25 Smartest Celebrities

Posted by , Updated on April 22, 2024

Most don’t think actors and celebrities are very bright. But, sometimes appearances can be deceiving. In fact, you likely didn’t realize Kesha has an IQ of 140. And she’s not the only one. Many celebrities have high IQ’s equal to Stephen Hawking and/or advanced degrees from Ivy League colleges. But who are these famous brainiacs? Here are 25 Smartest Celebrities.



Geena Davis

geena davisSource: http://www.purpleclover.com/

With an IQ of 140 and a member of Mensa, Geena Davis is a famous actress who has won one Oscar, plays a number of different instruments, and is fluent in Swedish.


Ashton Kutcher

Ashton_KutcherSource: https://www.biography.com

Before he became known as Kelso on That 70’s Show, Ashton Kutcher went to the University of Iowa where he studied biochemical engineering. He’s now an avid investor and fights against child sex-trafficking and exploitation.


Dolph Lundgren

Dolph_LundgrenSource: http://www.mtv.com

Dolph Lundgren, famous for his action roles in Hollywood, has a degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from M.I.T. Not only that, but he went to M.I.T. on the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship at M.I.T. He speaks seven languages and is rumored to have an IQ of 160.


Danica McKellar

Danica McKellerSource: https://www.biography.com

Primarily known for her role as Winnie Cooper on the show The Wonder Years, Danica McKeller earned her Ph.D in mathematics at the University of Chicago. She published a book called “Math Doesn’t Suck” helping adolescents to be better prepared to handle math in middle school.


Cindy Crawford

cindy crawfordSource: http://www.purpleclover.com

Before she became a supermodel, Cindy Crawford was valedictorian of her high school class and studied chemical engineering at Northwestern. She also has an IQ of 154.


Jerry Springer

jerry springerSource: biography.com

Before becoming a tabloid talk show host, Jerry Springer graduated with a law degree from Northwestern University and went on to help work for Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Later, he’d also become the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio.


John Krasinski

john krasinskiSource: https://www.biography.com

We all know and love him as Jim Halpert from The Office. But little do people know, John Krasinski graduated from Brown University with honors. He studied playwriting before heading to New York City to pursue acting.


Ben Stein

BensteindolSource: https://www.biography.com

Known as the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ben Stein attended Columbia University, studying economics. He went on to study at Yale Law to earn his law degree and became a speechwriter for the Nixon administration. After the Watergate scandal, he got out of politics and went over to the entertainment industry.


Rashida Jones

Rashida_JonesSource: https://www.biography.com; finance.yahoo.com

Before becoming an actress on television, Rashida Jones went to Boston to study at Harvard University. There, she studied religion and philosophy. It may also come as no surprise that she was involved in Harvard theater, but many may be surprised to know that she also composed music there as well.


Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha_Baron_CohenSource: https://www.biography.com

It’s doubtful anyone would suspect Sascha Baron Cohen, the comedian who played stupid characters like Ali G and Borat, attended Cambridge University as a history major. He wrote his thesis on Jewish Americans helping the civil rights movement in the south. Despite being encouraged to bring his studies to the graduate level, he moved on to other interests.


Kate Beckinsale

kate beckinsaleSource: http://www.businessinsider.in/

When she wasn’t a Death Dealer, Kate Beckinsale went to Oxford University to study Russian and French literature. She still fluently speaks Russian, French, and German.


Conan O'Brien

conanSource: https://www.biography.com

We all love Conan O’Brien’s snappy wit and hilarious charm, but before he became famous for his late-night talk shows, O’Brien attended Harvard University and studied American History. While at Harvard, he was president of The Harvard Lampoon.


David Duchovny

david duchovnySource: http://www.npr.org; finance.yahoo.com

David Duchovny, mostly known for his role as Fox Mulder in the X-Files, was a Ph.D. student at Yale University, studying literature. He planned to become a writer. Before his time at Yale, he went to Princeton; there he received his B.A. in English literature.


Jodie Foster

Jodie_FosterSource: http://www.eduinreview.com/

Jodie Foster attended Yale University as well, graduating magna cum laude in literature in 1985. A little over ten years later, Yale gave her an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts.


Mayim Bialik

mayim bialikSource: http://www.cnn.com/

Known for her characters Blossom and more recently Amy Farrah Fowler, Mayim Bialik earned her bachelor’s in neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish studies at the University of California. Then, she went on to earn a Ph.D. where she researched obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Ken Jeong

ken jeongSource: https://www.biography.com

Known as the goofy and eccentric Leslie Chow in The Hangover, Ken Jeong is actually a physician. He earned his pre-med degree at Duke University and finished medical school at the University of North Carolina. While completing his residency, he moonlighted and would do stand-up routines on the side.


