Model Camille Kostek was a cheerleader in high school before becoming a familiar face for brands like Reebok. After playing lacrosse in college and joining the dance squad, Kostek went on to be a professional cheerleader.
At 19, she began as a cheerleader for the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League. She later made it onto the New England Patriots cheer team. She retired in 2015 and was a host on various TV shows for CBS, ABC, and Fox.
Known for her steely demeanor and sharp interview skills, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had a preppier side back in high school. Before she was the “never back down” reporter, she was a cheerleader in a small-town high school.
Born in Illinois to a nurse and a college professor, Megyn Kelly was a cheerleader throughout high school. But she would soon leave those days behind and later graduate from Syracuse University with a law degree. Kelly credits her days as a lawyer for helping her keep her cool when interviewing tough subjects.
Actress Hilarie Burton played a cheerleader on the teen soap opera “One Tree Hill,” but she was also one in real life. Showing a lot of school spirit, Burton was homecoming queen during her senior year being student council president and, of course, in the cheer squad.
Burton starred in a handful of other projects and was a host on Total Request Live. These days she enjoys the quiet life with her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan and their kids.
YouTuber Emma Chamberlain took her cheerleading very seriously and was considered a competitive cheerleader. She described herself as a “sassy” cheerleader who was on the California All-Stars Pink cheer squad.
Emma was in competitive cheerleading for five years and was also on her high school team but was later dismissed for an undisclosed reason. But today, the twenty-year-old influencer and businesswoman is bust with other ventures and is worth about 8 million dollars, so it’s doubtful she misses those cheerleading days!
Kenza Zouiten Subosic
The Swedish influencer who has a well-followed and curated blog was a former cheerleader. She was an all-star cheerleader. Kenza was an elite cheerleader while growing up in Stockholm, but her millions of followers are probably already aware of her cheer past.
The founder of the clothing label, IvyRevel, has garnered quite a social media audience but (according to at least one Instagram post) is also still as agile and athletic as she was in her cheerleading days. Go Kenza!
Sisters often do things together and the Kardashians, as many know, are no exception. Kendall was a cheerleader, and so was Kylie. She eventually was homeschooled, but Kylie was on the cheer squad at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California, before that.
She may have been a cast member of the most well-known reality TV shows in the history of reality TV, but Kylie also had moments where she was just a regular high schooler. Today, however, she’s still known as a reality star and a businesswoman.
Katie Couric is famous worldwide for journalism, thanks to appearing as the global anchor for ‘Yahoo! News’ and ’60 Minutes’, two of the most famous news programs around. But this famous news face spent plenty of her time as a cheerleader at the various high schools she attended as a teen in and around Arlington, Virginia.
She certainly had some moves back in the day, as you can see from the picture here, and she’s already working on her journalist’s smile as well.
Before she was a world-famous diva, the beautiful and talented singer, Christina Aguilera, used to cheer her little heart out in North Allegheny Intermediate High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And right after her cheerleading career, she joined Disney’s ‘The Mickey Mouse Club,’ which was just the beginning of a wildly successful career.
In 1999, Aguilera broke music records with her hit track, ‘Genie in a Bottle.’ Her career skyrocketed after that, and this music star went on to produce several albums, win five Grammys, and even act in significant blockbusters, like ‘Burlesque.’
Chrissy Teigen has a long history of making the internet go wild with every picture she posts, but even before she was a famous model, she danced with the rest of the cheerleading team at Snohomish High School.
She posted an Instagram picture of herself with a few of her old teammates in the Panthers’ red and white uniform, and her eye-catching black hair and heart-stopping smile are already on display.
Samuel L. Jackson
Here’s one you probably didn’t predict showing up on this list. The Big L was part of the cheerleading squad at Morehouse College, and by his admission, he joined the squad to meet more women. There’s just one problem there, Morehouse was an all-boys college.
Jackson initially attended college to get a degree in marine biology. Still, after joining an acting troupe for class credit, a switch flipped, he changed majors, and he ended up getting a Bachelor of Arts in Drama degree. Movie history began, and we’ve been enjoying this energetic actor ever since.
