Celebrities Who Are Smarter Than Us

Rowan Atkinson Is Smarter Than Mr. Bean

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Who knew Mr. Bean was actually smart in real life? Atkinson originally earned a Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering while studying at Newcastle University. After graduating, he began a Masters program in electrical engineering at The Queen’s College Oxford in 1975. Only while completing his Masters Degree is when he started to take acting more seriously.


Sofia Vergara

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Colombian comedic actress Sofia Vergara has become a household name thanks to her role on the hit show Modern Family. She was discovered as a seventeen-year-old on the beach while still enrolled in high school. She was subsequently cast in a Pepsi commercial.

At the same time, she enrolled in dental school in Bogotá, Colombia. Sofia said, “I went to dental school, but I didn’t finish because I started getting opportunities for work. Ultimately, she chose to continue making money and moved to the United States. 


David Duchovny

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David Duchovny, best known for his role as Fox Mulder on the X-Files, isn’t just an actor. He’s an educated one. More than that, David actually happens to be Ivy League-educated. David has a degree in English literature from Princeton University. He later earned a Master’s in English literature from Yale University.


Ashley Judd

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Ashley Judd grew up in a show business family in the shadow of an older sister, however, she has definitely been successful in her own right starring in many films and shows over the years. She has also been involved over the years in political activism and various humanitarian work.

She holds a bachelor degree in French from the University of Kentucky and later a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Union College. Although, despite the honorary Ph.D., she is now earning one for real and is currently attending UC Berkeley pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy.




Dr. Drew

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We all know Dr. Drew from VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. But although he’s become synonymous with strung-out celebs, Dr. Drew is a board-certified internist and specializes in treating addiction. He became engulfed in the world of pop culture when he was asked to co-host the Loveline program, while also maintaining his personal practice.




Rachel Maddow

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Viewers only need to watch 30 seconds of MSNBC’s political show The Rachel Maddow Show to know that the host is brilliant. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the star has numerous degrees to her name—but many fans don’t realize just how many accolades the star has under her belt.

Maddow earned her degree in public policy from Stanford in 1994 and began her postgraduate studies the next year at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 2001, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in politics at the University of Oxford.




Christy Turlington

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Christy Turlington is considered one of the original supermodel alongside the likes of Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford. The leggy star has been modeling since she was just 14, but still made education a priority. Turlington was accepted into New York University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy.

Although she had already found great success modeling, she continued her studies at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health when she was 40 years old, earning her masters.






Jenny McCarthy

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She rose to prominence in the early ’90s as a model for Playboy, eventually becoming Playmate of the Year in 1993, but Jenny McCarthy’s foray into adult “literature” probably didn’t happen because she wanted it to. After graduating from high school, McCarthy was enrolled at Southern Illinois University where she was studying nursing and psychology.

She only attended for two years before eventually dropping out due to lack of funds. You could say that her “big break” finally came when she was offered $20,000 to pose for Playboy.



Jenny Thompson

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She is one of the most decorated Olympians in history with twelve Olympic medals—eight of which are gold—but Jenny Thompson also has the brains to complement her brawn. The talented swimmer attended Stanford University while a member of the U.S. national team, but in 2001 decided she wanted to return to school, enrolling at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

She received her M.D. in 2006 and completed her residency in anesthesiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Thompson currently works as an anesthesiologist for the Spectrum medical group at Maine Medical Center.




Tina Turner

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Before she was questioning “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time, divalicious singer Tina Turner had aspirations of becoming a nurse.

After completing high school, Turner forged her nursing career by taking up work as a nurses aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. However, her nursing aspirations were left behind after she began frequenting nightclubs in the St. Louis area, where she eventually met her soon-to-be husband Ike Turner.


Lisa Kudrow

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Before she was Phoebe Buffay on Friends, Lisa Kudrow’s foray into acting came rather suddenly. She had attended Vassar College, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and afterward, returned home to work with her father, Dr. Lee Kudrow, who was a headache specialist.

But while researching with her father, Kudrow found herself thinking about how she would act things out on television better than how she saw them and decided one day to try acting. Her acting career didn’t take off from the start, but following her instinct certainly paid off!





Mayim Bialik

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She played Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but what’s awesome about actress Mayim Bialik is that she is actually a doctor in real life as well. Although she was a child actress, most notable for the titular role in the sitcom Blossom, Bialik decided to attend UCLA when Blossom wrapped up.

She originally earned a Bachelors of Science in neuroscience and subsequently went on to earn her Masters and Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. With all that effort put into her schooling, you would think Bialik would want to utilize her degrees, but it all came full circle for the actress since she plays a neuroscientist on The Big Bang Theory.


Dr. Phil

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Dr. Phil has given out some questionable advice on his daytime television show, but he still has the most watched show on daytime television, so we were sure hoping that he was a qualified psychologiest. In 1975, Dr. Philip McGraw earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Midwestern State University.

He then went on to the University of North Texas where he earned both his master’s in experimental psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.



Ken Jeong

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He may play a doctor on television now, but don’t be mistaken, actor Ken Jeong is qualified to actually be a real doctor. Before he was making us laugh on The Hangover and Community, Jeong was a licensed physician in California. He earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina and was completing his residency in internal medicine at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans when he began performing stand-up on the side.

He was noticed by television producers who urged him to move out West. He followed suit and while he regularly performed stand-up at various Los Angeles comedy clubs, he practiced medicine at a Kaiser Permanente before hitting it big.


Eva Longoria

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Eva Longoria is most famous for playing Gabrielle on the hit soap opera Desperate Housewives. She’s appeared in a bunch of other TV and movie productions over the years.

Before she got her big break, Eva attended Texas A&M University at Kingsville where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. After Desperate Housewives ended, Eva went back to school and earned her Master’s Degree in Chicano Studies from California State University. She saw her college experience as a mind expanding opportunity.