Smartest Celebrities (Ranked by IQ)

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When it comes to celebrities, most people assume because they’re actors, musicians, or socialites, that they aren’t very bright. Obviously people like that need to take a class in breaking down stereotypes, because these 21 celebs are probably smarter than all of us. The current definition of IQ test standard scores states that about two-thirds of all test-takers obtain scores from 85 to 115, and about only 5 percent of the population scores above 125. See which celebs score above that!

Masi Oka – 189

Masayori “Masi” Oka is a Japanese-American actor and digital effects artist. He became widely known for his role on NBC’s Heroes as Hiro Nakamura.

James Woods – 184

Out of this list, James Woods has the highest reported IQ, which has been listed as 180-184. To better clarify that for you, anything over 160 is listed as “extraordinary genius”. He attended MIT, with his original plan for a career as an eye surgeon. However, to become an actor, he dropped out of MIT shortly before graduation to pursue his career.

Judy Holliday – 172

She began her career as part of a nightclub act before working in Broadway plays and musicals. Her success in the 1946 stage production of Born Yesterday as “Billie Dawn” led to her being cast in the 1950 film version for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She appeared regularly in films during the 1950s. She was noted for her performance on Broadway in the musical Bells Are Ringing, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and reprising her role in the 1960 film. In 1952, Holliday was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to answer claims she was associated with communism.

Paul Gardner Allen – 170

Paul Gardner Allen is an American businessman, philanthropist, investor, musician, and innovator, best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, alongside Bill Gates. As of August 2016, he was estimated to be the 40th richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $18.6 billion. Allen is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts. Allen also has a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including technology and media companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other companies. He owns two professional sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. He is also part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which in 2009, joined Major League Soccer. He is also the founder of Allen Institute for Brain Science, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cell Science and Vulcan Aerospace.

Dexter Holland – 170

is an American musician and molecular biology graduate student, best known as the singer, rhythm guitarist, and primary songwriter for the punk rock band The Offspring.

Jayne Mansfield – 163

was an American actress in film, theatre, and television. Mansfield became a major Broadway star in 1955, a major Hollywood star in 1956, and a leading celebrity in 1957. She was also a nightclub entertainer, a singer, and one of the early Playboy Playmates. She was a major Hollywood sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s and 20th Century Fox’s main sex symbol actress, alongside Marilyn Monroe. She was also known for her well-publicized personal life and publicity stunts, such as wardrobe malfunctions. While Mansfield’s film career was short lived, she had several box-office successes and won a Theatre World Award and a Golden Globe. She enjoyed success in the role of fictional actress Rita Marlowe, both in the 1955–1956 Broadway version and the 1957 Hollywood film version of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. Her other major movie performances were for The Girl Can’t Help It (1956), The Wayward Bus (1957), and Too Hot to Handle (1960). In the sexploitation film Promises! Promises! (1963), she became the first major American actress to have a nude starring role in a Hollywood motion picture. Mansfield’s professional name came from her first husband, public relations professional Paul Mansfield. In 1967, Mansfield was killed in a car crash at the age of 34, along with two others.

Mayim Bialik – 163

Mayim Bialik plays a neurobiologist on The Big Bang Theory and in real life has her Ph.D in neuroscience from UCLA. After her time on Blossom, she had been accepted to Harvard and Yale, but chose to attend school close to home. She first got her B.S., then went back to school for her doctorate, with her dissertation being an investigation of hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome. It’s been reported that her IQ is between 163.

Matt Damon – 160

Did you know Good Will Hunting was based on Matt Damon’s real life? Just kidding! But actually, Matt Damon attended Harvard (though later dropped out) and wrote the initial script for Good Will Hunting in his English class for an assignment.

Ashton Kutcher – 160

Ashton Kutcher might have played our favorite airhead on That ’70s Show, but he has a reported IQ of 160 – the same as Stephen Hawking. He attended the University of Iowa with a planned major in biochemical engineering, but later dropped out to become a model. His original career path was to discover a cure for his twin brother Michael’s heart issues.

