Matt Le Blanc was down to his last $11 when he landed his role on 'Friends'.
The comic actor had been struggling to make it as an actor for years before he landed the part of Joey Tribbiani in 1994 and he admits the series - which became a global hit - saved his career.
He said: "'Friends', when it came my way, was my fourth TV series - and the other three had failed. I had exactly $11 in my pocket the day I was hired. I had to go back and read for the part of Joey a total of six times. It was far from certain I would get the role."
Matt says he owes his success to his mother Patricia, who raised him on her own in Newton, Massachusetts.
Despite never having much money, the 43-year-old star insists he had a wealth of love and was always encouraged by Patricia to follow his dreams.
However, she did have doubts about his career path when he moved to New York to try and make it as an actor and was living in a hotel full of "junkies and hookers".
Matt - who was earning $1 million per episode during the show's final two seasons - added in an interview with The Sun newspaper: "My mom brought me up to follow my heart. We never really had any money but she supported me in everything I did.
"The one time she became scared was when I moved to New York, at just 17, in an effort to become an actor. I was living in a cheap hotel which was dank and nasty. Junkies and hookers were all over the place when she came to visit for the weekend. I remember the look on her face and she said, 'Oh, please come home. Give this up. You won't make it.'
"She feared for my safety, not for my talent and it was just that she became very worried."
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies