What celebrities do you think of when you hear “New Jersey?” Bruce Springsteen, surely, and maybe Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito, or Meryl Streep. Maybe you think of Zach Braff because of Garden State. As it turns out, the Scrubs actor had another future A-lister as a Garden State neighbor back in the day!
Braff and Elisabeth Shue were neighbors in Maplewood, N.J., and they both attended Columbia High School. They weren’t the only famous faces to grace the school’s halls either — Braff was also friends with Lauryn Hill in high school. And SZA graduated from Columbia High in 2008. The school was a magnet for star power, apparently!
According to IMDb, Braff “lived around the corner from the Shues” before making it big. He’s a good 22 years younger than the Greyhound star, though, so their time at Columbia High didn’t overlap. Shue’s brother, Melrose Place actor Andrew Shue, also attended Columbia High, but he, too, was ahead of Braff age-wise.
Zach Braff and Elisabeth Shue are both in their high school's hall of fame
The two actors have an Emmy nomination and an Oscar nod between them, so it only makes sense that they’d also be honored at their local high school. Zach Braff was inducted into the Columbia High School Hall of Fame in 2015, 12 years after graduating from the school. Elisabeth Shue and Andrew Shue, meanwhile, were both inducted into the high school’s hall of fame in 1994. Lauryn Hill was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1999, and the list also includes a number of notable writers and Olympic athletes.
And while Braff and the Shues went on to become successful actors, the latter had another talent in her high school days. Shue was captain of Columbia High’s gymnastics team, and she and her brothers enjoyed playing soccer, too.
They may have been decades apart in school, but Braff and Shue will always have their hometown connection. And if you ever need to link them in a “six degrees of separation” game, now you have a fun fact to go off of.
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