These amazingly smart celebrities really destroy the “Attractive but Dumb” stereotype that is so prevalent in Hollywood today. Don’t let their good looks fool you, these stunning starlets are actually smarter than 95% of the population. It’s no shocker that they were able to achieve such success throughout their careers. Here’s 24 of the hottest female celebrity geniuses.
24. Ashley Judd
In addition to being a great actress, starring in roles alongside absolute legends like Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd is actually a genius. She attended 13 different schools before landing at the University of Kentucky. After that she managed to get into Harvard where she pursued her masters degree. One of her classmates at the time was Meryl Streep. Her desire for college actually stemmed from a desire to contribute to global humanitarian needs. She also wanted to use her education as a chance to be an advocate for women.
23. Rashida Jones
The gorgeous and elegant Rashida Jones is most known for her role as Ann Perkins in the hilarious NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. While she is known for her comedic timing and general upbeat personality, those closest to her know her for her impressive intellect. Originally, Rashida set out to be a lawyer. Dismayed by the way the legal system operates, she turned to the performing arts, heavily involving herself in the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club.
Ever wonder why her music is so catchy? Maybe it’s because she has an IQ of 140. That’s right, she is one smart singer. It might also be that she speaks 5 languages and integrates it into her music. She also likes to study ancient civilizations in her spare time.
21. Lily Cole
She pursued modeling as a teen, working with iconic magazines like Vogue. In fact, she was even named by Vogue Paris as one of the top 30 models during the 2000s. She worked with other well known brands too like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Her journey into acting included starring roles in films like The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. As beautiful as she is, modeling was never her first focus. She actually spent much of her time in school, eventually receiving a degree from Cambridge!
20. Elizabeth Banks
Most would recognize Elizabeth Banks from her roles in the Hunger Games franchise. What most don’t know is that she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude. She even joined the popular Delta Delta Delta sorority during her four year stint. College also held another bonus for her. It was while attending classes there that she met her husband, Max Handelman.
19. Ashley Rickards
Ashley is most known for her role as the severely autistic character Mandy in the motion picture Fly Away. She can also be seen in the MTV’s show “Awkward” where she plays lead character Jenna Hamilton. Don’t let that fool you though, she is anything but awkward. At 15 she graduated high school. That’s right, 15. In addition, she is a current member of MENSA. when she isn’t acting, she’s a competitive equestrian in addition to serving on the board for the Project Futures Somali MAM Foundation. This is the organization that works to end slavery and prevent human trafficking from southeast Asia.
18. Alicia Keys
With several Grammys under her belt and millions of record sales, Alicia Keys is one of the most respected musicians in the industry today. At the age of 16 she became high school valedictorian graduating early and at the top of her class. She has a high IQ as well (reportedly 154). She even attended Columbia University for a while before dropping out to focus on her music career full-time. She is widely regarded as one of the top female performers in the world.
17. Lisa Kudrow
While her character on the hit sitcom “Friends” was extremely ditsy, don’t let that fool you. She’s actually extremely smart. She went to Vassar and earned a B.S. in Biology, also, her dad is a well respected doctor. When Kudrow graduated she went to work for him doing medical research, continuing this for 8 years before moving on to pursue her acting career. Interestingly enough, managed to land her debut acting role through one of her brothers friends.
16. Jennifer Connelly
Most of us know that Jennifer Connelly began her career as a model before segueing over to the film industry. That seems to be a common theme with many models. She starred in several other films; with Requiem for a Dream being the most recognizable. These roles garnered her an Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award as well as a BAFTA award. Aside from her acting roles, she spent a few years at both Yale and Stanford.
15. Natalie Portman
Before she was burning up the screen, wowing us in flicks like Star Wars, Natalie Portman was a genius. Okay so she still is a genius. She has an Erdős-Bacon Number of 7. Seven is extremely good, as only a handful of people are both published academics and accredited actors. Natalie also speaks fluent Hebrew and has studied German, Arabic, Japanese and French. The Hebrew fluency probably has a lot to do with her graduate program. She graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She did attend Harvard though, where she studied neuroscience and psychology.
14. Katariina Souri
Our next beautiful genius was playmate of the month in December 1988. After her brief career as a Playboy Playmate, She moved on to writing and has authored several novels including Mina Jay Morrison (a major motion picture), Vangitse Minor Vapaaksi, Tulikarpasia, Kahdeksas Huone and Jumalasta Seuraava. Her brief marriage to Finnish rock musician Anzi Destruction ended two years later, but they still lived together for a bit.
13. Reese Witherspoon
Acoording to Witherspoon, “this big dork reads a lot of books.” Not something many would expect after watching Legally Blonde. Rest assured, there’s more to Reese than meets the eye. You would be surprised to know she actually attended Stanford for a while. However, as with several other people on our list she left early to pursue her acting career. Why pursue a career as a lawyer when you can make a lot more playing one on the big screen?
