Tukios Tribune

Celebrities with Ties to Deathcare

May 31, 2019 11:52:00 AM / by Emily Sonderegger

Have you ever wondered what famous people did before their rise to stardom? Did any of those celebrities work in deathcare? Here are five celebrities who have ties to the funeral industry.

The Bachelor’s Shawntel Newton

Shawntel Newton was the fourth place finalist on season 15 of The Bachelor, but did you know that she’s also a funeral director? Shawntel took bachelor Brad Womack to her family’s funeral home in Chico California for her hometown date. “I love my job for many reasons, but mostly because it combines my three passions,” she said. “Science, psychology, and caring for the elderly, because so many of the family members are older.”


Image People Magazine

Angelina Jolie

When actress Angelina Jolie was young, she had a different career path in mind. After the passing of her grandfather, she dropped out of her early acting classes and started taking study-at-home embalming courses.

“If this whole acting thing didn’t work out that was going to be my path,” Jolie said. “It sounds like this very strange, eccentric, dark thing to do but in fact I lost my grandfather and was very upset with his funeral,” how somebody passes and how family deals with this passing and what death is should be addressed in a different way.


Image biography

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito is best known for his roles in Matilda and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but did you know he got his start as a hairdresser? When he was 19 years old, his sister offered him a job working in her salon and paid for him to go to beauty school.

Since he was one of the only men in town, he would often get called by local mortuaries to set mostly old women’s hair. “I would style their hair the way, you know you do normal hair, it’s just that the person never talked back.” He recalled.


Image: Pinterest

John Conlee

When you think of John Conlee, you may think of his country music hit Rose Colored Glasses. What you may not know is that he got his start as a funeral director. Conlee practiced for six years at Versailles’ Duell-Clark Funeral Chapel in Kentucky.

“I think I learned more about people doing that than maybe I could have any other way.” He said about his time in the funeral industry. ”I think it’s contributed to my view of life. I know it has. I wouldn’t trade that experience for a couple of college degrees. You couldn’t learn in the classroom what I learned helping people through those tough times.”


Image: John Conlee

Caitlin Doughty


Caitlyn Doughty isn’t just a celebrity with ties to the funeral industry, being a funeral director is how she became famous in the first place. She began posting videos to her YouTube channel in 2011 where she answered questions about being a funeral director and other death-related topics. The channel now has over 200 videos and has exceeded 700,000 subscribers.

Doughty owns her own nonprofit funeral home in Los Angeles and wrote the New York Times best-seller Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. She also speaks regularly about death culture, the funeral industry, and death activism.


Image: Caitlin Doughty

Emily Sonderegger

Written by Emily Sonderegger