Quentin Tarantino – 160

He might have dropped out of high school young and begun ushering at a porn movie theater, but that doesn’t mean Quentin Tarantino is dumb at all. He has a rumored IQ of 160, the same IQ as Albert Einstein.

Conan O’Brien – 160

Conan O’Brien is known for his late night hilarity, but he has some hidden smarts. While still in high school, he interned for Congressman Robert Drinan and in his senior year he won the National Council of Teachers of English writing contest with a short story, then went on to graduate as valedictorian of his class. After that he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a senior thesis focused on the use of children as symbols in the works of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.

Bill Gates – 160

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and programmer. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates has authored and co-authored several books. Starting in 1987, Gates was included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest from 1995 to 2007, again in 2009, and has been since 2014. Between 2009 and 2014, his wealth doubled from US$40 billion to more than US$82 billion. Between 2013 and 2014, his wealth increased by US$15 billion. Gates is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of US$78.3 billion as of August 2016. Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings. Later in his career Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

Cindy Crawford – 154

Cindy Crawford is an American model. Her 30 years of success at modeling made her an international celebrity that has led to roles in television and film, and to work as a spokesperson. In 1995, Forbes magazine named her the highest paid model on the planet. Cindy is one of the original five “Supermodels”. She was named No. 3 on VH1’s 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90s and was named one of the “100 Hottest Women of All-Time” by Men’s Health. Crawford is known for her trademark mole just above her lip, and has appeared on hundreds of magazine covers throughout her career.

Lisa Kudrow -154

We all know and love Lisa Kudrow from her days as ditzy Phoebe Buffay on Friends, but obviously she fooled us all, because she’s pretty brilliant. With a report IQ of 154, she graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Science. She worked with her father for 8 years while trying to become an actress and earned a research credit on his study on the comparative likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches.

Alicia Keys – 154

Alicia Keys, is an American singer, pianist, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. Keys’ debut album, Songs in A Minor, was a commercial success, selling over 12 million copies worldwide. She became the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Fallin'”, becoming the second American recording artist to win five Grammys in one night. Her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003 and was also another success worldwide, selling eight million copies. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005. Keys has made guest appearances on several television series, beginning with The Cosby Show and most recently on season 2 of Empire. She made her film debut in Smokin’ Aces and also went on to appear in The Nanny Diaries in 2007. Her third studio album, As I Am, was released in the same year and sold five million copies worldwide, earning Keys an additional three Grammy Awards. The following year, she appeared in The Secret Life of Bees, which earned her a nomination at the NAACP Image Awards. She released her fourth album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009, which became Keys’ first chart-topping album in the United Kingdom. She released her fifth album, Girl on Fire, in November 2012, which became Keys’ fifth chart-topping album in the United States. Keys released her second live album, VH1 Storytellers, in June 2013. Throughout her career, Keys has won numerous awards such as 15 Grammy Awards, and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Billboard magazine named her the top R&B songs artist of the 2000s decade. In 2010, VH1 included Keys on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Billboard magazine placed her number ten on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. In February 2012, Keys was ranked 14th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Music list. Keys was ranked at number thirty-three on VH1’s “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era” list and number 10 on their “100 Sexiest Artists” list.

Kate Beckinsale – 152

Kate Beckinsale is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing (1993) while still a student at the University of Oxford. She then appeared in British costume dramas such as Prince of Jutland (1994), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Emma (1996), and The Golden Bowl (2000), in addition to various stage and radio productions. She began to seek film work in the United States in the late 1990s and, after appearing in small-scale dramas The Last Days of Disco (1998) and Brokedown Palace (1999), she had a break-out year in 2001 with starring roles in the war drama Pearl Harbor and the romantic comedy Serendipity. She built on this success with appearances in The Aviator (2004) and Click (2006). Since being cast as Selene in the Underworld film series (from 2003 to 2017), Beckinsale has become known primarily for her work in action films including Van Helsing (2004), Whiteout (2009), Contraband (2012), and Total Recall (2012). She also continues to make appearances in smaller dramatic projects such as Snow Angels (2007), Nothing but the Truth (2008), and Everybody’s Fine (2009). In 2016, she won acclaim for her role in Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen comedy Love & Friendship.

