Before They Were Famous: Where Stars First Lived in L.A.

9:00 AM 11/9/2015

by THR staff

From living with roommates with guns to surviving off of ramen and tuna, an earlier generation — including Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien — remembers its humble start in Hollywood.

They didn't always live in $11 million mid-century mansions in Pacific Palisades. When these power players first came to L.A., they slummed it ocean shacks and dingy North Hollywood apartment complexes (Conan O'Brien even decorated with stuff he found on the street). Below, take a look at some of the starter homes of the now rich and famous.

  • Kevin Beggs and Steven Deknight

    Garfield Avenue, Altadena | 1989-90 
    RENT: $150 a month each

    "We were new to L.A. and had no idea how far it was from Hollywood," says Beggs, who was friends with DeKnight at UC Santa Cruz. "The next-door neigh­bor had goats and chickens. The rooster crowing every morning at 5 a.m. was not great for sleeping."

  • Carlton Cuse

    2nd Street between California and Washington avenues, Santa Monica | mid-1980s 
    RENT: $800 a month

    "My roommate had a gun. I came home unexpectedly in the middle of the night after being on location for five months and I got it jammed against my temple. Not exactly the welcome home I was expecting."

  • Jennifer Euston and Liz Tigelaar

    Oakwood Apartments, Burbank | 1996
    RENT: Unknown

    "We shared it with mice and another roommate whose headboard was adorned with pictures of penises — like a zillion penises," recalls Tigelaar (left), who befriended Euston at a semester abroad program. Adds Euston, "We subsisted on chicken, biscuits and Milano cookies."

  • Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon

    49 1/2 Ozone Ave., Venice 1984 
    RENT: $395 a month

    "It was a block from the beach," says Gansa, who met Gordon at Princeton. "Basically a shack held together with spit and glue."

  • David Goyer

    177 S. Sycamore Ave., Hancock Park | 1990-93 
    RENT: $800 a month

    "Rented it with the money from my first script, Death Warrant. Bought a brand-new Isuzu Trooper with the same bounty, [and it] was stolen the first night I moved in!"

  • Cindy Holland

    La Brea and Franklin avenues | 1994
    RENT: Unknown

    "My closest neighbors were a prostitute and an S&M guy. It wasn't very quiet."

  • Jimmy Kimmel

    7752 Sunnybrae Ave., Winnetka | 1994
    RENT: $1,150 a month

    "I moved to L.A. in January 1994, one week after the Northridge earthquake. I have great comic timing."

  • David Nevins

    Vista Street between Sunset and Fountain Avenue | 1989
    RENT: $700 a month

    "Vista Street had seven guitar stores and four human hair stores, all within a block and a half. The Econo Lodge on the corner was where the prostitutes did business."

  • Conan O'Brien

    Cochran and 3rd Street mid-1980s 
    RENT: $380 a month

    "I furnished it with stuff I found in the neighborhood, which actually looked fine. I lived off ramen noodles and tuna. Mixed the tuna with Miracle Whip."

  • Julie Plec

    Arnaz Drive and Burton Way | 1995
    RENT: $468.75 a month

    "We had no furniture in the living room except a bookshelf we found on a street corner and two goldfish named Bailey and Charlie. My bedroom was actually a dining room that was separated from the rest of the house with a shower curtain as my door. But it was a really nice-looking shower curtain."

  • Bill Prady

    1865 N. Fuller Ave. | 1989
    RENT: $1,100 a month

    "I chose the apartment without thinking about what part of the city it was in. I did like the proximity to Runyon Canyon and I imagined I'd go hiking there. I never hiked once."

  • Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow

    Huston Street between Bakman and Klump avenues, North Hollywood | mid-1980s 
    RENT: $900 a month

    "We were doing good enough to get by," Sandler once said of rooming with Apatow during their improv days. "We could eat at Red Lobster once every month."

  • Ryan Seacrest

    Parc Pointe apartments, Burbank | early 1990s 
    RENT: $395 a month

    "7-Eleven was next door. Ralph's was across the street. Teri sushi was the place I would save up for."

  • Greg Silverman

    Strathmore Drive, Westwood | 1993
    RENT: $400 a month

    "I shared a one-bedroom — two beds — with Jason Sugarman. He is now a real estate mogul married to Elizabeth Guber [daughter of Peter]."

  • Nick Stoller

    12th Street and Wilshire, Santa Monica | 2001
    RENT: $616 a month

    "Once, my roommate came in and there was a guy who had broken into the apartment and was holding his computer. My confused roommate exclaimed, 'Hey dude!' and the guy ran so fast, he ran out of his shoes."