30 of the Most Intelligent Celebrities of All Time – Video

30 of the Most Intelligent Celebrities of All Time – Video

These celebs are not just pretty faces in Hollywood, they are also incredibly brainy. In this video, WatchMojo counts down the top 30 smartest celebrities ever. From Oscar-winning actors to world-renowned musicians, these stars have more than just talent to offer.

From Kate Beckinsale with an IQ over 150 to Emma Watson, who studied at Brown University, and from Conan O’Brien with a thesis titled “literary Progeria” to Quentin Tarantino, who dropped out of high school but has an IQ of 160, these celebrities are certainly not your average Hollywood stars.

But it’s not just the actors and musicians who make the list. Dolph Lundgren, known for his action roles, actually has a master’s degree in chemical engineering, while Mayim Bialik, who played a neurobiologist on TV, actually has a PhD in neuroscience in real life.

And at the top of the list is Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen, who earned an astrophysics PhD from Imperial College London in 2007 and is a science team collaborator at NASA.

These celebrities prove that you can have both beauty and brains, and they are truly the smartest stars in Hollywood. Who do you think is the most impressive brainy celeb on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Watch the video by WatchMojo.com

Video Transcript

Many people don’t know this but I’ve actually graduated from USC three times welcome to watch Mojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the brainest stars of all time we won’t be counting celebs who are mostly famous for being smart sorry Dr Tyson happens when the

Wave hits the house it becomes a smaller p period of particles number 30 Cindy Crawford if you weren’t a model what would you have done with your life teach after graduating high school as the class valedictorian she was offered an academic scholarship to the prestigious Northwestern University Crawford had planned to study chemical

Engineering instead she dropped out after one semester to become a full-time model by the late 1980s she was a household name and she went on to become one of the most famous models in history she’s appeared on More Than A Thousand magazine covers not to mention TV commercials movies talk shows music

Videos You name it although Crawford probably would have made a pretty good chemical engineer we think she made the right career move make love to that camera you must have some good looks too here we’ll both do it okay number 29 David dukov oh isn’t it nice to be

Suddenly so highly regarded so who did you take off to get stuck with this detail Scully actually I’m looking forward to working with you I’ve heard a lot about you oh really before he became Fox molder on the ex files he attended not one but two ivy league universities

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and graduating Suma klau from Princeton dukov went on to get his master’s degree from Yale just a few years later he started Landing acting roles and before long his career was off and running however starring in multiple hit movies and TV shows wasn’t enough

For the multi-talented Duke covy in more recent years he’s also become a published novelist and a singer songwriter releasing Three Studio albums this makes Duke covy a True Modern Renaissance Man have seen it’s the Raz Ed number 28 Lisa kudro her best known character might be a little

Ditsy but in real life this star is quite the Brainiac in this box are all the things I got from mugging that I thought were too special to sell or smoke if acting hadn’t worked out kudro might have followed in her Father’s Footsteps and become a doctor after

Earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from vasar she worked alongside her dad as a medical researcher for 8 years she even co-authored a scientific paper with him about the prevalence of cluster headaches in left-handed people that paper came out in 1994 the same year she landed her breakout role as Phoebe buet

On Friends phe do you want to help oh I wish I could but I don’t want to number 27 Kate beckin sale beauty and brains some people get all the luck with an IQ of over 150 it’s no wonder beckin saale is so good at learning foreign languages

At Oxford she was a student of modern languages including Russian and French literature where did you learn Russian by the way um I did it at um Middle School High School Oxford University did it for ages Oxford University I forgot she spent a year studying abroad in

Paris and even speaks a bit of German too like many stars Beck and sale quit school to focus on acting something she’d wanted to pursue all her life now that she’s had a long and successful career on the big screen she’s expressed interest in going back to Oxford to

Finish her education I remember somebody’s saying to me once you’d be so much happier if you were 30% more stupid so I think I might come back as a hamster number 26 Weird Al Yankovic maybe you don’t have to be a genius to come up with so many brilliant song

