Rachel McAdams
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19 Celebs Who Worked At Fast Food Chains

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Rachel McAdams
Jon Kopaloff / Getty

Want Fries With That?

Not every celebrity was an overnight success, with many paying their dues before they hit the big time. And for many, stints at fast food chains during their school days or their struggling pre-fame years were how they paid the bills. Read on to see which famous faces once flipped burgers, scooped ice cream or doled out doughnuts.


Related: 25 Celebs Whose First Job Was Worse Than Yours

Mark Hamill
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Mark Hamill

The actor forever associated with his iconic turn as Luke Skywalker of the “Star Wars” franchise, revisited his association with Jack in the Box this summer. Hamill was an 18-year-old college student hired to work the drive-thru window at the burger chain. The only problem was the theater major used a “clown voice” to take orders, which amused him but annoyed his boss to the point of him being fired weeks later. He returned this August, though, to work with Jack in the Box on an ad campaign.


Related: Celebs With Hobbies You’d Never Expect

Gwen Stefani
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Gwen Stefani

The one time No Doubt singer who carved out a successful solo career — all before going on to be a judge on “The Voice” and, of course, wife to fellow judge Blake Shelton — traces her employment roots to Dairy Queen. The eternal California girl said that she made her first dollar by working at the ice cream and fast-food chain.


Related: Celebs Who Blew Their Money on Stupid Things

Madonna
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Madonna

During a 2015 radio interview with Howard Stern, Madonna admitted that during early days as an aspiring dancer in New York City, she had a number of jobs outside the entertainment industry. Among those was a short stint at Dunkin’ Donuts. When Stern asked if she got fired in a day, as rumored, The Material Girl said she lasted about a week but did admit that her playing with the jelly machine directly led to her losing her position, as it was determined she didn’t seem to be taking the job seriously.

Barack Obama
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Barack Obama

President Barack Obama may have been destined for the White House, but he put in his time at some far less-glamorous jobs on his way up. As a teen growing up in Hawaii, Obama’s first summer job was scooping ice cream at his local Baskin-Robbins — a job that he noted on LinkedIn was harder than it looks and taught him valuable lessons.

Brad Pitt
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Brad Pitt

Imagine a struggling Brad Pitt, a newcomer to Hollywood who can only dream of the worldwide success to come his way. What did he do for money? Well, one job, as he shared during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” was slipping into a chicken suit to serve as the mascot for the California fast-food chain known as El Pollo Loco

James Franco
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James Franco

Actor and Academy Award nominee James Franco is known for being candid. Back in 2015, as fast-food jobs and their wages were once again in the spotlight, Franco wrote a piece for The Washington Post about his stint at McDonald’s back in the late 1990s. He fondly recalled the three months of employment, noting he was treated pretty well.

Jennifer Hudson
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Jennifer Hudson

Singer, Oscar-winning actor and, more recently, talk show host Jennifer Hudson was once a Burger King employee in her native Chicago. In a 2018 interview, Hudson says that, as a teen, she not only worked at the famed burger chain but also treated her drive-thru customers to serenades. In recognition of her work, the “American Idol” star was given a card by the corporation that entitles her to free food for life.

Sharon Stone
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Sharon Stone

Actress Sharon Stone (forever known for the iconic scene in “Basic Instinct”) has worked her way to the top. Long before reaching the heights of Hollywood fame, the Pennsylvania native was a 1970s fry cook at her local McDonald’s, an experience which she noted was filled with life lessons about hard work and paying your dues.

Eva Longoria
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Eva Longoria

Long before her time on “Desperate Housewives,” the role that rocketed her to fame, Eva Longoria was just another Texas teen with a goal — and that was to have a quinceañera, a Latin American tradition of marking a girl’s 15th birthday. As her family didn’t have the money for an elaborate celebration, Longoria (today also an author, activist and philanthropist) got herself a job at Wendy’s to pay for the party.

Queen Latifah
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Queen Latifah

Its reasoning was short and sweet, as New Jersey native Queen Latifah shared — if she and her brother needed pocket money, they had to work. That led the rapper, singer and actress to take her first job, at age 15, at Burger King.

Bobby Flay
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Bobby Flay

The celebrity chef, Food Network star, and restaurant owner known as Bobby Flay gave a shout-out to Baskin-Robbins, recognizing the chain as one of his earliest jobs, at age 16. He even shared one of his own ice cream sundae recipes on Twitter.

Jenna Fischer
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Jenna Fischer

Best known as Pam from the classic sitcom, “The Office,” actress Jenna Fischer has had plenty of real-life jobs. She started at age 15 at a dog kennel and would go on to work at the seafood chain Long John Silver’s, as she shared with Conan O’Brien on a late-night talk show appearance. Her fast-food stint showed early spunk, as she told O’Brien she pushed to be trained as a fry cook over a counter server once she realized the pay was better.

Pink
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Pink

Long before her worldwide fame as a Grammy Award-winning singer, Pink was just another young girl growing up in suburban Philadelphia. School was not for her, so the high-school dropout had several fast-food stints ranging from McDonald’s to Pizza Hut to Wendy’s, where she reportedly lasted less than two hours since she balked at being assigned French-fry duty. 


Related: Famous People Who Were Kicked Out of School

Jay Leno
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Jay Leno

Comic and longtime talk-show host Jay Leno, also a noted car collector and enthusiast, didn’t always live life in the spotlight. As a Massachusetts teen, Leno worked some two years at McDonald’s, and, he has often noted, learned many life lessons along the way.

Julia Roberts
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Julia Roberts

It seems quite a few celebrities toiled away at Baskin-Robbins. Count iconic actress Julia Roberts among them, as well. As the company itself tweeted as a fun fact (and truly embraced in 2015, as it was celebrating its 70th anniversary), Roberts was indeed a former ice cream scooper.

Jeff Bezos
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Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, once toiled away far out of the spotlight. Bezos tweeted a photo of himself eating a McDonald’s burger and fries, noting that the chain provided him with his first job — and the food remains just as good as it was during his days as an employee when he was a Miami teen.

Rachel McAdams
Jon Kopaloff / Getty

Rachel McAdams

Long before her notable roles in movies ranging from “Mean Girls” to “The Notebook,” Rachel McAdams was a McDonald’s employee… and, by her own admission, not a very good one. She not only worked there but so did her sister and brother. McAdams admitted she wasn’t a star employee, often slowing things down to wash her hands (due to a touch of OCD) and even breaking the orange juice machine.

Russell Simmons
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Russell Simmons

Record company executive and entrepreneur Russell Simmons once made $2.25 per hour at Orange Julius, the classic shopping mall beverage chain. His high school job working the counter was short-lived — he lasted just a month or so before being fired. His takeaway? Russell said it taught him you need to be inspired about the work you do.

Margot Robbie
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Margot Robbie

Australian actress and producer Margot Robbie (the anticipation is high for her 2023 release, “Barbie”) once worked at Subway. The two-time Oscar-nominee was on a British TV show and, in 2018, was presented with a custom sandwich named in her honor to recognize her early-days job as a “sandwich artist” at the chain, where she once reportedly earned an Employee of the Year award.