Seeing Stars: the Schools of the Stars

OTHER CELEBRITY SCHOOLS

Here are just a few of the other schools around
greater Los Angeles that can also boast of celebrity alumni:


HARVARD/WESTLAKE SCHOOL (700 N Faring Rd., Bel-Air; also at 3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave, in Studio City): Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Montgomery ("Bewitched"), Candice Bergen, ("Murphy Brown"), Tori Spelling ("Beverly Hills 90210"), Myrna Loy, Bridget Fonda, astronaut Sally Ride Maggie Gyllenhall, and June Lockhart ("Lassie") all graduated from high school here. Danica McKellar ("Winnie Cooper") and Crystal McKellar ("Becky Slater") of "The Wonder Years" also attended this school. Mindy Cohn ('Natalie' on "Facts of Life") was actually discovered at the school, by a visiting Charlotte Rae.


CROSSROADS SCHOOL FOR ARTS & SCIENCES (1714 21st Street, Santa Monica): Sean Astin ("Lord of the Rings"), Jack Black ("King Kong"), Kate Hudson ("Almost Famous") and Maya Rudolph ("Saturday Night Live") went to Crossroads in the '80s. Gwyneth Paltrow attended what is now Crossroads Elementary (at 1715 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica) when it was known as St. Augustine by the Sea. (In addition, Will Ferrell is reportedly a member of an adult soccer league that plays at Crossroads.)  

PALISADES HIGH SCHOOL (15777 Bowdoin Street, Pacific Palisades): actor Jeff Bridges ("Against All Odds"), supermodel Christie Brinkley (former wife of singer Billy Joel), and TV's Katey Sagal ('Peg Bundy' on "Married with Children") all graduated from this high school. Penelope Ann Miller ("Kindergarten Cop") says she was "a bit of a party girl." Peter DeLuise ("21 Jump Street," "SeaQuest DSV") was captain of the football team. Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High") dropped out just prior to graduation to begin her film career. Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles graduated in 1976. Another Palisades graduate was Erin Gray (of "Buck Rogers" & "Silver Spoons".) The school has also been seen in quite a few movies and TV shows, from "Popular" to "Havoc".

JOHN BURROUGHS HIGH SCHOOL (1920 Clark Avenue, Burbank): actress Debbie Reynolds ("Singin' in the Rain") won a "Miss Burbank" beauty contest while attending high school here in 1948, launching her career. Actor/director Ron Howard ("The Andy Griffith Show" & "Happy Days") also graduated from Burroughs. He was friends there with actress Rene Russo ("Lethal Weapon" & "Ransom"), and she says she used to copy off his test paper. Dan Haggerty also went to Burroughs, as did Angela Watson (who played 'Karen' on the sitcom "Step By Step"). The school was also used as the location for the TV series "The Wonder Years" and for the 1985 Michael J. Fox comedy "Teen Wolf."

FAIRFAX HIGH SCHOOL (at the corner of Melrose & Fairfax, Hollywood, north of CBS TV City): this was the last school attended by actress Demi Moore ("Indecent Proposal"), who had gone to dozens of different schools over the years. She was 15 when she started here, and 16 when she dropped out. Carol Lombard graduated from Fairfax in 1927 - 12 years before she married Clark Gable. Other Fairfax High alumni include talk show host Byron Allen, musician Herb Alpert, actor Ricardo Montalban ("Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan"), actor Mickey Rooney ("Andy Hardy"), actor David Arquette ("Scream'), comic Al Franken, actor Timothy Hutton, record producer Phil Spector, dancer Gower Champion, "Slash" of Guns N' Roses, Flea of  "The Red Hot Chili Peppers" and GOP presidential candidate Jack Kemp.

LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL (3501 N. Broadway, L.A.): Actor Robert Young ("Father Knows Best" & "Marcus Welby, M.D.") met his wife Betty here in 1933, when he was 17 and she was 14. Their marriage lasted for 61 years.actor Robert Preston (star of "The Music Man") began his career here playing "Hamlet" in a school play. *

NORTH HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL (5231 Colfax Avenue, North Hollywood): leading man Alan Ladd (star of "Shane") attended this Valley school, as did actress Elizabeth McGovern ("Ragtime"). "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"'s 'Willow', Alyson Hannigan, graduated from North Hollywood, and "Happy Days"' Joanie', Erin Moran, spent a year here. Russ Tamblyn, the father of "Joan of Arcadia's" Amber Tamblyn, and an actor/dancer in 1950's films like "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" & "Peyton Place" went to North Hollywood. And so did Richard Beymer, who starred as 'Tony' in "West Side Story". Also, Martin Milner, who played 'Officer Pete Malloy' on "Adam 12" (and 'Tod' in the classic "Route 66") graduated from North Hollywood. Harry Anderson, the guy who starred as the judge in "Night Court" was class valedictorian in 1970. *

HAWTHORNE HIGH SCHOOL (at 4859 W. El Segundo Blvd., in Hawthorne): The founding members of the Beach Boys: the Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl and Dennis) and guitarist Al Jardine, went to school here at Hawthorne High, about four miles inland from the beach. (Leader Brian Wilson got a failing grade in a music class here when he submitted one of his hit songs as a class assignment.) See the monument the city of Hawthorne put up to honor the Beach Boys. *



ULYSSES GRANT HIGH SCHOOL (13000 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys): Tom Selleck (star of "Magnum P.I.") graduated from Grant High in 1962. Another Grant student was Micky Dolenz of "The Monkees."



WESTCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL (7400 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles): The late comic Phil Hartman ("NewsRadio") - killed in a 1998 murder-suicide - went to school here. During an interview, he had recalled entertaining his friends on the senior lawn back in the 60's, already doing impressions of celebrities like John Wayne, Jack Benny, Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Anissa Jones ('Buffy' of "Family Affair") attended Westchester before her death. Another recent student at Westchester was singer Karyn White ("Superwoman"), who was a cheerleader at the school. *


JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL (3939 Tracy St., Los Angeles): current hearthrob Leonardo DiCaprio (star of "Titanic") went to school here a few years ago. (The school is just a few blocks northeast of the ABC Studio Center). In fact, Leo grew up in the Los Feliz area, and recently donated $35,000 to the new Los Feliz branch of the L.A. Library (now open at 1874 Hillhurst Ave.) to fund a new Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Center there. (Ironically, the new library is located on the former site of Leo's family home, where he lived when he was a teenager.) Other former students from John Marshall include Michelle Phillips (of "The Mamas & the Papas"), Judge Lance Ito (of O.J. fame), Heidi Fleiss (another kind of fame altogether), Julie Newmar ("Batman"), and Anne Marie Johnson ("Melrose Place," "In the Heat of the Night"). The school has also appeared in several movies including (the carnival scenes in) "Grease", "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Pretty in Pink." Plus appearing in numerous TV shows such as "Growing Pains," "Boy Meets World" and "Sister Sister." *


GLENDALE UNION HIGH SCHOOL (1440 E. Broadway, Glendale): actor John Wayne played football here in the 1920's. He was also head of the Latin Society, a member of the debating team, and an A-student, before graduating and moving on to U.S.C. with a football scholarship. Actress/swimmer Esther Williams is another alum; in fact, she dedicated the school's swimming pool in 1956. Other Glendale alumni include actress Terry Moore ("Mighty Joe Young"), singer Vic Dana ("Red Roses for a Blue Lady") and actress Diane McBain



WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT HIGH SCHOOL
(5461 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills) Lisa Kudrow (who played the ditzy 'Phoebe,' on TV's "Friends") played varsity-level tennis here, and graduated from Taft in 1981. Ironically, rapper Ice Cube wrote "Boyz In Tha Hood" at this Valley school, where he was bused in from South Central. 


UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL (11800 Texas Avenue, West Los Angeles): Marilyn Monroe attended school here in 1942, before dropping out at age 16 to get married. Jan & Dean ("Dead Man's Curve") met as students here. Former "Partridge Family" star David Cassidy also went to school here, as did actors Ryan O'Neal ("Love Story") and James Brolin ("Pensacola: Wings of Gold"), singer Nancy Sinatra ("These Boots are Made for Walking"), singer/composer Randy Newman ("I Love L.A."), singer/composer Danny Elfman (of Oingo Boingo), and actresses Bridget Fonda and Rachel Ames (of "General Hospital").



JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL (8281 Walker Street, in La Palma): actor John Stamos ("Full House") graduated from this Orange County high school (just west of Knott's Berry Farm) in the early 80's.



