Jason Bateman has enjoyed a long career in TV and movies and is now one of Hollywood’s most popular comedic actors. Does his life story include a college education?
Jason Bateman did not attend college, due to starting his acting career in his early teens. He also did not graduate from high school, having failed to attend his finals examinations while making “Teen Wolf Too”.
For more about Jason Bateman’s early acting career and how it diverted him away from college life, keep reading.
Jason Bateman is from a showbusiness family, with his father working as a film producer for Ealing Films, as well as a writer and occasional director. His sister, Justine Bateman, is three years older and also enjoyed a successful career in 80s sitcoms, including starring in “Family Ties” alongside Michael J Fox.
Jason’s acting career started at a very early age. His earliest mention of the Hollywood press was on November 16, 1979, when Variety printed that he had signed to be represented by the Dorothy Day Otis/Jack Rose Agency at just 10 years old.
His first acting job came when he starred in a burger commercial, a video that seems to have sadly been lost. Commercial work made up the bulk of his first year in the acting business.
He has talked about his aversion to reading, saying that it was used as punishment by his parents, giving it a negative association.
His first notable role came two years later when he joined “Little House on the Prairie” as James Cooper, an orphaned boy who was adopted by the Ingalls family. He appeared in 21 episodes of the series, making him one of the longer serving actors outside of the core cast.
After his run on “Little House”, he transitioned into more sitcom work with “Silver Spoons” and “Valerie”, later known as both “Valerie’s Family” and “The Hogan Family”, where he also made his directorial debut.
“The Hogan Family” was, to this point, by far his longest tenure on a single project, starring in the series for five years between 1986 and 1991.
Teen Wolf Too
By the time “Teen Wolf Too” came around in 1987, Jason Bateman was enjoying steady work as an actor, dividing his time between his run of various sitcoms and a number of TV movies.
While the original “Teen Wolf”, starring Michael J Fox, had received mixed reviews, it was also a major box office success. A sequel to the film was planned, though the fact that almost none of the original cast reprised their roles was probably an ominous sign.
Bateman was at the height of his teen heartthrob status so he was a natural choice to play the sequel’s protagonist, as well as the fact that his father, Kent Bateman, worked as a producer on the movie.
“Teen Wolf Too” was released and received almost unanimously disastrous reviews from critics. The movie seemingly managed to turn a slim profit, making $7.9 million on a $3 million budget, a far cry from the success of its predecessor.
The movie’s production had another consequence, as Bateman missed his high school finals and failed to graduate. Bateman did not graduate from high school, nor did he go on to attend college.
Fortunately, he was already receiving steady acting work and would go on to much greater success in his 30s and 40s after a very difficult spell in his 20s. Today, he is one of the most popular comedic actors in the world, as well as starring in the acclaimed Netflix crime drama “Ozark”.
While completing your education is always advisable, it’s good to see that Jason Bateman has enjoyed a hugely successful career without doing so. Perhaps the greatest sadness about Bateman not receiving a high school diploma is that it was done for the sake of “Teen Wolf Too”.