Unbelievable! 5 Stars That Haven’t Even Finished High School

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We know them as flawless, talented and successful, but a lot of them actually never had the chance to finish high school. They started their careers in music, acting and sport at an early age and they were soon jumping from one gig to another, getting filthy rich and famous in the process. So it’s no wonder that these stars never had the desire or the need to finish their education.

These 5 stars never graduated, but they seem to be doing just fine.

1. John Travolta

John Travolta is one of the most famous actors today and a much talked-about celebrity. After movies such as Grease and Saturday Night Fever he suddenly became a major star and everybody knew his name. But this young actor that appeared out of nowhere had actually dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue his acting dreams.

Travolta attended Dwight Morrow High School in his hometown of Englewood in New Jersey when he realized he could make it big in show business. It was a good call, obviously, because he soon started doing gigs on Broadway such as Grease and Over Here! 

Being multitalented and good-looking, Travolta took his career to TV screens with sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter in which, ironically, he played a high-school student. The show basically made him into a star and his career took off. Even though Travolta has had a few ups and downs in his career, he definitely made the right decision when he left high school in favor of acting.

2. Al Pacino

Another legendary actor made the same decision, and luckily so because he is considered by many as one of the greatest actors of all time. It could all have been much different for Al Pacino if he had decided to stay in high school and graduate.

During high school, Pacino had different plans for the future. Popularly nicknamed “The Actor” by his classmates, he wanted to become a baseball player. However, since all of the classes bored him except English which he really liked, Pacino finally decided to quit school at 17. The decision enraged his mother who strongly disagreed with him and the two ended up falling out with young Pacino leaving home.

He then took many low-paying jobs, such as being a busboy and janitor and he even slept out in the street on several occasions, and all of this in order to pay for his acting classes. His first role came 10 years later in a play Awake and Sing! and five years after that he starred in one of the best movies of all time, The Godfather, and scored his first Oscar nomination.

3. Whoopi Goldberg

From a phone-sex operator to one of the most respected ladies in show business, Whoopi Goldberg has certainly had an interesting life story. And it’s hard to believe that such an incredible woman and actress was, in fact, a high school drop-out.


Goldberg dropped out of Washington Irving High School at age 17 because she had difficulty studying. Interestingly, the actress actually suffered from dyslexia, but not even she knew it at the time. However, leaving school may have been the best decision of her life.

Unfortunately, her success didn’t happen overnight; Whoopi had to work at night as a phone-sex operator first. Just like many other great actors, Goldberg began her career on Broadway where she was spotted by Steven Spielberg who offered her the leading role in his upcoming movie The Color Purple which turned into a major success and landed an Oscar nomination for young Whoopi.

Since then, she has starred in numerous projects and became one of the most influential actresses ever. Eventually, she would become one of the few actors who have won a Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award.

4. Quentin Tarantino

The celebrities on our list had various reasons for quitting school, but the acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino had a pretty solid one – he believed that he could learn much more by himself than in school. Already as a young boy, Tarantino loved everything about movies, he visited various film screenings and his mother allowed him to watch movies with adult content, which may explain the violence in his movies.

At 14 he was already writing his first scripts. In the meantime, he was doing very badly at school because he pretty much hated it. The only subject which he liked was history because it reminded him of movies. So he dropped out of school at 16 and took a job as an usher at a porn theater.

His greatest love were movies, so the next step was taking acting classes although what he actually wanted to do was write screenplays. The movie that turned him into a star was Reservoir Dogs, and after it, Tarantino’s career skyrocketed. With some of his following movies, such as Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino established himself as one of the greatest directors ever.

5. Ryan Gosling

One of the hottest Hollywood hunks may be inspiring you to study in the memes that circle around the Internet, but he himself actually hated school. He is pretty likeable now, and scores role after a role, each one being an absolute hit in the theaters, but he couldn’t make any friends at school and he was bullied all the time.

Influenced by the movies he watched, Gosling even brought knives to school one day and started throwing them at other children. Not only that, Gosling was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medicine to help his condition. He was even put in a class for special-needs students which made his mother homeschool him for a year.

All of these troubles at school made him drop out at the age of 17. Young Gosling realized that he was much happier performing and acting so he decided to focus on that. The world fell in love with him in The Notebook and he continues to amaze us with his acting skills.