Celebs Who Attended Hollywood High School

Hollywood High School in Los Angeles (where else) is just a typical public high school in many respects, with extracurriculars including debate club, a student newspaper, and the JROTC. But look closer and you'll find that the secondary school is steeped in Hollywood lore. The school's sports teams are known as "the Sheiks," getting their name from a Rudolph Valentino movie (per Los Angeles Times), and Valentino's face is one of several movie stars immortalized in school murals (per About). The school is also home to a performing arts magnet program that teaches — among other subjects — method acting, costume design, and classical ballet (via Hollywood High School's website).

And, as you might expect from a high school in the middle of Los Angeles, the nearly 120-year-old school counts dozens of famous entertainers among its alumni, from Judy Garland in the 1930s to "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester. Here are some of the most famous Sheiks in the business.

In the 1920s and '30s: Chuck Jones, Lana Turner, Judy Garland

In the Los Angeles Times's profile of the school for its 100th anniversary in 2003, the paper noted that Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney were in the same math class. Lana Turner, the paper says, was discovered by Hollywood bigwigs after skipping her typing class and drinking a soda across the street (and counter the legend, at the Top Hat Cafe, rather than at Schwab's down the street). All three stars were on campus at the same time, shortly before they became co-stars in movies like "Love Finds Andy Hardy" (via IMDb).

Other stars from this time period got their start at Hollywood High as well — the school's website lists Bugs Bunny animator Chuck Jones, legendary director John Huston, "King Kong" actress Fay Wray, and actor Lon Chaney Jr. as alumni. Also attending the school (but taking a very different path) were scientists Norris Bradbury and Laurence Johnston, who helped develop the atomic bomb.

In the 1940s and '50s: James Garner, Jason Robards, Carol Burnett

The next two decades saw an explosion of talent at Hollywood High. James Garner, who attended the school briefly in 1945, played on Hollywood High's varsity football team (per the Los Angeles Times). Jason Robards, who would later win Oscars for his roles in "All the President's Men" and "Melvin and Howard," graduated in 1940 and tried to avoid the entertainment career at first (his father's entertainment career declined after "going Hollywood," per IMDb). And in 1951, comedienne Carol Burnett graduated from Hollywood High, returning to the campus in 2012 after her alma mater named an annual award after her, according to the Times Union.

According to the Hollywood High School website, other entertainers who graduated in these decades included the singer Marni Nixon, the "MASH" actor Sally Kellerman, and Bond girl Jill St. John.

In the 1960s and '70s: Barbara Hershey, Keith Carradine, Rita Wilson

Before she went on to star in movies like "Beaches," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "The Last Temptation of Christ," and "The Natural," Barbara Hershey was discovered by her agent while attending Hollywood High School in the '60s, according to IMDb. She attended the same time as Keith Carradine, and while Robert Carradine also attended the storied school, their half-brother, David — who would later become the father to Hershey's first child — is not included on the school's list of notable graduates.

The '60s and '70s also saw students like Meredith Baxter, who later stared on "Family Ties"; Rita Wilson, the future star of "Now and Then"; sitcom star John Ritter; and journalist Judith Miller, according to the Hollywood High website. Also in attendance was the writer Eve Babitz, who later wrote about her time at Hollywood High in her cult-classic book "Eve's Hollywood" (via CR Fashion Book).

In the 1980s: Laurence Fishburne, Sarah Jessica Parker

In the 1980s, the "Matrix" series and "Apocalypse Now" actor Laurence Fishburne attended Hollywood High School — he's now honored in the mural on the side of the school's exterior (via CRA/LA). Fishburne would have gone to school with future stars like "Sex and the City" actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who told The New York Times at the age of 18 that missing prom to film "Footloose" was the biggest regret of her life — and photographer Terry Richardson (via Complex).

A bit later in the 1980s, "Say Anything" actress Ione Skye and "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson graduated from the famed high school. When Anderson received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he reflected on his time at the school. "What's crazy, I went to Hollywood High School, so for years, I would walk up and down Hollywood Boulevard," he said to E! News. "Never in a million years thinking I would be immortalized on the Walk of Fame, and my star is literally across the street from my old high school."

In the 1990s through the present: Brandy, Leighton Meester

Brandy Norwood — better known as just "Brandy" in her acting and music career — attended Hollywood High School until her career took off, and she had to get a private tutor (that's what happens when you get a No. 1 single before you turn 16). Per  The New York Times, Brandy starred as the Los Angeles teenager Moesha Mitchell in the UPN show "Moesha."

Some time later, another Hollywood High star played a famous New York high school student: Blair Waldorf, the heart of "Gossip Girl." In addition, Leighton Meester's unconventional childhood took her to Hollywood High before she ended up at Beverly Hills High, according to Rolling Stone.

Hollywood High doesn't just produce movie stars, though — it is one. It has served as a location for the movies "Better Off Dead," "Nancy Drew" (via Live The Movies), and even a Morrissey concert film (via The Hollywood Reporter).