LOS ANGELES HIGH SCHOOL (4650 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles): Actor Dustin Hoffman attended this mid-city high school in the 1950's, before moving on to Santa Monica City College and the Pasadena Playhouse. He played tennis here and fellow students called him "Dusty." O.J.'s lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, was a student there around the same time. Actress Anne Baxter ("All About Eve"). was also a student here, in 1941, as was sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury ("Fahrenheit 451" and "The Martian Chronicles."). Actress Anna Mae Wong graduated from here in 1921.

PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL (511 S. Buena Vista St., in Burbank): Actresses Helen Hunt ("Mad About You," "As Good As It Gets") and Mena Suvari ("American Pie," "American Beauty") both graduated from Providence High. (Mena's high school nickname was "Bean".) The school is located just one block east of NBC Studios in Burbank, the network which would later carry Helen Hunt's hit show, "Mad About You."


AGOURA HIGH SCHOOL (28545 Driver Ave , in Agoura Hills): Actress Heather Graham ("Boogie Nights","Austin Powers") was voted "Most Talented" by her class; Justin Berfield ("Malcolm in the Middle"), and members of the bands Linkin Park, Hoobastank and The Calling also attended Agoura High.


INGLEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL (231 S. Grevillea Avenue, Inglewood): actress/singer Jeanne Crain (star of "State Fair") was voted campus Grid Queen here in 1941, which led to her movie career at 20th Century Fox. In the 50's, Sonny Bono (of Sonny & Cher) was a student here when he first became interested in music; Sonny was suspended for bringing in an all-black band for the high school prom (which is ironic when you consider that Inglewood High is now a predominently minority school). *

VINE STREET SCHOOL (955 N. Vine Street, Hollywood): Marilyn Monroe went to school here when she was still Norma Jean Baker. Mickey Rooney mentions in his autobiography that he went to Vine Street, and so did actresses Denise Crosby ('Tasha Yar' on "Star Trek: TNG") and Charlene Tilton ('Lucy' on "Dallas"). (Located just two blocks west of Paramount Studios.)

IMMACULATE HEART HIGH SCHOOL (5515 Franklin Ave, at the corner of Franklin & Western Avenues) in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles): Mary Tyler Moore went to high school at this Catholic campus. She says she was a "lousy student," but just one day out of Immaculate Heart, she landed a dancing job on TV. Lucille Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, also went to school here. Another Immaculate Heart graduate is model Tyra Banks, class of 1991.


CHADWICK SCHOOL (26800 Academy Drive, Rolling Hills, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula): Liza Minnelli (star of "Cabaret") and Christina Crawford attended this exclusive private school in the Palos Verdes hills. In "Mommie Dearest," Christina wrote about being stranded here over the Christmas holidays. In fact, they shot scene from the 1981 movie, "Mommie Dearest" (starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford) at Chadwick School. Other alumni included Brandon Lee ("The Crow," Bruce Lee's son), and Mike Lookinland, who played 'Bobby Brady' on TV's "The Brady Bunch." Tuition is about $12,000-$15,000 per year.


 LYCEÉ FRANÇAIS DE LOS ANGELES (3261 Overland Avenue, Los Angeles): Actress Jodie Foster graduated with honors from this exclusive prep school, located about a mile southeast of the Westside Pavilion mall - before going on to Yale.
(She delivered the valedictory address in French.)


 VENICE HIGH SCHOOL (13000 Venice Boulevard, Venice): actress Myrna Loy (star of "The Thin Man" films) was discovered here. (See separate page on the Myrna Loy statue at Venice High.) Singer Teena Marie ("Lovergirl") also attended Venice High, and so did actor Beau Bridges. *


 THE BUCKLEY SCHOOL (3900 Stansbury Ave., Sherman Oaks): "Friends" star Matthew Perry (who plays 'Chandler' on the show ) attended this private school in the Valley, after moving here with his family from Ottawa, Ontario. In 1985, he starred in a school production of "Our Town." Other alumni include Paris Hilton, Natalie Cole, Alyssa Milano, Nicollette Sheridan, Laura Dern, Nicole Richie, and Kim Kardashian. In 2010, the news media reported that two of Michael Jackson's children (Prince & Paris) had begun school here.

