Anyone who wants to admire and envy the world's biggest stars needs only to look on Instagram. From A-list movie stars and major musicians to pro ball players and comedians who landed their own sitcoms, there's no shortage of evidence of just how good the good life is. They post pictures of themselves with other big shots on rooftop bars, at exclusive clubs, at backstage parties, and at restaurants where regular people can't get a reservation.

Many of them were born and raised in New York, Los Angeles, or other big cities where celebrities tend to settle down once they hit the big time. Others were born into families of famous actors and musicians and never knew anything else.

However, some found their way to the bright lights and big money of superstardom from obscure beginnings in regular small towns that most people have never heard of. This list is a tribute to them. Using news reports, celebrity biographies, and a range of other sources, Stacker developed a list of 100 celebrities who trace their roots to small towns.

They went to regular schools, lived ordinary lives, and did normal things—until they didn't. Some were middle class. Others were downright poor. All, however, proved that where a person starts does not determine where they end up, and no matter where a person is from, all it takes is talent, hard work, and a whole lot of luck to wind up tantalizing the masses with glimpses of the good life through social media profiles of their own.

It's important to note that there is no concrete definition of "small town." That's because the concept is based not only on population but also population density, geographic size, and regional culture. A small town of 8,000 people in the New York metro region of North Jersey, for example, is likely to be much more urban in both feel and function than a town of the same size in the rural Midwest.