Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 5, 2013

Many of today's stars have had car as a home

Associated Press
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Many of the celebs who now cruise around in a luxurious ride and park it in the garage of a multi-million dollar home once just had the car — and a much less expensive one at that.

Comedian Steve Harvey is the latest celeb to reveal he once called his set of wheels home. The “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” author revealed to People that as a struggling comedian in the late 1980s, he was without a permanent roof over his head and slept in his 1976 Ford Tempo for about three years. He was sending most of his money to his ex-wife and their children. “One or two gigs fell through, and suddenly I was homeless,” Harvey said, adding that he used an ice chest as a makeshift refrigerator and used hotel bathrooms or gas stations to clean up. Today, Harvey, who now hosts his own talk show as well as the “Family Feud,” has multiple homes.

Of course, Harvey’s not the only celeb who once called his vehicle home. Check out some others:

Kelly Clarkson: After her high school graduation in 2000, the Texas girl packed up and moved west to pass out her demo tape in L.A. She worked at low-paying jobs until her apartment caught fire, and briefly called her car home. It was only when she moved back to Texas, defeated, that she heard about auditions for a new reality show called “American Idol.”

Dr. Phil: The friend of Oprah once encouraged a homeless family on his show by talking about his own family’s hardships. “My dad and I had to split up from the rest of our family because we couldn’t afford for everybody to stay together,” the 63-year-old revealed. “We spent a number of nights in our car, and then we found a room at the YMCA for $5 a week, and he and I lived there until we got an apartment that was close enough to school for me to walk. We got that in September, and we didn’t have any electricity until December.”

William Shatner: The “Star Trek” star revealed to Details magazine in 2007 just how desperate he was after the show went off the air. When asked if it was true he had lived in his car, Shatner answered, “A pickup truck, actually. It was the early 1970s and I was recently divorced. I had three kids and was totally broke. I managed to find work back east on the straw-hat circuit — summer stock — but couldn’t afford hotels, so I lived out of the back of my truck, under a hard shell. It had a little stove, a toilet, and I’d drive from theater to theater. The only comfort came from my dog, who sat in the passenger seat and gave me perspective on everything.”

Hilary Swank: Long before she racked up two Oscars, the 39-year-old was just a 15-year-old girl whose mom moved her from her Bellingham, Washington, home to L.A. to chase her dream. The two actually lived out of their car for about eight weeks while Swank’s mom saved money until they could afford to rent an apartment. And the rest is history.