Some of the world's most famous and successful celebrities are also the smartest. That's according to their IQ score, which claims to measure a person's relative intelligence. While one test can't determine who is or isn't smart, it can identify particularly gifted individuals. Some high IQ stars, like Natalie Portman and James Franco, are notable for their smarts. Other brainiac celebs are tight-lipped about their scores, allowing their achievements to speak for themselves.
There's more to Jordana Brewster than the eye-candy roles she's played in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Fast and Furious films. She's a Yale graduate with a B.A. in English and a direct descendant of Mayflower passenger William Brewster. Her grandfather, Kingman Brewster, Jr., was president of Yale and ambassador to Great Britain.
Double Golden Globe Award-winning actor James Franco is something of a superachiever. After rocky times in his teen years and dropping out of college to act, he returned to academics non-stop. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and Literature from UCLA, three master's degrees – from Columbia and Brooklyn College in writing, and from NYU in film. He's also a licensed pilot, a published author, and an accomplished painter, having exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin. Now he's reported to be working on a Ph.D. from Yale.
Once known as the celebrity daughter of O.J. Simpson's lawyer, Kim Kardashian transformed reality TV fame into a successful entertainment and beauty empire. Kim meticulously cultivated her social media presence into a fortune with a mobile game, a personalized line of emojis, and her cosmetics brand. KKW Beauty generated more than $100 million in sales in 2019, and her diverse line of shapewear, SKIMS, was an instant success. The entrepreneur will soon add lawyer to her resume. Following in her father's footsteps, Kardashian is interning as a lawyer and plans to take the bar exam in 2022.
By the time he was 20 years old, Arnold Schwarzenegger had become the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. He won the title four more times, and the professional Mr. Olympia title six years in a row. Schwarzenegger graduated from UCLA with a degree in business administration and marketing, building a fortune for himself long before he was an action star. He also became the 38th governor of California after winning a special election in 2007. Currently, Schwarzenegger serves as the executive editor for two fitness magazines.
Keanu Reeves became a household name with the success of The Matrix. Before that, Reeves was more likened to his simple-minded but charismatic roles. The popular actor had a tough time staying enrolled in school when he was young, but that didn't keep him from developing his craft both on stage and in public broadcasting. In addition to his many box office successes, Reeves played bass in an alternative rock band, Dogstar, for over a decade. He is also the co-founder of a private cancer foundation, a film production company, a custom motorcycle business, and a book publisher.
Israeli-born Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman grew up speaking English and Hebrew, adding four more languages by the time she graduated with honors from Harvard. She skipped the Star Wars: Episode I premier to study for her finals. While still in high school, she published a paper on bioenergy. And she's credited on another scientific paper based on brain chemistry research while a college student.
Shakira wowed audiences with her moves at the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show, but this singer/songwriter's natural ability is even more impressive. The songstress began dancing and writing at the age of four and wrote her first song at eight. She is fluent in six languages and also one of few Latin performers to find mainstream success in the English-speaking market. No stranger to philanthropy, Shakira is the founder of a charity in her native Colombia and served on a White House delegation dedicated to providing educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
Before Madonna was the best-selling female recording artist in the world, she was a straight-A student, a cheerleader, and a disciplined dancer. Her abilities earned her full scholarships to the University of Michigan's dance program, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. She also performed as a showgirl in France and played the drums in a friend's band before finding fame as a solo artist. The Grammy-winning diva is a published author as well, though she is often remembered for her intriguing performances and luxurious fashion.
Rage Against the Machine was one of the most famous and influential bands of the 20th century due, in part, to guitarist Tom Morello's innovative style. His otherworldly guitar riffs and elaborate use of distortion evoked the band's politically-driven message well. Morello is no stranger to politics. He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and continues to maintain his passion for activism. In 2002, Morello co-founded the non-profit organization Axis of Justice to bring musicians and fans together in the fight for social justice.
Lisa Kudrow, who played the flaky Phoebe Buffay in Friends, is anything but flaky in real life. The daughter of a well-known neurologist and headache specialist, she planned to follow in his footsteps when she graduated from Vassar. Along the way, she caught the acting bug but managed to work with him while breaking into acting. She's credited as a researcher on one of his published studies. Her accomplishments include a host of awards and nominations for her work as a comic actress. She and her female Friends co-stars were listed in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-paid actresses of all time.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles and won the MVP award five times. He attributes these victories to a high basketball IQ, claiming to know every facet of the game in minute detail. Jordan has also cosigned several profitable business ventures. He inked his first endorsement deal with Nike in 1984 and launched his signature Air Jordan sneaker one year later. The famous line of shoes is still one of Nike's best-sellers, earning MJ a spot on the board of directors. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Criminal Minds heroine Aisha Tyler is an actor, Emmy-winning talk show host, and stand-up comedian. She is also the voice of several video game characters and Lana Kaine on the popular adult cartoon series, Archer. The multitalented star didn't always want to work in Hollywood, however. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in political science and a minor in environmental policy, hoping to pursue a career in law. During her time at the prestigious school, Tyler helped found the all-female acapella group, Dartmouth Rockapellas, to raise social awareness. In 2013, she added New York Times Bestselling Author to her resume.
Late-night comedian and talk show host Conan O'Brien parlayed quick wit and an off-the-wall sense of humor into television success. Valedictorian of his class at Brookline High School in Massachusetts, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. While there, he was president of the Harvard Lampoon. O'Brien began his career as a television writer, eventually winning an Emmy for comedy writing on Saturday Night Live. He also wrote several episodes of The Simpsons before becoming the host of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Matt Damon's momentum in Hollywood began with the success of his Oscar-winning screenplay, Good Will Hunting. Co-written with his good friend, Ben Affleck, Damon started writing the script while he was a student at Harvard University. The future leading man dropped out 12 units shy of his English degree. Five years later, he and Affleck took the Academy Award home. Damon has since proven his skills as a film producer and political activist.
Born Stephanie Germanotta, Lady Gaga began performing the piano at four years old. She turned down an acceptance to Juilliard School at 11, but, six years later, accepted an early admission offer from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Gaga didn't graduate, but a songwriting stint eventually gave way to her own hit records and prolific acting career. When she isn't creating music, Gaga is known for her philanthropy and work as an LGBTQ rights activist.
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