By Paco Lopez
Many people believe that actors do what they do for a living, because they’re not so bright and it’s a way to earn a buck, rather than go to school and study.
However, not only is that one of the furthest things from the truth, but, there are quite a few (famous) actors who’ve received degrees from universities (some prestigious) and some have even gone further than just graduating!
Since this is the time of year when many students are graduating from schools across the country, I thought I would put together a list of “special” grads.
Here is a list of 20 celebs who’ve received degrees. Some will surprise you. Some will blow you away.
20. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o attended Yale School of Drama. She holds a Masters in acting.
19. You may not recognize the name…Tatyana Ali, however, you would know her if you saw her face. She is the former star of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” She attended Harvard and graduated with a degree in anthropology in 2002.
18. Liev Schreiber best known for his roles in multiple X-Men films where he played Victor Creed graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 1992.
17. Mira Sorvino is a graduate from Harvard with a degree in East Asian Studies. She didn’t just get a degree, she graduated magna cum laude in 1989.
16. Actor David Duchovny best known for his role as Fox Mulder in X-Files graduated from Princeton in 1982 with a B.A. degree in English literature.
15. TV and film star, Julia Stiles graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
14. John Krasinski who played Jim on “The Office,” graduated from Brown University in 2001. He began his studies with an interest in English literature, and eventually pursued theater. And, possibly just as impressive, he spent the first half of his freshman year in Costa Rica teaching English to students.
13. “Modern Family” star Julie Bowen (one of America’s favorite TV moms) went to Brown University and earned a degree in 1991. While studying at Brown, she also acted in musicals such as “Guys and Dolls.”
12. Late Night comic, Conan O’Brien attended Harvard University is far more intelligent than he would lead you to believe. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in U.S. history. While at Harvard, he edited the “Harvard Lampoon” for two years.
11. After starring in the controversial film (as a young actress) “The Blue Lagoon,” Brooke Shields attended Princeton University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in French literature. She graduated in 1987.
10. Tyra Banks, the new host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, and host of her own show “America’s Next Top Model” announced she was heading to Harvard Business School. Banks attended business classes at Harvard, but never got her degree from the graduate school because she was enrolled in a special syllabus, called the “Owner/President Management Program,” which is for the most part a certificate program rather than an actual M.B.A. degree.
9. Adam Sandler, prior to writing, producing and acting in many off-beat comedy films, earned a Masters In Fine Arts from New York University.
8. Another former NYU Alum, James Franco studied film at NYU,received an Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia, and is currently enrolled and studying at Yale University. He also bachelor’s degree from UCLA where he graduated with a GPA above 3.5.
7. Ed Norton graduated from Yale University in 1991. He was a member of the rowing crew and competed while studying history at the Ivy League school where he also took acting classes on the side.
6. Natalie Portman has a reputation in the industry for being extremely intelligent. She attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in psychology in 2003. By the way, she also speaks Hebrew, French, Arabic, German, and Japanese.
5. Despite being a successful child star, Jodie Foster has continued with a successful adult acting career. She graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in literature in 1985.
4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson graduated from the University of Miami in 1995, with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in criminology and physiology.
3. Sigourney Weaver attended Stanford University as an undergraduate before going on to graduate from the Yale School of Drama with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1974.
2. Three time Oscar winner Meryl Streep attended Vassar College, and continued onto the Yale School of Drama to receive a master’s of fine arts in 1975. In the program.
1. Though she plays a scientist on television…she truly is a scientist in the “real world.” Mayim Bialik (one of the stars of the hit CBS TV show, “The Big Bang Theory”) earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, in 2007.
Yay! You did it!