Published On: Jun 02 2011 03:25:26 PM CDTUpdated On: Aug 11 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT
When it came to graduating from high school, several big-name celebrities didn't make the grade, including Johnny Depp, who dropped out at age 15 with dreams of becoming a rock star. Keep clicking to see other famous dropouts who defied one-in-a-million odds to make it big.
Deciding early on that his future was in comedy, Seth Rogen wanted to do nothing else. After a taste of fame in the short-lived TV show "Freaks and Geeks," he dropped out of school at age 16 and relocated with his family to Los Angeles.
Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling got his first taste of fame on "The All New Mickey Mouse Club," but returned to school in his native Canada once the show was canceled. He eventually dropped out at age 17 to focus on acting.
Before she became Princess Di, Diana Spencer failed her O-level examinations at West Heath Girls' School. While she moved on to a finishing school in Switzerland, she eventually dropped out there before becoming engaged to Prince Charles at age 19.
After being offered a modeling contract, Cameron Diaz dropped out of Long Beach Polytechnical High School at the age of 17.
After failing the 10th grade at Germantown High School in Philadelphia, Bill Cosby decided against repeating the grade and instead got a job as an apprentice at a shoe repair shop. He later joined the U.S. Navy.
While first starting out as an actor, Hilary Swank moved to Los Angeles with her mother (where the two lived out of their car for a while) and eventually enrolled in South Pasadena High School. She dropped out later to focus on acting.
Nicolas Cage dropped out of the Beverly Hills High School at 17 to pursue acting. He eventually earned his GED.
Toward the end of her junior year at Excelsior High School in Hollywood, Christina Applegate dropped out to pursue acting and singing. She quickly found a steady gig as Kelly Bundy on "Married... with Children."
Eminem dropped out of high school at age 17 after failing to pass the ninth grade three times due to truancy and poor grades.
Louis Armstrong dropped out of school at age 11 to join a quartet of boys who sang in the streets for money.
Paris Hilton was expelled during her junior year at a Connecticut boarding school for violating school rules. She returned to a college preparatory school in Manhattan, but dropped out for good a few months later.
When Roseanne Barr was 18, she left her hometown of Salt Lake City, telling her parents she was going to visit a friend in Colorado for two weeks. Instead, she never went back, doing stand-up gigs in the Denver area before making her way to Los Angeles.
Kevin Bacon dropped out of high school and left home at age 17 to pursue a theater career in New York City.
Bryan Adams quit school at age 16 to play nightclubs and go on the road.
Rapper Drake dropped out of school at age 15 while he was starring on . He eventually returned to school and proudly announced that he had earned his high school diploma in 2012.
Former "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell quit school in England at age 16 and began working in the mail room at EMI Music Publishing.
Jim Carrey dropped out of high school in Canada at age 16.
"Complicated" singer Avril Lavigne dropped out of high school after her junior year after securing a record deal.
Al Pacino dropped out of high school at age 17.
Robert De Niro dropped out of high school to pursue acting.
Marlon Brando was expelled from high school for driving a motorcycle in the halls. He attended a military academy after that, and later dropped out.
John Travolta dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue an acting career.
James Bond star Daniel Craig dropped out of high school in England at 16 to join a theater troupe.
Charlie Sheen was reportedly expelled from high school for poor grades, just weeks before graduation..
"Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Orlando Bloom left school at age 16 in England to pursue acting in theater.
Singer Jessica Simpson dropped out of high school as a junior to pursue a music career, and later earned her GED.
Mark Wahlberg dropped out of school at age 14 and later received his high school diploma through an online program.
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino dropped out of high school at 16 to pursue a career in filmmaking.