20 Celebrities Who Went to Boarding School (PHOTOS)

Jackie Strause | Nov 9, 2015 Celebrities
20 Celebrities Who Went to Boarding School (PHOTOS)

Welcome to the lifestyles of the rich and famous — and privately educated. From posh Brits to scholarly Americans, you might be surprised to discover which famous alumni hail from boarding school alma maters.

Whether in the states or across the pond, they all have one thing in common: These celebrities raise the bar when it comes to being elite.

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  • Tom Hardy

    1

    Image via Michael Hurcomb/Corbis

    Before enrolling in drama school, the London native studied at Reed's School, a boarding school for boys in Surrey, England. The Mad Max: Fury Road star recently opened up about his troubled youth and how he was expelled for stealing.

  • Emilia Clarke

    2

    Image via Panckow/Corbis

    Games of Thrones' dragon queen earned her boarding school education at St. Edward's School and Rye St Anthony School in Oxford, England -- but it wasn't because her parents wanted to send her there. "My brother was already going, and I fancied his friends," she says.

  • Owen Wilson

    3

    Image via Xavier Collin/Corbis

    The actor co-wrote Rushmore from his own experience at St. Mark's prep school in Dallas. Wilson was expelled before graduating and sent to finish high school at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell so he could learn to "follow the rules."

  • Emily Blunt

    4

    Image via KCS Presse/Corbis

    Though it wasn't her first choice, the actress is thankful for her days at Hurtwood House in Surrey, England, because it launched her acting career. While performing at the sixth-form (ages 16 to 18) school, Blunt was spotted by an agent who then cast her in his play -- and he still represents her today. "So I guess it all worked out. That's pretty trippy to me," she says.

    More from The Stir: 20 Celebrities Who Graduated From Ivy League Schools (PHOTOS)

  • Eddie Redmayne

    5

    Image via Katy Winn/Corbis

    The Oscar winner was among royalty when he sat beside Prince William during his years at the famed Eton College in Bershire, England. The classmates were even a part of the same elite group, which consisted of popular upper classmen. "I haven't seen him since I left school, but he was a lovely man," says Redmayne about the Duke of Cambridge.

  • Julie Bowen

    6

    Image via Xavier Collin/Corbis

    The Modern Family star left her Maryland hometown to attend high school at the elite St. George's School in Rhode Island. The campus, known for its stunning architecture, was like a fantasyland to Bowen. "It basically is Hogwarts. It's so beautiful," she says.

  • James Van Der Beek

    7

    Image via Splash News/Corbis

    The actor attended the elite Cheshire Academy in his Connecticut hometown. After suffering a concussion at age 13, the then-football fanatic turned his sights to acting and landed the role of Danny Zuko in his school's production of Grease.

  • Talib Kweli

    8

    Image via Nicky Digital/Corbis

    While in boarding school at the Cheshire Academy, the rapper wrote a play that his classmate James Van Der Beek starred in.

    More from The Stir: 16 Celebrity High School Dropouts Who Made It Big (PHOTOS)

  • Steve Carell

    9

    Image via Joe Russo/Corbis

    The comedian attended the prestigious all-boys Middlesex School in his hometown of Concord, Mass., where he got a well-rounded education. "I had always done plays for fun. But it had never been anything in my mind to try it professionally," he says.

  • Uma Thurman

    10

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    The Boston native attended the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, but left boarding school at 15 to pursue her dreams of acting. She moved to New York and landed a role in Dangerous Liaisons shortly after in 1988.

  • Matthew Perry

    11

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    The Friends star was born in Massachusetts but raised in Ontario and attended Ashbury College in Ottawa. He became a top-ranked junior tennis player while there, which he credits for his adult career: "I had this incredible drive on the tennis court, and that translated into acting."

  • Rosamund Pike

    12

    Image via Facundo Arrizabalaga

    The Gone Girl seductress and London native joined the theater while at the all-girls Badminton School in Bristol. Later, while in college, she wanted to leave to attend drama school but, ironically, no one would accept her.

    More from The Stir: Then & Now: 10 Awkward Female Child Stars Who Grew Up to Be Gorgeous (PHOTOS)

  • Felicity Huffman

    13

     Image @ Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Splash News/Corbis

    The actress, who grew up in Aspen, attended The Putney School in Vermont before switching to the fine arts boarding school Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She made her TV debut in 1978 while she was still in high school. 

  • Benedict Cumberbatch

    14

    Image via Stephen Lam/Corbis

    The London native's boarding school education began at 8 years old. He attended the all-boys Brambletye School followed by the prestigious Harrow School, which served as a filming location in the Harry Potter films. While promoting The Imitation Game, the Oscar-nominated actor was praised for candidly discussing sexual experimentation at Brambletye.

  • Matthew Fox

    15

    Image © Michael Murdock/Splash News/Corbis

    The Lost star says his father's decision to send him away to boarding school saved his life. Growing up in the small town of Bend in Wyoming, Fox says he and his brothers eventually pushed being reckless to a dark place and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts was a "nudge in the right direction."

  • Damian Lewis

    16

    Image via Fulvio Dalfelli/Corbis

    Like Eddie Redmayne and Prince William (and Prince Harry), the Homeland star once walked the famous halls of Eton College. Lewis never crossed paths with the Duke of Cambridge until the Homeland fan presented Lewis with the prestigious OBE award at Buckingham palace years later. 

    More from The Stir: What 10 'Dowdy' TV Actors Look Like in Real Life (PHOTOS)

  • Kiefer Sutherland

    17

    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    The actor wasn't the easiest student during his boarding school years in Ontario. "It's been many years since we had a boy who showed so much leadership, but it's leading him in all the wrong directions," his mother recalls hearing from his high school teachers at St. Andrew's College.

  • Jane Fonda

    18

    Image © INFphoto.com/INFphoto.com/Corbis

    The award-winning actress looks back fondly on her education at the all-girls Emma Willard School in Tory, N.Y., saying it's where she learned not to be afraid of her intelligence. "My father was really smart to send me there," she says. "I think if I had been in a situation with boys I would have gotten into a lot of trouble."

  • Donald Trump

    19

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    The reality mogul turned Republican presidential candidate has said that he always felt like he was in the military because of his education at the New York Military Academy in the early '60s.

  • Glenn Close

    20

    Image via PictureLux/Corbis

    When she attended Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Connecticut, the award winner was a member of the drama club and a group called "The Fingernails," which consisted of her and four friends putting on skits and rewriting pop songs. 

    More from The Stir: 10 Oddest Celebrity College Majors

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