- Entertainment and Media
Celebrities with High IQs
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.
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 confirmed) to be a mind-boggling 180.
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
Whose academic prowess surprised you the most?
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.