Nolan Gould – 150

On Modern Family, Nolan Gould pays the dumb, but lovable Luke Dunphy, but in real life he’s a genius. He’s a member of Mensa and as of 2012, he had accelerated ten grades in school. On the The Ellen Degeneres Show, he said he has an IQ of 150.

Sharon Stone – 148

Don’t let that pretty face ever fool you, Sharon Stone is a smart one! She’s said to have an IQ of 148 and has claimed that if she applied to Mensa, she’d most likely be accepted.

Jim Morrison – 147

Jim Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors. Because of his songwriting, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and death, he is regarded by critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history. In the later part of the 20th century, he was one of the popular culture’s most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture. He was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and number 22 on Classic Rock magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers In Rock”. Ray Manzarek said Morrison “embodied hippie counterculture rebellion”. Morrison was sometimes referred to by other monikers, such as “Lizard King” and “King of Orgasmic Rock”.

Tony Hawk – 144

Tony Hawk, nicknamed “The Birdman”, is an American professional skateboarder, actor, and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. Hawk is well known for completing the first documented 900 and for his licensed video game titles, published by Activision. He is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding. In 2002, he created the “Boom Boom HuckJam”, an extreme sports exhibition and tour that was launched in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, Hawk has made numerous appearances in films, other media, and his own series of video games. He has also been involved in various philanthropic activities, including his own Tony Hawk Foundation that helps to build skateparks in underprivileged areas. In 2014, Hawk was named one of the most influential skateboarders of all time by FoxWeekly.

Meryl Streep – 143

Meryl Streep is an American actress. Cited in the media as the “best actress of her generation”, — a designation she objects to — Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation. She made her professional stage debut in The Playboy of Seville in 1971, and went on to receive a 1976 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for A Memory of Two Mondays/27 Wagons Full of Cotton. She made her screen debut in the 1977 television film The Deadliest Season, and made her film debut later that same year in Julia. In 1978, she won an Emmy Award for her role in the miniseries Holocaust, and received her first Academy Award nomination for The Deer Hunter. Nominated for 19 Academy Awards in total, Streep has more nominations than any other actor or actress in history; she won Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice (1982) and for The Iron Lady (2011). Streep is one of only six actors to have won three or more competitive Academy Awards for acting. Her other nominated roles are The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985), Ironweed (1987), Evil Angels (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), Music of the Heart (1999), Adaptation (2002), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), August: Osage County (2013), and Into the Woods (2014). She returned to the stage for the first time in over 20 years in The Public Theater’s 2001 revival of The Seagull, won a second Emmy Award in 2004 for the HBO miniseries Angels in America (2003), and starred in the Public Theater’s 2006 production of Mother Courage and Her Children. Streep has also received 29 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight—more nominations, and more competitive (non-honorary) wins than any other actor (male or female) in the history of the award. Her work has also earned her two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festival award, five New York Film Critics Circle Awards, two BAFTA awards, two Australian Film Institute awards, five Grammy Award nominations, and five Drama Desk Award nominations, among several others. She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2011 for her contribution to American culture through performing arts. President Barack Obama awarded her the 2010 National Medal of Arts and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2003, the government of France made her a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Steve Martin – 142

Before becoming the comedy legend that we all know and love, Steven Martin attended Cal State as a philosophy major. He was so inspired by school, he considered becoming a professor, but those motivations changed and he transferred to UCLA to major in theater. His IQ has been reported as 142.

Natalie Portman – 140

Portman’s reported IQ of 140 didn’t come without the dedication to her education! She notoriously skipped the premiere of her film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace to study for her high school finals. After that, she went on to get her A.B. degree in psychology from Harvard University. She also pursued graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She’s been published twice in scientific journals, was a research assistant at Harvard, and is fluent in over five languages!

