This article contains a list of your 5 favorite and famous Hollywood actors with no formal acting degree.
Acting as a career require no formal education for entry- as long as you have the talent to act truthfully under imaginary circumstances. The door is wide open and there is no limitation to how far you can go in an acting career. Everyone can act, as long as you can pretend to be who you are not or lie and make people believe you- isn’t acting an act of make-believe? but the truth is, not everyone can act for film. Film or stage acting requires some skills and talents that go beyond just pretending or lying to make-believe. Actors literally become the character they are playing beyond a reasonable doubt using their make-believe skills. Skills that are inherent and can be learnt. Skills such as voice tone, expression, emotion, eloquence, language, persona and every other necessary skill to bring a character to life.
Some people are naturally born actors, they have the required skills in them with no formal training but this does not in any way mean going to a film or theatre school is a waste of time. We can see the impact of formal acting training in the works of Viola Davis, Lupita N’yongo, Denzel Washington and many other exceptional actors. As job seekers apply for jobs and go for interviews, actor apply for acting roles and go for audition. Close in auditions are done for known actors who have starred in major films while up coming actors are called for open auditions. Some people with no formal training have made names in the acting world by attending auditions to get roles in films, stage plays and TV commercials.
LIST OF 5 FAMOUS ACTORS WITH NO ACTING DEGREES
These are 5 of the famous actors without an acting degree or let’s say some of these actors entered the industry with no formal training, learnt the nitty-gritty of acting and grew to become household names.
1. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise is an American actor and producer. He has received various accolades for his work, including three Golden Globe Awards and three nominations for Academy Awards. With a net worth of $570 million as of 2020, he is one of the highest-paid actors in the world. In addition, his films have grossed over $4 billion in North America and over $10.1 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest-grossing box office stars of all time.
Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in Syracuse, New York, on July 3, 1962, the son of special education teacher Mary Lee and electrical engineer Thomas Cruise Mapother III. His parents were both from Louisville, Kentucky, and had English, German, and Irish ancestry. One of his cousins, William Mapother, is also an actor who has appeared alongside Cruise in five films. Cruise grew up in near poverty and had a Catholic upbringing.
He first became involved in drama in fourth grade, under the tutelage of George Steinburg. He and six other boys put on an improvised play to music called IT at the Carleton Elementary School drama festival. Drama organizer Val Wright, who was in the audience, later said that “the movement and improvisation were excellent. It was a classic ensemble piece”. In sixth grade, Cruise went to Henry Munro Middle School in Ottawa. Cruise’s father died of cancer in 1984. Cruise briefly took a church scholarship and attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio; he aspired to become a priest before he became interested in acting. He went on to star in the school’s production of Guys and Dolls. In 1980, he graduated from Glen Ridge High School in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
At age 18, with the blessing of his mother and stepfather, Cruise moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. After working as a busboy in New York, he went to Los Angeles to try out for television roles. He signed with CAA and began acting in films. He first appeared in a bit part in the 1981 film Endless Love, followed by a major supporting role as a crazed military academy student in Taps later that year. The rest is what we all know as history.
2. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is an actor known for his portrayal of unconventional characters in films like ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise.
Johnny Depp landed his first authentic film role in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). He began studying acting in earnest, the lessons paying off in 1987 when he landed a role on the TV show 21 Jump Street. He has since become known for his willingness to take on darker roles in films such as Edward Scissorhands (1990), Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), as well as his starring efforts in the big-budget Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Johnny Depp was born John Christopher Depp II, in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to parents John and Betty Sue Depp. Depp’s father worked as a civil engineer and his mother served as a waitress and homemaker. The youngest of four children, Depp was withdrawn and a self-admitted oddball.
In 1983, at the age of 20, Depp met and married 25-year-old makeup artist Lori Allison. That same year, the couple moved to L.A. with Depp’s band in the hopes of striking it big. Still living on a shoestring budget, Depp and his band mates supported themselves by selling pens for a telemarketing firm.
A year later, Depp fell into acting when his wife introduced him to her ex-boyfriend, actor Nicolas Cage. Cage saw potential in Depp and introduced the hopeful musician to a Hollywood agent. After several small roles as an extra, Depp landed his first legitimate movie role in the horror film Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
3. Jason Statham
Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. He was a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished twelfth in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model, black market salesman and finally, of course, actor.
He received the audition for his debut role as Bacon in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) through French Connection, for whom he was modelling. They became a major investor in the film and introduced Jason to Guy Ritchie, who invited him to audition for a part in the film by challenging him to impersonate an illegal street vendor and convince him to purchase fake jewellery. Jason must have been doing something right because after the success of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) he teamed up again with Guy Ritchie for Snatch (2000), with co-stars including Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio Del Toro.
