Hard Work or Luck? 7 Hollywood Celebs Who Were Discovered by Chance

7 Hollywood Celebs Who Were Discovered By Chance7 Hollywood Celebs Who Were Discovered By ChanceWe've all had this dream: We're pouring drinks at our town's local dive bar/chowing down on lo mein at a Chinese eatery/playing tourist on a busy NYC street … when suddenly … a talent agent stops us mid pour/bite/step and shouts: "YOU are the next big thing. Follow me to L.A., where you will live a life of extravagence and fame." No? Just us?
Well it might not have happened quite like that for these celebrities, but they definitely had luck on their side when it came to catching their big break. From walking their dog on a random L.A. street to cheering in the stands at a Canadian football game, these celebrities know the importance of being in the right place at the right time. Find out how seven of your favorite Hollywood stars were accidentally discovered!

Evangeline LilyEvangeline Lily1. Evangeline Lilly
The four-leaf clover might be the Irish's lucky charm, but Evangeline Lilly's appears to be an airplane. While working as a flight attendant for Air Canada, Lilly was approached by a Ford Modeling street agent and began working in their acting department. Eventually it was another airplane - a crashing one - that catapulted her into worldwide fame as one of the stranded passengers on ABC's hit show Lost.

Ellen PompeoEllen Pompeo2. Ellen Pompeo
Before making it big as McDreamy's doe-eyed love interest on Grey's Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo was just another New York City cocktail waitress barely getting by. But unlike many, Pompeo caught a huge break when a casting director walked into SoHo Bar & Grill where she was bartending and asked to represent her. A L'Oreal commercial and small part on NBC's Law & Order were just the beginning in her rise to Hollywood stardom.

Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson3. Pamela Anderson
Long before campaigning for PETA and hitting the sandy beaches of Baywatch, Pamela Anderson was just another fan sitting in the stands at a Canadian football game. Sporting a form-fitting Labatt beer tee, she was broadcast over the game's Jumbotron, and the crowd went crazy for her! The beer company went on to hire Anderson as their official spokesperson, leading to a Playboy spread and paving the way for her to become one of Hollywood's hottest sex symbols.

Related: You won't believe what these 10 celebs did for extra money

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman4. Natalie Portman
Nine-year-old Natalie Portman thought she was just getting another slice of pizza after dance class, but ended up meeting a Revlon rep who asked her if she was interested in modeling. "I kept my cool - I told him that I wanted to act," recalled Portman. The rep put her in touch with an acting agent, and since, Portman has been "keeping it cool" - earning an Oscar and two Golden Globes by the mere age of 30.

Toni BraxtonToni Braxton5. Toni Braxton
Gas stations aren't just for fillin' up your tank … at least for Toni Braxton, they're not. Back in 1990, Toni was pumping gas and singing to herself when she was overheard by Bill Pettaway, co-author of Milli Vinilli's "Girl You Know It's True" hit single. He loved her voice so much that he landed both Braxton and her sisters a record contract with Arista Records - a humble start to her now Grammy-winning music career.

Katherine Heigl Katherine Heigl 6. Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl owes much of her big break to her own mom and aunt. At the age of 9, Heigl posed for her aunt's hair care products, and her mom sent the pictures on to talent agencies around Hollywood. Shorly after, Heigl was discovered by Wilhelmina modeling agency and began working as a child model before slipping into the world of acting 5 years later.

Related: 5 celebrities you won't believe use coupons

Harrison FordHarrison Ford7. Harrison Ford
From cabinetmaker to Hollywood's leading actor, Harrison Ford caught his big break while working as a carpenter for George Lucas back in the '70s. As he was busy building cabinets for Lucas' new office, the writer asked Ford to read lines for absent actors starring in his upcoming film, Star Wars. Spielberg overheard Ford's readings and liked him so much, he hired him for the part of Han Solo, launching him into worldwide fame.

- By Jenn Gimbel

For even more celebrities who were discovered by chance, visit Babble!


They paid what?! The 10 most expensive celebrity baby photos
10 things moms can buy cheaper in May
15 celebs who profit from being a parent
7 ways to fix your budget without changing your life
The 10 best iPhone apps for shopping and saving

Babble | Babble.com
Stay connected. Follow Babble on Facebook and Twitter.