From the daughter of a lawyer…
This reality TV behemoth was allegedly voted “Most Likely to Meet Her Husband at the Million Man March” and “Most Likely to Lie About Her Ethnicity” in high school. “Most Likely to Turn The Notoriety Accrued From a Leaked Home Video Into A Billion Dollar Success Story” would have been more on the nose for this famous sister!
…to a lawyer in training herself!
Originally known as a confidante of socialite Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian won the public over with the E! reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians in 2007. She and sisters Kourtney and Khloe (and later half-sisters Kendall and Kylie) turned their tumultuous TV personalities into a money-making machine, first with the retail store DASH and then later with individual pursuits. In 2019, Kim founded Skims, a clothing brand aimed to women of all sizes.
From promising Broadway talent…
For most young students, leaving high school and delving into the scary, pricey unknown of adulthood is an emotional moment. In the case of this young student, however, future prospects were sky high. What lay ahead was an enormously successful, if at times challenging, career in the industry. As for North Broward Preparatory School? Thank U, Next!
…to fully-fledged singing sensation
Ariana Grande began her career in the Nickelodeon show Victorious in 2010. A year later she signed to Republic Records and released her first album Yours Truly in 2013. It was 2016’s Dangerous Woman that Grande truly broke the mould with the songs Side To Side and Into You.
From high school rebel…
Before he was a freak, geek, comic book villain or stoner on the run from hitmen, this student was getting himself into trouble while attending Palo Alto High School in California. “In my first two years of high school, I got into a lot of trouble with the police for minor things: graffiti, stealing, crashing cars,” he reflected. Oh, how the tables would turn.
…to Rebel Without a Cause
Although James Franco’s first true foray into film was in a pretty serious biopic of James Dean, it was in comedy and action that he made his name, namely Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Pineapple Express. In 2017, he won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor for his role in The Disaster Artist.
From Church mouse…
The idea of hitting the big time and becoming one of best-selling female solo artists of all time was just a dream to this teenager. The name needed a bit of work though, as there already was a famous Kate Hudson. She ended up dropping out of school at the age of 15 to pursue music but came to regret it later on in life. “I’m kind of bummed at this stage that I didn’t have a great education because I could really use that these days,” she once professed.
…to the Queen of Camp
Born into a strictly observant Christian household, Katy Perry found fame as the risqué singer of ‘I Kissed a Girl’ back in 2008. All of her studio albums released under Capitol Records have surpassed one billion streams on Spotify, a mounting to six billion streams. This California Gurl has done good.
From West Coast rapper…
This man attributes his class clown persona in school with becoming a success in the music industry. “I would say I did like the attention,” he said. “In church I did a lot of plays, my mother made me play characters, do a lot of drama and acting, trying to become someone else.” The rest is history.
…to pretty much everything else
It’s easy to see how someone like Snoop Dogg could have been voted class clown back in school these days, but in the 1990s he was a fairly serious hip-hop artist who deserves as much respect as his contemporaries Dre and Tupac. In February this year he released his 19th studio album, BODR.
From budding lawyer…
After graduating from high school in 1976, this future talk show host worked any job she could to stay float, from law firms to restaurants and bars, even oyster shucking. When she turned 23, she put together an act and began performing in coffee houses and comedy clubs. A few years later, she’d earn her own eponymous sitcom before branching out into daytime TV.
…to sitcom ground-breaker
Ellen DeGeneres made history on her sitcom Ellen (1994–1998) by coming out as gay on the season 4’s The Puppy Episode. From 2003 to 2022, she hosted the daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, when she was pressured to retire after former employees had accused her of workplace bullying.
From high school misfit…
This young man didn’t know what attracted him to acting. “I really couldn’t tell you,” he said in an interview. “I just always loved characters and stories, was in drama in high school and just always loved doing it.” He became an overnight success in the 1990s and enjoyed a brief but heavy romance with a certain Angelina Jolie…
…to Hollywood misfit
That’s right. Who else but Billy Bob Thornton? In 1992 he shot onto the scene with One False Move, a film he also co-wrote. He earned accolades for his performance in 1996 indie flick Sling Blade. At the turn of the millennium, his reputation turned a little weird, thanks to a candid marriage to Angelina Jolie and a performance as an alcoholic Santa impersonator. Still, Thornton remains respected among colleagues. In 2017, he won a Golden Globe award.
From alternative high school kid…
Yeah, I guess you could say this person had a transformation prior to making it big in Hollywood. These days, she’s arguably more famous for her marriage to a rapper-turned-rocker but at one time she was being compared to the likes of Marilyn Monroe.
