As the saying goes, the truth can be stranger than fiction — and that certainly seems to be the case when it comes to some of these under-the-radar celebrity facts.
For instance, did you know that actress Ellie Kemper had a “Mad Men” star as her drama teacher before he made it big? Or that TV host Jerry Springer was once the mayor of a large city? Read on for some crazy — but true — celebrity facts.
Jon Hamm Was Ellie Kemper’s Drama Teacher
Before he was famous, Missouri native Jon Hamm worked as a high school theater teacher for a year at a school in St. Louis. Among his students was none other than actress Ellie Kemper. Years later, the two worked together on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Harry Styles Has Four Nipples
Katy Perry Collects Celebrity Hair
When it comes to having weird hobbies, Katy Perry might take the prize. The singer revealed that she likes to collect fellow celebrities’ hair. Specifically, Perry has said that she has locks from Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift.
Ashton Kutcher Has Webbed Toes
Ashton Kutcher has a condition called syndactyly, aka webbed toes. The actor showed off his connected digits on a British talk show in 2008. “When everything else is this good-looking, something has to give,” he quipped.
Paris Hilton Built A Dog Mansion In Her Backyard
Famed Chihuahua-lover Paris Hilton built her dogs a 300-square-foot “doggy mansion” in her backyard. Not only does it have air-conditioning and heating, but she also decked it out with designer furniture, pink-colored walls and a chandelier. Plus, the two-story dog home has a balcony and enclosed yard in case the dogs want to spend some time outside. “Loves it,” she wrote of her dogs’ home.
Rebel Wilson Became An Actress Because Of A Hallucination
While some actors are born wanting to be on stage or in movies, it took catching malaria for Rebel Wilson to realize she wanted to be an actress. During a trip to South Africa, Wilson says she had a hallucination of winning an Oscar, likely brought on by the medications she was taking for malaria. After that, she decided to turn the hallucination into a real-life pursuit.
Tom Hanks Is Obsessed With Typewriters
Tom Hanks doesn’t just like vintage typewriters, he has a collection of over 100 of them. He even wrote a book of short stories that featured a typewriter in each one.
“The tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop,” he wrote in the New York Times, explaining his passion for the machines.
Leslie Mann Is A Talented Unicyclist
If you think riding a unicycle is only for clowns, you might be surprised that actress Leslie Mann lists it as a talent of hers.
“I got one for Christmas when I was 10 and taught myself how to use it. Now I can do all kinds of tricks, like cycling backward and jumping off curbs,” she told O Magazine.
2 People Died After Getting Into A Car Accident With Matthew Broderick
In 1987, Matthew Broderick got into a car accident that left a 28-year-old woman and her mom dead in Northern Ireland when his rental car collided head-on with their vehicle. The actor was on vacation at the time with his then-girlfriend and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” co-star, Jennifer Grey, who was just about to start publicity for “Dirty Dancing.” While Grey was only bruised, Broderick sustained a broken leg and other injuries from the crash.
Oprah Has A Bathtub That’s Shaped Like Her Body
When you’re Oprah, an ordinary bathtub simply won’t do! During an interview on “The Late Late Show,” Winfrey revealed that she owns a marble and onyx hand-carved tub that’s shaped like her body. It was also made with enough room to fit another person!
A Rumor Led Kim and Kanye To Name Their Daughter North
Someone clever up came up with the name “North West” — but it wasn’t North’s parents, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Kardashian revealed that the name had been a rumor in the press while she was pregnant with their first child, but the couple hadn’t actually considered using the name. That is, until friends and fellow celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Anna Wintour mentioned to them that they loved it.
“I guess at that point, it sort of stuck,” Kardashian said to GQ.
James Lipton Worked As A Pimp In The 1950s
Yes, you read that correctly. The host of “Inside the Actors Studio” revealed that he worked as a pimp when he lived in Paris during the 1950s. He explained to Parade that after World War II, it was a different time and that pimps in France did not exploit sex workers, but acted more as their agents.
“I was going through my rites of passage, no question about it,” he said. “It was a great year of my life.”
The Obamas Didn’t Pay Off Student Loans Until They Were In Their 40s
Although the Obamas are not everyday folks in many respects, there is at least one thing about Barack and Michelle Obama that is highly relatable. The couple didn’t finish paying off their loans until 2004, only a few years before Barack would win the presidency. They were 42 and 40 years old, respectively.
Kesha Claims She Slept With A Ghost
In an interview with Conan O’Brien, Kesha claims that she once got intimate with a ghost. The nameless spirit began caressing her and the two proceeded to have a “sexy time” together. The singer is not the only celebrity who’s claimed to have had a romantic encounter with an otherworldly spirit, either.
