40 Celebrities You Wouldn’t Believe Were Cheerleaders in School

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Alright, folks, hold onto your hats because we’re about to dive into a side of celebrity life that’s as surprising as finding a pickle in your ice cream—cheerleading! Yup, before they were strutting down red carpets or selling out stadiums, some of our favorite stars were shaking their pom-poms and leading cheers in the hallways of their high schools. So, get ready to uncover the quirky and downright charming pasts of 40 celebrities you’d never guess were cheerleaders back in the day!

40. Chrissy Teigen

From cheering on the sidelines to flipping pancakes like a pro, Chrissy brings the same infectious energy from her cheerleading days to the culinary world—keeping us entertained with her witty banter and delicious recipes.

39. Miley Cyrus

From cheering at pep rallies to pop provocateur, Miley’s transformation has been nothing short of mesmerizing. But beyond the headlines, she’s a powerhouse of talent, using her voice not just in music but also in activism, all while staying true to her wonderfully weird self! Maybe carrying that same spunk from her cheerleading days? We think so!

38. Brooklyn Decker

From pom-poms to red carpets, Brooklyn’s journey from cheerleading to modeling and acting has been nothing short of dazzling. Even in her time away from the spotlight, she continues to spread positivity and use her platform for good. It’s almost like that team spirit from her cheer days never left!

37. Paula Abdul

Dance moves that could rival the greats and a personality as vibrant as her wardrobe, Paula lit up our screens like no other. Even away from her life in the glitz and glamour of the screen, she’s still grooving to her own beat and spreading positivity wherever she goes—very much like the cheerleader she used to be!

36. Fergie

From the cheer squad to the stage, Fergie’s journey from cheerleader to pop superstar has been nothing short of spectacular. To this day, she remains an unrivaled style icon and queen of pop in her own right—reminding us that once a superstar, always a superstar!

35. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is often considered the epitome of a Hollywood rollercoaster ride! From cheerleader to tabloid darling, her journey has been—what some believe—dramatic. While she’s taken a step back from the spotlight, she’s still got that unpredictable charm that keeps us all intrigued. Watch Herbie Fully Loaded and you’ll know exactly what we are talking about!

34. Kylie Jenner

From cheerleading routines to beauty mogul extraordinaire, Kylie’s empire has grown leaps and bounds in the last decade—right in front of our eyes! What began with social media hype about her lip kits and beauty empire turned Jenner into a self-made billionaire. Talk about carrying the grit of a cheerleader!

33. Dakota Fanning

We watched her cheer at halftime, and now she’s cheering us up on the silver screen as a versatile actress taking on challenging roles and leaving us in awe with every performance. To this day, Fanning remains the youngest nominee in SAG history—at the age of eight years—for her film, “I Am Sam”.

32. Denise Richards

With her captivating presence and undeniable talent, Denise became a household name in the ’90s. You might even remember her for that cameo in Friends? She might have been a cheerleader when she was younger but, since then, she has graced our screens with her charisma and reminded us why we fell in love with her in the first place!

31. Madonna

The ultimate cheerleader-turned-pop icon, Madonna’s journey from the sidelines to center stage has been legendary for all those who bore witness to her talent and dedication as a performer. To this day, she’s still pushing boundaries and proving she’s the ultimate icon with her Celebration tour.

30. Eva Longoria

Cheerleader, once. Leading lady, now. Eva’s journey in Hollywood has been as captivating as her performances. While she’s very much a celebrity and powerhouse performer onscreen, she’s also a voice for change and empowerment in the Latino community and beyond. We are already excited to see her in the new season of the hit series, “Only Murders in the Building”!

29. Gabrielle Union

She may have been a young cheerleader once but Grabrielle Union has since blossomed into a the actress we have all come to adore. With her talent and grace, Gabrielle is an onscreen delight as well as a true champion for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.

28. Cameron Diaz

The epitome of Hollywood glamour, Cameron stole our hearts with her infectious energy and million-dollar smile. Cheerleader, first. Charlie’s Angel, next. Diaz is still a shining example of beauty, brains, and badassery. Most recently, she came out of retirement for a new action film along side Jamie Foxx. Anyone getting those Charlie’s Angels flashbacks?

27. Jessica Simpson

From cheerleading to fashion mogul, Jessica’s journey in the spotlight has been as unpredictable as her reality show antics. In public eye, she’s a savvy businesswoman and doting mother but very few know that she loved cheerleading so much, she once considered it as a potential career! Knowing her determination, we would have likely seen her court side during one of those Lakers’ games!

26. Ciara

From the cheer squad to the international stage, Ciara’s journey from cheerleader to music sensation has been electrifying for all of us alike. Appearing at the SAG awards most recently, we can safely confirm that she’s still a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world. If you don’t believe us, ask Russell Wilson!

