12 Famous People Whose Academic Background Will Leave You Speechless

year ago

Education is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools a person can have, and it’s not necessarily achieved only through college. However, it is the most usual path people take, and it helps them sharpen their critical skills and realize their full potential. And that goes for celebrities as well. Just because we get to meet them as movie or music stars doesn’t mean they haven’t achieved anything in academic circles.

1. Rowan Atkinson, electrical engineer

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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.

2. Lisa Kudrow, biologist

Lisa Kudrow is known for her role as Phoebe Buffay in the ’90s sitcom Friends, and she 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. She published a scientific study with her father and other researchers on the correlation between being left-handed and cluster headaches.

3. 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.

4. Cole Sprouse, archaeologist


The former child star did not fully relinquish his hard-earned fame with his twin brother since they became academics and graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Cole Sprouse even worked briefly in archaeology, which was one of his majors, participating in dig sites in Europe and Asia.

5. Steve Martin, philosopher

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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.

6. Chris Pine, philosophy teacher.

Chris Pine is an actor who first made everyone fall in love with his role in The Princess Diaries and keeps conquering Hollywood’s hearts with more recent appearances, for instance, on Star Trek. Before coming to Hollywood, he graduated in English philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley and was an exchange student in England.

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 who actually graduated at 16. He continued his studies at Duke University and earned a doctorate in medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while pursuing a career as a comedian.

8. George Clooney, journalist

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Few may know this, but before becoming one of Hollywood’s most popular heartthrobs, George attended Northern Kentucky University from 1979 to 1981, majoring in broadcast journalism. Then he briefly went on to study television journalism at the University of Cincinnati. Although he didn’t finish his degree because he decided to pursue his dreams in California, the actor has shown just how ingenious he is as a director and screenwriter.

9. Shaquille O’Neal, a doctorate in education

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the world’s most famous retired basketball players. 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

Gerard Butler starred in several popular movies, such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — The Cradle of Life, The Phantom of the Opera, and voiced Stoick the Vast in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. He studied at St Mirin’s & St Margaret’s High School in Paisley, where he obtained very good grades. This allowed him to enter the University of Glasgow in their school of law. After graduating, he secured a position with an Edinburgh law firm as a trainee solicitor, but it looks like life had other plans for him.

11. Karlie Kloss, developer

Karlie Kloss is one of the most famous American supermodels. She even worked as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She attended Webster Groves High School and then continued her studies at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She teamed up with Flatiron School and Code.org to create a scholarship for girls to access education and learn about computer programming.

12. Natalie Portman, psychologist

Natalie Portman might be doing a great job being a prolific, award-winning actress, but she had other plans. She juggled starring in the blockbuster Star Wars prequel films and studying psychology at Harvard University.

Have you studied anything and if so what was your major? Do you think that it’s important for people to go to college?


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