Leighton Meester’s Mom Was Incarcerated When She Was Born
While Leighton Meester wasn’t actually born in prison, her mother was reportedly serving a prison sentence related to marijuana smuggling when she gave birth to the future actress in a hospital. And she isn’t the only member of the family to have a rap sheet —Meester’s aunt also supposedly broke out of prison and was on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List for a time.
Miley Cyrus’ Given Name Is ‘Destiny Hope’
Although she reportedly had been called Miley since she was a baby, Miley Cyrus was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus. With the help of her parents, the singer legally changed her name in 2008 at the age of 15.
Zoe Saldana Can Move Her Eyeballs In Different Directions
When it comes to special skills, actress Zoe Saldana may have the most random one we’ve ever heard. The actress told Us Magazine that she can move her eyeballs in different directions at the same time.
“That’s my claim to fame,” she said.
Sarah Jessica Parker And Cynthia Nixon First Met As Children
Although they played friends on “Sex and the City,” Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon actually met long before the TV series premiered in 1998. According to Nixon, the two were both child actresses and met when they were 12 and 13 years old while performing “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Meghan Markle Did The Calligraphy For Paula Patton And Robin Thicke’s Wedding Invitations
Long before she walked down the aisle and became royalty, Meghan Markle was paying her bills by doing calligraphy for wedding invitations. Reportedly, she did the invitation calligraphy for at least one celebrity bash: Paula Patton and Robin Thicke’s wedding in 2005.
Dennis Quaid Is A Trained Ballet Dancer
Dennis Quaid may be a movie star, but he’s also got some serious dance moves! The actor revealed that he studied ballet while he was a student at the University of Houston. In Us Weekly, he wrote that it was an “incredible workout.” (You may recall that he seemed to have no problem busting a move with Julia Roberts in “Something to Talk About.”)
Jerry Springer Was Once The Mayor Of Cincinnati
Although most of the world knows Jerry Springer as a TV talk show host, some Ohio residents remember him as the mayor of Cincinnati. The city council appointed him for one year between 1977 and 1978 (as was the city’s practice at the time). In recent years, Springer has contemplated running for Ohio governor.
Justin Timberlake’s Mom Was Ryan Gosling’s Guardian
As kids, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling didn’t just perform together on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” they also lived together and shared a bathroom. Reportedly, Timberlake’s mom became Gosling’s legal guardian for about six months after Gosling’s mom had to return to Canada for work.
Nicole Kidman Is Afraid Of Butterflies
Many people think that butterflies are beautiful, but Nicole Kidman doesn’t care for them. She reportedly can’t shake a phobia of butterflies that stems from her childhood in Australia. She supposedly can’t stand the feeling of a butterfly touching her.
Paul Newman Taught Jake Gyllenhaal How To Drive
With parents who had careers as a director and screenwriter, Jake Gyllenhaal grew up with famous people around, including Paul Newman, who was a close family friend. The famed older actor reportedly even gave a young Gyllenhaal a driving lesson.
Margot Robbie Is A Trained Trapeze Artist
If she wasn’t an actress, Margot Robbie might have been a trapeze performer. She reportedly began taking trapeze lessons at a circus school at the age of 8. She even accepted a role in a yet-to-be-made movie about a trapeze artist.
Tom Cruise Divorced All Of His Wives When They Were 33
Do you know what Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes all have in common? They were all 33 years old when their marriages to Tom Cruise ended. The coincidence has not gone unnoticed by the internet and, of course, some people even developed conspiracy theories surrounding it.
Jeremy Renner Used To Be A Makeup Artist
Instead of waiting tables like many struggling actors, Jeremy Renner worked as a makeup artist before striking it big as an actor.
“I could do makeup because I did theater,” he told “Access Hollywood.” “I could draw, so I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll do makeup on girls all day … It bought me a lot of free time to go audition when I needed to because I only had to work a few hours a week. I didn’t have to wait tables, so it was actually a great gig.”
Jennifer Lawrence Has A Tattoo Reminding Her To Drink Water
Staying hydrated is apparently so important to Jennifer Lawrence that she got a tattoo to remind her of it! The actress has an “H2O” tattoo on the back of her right hand.
“It’s literally the most un-rebellious tattoo that anyone could ever get,” she told HitFix.
Christopher Walken Used To Be A Lion Tamer
If there was an award for the scariest pre-fame job an actor could have, Christopher Walken would win it! As a 16-year-old, Walken worked as an assistant lion tamer for a circus. He found the job in a newspaper listing.
Originally published on The Delite.