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  • Celebrities' back-to-school confessions

    FOX 411 | Editor

    School is back in session for many, but not everyone looks forward to the first day of class. Some of TV and film’s top stars have admitted that their time in school, before the fame and adulation they have today, was not a pleasant experience. You might be surprised at some of the A-listers who suffered the wrath of mean girls and bullies, but the teasing they survived may also be part of the secret to their current success and strength in Hollywood.

    Our friends at compiled a starter list of celebs who had a hard time in high school. But, if success if the best revenge, then these former awkward kids have come out on top.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at /Quasar/

    Christina Hendricks in High School, 1993

    Then mocked for her Goth hair-color and style, Christina told the press, “I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and was bullied like crazy. I was a bit of a Goth with purple hair and I was also part of the drama group, so my friends and I were all weird theater people and everyone just hated us. There was a long corridor with lockers on either side and kids would sit on top of them and spit on you.… Kids can be pretty judgmental about people who are different. But instead of breaking down and conforming, I stood firm.”

    And now millions of men would weep for a chance to be in the voluptuous star’s presence.

    Christina Hendricks Today

    These days the striking red-haired beauty is turning heads for all the right reasons — her drama days have clearly paid off. Nominated for three Emmys for her portrayal of Joan on “Mad Men”, she has no doubt also been the object of affection for many past classmates—who are still just watching from the sidelines. Next up, she’ll be starring in former “Drive” costar Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, “How to Catch a Monster.” (Sounds like one good-looking film.)

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Jaguar/AdMedia/Imagecollect5

    Tom Cruise (Thomas Mapother IV) Then: A Senior at Glen Ridge High School, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, 1980

    Tom told “Parade” magazine that happiness is “being able to confront and overcome problems. It’s not running away but trying to see life in its full glory.” As someone who’s overcome being mocked for dyslexia, being the new kid at 14 different schools, and a stint in seminary school to become a priest, he must have a pretty full view of life. (Now he’s just made fun of for being an excitable Scientologist.)

    Tom Cruise Today

    Though the age-defying 50-year-old is still as busy as ever, Cruise’s positive outlook is once again being put to the test as he goes through a divorce with Katie Holmes after just five years of marriage. (Maybe the fourth time is the charm in his case.) Next up, you can see him in the title role of “Jack Reacher,” in theaters this December.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, KRISTIN CALLAHAN - ACE PICTURES/Imagecollectb

    Sandra Bullock at Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia, 1979

    America’s sweetheart wasn’t always Miss Congeniality. Before she had a team of stylists and makeup artists to bring out her best, Sandy was picked on for not fitting in. She told the press, “I’d come back from Europe [she'd go to Germany with her opera singer mother Helga], and I looked like a clown compared to the cool way the other students looked and dressed. So I got my a** whooped a little bit. Kids are mean, and the sad thing is that I can still remember the first and last names of every one of those kids who were mean to me!” (We think you can take assurance in knowing they know yours too, Sandra.)

    Sandra Bullock Today

    From outcast to trendsetter, Sandy has a resilience that’s kept her on top, with credits like “The Blind Side” (for which she won an Oscar), “The Proposal” (for which she got to grope a naked Ryan Reynolds’s abs), and, of course, being little Louis’s adoptive mom. She’s currently filming “The Heat” with Melissa McCarthy.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

  • Weird country crossover stars

    FOX 411 | Editor

    Country music is the most popular radio format in the United States. It also has the largest and most loyal fan base, making it a lucrative arena for any pop or rock star looking to expand their fan base, and their bank account.

    Plenty of popular musical artists have Southern or country-influenced pasts, but it takes guts and confidence — and some country cred — to make a move from a pop/rock genre into country and its legions of loyal fans. Our friends at take a look at some of the most unexpected, yet highly successful, country cross-overs from pop and rock.

    See the entire gallery music stars who crossed over to country at

    Keep Reading…

  • Musicians who found religion — some of them may surprise you!

