Shia Saide LaBeouf is born in Los Angeles, California to parents Jeffery and Shayna LeBeouf. LaBeouf grew up an only child in the poor Echo Park district, in one of the few white families living in a largely Latino area. When he was two his father began dressing him up as a clown and putting him to work shilling for the family’s hot dog cart business.
My embarrassment factor didn’t exist. I had fun, because I knew that in the middle of a performance my parents couldn’t fight. So, for sure, every day, there had to be some peaceful time for us, or we weren’t going to make it through the week financially.
Young LeBeouf was subjected to verbal and mental abuse from his drug-addicted father who reportedly pointed a gun at his son during a Vietnam flashback. His parents got divorced when he was 10.
LeBeouf turned to stand-up comedy as a way to make money, talking his way into gigs at local L.A. comedy clubs. At age 11 he found an agent, Teresa Dahlquist, in the phone book and called her pretending to be the British manager of a young actor named Shia LaBeouf. Dahlquist was impressed with his resourcefulness and signed him as a client.