Here’s an unfortunate disclaimer—despite common belief, there is no such thing as overnight success in Hollywood. All success comes after hard work and that certainly applies to the film industry. However, the concept of an “overnight success” can be attributed to those who entered Hollywood within a relatively short amount of time, usually after their first time at bat within their field. Here are 15 stories that are the closest things to an “overnight success” you’re likely to find in Hollywood, all of which combine talent with luck.
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Shane Black emerged in 1987 as Hollywood’s biggest screenwriting sensation. His first screenplay, Lethal Weapon, sparked a Hollywood bidding war that netted him a then-unheard of $250,000. Ironically, Black would attest to nearly trashing the screenplay several times over the course of its inception. Thankfully, he did not. Instead, mega producer Joel Silver acquired the script and, with director Richard Donner, helped Black craft it into the action classic we know today.