7 Famous Actors that Never Took Acting Classes

Tom Cruise
NEW YORK - JUNE 6, 2017: Tom Cruise attends the premiere of "The Mummy" at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater on June 6, 2017 in New York City. - Image (JStone / Shutterstock.com)

Not all actors take acting classes. Here are seven famous actors that never took an acting class.

Many actors will tell you that you need to go to acting classes or attend an acting school to succeed in Hollywood. But, in a career that is unlike any other, does going to acting classes increase your chances of landing a role? Perhaps, but several A-List actors have never gone to acting school. You may just be shocked to find out your favorite star skipped the 5-hour class and went straight to set.

Here are seven famous actors who never went to acting school.

#1. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
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Jim Carrey had an untraditional upbringing. After living in a van with his family as a teenager, he had set goals for himself to one day become successful. When Carrey was a freshman in high school, his father lost his job, and he was forced to work with his family as a security guard and a janitor at a local tire factory in Toronto. By the time he was 16, Carrey had dropped out of high school to help support his family. He would later audition and work on several small roles. But, it was not until Jim Carrey landed a regular role on the TV series In Living Color that his career skyrocketed. He would later land the leading comedic role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. All the while he never spent a single dollar on a single acting class.

#2. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
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Tom Cruise grew up loving movies but, when his parents divorced, things got tough, and his family was unable to purchase presents for each other during Christmas. In high school, he would work on a play that would ultimately change his life. Tom Cruise traveled to New York to pursue his career in acting. Within six months he landed a role in the movie called Taps. Initially, he had only three lines, but they liked him so much they increased his lines. During that time he would land the lead role in ‘Endless Love.’ Cruise would work alongside Brooke Shields in the hit movie. Tom Cruise would end becoming the highest paid actors in the world in the 1990s. Tom Cruise never went to an acting school, and he is very humble and open about it.

#3. Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan
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Meg Ryan moved from Connecticut to New York to study journalism. While she was in New York, she auditioned for several commercials and TV shows. Ryan would end up landing commercials for AIM Toothpaste and Burger King. Also, she worked as an extra on several feature films.

Her first major audition was for ‘Endless Love,’ but she would later lose the role to Brooke Shields. In the 1980s she became a household name after working on the Soap Opera, As the World Turns. As a result, she left college a semester earlier to work on feature films. Her career eventually exploded with leading roles in When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks.

Meg Ryan did not receive any formal training in acting throughout her entire career.

#4. Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz
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When Cameron Diaz lived in California, she was approached by a famous photographer, Jeff Dunas who asked who was her agent. When she told him she did not have one, the photographer gave her his business card and told her to reach out to him once she lands an agent. Cameron later decided to become a model with Elite modeling agency. Diaz would work on small roles including ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ But, four years later she would land the leading role in ‘The Mask.’

 

#5. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
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Brad Pitt took $325 he had saved up and drove from Missouri to Hollywood to become an actor. When he made it to Los Angeles, California he only had $225 left. Hungry, Pitt went to McDonald’s. While he was waiting for his order, he saw an ad in the newspaper for work as an extra in a movie. He auditioned and landed the background acting role.

For the next four years, he auditioned for several movies and started working as an extra on several TV shows. He would later land leading roles in several feature films making him one of the most desired men in America.

#6. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
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Johnny Depp moved into and out of more than 20 homes before he was 12 years old. When he was older, he would move from Florida to California to become a musician. To support his musical career, he took a job as a telemarketer selling ink pens over the phone. He refers that as “his first acting job.”

While Johnny Depp was selling ink pens, his friend Nicolas Cage asked Johnny to meet his agent. Johnny Depp would later audition for the role of Glen Lantz for A Nightmare on Elm Street and land the part. Johnny Depp never went to any acting school.

#7. Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
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Eddie Murphy had a tough childhood. When he was younger, his parents got divorced. His mother would later be sent to the hospital for tuberculosis. For an entire year, Eddie Murphy and his brother were sent to foster care and lived there for over a year. Eddie would watch television to escape from what was occurring around him. He then started performing as a stand-up comedian when he was studying in 8th grade.

Three months into college he auditioned for a role on Saturday Night Live and was selected for several parts in the show. Eddie Murphy became famous for his stand-up, and it was not until he landed a lead role in 48 Hours that his career took off. Eddie Murphy never took a step inside any acting school.

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