Parodies but it probably doesn’t hurt hurt Yankovic was a star student from a young age starting kindergarten a year early and skipping second grade that meant he was just 16 years old when he graduated high school as valedictorian he went on to earn a degree from California poly Technic in the

Notoriously challenging field of architecture he’s really actually not all that weird in fact he’s fairly boring aren’t you Al oh hey um do you guys like sangria oh he makes the best sangria it’s all about the fruit while in college he worked as a DJ and began recording parodies of current hit songs

His popularity began to Skyrocket and by the 1980s he was working as a musician full-time we wonder if he displays that architecture degree alongside his many Grammys a chce in Paradise number 25 Rashida Jones I’m not going to talk for long cuz I have to

Pee again cuz I have to pee every 6 minutes cuz I have a beach ball in my stomach that’s punching on my bladder with notable roles in Parks and Recreation the office and the social network to name a few Jones has more than her fair share of enviable accomplishments she also has a

Considerable head on her shoulders as well so the moral of the story is if you make out with someone in levero library you’re guaranteed at least a network sitcom a Harvard Alum Jones successfully graduated with a bachelor’s of Arts in comparative religion in 1997 she actually had plans to become a lawyer

But the OJ Simpson trial allegedly jaded her aspirations instead 1997 saw her take her first step into the Limelight with a role in the Mario putso miniseries the last Dawn before catching her major break on Boston public and things have only been on the up and up ever since get out of this

Office get out of my life number 24 Emma Watson with another clever idea to get us killed or wor expelled you may know her best is the incredibly intelligent witch Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series and Watson had plenty of inspiration to draw upon for her role in

2011 she became a student alongside her acting career working towards a degree in English literature from Brown University while also studying for a time at Oxford Watson is clearly quite well spoken and her un women campaigns more than prove it the only downside to all this trying to avoid imaginary

Points for Gryffindor from unruly classmates whenever she answers a question number 23 Matt Damon that’s going to last until next year you’re going to be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood talking about you know the pre-revolutionary Utopia and the capital forming effects of military mobilization does life imitate art or

Does art imitate life a young Matt Damon may suggest the latter as his breakout work in Goodwill Hunting told the story of an incredibly talented young man forced to face his past and live up to his potential at MIT Damon actually began working on the award-winning screen play during a playwriting class

He was taking at you guessed it Harvard University one scene survived actually from that from what I handed in with what eventually became Goodwill Hunting this of course skyrocketed him to fame and his light has hardly dimmed since then but cut short his studies technically making Damon just short of

Being a college grad take a look past the Charisma and good looks and you’ll find a well spoken very bright man as well I hope you’ll turn toward the problem of your choosing I I hope you’ll drop everything and I hope you’ll Solve IT number 22 masi Oka this actor

Originally planned to work in Hollywood behind the scenes after graduating from Brown University with degrees in computer science and math he went to work for industrial Light and Magic but it turns out he’s just as talented in front of the camera in his breakout role on Heroes the multilingual Oka

Translated his own Japanese dialogue from English this is such a niche role and if if not this what else am I going to get I’m so so to drive the you know Point home I made sure I got the script and I wanted to audition everything in Japanese he’s

Also fluent in Spanish a brilliant chess player and has a black belt in the Japanese art of Kendo and he’s still working in the tech industry designing his own video games is there anything masoka can’t do I’m any game com myself so talking about that and um and just

Seeing what else is out there you know I’m a gamer at heart so it’s just great to see what’s new number 21 Dan McKeller Winnie Cooper since playing Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years Dan McKeller has popped up here and there on a few shows and TV movies hi Mr D

Congratulations on those SATs the whole faculty is talking thanks one of her most notable guest spots was on The Big Bang Theory in real life mckel could teach Sheldon Cooper a thing or two you know you I saw a Slum Dog Millionaire well I’m a Slum Dog astrophysicist outside of acting mckel