Lucy Hale is famous for her role as Aria Montgomery in ‘Pretty Little Liars’, but before she showed up on your screens, she was a cheerleader for a great deal of her life. She’s also been singing and acting since she was young, even appearing as a competitor on the show ‘American Juniors’ show.
She first added her skills to movies with ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2’ in 2008 and has only gone on to bigger and better things since. Believe it or not, her first love is music, and while it may not be what most people remember her for, she released an album in 2014: ‘Road Between.’
Years before she was on your TV screen whipping up delicious food, Rachael Ray led the cheers at the Lake George High School in Lake George, New York.
While Rachael nowadays spends her time creating magic in the kitchen or appearing on multiple shows for the Food Network, she used to shake the poms with the best of them, adding her smile and shouts to the team. She even has her name on her line of kitchenware.
While in high school, Miss Rycroft was part of the… drill squad. I didn’t see that one coming, did you? However, Rycroft was so good at her chosen activity that she led the squad and then became a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys.
Her TV debut came from CMT’s ‘Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,’ but she appeared on ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ She’s also appeared as a host on CMT’s ‘Redneck Island.’
Before she became the Queen of Pop, Madonna was the child of blue-collar Italian immigrants attending Rochester Adams High School. Like Fergie, she was a straight-A student and a cheerleading squad member, proving she’s more than a pretty face. As you may be surprised to know, she’s also a natural brunette, and it’s a shame she decided to pull pop culture towards blonde.
Madonna dropped out of the University of Michigan (even after getting a dance scholarship) and moved to New York City in 1978 to become a pop star.
Brooklyn Decker might still look like a teenager even now that she’s in her thirties, so how young must she have looked when she was attending and cheering for Butler High School in Charlotte, North Carolina? The model-turned-actress was also the school’s senior class president before becoming a world-famous name and face, appearing in blockbuster movies such as ‘Just Go With It,’ ‘Battleship,’ ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting,’ and ‘Stretch.’
She’s also had plenty of appearances on television shows such as ‘Grace and Frankie’, ‘New Girl,’ and ‘Friends with Better Lives.’
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a whole life. Ginsberg made history as the first Jewish woman (and the second woman in history) to land a Supreme Court Justice.
One of the faces of feminism, Ginsburg also dipped her feet into cheerleading when she attended Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. At that age, she would have never imagined that she would go on to be worth about $18.1 million as a Supreme Court Justice.
To the surprise of her actor father and talent scout mother, Blake Lively wasn’t initially interested in performing, preferring a quiet life out of the spotlight. But eventually, her genetics, or maybe enough begging from mom and dad, won out.
While Blake was taking classes at Burbank High School, she not only had to leave time for homework but also for her cheerleading, as well as working as an actress for the movie ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,’ the first of many movies she has appeared in, which include; ‘The Town,’ and ‘The Shallows.’ She’s also had some prominent TV roles, most notably, ‘Gossip Girl.’
Another politician who was involved in cheerleading was Mitt Romney. Well, technically, the former Republican presidential candidate was on the Pep club, but at least he showed some school spirit!
Unfortunately for Romney, he received some light chastisement while on the campaign trail for his former cheerleading. It seems that while cheerleading is considered primarily a feminine activity today, in decades past, no one thought any differently of guys and girls cheerleading together. Hopefully, this idea will soon be revived.
Life is all about balance, which may be why Rashida Jones has ended up so successful. She not only shook her pom-poms during her grade school days, but she was also part of the math club and a member of the National Honor Society.
She seemed to do everything as a kid, which helped her land roles starting with ‘Myth America’ in 1998, as well as ‘The Muppets,’ ‘The Social Network,’ ‘I Love You, Man,’ and ‘Toy Story 4’, for which she was a co-story writer.
Yet another actress on the list took things the wrong way around: Dakota Fanning was acting long before she became a cheerleader during high school. There were plenty of roles to choose from for this young actress, including on television shows like ‘ER,’ ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’ ‘The Practice,’ ‘Spin City,’ ‘Ally McBeal,’ and ‘The Ellen Show.’
