Before They Were Famous: 15 Celebrities Who Used To Be Teachers

October 31, 2014  |  
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Before Hollywood came calling, these celebrities earned their checks by educating the kids. But we don’t know how any work got done with some of these celebrities at the head of the class.

Jesse Williams

Could you concentrate in class if Jessie Williams was your teacher? The Grey’s Anatomy hunk taught public high school in Philadelphia until he got his big break.

Jon Hamm

The Mad Men star used to teach acting to 8th graders in Missouri — and Ellie Kemper from The Office was one of his students!

Jill Scott

We guess owe the kids in Jill Scott’s class a debt of gratitude. Before Jill Scott broke into the music world, she was a student at Temple University studying to be a high school English teacher.

But after putting in a few years as a teacher’s aide, Jill decided that she disliked teaching so much that she dropped out of school and turned to music.

Hugh Jackman

Could you imagine Wolverine as your gym teacher? The world found out that Hugh Jackman’s teaching past during a red carpet interview in Zurich.

Jackman interrupted journalist Rollo Ross mid-interview to tease his former student saying, “Rollo, I’m sorry mate, but we go way back. I used to teach you at a high school in P.E., and I want to know how your physical education is progressing. It’s very important to me.”

Barack Obama

Just four years before he became the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor and senior lecturer at the University Chicago.

Gene Simmons

Before Amber Rose’s future father-in-law was in Kiss, he was a 6th grade teacher at P.S. 75 in Spanish Harlem. Lucky for the kids, that was before all the makeup.


Before she was on American Idol, Fantasia spent her days working at a daycare center.

Sylvester Stallone

It’s not hard to imagine Sly Stallone teaching gym at the American College of Switzerland where he was a drama student. It’s harder to get your mind around the fact that he got that job after dropping out of beauty school.

Mr. T

Laurence Tureaud also taught gym before he broke into pro wrestling and TV. It helped him pay his way through Chicago’s Paul Lawrence Dubar Vocational Career Academy. Do you think he “pitied the fool” who couldn’t climb the rope fast enough?

Roberta Flack

After her father died, music legend Roberta Flack turned to teaching to help her cope. She taught students in North Carolina and Maryland English and music before making it big a few years later.

Sheryl Crow

Before she got her big break as a backup singer for Michael Jackson, Sheryl crow taught music to the kids at Missouri’s Kellison Elementary.


Sting may be one of the world’s most famous singers, but teaching never really left the former Police singer’s heart. Ever since he taught English for two years at St. Paul’s First School in Cramlington, England he’s been outspoken about the need to increase teachers’ salaries.

Bill O’Reilly

Back in the 70’s, the original “No Spin Zone” was at Miami’s Monsignor Edward Pace High School where Bill O’Reilly taught English and History.

Billy Crystal

Famous funny man Billy Crystal taught a ton of different subjects while working as a substitute teacher in Long Island.

Stephen King

Before the legendary horror writer got paid to scare the pants off of people, he was an English teacher at Hampden Academy in Maine. But then Stephen published Carrie and realized that he didn’t belong in schools. Unfortunately, Carrie didn’t either. To this day, the famously scary story of a student’s revenge is still banned from a lot of schools.

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