Celebrity dropouts

You've heard the old expression, "Stay in school." Some well-known celebrities never took that advice, but some who left school decided to go back -- or at the very least to earn their GED. One who finally earned his diploma this year, 42-year-old actor Mark Wahlberg, cited his four children as a motivating factor for doing so. Young actor Jaden Smith became embroiled in controversy after the 15-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith sent out a series of tweets to his more than 4.5 million Twitter followers, with such messages as "If Everybody In The World Dropped Out Of School We Would Have A Much More Intelligent Society" and "School Is The Tool To Brainwash The Youth." Although Smith is obviously too young to have influenced them, here are 10 celebrities who dropped out.
 

  • Mark Wahlberg dropped out of high school in ninth grade but finally earned his diploma in June 2013, citing his four children as a motivating factor. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

  • Johnny Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

  • Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of high school in California to move to New York to pursue acting full-time. Mike Marsland/Getty Images

  • John Travolta dropped out of high school in 1971 at age 17 before landing a role in the touring company of "Grease." Francois Durand/Getty Images

  • Jim Carrey quit school at 15 to help support his family by working as a janitor. Michael Buckner/Getty Images

  • Patrick Stewart left school at 15 to pursue theater and work as a newspaper reporter. D Dipasupil/Getty Images for PFLAG

  • Cameron Diaz quit high school after being offered a modeling contract. Didier Baverel/Getty Images for Tag Heuer

  • Keanu Reeves was expelled from several schools for discipline problems and never received his diploma. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

  • Christina Applegate left her high school in Hollywood and soon began appearing in the hit sitcom, "Married With Children." Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for LG

  • Al Pacino dropped out of the High School for the Performing Arts in New York at 17, having flunked nearly all his classes. Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Jaeger LeCoultre