Already a well-known name in Hollywood, when Fanning returned to her education and the more social aspects of school, she also joined the varsity cheerleading squad at Campbell Hall School – and she was voted the homecoming queen, to nobody’s surprise.
Kathy Griffin has been a gut-busting comedian for a long time, and unlike the picture of Streep, it might be hard to tell who it is in this picture, but it is indeed the redheaded joker at a young and spry seventeen years old. She’s come a long way since she was atop the pyramid as part of Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois.
There’s no doubt she added plenty of spirit to her team’s spirit squad. She’s also had several movie credits, including ‘The Cable Guy’ and ‘Suddenly Susan’.
George W. Bush
Former U.S. President George W. Bush wasn’t always a senior man in the White House. Before he was one of the most recognized men on Earth, Bush was a preppy cheerleader at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He cheered with a megaphone, was head cheerleader of his squad during senior year, and played baseball.
He attended Yale University and Harvard Business School, which eventually led him to the coveted position of being president of the free world.
While most of the names on this list used cheerleading to build skills, get noticed, or start performing, for famous Kendall Jenner, the opposite is true. This ultra-famous gal sometimes felt all the fame getting to her and would escape from the limelight by donning a blue and white uniform and shaking a few pom-poms.
As a member of the varsity squad of Sierra Canyon School, Kendall used this high school activity to, ironically, forget about being in the public eye instead of escaping into the world of competitive dance.
Since she’s the daughter of famous country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, it’s no surprise Miley has made her way into the spotlight time and time again. Before appearing as the dual-living character on ‘Hannah Montana,’ seven-year-old Cyrus was already getting eyes on her as a cheerleader for the Tennessee Premiere soccer team in her Franklin hometown.
Performing is in her blood, but even the most prominent names on this list usually get their start in high school. But not Miley – she was ready to start her career before even hitting ten.
There must be something about cheerleading that helps on the path to acting. Is it physical training? Spending time convincing people to think a sure thing? Is it just a correlation? Whatever the reason, yet another famous actress, Kirstie Alley, cheered at her school, the Wichita Southeast High School in Kansas.
Photo By D Dipasupil/gettyimages.com
After dropping out of Kansas State, she moved to Hollywood and made it big, acting in the famous sitcom ‘Cheers’ and much more. She’s even successfully escaped from Scientology.
Jesse James Decker
Even while auditioning with the Nashville Labels, Jessie James Decker was a burgeoning fifteen-year-old cheerleader. She was rejected at that young age, but she didn’t give up, and within a few years, she gained recognition thanks to her hit songs.
She’s now not only a famous country-pop singer and songwriter, but she’s also made her mark on reality television with her husband, former NFL wide receiver Eric Decker, and she’s even branched out into the fashion world with her line of fetching clothing.
After serving in the military, future TV mogul Aaron Spelling was a cheerleader at Southern Methodist University. At the time, no one would have ever guessed the cheerleader would have gone on to be one of the most well-known businessmen in the world of TV.
Cheerleading requires a healthy amount of enthusiasm, athleticism, confidence, and comfort in front of a crowd. It seems that cheerleading attracted future politicians and those who were going to later be in the public eye.
Model, singer, and reality star Brooke Hogan was already used to the spotlight. As the daughter of wrestler “Hulk” Hogan, she was naturally set to star in the family’s reality series, “Hogans Knows Best.”
Brooke was a high school cheerleader while attending school in Clearwater, Florida. She also made an appearance alongside her dad in a WWE special in 2015. Today, Brooke has a decorating company that caters to Airbnb. But she is also still focused on her music career and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Actress Arielle Kebbel, probably best known for her roles in teen films and TV shows like “American Pie,” “John Tucker Must Die,” and “Gilmore Girls,” also had a cheerleading background.
Arielle was a cheerleader while attending Winter Park Highschool before she dove headfirst into modeling and, later on, acting. Since her breakout roles during her late teens and early twenties, fans can spot Arielle in various, smaller TV projects, such as “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector” and “After We Fell.”
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Going back to the ladies, a Republican Texan senator had her stint as a cheerleader while she was at the University of Texas, Austin. Hutchison was 19 when she was on the squad and eventually graduated from the University with her Bachelor’s degree.
