Top 10 Dropouts Who Hit the Big Time (Part 1)

We have all witnessed the frightening horror stories of the failed high school dropouts; however, these 10 examples seem to have made it out alright. Even better than alright, if we do say so ourselves. Now, we aren’t advising anyone to give anything less than their all in school; though, it should be known that college isn’t for everyone, and other options are available in the event of failure. To find out how these dropouts hit the big time, just keep on reading to get the scoop. Don’t forget to check back for our coming part two article, featuring the top five high school dropouts that actually hit the big time!

Number Ten: Uma Thurman. Miss Uma Thurman is an extremely popular and successful leading lady, known primarily for her starring roles in movies such as Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. Her father is a professor at Columbia University, although Uma had a different career path in mind. She has always had a strong love for acting and was recognized by talent scouts at a school play. They offered her an acting career, which she dropped out of high school to pursue.

Number Nine: Quentin Tarantino. This blockbuster-making director and screenwriter, astonishingly, never got his high school diploma. During his freshman year, he removed himself from school and got a job as an usher in a pornography theater, which he had to fib about his age to attain. He later worked as a video rental cashier, where he spent most of his time writing out Reservoir Dogs. He was able to market his idea, and the movie was produced for $1.5 million. Miramax caught wind of the movie after it made strides at the Sundance Film Festival, and a legend was born.

Number Eight: Billy Joel. Joel was a music sensation whose hits stood the test of time, affecting listeners for generations. He was a wild success, won six Grammys, and sold over 150 million albums. All of this, he did without a diploma. At the end of his senior year, he only needed one more class to finish his requirement. Instead, he said “to hell with it”, and decided he didn’t need one to complete his dream of joining with Columbia Records. A whole 25 years later, the high school decided to give it to him anyway.

Number Seven: Peter Jackson. Jackson became a renowned director and hit movie-maker, after being inspired by King Kong in 1976. At the age of 16, he dropped out of a local college to pursue his film producing dreams. He worked for a newspaper for seven years to finance this, working on films in his spare time. He debuted his first indie hit, Bad Taste, to a local film festival, and came back again with Heavenly Creatures, which helped bring Kate Winslet to fame. Both were a huge success and brought Jackson recognition, but his dream was to bring the novel The Lord of the Rings to life- and he did! He also created a modern version of his favorite movie, King Kong.

Number Six: Simon Cowell. Cowell is most known for his role as the most-hated judge on American Idol, as well as his success as a music producer. He and his brother didn’t see much of their parents growing up, and spent the majority of the childhood in the care of nannies. Cowell was even more of a handful back then and attended a new school for each of the 16 years he went because of misconduct. He started working in 1979 as a clerk in the mailroom of a music producing company and climbed his way up to the top. Don’t forget to check back for our coming part two article, featuring the top five high school dropouts that actually hit the big time!