Working shifts at McDonald’s isn’t an obvious route to fortune, fame, and success. However, when you dig deep into the career paths of some celebrities, it turns out that in some cases, they started their professional lives working at none other than a McDonald’s joint!
Everyone has to start somewhere. Before these celebrities were the stars that people know and love, they were the cashiers, fry cooks, and employees serving our Big Macs.
Some celebrities remember working at the fast-food chain fondly, while others described their “terrible” jobs and even near-death experiences.
Name Of Celebrities Working In McDonald
1. Rachel McAdams
Long before she landed the role of The Plastics’ queen bee, Rachel McAdams “had a small-town life,” she told The New York Times. “I worked at the local McDonald’s for three years. I’m not sure why they kept me: I am something of a daydreamer and a dawdler, so they would only let me be the ‘friendly voice’ that greeted you when you entered the restaurant,” McAdams said to the paper.
“I was slow—I would be organizing the sweet-and-sour packets in the customer’s takeout bag while the line snaked out the door.”
2. Jay Leno
The much-loved Jay Leno is another celeb who kicked off his career working at a McDonald’s in Andover, Massachusetts. Jay Leno worked there for two years, and at that time, according to him, McDonald’s served things like strawberry cheesecake and roast beef and had super high standards of quality.
In fact, there was a time when his manager directed him to throw away a whole sack of potatoes because someone had laid underpants (don’t ask) on top of it in the storeroom. This attention to quality inspired Leno and drove him all his life to perfect the quality of the content for his shows.
This may have something to do with why Jay Leno, who used to slice hundreds of French fries, now is the owner of over a hundred vehicles!
3. Sharon Stone
Prior to scoring gigs as a Ford model and then landing her famous roles in Total Recall and Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone worked behind the McDonald’s counter part-time.
4. Jeff Bezos
Even at age 16, Jeff Bezos was as determinedly time-efficient as he is as Amazon’s famous founder. “One of the great gifts I got from that job is that I can crack eggs with one hand.
My favorite shift was Saturday morning,” he said to Fast Company about his cook position at a Miami McDonald’s as a high schooler. “I would get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs in it.”
The “Kiss From A Rose” singer admitted to The Guardian that he absolutely despised his job at the golden arches. “The worst job I ever had was in McDonald’s in Kentish Town,” he said to the paper.
“I was 16, and they gave me a brown uniform that was two sizes too small. I stayed for two weeks until I got my first paycheck, then I was outta there.”
6. Macy Gray
Although Macy Gray preceded her soulful singing career with burger stacking, she also appeared in a McDonald’s commercial. “I worked as a McDonald’s crew person, and there is so much more to working at McDonald’s than people know,” she said in a press release.
“The action, the fun, the people, the sense of accomplishment—it truly was my first big break!”
7. Shania Twain
The country crooner worked at a McDonald’s joint in Ontario, Canada during her high school years. At night, she frequented bars to practice her singing, she told Us Weekly.
8. James Franco
Unlike Pharrell, James Franco holds fond memories of his time working at McDonald’s. After dropping out of university to take acting classes—to the chagrin of his parents— James Franco did late night and then day shifts at McDonald’s to support himself.
He used his time at the drive-through section to practice accents on customers. He ate burgers that were going to be trashed to save money, snagged frozen apple bars, stole fries from the hoppers, and over-salted them for customers—because that’s the way he likes them.
His overarching pronouncement on that period was that McDonald’s was there for him when no one else was—which wasn’t for very long, as after three months, he managed to support himself through acting. To this day, he still enjoys salty fries.
9. Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams wasn’t too “Happy” when he tried to make ends meet at McDonald’s—and was fired three times! “I was lazy. I was very lazy,” he once said on Late Night With Seth Meyers, adding that the only task he was good at was eating McNuggets. In an unexpected twist of events, the producer ended up co-writing the “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle years later.
10. Andie MacDowell
The striking model turned actress Andie MacDowell worked alongside her mother at McDonald’s when she was 16. Unfortunately, the circumstances that brought this on weren’t rosy. Andie Macdowell’s mother, a former music teacher, had some troubles, which led to both mother and daughter working shifts at McDonald’s, a job which her mother subsequently lost but Andie kept in order to support them.
Fortunately, these situations didn’t dampen Andie Macdowell’s spirit. At 20, she left her hometown and headed to New York with $2,000 to her name. From there, she landed modeling gigs and acting roles and made her own way to fame.
11. DL Hughley
The standup comedian kicked off his career by cleaning the Mickey D’s lobby. Apparently, Hughley didn’t share the fast-food chain’s core values, as he once tweeted, “It’s funny that McDonald’s uses a heart in their commercials when u consider how many hearts their food has stopped!”
12. Andy Card
Andrew Card, Chief of Staff under George W. Bush (and notably known as the one who whispered the 9/11 news to the former president’s ear), also worked for the fast-food joint in South Carolina in 1967. “I remember thinking that McDonald’s was unique as a great equalizer. Wealthy and poor, Black and white all came to McDonald’s and stood in the same lines and sat at the same booths,” he once said, according to Bloomberg.
13. Star Jones
A well-known face from various TV shows, Star Jones is another celeb who worked at McDonald’s for a period. Before she enrolled in law school, Star Jones worked as a fry cook at a local branch. She was later promoted to cashier.
After enrolling at an American university, Star Jones no longer worked at McDonald’s, but she did eat there. According to her, she and her friend were incredibly broke during university, to the point where all the money that they had was only enough for two burgers. No fries, no soda. Ouch, we can relate!
Fortunately for Star, she went on to ‘make good’ and become the household name she is today—one who can order all the fries she wants.
14. Sharon Stone
Before hitting the modeling scene, which was the start to her walk to fame, Sharon Stone, like many other teens out there and celebs on this list, worked at McDonald’s. She worked part-time in the role of counter girl to earn extra money.
It didn’t take that many years because, at the age of 19, Sharon Stone was ‘discovered’ and thus began her modeling career and later acting career. No more fry sneaking! Sharon Stone says that her diet has changed a lot since those early days and now consists of foods like quinoa, lentils, and vegetables. While we can get behind that, we also feel relieved that as foodies, it’s our duty to test fries and burgers!
15. Chris Sabo
Former baseball player Chris Sabo not only batted professionally but also worked the counter at a McDonald’s in Tampa, Florida. And for more fun facts, don’t miss these 30 Crazy McDonald’s Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
To Sum Up
Everyone has to start somewhere, and several famous and successful people got their starts at McDonald’s. Most celebrities who worked at McDonald’s consider the experience to be a positive one that taught them the values of hard work and camaraderie, but some say it was their worst job ever.