Is best known for her knowledge of mathematics you finished one years you went to college yes uh and you became a genius she’s written several books on the subject including hot X algebra exposed kiss my math and math doesn’t suck it takes a brilliant mind to make math sound interesting and that’s

Precisely what meller has done I love math because it’s challenging it challenges my brain it makes it makes you think it makes you a better problem solver in life she’s helped to show a lot of blossoming Minds particularly young girls that math isn’t for squares unless we’re talking about geometry see

That’s math humor oh oh sure I understand number 20 Angela Basset black panther brought together one of the most gifted ensembles in the superhero genre Queen Mother princess my comfort for your loss thank you Nakia it is so good to have you back with us Howard graduate Chadwick Boseman

Became well-versed in Shakespeare while taking Oxford’s summer program shortly before winning her Oscar Lupita nongo graduated from Yale with a masters in acting she wasn’t the only Yale Lum Nissan said how are you feeling today Mama Proud your father and I will talk about this day all the time in 2020 Angela

Basset became the first black recipient of the Yale undergraduate Lifetime Achievement Award when we combine a will willingness to learn with the pursuit of knowledge magic happens the Oscar nominated actress had already earned a ba in African-American studies a master of Fine Arts degree and an honorary doctorate from the University there were

No sororities on my campus you know at Yale there were secret societies and I was too busy doing my theater thing on top of all that Basset met Courtney B Vance who she later married at Yale so when you’re told you’re not good enough you tell them not only am I good enough

I’m more than enough number 19 Natalie Portman a globally admired film star Natalie Portman is just as academically revered as well yes she’s got an Oscar a bafta and two Golden Globes driven by these insecurities I decided that I was going to find something to do at Harvard

That was serious and meaningful that would change the world and make it a better place but she’s also a psychology graduate out of Harvard and she’s fluent in Hebrew at Harvard she contributed to a paper entitled frontal lobe activation during object permanence data from near infrared spectroscopy which is hard to

Say let alone right I come up here sometimes when I can’t sleep or when I’m trying to reconcile particle data or when Darcy’s driving me crazy Portman once famously said she’d quote rather be smart than a movie star as it turns out she’s doing a seriously

Good job at being both number 18 Conan O’Brien it’s time snuck into the room to see what I sneaked into the room snuck isn’t a word Conan and you went to Harvard you should know that primarily known as America’s longest working late night talk show host before being a SB interview supro

Conan O’Brien was also busy racking up intelligence at Harvard University I spent a very intense period of my senior year writing a thesis called literary Progeria in the works of fener oconor and William fauler an esteemed literature and history graduate O’Brien was president of the Harvard Lampoon comedy magazine while he studied his

Career as a writer was set out from an even earlier age though and uh anyway this is me they found this photo and that is actually me drumming get in there close he graduated high school as valed Victorian in 1981 having won national awards for a short story of his titled

To bury the living snuck Pass and Pass part of [Applause] [Laughter] sneak number 17 Jodie Foster why do you want me to go back to my parents I mean they hate me why do you think I split in the first place a film star with a thing for foreign languages

Jod Foster actually attended a French language prep school during childhood consistently described as a gifted child she could read at the age of three and is at least competent at most major European languages in 1985 Foster graduated Magna La out of Yale University despite the fact that she was

Already a movie star by then the 18-year-old actress was taking a sabatical from Hollywood to attend Yale University too often child stars suffer a well-documented Fall From Grace but for foster there was less self-inflicted Scandal and much more schooling you fly back to school now little starting fly fly fly number 16 Alicia

Keys you already knew she’s a musical prodigy but you might not have realized that Keys was an academic Prodigy too and I sat down at the piano and I don’t know what happened but it all just kind of like boom all the chords all the things just came right there she

Graduated high school as her class valedictorian at just 16 and received a scholarship to study at Colombia University however she soon left for a different Colombia Columbia Records having already signed her first record deal at age 15 Keys decided to put her education on hold and focus on her music