…to alternative Hollywood actress
After bursting onto the scene with Michael Bay’s dizzying Transformers films, Megan Fox’s career waned as she decided to raise a family with husband Brian Austin Green instead. Following their divorce she found a new fanbase thanks to roles in thrillers Till Death and Night Teeth, as well as her relationship with Machine Gun Kelly.
From promising football player…
During high school, this person was more interested in playing football than Othello. And in college, his main pursuits were in music. It was only outside of the education system that he realised his potential for stand-up comedy. Though serious acting was never out of reach. In 2004, he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles.
…to movie legend
A clear example of “People who look better older than younger”, Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood’s most versatile entertainers, managing to balance comedy, music and film. One of his most famous roles is as the titular character of Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 ‘southern’ Django Unchained.
From disadvantaged childhood…
Perhaps the most famous talk show host of all time, this fresh-faced student could never have imagined the heights of success she would go onto to reach from 1980s to the present day. That success, by the way, has earned her $2.5 billion. No wonder she bought everyone a car.
…to billionaire entrepreneur
For one time the world’s only black billionaire, Oprah Winfrey’s influence on American culture cannot be understated. Her focus on self-help, mindfulness and spirituality inspired a generation of viewers to approach life in a way they never had, for better or worse.. Her contributions to promoting literature also aided a culture of reading among everyday Americans. In 2013, then President Obama awarded Winfrey the Medal of Freedom.
From budding priest…
Believe it or not, this young man had plans to become a priest of all things during his time in high school. Thankfully for movie audiences across the world, he abandoned those plans to become an actor instead. Him? A missionary? Impossible.
…to world-famous action star
Yes, Tom Cruise wanted to be a priest. The daredevil scientologist. Can you imagine doing something so quaint? Though he was put in a few serious shifts over the decades, Cruise is primarily an action star these days, going viral for his sweaty-palmed stunts such as scaling the outside of the Burj Khalifa without a harness.
From quiet school girl…
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. A notorious quote forever attached to this harmless looking girl pictured above. It’s clear this person has never fallen into a mixed grill kebab coma having flooded their stomachs with twenty pints of lager.
…to quiet but incredibly famous model
Spearheading the waif or ‘heroin chic’ image of the 1990s, Kate Moss became one the biggest names in modelling. By not saying much and embracing all the things supermodels are not supposed to embrace (smoking, drinking, having fun of any kind) Moss has always had a special place in the hearts of the public.
From geeky bookworm…
If you had to draw an e-fit of a boy likely to be held upside down and rinsed of all their spare change the result would probably be close to this. Today, however, this person would probably be the one to hold you upside down but only for the sake of finding a possible sachet of sugar to stir into his endorsed cup of coffee.
…to People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive
Yep. That’s George Clooney. There’s your proof that you needn’t worry about appearances as a kid, because there’s every chance you’ll blossom into a silver fox and land a part in a popular hospital drama before moving on to a consistent and comfortable career in film. It gets better. Just ask George.
From cheeky school boy…
Seeing this photo, all the naivety and cheery optimism, contrasted with the slightly worn out, bored face of his elder self you can’t help but think: it’s not the same as it was. This young lad would go on to work in his local bakery before going on an audition that would change the entire course of his life.
…to pop phenomenon!
Of course it’s Harry Styles. Along with fellow band mates Zayn, Liam, Niall and Louis, he would sell 70 million albums worldwide and become one of the best selling boy bands ever. As for his solo efforts, they couldn’t be going better. His album Harry’s House debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.
From teen idol…
This singer was just a Baby at the time of this photo being taken. In fact, he may have already been signed to a record company. That might explain the weirdly confident expression you see. The hair is a big giveaway here. The whole face is a giveaway, actually. If you can’t work this one out, I’m sorry, but you’re doomed.
…to slightly older adult idol!
After the release of his 2009 debut EP My World, Justin “The Biebs” Bieber went stratospheric. Despite the odd bump in the road along the way (including a hilarious stint as a drag racer), he is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, whose sales in are in excess of over 150 million records worldwide.
From sports day games…
Excelling in cheerleading, softball, field hockey and basketball, this young student took up performing in church plays and school musicals at a later age, developing a knack for the craft that would serve her very, very well. Her first major role was on the sitcom The Bill Engvall Show in 2007. The next year she made her film debut with a supporting role in the drama Garden Party.
…to the Hunger Games!