Before entering her political career, Hutchison was even a cheerleader (if only for a brief time) for the Texas Longhorns! An exclusive opportunity for almost any young woman and especially for the woman who would be the first female Texan to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
While Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, doesn’t have a cheerleading team, it does have a “step team,” which is precisely like a cheerleading team, but it has a different name. However, according to Olivia Wilde, stepping is “another form of cheering.” If you say so, Wilde.
Wilde is incredibly famous and well-known around the world as a beauty and actress. Still, she isn’t the most famous person from her school, or even from her “step team” – that honor belongs to former president George W. Bush, who has much older photographs that feature him wearing a similar outfit to the one Olivia is sporting here.
From high-powered attorney to reality show star of ‘Real House Wives of Atlanta,’ Phaedra Parks got her start as an adorable cheerleader in Clarke Central High School in Athens, Georgia.
She passed the time cheering for her team as part of the squad, but when she graduated in 1990, she pursued a career in law, leading her to get cheers not only on the field or court but also in the courtroom.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Before she became one of the stars of ‘Jersey Shore,’ everyone’s favorite miniature Italian-American was part of the cheerleading team at her high school in Marlboro, New York.
The sport wasn’t a springboard to fame like many of the people on this list. Polizzi has commented how difficult the team was for her, especially regarding her weight, “Cheerleading was my life in high school, but it wasn’t always easy for me. I started to be anorexic. Some freshmen were seventy pounds, and I was, like, my spot as a flier would get taken away. So I ended up starving myself.”
Jessica Simpson’s beauty and fame are almost unmatched, and she, like many others, got her to start performing as a cheerleader while attending Richardson North Junior High School in Texas. While she dropped out of school at fifteen to pursue her singing career, she became one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys.
While Simpson was at J.J. Pearce High School, she impressed Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, who immediately signed her to a record deal.
Jennifer Lawrence has always been a busy gal, spending plenty of time acting in the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and even the long-running ‘X-Men’ series. She was also busy in high school, playing softball, basketball, field hockey, and screaming out cheers in Louisville, Kentucky.
Business has led to success for this famous young actress, with plenty of her roles requiring athleticism, strength, and stamina that she might not have developed without all those extracurricular activities.
The vivacious, spirited Leakes has reached fame and fortune thanks to her role on the popular E! Reality series ‘Real House Wives of Atlanta.’ She’s had a life of high-energy antics, and from a young age, she led people in cheers and dances back in grade school.
She’s been putting on a good show with pom-poms for a long time, and the picture above shows she, like so many of the other stars in this article, have an engaging, natural look, and no doubt got the entire stadium – or the soccer field – cheering along with her.
Paula Abdul has done plenty, including dancing, acting, and working as a choreographer, but she’s mostly known as a singer and songwriter. However, not only did she get her start as part of the cheer squad at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles (while also succeeding as an honors student), but after graduating, she took her skills to the pros to become a Laker Girl – becoming head choreographer – and cheering on the likes of Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson.
Before long, Abdul had been spotted by talent scouts and started her rise in Hollywood, and nowadays, you can see her at the judges’ table on ‘American Idol.’
The late Kirk Douglas was a world-renowned actor, but his first shot at fame came as part of his cheerleading squad in Amsterdam High School in Amsterdam, New York. Douglas was already working on his acting skills at the high school before making his big film debut at the age of thirty, in 1946’s ‘The Strange Love of Martha Ivers’ alongside Barbara Stanwyck.
Douglas soon became one of the leading box-office stars, starring in serious dramas, westerns, and war films. He appeared in almost a hundred films throughout his life.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Yet another leader of the free world who at one time revved up sports fans with their enthusiasm, Franklin Roosevelt, was a cheerleader at Harvard University. The Ivy league cheerleader was on the squad for three years in total, from 1900 to 1903.
Despite his athletic past, Roosevelt sadly developed polio later in his life and was wheelchair-bound even during his presidency. There was no cure for his paralysis (which was from the waist down), but he could find some relief through hydrotherapy.
There are several political figures on this list. Still, it may not be surprising to see Ronald Reagan here, considering he was an actor before becoming the 40th President of the United States.
