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Strangest celebrity jobs before fame - Mortuary worker, lion tamer and giant sperm

Before gracing stage and screen, winning Oscars and posing for magazines magazines, celebrities had to work some very strange jobs. Some of our favourite celebs had pre-fame joins that might actually make being an A-lister seem boring, including fire-breathing, painting the faces of dead people, dressing up as a giant sperm and a banana, or picking bugs off Christmas Trees. Proving they were always destined for the unusual, let's take a look at some of the most bizarre jobs celebrities did before they were famous.

Christopher Walken - Lion tamer

Christopher Walken has been one of the world's most famous actors since the 1970s, but before that, he had an even more interesting job - a lion tamer. When he was 16, he worked in the circus and performed an act with the owner, Terrell Jacobs. Christopher, now 78, would pretend to be Jacobs' son and they would don matching outfits and perform with more than a dozen lions. He previously told Vanity Fair that when the act was over "there would be one lion left, and I used to go in and have this lion do tricks". He called the lion, named Sheba, "very sweet, like a dog really" and added that she would "run and sit up and roll over". He added: "I was sort of a jack-of-all-trades in show business for a long time."

Whoopi Goldberg - Mortuary make up artist

Acclaimed actress Whoopi Goldberg, 65, originally trained as a beautician and took a job at a local mortuary. And as if painting the faces of dead people wasn't not weird enough, her boss made it even worse. She has claimed he would hide in a drawer usually occupied by corpses, slowly opening it, then waving to her. "It's a rough gig," she told the Huffington Post. "You have to be a certain kind of person, and you have to love people in order to make them worthy of a great send-off."

Victoria Beckham - Roller skating sperm

Before finding fame as Posh Spice and then becoming one of the biggest fashion icons in the world with a family empire, Victoria Beckham, 47, had a decidedly less glamorous job. She was a roller-skating sperm on BBC sex-education show Body Matters, with the giant costume to boot. It's hard to imagine Victoria in such an outfit these days, and sadly it appears she's had any photographic evidence destroyed. But it proves we all have to start somewhere.

Kim Kardashian - Closet organiser

Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Kim Kardashian is one of the biggest celebs on the planet, but before making it in the world of reality TV she cleared out the wardrobes of other A-listers. Working as a closet organiser, Kim, 40, sorted through celebrities' clothes and sold their unwanted items on eBay for them, working with stars including Nicole Richie, Rob Lowe, Serena Williams – and most famously, BFF Paris Hilton. While fans often wrongly assume that Kim was Paris' assistant, she has been quick to clear up speculation when looking back on the days when she was bossed around by The Simple Life star. "I would work with Paris, and I would love to organise and clean out their closets and get rid of all their stuff and sell it on eBay and then shop for them, shop for her," she recalled. "That was my job. I loved it - but people will say ‘assistant,' they always have it wrong," she added.

Taylor Swift - Bug picker

Before she became a firm fixture in the charts, pop-star Taylor Swift, 31, had a very unexpected job to make ends meet. Growing up, Blank Space singer Taylor lived on a Christmas tree farm, which was run by her family. Her not so glamorous job involved de-bugging the trees so they could be re-sold on to families for the holidays. Reflecting on her time at the farm, Taylor told Rolling Stone : “I had the most magical childhood, running free and going anywhere I wanted to in my head. “We all had jobs, mine was picking the praying mantis pods off of the trees, collecting them so that the bugs wouldn’t hatch inside people’s houses.”

Megan Fox - Giant banana

Before she topped 'sexiest woman' lists in every magazine possible, actress Megan Fox, 35, dressed up as a giant banana to promote a smoothie parlour in Florida. She revealed on The Ellen Show: "I worked at a little smoothie shop in Florida and I mostly worked behind the register. ‘But once a week, usually on Fridays, someone had to dress up as a fruit, a piece of fruit, and go and stand out by the highway. "I was a banana, a giant banana."

Pierce Brosnan - Fire-eater

Back in his teenage girls, James Bond star Pierce Brosnan, 68, performed in a death-defying fire-eating act. In 1969, Pierce went to an acting workshop where he ran into a fire eating instructor teaching trailing tricks to women, and decided to take classes himself. He then created his own circus show which he toured with for three years after he was spotted by an agent. But his fire-eating career was not without its horrors. Pierce suffered horrific burns in his mouth during an episode of The Muppets, after the props manager mistakenly used white gas instead of kerosene. He said of the incident: "The prop guy was there and he said, ‘This stuff is great, it doesn’t taste of anything, you don’t smell it.’ "I went, ‘This is good, I’ll try this.' "It was like rocket fuel. I blew it, it all came back into my mouth and my mouth blew up. "I had blisters for the rest of the show." Ouch!

Hugh Jackman - Clown

Successful actor Hugh Jackman, 52, is known for his roles in The Greatest Showman, Wolverine and X-Men. But the handsome star once used his acting skills for a very different role. Dressing as a clown for children's parties, Hugh proved he was an entertainer even before he landed the big Hollywood roles. However, he has hilariously recalled that one child was less than impressed with his act. "I was Coco the Clown and I had no magic tricks and I remember a six-year-old standing up at a party saying, 'Mummy this clown is terrible, he doesn't know any tricks' - and he was right," he once reminisced.