17 Celebrities Who Dropped Out of High School But Still Had a Wildly Successful Careers

High school can be the best four years of your life — or it can, well, not be. That's not to say that these celebrities would know — they didn't take the traditional four-year path. There was no cap and gown ceremony for these celebrities — they never made it to their high school graduation. Which celebrities dropped out of high school to pursue other interests? Click through to find out.

by Kaitlin Reilly

Johnny Depp

Depp dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue a music career which, to be honest, didn’t exactly work out the way he had planned. I hope his high school self would have settled for becoming a bonafide movie star.

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Mark Wahlberg

Wahlberg dropped out of high school in the 9th grade, but that doesn’t mean he stopped learning. The actor took online courses and completed his high school degree in 2013. He is now an advocate for helping students complete their education.

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Robert Downey Jr.

The Iron Man star dropped out of high school at 16 and moved to New York to pursue acting.

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Avril Lavigne

The “Complicated” singer dropped out of high school at age 15 to record her debut album Let It Go.

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Khloe Kardashian

Kardashian may be a reality TV favorite now, but she admitted that she didn’t always fit in during her high school years. She left her all-girls Catholic high school and pursued homeschooling instead.

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Nicole Kidman

Kidman temporarily dropped out of high school before graduation so she could help her mother, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She worked as a massage therapist to support the family before resuming her schooling.

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Jim Carrey

Carrey dropped out of school at 15 so he could work to support his family, who was struggling financially at the time.

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Paris Hilton

Hilton dropped out of the Manhattan high school Convent of the Sacred Heart during her junior year. She’s now a DJ.

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Ryan Gosling

The former Mickey Mouse Club star dropped out of high school at age 17 to pursue his acting career.

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Cameron Diaz

Diaz dropped out of high school at age 17 when she was offered a modeling contract, and admits that she was never a great student in the first place.

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Drake was better known as Aubrey Graham when he dropped out of his Canadian high school to pursue acting on Degrassi: The Next Generation. He graduated from school via online courses 10 years later.

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Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe dropped out of high school when keeping up became too challenging with his busy Harry Potter schedule.

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Seth Rogen

Rogen dropped out of high school to pursue comedy. He wrote the first draft of the film that would become Superbad at age 14.

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Drew Barrymore

Barrymore’s acting career — she’s been acting since the age of 6 — got in the way of her education. A brief stint in rehab at the age of 13 also hindered her from finishing her education. Though she never went back to finish her education, she didn’t slow down — she know has a lucrative career as a director, producer, and actress.

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Kristen Stewart

The actress has stated that while she loved learning, her acting career made it difficult for her to pursue a traditional education. She left school in the 7th grade and received her high school diploma via homeschooling.

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Gisele Bundchen

Bundchen left her Brazilian high school after scoring a lucrative modeling contract. She moved to New York and never looked back.

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Jessica Simpson

Simpson dropped out of high school in her senior year after landing a deal with Columbia Records. She later received her GED.

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