In his youth, Reagan was a member of the cheer squad at Eureka College in Illinois. But he was also a jock and the captain of the swim team and being on the football team. It seems Reagan was never afraid to be front and center.
Brooke Shields was once considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. Even though she started a career in modeling, she took an interest in acting and made her big debut when she played Emmeline in the 1980’s ‘The Blue Lagoon.’ But before she was stranded on a deserted island, Shields was a very spirited cheerleader at her private school in New Jersey.
She was incredibly excited when she finally made the cheerleading squad. Little did she know this was just the first of countless wins in her life.
The former Mississippi Senator was very busy while attending Mississippi State University. He was a cheerleader and an Ole Miss representative, and President of the Sigma Nu Chapter.
Cheerleading seems to be a prerequisite to entering the political field later on in life. Perhaps it’s the need to lead a crowd with an optimistic attitude that attracts many future politicians to cheerleading. Lott was on the team with another future senator, Thad Cochran.
The two-time presidential candidate who attended Texas A & M University, Texan governor, Rick Perry, likes to say that he wasn’t a cheerleader but a “yell leader;” Maybe this description sounds better to him?
Texas A & M is a military-type university, and being a cheer, um, we mean yell leader, is a position of honor. Perry was chosen for the position through the votes of his peers and ended up becoming “the face” of the athletic department. It seems like his early life was political even before he entered politics.
Fellow cheer squad member to Trent Lott, Thad Cochran was a cheerleader for the University of Mississippi. He was on the squad for both his freshman and sophomore years and was voted onto the team by his peers like Lott. Seems highly political.
Cochran compared the voting for the cheer squad to a political election and said that it was his fraternity that convinced him to take a step toward the team. He even made the bold move to switch to being a cheerleader after already being an established football player.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
That’s right! The 34th President of America also knew how to bring it on. Giving hope to all the current cheerleaders with presidential aspirations, put your hands together for Dwight D. Eisenhower!
The former president didn’t start as a member of the squad. Instead, he first joined his West Point school’s football team. He had his sight set on football until an injury made him change course and join the cheerleaders.
Jimmy Stewart certainly had a life outside of and before he was an actor. He chose to enter into the latter part of World War II and later became a colonel in the Army Air Corps. He even participated in 20 combat missions that led to a handful of medals.
But, before that, he was a cheerleader. While he attended Princeton, Stewart decided to join the cheerleading squad for junior and senior years. It seems like being part of a team was hardwired into the famous actor.
Yet another young lass who used her amateur skills as a cheerleader to take herself to the next level of fame, Jayma Mays, appeared on the Glee as Emma Pillsbury, constantly locking horns with her horns cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.
An image has surfaced of her bright red ringlets, bright smile, and playful posture, along with a bunch of other members of her squad, putting proof to the pudding that it’s a good idea to give it your all, even in high school. It might just make you famous!
Michael was excited to follow in his father’s footsteps, and just like dear old dad, Michael Douglas was part of the cheerleading squad at his school, Choate Preparatory School. The Douglas men don’t disappoint, and Michael soon made the jump to the screen.
His first role was as a Jeep driver in ‘Cast a Giant Shadow’ (1966), but if you’ve been watching the Marvel movies, you’ve probably seen him as a scientist, Hank Pym, alongside another male cheerleader, Paul Rudd.
Thanks to a red, white, and blue cheerleading uniform, Alicia Silverstone looks all the more patriotic in this image of her posing with the rest of her squad. But despite being the poster child for all-American beauty, Alicia was born to British parents while living in San Francisco.
Silverstone got her to start performing at San Mateo High School, cheering on the Bearcats, but she never guessed she would become an A-lister and star in movies like ‘Clueless,’ ‘Batman & Robin’ tons more.
The beautiful Sela Ward wore a cheerleading outfit before she was a talented actress, author, and producer. He screamed cheers for the Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama. After graduating in 1977 with a degree in fine art and advertising, she pursued an acting career.
Ward had her big break as Teddy Reed in the famous NBC series, ‘Sisters’, for which she won an Emmy.
