Plumbers get a bad rap. Not only are they the butt of many jokes, but their career is often ranked as one of the least desirable jobs in nationwide surveys.
It seems that there’s something about going into other people’s homes or businesses and fixing old, dirty leaky toilets or clearing a year’s worth of gunk out of a shower drain that most people find unappealing. In fact, pretty much any plumber who has been in the business for a while can tell you some horror stories about some of the jobs they’ve had to do—from lying on their backs in a cockroach-infested kitchen to finding some rather unappetizing items stuck in drains.
Plumbers and Superstars
In spite of the ubiquity of plumbing jokes among the general populace, plumbing is NOT some dead end job—in reality, good plumbers are extremely skilled and provide essential services to property owners everywhere.
In fact, some immensely talented people worked as plumbers. You may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few musicians, actors, and artists who worked as plumbers before shooting to worldwide fame. Here are just a few of the extremely talented individuals who started their career unclogging drains and fixing pipes:
- Ozzy Osbourne—The award-winning, slightly infamous heavy metal star and lead singer for Black Sabbath once worked as a plumber. He dropped out of school and spent time as a plumber’s assistant, before realizing that his true calling was to eat live animals on stage.
- Michael Caine—Yes, that’s right. The man who lends British gravitas to pretty much every role he plays—whether in the Batman films or as the man behind the original Get Carter film—spent time as a plumber shortly after leaving the British army.
- Bob Hoskins—Though his star has fallen a bit as of late, Bob Hoskins was a big name in Hollywood (and British) cinema in the 80s and 90s. Before he was in The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Hook (and the live-action Super Mario Bros. movie, as a plumber), he worked as a plumber’s assistant in England.
- Lee Marvin—This old-time, Oscar-winning star of many westerns and action films worked as a plumber in New York City after being wounded in the South Pacific during his World War II military service.
- Joe Cocker—He’s had a steady singing career since the 60s and is often ranked as one of the greatest pop singers of all time. What fewer people know is that when he first began his singing career he worked as a plumber during the day to help make ends meet.
Plumbing ain’t so bad
Of course, a vast majority of plumbers will never become superstars of the stage or screen. However, those working as plumbers shouldn’t feel bad about their occupation. After all, pretty much everyone needs a plumber at some point. Plumbers are essential to a modern function society, and for that reason no one should feel ashamed for being a plumber. And who knows? Maybe Ozzy Osbourne looks back fondly on his days as a plumber, before he made a name for himself by biting the heads off of bats in front of thousands of people.
By Tim Crain
Tim writes about a wide variety of subjects for the service industry. After a bad experience with dysfunctional air conditioning, Salt Lake City HVAC and plumbing repair experts helped him out of a jam.