    FOX 411 | Editor

    You probably know about some of the more famous musicians who have made their faith public—Cat Stevens’ conversion to Islam, Bob Dylan’s to Christianity from Judaism—but there are many more whose stories are a surprise.

    Sometimes it’s actually a rediscovery (many of them grew up in religious households, turned away from faith, and then rediscovered it later). So who are these stars who found God, religion or decided to change faiths? A few are below and you can check out the entire gallery at

    PETER WEST - ACE PICTURES/Imagecollect

    Alice Cooper is Born Again
    Shock rocker as born-again Christian? Alice Cooper is living proof. The guy who brought us “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell” and the anthemic “School’s Out,” and lyrics like “I love the dead before they’re cold/ Their bluing flesh for me to hold” is, in fact, a devoted Christian.

    Born Vincent Furnier, Cooper grew up in the church; both his father and his grandfather were evangelists. But when he formed a band, he realized that there was a dearth of villains in the music scene. So he consciously constructed the ultimate bad-guy image, even while his early music had a very Christian message—turning away from Satan (whom Cooper describes as “the slickest car salesman you ever saw”).

    After years of alcoholism and rehab, Cooper straightened out his life with the help of his faith. “I’m the perfect example of the prodigal son,” Cooper said on a Christian TV show.

    Cooper founded the faith-based Solid Rock organization, which gives kids a productive, creative alternative to drugs and violence. Still, the violent imagery in his stage show (guillotines and all) may seem, you know, kind of at odds with his Christianity.

    But he doesn’t see it that way.

    “Alice is a character,” he told the press. “And between me and the Lord, the Lord knows that.”

    See all 12 musicians and rockers who found religion at


    Bob Marley Was Baptized
    Undisputedly the most recognizable and revered reggae artist of all time, Bob Marley was only 36 when he died of cancer.

    His songs—including “One Love,” “Get Up Stand Up” and “War”—were not only great music; they spoke to social justice (and injustice) in Jamaica and beyond. The politics described so vividly in his lyrics were closely tied to his Rastafarian beliefs.

    Although Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq spoke publicly after Marley’s death about having baptized him in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church about a year earlier, Marley’s conversion was kept mostly under wraps during his life. (There is a close correlation between the two faiths, but with several fundamental distinctions.)

    “Bob was really a good brother, a child of God, regardless of how people looked at him,” Yesehaq said in an interview. It remains controversial to this day, as he is still so closely associated with Rastafari.

    RELATED: Kristen Stewart asks: Why me?

    Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

    Ringo Starr Found Religion Again
    What happens to a musician who, in his 20s, becomes part of the most popular band the world has ever known? If you’re Ringo Starr, you go wild for a while, collaborate with lots of other musicians… and search for God.

    Starr attended an Evangelical Anglican church as a child but has only rediscovered the importance of religion in his life in recent years. “Being on this quest for a long time, it’s all about finding yourself,” Starr told the Los Angeles Times. “For me, God is in my life. I don’t hide from that…. I stepped off the path there for many years and found my way [back] onto it, thank God.”

    Starr continues to record and tour with varying lineups of his All-Starr Band.

    See all 12 musicians and rockers who found religion at

    Larry Busacca/WireImage

    Prince Became A Jehovah’s Witness

    Few contemporary musicians are as universally revered as Prince. He’s influential as a singer, songwriter, mentor, and activist for artists’ rights.In addition to sexy lyrics and dance moves onstage, Prince was once known for his proclivity for wearing revealing clothes.

    But in the early 2000s, after a series of heartbreaking events including the deaths of both his son and his parents, he became a Jehovah’s Witness and all that changed.

    Now he even goes door-to-door asking people if they’d like to talk about God.

    “There’s an incredible peace in my life now and I’m trying to share it with people,” Prince told the U.K. press.

    He has also turned his considerable talent and charisma toward worship—check him out praising Jehovah at the 2005 NAACP Image Awards.

