The Most Successful Celebrity Dropouts Who Prove Hard Work Really Pays Off

Cameron Diaz

New mom and recently retired actress Cameron Diaz has certainly left her mark on Hollywood. Before she achieved movie stardom, however, Diaz was modeling full-time after dropping out of high school at age 16. Even back then, she was already quite successful—living overseas for five years and earning investment money through her appearances in fashion campaigns.

She soon went on to land her first acting gig, and become one of Hollywood’s best-known actresses. She frequently appeared in comedies throughout her acting career, while also earning critical recognition in dramatic films. Her accolades include four Golden Globe Award nominations, three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and a New York Film Critics Award. In 2013, she was named the highest-paid actress over 40 in Hollywood. As of 2018, the U.S. domestic box office grosses of Diaz’s films total over US$3 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing US$7 billion, making her the fifth highest-grossing U.S. domestic box office actress.