 MANUAL ARTS HIGH SCHOOL (4131 S Vermont Ave , Los Angeles): actress Kathryn Grayson (star of the musicals "Show Boat" and "Anchors Away") was a student here at age 15, before hitting it big with M-G-M. *

CHATSWORTH HIGH SCHOOL (10027 Lurline Ave, Chatsworth): Two of the nominees for the Academy Award in 1996 went to Chatsworth High School: Mare Winningham ("St. Elmo's Fire" and "Georgia") and Kevin Spacey ("L. A. Confidential," "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty"). In fact, in their senior year, they starred together in the school production of "The Sound of Music" - a break which got each of them an agent!  Other Chatsworth students have included Val Kilmer ("The Doors," "Batman Forever"), Stepfanie Kramer ("Hunter") and Kirk Cameron ("Growing Pains").


LONG BEACH POLYTECHNIC HIGH SCHOOL (1600 Atlantic Ave., at Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach): the celebrity alums include actor Van Heflin ("The Three Musketeers"), actress Laraine Day ("The High And The Mighty"), Cameron Diaz ("Something About Mary"), rap singer Snoop Doggy Dogg, comic bandleader Spike Jones, actor Van Heflin, opera singer Marilyn Horne, singer Jo Stafford, and tennis player Billie Jean King. John Wayne went here for one year before transferring to Glendale High. So did the best hitter of our era, Padres' outfielder Tony Gwynn. Poly has also produced more NFL players than any school in the nation. This high school has also been the location for several movies, including the recent "Man of the People" (starring Al Pacino) and "East Great Falls High." Many of the classroom scenes from 1999's "American Pie" were shot here as well. *


VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL (6535 Cedros Avenue, Van Nuys):Singer Paula Abdul she was senior class president, and head cheerleader here. Marilyn Monroe attended for a year in 1941, and met her first husband here. Robert Redford & Natalie Wood (who starred together in "Inside Daisy Clover"), actress Jane Russell ("Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"), actor Stacey Keach (TV's "Mike Hammer"), and Dodgers' pitcher Don Drysdale all graduated from this Valley school. It was also school used as the location for the 1982 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and for the 1979 movie "Rock & Roll High School" starring the Ramones. *


NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL (13645 Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks): the celebrity alums include Jerry Mathers, the original Beaver Cleaver from "Leave It To Beaver" went to this school after the show went off the air (in fact, he also celebrated his 50th birthday here.) Jimmy Hawkins, the actor who played Jimmy Stewart's the oldest child in the classic "It's A Wonderful Life" still has his letterman jacket from the school. More recent students at Notre Dame include Kirsten Dunst ("Spider-Man," "Drop Dead Gorgeous") and Maureen Flannigan from the TV sitcom "Out of This World."


BRENTWOOD SCHOOL (100 S. Barrington Place, Los Angeles): Fred Savage ("The Wonder Years") and his brother Ben Savage ("Boy Meets World") graduated from Brentwood School, as did actress Azura Skye ("Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane"). The school is also attended by the children of some of Hollywood's biggest stars.


AGOURA HIGH SCHOOL (28545 West Driver Ave., Agoura): Heather Graham ("Boogie Nights", "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me", "Emily's Reasons Why Not") was voted 'Most Talented' by her high school senior class at this San Fernando Valley high school, located north of Malibu. Another Aguora High student is Jonathan Lipnicki (the kid from "Stuart Little" and "Jerry Maguire") and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.

THOUSAND OAKS  HIGH SCHOOL (2323 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks): Kurt Russell ("Stargate," "Backdraft" ), Michael Richards ('Kramer' on "Seinfeld") and gold medal winning Olympic runner Marion Jones all graduated from Thousand Oaks High.


NEWPORT HARBOR HIGH SCHOOL (600 Irvine Ave., in Newport Beach): Actress Michelle Pfeiffer ("The Fabulous Baker Boys", "Batman Returns") attended Newport High (although she graduated from Fountain Valley High). So did actor Ted McGinley ('Jefferson' in "Married With Children") and motorcycle champ Bruce Penhall.

EXCELSIOR HIGH SCHOOL (15711 Pioneer Blvd., in Norwalk): actor William Conrad ("Cannon", "Jake & the Fatman" and the radio voice of "Gunsmoke"'s 'Marshall Matt Dillon') and First Lady Pat Nixon went to Excelsior. The high school itself starred in "Grease II", "High School USA" (with a young Michael J. Fox) and "Cutting Class" (with a very young Brad Pitt), and the TV series "Square Pegs".