After Snatch (2000) came Turn It Up (2000) with US music star Ja Rule, followed by a supporting actor role in the sci-fi film Ghosts of Mars (2001), Jet Li’s The One (2001) and another screen partnership with Vinnie Jones in Mean Machine (2001) under Guy Ritchie’s and Matthew Vaughn’s SKA Films. Finally, in 2002 he was cast as the lead role of Frank Martin in The Transporter (2002). Jason was also in the summer 2003 blockbuster remake of The Italian Job (1969), The Italian Job (2003), playing Handsome Rob.
Throughout the 2000s, Statham became a star of juicy action B-films, most significantly Crank (2006) and Crank: High Voltage (2009), and also War (2007), opposite Jet Li, and The Bank Job (2008) and Death Race (2008), among others. In the 2010s, his reputation for cheeky and tough leading performances led to his casting as Lee Christmas in The Expendables (2010) and its sequels, the comedy Spy (2015), and as (apparently) reformed villain Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw (2019).
4. Brad Pitt
William Bradley Pitt actor and producer prized as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt’s most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography.
Pitt was born William Bradley Pitt on December 18th, 1963, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and was raised in Springfield, Missouri. He is the son of Jane Etta (Hillhouse), a school counsellor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company manager. He has a younger brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt, and a younger sister, Julie Neal Pitt. At Kickapoo High School, Pitt was involved in sports, debating, student government and school musicals. Pitt attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism with a focus on advertising. He occasionally acted in fraternity shows. He left college two credits short of graduating to move to California. Before he became successful at acting, Pitt supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for “el Pollo Loco”.
Pitt’s earliest credited roles were in television, starting on the daytime soap opera Another World (1964) before appearing in the recurring role of Randy on the legendary prime time soap opera Dallas (1978). Following a string of guest appearances on various television series through the 1980s, Pitt gained widespread attention with a small part in Thelma & Louise (1991), in which he played a sexy criminal who romanced and conned Geena Davis. This led to starring roles in badly received films such as Johnny Suede (1991) and Cool World (1992).
Pitt’s career hit an upswing with his casting in A River Runs Through It (1992), which cemented his status as a Multi-talented actor as opposed to just a pretty face. Pitt’s subsequent projects were as quirky and varied in tone as his performances, ranging from his unforgettably comic role as stoner roommate Floyd in True Romance (1993) to romantic roles in such visually lavish films as Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) and Legends of the Fall (1994), to an emotionally tortured detective in the horror-thriller Se7en (1995). His portrayal of frenetic oddball Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys (1995) won him a Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
5. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color (1990) but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994) and The Mask (1994) established him as a bankable comedy actor.
James Eugene Carrey was born on January 17, 1962, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and is the youngest of four children of Kathleen (Oram), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey, an accountant and jazz musician. The family surname was originally “Carré”, and he has French-Canadian, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. Carrey was an incurable extrovert from day one. As a child, he performed constantly, for anyone who would watch, and even mailed his résumé to The Carol Burnett Show (1967) at age 10. In junior high, he was granted a few precious minutes at the end of each school day to do stand-up routines for his classmates (provided, of course, that he kept a lid on it the rest of the day).
Carrey’s early adolescence took a turn for the tragic, however, when the family was forced to relocate from their cosy town of Newmarket to Scarborough (a Toronto suburb). They all took security and janitorial jobs in the Titan Wheels factory, Jim working 8-hour shifts after school let out (not surprisingly, his grades and morale both suffered). When they finally deserted the factory, the family lived out of a Volkswagen camper van until they could return to Toronto.
Carrey made his stand-up debut in Toronto after his parents and siblings got back on their feet. He made his (reportedly awful) professional stand-up debut at Yuk-Yuk’s, one of the many local clubs that would serve as his training ground in the years to come. He dropped out of high school, worked on his celebrity impersonations (among them Michael Landon and James Stewart), and in 1979 worked up the nerve to move to Los Angeles. He finessed his way into a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he impressed Rodney Dangerfield so much that the veteran comic signed him as an opening act for an entire season. During this period Carrey met and married waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter (Jane). The couple would later go through a very messy divorce, freeing Carrey up for a brief second marriage to actress Lauren Holly. Wary of falling into the lounge act lifestyle, Carrey began to look around for other performance outlets. He landed a part as a novice cartoonist in the short-lived sitcom The Duck Factory (1984); while the show fell flat, the experience gave Carrey the confidence to pursue acting more vigorously.
Carrey also worked on breaking into film around this time. He scored the male lead in the ill-received Lauren Hutton vehicle Once Bitten (1985), and had a supporting role in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), before making a modest splash with his appearance as the alien Wiploc in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988).