15 Famous People Whose Educational Background Truly Impressed Us

Sometimes it’s easy to think of celebrities as people who never went too far with their studies. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. A few of our most adored stars have, in fact, a long academic background. From psychology graduates to lawyers, some in the entertainment industry prove that brilliant minds are everywhere.

1. Lisa Kudrow, biologist

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Lisa Kudrow is known for her role as Phoebe Buffay in the ’90s sitcom, Friends, and also appeared in productions like The Comeback and Web Therapy. But besides being an actress, she also graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. There, she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. Together with her father and other researchers, she published a scientific study on the correlation between being left-handed and cluster headaches.

2. Kristen Stewart, co-author of an article on neural style transfer

Actress Kristen Stewart rose to fame when she played Bella Swan in the Twilight saga in 2008. In addition to her acting career, she ended up graduating at home. Then, through Cornell University, Stewart co-authored a paper on the study of how to use neural style transfer. NTS is a type of software algorithm that can manipulate digital images or videos to mimic the appearance or visual style of another image in the context of film production.

3. Rowan Atkinson has a master’s in electrical engineering

Pictured: Rowan Atkinson Mandatory Credit ?? Jack Shea/Starshots/Broadimage Johnny English Strikes Again – New York Screening 10/23/18, New York, New York, United States of America Broadimage Newswire Los Angeles 1+ (310) 301-1027 New York 1+ (646) 827-9134 [email protected] http://www.broadimage.com

Mr. Bean wasn’t all that goofy before. Rowan Atkinson was a staunch academic and a brilliant electrical engineer before later pursuing a career in acting and comedy. He didn’t stop after earning his bachelor’s at Newcastle University. He continued until he earned his master’s at The Queen’s College in Oxford and had a brief stint with a doctorate.

4. Mayim Bialik, neuroscientist

Mayim Bialik is an actress, neuroscientist, and author. She played Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory from 2010 to 2019. For her role on the sitcom, she won a Critics’ Choice Television Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.” But besides that, she attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2007, she earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience and is known for promoting women’s participation in science.

5. James Franco, Ph.D. in English

James Franco became a household name all over the world after he played the character of Harry Osborne in the first Spider-Man franchise. Since then, the roles he has undertaken have been very diverse, much like his own personal projects. In fact, in 2006, he decided to enroll in UCLA’s English program and then majored in creative writing. He moved to New York where he pursued a graduate degree in writing at Columbia University and a degree in filmmaking at New York University. Franco also holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale University.

6. Steve Martin, philosopher

 

Steve Martin starred in the movie, The Pink Panther. After graduating from high school, he attended Santa Ana College, where he took drama and poetry classes in English. He then joined California State University Long Beach to major in philosophy. Inspired by his philosophy classes, Martin considered becoming a teacher rather than an actor or comedian. He is part of the Mensa organization, which is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. He spoke about this particular topic in an article published by The New Yorker.

 

7. Ken Jeong, medical doctor

 

Ken Jeong, best known for playing the extravagant but beloved character Leslie Chow in the comedy hit, The Hangover, attended Walter Hines Page High School. There, he belonged to a team of gifted students and actually graduated at the age of 16. He continued his studies at Duke University and earned a doctorate in medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while also pursuing a career as a comedian.

8. Conan O’Brien, graduated with the highest honors in history and literature

Conan O’Brien worked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and on NBC’s most-watched late-night show, The Tonight Show. But he is far from being “just” a host of super successful TV shows. He also studied Hispanic American culture and earned a Ph.D. in art history and an M.A. from Yale University.

He also attended the world-renowned Harvard University, where he studied history and literature. As if that wasn’t enough, he also graduated with the highest honors (magna cum laude).

9. Shaquille O’Neal, a doctorate in education

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous retired basketball players in the world. He even won 4 NBA championships. But apart from that, he went to Louisiana State University where he graduated with a B.A. in general studies and a minor in political science. He went on to study more until he obtained a doctorate in education from Barry University in Miami. He also has an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

10. Gerard Butler, lawyer

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