But when The Hunger Games came calling, so did the bright lights of Hollywood. Jennifer Lawrence caught the public’s attention as heroine Katniss Everdeen in the franchise. Not wanting to be typecast as an action star, Lawrence starred in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook which won her an Academy Award, making her the second-youngest woman to win Best Actress.
This happy young man found work as a community organizer in Chicago after graduating from Colombia Univesity in 1983. Five years later he enrolled in Harvard Law School and became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. Turning his talents to politics in the 90s, he represented the 13th district in the Illinois state Senate from 1997 until 2004, when he ran for the US Senate.
…to the White House
The rest is history! Actual history. After winning the Democratic candidacy race in 2008, he and his running mate Joe Biden were elected and inaugurated President and Vice President of the US in January 2009. Obama would go on to serve two full terms, winning plaudits for his Affordable Care Act (nicknamed ‘Obamacare’) and criticism for his extension of Bush-era drone strikes.
From a blue-eyed student…
She may have developed a racy reputation later in life, but this young woman was brought up Catholic and attended Mesa Robles Middle School and Glen A. Wilson High School, where she went on to become a cheerleader, straight-A student and even spelling bee champion. Failure wasn’t exactly in her DNA, which helped her tremendously when she undertook music.
…to a black-eyed pea
Stacy Ferguson, or Fergie to the world, achieved huge chart success with the hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas. She later went solo with 2006’s The Dutchess and bagged herself not one, not two, but three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles with London Bridge, Glamorous and Big Girls Don’t Cry.
From Jenny from the block…
Born in the Bronx, New York City, and raised in Castle Hill to Puerto Rican parents, she was exposed to a lot of music from an early age. This music would inspire her initial records, which she made after years and years of working as a backup dancer for acts like Janet Jackson and MC Hammer.
…to the highest-paid Hispanic actress in Hollywood
Jennifer Lopez is as famous for her music career as she is her film career. After reaching new heights for Latin pop in 1999 with the album On the 6, Lopez appeared in The Wedding Planner and Maid in Manhattan. With album sales of over 80 million, she is a certified legend of pop. In 2012, she was named the world’s most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine.
From high school dropout…
This student fancied herself as a veterinarian as a child. When it came to school activities, she was only really interested in playing the clarinet. After graduating high school she attended and eventually dropped out of Georgia State University, moving to New York to pursue a career in acting. To make ends meet, this pretty woman signed with Click Modelling Agency.
…to Oscar winner
Julia Roberts has never really struggled in acting, making her mark early on with Mystic Pizza and Steel Magnolias in the late 80s. Then came Pretty Woman, which ended up grossing $464 million worldwide. A few years later, she had a string of hits in My Best Friend’s Wedding, Notting Hill and Runaway Bride. In 2001, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Erin Brockovich.
From precocious child…
This young man was brought up in an artistic household in Boston. Encouraged to make home movies with his brother Casey, he started acting on commercials and TV as a child in the 1980s in The Voyage of the Mimi and has been working in the business steadily ever since. He cracked the mainstream in the late 1990s by co-writing a screenplay with Matt Damon.
…to precocious teenager and adult
One of Ben Affleck’s first film roles was in the indie coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused in 1993. He starred in a bunch of Kevin Smith films - Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma - before writing the script for Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon; they also starred and won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He became a leading man from there on out, appearing in Armageddon and Pearl Harbour.
From Dancing in the Dark…
Ten years before going ultra-mainstream, this actress was picked by Brian De Palma in a casting call to star in the music video for Dancing in the Dark, where she’s plucked out of the crowd by Bruce Springsteen and invited to throw a few shapes on stage. She was there for Bruce, but would anyone else be there for her?
…to ‘The Routine’
Yep! Courtney Cox, of course, won the hearts of millions across the world when she portrayed Monica Geller on Friends from 1994–2004. She critical praise for her role as Gale Weathers in the horror film franchise Scream. From 2009–2015, she played Jules Cobb in the ABC sitcom Cougar Town, which earned her nominations at the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
From stuttering student…
This optimistic-looking student had just found his true calling and for all the strangest reasons. Having suffered from a stutter since childhood, at the age of 17, he got a part in a school play. “I was doing this goofy play,” he said. “It wasn’t a goofy play, we just did it in a goofy way. When I got onstage, I stopped stuttering. When I stepped off the stage, I started stuttering again. And I went, ‘This is a miracle. I got to investigate this more.'”
…to smooth-talking anti-hero
At Penns Grove High School, his nickname was Buck-Buck; but to everyone else, he’s Bruce. Along with Pablo Picasso and Zinedine Zidane, Willis is one of the very few cool bald people to have ever lived. This has a lot to do with his iconic role in the Die Hard franchise as maverick cop John McClane. He’s also appeared in classics Pulp Fiction, Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.
