Before They Were Famous: 14 Celebs Who Worked for Other Stars Prior to Hitting It Big

So that's how Kim Kardashian West and Serena Williams became friends

01 of 14

Khloé Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian (L) and Nicole Richie
Khloé Kardashian and Nicole Richie. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Former celebrity employer: Nicole Richie

In addition to being friends since high school, the reality stars also worked together earlier on in their careers.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 36, got candid about her brief stint working for Richie during an appearance on the Emergency Contact podcast, during which she also recalled how she met co-host and family friend Simon Huck.

"I was Nicole Richie's assistant and you were Jonathan Cheban's assistant and we met five faces ago," Khloé joked, referencing cosmetic procedures.

"I went to school with her," Khloé explained. "She was one of my best friends growing up and we were just really, really close and then when she started doing Simple Life — I think it was after Simple Life — she just needed some help and I just needed a job."

02 of 14

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel and Paris Hilton
Gregg DeGuire/Gett; Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Former celebrity employer: Kathy Hilton

On the Oct. 6 episode of her newly launched podcast, Just B with Bethenny Frankel, the former Real Housewives of New York City star welcomed guest Paris Hilton, whom she used to take care of along with her sister Nicky Hilton Rothschild, while working for their mom, Kathy Hilton. Frankel landed the job through her friendship with Kathy's sister, Kyle Richards.

"Part of the job became coming, in my Ford Probe, to get you and Nicky from Lycée, this sort of fancy French school," Frankel recalled in the episode. "And I remember, we'd go with Kyle [Richards] to the Mobile Mart or the gas station after. And I would take you guys ice skating. Do you remember that? Because you were young."

"Yes," said Paris, 39, with a laugh, later adding, "That's so funny, just to remember all of that." She continued, "It's so cute that we've known each other for so long. And look how far you've come, boss babe. A nanny to Paris Hilton, and now killing it!"

"It's crazy," Frankel replied.

03 of 14

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, Robin Thicke, Paula Patton
Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty;

Former celebrity employer: Robin Thicke & Paula Patton

Before starring in Suits — and prior to her own royal wedding to Prince Harry — the Duchess of Sussex taught calligraphy, gift-wrapping and book-binding at her local Paper Source in Beverly Hills from 2004-2005 while auditioning for roles. Her calligraphy capabilities also earned her freelance gigs, including writing the invitations for singer Robin Thicke's wedding to now ex-wife Paula Patton in 2005.

04 of 14

D'Arcy Carden

D'Arcy Carden and Bill Hader
Emma McIntyre/Getty

Former celebrity employer: Bill Hader

Before starring alongside Hader on Barry, Carden looked after his two oldest daughters Hannah, 11, and Harper, 8 (he also shares daughter Hayley, 6 next month, with his ex-wife, director Maggie Carey), starting sometime around 2012.

"I was his nanny for their oldest two daughters — that was my full time job. I was with them every day, and I still am very close with them," Carden told host Seth Meyers on an episode of Late Night in 2018. "The oldest one in particular I hung out with every day, we were like best friends … we would just talk like friends would talk, I think she maybe took after me too much," she joked, adding that the little one was around 2 years old at the time.

05 of 14

Zac Posen

Getty (2)

Former celebrity employer: Lena Dunham's Parents

The Girls writer and star has hit many a red carpet wearing designer Zac Posen — fitting, because he happened to be her babysitter growing up.

"Oh boy. I must've been like 17 or 18 and it was my high school job to take her on the train to school we went to," Posen said on HuffPost Live in 2015. "She was younger than I was and we'd take the subway," he recalled, adding, "I'd pick her up and I'd re-do her hair. That's what I'd do. I'd re-do her hair to go on the train."

06 of 14

Kourtney Kardashian

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Former celebrity employer: Kris Jenner

Yes, working for mom counts! In an interview for her new lifestyle site Poosh, Kardashian sat down with her 'momager' and revealed she used to be her assistant.

"I learned so much from you about being a boss," said Kardashian. "I just remembered that I don't take no for an answer and I learned that from you and I think that's an important thing for any boss woman to know."

For her part, Jenner called her daughter "a great little student."

07 of 14

Eric Stonestreet


Former celebrity employer: Garth Brooks

The Modern Family star shared a gallery of throwback photos of himself in a very different type of role than TV star: Back in 1995, Stonestreet worked security for Brooks at the country crooner's concert in N.Y.C. "Here's to circles," Brooks wrote on one of the pictures of their full-circle moment. He posed for a new picture with Stonestreet backstage at a recent show.

08 of 14

Katie Lowes

Jen Klein Day of Indulgence 2015
Amy Graves/WireImage

Former celebrity employer: Connie Britton

While Lowes' stint as Britton's son Eyob's babysitter was short-lived (she ended up landing her role in Scandal!), the former Nashville star continues to hold the actress in high regard. "I wanted her to be my nanny so badly and my assistant," Britton revealed to Page Six. "She's just such a phenomenal human and I remember having those conversations. She was helping me with my son, who was then just a baby, and then she said, 'I got cast in this show called Scandal.' "

09 of 14

Jenna Dewan


Former celebrity employer: Justin Timberlake

Before getting her big break in Step Up, Dewan Tatum was a professional dancer, serving as a back-up dancer for Timberlake, whom she also briefly dated. "We're still good friends," the World of Dance host said on Watch What Happens Live. "It's not as salacious as everyone thinks."

10 of 14

Kim Kardashian West

Clive Davis And The Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Richard Branson - Roaming Inside
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Former celebrity employer: Serena Williams

The reality star and tennis champ's longtime friendship first began as business when Williams hired Kardashian West to clean out her closet. Serving as a closet stylist was a specialty of Kanye West's leading lady; she previously worked for Paris Hilton and Cindy Crawford, among others.

11 of 14

Mindy Kaling

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank

Former celebrity employer: Conan O'Brien

Back when she was a fresh-faced 19-year-old college student, Kaling interned at Late Night with Conan O'Brien. "I couldn't believe how starstruck I was," she told the talk show host years later. "It was my dream to be a guest on Conan. It seemed too crazy to think about." She added: "But I was also the worst intern that's ever worked on the program … I wouldn't do the things I was hired to do. I would kind of follow you around."

12 of 14

Kiefer Sutherland

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty; Nicholas Hunt/Getty

Former celebrity employer: Blythe Danner

While we're not sure if Sutherland actually worked for Danner, the 24 actor did reveal that he looked after the actress's then-preteen daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow. "I was working in a theater with her mother in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and I believe on a couple of occasions I was asked to look after her for an hour or two," he said in a 2009 interview. "I think it was very funny because it's unbelievable how fast someone goes from 13 to 18, and obviously they look so different that when Gwyneth started to work, I thought, 'Well, that must be another girl because I always remember her as being 11 or 12 years old.' "

13 of 14

Allison Williams

Tina Fey, Allison Williams
Todd Williamson/Invision for THR/AP

Former celebrity employer: Tina Fey

With a little help from her dad, news anchor Brian Williams, the Girls star landed a gig as Fey's second assistant while she was filming 2008's Baby Mama and 30 Rock.

14 of 14

Kanye West

Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Former celebrity employer: JAY-Z

Before his professional and personal relationship with JAY-Z turned sour, West was employed by JAY-Z to produce tracks for his label, Roc-A-Fella Records, which launched in 1996.

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