The Mathletes Club here at UsedWigs High have compiled a classroom full of actors who were well past their teenage years when they portrayed high-schoolers on the big and small screens. Age calculations are based on when the film was released or the year the character debuted on the TV show. The information was gleaned from IMDB.com.

Update! “Vic Morrow was 26 and Sidney Poitier was 28 when The Blackboard Jungle was released.”

ACTOR BORN FILM/TV SHOW YEAR AGE
Stockard Channing 1944 Grease 1978 34
Curtis Armstrong 1953 Better Off Dead 1985 32
Sean Patrick Thomas 1970 Save the Last Dance 2001 31
Eric Christian Olsen 1977 Fired Up! 2009 31
Olivia Newton-John 1948 Grease 1978 30
John Cho 1972 Better Luck Tomorrow 2002 30
Derek Luke 1974 Friday Night Lights 2004 30
Alan Ruck 1956 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 1986 30
Frank Whaley 1963 Swing Kids 1993 30
Stacey Dash 1966 Clueless 1995 29
Gabrielle Carteris 1961 Beverly Hills, 90210 1990 29
Ron Lester 1970 Varsity Blues 1999 29
Gedde Watanabe 1955 Sixteen Candles 1984 29
Parry Chen 1973 Better Luck Tomorrow 2002 29
P.J. Soles 1950 Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 1979 29
Tony Danza 1951 The Hollywood Knights 1980 29
Glynn Turman 1946 Cooley High 1975 29
Kerr Smith 1972 Final Destination 2000 28
Adrian Zmed 1954 Grease 2 1982 28
Gabrielle Union 1972 Bring It On 2000 28
Jeff Conaway 1950 Grease 1978 28
Antwon Tanner 1975 One Tree hill 2003 28
Jon Heder 1977 Napoleon Dynamite 2004 27
Parminder Nagra 1975 Bend It Like Beckham 2002 27
Selma Blair 1972 Cruel Intentions 1999 27
Charisma Carpenter 1970 Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997 27
Rebecca Gayheart 1972 Jawbreaker 1999 27
Lori Singer 1957 Footloose 1984 27
Sissy Spacek 1949 Carrie 1976 27
Tobey Maguire 1975 Spider-Man 2002 27
Denise Richards 1971 Wild Things 1998 27
Kevin Bacon 1958 Footloose 1984 26
Jamie Kennedy 1970 Scream 1996 26
Matthew Lillard 1970 Scream 1996 26
Skeet Ulrich 1970 Scream 1996 26
Paul Walker 1973 She’s All That 1999 26
Scott Wolf 1968 Party of Five 1994 26
Minka Kelly 1980 Friday Night Lights 2006 26
Ian Ziering 1964 Beverly Hills, 90210 1990 26

Before you fire off the “Hey, dummy you forgot….” email, there are hundreds of 23-, 24- and 25-year-old actors who played teens and we certainly can’t list them all here. I’m sure there’s some creepy website out there devoted to this nonsense. Google it

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Jeff

I am the proprietor of usedwigs.com and I am regularly featured on happyplace.com and splitsider.com. You can follow my daily nonsense on Twitter. I'm also an avid runner and an animal-loving vegetarian, but not the annoying kind, I promise.

20 Comments

  1. John Q

    Yeah, basically the whole cast of “Grease” was about 30 Years old:

    Stockard Channing (34), Michael Tucci “Sonny” (32), Jamie Donnelly “Jan” (31), Olivia Newton John (30), Barry Pearl “Doody” (28), Jeff Conaway (28), Didi Cohn (27), John Travolta (24), Kelly Ward “Putzie” (22), Dinah Manoff “Marty” (20)

    Then there was the guy who was the head of the rival gang I think he was about 41.

    Also, what was the deal with having about 90% of the cast from Brooklyn?

    Rydell High School looks like some waspy L.A. Suburb, and yet there are all these 30 year old “teenagers” from Brooklyn running around.

    And what’s the message in this so-called “Family-Film” guys won’t like a girl unless she’s a “Slut”?

    One of the stupidest and definately most over-rated movies of all-time.

  2. John Q

    Yeah, basically the whole cast of “Grease” was about 30 Years old:

    Stockard Channing (34), Michael Tucci “Sonny” (32), Jamie Donnelly “Jan” (31), Olivia Newton John (30), Barry Pearl “Doody” (28), Jeff Conaway (28), Didi Cohn (27), John Travolta (24), Kelly Ward “Putzie” (22), Dinah Manoff “Marty” (20)

    Then there was the guy who was the head of the rival gang I think he was about 41.

    Also, what was the deal with having about 90% of the cast from Brooklyn?

    Rydell High School looks like some waspy L.A. Suburb, and yet there are all these 30 year old “teenagers” from Brooklyn running around.

    And what’s the message in this so-called “Family-Film” guys won’t like a girl unless she’s a “Slut”?

    One of the stupidest and definately most over-rated movies of all-time.

  3. Loopy

    Anthony Cumia & Greg Hughes

    Really teenagers pretending to be little girls named Marge.

  4. Loopy

    Anthony Cumia & Greg Hughes

    Really teenagers pretending to be little girls named Marge.

  5. Loopy

    Chester – Really a dead dog pretending to be a inline skate.

  6. Loopy

    Chester – Really a dead dog pretending to be a inline skate.

  7. TMAC

    EROCK – AN OVERWEIGHT NOTHING PRETENDING TO BE POPULAR

  8. TMAC

    EROCK – AN OVERWEIGHT NOTHING PRETENDING TO BE POPULAR

  9. Rob

    Are you guys a couple now? When is the commitment ceremony? Who’s Brad Pitt in the relationship?

  10. Rob

    Are you guys a couple now? When is the commitment ceremony? Who’s Brad Pitt in the relationship?

  11. shanaenae

    I think Jamie Kennedy pulled off the highschool roll in “Scream”. Jamie Kennedy is my favorite actor though.

  12. shanaenae

    I think Jamie Kennedy pulled off the highschool roll in “Scream”. Jamie Kennedy is my favorite actor though.

  13. Stockard Channing is older than dirt.

  14. Vic Morrow was 26 and Sidney Poitier was 28 when The Blackboard Jungle was released.

  15. JakeBoyman

    Awesome list. I never have minded actors being older when the performances are great or just the whole film is so stylized, realism doesn’t matter. But for some reason Gabrielle Union has never been convincing to me as a teen – anything I see her in from then, she stands out like a sore thumb. Seems like producers at the time were sure she could pass as a teen authentically, she played one in so many things. And yet I just see a mature woman in those roles, looking at least her age, if not older. Odd casting.

  16. Cgl99

    What about Patrick Swayze, he played a high schooler in Red Dawn at the age of 32.

  17. Diana Ross – The Wiz.  Her old butt was 33 when she (bought the role and) played Dorothy

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