    RELATED: Michael J. Fox returning to television

    See all 12 musicians and rockers who found religion at

  • 30 Years Later! Where Are They Now? 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

    FOX 411 | Editor

    “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” released this week in 1982, not only launched the acting careers of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, and Sean Penn, it wove the catchphrase “Hey, bud, let’s party!” into the fabric of American teen and college speak everywhere.

    The iconic film was inspired by a series of articles for “Rolling Stone” magazine penned by a then 15-year-old unknown (now big time director) Cameron Crowe, who went on to write the “Fast Times” script. It’s hard to believe it has been 30 years since the film’s release, and our friends at help us look back at the film that made “Jeff Spicoli” a household name.

    Keep Reading…

  • 'American Idol' stars who dropped weight and look great

    FOX 411 | Editor

    Part of being an entertainer is dealing with your style, weight and personal life under the media’s microscope. And young unknown singers who gain overnight fame on the stages “American Idol”, in particular, can be the subject of some nasty blog posts and relentless attention just because of their weight. But, on their own terms, many have recently trimmed down and toned up in an appropriate and healthy way. Take that, haters. But seriously, these former ladies of “Idol” look great and helps us celebrate their new healthier lifestyles and all their hard work.

    See the entire gallery of pop stars who dropped weight and look great at

    (KRISTIN CALLAHAN – ACEPIXS.COM, Byron Purvis/AdMedia)

    Jordin Sparks—Then (2007): “Sparks” is the perfect last name for this vivacious performer. She won the 6th season of “American Idol” with her tremendous stage presence—well beyond her 17 years—and big voice. Her father is former New York Giants cornerback Phillippi Sparks—and with those genes, it’s no wonder Jordin grew to reach a very healthy-looking 6 feet tall.

    ”American Idol” Singers That Didn’t Win- Where Are They Now?

    Jordin Sparks—Now: All grown up now (at 22 years old), Jordin shed her more girlish looks and has embraced and improved her curves. After touring with A-List headliners like Alicia Keys, the Jonas Brothers, and Britney Spears and having massive radio hits like “No Air,” the singer recently dropped 50 pounds. She’s also the star in the forthcoming movie “Sparkle”—with the late great Whitney Houston.

    From high school nerds to music superstars! Check out these photos at

    (Paul Smith/Featureflash, Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

    Kelly Clarkson—Then (2009): Not only did Kelly Clarkson win the first season of “American Idol,” she went on to become an international pop sensation, having sold over 20 million records worldwide. The two-time Grammy winner has been criticized in the media for her weight and style choices throughout her career, but since she began her stint as a judge on “Duets,” Kelly has emerged a new (slimmer) woman.

    ”American Idol” Singers That Didn’t Win- Where Are They Now?

    Kelly Clarkson—Now: Clarkson has reportedly dropped 30 pounds with the help of her boyfriend Brandon Blackstock’s personal trainer. The subject of her weight still makes Clarkson uncomfortable, and she insisted on a TV interview, “I sound the same regardless if I’m 20 pounds heavier or 20 pounds lighter, and I think that’s the key thing with my fans and why they continue to be loyal.”

    Check out these photos of the Jackson family before the fame at

    ( TLeopold/Globephotos, James Orken/Starlitepics/AdMedia)

    Lauren Alaina—Then (2011): Lauren Alaina charmed America on the 2011 season of “American Idol” with her incredible vocal talent and sparkling personality. She lost the title to Scotty McCreery, but it was clear the country music industry would be ready to snap her up. Soon after “Idol,” Alaina signed a record deal with Interscope/Mercury Records and released her first album, “Wildflowers,” on October 11, 2011.

    Guess the celebrity based on their baby photo at!

    Lauren Alaina—Now: Lauren will turn 18 in November, and maybe in order to match her new grown-up age, the singer has a new look. She’s trimmed down and toned up and looks more sophisticated—and even reminds us of her fellow Idols Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. Either way, Lauren is a breath of fresh air in this music industry and reality TV realm.

