Acting turned their lives around.

Some you could have probably guessed had a checkered past...others you'd be surprised!
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1.
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
 
2.
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
 
3.
Tim Allen
Timothy Allen Dick was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado, USA, to Martha Katherine (Fox) and Gerald M. Dick. His father, a real-estate salesman, was killed in a collision with a drunk driver while driving his family home from a University of Colorado football game, when Tim was eleven years old...
 
4.
Mark Wahlberg
American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to acclaimed actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter, Wahlberg also is a solid comedy actor, proven by his starring role in Ted...
 
5.
Emilio Rivera
Emilio Rivera has discovered that turning your life around is the key to making dreams come true. His acting credentials have allowed him to top the list of successful Latino actors. His resume continues to grow with starring roles in films such as High Crimes with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman and the much anticipated film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts...
“ His nickname was/is "Lefty" because of his fighting abilities. Street fighting or legit boxing - I don't know. He grew up in L.A., but is from my hometown (San Antonio, Tx) so I would like to know more about him. ” - nitestocker372
 
8.
Tommy Flanagan
Actor, Gladiator
Tommy Flanagan was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. In his twenties, Tommy made his living as a DJ for local dance clubs until a violent attack nearly ended his life. In hospital, his friend Robert Carlyle persuaded Tommy to give acting a try. Mr. Flanagan joined Carlyle's Raindog Theatre Company where he made his stage debut in such productions as 'Wasted I and II'...
 
9.
Desmond Harrington
Actor, Dexter
Desmond Harrington was raised in the Bronx New York. Prior to acting Desmond attended Manhattan college briefly, worked as a laborer, landscaper, a cold caller at a brokerage firm, and finally a bartender in Manhattan, where a co-worker invited him to attend an acting class. Harrington landed his first role in Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
 
11.
“ I can't say that I remember seeing this actor in anything, but after reading his biography and the list of filmography credits aftwards, all I can say is wow!!!  ” - nitestocker372