Super-smart celebrity brainiacs
Some Hollywood stars desire more than achieving fame and fortune with high-profile careers. A select group also want to pursue their studies, too. Whether it’s attending college before transforming into celebrities or going more under-the-radar at an Ivy League university, these talked-about personalities aren’t afraid to be recognized for their educational backgrounds, too:
While Mayim Bialik started off as a child star with the hit ’90s TV show, “Blossom,” she later took time off from acting to attend UCLA, where she completed a triple major in Hebrew, Jewish Studies and neuroscience for her undergrad degree. Then, she earned a Ph.D in neuroscience from the school in 2008.
Actress Emma Watson was spotted graduating from Brown University in 2014. The “Harry Potter” star earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the Ivy League university in Rhode Island.
The “Modern Family” child actor famously graduated from high school at age 13 and is currently a member of MENSA, recognized as the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. Gould revealed in 2012 that has an IQ score of 150.
After achieving fame as a child star, actress Brooke Shields moved on to Princeton University where she majored in Romance languages with an emphasis on French.
Actress Connie Britton studied at Dartmouth College where she majored in Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese. The “Nashville” leading lady was also roommates with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand while they studied abroad in Beijing during a summer session.
Elizabeth Banks may be best recognized as a Hollywood comedienne, but she took her studies seriously before pursuing fame. The actress attended the University of Pennsylvania where she studied communications and theater arts. After graduating magna cum laude, she then earned a master’s degree at the American Conservatory Theater.
Natalie Portman attended Harvard University where she received a degree in psychology in 2003. The actress is also well-versed in languages and can speak Hebrew, French, Arabic, German, as well as Japanese.
In 1997, Rashida Jones graduated from Harvard, where she pursued a degree in acting. The daughter of musician/record producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton also wrote musical scores for the university’s illustrious Hasty Pudding Club.
John Legend may have received scholarship offers from Harvard, Georgetown and Morehouse, but he ultimately settled on the University of Pennsylvia. In 2014, he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from his alma mater.
John Krasinski graduated from Brown University in 2001 where he pursued English literature before exploring theater. During the first half of his freshman year, he traveled to Costa Rica where he taught English.
Before David Duchovny landed his big break as FBI agent Fox Mulder in ’90s sci-fi series, “The X-Files,” he was a Ph.D. student studying literature at Yale University, planning to become a writer. He originally wanted to pursue poetry before he chose to write fiction. However, the actor didn’t feel he had enough experience to compose a novel, prompting him to pursue theater.
Jodie Foster told the New York Times in 1981 she was pursuing studies at Yale University in hopes of acheiving a “normal life.” However as a student, the actress was followed by stalker John Hinckley Jr. before he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan as a means to impress her. She would later graduate from Yale with a B.A. in literature and has credited her studies for helping her to develop characters on-screen.
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o attened Yale School of Drama, where she received a masters degree in acting. Three weeks before graduating from Yale, she landed her first film role.