    See all 16 photos of pop stars who dropped the weight and look great at

  • How these rock stars met their wives

    FOX 411 | Editor

    We all know it is not hard for rock stars to meet the ladies. Heck, that is why some of them even started bands in the first place [Hel-LO, Mr. Gene Simmons!] But what about finding that one singular love that makes even the biggest rock god get down on his bended knee to propose? Our friends at take a look at some of the sweetest couplings in hard rock to reveal how these music stars met their match –and married!

    Ted Nugent and Shemane Nugent in the 1980s and Now

    (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc., Albert L. Ortega/

    How they met: The “Cat Scratch Fever” rocker and notorious outspoken outdoorsman Ted Nugent met Shemane Deziel while a he was guest on Detroit’s WLLZ-FM radio station and she was a member of their news staff.

    Ted and Shemane Nugent Today: Ted and 2nd wife Shemane married on January 21, 1989 and had a son Rocco. Seems the couple also work together: Mrs. Nugent filmed, hosted and produced the award-winning show “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild” for the Outdoor Channel. She is also the author of “Married to a Rock Star” [natch] and a Zumba fitness expert [random].

    See the entire gallery of rock stars and their wives at

    Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea in the 1980s and Now

    (, Dennis Van Tine/

    How they met: Jon Bon Jovi met his one and only wife Dorothea in a high-school history class –and even admitted to copying her answers while they were students at Sayreville War Memorial High in (where else?) New Jersey. They had a quickie wedding at Las Vegas’ Graceland Wedding Chapel in 1989, and have been giving love a good name ever since!
    Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea Today: In the rock world, relationships can be hard to sustain, but these childhood sweethearts just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary this year. The couple have 4 children, ranging from ages 8 to 18, and spend time as a family between their luxury multi-floor apartment in Soho in NYC and, of course, New Jersey, where they have a palatial estate.

    See the entire gallery of rock stars and their wives at

    Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed in 1989 and Now

    (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

    How they met: Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed met the old fashion way (for rock stars and models): at a party at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills in 1983. The man known as the “Demon” for the rock band Kiss met the centerfold model (and now his recent bride) and says he used this line to land her: “There are no skeletons in Gene Simmons’s closet.”

    Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed Today: Gene and Shannon moved in together just 3 years after meeting in 1986 and raised two kids, but didn’t actually marry until 28 years later in 2011. Shannon only said yes after threatening to leave Gene for his philandering ways, which resulted in and lots of family therapy (all filmed for their hugely popular reality TV show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels”).

    See the rest of the gallery of rock stars and their wives at

  • The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team before they were stars

    FOX 411 | Editor

    The whole world is watching new sports stars being born each day during the latest Summer Olympics in London. And although the 2012 Summer Games haven’t been without their share of controversy, there have also been tremendous moments of sportsmanship, personal triumph and breathtaking performances. To celebrate, our friends at share pics of some of Team U.S.A.’s shining stars, before they were in the center of the world’s spotlight.

    See the entire gallery of current Olympic stars before the fame at

    (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

    Hope Solo as Young Girl and Now
    Soccer phenom Hope Solo showed her girly side in this family picture from her senior yearbook at Richland High School, Richland, Washington in 1999. Today, all grown up, the U.S. women’s soccer team goalie has never backed away from speaking her mind—even when it means courting controversy. She recently told ESPN, “There’s a lot of sex going on” at the Olympic Village. Solo—who plays for the Seattle Sounders Women and won a gold medal with the 2008 U.S. Olympic team—is a tomboy who is also known for her sense of style, evident even in this early photo. Last year, Solo and her “Dancing with the Stars” partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it all the way to the semifinals on the TV show; let’s hope that Hope and her team make it even farther in these 2012 Olympics.

