Surprisingly Deep Celebrities


Justin said:
David Duchovny has a graduate degree in English Lit from Yale.
Yup, and did his undergraduate studies at Princeton.

Masi Oka, the actor who plays Hiro Nakamura in Heroes, has a BS in computer science and maths from Brown. When he's not acting, he works as a digital effects artist. His digital work appears in such films as SW I, II and III, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Terminator 3.

I don't know if John Astin who played Gomez in the original Addams Family TV series counts as a celebrity, but if he does, he desrves a mention. He studied at Johns Hopkins and teaches there now.

Wes Craven is also a Hopkins graduate.
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Staff member
I necro my own thread because of new info I just found:

Robert A. Leonard, Ph.D., Professor of Linguistics at Hofstra University. His specialty is Forensic Linguistics as applied to U.S. law.

Never heard of him? He was a founding member of Sha Na Na- the lineup that played Woodstock- singing & playing bass.

None of which is recorded in the group's Wiki...which reveals that these guys weren't a collection of knuckleheads! Several former members of this band are professors or medical doctors.


Speaking of Brian May...

Freddie Mercury has a degree in Art and Design. Roger Taylor has a degree in biology. And John Deacon has a degree in electronics.

Other smart celebs...

Mira Sorvino graduated Harvard magna cum laude in PolySci.
Natalie Portman has a degree in Psychology from Harvard and has done some grad work.
Jodie Foster has a Lit degree from Yale where she graduated magna cum laude.
Dolph Lundgren has a Master's in Chemical Engineering.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Brian May, guitarist for Queen --> PhD in Astrophysics.

I didn't see anyone else mention it - let's get the full story...

May was working on his PhD back in the Early 70s. When Queen hit it big, he left off that work. He went back to it 30 years later, caught up on what had happened in the field, put together a new thesis, and defended - when he was 60 years old!

Imagine how many of his brain cells died during his career with Queen. And after that, he still had the oomph to earn a doctorate in astrophysics.


Staff member
That, man, is simply impressive.

I wonder if he defended his thesis defense as a concept album? And if so, when will it be released?:)

That thesis...was it in String Theory, perhaps?
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First Post
Surprised that nobody has mentioned all of the Monty Python team and they were about at the same time as Dudley Moore at Oxford.

Quentin Tarantino dropped out of school but is supposed to have an IQ of 160 and a member of mensa as is Steve Martin and Geena Davis - not that I think being in mensa necessarily means your smart but I think these guys are.

and Matt Daemon was at Harvard.

I think the list would be quite long though I expect that many of them, like Brian May, substituted their academic careers for the entertainment one at the critical point when it mattered and only a few like May went back and got the grades on paper.

Talking about Brian May, astrophysics and entertainment, in reverse, Patrick Moore is a pretty accomplished glockenspiel player and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden nearly made the UK Olympic fencing team and is now also a trained commercial jet pilot and a captain for a jet company flying 757's. I believe that Lars from metallica was a pretty hot tennis player before being a drummer full time.


Back to Peter Weller, he has an entire series "Engineering an Empire". Both my wife and I teach Global Studies (World History) and it is a staple DVD set we both own.


This may sound somewhat insulting, but I do not mean to be; I mean it as a serious question:

Is it not kind of " shallow " to drag up all these example of intelligent actors and to act surprised at the " deepness " of their intellect? Why is anyone assuming that actors are dumber than the population at large to begin with?

And secondly, what exactly does intelligence have to do with depth anyway? They are not synonymous qualities by a long shot.

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