overcome his fear of dying. He hoped that being so immersed in the topic of death at work would help him overcome his fear.
- Once upon a time, Channing Tatum performed in strip shows. This may not be shocking if you have ever seen Channing Tatum shirtless or have seen his film Magic Mike. After dropping out of college and moving to Florida at a young age, Channing supported himself by performing as a stripper under the stage name Chan Crawford.
- Formerly, Sylvester Stallone cleaned lion cages. Many of the older Hollywood elite have worked in fields relating to animals. But instead of joining the circus, Stallone found work at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He was responsible for maintaining order in the lions’ enclosures. Surprising for someone who became a legend in old age.
- Juggler Patrick Dempsey was a true professional. This one actually caught us off guard. The terms “hearthrob” and “juggler” don’t seem like they belong together, but here we are. Heartthrob Patrick Dempsey, in his younger years, was a professional juggler. In spite of the fact that he was compensated for his efforts, he was so enthusiastic about juggling that, at the age of 15, he entered an international tournament. He came in second place, behind an 8-year-old youngster who eventually joined Cirque du Soleil. This isn’t an awful opponent to lose to.
The Actor Who Tamed Lions:
Before he dazzled audiences on the big screen, Christopher Walken took on one of the most daring jobs: a lion tamer. As a teenager, he worked at a circus and had the role of taming Sheba, a gentle lioness.
While it sounds dramatic, Walken often remarked that Sheba was more like a big dog, and his act wasn’t as dangerous as it sounded.
Iconic Lion Speech:
While not directly related to his lion-taming days, one of Walken’s most memorable movie moments is his lion speech from “Poolhall Junkies.” The monologue, where he describes the nature of a lion, has become iconic and is a testament to Walken’s captivating screen presence.
Was Christopher Walken in a Marvel Movie?
Although Christopher Walken has taken on a plethora of roles during his illustrious career, he hasn’t starred in a Marvel movie as of my last update in 2023.
Christopher Walken’s Fame:
Walken’s acting prowess has graced many films, including “The Deer Hunter” (for which he won an Academy Award), “Catch Me If You Can,” and “Pulp Fiction.” His unique cadence, dance moves, and eclectic choice of roles have made him a standout figure in Hollywood.
Friendship with Al Pacino:
Christopher Walken and Al Pacino, two giants of the film industry, have shared the screen, most notably in the movie “Stand Up Guys.” Their camaraderie on and off-screen has led many to believe they share a close friendship, bound by mutual respect for each other’s craft.
As of my last update, Christopher Walken resides in Wilton, Connecticut, with his wife, Georgianne Walken. They’ve been married since 1969 and have enjoyed a long, private life away from the Hollywood limelight in their East Coast haven.
Christopher Walken’s Age:
Born on March 31, 1943, Christopher Walken, as of 2023, would be 80 years old. Even at this age, he continues to be active in the entertainment industry, proving that age is just a number when it comes to passion and talent.
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From taming lions to capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide, Christopher Walken’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. His versatility, dedication, and unmistakable charisma have solidified his place as a Hollywood legend, and his story serves as an inspiration for many.
Whether dancing through the streets in a music video or delivering a gripping monologue, Walken is, and will remain, a force to be reckoned with in the cinematic world.