67 Revealing Photos Of Celebrities Before They Were Famous

Published August 25, 2018
Updated May 26, 2021

When Neil deGrasse Tyson was a jock, Betty White was a babe, and Robin Williams was exactly the man we'd all come to know and love.

Nirvana Celebrities When They Were Young
Nirvana's first photo shoot as a band. 1988.Facebook

Eminem As A Teenager
Eminem on his 18th birthday. 1990.Facebook

Peter Dinklage In High School
Peter Dinklage in high school.Vulture

Robin Williams Celebrities When They Were Young
Robin Williams in high school. Ranker

Prince Young
A 17-year-old Prince at the beginning of his career. 1975.Facebook

Alan Rickman Young
An 18-year-old Alan Rickman in 1964.Facebook

Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers performing in 1986.Facebook

Susan Sarandon Celebrities When They Were Young
Susan Sarandon in 1963.Facebook

Young George Clooney Yearbook Photo
A teenage George Clooney. Odyssey

Tom Hanks Celebrities When They Were Young
Tom Hanks as a high school senior in 1974. BuzzFeed

Young Betty White
Betty White at home in 1954.HuffPost

Ryan Seacrest Celebrities When They Were Young
Ryan Seacrest as a teenager.Ranker

Amy Pohler Young
A high school yearbook photo of Amy Poehler.Gawker

Hillary Clinton Celebrities When They Were Young
Hillary Rodham (later Clinton) at Wellesley College. 1969.Lee Balterman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Madonna Yearbook Photo
High school yearbook photo of Madonna.Vulture

Bill Gates Celebrities When They Were Young
Bill gates at 22, arrested for driving without a license and failing to stop at a stop sign. 1977.Wikimedia Commons

Bill Nye Young
A ninth grade Bill Nye in the science lab.Geekologie

Meryl Streep Cheerleader
Meryl Streep as a cheerleader during her junior year of high school. 1966.Wikimedia Commons

Bill Clinton Meeting Jfk
A teenage Bill Clinton shakes President John F. Kennedy's hand in 1963.Facebook

Drew Carey Celebrities When They Were Young
Drew Carey while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Circa 1978.Facebook

Dwayne Johnson As A Teenager
A 15-year-old Dwayne Johnson in 1987.Facebook

Samuel L Jackson In High School
Samuel L. Jackson as a high school senior. 1965.Facebook

Stephen Colbert Young
Stephen Colbert in 1984.Facebook

Young Jimi Hendrix
A 19-year-old Jimi Hendrix during his time in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. 1961.Facebook

Robert Downey Jr In High School
Robert Downey Jr. in high school.Vulture

Bob Marley Young
A young Bob Marley (middle) with the Wailers in 1964.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Neil Degrasse Tyson Celebrities When They Were Young
Neil deGrasse Tyson once described his high school self as “a nerd who could kick your butt."Factinate

Zooey Deschanel
A high school yearbook photo of Zooey Deschanel.Vulture

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg on his sofa in 1975.Giorgio Ambrosi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Michael Jordan Celebrities When They Were Young
Michael Jordan in his college dorm room in 1983.reddit

Barack Obama Celebrities When They Were Young
A 28-year-old Barack Obama in 1990.Joe Wrinn/Harvard University/Corbis via Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm room at Harvard.YouTube

Bernie Sanders Young
Bernie Sanders circa 1963.Politico

Young Diane Keaton In High School
Diane Keaton in high school.Ranker

Jimmy Fallon Young
Jimmy Fallon in high school.InStyle

Michael And Janet Jackson
Michael and Janet Jackson.Fanpop

Larry David
Larry David in 1981.ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

Jason Alexander Yearbook Photo
High school yearbook photo of Jason Alexander.Vulture

Richard Nixon Young
Richard Nixon at age 17 in 1930. Fox Photos/Getty Images

Gwen Stefani Young
Gwen Stefani with No Doubt in 1987.Twitter

Matt Dillon
Matt Dillon in 1980.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mick Jagger Young
A young Mick Jagger.Twitter

Chris Pratt Young
A young Chris Pratt.Imgur

Steven Spielberg Facts Barrymore
Drew Barrymore in 1982, as seen in E.T..Facebook

Tina Fey Young
Tina Fey and her brother pose for a photo with Elvis Costello in 1986.reddit

Ben Stiller Young
Ben Stiller with his dad, Jerry Stiller, in 1978.Ron Galella/WireImage via Getty Images

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder in 1986.The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Judy Garland Liza Minnelli
A young Liza Minnelli with her mother, Judy Garland, in 1950.Wikimedia Commons

Natalie Portman Young
A young Natalie Portman attending a movie premiere in 1995.Mitchell Gerber/Getty Images

Sean Penn Nicolas Cage
Sean Penn with Nicolas Cage in the mid-1980s. Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Billy Crystal Young
Billy Crystal in 1980.Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage via Getty Images

Jane Fonda Mugshot
Jane Fonda when she was arrested on false drug smuggling charges in 1970.Public Domain

Simon Cowell Young
Simon Cowell in 1987. YouTube

Michael Stipe
Michael Stipe of R.E.M. at the Hollywood Palace in 1984.Ron Wolfson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Lady Gaga Before Fame
Lady Gaga before she became famous.YouTube

Lin Manuel Miranda Young
Lin Manuel Miranda as a child. YouTube

Ronald Reagan Toddler
Ronald Reagan as a toddler in 1914.Wikimedia Commons

Barbara Streisand
Barbara Streisand in 1962.Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Keith Richards Young
Keith Richards in 1965, just before the Rolling Stones took off in the U.S.Wikimedia Commons

Donald Kiefer Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland with his father, Donald Sutherland, circa 1970. Co Rentmeester/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Glenn Beck In High School
Glenn Beck in high school.Vulture

Scott Baio Brooke Shields
Scott Baio and Brooke Shields. 1980.Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage via Getty Images

Jodie Foster Rod Serling
Jodie Foster, with Rod Serling, on the television show Ironside in 1972.NBC Television/Wikimedia Commons

Yearbook Photo Of George Clooney
A yearbook photo of George Clooney.Paper Magazine

Oprah Yearbook Photo
High school yearbook photo of Oprah Winfrey.Vulture

Louis Ck Yearbook Photo
Louis C.K. in high school.Vulture

Jack Nicholson High School
Jack Nicholson's high school yearbook photo. 1955.Bettmann/Getty Images

Photos of celebrities looking perfectly put together and downright glamorous are positively omnipresent in our culture. So it's sometimes nice to have proof that these celebrities too were once young, awkward, and astoundingly normal — or at least beholden to questionable fashion trends of decades past.

Whether it was the outrageous 1980s haircut Amy Poehler once sported or the hippie look you didn't know Hillary Clinton could pull off, the photos above prove that your favorite celebrities didn't always look quite like you'd think in the days before they became famous.

For one, who would've ever suspected that a certain astrophysicist was once a muscular athlete, a self-proclaimed "nerd who could kick your butt." And who would've thought that a future "Sexiest Man Alive" would leave behind one of the dorkiest yearbook photos you've ever seen.

So take some time to enjoy browsing through this gallery of vintage photos of celebrities when they were young. From the cute to the awkward to the impossibly cool, these images are sure to surprise.


If you enjoyed these photos of celebrities when they were young, next check out some captivating photos of vintage celebrity couples. Then have a look at even more old school photos from celebrities' yearbooks.

Kara Goldfarb
Kara Goldfarb is a writer living in New York City.