When the label refused to let her have creative control the teenage singer took the Bold step of ending her contract it was the right move considering considering that she would go on to become a massive best-selling artist and win multiple Grammys number 15 John Legend being one

Of the few artists to achieve egot status we have to ask is there anything John Legend can’t do the short answer is no I want to Changeth face going the long answer is that music is only the tip of Legend’s resume skipping multiple grades Legend attended High School by the age of 12 and graduated at 16 although he could have gone to Georgetown or Morehouse on scholarships as well as Harvard Legend settled on the University of

Pennsylvania upon graduating Legend became a Management Consultant for the revered Boston Consulting Group I was a Management Consultant yeah we were doing like what you would expect kids that graduated from pin to do and then I was like I don’t want to do this forever although Legend learned a fair deal

About business and probably could have built a successful corporate career he kept reaching for the stars on the side he wrote performed and produced his own music amounting to a legendary Legacy and I wanted to be those people that got discovered when they were you know 10 12

14 years old and became a big star but in retrospect I think it was better for me that it it didn’t happen then number 14 John C oh never mind widely listed as one of the great comic Geniuses of all time John C was also overflowing with more academic Artistry it’s dead that’s

What’s wrong with it no no it’s resting look look my dad I know a dead parot when I see one and I’m looking at one right now a graduate from Downing College Cambridge he was instrumental in making the University’s Footlights Club a prime breeding ground for British

Comedy I mean you’re allowed to be an right if they want to picture foring creatures coming up tell how wonderful I am and how can I be as wonderful as you in terms of his actual studies C left with a law degree but possibly his most important achievement at Cambridge

Was his befriending Graham Chapman you stupid birad brained flatting beside a group of other highly educated blos the duo would go on to pen Monty Python one of the most surreal success stories ever shown on TV number 13 Reggie Jackson Mr October isn’t just a Hall of Fame clutch hitter a big big

World Series for raie Jackson despite all a palab about his discontent with Billy Mt he’s also a literal genius with an IQ of 160 Jackson has to be one of the smartest pro athletes in history despite facing significant racism early in his career he went on to become a

Superstar winning three three World Series titles with the Athletics and two more with the Yankees his Fame isn’t limited to the baseball diamond Jackson has also cameoed in numerous movies and TV shows and was even on the short list of actors considered to play chief engineer Jordy lege on Star Trek the

Next Generation the Mr October Foundation Michael is for me to try to do more for my community and unders with underserved kids um we have stem program science technology engineering and math and we really got our first group of kids in the Bronx were still there number 12 Rowan

Atkinson an actor who was rumored to have listed his profession as engineer on his passport Rowan Atkinson can do that because he has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Oxford which is something that’s almost impossible to believe considering his intentionally acclaimed foras into goofball comedy most notably as silent slapstick Mr Bean

And chaotic secret serviceman Johnny English Johnny English I’m here to see Pegasus still no sense rushing things a frequent political commentator and activist as well as an automobile Enthusiast to the re Li good good good it turns out that beneath that famous turkey there’s a marvelous mind number 11 Dexter Holland we know

That being Highly Educated isn’t the same as being smart but we’re also willing to bet that anyone who gets a PhD in molecular biology basically for fun must be pretty brainy I never told my professors that I was in a punk rock band uh duh right I mean obviously I

Didn’t want to distract them from my commitment and or make them think that I wasn’t dedicated to the research like many of the scholars on our list Holland put his education on hold when his banned The Offspring started to rise to fame after Decades of musical success Holland returned to the University of

Southern California and finished his doctoral degree in 2017 but that doesn’t mean he stopped performing on the contrary The Offspring are still touring 40 years after they first got together this is your biggest ever Aussie tour and it’s all sold out so how does that feel that must be pretty amazing right