LOS ANGELES CITY COLLEGE (855 N. Vermont, L.A.): Donna Reed (star of "It's a Wonderful Life" and TV's "The Donna Reed Show") took stenographic courses here, and was elected campus Queen, which got her picture in the paper and led to her discovery by MGM. "Star Wars"' Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, majored in drama here. Clint Eastwood is also a graduate of LACC. Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby", "The Shawshank Redemption", "Driving Miss Daisy") attended classes here. James Coburn went there too. When Robert Vaughn ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") was a student here at LACC, he used to wait for a bus on the corner of Hollywood Blvd & Cherokee Street. In 1998, when Vaughn was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he chose to have his star put at that very street corner. *


SANTA MONICA CITY COLLEGE (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica): James Dean went here to study pre-law, but changed over to drama when he went to UCLA.  Dustin Hoffman studied music here when he planned to be a jazz pianist. However, he was flunking out, and they told him "Take acting, nobody flunks acting." So he took his first acting class just for the easy credits. Fortunately for us, he got the acting bug and decided to be an actor. Hillary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry") was also a student at the college, as was Arnold Schwarzenegger (who studied English there) and Monica Lewinsky (the intern who got Bill Clinton in trouble).



OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE (1600 Campus Road, in Eagle Rock): Actor Ben Affleck ("Armageddon," "Good Will Hunting") went here briefly, after transferred here from the University of Vermont. So did Monty Python member Terry Gilliam. They also filmed the Alicia Silverstone comedy "Clueless" here (it passed for Beverly Hills High School in that movie,) as were the college years of "Beverly Hills 90210." But with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, he immediately became the school's most famous alum. President Obama spent two years at Occidental, before moving on to Columbia (in New York) and then Harvard Law School.


 PASADENA CITY COLLEGE (1570 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena): William Holden (star of "Sunset Boulevard") attended classes here. So did actor Nick Nolte ("48 Hours"), rocker Eddie Van Halen, both George Reeves (TV's original "Superman") and Jack Larson ('Jimmy Olsen' on the same show), singer Kenny Loggins, fashion designer Bob Mackie, director John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood"), and baseball legend Jackie Robinson.


CAL-STATE FULLERTON (800 N. State College Drive, Fullerton): Kevin Costner is a local Orange County lad. Before he starred in "Dances With Wolves," "Field of Dreams" and "Waterworld" he used to work at Disneyland, and he went to college here at Cal-State Fullerton, just a short drive north of the Magic Kingdom. When he recently opened his new Clubhouse restaurant at South Coast Plaza, Kevin was quoted as saying, "I graduated here by the skin of my teeth." Around the same time, "Titanic" director James Cameron was studying physics at Cal-State Fullerton. He eventually switched his major to English, then dropped out.  


FULLERTON COLLEGE (219 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton): just a mile west of  Cal-State Fullerton is this smaller college, which was attended by action hero Steven Seagal.  .  Seagal also went to ORANGE COAST COLLEGE (2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa), near the O.C. Fairgrounds.


PIERCE COLLEGE (6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills): Before she was a "Working Girl," Melanie Griffith graduated from Pierce College, an agricultural-oriented college in the San Fernando Valley.


LOS ANGELES VALLEY COLLEGE (5800 Fulton Ave., Van Nuys): Michael Richards performed drama on stage as a student here at Valley College before moving on to play the wacky 'Cosmo Kramer' in TV's "Seinfeld." He remains friends with another LAVC student, Ed Begley Jr ("Parenthood.") Actor Kevin Spacey, star of "The Usual Suspects," "L.A. Confidential," and "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil" also went here.


CAL-STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH (1250 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach): Steven Spielberg was attending CSULB when he made his first student film, "Amblin"; later, he named his Amblin Productions company after that early film. He dropped out in 1968. But in 2002, 33 years later, Spielberg decided to make good - he finished his studies there and showed up at the 2002 commencement ceremonies, wearing cap & gown with the other students, to accept his bachelor of arts degree in film. Why? Because his parents had always wanted him to graduate college. As his name was called, the college band struck up the theme from "Indiana Jones," and the audience cheered.



Also see the separate pages about Hollywood High, Beverly Hills High, Santa Monica High, UCLA, USC, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.




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