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10 Celebrities Who Grew Up In The Social Care System

There are many famous faces who in their childhood found themselves part of the social care system before moving on to achieve great things in their careers.

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    By taking a look at just 10 of these celebrities and their social care experiences, you can begin to understand what a difference you can make. Giving a foster child the stability and encouragement that they need can help them accomplish anything. Just take a look:

    Coco Chanel

    French fashion designer Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur in 1883. When she was 12, her mother died of bronchitis. Her father sent her and her two sisters to the orphanage of the Catholic monastery of Aubazine.

    Coco Chanel is the only fashion designer who features in Time magazine’s list of the ‘100 most influential people of the 20th century’.

    Marilyn Monroe

    American film actress Marilyn Monroe (real name Norma Jeane) spent most of her childhood in a foster home and an orphanage. She was only 12 days old when she was placed in the care of Ida and Wayne Bolender in California. Her mother paid them five dollars a week to look after the young Monroe and visited her on Saturdays. Marilyn only remembers her mother as the ‘lady with red hair’. Over the years she was brought up by several foster care families.

    Eddie Murphy

    Eddie Murphy is an American actor well known for his roles in ‘The Nutty Professor’, ‘Shrek’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop’. His father died when he was young. When he was eight years old his mother became ill and he was placed into foster care with his older brother. He lived in care for around one year and credits the experience with helping him develop his sense of humour. He has stated that staying with his foster family ‘was probably the reason I became a comedian’.

    Eddie went on to win several accolades’ including a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Kriss Akabusi

    Kriss Akabusi, retired British sprint and hurdling athlete, was born to Nigerian parents who were studying in London. When he was four years old his parents returned to their country and he was brought up in care with his brother. They travelled from one foster placement to another and when he was eight eventually moved to a children’s home. He left care aged 16 and joined the army.

    Kriss won several medals over the course of his career including Silver at the 1984 Summer Olympics and Gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

    Pierce Brosnan

    Irish actor Pierce Brosnan is best known for his role as James Bond in four of the film’s franchise. When Brosnan was four, his mother moved to London to train as a nurse. He was brought up by his grandparents until their deaths when he was six years old. He then stayed with various relatives before subsequently being sent to live in a boarding house until he was 10.

    In 2003 Brosnan was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his ‘outstanding contribution to the British film industry’.

    Kerry Katona

    Kerry Katona is an English singer and media personality who was in the original line up of ‘Atomic Kitten’. Kerry’s mother was a manic depressive and the pair lived together in difficult circumstances, often staying in women’s refuges. She went to eight different schools. Social services intervened and Kerry was taken into care. She lived in a number of different foster homes until she was 16.

    Kerry Katona won the third series of ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ in 2004 and was runner-up of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in 2011.

    Fatima Whitbread

    Fatima Whitbread is a British former javelin thrower. During her childhood she was only occasionally left in the care of her abusive biological mother and instead grew up in a series of children’s homes. When she was 14 she was adopted by the Whitbread family who she says ‘gave her a future’. In 2012 she featured on the Channel 5 documentary ‘Growing up in care’ where she wanted to ‘show people that growing up in care doesn’t mean you can’t have a future’.

    Fatima went on to become a world champion and world record holder. She is also a two-time Olympic medallist.


    For the first four years of his life, British singer/songwriter Seal was placed with a foster family in Essex. Afterwards, he was returned to his biological family including his strict, physically abusive father. Seal lost contact with his foster family but was reunited with them 40 years later on the Oprah Winfrey show.

    Seal has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. He has won three Brit Awards and was a coach on The Voice Australia in 2012 and 2013.

     Neil Morrisey

    ‘Men Behaving Badly’ star Neil Morrissey and his brother were placed under a care order after being subjected to a filthy, chaotic house in which they were frequently left unsupervised. The boys were spent much of their childhood in separate foster homes after they were separated for stealing sweets. Neil remained in care until he was 18 and won a scholarship with the help of his foster family at the Guilford School of Acting.

    John Lennon

    John Lennon is best known for being the co-founder of ‘The Beatles’. He was born in war-time England and his father was away at sea at the time of his birth. John’s mother Julia struggled to cope on her own and her sister Mimi Smith complained to social services twice about the conditions he was living in. The social worker’s eventually gave in and Julia handed the care of John over to Mimi and her husband. John grew up with his aunt and uncle, regularly visiting his mother.

    ‘The Beatles’ sold an estimated 600 million records worldwide and were awarded six Diamond albums, 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the USA.

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    During your lunch break, or the time you spend checking Facebook, another child will come into care. Right now, that child is thinking: 'Who cares?' More Videos
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