25. Katie Couric

Katie’s smile and charm in her cheerleading days carried on as she brightened up our screens for years. Couric may not be hosting morning shows anymore but she continues to advocate for important causes like cancer awareness and women’s health issues.

24. Mandy Moore

From cheerleading routines to heartfelt performances in films like “A Walk to Remember”, Mandy’s journey in Hollywood has been as sweet as her voice. A talented singer, actress, and all-around sweetheart, Mandy Moore has continued to deliver award-winning performances. Don’t take our word for it, just ask how heartbroken “This Is Us” fans were when Moore’s character was killed off!

23. Blake Lively

With her impeccable style and undeniable talent, Blake has always been a fashion icon and powerhouse performer. While her cheerleading days may be behind, she still carries the spirit of the game. Yes, we are talking about her iconic, meme-worthy reactions and cheers for the Kansas City Chiefs with bestie Taylor Swift.

22. Halle Berry

Oscar winner and amazing beauty, Halle Berry has captivated audiences with her mesmerizing performances and timeless elegance. From cheerleading to award-winning performances, Berry has always been the kind of leading lady that’s unforgettable—whether it is as Catwoman or Storm. Maybe it’s the promise of such powerhouse performances that we are looking forward to Halle Berry’s upcoming project with Hollywood bombshell Angelina Jolie!

21. Meryl Streep

The grande dame of Hollywood, Meryl’s talent and beauty onscreen span decades. From her cheerleading days to her Oscar-winning performances, she established herself as a living legend and national treasure. Her range of character portrayals—from the struggling, divorced mother Joanna Kramer to the high fashion editor Miranda Priestly—we have been in awe throughout. But don’t mistake this for a thing of past! Meryl Streep has returned to the screen as Loretta Durkin in a recurring role in the hit series, “Only Murders in the Building”.

20. NeNe Leakes

With her larger-than-life personality and sharp wit, NeNe became a household name thanks to reality TV. From her early cheerleading days to life on cameras, NeNe is a force to be reckoned with and a true queen of reality TV! Why take our word for it, just tune into the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” instead!

19. Renée Zellweger

Her cheerleading days seem almost history when you look at Renée’s decades-long career in Hollywood. She has brought the most amazing characters to life with her performances. A true 90s sweetheart, Zellweger revived her most iconic role as Bridget Jones this year. Let’s just say, we are definitely going to do a refresher before this film hits the theatres!

18. Amy Poehler

You thought that old cheerleading photograph looks like a bright young lady, wait till you see Amy Poehler break record with 11 consecutive sold-out shows this year! With her sharp wit and comedic genius, she has been making us laugh for years. Amy Poehler is not just a comedian; she’s a writer, producer, and all-around badass boss lady!

17. Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer’s journalistic style is definitely not for everyone. From her humble beginnings in Louisville to becoming a prime-time news anchor at ABC News, Sawyer built her way to the top in an incisive, unapologetic way. Though many consider her a force of nature for her time, she is often harsh and inconsiderate in her interviews. Most recently, Britney Spears recounted—in her memoir, “The Woman in Me”—how Sawyer pushed her too far with her incessant questions surrounding Spears’ breakup with NSYNC singer Justin Timberlake in 2003. Investigative or intrusive? Make what you will of it!

16. Steve Martin

From the wild and crazy guy to the legendary actor and comedian, Steve Martin has been making us laugh for decades. A beloved figure and comedic genius, Martin still brings joy to those who adore him and those of us who only discovered him when he played the wonderful but slightly bitter Charles-Haden Savage in the hit series, “Only Murders in the Building”.

15. Jayma Mays

Looks like Jayma’s quirky charm and infectious energy that stole our hearts in Glee have always been there! It is this charm and energy that has characterized most of her career and is brought to life in characters like Grace Winslow in “The Smurfs”. Staying true to her light-hearted and comedic presence on-screen, she appeared in other works like “Epic Movie”, “Blind Dating” and “Paul Bart: Mall Cop”. Most recently, Jayma Mays was announced to join the cast of the much-awaited sequel of the hit 2007 film, “Enchanted”.

14. Rachael Ray

The queen of quick and easy meals, Rachael’s bubbly personality and delicious recipes have made her a household name. For 17 seasons, on the Rachael Ray Show, she walked us through cultivating a lifestyle around food that is not only delicious but healthy! A beloved TV chef and cookbook author, Rachael Ray returned to TV in a completely new way with her emotional 10-episode series, “Rachael Ray Rebuilds”. Grab your tissues and settle down, folks!

13. Olivia Wilde

It might be a little difficult to imagine Olivia Wilde as a peppy cheerleader but here you go! The queen of range herself—Wilde is best known for her role as Thirteen on the hit medical-drama series, “House”. But she has come a long way since! Not just an actor, she is also a director with her latest thriller film, “Don’t Worry Darling”, gaining immense popularity for, well, its insanely impressive cast. But don’t let this make you wonder if she’s doing well! Wilde is set to direct a female-centred superhero film as part of the Spider-Man Universe franchise. Talk about a mad cross-over!

