Celebrity Homecoming Queens and Kings

Dakota Fanning just earned her high school’s crown. From Rosie O'Donnell to Meryl Streep, VIEW OUR GALLERY of teenage royals. Plus, homecoming kings—John Belushi and... Andy Dick?

Pacific Coast News

Pacific Coast News

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning became the latest starlet to wear a high-school tiara. The 15-year-old actress cheerleads for California’s Campbell Hall Episcopal School, and at a recent game, she was named homecoming princess. The ceremony must have been familiar territory for Fanning—she and her homecoming prince (who, naturally, was a football player) walked down a red carpet to receive their crowns.

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Meg Ryan

Long before Meg Ryan became America’s sweetheart, she won over a more local crowd. In 1979, Ryan was named homecoming queen of Bethel High School in her Connecticut hometown. Although Ryan won’t be easily recognizable in her old yearbooks—back in the day, she still went by her given name, Margaret Hrya.

Scott Gries / Getty Images for Comedy Central)

Rosie O’Donnell

Thanks to a number of high-profile feuds, Rosie O’Donnell’s “Queen of Nice” persona has taken a beating, but back in high school she was Miss Popularity. In 1980, O’Donnell won the titles of homecoming queen, prom queen, senior class president and (naturally) class clown at New York’s Commack High School.

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Meryl Streep

One of many stars who claim to have been awkward in high school, Meryl Streep says that acting in school plays helped her to feel less "dorky." Streep then ditched her glasses, went blond, and became a cheerleader and homecoming queen in 1967 at Bernardsville High School in New Jersey.


John Belushi

Before donning his infamous "College" sweatshirt in National Lampoon’s Animal House, John Belushi suited up as middle linebacker for the Wheaton Central High football team just outside Chicago. During his senior year, the late Saturday Night Live star was the all-American boy, becoming co-captain of the Tigers and winning the title of homecoming king in 1967.

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Paula Abdul

No wonder she was always the most positive American Idol judge: Back in her days at Van Nuys High School in California, Paula Abdul was an honors student, head cheerleader, voted "most likely to succeed," and teenage royalty as homecoming queen before graduating in 1980.

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Sela Ward

Sela Ward grew up a quintessential Southern belle. After growing up in Mississippi, the actress (who currently stars in the intense thriller The Stepfather) attended the University of Alabama. While in college, Ward broke out the pompoms as a Crimson Tide cheerleader and dated Bob Baumhower, one of the school’s star football players and a future member of the Miami Dolphins. Ward was named homecoming queen before graduating in 1977, and still does voiceovers for the university’s commercials.

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Alan Thicke

The patriarch of the Seaver family on Growing Pains earned his first leading role when he was elected homecoming king at Elliot Lake High School, which he graduated from in 1965. Alan Thicke has since showed us his smile again and again on television, but has fallen from the royal paternal court—most recently appearing in mock music video, "Sandcastles in the Sand" on How I Met Your Mother and hosting beauty pageants.

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Jessica Simpson

At J.J. Pierce High School in Texas, Jessica Simpson was so popular that one crown wasn’t enough—she was named homecoming princess two years in a row, before the would-be Class of ’97 graduate dropped out to pursue her career as a pop princess.

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Sheryl Crow

All Sheryl Crow wanted to do at Missouri’s Kennett High School was become homecoming queen. She was a majorette, an all-state track star, and a member of the Pep Club, National Honor Society, and Future Farmers of America. But before leaving the small-town farmland for a Grammy-winning career, Crow tried to earn a spot on the coveted homecoming court in 1980, but came up short. Sadly, she was named "Senior Maid" instead.

Everett; Kevork Djansezian / AP Photo

Sissy Spacek

When Sissy Spacek was still called Mary Elizabeth—Sissy was a nickname her brothers gave her—she was an outdoorsy and popular student at Texas’ Quitman High School. In 1967, she was named Quitman’s homecoming queen, an honor that presumably went better for her than her character’s crowning in Carrie.

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Tom DeLonge

Blink 182 vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge’s early bad-ass personality convinced his California classmates that he was more than just pop-punk royalty. Though he was expelled from Poway High School during his junior year after being caught drinking at a school basketball game, DeLonge eventually returned during his senior year. Despite the fact that the signature sideways cap and lip ring lover was not even on the homecoming ballot, fellow Poway students voted him the homecoming king in 1993.

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Katharine McPhee

Second-best is a spot Katharine McPhee is familiar with. The Season Five American Idol runner-up was a visible member of the student body at Sherman Oaks’ Notre Dame High School—she was a thespian, varsity swimmer, and her class' vice president. During her senior year, McPhee was also nominated as homecoming princess. But the now singer-turned-actress was honored with something a bit unique. The day she returned to her alma mater after her Idol stint, May 12, 2006, officially became the school’s "Katharine McPhee Day."

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Andy Dick

Andy Dick learned how to make the most of an unfortunate last name as a student at Illinois’ Joliet West High School. As a joke during his senior year, Dick recounts in his 2007 comedy album, Do Your Shows Always Suck?, he and his friends decided to snag the homecoming king title from the captain of the football team, who typically earned the honor. The outrageous comedian won himself a spot on the homecoming court in fall of 1983, using the self-mocking slogan: "Don't vote for a jock. Vote for A. Dick."