Perhaps one of the most senior members of this list, Ann Margret Olsson was born in 1941 in Sweden and was a singer, dancer, and cheerleader at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, after her family moved. She held star potential in her hand even back then, judging from the big smile and eye-catching pose she’s holding.
The Swedish-American actress appeared in legendary films, such as ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ ‘Carnal Knowledge,’ ‘Grumpy Old Men,’ ‘The Cheap Detective,’ and almost a hundred more as one of Hollywood’s ultimate leading ladies and sex symbols.
Witherspoon has been showing off her acting skills for a long time now, in movies such as ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Walk the Line,’ but long before she had her current fame, she was part of her school’s cheerleading squad.
The famous actress posted a black-and-white picture of herself at the top of a human pyramid, cheering the Generals on to victory many years before she debuted in 1991’s ‘The Man in the Moon.’
There’s no denying Stacy Keibler is an attractive woman, but she used her smarts to take herself higher and higher. While she started out using her athleticism as a cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens, she jumped straight to professional wrestling with the WCW from 1999 to 2001. At that point, she moved to the competing WWE, going on to have five years of regular appearances.
She now writes for Stuff magazine and modeling, acting in films, and appearing as a TV host.
The incredible shrinking man was one of the “y’all leaders” at Overland Park High School in Kansas. His infectious smile and endearing personality also helped him get elected as Student Body President. Flips, jumps, and bringing energy to the crowd indeed has some kind of use while acting, but we’re not sure what.
There aren’t many male cheerleaders on this list, but it may surprise you to know they were once far more prevalent. In fact, until around the 1950s, cheerleading was made up of primary males!
Want a fact that’s sure to surprise you? While attending Morningside Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida, famous beauty and Hollywood superstar Megan Fox was the subject of cruel bullying. She was part of the cheerleading squad both at this high school and an earlier one in Tennessee.
But the eye-candy of the ‘Transformers’ franchise wasn’t to be denied, and after moving to California, she began acting, eventually starring alongside Lindsay Lohan as, drum roll, a cheerleader, in ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.’
Danielle Brooks starred in ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ but before she did that, and before graduating, she was part of the cheerleading team at her school. She ended up quitting because she was uncomfortable or nervous about the skirt that was part of the uniform, but she used it as a growing opportunity.
In a letter to herself that the actress shared online, she wrote: “You quit cheerleading because of how you felt you looked when you were wearing a skirt? OK! Never quit anything again because you’re scared of what others might think of you – unless you become an exotic dancer, the only exception. But even then, only quit because you want to.”
Before appearing on shows such as ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ’30 Rock’, and ‘Parks and Recreation,’ Poehler was part of the Burlington High School cheerleading team, wielding pom-poms and pumping up the crowd during football games, pep rallies, and much more.
Poehler attended high school from 1986 to 1989 and then went to Boston College to get a degree in communications. After that, she made her way to Windy City, where she worked on her comedic skills and became the TV and film actress we know today.
Mandy has done plenty throughout her years in Hollywood – not only did she star in 2001’s ‘The Princess Diaries’ (wielding pom-poms in the film as Lana Thomas), but she also put on a hit song at the tender age of fifteen in “Candy.” She’s starred in ‘A Walk to Remember,’ and has a starring role on the show ‘This is Us’.
But Mandy got her start as a star cheering on the local Pop Warner football team, which undoubtedly helped her get the acting and active skills that have ended up taking her far in life.
The star of the hit TV series ‘Ally McBeal,’ Calista Flockhart, was used to being in the spotlight early. Back when she was a young teenager attending Shawnee High School in New Jersey, she used to hold pom-poms and cheer like it was nobody’s business. Then, in the ’80s, she attended the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she met fellow actress Jane Krakowski.
The two future famous actresses would start in ‘Ally McBeal’ and then go their separate ways to have amazingly successful careers.
Zellweger is a cool cucumber now, but like most of us, she was once a high school student trying to find her way through life. At the same time, she was at Katy High School in Katy, Texas. Zellweger showed off her athleticism and ability to manipulate the crowd as part of the cheer squad.
