Billy Bob Thornton Survived on Powdered Donuts and Rum Before Becoming Famous

The actor fought hard to become a household name.

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Billy Bob Thornton may be regarded by many as a jerk, thanks to a contentious interview he did in 2009 with Q TV. But there’s no denying that the actor fought hard to become a household name.

In fact, Billy Bob Thornton was so broke that he subsisted on junk food in his early days, according to an interview he did with Oprah Winfrey in July 2014.

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Videos by Rare

More specifically, Billy Bob Thornton and his roommate reportedly ate powdered donuts and rum every Friday, according to WorldTimeTodays. He also consumed copious slices of pizza, thanks to a restaurant gig. To boot, they lived together in a one-room apartment.

Thornton’s rough early days also provided him with thick skin. In turn, that allowed him to avoid a bruised ego if one of his movies flops at the box office.

“Billy Bob says he’s come to accept that he’ll only ever be ’50 percent happy,” according to an iTunes description of his Oprah interview. “He also shares his poignant advice for anyone who has lost a loved one.”

Billy Bob Thornton Enjoys the Sweet Smell of Success

After braving through that destitute lifestyle in his early days, Thornton hit the jackpot in Hollywood, according to

Thanks to the neo-noir thriller One False Move from 1992, Billy Bob Thornton got attention from critics. Four years later, he impressed just about everyone with 1996’s Sling Blade — and earned an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Thornton leveraged his Sling Blade success into roles in big-budget films. They include Armageddon (1998), Monster’s Ball (2001), the Coen BrothersThe Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), and Bad Santa (2003).

More recently, Billy Bob Thornton took a hit with the cancellation of Goliath, his popular Amazon Prime series. Still, he is worth around $45 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

It’s been a minute since he got tapped for a major role in a blockbuster film. Most recently, he materialized in The Gray Man, released earlier this year.

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