Well readers, with Labor Day here, another new school year is upon us — and, frankly, it makes us feel old. Now that it’s been over a decade since our last first day of high school, we no longer have any excuse to stock up on pencils and notebooks or spend hours agonizing over the perfect outfit. So, to make ourselves feel a bit better about our lost teen years, we’re following up our roundup of TV’s oldest high schoolers with a list of film’s oldest high schoolers. To our great relief, some of them even have a few years on us.
Sidney Poitier as Gregory Miller, Blackboard Jungle
If the ever-dignified Poitier looked like he was above the adolescent mischief his character caused (not to mention the violence he was wrongfully accused of) in this classic film about inner-city teaching, that might be because he was 28 years old when it was released. He quickly moved on to adult roles after this breakout performance, becoming the first black male actor to earn an Academy Award nomination, for his part in 1958’s The Defiant Ones, and win an Oscar, for 1963’s Lilies of the Field.