Celebrity high school dropouts

Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has finally obtained his diploma from Santa Monica High School, 30 years behind the schedule. He didn’t graduate with his classmates in 1983 because of poor grades but he is not the only celebrity who never made it past the 12th grade. Here are some other stars who are also high school dropouts.

Jessica Simpson








Jessica was 16 when she decided to drop out of JJ Pearce High School when she met Columbia Records’ executive producer Tommy Mottola. The producer was so fascinated with her that Jessica was immediately signed to the label. However, she did eventually earn her GED.

Al Pacino








Oscar winner Al Pacino was determined to become an actor. He attended the prestigious High School of the Performing Arts in New York City but he was terrible at studies and flunked everything except for English. He then dropped out of school because academics bored him and all he ever really wanted to do was act.

Jim Carrey








Jim’s story is a bit different. He was actually a straight-A student and (not surprisingly) a class clown in his native Canada but times were tough and Jim was forced to drop out to find a job to help support his family when he was 16. He worked as a security guard and janitor before deciding to try his hand at comedy. He worked as a security guard and janitor before deciding to try his hand at comedy.

Christina Applegate








Child of an actress and a record producer, Christina Applegate dropped out of Excelsior High School in Hollywood towards the end of her junior year to pursue acting and singing. She quickly landed a role as Kelly Bundy on Married with Children.

Nicolas Cage








Here’s another Oscar-winning actor who dropped out of high school. Cage (who was a Coppola back then), left Beverly Hills High School at 17 to become an actor.

Mark Wahlberg








Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg had a rough childhood growing up in Boston. In his early teen years, Wahlberg had already had exposure to drugs and alcohol and was developing a pretty serious cocaine problem. Dropping out of high school came next. He left Copley Square High School when he was sent to Boston’s Deer Island House of Correction at 16 for attempted murder of a Vietnamese man.

Catherine Zeta-Jones








As surprising as it may sound, well-spoken Catherine who seems very educated never finished high school. Nevertheless, the actress became incredibly successful and earned an Oscar.

Hilary Swank








Hilary Swank attended high school in Washington until she later dropped out at 16. The two-time Oscar winner also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington state championships in swimming. She dropped out of school and landed her first big break on The Next Karate Kid.

John Travolta








Before making singing and dancing his way to big roles in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, the actor dropped out of high school to act as a high school student in Welcome Back Kotter.

Cameron Diaz








Cameron Diaz’s drop from education wasn’t a big surprise. The actress was offered a modeling contract and gladly took it. But before she did, Diaz had some time to meet Snoop Dogg, who was apparently her marijuana dealer at Long Beach Polytechnical High School.

Whoopi Goldberg








She’s one of the biggest actress/comedian/producers in Hollywood and has won a Tony, Emmy, Grammy and Oscar. However, Whoopi never graduated from high school because it was too hard for her. Turns out she never made it through due to undiagnosed case of dyslexia — the star discovered the cause of her learning problems only as an adult.

Tom Cruise








At just 14 years old, young Tom had moved 15 times between the US and Canada and fully intended to become a priest. Yet, after settling at a high school in New Jersey, the Oscar-nominated actor, realized his love of acting and left academics and his dreams of priesthood behind as he headed to New York City.



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