12. Sharon Stone
Most of us remember Sharon Stone steaming up the big screen in the movie Basic Instinct. What most people don’t know is that she claimed to be an active member of MENSA for a while. She kept this story going until 2002 when Jim Blackstone, the national director for Mensa, called her out. She then modified her story to say that she went to a Mensa school even though she wasn’t a member of the organization itself. However, this is false as well because Sharon Stone was born in 1958 and the Mensa schools stopped existing in the early 60s. While she isn’t actually a part of the group, her IQ is 156, so she could get in the club if she wanted to.
11. Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields found success early on as a child actor, and went straight to modeling after that. Shethen took a break in her career to pursue her education. So where did she go and what did she do? Princeton. Her major was Romance Languages with an emphasis on French. In fact, her transcript was published in a 1987 edition of Life magazine. It showed that Shields scored all A’s and B’s, implying that Princeton turns out well-rounded candidates. She even serves as a spokesperson for Tupperware. They have a SMART Girls Campaign that Brooke spearheads to teach girls how to nurture their physical and mental well-being. This is something she believes in because she struggled with confidence as a child.
10. Emma Watson
There are many who would say Emma Watson is much like her Harry Potter character, Hermione. In fact, she herself has said she is a lot like Hermione. Both are outspoken (Emma is a self proclaimed feminist), beautiful, down to earth and brainy. While Hermione shows her brains in spells and potions, Emma does this through her degree in Literature from Brown University. When she moved to the states she wanted to attend Brown because of its status as an academic institution with a leaning towards creativity and expression.
9. Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale is the perfect example of brains and beauty. Films like the Underworld Series, Vacancy, Click, and Whiteout really show off her skill as an actress. While she may not win any Academy awards for these movies, they do seem to resonate with her penchant for writing. That is what Kate was known for during her pre-acting days. As a teenager she won the coveted W.H. Smith writing award. Her first win was for three short stories and her second for three short poems. She did go to college, she just never finished. Her interests? She studied Russian and French but gave it up to pursue acting.
8. Carmen Kass
Who says good things don’t come from Estonia? Carmen Kass is a supermodel from the exotic country, as well as a former political candidate. She worked for years modeling for industry giants like Valentino, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Versace and Dior. In 2002 it was estimated that she was the second highest paid model in the entire world. When she isn’t modeling or running for office, you can find her competing in world class chess tournaments. And these aren’t your average chess tournaments either. This hobby has earned her the title “smartest supermodel.”
7. Famke Janssen
If we are comparing bond girls for smarts, Famke Janssen is at the top of the list. You probably know her as Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye. If you remember the x men movies, she starred as the powerful Jean Grey. She also happens to be extremely intelligent. Famke attended Columbia University where she studied literature and creative writing. She also served as a Goodwill ambassador to the United Nations. Her official title was ambassador for Integrity at the Second Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. That’s a mouthful for sure, but an achievement nobody else on our list has even come close to accomplishing.
6. Victoria Zdrok
Hugh Hefner really knew how to pick them. Former playmate Victoria Zdrok is both beautiful and smart beyond reason. Most parents would dream of an honor student like her. She skipped high school, graduating summa cum laude and went straight to college. She performed equally well in college, obtaining two degrees; the first being a law degree and the second being a Phd in psychology. So her book about how to pick up women titled “Dr. Z on Scoring” really means she is a doctor.
5. Danica McKellar
Graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics. She has published 4 bestselling math books designed to inspire confidence in middle school-aged female students. She even has the same Erdős–Bacon number as Carl Sagan (6). This stunning starlet has a reported IQ of 154. Wow, talk about winning the genetic lottery. Brains and beauty all at once!
4. Julie Peterson
This Playboy Playmate is known for sending men into overdrive, yet she is also part of the exclusive MENSA group as well. Julie was proud to hold the title of the first Playboy playmate admitted to the group, and MENSA was more than pleased to have her in their ranks. The media went insane for a bit when this happened. It seemed that a blonde Playmate being admitted into the exclusive society of geniuses was just too much for them. Needless to say, she is very proud of this achievement; considering people who are included in Mensa have an IQ that lies within the top 2% of people in the US.
3. Claire Danes
Claire got her big break as a melancholy teen on MTV’s My So Called Life. After starring in several films (such as Romeo+Juliett) she got accepted into Yale where she studied psychology for over two years. This is no small feat for an actress, even if she did drop out.
2. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
She scored 90% when she took her HSC exams. At first she was going to pursue zoology but later ditched those plans in favor of pursuing architecture while in college. She then ditched those plans as well in order to make it big as a model and Bollywood actress. She speaks Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, English and Tulu. Most remember her as Miss World 1994.