What do Elvis Presley, Richard Pryor, and Liam Neeson all have in common? You never would have guessed it, but they all were former truck drivers! Before they hit the big screen, they hit the road as professional commercial truckers. So I guess you never really know where your trucking career could lead you. But hey, if you’re anything like the men on this list, you might just have a chance of making it in the fame game!
We know Sean Connery as the former 007 with the epic Scottish accent but we rarely if ever hear of his trucking days. It’s hard to believe the man who appeared in 7 movies as James Bond actually was led to acting because of his trucking career. (Who knows, maybe one of today’s truck drivers will be the next famous movie spy.)
Richard Pryor was a hilarious actor known for both acting and television was a Jack of many trades. Richard was born into poverty but busted out of it beginning his life in several different career avenues until reaching his celebrity status. According to RichardPryor.com, the hilarious comedian “…was expelled from school for a petty offense at age 14, and began working as janitor at a local strip club, work as shoe-shine ..[as well as] drummer, meat packer, truck driver, and billiard hall attendant.”
Even before he became the “King of Rock and Roll” he was “King of the Road.” In April 1954, a young Presley started truck driving with Crown Electric Company. Once, someone even suggested he “stick to truck driving” after he was rejected from a singing audition. Wow.
Before the star of such hits as “Taken” and “Schindler’s List”, Liam Neeson had some way different careers in Ireland. He worked as a forklift operator at Guinness while he was in college and a truck driver before starting his acting career.
Believe it or not, the man responsible for directing one of the most iconic movies of the 90’s, Titanic, used to be behind the wheel of a big rig. Yep, before steering movies to box office success, he was occupied with literally steering tractor trailers. Cameron would write films while still working as a truck driver, inspired to direct movies after seeing Star Wars in the 1970’s. It wasn’t until he gained notoriety that he decided to turn in his keys for a chance to make it in Hollywood. He also is known for such hits as Avatar, The Terminator movies, Rambo and Aliens.
Chevy Chase probably has the most variety on his resume that I’ve ever heard of. He’s worked as a produce manager in a grocery store, as a theater usher, wine salesman, construction worker, waiter, audio engineer, and trucker before becoming the famous comedian and National Lampoon we think of him as now.
It’s hard to imagine the “Lord of the Rings” star, Viggo Mortensen, as a long distance truck driver. But, he did! Mortensen was shipping large containers around Esbjerg, Denmark after he graduated college in the early 1980’s.
Some other celebrities that once worked as truck drivers include: Rock Hudson, Charles Bronson and Jesse James. Who do you think was the most shocking former truck driving celebrity? Gotta be honest though, I kind of am disappointed no females appeared in this post. Maybe in the future we’ll be seeing some lovely actresses emerge on screen after holding down a career in truck driving!