Some Celebrities are Surprisingly Smart
When we think of celebrities, we tend to think of guys with dazzling good looks and women who are storybook beautiful. In fact, we often see Hollywood stars as people who simply had the good fortune to be born with great genes regarding physical appearance. And with that being the focus, we seldom think about how mentally astute they are.
It may come as a surprise to find out that some celebrities not only have a brain, but are frighteningly smart. Here we present a few with mental pedigrees you may not have realized.
The 10 Smartest Celebrities
I start with the person that I found most improbable for this list when I started doing research: Dolph Lundgren. At 6'5 and 250 pounds, he first rose to fame playing a Russian boxer in Rocky IV. To my great shame, I learned that not only was there a brain behind that hulking frame, but one that was amazingly bright.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Lundren graduated from high school as a straight-A student. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering (Yes! Chemical engineering!!!) from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He went on to get a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in Australia, where he finished with the highest grades in his class! He was then awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to M.I.T. (I know - M.I.T.!) He purportedly dropped out after two weeks to pursue a career as an actor, and the rest is history.
Lundren reportedly has an IQ of 160. (He also has my apologies for stereotyping him and assuming that he was just some brainless actor.)
Oscar-winner Natalie Portman finished high school with a 4.0 grade point average. She went on to get a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ivy League powerhouse Harvard University, where she also served as research assistant to famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
Oh, she's also fluent in five (count'em, five!!!) languages, including Japanese and Hebrew. After winning an Academy Award for her performance in Black Swan, there's little doubt that she has both the brains and the acting chops to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. I would suspect that we've only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her talent and what the future will bring.
The two-time Academy Award nominee is noted as a cerebral actor.
His SAT score was 1580 out of 1600. (Woods actually scored a perfect 800 on the verbal). He attended M.I.T., majoring in Political Science, but dropped out to become an actor just prior to graduation.
He is a member of Mensa, and his IQ is widely reported (though not officially confirmed) to be a mind-boggling 180. (You don't see that every day!)
Other Smart Celebrities
It goes without saying that there are lots of other exceedingly bright celebrities, including:
Ben Stein: The actor, writer and political commentator has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University (where he graduated with honors) and a law degree from Yale. He had his own quiz show, Win Ben Stein's Money, where the contestants' winnings were actually from Stein's $5,000-per-episode earnings.
Geena Davis: Once lauded as the smartest woman in Hollywood, Davis is also fluent in Swedish and a member of Mensa. Her IQ is purportedly 140.
Jodie Foster: After graduating as valedictorian from a prestigious, French-speaking high school (Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles), the two-time Oscar Winner went on to graduate magna cum laude from Yale with a degree in literature. (Needless to say, she is fluent in French.)
Poll on Smart Celebrities
In brief, just as in walks of life, there are some surprisingly sharp people in Hollywood. Other cerebral stars include Steve Martin (a member of Mensa with a 142 IQ), Sharon Stone (Mensa member, IQ 154), high school dropout Quentin Tarantino (mensa member, IQ 160), Shakira, Madonna, Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone, Jim Morrison and Cindy Crawford.
Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 12, 2015:
I knew that all the actors you mentioned had IQs in the near genius or genius range. By the way, Cindy Crawford's IQ was analyzed to be 154! Dolph's IQ was analyzed to be in the range from 160-167. This article is an eye opener for those who did not know the IQs of the abovementioned actors. James Wood's IQ can be aptly described to be stratospheric!Excellent hub.
Daniella Lopez on October 21, 2014:
Very interesting! I knew about Dolph, but I didn't know about James Woods. Thanks for sharing!
informationshelte on November 11, 2013:
Your article sheds light on the misconception that celebrities, and people with good looks in general, use their natural beauty to hide other things, such as small brains.
However, actors sometimes have to memorize long scripts and then perform in front of the camera or the public. This also requires a high level of mental and emotional intelligence and maturity.
Harvest Moon from Earth on January 20, 2013:
Surprising facts! I can't believe Dolph Lundgren is smarter than 99% of humanity, but that just goes to show, you really can't judge a book by its cover. Voted up and interesting!
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on December 13, 2012:
This is a great article. I love this kind of information. Intelligence must play a part in acting. I was surprised by Dolf Lundgren. Dolf is a nickname for Adolf. I already knew about Queen Amidala (Portman). She learned Hebrew as a child in Hebrew school (she is Jewish). She was a vegan for many years but I heard that she modified that after having a child.
Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 01, 2012:
great hub. I was going to suggest Arnold Scharzenegger since he managed to become governor, but then i remembered his embarrassing public affair. lol so nevermind LMAO
Georgie Lowery from North Florida on June 27, 2012:
Most of these weren't surprising. But Dolph Lundgren? Dang!