Renee has kept up with the flips and dips, once appearing on the ‘Jimmy Fallon Show’ to show her physical abilities. After appearing in ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary,’ Zellweger went on to dominate the box office every time she showed her face.
While Gabrielle Union was born in Omaha, Nebraska, her family moved when she was eight to Pleasanton, California, and when she entered high school, Union became a cheerleader. She took her skills to the big screen in the 2000 movie ‘Bring it On,’ fittingly about cheerleaders.
Union plays the main character’s cheerleading rival, Isis. According to Gabrielle, sports are a big deal in the Union family, who once said: “In my family, if you couldn’t talk Cornhusker football, then you don’t get to have an opinion.”
Famous American model Cynthia Bailey has fanned out to become a reality TV star and actress. However, before she grew into the gorgeous woman she is today, Bailey used to beam as a cheerleader at Deshler High School in her hometown of Alabama.
Fortunately for her, Bailey left Alabama at the young age of 18 to pursue a career in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.
During her half-century in the entertainment biz, Sally Field has done plenty, including starring in hit movies like ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. She even has two Academy Awards to her name and has had big TV roles in shows like ‘The Flying Nun’ and ‘Gidget.’
However, since she was a teen, Field has been performing as a cheerleader for Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California.
Was Fergie on the cheer squad because they knew she would go on to create lasting and essential pieces of music such as “My Humps” or “Where is the Love?” Or did they welcome her into the fold because she was a pretty face? We may never know. We know she was born Stacie Ann Ferguson, not only a cheerleader but a straight-A student at Glen A. Wilson High School.
She studied dance before going on to replace the original Black Eyed Peas singer Kim Hill. Additional fun fact: when she was a child, Fergie was acting in a voice role, giving us Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally Brown.
Famous redhead Lindsay is the daughter of a former Wall Street trader and grew up on Long Island in New York. Before switching to homeschooling, she was part of the cheerleading team for both Cold Spring Harbor High School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School.
But her Hollywood career began before she started high school, when she was a child model for famous fashion icons like Calvin Klein and Abercrombie, and even appeared in TV spots for Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, and Jell-O. Lohan made the jump to the silver screen in 1998 with ‘The Parent Trap,’ where she played two characters who were twin sisters.
Jenna Dewan’s killer dance moves have been on display since 2006 when she appeared as the female lead in the dancing movie ‘Step Up,’ alongside pre-fame Channing Tatum. Before getting her start, Jenna was your everyday high school student living in Texas, cheering on the home team before breaking into the entertainment business, thanks to appearing as a backup dancer for superstar Janet Jackson in 2001.
The dancer/actress recently shared a throwback Thursday pic of her in a cute red, white, and blue cheerleading getup.
Kelly Ripa has always had an affinity for performance while growing up in Southern New Jersey. When she attended Eastern Regional High School, she became a cheerleader with a winning smile. Her drama teacher, Jim Beckley, encouraged her to pursue acting, and Ripa found her calling in life.
She dropped out of college, landing a significant role in ‘All My Children.’ She’s gone on to do plenty during her long career, including appearing as the host of ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan.’
The first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Actress did plenty while attending Bedford High School in Cleveland. As the daughter of a hospital manager and a psychiatric nurse, Halle Berry was a cheerleader, an honors student, the school newspaper editor, and even wore the crown as prom queen.
Her television debut came in 1989, and two years later, she reached the big time with a breakout thanks to Spike Lee’s ‘Jungle Fever.’ Her Oscar came in 2001 when she acted in the film ‘Monsters Ball.’
Denise Richards was an athletic Illinois tomboy before becoming a cheerleader for El Camino High School in Oceanside, California. Once moving beyond schooling, Richards took the nineties by storm in shows like ‘Saved By The Bell’ and ‘Married with Children,’ before meeting her now ex-husband Charlie Sheen.
If you’ve ever wondered how Sheen learned how to spell “winning,” we may have just discovered the answer. Richards has recently appeared in ‘Reality Queen!’, ‘My Adventures with Santa,’ and ‘Adventures of Dally & Spanky.’
You’ve certainly seen Steve in some of his blockbuster comedy films, thanks to a career that has spanned more than five decades, but before he grew to fame in the sixties, he was a member of his high school cheerleading squad in Garden Grove, California.