Kevin Spacey

kevin spaceySource: https://www.biography.com

Before becoming a huge Hollywood star, Kevin Spacey was co-valedictorian at Chatsworth High School and went on to study at the prestigious Julliard School. He’s received several awards for his incredible acting skills despite dropping out after 2 years. His reason for dropping out? Broadway. Maybe not such a bad decision.


Quentin Tarantino

quentin tarantinoSource: http://www.purpleclover.com

Even though he dropped out of high school, auteur director Quentin Tarantino claims an IQ of 160. His screenplays and films like Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds show it.


Jake Gyllenhaal

jake gyllenhaalSource: https://www.biography.com/

Jake Gyllenhaal went to the prestigious Harvard-Westlake Prep School before attending Columbia University to study Eastern Religions. However, he never graduated and dropped out to pursue acting.


Edward Norton

ed nortonSource: https://www.biography.com

Throughout high school, Edward Norton pursued acting in the theater. He then attended Yale to study astronomy, history, and Japanese. After he graduated, he went to Japan to work with his grandfather’s company. However, he left it behind to focus his attention on his passion for acting.


Emma Watson

emma watsonSource: https://www.biography.com

Despite being a childhood star and becoming instantly famous for playing Hermione Granger, Emma Watson scored highly on her high school equivelency exams and was accepted into Brown University. She graduated from Brown with an English degree and soon after became a UN Goodwill Embassador.


Matt Damon

matt damonSource: http://www.purpleclover.com

Good Will Hunting thrust him into the spotlight; a story about a boy genius who works construction might not be too far off for Matt Damon. He’s said to have an IQ of 160. He attended Harvard University before dropping out to pursue acting.


James Woods

james woodsSource: http://www.thefamouspeople.com

James Woods got a perfect SAT score of 800 in the verbal section and a 779 in the math portion. His high scores allowed him to be accepted into M.I.T. While there, he studied political science but left to pursue acting.


Natalie Portman

natalie portmanSource: https://www.biography.com

When she wasn’t playing Padme or winning Academy Awards, Natalie Portman was actively pursuing her education at Harvard. She graduated with honors.


James Franco

james francoSource: https://www.biography.com

Known for his role in Spider-man as Harry and for his comedic roles with Seth Rogan, James Franco gets degrees like they’re an extracurricular activity. He graduated from UCLA with a creative writing degree and went on to Columbia University to get a masters in creative writing. While enrolled at Columbia, he also went to the Tisch School of Fine Arts. After completing his MFA, Franco enrolled at Yale University to get his Ph.D. in English. He also completed a masters degree in filmmaking at NYU.

Photo: Featured: Jeff Denberg, Kesha MuchMusic Soundcheck, CC BY 2.0, 25. itupictures, Geena Davis 2013 (cropped), CC BY 2.0, 24. David Shankbone, Ashton Kutcher by David Shankbone, CC BY 2.0, 23. Eva Rinaldi, Dolph Lundgren 2014, CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Kuyper, DanicaMcKellar-2007-10-01, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. Georges Biard, Cindy Crawford Cannes 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 20. Justin Hoch, JerrySpringerJan2011, CC BY 2.0, 19. Own work, John Krasinski and Josh Wood (cropped), CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 17. Arnold Gatilao from Fremont, CA, USA, Rashida Jones, CC BY 2.0, 16. Joella Marano, Sacha Baron Cohen, 2011, CC BY-SA 2.0, 15. Gerald Geronimo, Kate Beckinsale 2011 Comic-Con (truer color), CC BY-SA 2.0, 14. mrlaugh, Conan O’Brien – SXSW – Mar 2011, CC BY-SA 2.0, 13. David Shankbone, David Duchovny 2011 Shankbone, CC BY 3.0, 12. Franz Richter (User:FRZ), Jodie Foster.4785, CC BY-SA 2.5, 11. iDominick, Mayim Bialik at PaleyFest 2013, CC BY-SA 2.0
10. Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, Ken Jeong (7004146365), CC BY-SA 2.0, 9. Maryland GovPics, Kevin Spacey, May 2013, CC BY 2.0, 8. Siebbi (original), Gryllida (crop), Quentin Tarantino (Berlin Film Festival 2009) 2 cropped, CC BY 3.0, 7. Georges Biard, Jake Gyllenhaal Cannes 2015, CC BY-SA 3.0, 6. David Shankbone, Ed Norton Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009, CC BY 3.0, 5. Georges Biard, Emma Watson 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 4. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 3. photo by Alan Light, James Woods 1995 Emmy Awards (3), CC BY 2.0, 2. Georges Biard, Natalie Portman Cannes 2015 5, CC BY-SA 3.0, 1. Vanessa Lua, James Franco (Cropped), CC BY-SA 2.0