Quite often celebrities can be perceived as unintelligent due to the characters they may play and let’s face it, a fine education is not something a celebrity needs in order to be considered successful in Hollywood. Despite the insignificance education plays within the entertainment industry, many celebrities have soared above and beyond in the academic arena. Some have attended Ivy League schools, earning degrees in Economics and Mathematics to Neuroscience. these celebrities have scholastic achievements that will surely impress. Below is a list of 20 highly educated famous figures that shine not only on the red carpet, but in the classroom as well.
20. Meryl Streep
Before this beloved actress became well known from her movie hits Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice, Meryl Streep attended Yale School of Drama where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. Seems like her education has paid off as she currently holds the title of being the most Oscar nominated actress in Hollywood, 18 times to be exact and three of those nominations she has won. Streep has a net worth of $40 million.
19. James Franco
Despite accepting the ‘Stoner of the Year Award’ back in 2008, James Franco is quite the avid learner. After receiving his undergraduate degree in English from UCLA, Franco moved on to attend three schools simultaneously, Columbia University’s M.F.A. writing program, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for film making and Brooklyn College for fiction writing. He graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Fine Arts degree and is currently enrolled at Yale University pursing his Ph.D. in English. Franco has an estimated net worth of $22 million.
18. Ashley Judd
When she’s not staring in hit movies such as Someone Like You and Olympus Has Fallen, Ashley Judd is dedicated to being an advocate on social issues such as sex and labor trafficking. Judd holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government which has enabled her to have a larger voice in her advocacy. She is quoted as attending Harvard not for the reputation “but to immerse myself in some very serious, earnest, practical learning with people who have literally dedicated all they have to public service.” Judd has an estimated net worth of $22 million.
17. Ron Jeremy
Before starting his career as an adult film star, Ron Jeremy earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Education in the other in Theater. He went on to achieve a Master’s degree in Special Education. He credits his father for telling him to have something to fall back on in case that acting didn’t work out. Although it seems he won’t need his degree any time soon with over 2000 adult films under his belt. Ron has an estimated net worth of $5.5 million.
16. Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren has both brawn and brains. The well known action hero actor has not only starred in over 40 movies, but he also holds two undergrad degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in Chemical Engineering. He continued on with his education at the University of Sydney and earned a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Not to mention he has an IQ of 160. Lundgren has a net worth of $14 million
15. David Duchovny
David Duchovny is no stranger when it comes to attending prestigious colleges. Most notably known for his roles on The X-Files and Californication, Duchovny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in English Literature from Yale University. He began to pursue his Ph.D. at Yale, but his acting career took off, leaving him no time to work on his doctoral thesis titled Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose. Duchovny has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
14. Rowan Atkinson
Before achieving international success with his comedic performance as Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Newcastle University in England. He continued on with his education at The Queens College in the University of Oxford earning a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Rowan has an estimated net worth of $111 million.
13. Art Garfunkel
Art Garfunkel has earned six Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with former musical partner Simon. However, before all of his musical success he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Columbia University. Garfunkel has an estimated net worth of $215 million.
12. Paul Giamatti
Before staring as the leading role in Sideways and Win Win, Paul Giamatti earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Yale and continued on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Drama. It is rumored Giamatti was elected into secret society, Skull and Bones, although Giamatti denies such claims. Giamatti has an estimated net worth of $25 million.
11. Spike Lee
Film director, Spike Lee has been nominated for two academy awards and has won other numerous awards including an Emmy for his independent films and projects. Lee holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in film and television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lee has a net worth of $40 million.
10. Ben Stein
Prior to launching his acting career as the monotonous economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ben Stein graduated with honors from Colombia University with a Bachelor’s degree in eEconomics. He continued his education at Yale Law School where he graduated with his Juris Doctor as valedictorian. Stein has worked as a lawyer, a professor and has written over 30 books. Stein has a net worth of $20 million.
9. Jerry Springer
Believe it or not, the host of one of the trashiest talk-shows, The Jerry Springer Show holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tulane University and he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University. It was shortly upon earning his law degree that Springer became a political campaign adviser to Robert F. Kennedy. Springer has a net worth of $75 million.
8. Hill Harper
Best known for his role as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes in CSI: New York, Hill Harper is an over achiever when it comes to earning degrees. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and moved on to Harvard Law School to earn his J.D. Harper didn’t stop there and earned a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
7. Brian May
Prior to achieving international fame as the lead guitarist for the legendary rock band Queen, Brian May studied physics and mathematics and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Imperial College London. He continued his studies by entering into the Ph.D. program at Imperial College London, however due to the rising success of Queen he dumped his studies. In 2007 May was finally able to complete his Ph.D. writing his thesis on astrophysics, A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. May has a net worth of $127.5 million.
6. Greg Graffin
Greg Graffin, lead vocalist for punk rock band, Bad Religion, managed to not only lead a highly successful rock band, but to double major in geology and anthropology as an undergraduate at UCLA. He stayed at UCLA to complete his Master’s degree in Geological Science before continuing on to Cornell University to earn his Ph.D.
5. Miuccia Prada
Billionaire fashion house owner, Miuccia Prada is not only the lead designer for her grandfather’s Italian luxury good company, Prada, but she also holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Milan and attended Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, where she trained to become a mime for five years. Prada has earned herself a net worth of $1.4 billion.
4. Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik not only plays neuroscientist, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, she’s one in real life too. The Blossom child-star triple majored in her undergrad at UCLA in Hebrew, Jewish studies and Neuroscience. She continued on with her education at UCLA and obtained a Ph.D in Neuroscience, specializing in obsessive compulsive disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. Bialik has a net worth of $4 million.
3. Graham Chapman
Before becoming a member of the famous British surreal comedy group Monty Python, Graham Chapman, studied medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School earning his medical degree. He briefly went on to practice medicine before professionally writing for the BBC with John Cleese.
2. Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby started out as a high school dropout who joined the Navy where he earned a high school equivalency degree. After leaving the Navy he earned his Bachelor’s degree from Temple University. His educational pursuits continued at the University of Massachusetts where he earned his Master’s degree and Doctoral degree in Education. Cosby has a net worth of $350 million.
1. Ken Jeong
Prior to becoming the eccentric, Leslie Chow in The Hangover trilogy, Ken Jeong was a practicing medical doctor. After graduating high school at 16, Jeong completed his undergraduate degree at Duke University and earned his medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his internal medicine residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans while working on his stand-up comedy routine and waiting for his big break. Jeong has earned himself a net worth of $14 million.
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