The man who would become one of the most beloved and famous funny-men in the world also tried his hand at writing cheers for the squad to perform, but they ended up not using them for one reason or another. Don’t worry, young Steve; your time will come.
Wow, another award-winning actress who got her start as a cheerleader. Sandra Bullock has been in numerous incredible movies and television shows, but guess what? She was once a cheerleader. She led pep rallies at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia.
However, Bullock already had her eye on the prize since she was a big part of the school’s theater productions before graduating in 1982. Sandra certainly wasn’t blind-sided by fame, if her personality indicates that that time in high school got her started young.
Meryl Streep is one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, much-loved worldwide thanks to her kind demeanor, acting prowess, and cheerfulness. One sleuth managed to dig up her high school yearbook in 2012 and found photographic evidence that Streep was a varsity cheerleader at Bernards High School in New Jersey.
The picture features Streep – instantly recognizable – wearing her classic cheer uniform and sporting a kind smile. She went on to make her mark with the help of Blockbusters like ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘Out of Africa,’ and ‘Doubt.’
Kathie Lee Gifford
By the age of fourteen, Kathie Lee Gifford was a cheerleader, having been born in Paris but moved to Bowie, Maryland, by the age of four. This future famous name won Maryland’s Junior Miss Pageant in 1970, which gave her a springboard to stardom.
After graduating from high school, Gifford went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and studied drama and music. After a fifteen-year run on ‘Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee’, there aren’t many people who don’t recognize this cheerleader.
Unlike many of the names on this list, cheerleading wasn’t just a fun activity for Mexican-American actress Eva Longoria. For her, it led directly into her Hollywood career. While cheering at Roy Miller High School in Corpus Cristi, Texas, and Texas A&M-Kingsville, Longoria appeared in pageants and won the Miss Corpus Cristi pageant in 1988.
Soon after, a theatrical agent in Los Angeles discovered her, and the rest is history. Longoria is best known as Gabrielle Solis in the ABC series ‘Desperate Housewives’.
In the movie ‘ Bring It On, she had the main role as a cheerleader, Torrance Shipman. It should come as a shock to nobody that Kirsten Dunst was a real-life pom girl up until the movie came out.
Dunst signed with the Ford Modeling Agency at an unbelievable three years old while living in New Jersey and appeared in over a hundred commercials before her big break. As her career grew, she was a cheerleader at Laurel High School and Notre Dame High School.
Ciara Princess Wilson, now known just as Ciara, acted as the captain of Riverdale High School’s cheerleading squad and said she loves everything about the sport: the dancing, the energy, and the excitement.
In an interview, the famous R&B singer said: “Unfortunately, I couldn’t be as involved as I wanted to be because it was the year when my music started to become even more important to me.” It turns out the music was worth it since she has multiple platinum albums, with millions of copies sold.
Olivia Munn spent a great deal of her life in Japan, where her stepfather was stationed in the Air Force. However, when her mother and stepfather split up, Olivia returned to her mother’s home in Oklahoma, where she cheered as part of the Putnam City North High School squad. She went to school for journalism and moved to Los Angeles to pursue show business.
This combo led her to become the host of ‘Attack of the Show,’ which discussed pop culture, general news, and previews of video games, movies, and digital media. She has since jumped to movies, playing Psylocke in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse.’
Born only a few months after World War II, Sawyer once revealed she felt overshadowed by her older sister. That all changed when cheerful blonde Diane joined the cheerleaders at Seneca High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and then started to gain attention after a lifetime of living like a loner.
After cheerleading, Sawyer spent three years promoting the Coca-Cola Pavilion at the World’s Fair and began appearing on television in 1978 – she remains there today, still showing up on ABC news.
Cameron Diaz may have only become famous after starring in 1994’s ‘The Mask,’ alongside Jim Carrey. Still, she was already on her way during her teen years, appearing as a fashion model for brands such as Calvin Klein and Levi’s. But even before all of that, this famous blonde was a top cheerleader at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
There’s nothing like pretending to be excited for basketball to help build your acting skills.