From goth nightmare…
This young woman referred to high school as “tragic”, unsure how to fit in or how to dress. “You know, you’re experimenting. It was the ’80s, and I looked like a Goth nightmare,” she said. “I wasn’t going for most beautiful. It was, ‘How can I be the most rebelliously unattractive?'” At the time, she was working as a food server which didn’t make her feel any better.
…to America’s sweetheart
Everything changed in the 90s. Jennifer Aniston ditched her goth look for a much more wholesome, prom queen look in her life-altering role as the spoilt Rachel Green in Friends. After the show ended in 2004, Aniston became known for a string of comedies such as Bruce Almighty, Horrible Bosses and We’re The Millers.
From sensitive student…
What’s the deal with high school? This funny student didn’t have much truck with the trappings of his Long Island high school. “I kind of took myself out of the kind of main cliques of the school, because I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said. “I was kind of sensitive, and I couldn’t take the scapegoating and the roughhousing and the cigarettes and the `let’s get beers.’ It wasn’t for me, that world.”
…to sitcom superstar
Jerry Seinfeld’s highest calling was and remains stand-up comedy. A hugely successful sitcom that spanned nine years and nine seasons was a nice hobby but it’s being in front of a microphone that what makes this New Yorker tick. Seinfeld returned to television with the web-series-turned-Netflix-show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
From regular high school student…
This New Jersey girl was, by her own admission, never a “goody-goody” at high school. But apart from the occasional hiccup, she was a happy go lucky addition to the classroom. “I loved to have fun,” she said. “I never did drugs. Acting always came first. I was lucky, because I really believed in who I was.”
…to famous high school student
From 2009–2015, Lea Michele would become synonymous with high school culture with her role as Rachel Berry in Fox’s hugely successful series Glee, a musical TV show focused around a fictional glee club. She launched a music career after the show, releasing two albums Louder and Places. Earlier this year played Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl.
From friendly jock…
This fresh-faced boy attended Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri, in the 1970s, showing a keen interest and talent in drama class, though his main forays into the world of acting came in musical theatre, which is a far stretch from the heady likes of Tyler Durden, David Mills and Rusty Ryan.
…to Hollywood’s biggest name
That’s right. Brad Pitt, larger than life actor, sex symbol and serious thespian, was once just a young boy like any other. He didn’t truly crack the big time until his appearance in 1991’s Thelma and Louise at the age of 28. Then came Interview with the Vampire and then of course Seven and Fight Club, two of his best known performances.
From controversial prom queen…
Fearing for her safety at a violent inner-city school, this woman’s mother sent her to an all-white school in the suburbs only to be subjected to petty racism. When she won the role of prom queen, she was called into the principal’s office and accused of stuffing the ballot box. Her mother challenged the accusation and they ended up flipping a coin to decide who won out of her and a blonde, blue-eyed classmate. Thankfully, she won for the second and final time.
…to Bond girl
Halle Berry went on to compete in a string of pageant shows, coming sixth in Miss USA in 1986. In the 1990s, she turned to acting, starring in the likes of Boomerang and The Flintstones before maturing into roles in Swordfish and Die Another Day. Berry recently starred in John Wick 3 opposite Keanu Reeves.
This strapping young man couldn’t care less about school. He earned a 3.66 GPA and was voted class clown. But his life mainly centred around wrestling. After graduating in 1999, he wrestled at Lake Stevens, a 4A division high school in the state of Washington. During his senior year, Chris Pratt even placed 5th at the Washington state tournament at 215 lbs.
…to a Guardian of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt was meant to be a temporary character when he showed up in NBC’s Parks and Recreations, but the producers liked him so much he joined the cast as a regular. Moving into film, Pratt became a part of the illustrious Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Most recently he’s been in the Jurassic Park reboot trilogy Jurassic World.
From adamant dancer…
This actress was all about dancing during the time of this photo. “I didn’t go to the university because there weren’t options in my family. And I stopped the athletic options. I was supposed to stick with track because I was really quick and I could run fast, but I told them, ‘I want to dance,'” she said. “I taught kids when I was in high school. That’s how I paid for my dance classes.” Thankfully she turned her talents to acting instead!
…to Golden Globe Winning Actress!
Born in Italy, Amy Adams attended Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado. Starting out as part of a dinner theatre act, her big break came with Steven Spielberg’s 2002 romp Catch Me If You Can. Since then, Adams has gone on to star in such films as The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle and Arrival.