It’s no secret that Hollywood is a place where stars are made, but not all stars follow the same trajectory. While some actors start off strong and remain in the spotlight for years, there are others who seem to fade away quickly. Then there are the truly shocking stars, the ones who manage to defy the odds and make it to the top despite all the obstacles.

In recent years, we’ve seen a few such stars emerge, including Tom Cruise, James Cameron, and Glenn Close. These three Hollywood legends have all managed to break through barriers and achieve incredible success, even when few expected them to do so. And in doing so, they’ve shown us all that anything is possible when you have the talent and determination to succeed.

Tom Cruise is perhaps the most surprising of these three, given his humble beginnings. Born in upstate New York in 1962, Cruise moved around a lot as a child due to his father’s job as a supply teacher. Despite this, he managed to make a name for himself in high school with his charming personality and knack for acting.

After graduating, Cruise decided to pursue a career in the arts and moved to New York City to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. This was a huge risk, given that he had no connections or money to fall back on. However, Cruise proved to be a natural talent, quickly landing roles in local productions and eventually moving to Los Angeles to try his luck in Hollywood.

In California, Cruise struggled at first, taking on small roles in TV shows and movies. But in 1983, his breakthrough role came in the form of Joel Goodsen in “Risky Business.” From there, he went on to star in blockbuster hits like “Top Gun,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Jerry Maguire,” cementing his status as one of the biggest stars of our time.

James Cameron is another Hollywood star who has defied the odds. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1954, Cameron initially had no interest in filmmaking. It wasn’t until he saw “Star Wars” in theaters in 1977 that he realized his true passion lay in movies.

After moving to Hollywood, Cameron worked his way up from low-level jobs to directing his first film, “Piranha II: The Spawning.” While this movie was a commercial failure, it didn’t dissuade Cameron from pursuing his dream. In fact, it only fueled his desire to do better. He went on to write and direct the blockbuster hit “Terminator” in 1984, launching his career into the stratosphere.

Since then, Cameron has gone on to direct some of the biggest movies of our time, including “Aliens,” “Titanic,” and “Avatar.” His dedication to his craft and his ability to tell compelling stories have earned him numerous awards, including a Best Director Oscar for “Titanic.”

Finally, we come to Glenn Close, the legendary actress who has defied age and gender stereotypes to achieve success in Hollywood. Born in Connecticut in 1947, Close was initially discouraged from pursuing acting due to her gender. However, she refused to be held back and went on to study theater at the College of William and Mary.

After graduating, Close moved to New York City to pursue her dreams. Unlike Cruise and Cameron, she didn’t achieve instant success. In fact, it took her years to land her first major role, as Jenny Fields in “The World According to Garp” in 1982. However, with that one performance, Close proved that she was a force to be reckoned with.

Since then, Close has gone on to star in numerous films and TV shows, earning seven Oscar nominations along the way. She’s proven that women in Hollywood can be strong, complex characters, no matter their age or appearance.

All three of these stars have proved that, with hard work and determination, anything is possible. While their paths may have been different, they all share a common thread: a refusal to be held back by the opinions of others. In the end, it’s their talent and dedication that has brought them to the top, and their stories serve as inspiration to us all.