Madonna – 140

While attending West Middle School, Madonna was known for her unusually high grade point average and her weird behavior. It’s been reported that her IQ is 140, which isn’t at all surprising as she’s been able to make her career thrive over four decades.

Robin Williams – 140

Robin Williams was an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, singer and voice artist. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco’s comedy renaissance. After rising to fame as Mork in Mork & Mindy (1978–82), Williams went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his improvisational skills. After his film debut in Popeye (1980), he starred or co-starred in widely acclaimed films, including The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Aladdin (1992), Good Will Hunting (1997), and One Hour Photo (2002), as well as financial successes, such as Hook (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and World’s Greatest Dad (2009). Williams won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He also received two Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards throughout his career. On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California.

Shakira – 140

Shakira is one of the most successful women in the music industry, best known for her belly-dancing and song writing. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, but can also speak French, Italian, Catalan, and Arabic. In 2007 she pursued a course in History of Western Civilization at UCLA Extensions. Her IQ is reported to be 140.

Kesha – 140

Kesha is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to producer Dr. Luke’s label Kemosabe Records. Her breakthrough came in early 2009 after appearing on American rapper Flo Rida’s number-one single “Right Round”. Her debut album, Animal, and her first extended play, Cannibal, were released in 2010. Kesha’s music and image propelled her to immediate commercial success, with Animal debuting as the number-one album in the United States. She also achieved two number-one singles, “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R”, and a string of top-ten singles from the album and its re-release. At the same time, she continued to write songs for other artists, including “Till the World Ends” for Britney Spears. Warrior, her second studio album, was released in December 2012, spawning Kesha’s eighth top-ten single with “Die Young”, and her ninth and tenth Top 40 hits with “C’Mon” and “Crazy Kids”. “Tik Tok” is among the best-selling digital singles in history, selling over 14 million units internationally. Influenced by various genres and artists, Kesha primarily draws inspiration from music of the 1980s; Madonna, Queen, and Beck have been cited as instrumental to her music. After experimenting with country, pop rock, and electronic music, Kesha stuck with the latter. Thematically, her music generally revolves around escapism, partying, individuality, supernatural moments, rebellion, and grief. Kesha has been involved with animal rights and LGBT activism. She has received several awards and nominations, including her win for MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act in 2010. As of November 2013, she has reportedly sold over 33 million records (albums, tracks, and ringtones) in the United States and 60 million records worldwide.

Emma Watson – 138

Emma Watson is a British actress, model, and activist. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School as a child and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. She rose to prominence after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, appearing in all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011, previously having acted only in school plays. The franchise earned Watson worldwide fame, critical accolades, and more than £10 million. She continued to work outside of the Harry Potter films, first lending her voice to The Tale of Despereaux and appearing in the television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes. Since then, she has taken on starring roles in The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bling Ring, made a brief appearance as an “exaggerated” version of herself in This Is the End, and portrayed the title character’s adopted daughter in Noah. From 2011 to 2014, Watson split her time between working on film projects and continuing her education, studying at Brown University and Worcester College, Oxford and graduating from Brown with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in May 2014. Her modelling work has included campaigns for Burberry and Lancôme. As a fashion consultant, she helped create a line of clothing for People Tree. She was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014, winning for British Artist of the Year. That same year, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar – 135

We may know and love him for his The Terminator days, but did you know Arnold Schwarznegger has a reported IQ of 135? That shouldn’t be too surprising, as he came to America penniless and he managed to build his empire. He graduated from University of Wisconsin–Superior, with a degree in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.

James Franco – 135

When you think of James Franco, you think of Seth Rogen and a string of stoner movies. While those thoughts aren’t unwarranted, he has done a lot of dumb-funny movies, but he’s actually kind of a genius. It’s been reported that his IQ is 130, and on top of that, he has attended & gradated from UCLA, Columbia University, NYU, Brooklyn College, Warren Wilson College, and is a PhD student Yale University. While at UCLA he took 62 credits in one semester, while the normal limit is 19.

 

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