A high school education is a requirement for most jobs, but in showbiz education doesn’t seem to be that important. Discover the celebrities who didn’t finish high school, but still managed to get a successful career.
From very talented and accomplished actors to child actors who gave up their education in order to focus on their career, here are the Hollywood celebrities who didn’t finish their studies, and dropped out of high school without looking back.
“Hey girl, did you know I dropped out of high school?” Ryan Gosling was attending high school in Ontario, but by the time he was 17, acting had become his top priority. Leaving behind his native Canada, Ryan Gosling moved to the USA and landed a job on “The Mickey Mouse Club”, alongside other future stars like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
After getting a shot at a modeling contract with the renowned Elite Modeling Management, Cameron Diaz decided to put her education on hold. She left high school at the age of 16, but quickly after becoming one of the celebrities who didn’t finish high school, she also got into acting.
Even though the schedule of the Harry Potter franchise left plenty of free time for other child actors to finish their studies, Daniel Radcliffe gave up school. He did use on-set tutors for a while, but in the end decided that going to college would interfere with his acting and writing aspirations.
Many celebrities who didn’t finish high school dropped out to focus on acting, but Catherine Zeta-Jones actually studied a full-time, three-year course in musical theater at The Arts Educational Schools in West London. She’d been performing since an early age, but her first big screen break came in 1990.
After spending some of his childhood in Canada, Tom Cruise discovered acting at the age of 14. Even though he attended a Franciscan seminary on a church scholarship, Cruise decided that his real calling was acting.
Home schooled in her final year of high school, Lindsay Lohan is also one of the celebrities who didn’t finish high school, at least not by actually attending it. Things seemed to be going well for Lindsay’s acting career for a while, but her partying and legal trouble cut her success short.
With only weeks to go before graduation, Charlie Sheen was expelled from Santa Monica High School for poor attendance and bad grades. He still thinks of himself as winning, despite the fact that his big screen A-lister days are decades behind him.
Few celebrities who didn’t finish high school can say they’re the highest paid professional in their field. Gisele Bündchen has held the top of the highest-earning models in the world for a decade, and Forbes magazine also listed her as the 89th most powerful woman in the world in 2014.
Acting ambition was also the reason John Travolta dropped out of high school. The actor put his education on hold at the age of 16 and focused on stage performances before becoming an A-lister thanks to “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”.
Most celebrities who didn’t finish high school didn’t also go to rehab by the age of 13, for both alcohol and drug issues. Even though she jumped into the Hollywood lifestyle as a child, Drew Barrymore managed to find her way, and found success with her project even without graduating from high school.
One of the few entertainers to achieve the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards), Whoopi Goldberg didn’t finish high school and worked as a phone sex operator, before becoming an accomplished actress and comedienne.
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Most celebrities who didn’t finish high school never look back, but Mark Wahlberg decided to graduate at the age of 42. In 2013, the actor finally earned his high school diploma. “I can now look at my kids every day knowing that I didn’t just do this for me - I did it for them,” Wahlberg told the Huffington Post about his return to complete his education.