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5 Famous People Who Worked in Construction
5 Minute Read
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Tim Forestell
January 14, 2022

5 Famous People Who Worked in Construction

Would you be shocked to know that a few people you see on your television or on the big screen actually started off in the trades? It has been said that the construction business shapes the world but it actually shaped these celebrities post-trades careers as well. Although not all of these famous people have made it on to acting careers. Other construction personalities have been recognized as famous architects within the construction industry due to their world-renowned work. So who are some of the famous people that have worked in construction?

Here are 5 famous builders in history. 

What Famous People Worked in Construction?

Actor Construction Workers 

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold is best known for his role in the Terminator but what many people do not know is that his upbringing was not always the best. For most of his early life his family struggled to make ends meet and this is where he learned his humility. What started as working out and winning body-building competitions turned into a construction business when he migrated to the United States. 

Using his winnings from body-building competitions Arnold decided it was time to open a bricklaying business. It did not begin smoothly as he offered rock-bottom prices but was not being hired. Arnold enlisted his friend Franc Columbo, another bodybuilder, to join the bricklayer business, but they still were not making ends meet. Changing their business model the two stated that they were “specialty European bricklayers” and business began to boom. While working in construction Arnold attended Santa Monica College. He improved his English and business skills and was able to accumulate millions before he landed his first role on the big screen, Conan the Barbarian. After this movie was released the rest is history as he was able to land multiple big roles in the film industry. 

2. Whoopi Goldberg

When you think of Whoopi Goldberg do you think of her on Broadway building the New York City theater scene? Or winning an Oscar for the movie The Color Purple? Most of the time yes, but did you know that she was also a construction worker as well? Whoopi had a humble beginning being raised in New York, but in the 70’s relocated to San Diego to pursue acting. While in San Diego, Goldberg took multiple jobs to make ends meet and this included being a waitress, bank teller, cosmetologist, and bricklayer. 

Her skills as a bricklayer allowed her to be invited to join the bricklayer’s union in San Diego. With this recognition she took part in building the wall at the San Diego Zoo. Her perfectionist attitude and attention to detail was crucial in the wall being built as there were constant hold-ups. The combination of jobs while in San Diego helped Goldberg help afford acting classes. As well as joining the theater group Blake Street Hawkeyes where she was able to develop her craft. 

Musician Construction Workers

3. Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was known for his rise to prominence in the 70’s as the lead vocalist of Black Sabbath, before embarking on a successful solo career. What he is not known for is being one of the world’s famous construction workers. Actually, his work in construction is what led him to pursue music, as he states that he was not successful in the trades. 

Growing up in Birmingham, England everyone was expected to work in factories, but his father pushed him to enter the trades. Osbourne dropped out of school at 15 and began life as a plumber. This path did not work out for him so he moved on to become a bricklayer, once again much of the same story. Finally, he became a construction site laborer but to his dismay he was not fit for this position as well. Around this time he was introduced to the Beatles and he began to work towards becoming a musician. Although his time in construction was tough it ultimately allowed him to hone his gift and begin creating music which is well-known today. 

World Renowned Architects

4. Frank Gehry

Gehry was not known for acting or music, rather he became famous for his architecture. The Canadian, American architect has designed so many buildings including his own home that have now become attractions. His designs have been recognized by the World Architecture Survey and Vanity Fair for contemporary design and being the “most important architecture of our age”

Some of his architectural works include the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, El Peix, fish sculpture in Barcelona, Spain, The Dancing House in Spain, Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Due to his creativity, intelligence, and technique Gehry has received over 20 awards, and has taught architecture at academic institutions like Harvard, USC, Columbia, Toronto, and Yale. 

5. Frank Lloyd Wright

Much like Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright was not known for his acting or musical abilities, rather it was for architecture. Wright has designed buildings so influential that 8 were inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The buildings that he created were recognized for being innovative solutions for needs such as housing, worship, work and leisure, and helped impact development of further architectural design in Europe. 

Some designs recognized include Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as the Jacobs House in Wisconsin. Although Wright passed on in 1959 he received numerous awards for his lifetime achievements. 


Famous People in Construction 

Many famous people we know today had humble beginnings. Construction shapes the world as we see it today, and has impacted many of the personalities' careers. A lot of valuable lessons can be learned from working in the trades that can impact your future, do not take for granted these opportunities because you never know where you can end up.

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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