12. Alicia Silverstone

From pep rallies to the silver screen, Alicia’s journey from a young cheerleader to Hollywood starlet is a tale worthy regaling. While many adore her for powerhouse performances like Batgirl in “Batman & Robin” and Eve in “Blast from the Past”, she is most remembered for her role as Cher Horowitz in the hit 1995 film, “Clueless”. But don’t mistake this love for Silverstone’s talents fleeting! She is set appear in two films this year alone!

11. Kirstie Alley

From a young cheerleader to a dazzling Hollywood star, Kirstie’s journey in the spotlight is characterized by several award-winning roles. Inducted in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Alley made her debut in the 1982 film, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. But acting isn’t her only talent! Maybe it was the early cheering days but Alley is also a singer and appeared on the Masked Singer in 2022.

10. Ann-Margret

The ultimate Hollywood bombshell, Ann-Margret lit up the silver screen with her beauty and talent. Well after her move away from the spotlight, she remained a beloved icon in the entertainment world. While she starred in numerous award-winning roles in her seven-decade career in films, she had an amazing voice and was often billed as a female version of Elvis Presley! If that wasn’t already cool enough, now at the age of 82, Ann-Margret rides her Harley-Davidson and says that she loves the speed! Talk about iconic!

9. Megan Fox

With her smoldering looks and undeniable talent, Megan Fox rose to fame in early 2000s. A complete style icon and red carpet darling, her breakout role was Mikaela Banes in the hit 2007 action film “Transformers”. She has brought a range of characters to life—from “Jennifer’s Body” to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”. Most recently, Fox revealed plans to star in a voice role for the upcoming 3D documentary film, “Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphins”.

8. Sandra Bullock

The cheerleader turned rom-com queen, Sandra stole our hearts with her charm and talent. From her rogue bus-driving skills that saved lives in “Speed” to her awkward modeling stint as an undercover FBI agent in “Miss Congeniality”, Bullock has always warmed audiences to her characters and their stories. Endearingly dubbed “America’s Sweetheart”, Sandra Bullock continues to star in award-winning films.

7. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

This firecracker of Jersey Shore fame brought the wave drama and laughs to reality TV that we all enjoy today. An adored reality star and mompreneur, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi rose to fame while appearing on the show, ‘Jersey Shore’ in 2009 and has since made several TV appearances in talk shows, web and television series and hosting. Who remembers her in a rather inconspicuous cameo on the hit series, “Supernatural” opposite Jared Padalecki?

6. Kendall Jenner

From cheerleader to fashion icon, Kendall has conquered the modeling world with her effortless style and stunning looks. The highest paid model in the world and owner of her own tequila brand, Kendall’s journey has unfolded in public eye since she first appeared in her family’s reality television show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in 2007.

5. Kelly Ripa

Widely recognized as one of the most powerful people in the media, Kelly Ripa’s charm and brightness from her cheerleading days have remained the same through the years—from “All My Children” to “Live! with Kelly and Mark”. Ripa also appeared as a regular dancer on “Dancing’ On Air” and is best known for her television work.

4. Kirsten Dunst

Dunst rose to definitive fame with the box office hit, “Jumanji”, that she starred in as a young actor but she really put her cheerleading experience to use in the film “Bring It On” released in 2000. Navigating through a range of characters through her career, Kirsten Dunst is perhaps best known for her role as Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man Trilogy (2002-2007). But that’s not to say that her stars are all in the past! Most recently, Dunst won an Oscar for her performance in “The Power of the Dog”, where she starred opposite her real-life partner Jesse Plemons.

3. Olivia Munn

Munn may have been a cheerleader but she began her career in the entertainment world as a television host. Pivoting to acting shortly after, she appeared as Sloan Sabbath in the political drama series “The Newsroom”. Most recently, Olivia Munn starred in “The Gateway” where she delivered a powerhouse performance. Don’t take our word for it, go check it out for yourself!

2. Kathie Lee Gifford

She may have been a bright-smiled cheerleader once but Kathie Lee Gifford is widely known as a person of many talents. She is not only an actress but also a singer and songwriter who has been part of the musical theatre from the late 1990s. Guess that cheerleading spirit stayed with her!

1. Jennifer Lawrence

Who doesn’t know The Jennifer Lawrence or should we say “Katniss”? Recognized as Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, Jennifer Lawrence may have been a teen cheerleader but she has since become a worldwide personality with her role in “The Hunger Games” film series as Katniss Everdeen. As it turns out though, her cheerful disposition through the highs and lows of her career have remained untainted. Most recently, Lawrence produced “Bread and Roses” about Afghan women under Taliban rule.

So, there you have it, folks—40 celebrities who once rocked the sidelines with pom-poms in hand, proving that life’s journey is full of unexpected twists and turns!

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