Or after all this time you’re just like you’re expecting everything to sell out no no it’s amazing I mean we love coming to Australia so it’s always great that way number 10 Hy Lamar it turns out Hy Lamar was also a brilliant inventor a new documentary film about her life

Opened widely in theaters Across the Nation this week and will Air May 18th on American Masters on PBS even as a child she wanted to understand how things worked this led her to become a brilliant inventor whose scientific achievements mostly went unacknowledged during her lifetime despite having little formal education she worked with

Howard Hughes to invent a new airplane design created a fizzing tablet that can turn a glass of water into Cola and much more her most famous invention by far is the frequency hopping technology that makes Wi-Fi GPS and Bluetooth possible it’s not a stretch to say that without

He Lamar the modern world might look very different fter fter hold TI to the rail hold TI to you number nine Shakira hailed as the Queen of Latin music this Colombian singer achieved International with hit songs like whenever wherever and Underneath Your [Applause] Clothes while we all know that Shakira is a lyrical genius she’s an all-around genius as well a member of Mena International Shakira possesses an IQ of 140 to give you an idea the average IQ is somewhere around 100 this shouldn’t come as a surprise as Shakira is fluent

In multiple languages including Spanish English Portuguese Italian and Arabic can you speak Portuguese a lot that would be cool not every seven-year-old would want a typewriter for Christmas young Shakira however was intrigued watching her father use his typewriter which was gifted to her she used it to write poems which led to

Songwriting which led to fame but I never would have imagined when I started out that my work as an artist would end up being the vehicle for me to serve my greater purpose in life of working towards eradicating poverty number eight Nolan Gould on Modern Family Alex was

The resident academic while Manny was the precocious one Luke meanwhile could be a bit on the slower side buddy why do you keep getting stuck like this I thought I could get out this time behind the scenes though actor Nolan Gold was the child prodigy we guess now he’s an

Adult Prodigy with an IQ of 150 gold was welcomed into Mena this discuss about nuclear fusion and our microwaves and you know string theory and stringer’s Cat and all these different scientific things uhhuh skipping four grades he graduated from high school by the time he was 13 he spent the following few

Years primarily focusing on his acting commitments but he did get a head start with some early college courses you know acting isn’t a sure thing you know we’re not set to have jobs for the rest of our lives and you know fame fame is really fickle it can like change really quickly

Then in 2017 at age 18 he was accepted into the University of Southern California whatever the future holds for gold we’re sure he’ll excel at any path he takes you know better than to mess with someone so uptight what do we always say don’t break Alex she’s our safety net

Number seven Ken Jong your spectacular breast mean nothing to me it’s not appropriate at all saying he could totally lose his license there’s probably a good chance your first introduction to this actor was his sides splitting performance in The Hangover is it a surprise to hear he would also be

More than prepared to save your life on a minute’s notice Ken Jong studied Premed at Duke University and got his MD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seven years I work fulltime not too many actors can transition from a six-figure job at a hospital if the

Roles dry up during his early days Jong would actually split his time between treating patients and taking comedy gigs before his big break as a doctor and knocked up do you smoke cigarettes no do you smoke cigarettes I have on occasion on occasion when when was the last time

You had one s number six Gina Davis handbook for the Recently diseased deceased they say if you say Beetle Juice three times in a row a Mena member who’s fluent in Swedish with an IQ of 140 will appear your excellencies and honored guests while Davis maybe most associated

With felma and Louise and Beetlejuice she’s put her impressive intelligence to good use as well notably Gina received an honorary doctorate from Bates College in 2009 for research on gender studies in the media hey it’s not easy to be an Olympic caliber athlete Academy award-winning actress and noted genius

But this Triple Threat has been accomplished number five Sharon Stone did you kill Mr BOS M TRL I’d have to be pretty stupid to write a book about killing and then kill somebody the way I described it in my book stone is an Academy Award nominated actress and