    See all 26 photos of current Olympic stars before the fame at

    (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

    Misty May As a Junior in 1994 and Now
    Even as a kid, Misty May was an avid beach volleyball player, competing at age eight with her dad in her first tournament. She went on to help her high school team win two championships—and played against her future partner Kerri Walsh in both high school and college. In 2000 she and her then-partner Holly McPeak qualified for the Sydney Olympics but finished a disappointing fifth. In 2001 she teamed with Kerri Walsh, and the two have been the most dominant force in women’s beach volleyball ever since, winning gold in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and trying again for a third in 2012.

    Check out Misty’s partner Kerri Walsh’s pre-fame school photo at


    McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross As Kids and Now

    Sure, they’re teammates—and, sometimes, competitors. But in the case of two U.S. Olympic gymnasts, the connection goes far deeper (and a lot longer). McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross, her 15-year-old teammate, met as six-year-olds in the same gymnastics club and have been BFFs ever since. As Maroney wrote on her Facebook page, “Once upon a time two little best friends from California were dreaming about the Olympics… They trained together, both make the Olympics… And the rest is history.”
    See all the Olympic stars’ before the fame photos, including Michael Phelps and many more, at

  • Rock stars who settled down

    FOX 411 | Editor

    Rock stars and maniacal masters of metal are supposed to act wild, crazy and out of control, right?

    Since the beginning of rock-and-roll, the stars on the stage have often taken things too far and had their lives spiral out of control due to too much drink and/or drugs. However, many of these talented stars also end up with happy endings once they settle down to care for new families or work with charities and organizations that seem to give them as much joy as playing any stadium. Our friends at round up a few rebellious rockers to see how they’ve tamed the fame beast over time.

    Gene Simmons of Kiss in the 1980s and Now

    (Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images, carrie-nelson/ImageCollect)

    Who knew the Demon in the band Kiss loves to sleep in onesies with feet and has never touched drugs in his life?

    While he may have steered clear of both drink and drugs, despite all those years on the road with the infamous Kiss band, women were definitely an addiction for him. Luckily for Gene, and fans of his reality TV show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” he finally kicked all those girls to the curb to marry and commit himself to his true love (and mother of his two grown kids), Shannon Tweed.

    See the entire gallery of rockers who settled down at

    James Hetfield of Metallica in the 1980s and Now:

    (Pete Cronin/Redferns/Getty Images, Paul Smith / Featureflash)

    Guitarist and lead vocalist for the Grammy-winning metal band, Hetfield battled alcoholism, and his struggle to stay sober is seen in the film “Some Kind of Monster.” These days, an off-duty Hetfield is like any other “Joe” working in his garage customizing cars, or even sketching, also a favorite hobby.

    See the entire gallery of rockers who settled down at

    Slash of Guns N’ Roses in 1988 and Now:

    (Larry Marano/Getty Images, Russ Elliot/AdMedia)

    You don’t get on Rolling Stones list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” without some rock star antics to go with all that talent. Slash has admitted to “Dancing With Mr. Brownstone” (using heroin), but these days, the married father of two lives clean in LA and is even a trustee of the LA Zoo Association.

    See all 24 photos of rock stars who settled down at

  • Then/Now: Pop Stars B.S. (Before Stylists)

    FOX 411 | Editor

    For stars who command today’s concert stages, everything is perfectly coordinated and styled to enhance their successful musical personae. But today’s pop supserstars didn’t start out with stylists, choreographers, and a crew of hundreds backstage.

    They did, however, start out with terrible hair!

    Take a look at these pics our friends at sent over to see what some music stars looked like when they were left to style themselves solo in their earliest years.

    Keep Reading…

  • 'Modern' mama Sofia Vergara turns 40

    FOX 411 | Editor

    Our friends at help us celebrate Sofia Vergara’s 40th birthday on July 10th by looking back at her transformation from adorable baby to blonde bombshell to everyone’s favorite red-hot “Modern Family” mama, with the sexiest and thickest Latin accent we still can barely understand.

    Keep Reading…

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