More celebrity accountants who moved from ledger books to legend status

Lee van Cleef photo

The Good, The Bad, and The Powers of Attorney: before appearing in western films, Lee van Cleef was a sharpshooter with the figures (Public Domain).

In our previous look at celebrity accountants, we looked at how Mick Jagger, Eddie Izzard and Kenny G abandoned their ledger books for the stage. In our follow-up to this article, we look at four more people who cut their teeth in accountancy before their rise to fame.

Lee van Cleef

Many would associate Lee van Cleef with the Sergio Leoni film, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. What few people might know about is his previous role as an accountant. He supported himself as an accountant whilst following a wartime tour with the US Navy.

Bob Newhart

Before being associated with his self titled TV series, stand-up comedy and voiceover work, Bob Newhart became an accountant after the Second World War for United States Gypsum. After being an unsuccessful accountant, he became a copywriter. After entertaining a fellow colleague in his office, this would lead to several auditions and his role as a comedian. In 1959, the daft phone calls he made became the subject of a stand-up act and a deal with Warner Brothers Records. The rest, they say…

Fred Goodwin

Before he became notorious for his role in the Royal Bank of Scotland, Fred Goodwin trained as an accountant. He was the first member of his family to leave university and was trained as a Chartered Accountant in 1983. He became boss of RBS in 2001 and gained the nickname Fred The Shred, due to his ruthless cost cutting, and knighted in 2004. Following his role in the global financial downturn, he was stripped of his knighthood in 2012.

Charles Haughey

Charles Haughey’s biography is a fascinating one. Before becoming the Taoiseach on the 10 March 1987, he was in local and central government in the Republic of Ireland since 1953. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant after the Second World War and attended King’s Inn College. From there, he was later called to the Irish Bar.

Peach Wilkinson Accountants, 20 March 2017.

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