Kids in Care Can Do Anything!
8 Celebs That Lived In Out-Of-Home Care.
At The Pyjama Foundation, we know that kids in out-of-home care are capable of anything they put their minds to! In fact, our Pyjama Angel volunteers focus on helping kids in care spread their wings and reach their full potential.
Still not sure? Here are 8 celebrities that have lived in out-of-home care…
Oprah Winfrey is an incredible self made talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist! Most recognisable from The Oprah Winfrey Show, she is credited with revolutionising tabloid talk shows. Now, Oprah is the only black, female billionaire in America, having turned her media knowledge into an empire!
Oprah spent the first six years of her life in kinship care, living with her grandmother. Currently, she uses her platform and history of kinship care to advocate for child welfare needs in the US. In her own words:
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”
Eddie Murphy is an actor, comedian, writer, producer and singer – what can’t he do! Murphy is known for his roles as Donkey in Shrek, Mushu in Mulan, Prince Akeem in Coming to America, and many more!
When he was 8 years old, Eddie’s mother was hospitalised due to illness. This lead Eddie and his brother to be placed in a foster home for a year. Eddie credits his experience in care as helping him to realise the importance of finding something to laugh about in any situation. In his own words:
“I’ve always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.”
Barry Keoghan is an Irish actor, best known for his roles in Eternals, Dunkirk, and The Banshees of Inisherin (which just earned him an Oscar nomination)! With recent Golden Globe, SAG Award and Oscar nominations, Barry’s future on the big screen is only just getting started.
Keoghan and his brother spent 7 years in foster care, living in 13 different foster homes during that time. Barry hopes that his story will inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
Marilyn Monroe was an actress, model and singer, and one of the most iconic of the 50s and early 60s at that! Some of her most recognisable roles include Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot, and Pola Debevoise in How to Marry a Millionaire.
Marilyn’s childhood began in care, and included multiple foster homes, reunification with her mother, residential care, and kinship care. At 16, Marilyn left the care system, and found her talent and passion for modelling and acting. Thus, she built an amazing career as a woman in Hollywood.
In her own words:
“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.”
Simone Biles is a US gymnast and Olympian. With seven Olympic gold medals to her name, Biles is recognised as the Number 1 gymnast in the world! She is highly regarded inside the world of professional sporting, and was awarded Time’s Athlete of The Year 2021.
Simone and her siblings entered the foster care system when she was 2 years old, before being adopted by their grandparents. In Simone’s words:
“I would hope I would inspire kids everywhere to know that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Ice-T is a rapper, songwriter, actor and producer, best known for his role in the TV show Law & Order SVU and for his song Colors. As a testament to his musical prowess, Ice-T is considered a pioneer of gangsta rap, and is recognised for his charismatic writing.
Ice-T entered into kinship care when he was very young, moving across the US to live with relatives. When he was a teenager, Ice-T fell in love with rap music, and thus a star was born. In his own words:
“Passion makes the world go round.”
Cher is beloved by many, and for good reason! The singer, actress and TV star is best known for hits like “If I Could Turn Back Time”, “Believe”, “Strong Enough”, and “I’ve Got You Babe” (plus many, many, more). More recently, Cher has starred in hit movies like “Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again”, and “Burlesque”.
When her mother fell sick when Cher was only 2 years old, she first was placed into a residential foster care facility. Once she was able to be reunified with her family, Cher stayed mostly in a kinship care arrangement with her grandparents. Cher kept in contact with her mother who was an actress. Because of her mother’s passion for acting, Cher found inspiration of her own, thus pursuing a life on the stage and screen!
In Cher’s words:
“I don’t think that we are born with a finite number of dreams. One thing about dreams is that they can be whatever you want them to be, you don’t have to put a limit on them. You don’t even have to know them!”
Seal is a British singer and songwriter, known for his hit song “Kiss from a Rose”. With three Grammy Awards to his name, Seal is an outstanding musician. He’s even recognised in Australia as an original judge of The Voice Australia!
Seal spent the first few years of his life in a foster home, and was reunified with his family at 4 years old. He found a passion for music at 11 years old, and reignited this passion at 23 years old. Seal still holds strong memories of his time in care, and even reunited with his foster family on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007.
In Seal’s own words:
“Everything really is beautiful if you choose to see it that way.”
So there you have it; 8 amazing humans who lived in out-of-home care as children. We hope that each of these talented individuals has helped you to understand what kids in out-of-home care can achieve with support and care.
Feeling inspired? Learn more about becoming a Pyjama Angel and supporting a child or teenager in out-of-home care here.