Often remembered for her performance in Basic Instinct but she’s also undoubtedly the smartest person in most rooms she walks into at age 15 While most of us were working on getting our Learners permit Sharon was awarded a college scholarship to Edinburgh University where she studied creative writing and Fine Arts I’m not stupid

With a whopping IQ of 154 stone is comfortably in the top portion of the 99th percentile qualifying but never actually joining Mena it wouldn’t be hard it wouldn’t be hard at all number four Quinton Tarantino I don’t need you to tell me how good my coffee is okay

I’m the one who buys it I know how good it is don’t get any ideas but Tarantino dropped out of high school and landed a job at an adult theater this Behavior may not be most typical of a genius but he’s indisputably just that yes a slew of films that are considered

Masterpieces May indicate his prowess but but the Pulp Fiction director had set himself apart from the rest of the world long before with a nearly unheard of IQ of 160 for reference this puts him squarely in the 99.996% tile right next to Legendary theoretical physicist Steven Hawking truly a poster child of structured

Education shortcomings Tarantino was destined to shake things up from the very beginning but at the same time though yeah there’s a lot more to competition but also those crappy movies aren’t competition if thing is like Dynamite number three Dolph lundgrin the onscreen epitome of an action hero there are considerable

Brains to back up Dolph Len’s braa asago aages 1,850 lb so the results quite obvious and what results are those whatever he hits he destroys best known for playing Russian boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky 4 L may look tough on screen but he’s actually a master of chemical engineering graduating from the

University of Sydney in 1982 normally very shy and humble about his Menor stuff and his IQ which is up north of 160 by the way before that the Swedish actor had already accumulated a chemistry degree from Washington State and a degree in chemical engineering from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of

Technology Dolph lren intelligence is an international Affair well I had a scholarship to MIT in Boston and uh wanted to finish there and get a PhD and maybe go to Harvard or something but then I met Grace Jones you know number two my biic now before this goes any

Further you should know that all forms of physical contact up to un including Kus are off the table she played a neurobiologist on TV and she has a PHD in Neuroscience in real life when I auditioned for the part I uh on my resume under miscellaneous it says PhD

Neuroscience because I didn’t know where else to put it on an acting resume so I put it under miscellaneous mayam biic is a ro versus reality match unlike anything else in the industry when I get back I’m going to make you some chicken soup how does that sound Jewish after

Gaining Fame as a child star on Blossom biic was brought back into the public eye when she starred as super smart Amy farra Fowler on the geek comedy TV series The Big Bang Theory my most recent paper on how a Cooperative long-term potentiation can map memory sequences and dendritic branches made

The cover of neuron just a few years before her debut on the show bolic finished missed her studies gaining particular note as a specialist on obsessive compulsive disorder in adolescence it’s no wonder her onscreen brains are so believable before we continue be sure to subscribe to our

Channel and ring the bell to get notified about our latest videos you have the option to be notified for occasional videos or all of them if you’re on your phone make sure you go into your settings and switch on notifications number one Brian May having earned Fame and Fortune as lead

Guitarist and queen Brian May attained an astrophysics PhD from Imperial College London in 2007 after cutting short his original studies in the mid 70s and I discovered about the formation of the earth and trilobites and the emergence of life and I was hooked forever and I used to beg to be able to

To be allowed to stay up and watch the sky night since then he’s co-authored twice with Sir Patrick Moore and Chris lintot on Bang the complete history of the universe and the cosmic tourist in 2015 he was also introduced as a science team collaborator at Nasa it’s NASA

Ladies and gentlemen taking us out into the very edges of the solar system to Pluto and Beyond he’s a specialist in zodiacal dust although that’s not what Freddy Mercury was famously referring To which brainy celeb do you think is the most impressive let us know in the comments you’re a first year grad student you just got finished reading some moxian historian Pete Garrison probably you’re going to be convinced of that till next month when you get to James lemon then

You’re going to be talking about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740 did you enjoy this video check out these other clips from watch Mojo and be sure to subscribe and ring the bell to be notified about our latest videos

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