Famous People Who Started Life at McDonalds


Flipping burgers may not be the ideal start to attain celebrity status in life. And yet many famous people have been known to start their careers at McDonalds. With the giant fast-food chain now spread all over the globe and an iconic symbol of American pop culture, it is time to celebrate the alumni of the famous burger chain who went on to greater things in the world.

Sharon Stone

Hollywood star known for her sultry figure and long legs, Sharon Stone at one time worked in a McDonald’s joint. Not much is known about her stint there except that as a nineteen year old, she worked as a cashier there before landing a modeling contract.

Jeff Bezos

Founder of the hugely popular online retail store Amazon com used to work as a cook in a Miami McDonald’ in fact he event told Fast Company1 that ”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. The first thing I would do is get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs into it.”

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Rachel McAdams

Yet another Hollywood actress to start her working life at MacDonald’s is Rachel McAdams. This was her first job was at a McDonald’s2 in Ontario, Canada, where she worked for three years. By her own admission, McAdams wasn't a great employee and later she told the Huffington Post that she was a greeter at the front of the restaurant because she was “slow.”

Macy Gray

American R&B singer, Macy Gray is not unusual among celebrities who began a working life at MacDonald’s. What makes her different from others though is the open support that she showed for the burger chain after she became famous as a singer. Upon achieving renown,  Gray appeared in a McDonald's commercial to deliver the line "The action, the fun, the people, the sense of accomplishment -- it truly was my first big break!"3 . Famed for her distinctive raspy voice, Macy Gray has received five Grammy Award nominations and one Grammy Award. Though her songs have featured in several hit movies like Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild and For Colored Girls, she is best known for her international hit single "I Try," taken from her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is.


Jay Leno

Jay Leno is a popular TV talk show host and stand-up comedian in America. However before he became famous, Leno used to work at the McDonald's on Main Street in Andover, Massachusetts in the early '70s. Later He told Oprah Winfrey he won the company’s talent show and decided to pursue comedy.

Apart from being a contributor to charity especially to women’s because in Taliban-oppressed Afghanistan, Jay Leno is also known for his extensive collection of vehicles which number around 100, not including about 90 motorcycles. In fact Leno even has a website, "Jay Leno's Garage," which contains video clips and photos of his automobiles in detail.

Shania Twain

Canadian pop country singer and songwriter Shania Twain worked for a McDonald’s joint in Ontario before she became famous. it was only in 1995 that she achieved fame with the album The Woman in Me; two years later in 1997, the  album Come On Over became the best-selling studio album of all time by a female act in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time. Till date Shania Twain has won 5 Grammy Awards and 27 BMI Songwriter awards.

Carl Lewis

One of the most famous sprinters of modern times, Carl Lewis apparently worked in a McDonald’s outlet before he became famous. In fact Lewis has even gone on to attribute his appreciation of timing to his stint at the burger chain, “Time is very important ... you couldn't let the fries get cold. If I was 10 seconds off, I'd have no gold medal," he said. Lewis went on to win 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold, and 10 World Championships medals, including 8 gold. His career spanned from 1979 when he first achieved a world ranking to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and then retired. After his athletic career, Lewis became an actor and has appeared in a number of films.


British soul and R&B singer-songwriter Seal is also known to have worked at McDonald's for two weeks – the bare minimum to earn one paycheck – when he was only sixteen. eventually he went on to Seal has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1992, four Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award.

Keenan Wayans

American actor, comedian and director Keenan Wayans managed his local McDonald's before graduating high school. Wayans is also famous as the director and creator of Scary Movie, the highest grossing movie ever directed by an African American.

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan was a Republican Vice Presidential candidate of 2012 American presidential elections. he had worked at a McDonald’s restaurant when he was sixteen and during his campaigns,  Ryan drew upon his experience working o build a common-man image.

Joe Kernan

The former governor of Indiana, Joe Kernan, once worked for McDonalds. He left the fast food chain to serve in the Navy overseas after which he launched his political career, becoming the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and then  the lieutenant governor of Indiana from 1997 to 2003. Kernan attained the Governor’s office upon the death of the incumbent Frank O’Bannon.

Andy Card

Andy Card was the White House Chief of Staff under US president George W. Bush but at an early point of his adult life, he also worked in a McDonald’s outlet. During his appointment as the Chief of Staff, Card became famous as the one to whisper the news of the 9/11 attacks into President Bush's ear while the latter was reading a book to schoolchildren at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida.


  1. Fast Company - Face Time With Jeff Bezos
  2. Mid Day - My first job was at McDonald's: Rachel McAdams
  3. Business Insider - 15 Successful People Who Started Their Careers At McDonald's