If you fail, try again. If you fail again ... try being famous?

Might sound silly, but that's pretty much how it worked out for these actors, celebrities and TV personalities. All had something very different in mind when it came to a career and whether it was being a lawyer, a priest or an art historian, they actually tried it out for a little. But fate had something else in mind for them, so when their first options fell flat, things ended up working out quite nicely anyway.

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  • George Clooney

    <strong>... could have been a baseball player.</strong> Always an athlete, George tried out to play professionally with the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but didn't make the cut.

  • Ashton Kutcher

    <strong>... could have been a biomechanical engineer.</strong> Ashton didn't grow up looking for his car, he grew up fascinated by how things work and even went to college for biomedical engineering before finding fame.

  • Angelina Jolie

    <strong>... could have been a funeral director.</strong> Frustrated by the way in which her grandfather's funeral was conducted, Jolie decided on a career path set in the funeral home. She even ordered a certificate but didn't end up much further than that.

  • Gerard Butler

    <strong>... could have been a lawyer.</strong> After going to law school, Gerard headed to work at a firm. Unfortunately, he was fired shortly thereafter and his dreams of making it to the courtroom immediately fell flat.

  • Hugh Grant

    <strong>... could have been an art historian.</strong> What's the difference between the work of Van Gogh and the work of Monet? Well, Hugh Grant would have been able to answer that had he not listened to the talent scouts who persuaded the then-student to abandon his doctorate dreams for acting.

  • Halle Berry

    <strong>... could have been Miss World.</strong> Before heading to Chicago to pursue a modeling career, the teen beauty queen eventually became the first African-American Miss World entrant in 1968, though Miss Trinidad and Tobago snagged the crown.

  • James Lipton

    <strong>... could have been a pimp.</strong> And he was for a whole year in Paris! But the times changed and he ran out of money before heading to the states to interview the famous.

  • Sean Connery

    <strong>... could have been a professional body builder.</strong> And the original James Bond was well on his way, before he found himself in third place for Mr. Universe. Luckily, the whole acting gig picked up shortly after and he found fame as 007.

  • Mariah Carey

    <strong>... could have been a makeup artist.</strong> Frenchie from "Grease" wasn't the only beauty school dropout. Before singing her way to fame, Mariah studied to become a makeup artist and left prior to graduation.

  • Tim Allen

    <strong>... could have been a drug lord.</strong> That's right, the man behind "Buzz Lightyear" and "Santa Claus" was a coke dealer. But, after doing two years of time for drug trafficking charges, Allen ditched the dope and headed to Hollywood.

  • Jerry Springer

    <strong>... could have been a governor.</strong> Before running the stage on his tabloid talk show, the law-school graduate sat as Cincinnati's mayor for two terms. But after an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1982, his political career came to a close.

  • Suze Orman

    <strong>... could have been a restaurateur.</strong> Prior to passing on financial advice to others, Suze could have used some of her own. She lost some serious money after investing it to start her own restaurant business and was forced to take a job as a waitress until things turned around.

  • Walt Disney

    <strong>... could have been a newspaper cartoonist.</strong> Long before Mickey made his way into Walt's life and the word "Disney" became synonymous with a magical empire, he was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He also went bankrupt several times before his luck really turned around.

  • Tom Cruise

    <strong>... could have been a priest.</strong> And he had even enrolled in a seminary to do so! But young Tom was asked to leave after allegedly sneaking in some alcohol before acting and scientology found their way into his life.

  • Oprah Winfrey

    <strong>... could have been a news anchor.</strong> Ironic that one of the best known talk show hosts and media proprietors was told she was "unfit for TV" and consequently fired by a Baltimore TV producer. After she was pulled from her evening news reporting spot, she made what was then considered a huge step down to daytime TV and the rest is history.