While there is some debate over the scope of IQ testing, it is generally accepted that those with a score over 130 have exceptional intelligence. When it comes to celebrities, most people assume because they’re actors, musicians, or socialites, they aren’t very bright. I’m not sure why this is. But just like out in the regular world, there are many celebrities with impressive IQ scores. Can you guess which celebs they are? Let’s find out!
Number 15 – James Franco
James Franco is best known for his collaborations with Seth Rogen in stoner comedies. It just seems that the majority of his work sees him as a lovable doofus. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. James holds an IQ score of 130! His intelligence is best revealed in his passion for education. He has graduated from numerous esteemed schools such as UCLA and Columbia, and has even taught courses. He is known for his eclectic interests, and even published a book about poetry.
Number 14 – Kate Beckinsale
Often ranked among the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Kate Beckinsale is famous for a variety of roles in both romance and action movies alike. Nobody can deny that she’s a great actor, but she deserves some recognition for her intelligence as well. While her film career was just beginning, Kate was studying at Oxford. However, she quit university and started to concentrate on her acting. In addition to achieving a successful acting career, Kate’s powerful mind has allowed her to become multilingual. Currently, she reportedly speaks English, French, Russian, and German. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that she holds the impressive IQ score of 132!
Number 13 – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brilliance will likely come as a surprise to many people. Why? I don’t know. Whether this is because of his accent, his career as an action star, or the stereotype that people with massive muscles must be stupid, the fact remains that few understand his genius. He never attended college – he began his bodybuilding career right after high school. And while he spent the majority of his career flexing his muscles, the simple fact that he has enjoyed such great success in acting, bodybuilding, and politics over the past several decades is evidence of a very strong mind. This 7 time Mr. Olympia has brains to match his muscles, and Arnold happens to hold an IQ score of 135!
Number 12 – Madonna
One of the most iconic and enduring stars of all time, Madonna has been music royalty for decades. While she’s been out of the spotlight for a little while, she’s constantly reinventing herself and her image miles ahead of what her fans expect. But, her prowess as an entertainer is not the only thing that distinguishes her from the rest. She holds the incredibly impressive IQ score of 140! Her intelligence is evident from a young age, as she was known for her exceptionally high grades. She even earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan, but she chose to drop out, to pursue a career in music. And I’m sure she has absolutely no regrets! Madonna is a highly successful performer, composer, author and businesswoman. She accomplished great success and amassed a fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions!
Number 11 – Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is a remarkably successful and critically-acclaimed actress. The Oscar-winner has appeared in some powerful independent films as well as massive franchises. However, her acting ability may not be her most impressive trait. Natalie Portman just scrapes into the genius bracket with an IQ of 140 – proof that she’s more than just a pretty face. She actually attended Harvard University while filming the Star Wars prequels, coincidentally, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook was also attending Harvard at the same time. It is reported that Natalie can speak 5 different languages, holds a degree in psychology, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
Number 10 – Steve Martin
He is an accomplished banjo player, the credited inventor of air quotes and a legendary comedian and performer. There’s some serious brains behind the legend that is Steve Martin. With an IQ of 142, making people laugh was not the only future Steve could have chosen! While studying at California State University, he fell in love with education and even considered becoming a professor. But, eventually he decided to pursue theater instead, majoring in the field before pursuing what would become an amazing career.
Number 9 – Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep is among the most celebrated actors in the history of film, and she was certainly meant for greatness on the big screen. After graduating from High School, the future star enrolled at Vassar College where she received her bachelor’s in acting. Then, she graduated from Yale University with a drama degree and a total of 19 nominations. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Meryl Streep has an IQ of 143! It’s not surprising that she would go on to become the most Oscar-nominated actor in the world.
Number 8 – David Duchovny
David played FBI Agent Fox Mulder on the hit sci-fi series The X-Files, and Hank Moody on the comedy Californication. It turns out, the X-Files star has some serious brains with an impressive IQ of 147! No wonder his academic accomplishments are as impressive as his acting accomplishments. He earned his Bachelor’s in English Literature from Princeton University and his Master’s from Yale University.
Number 7 – Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford has graced over 1,000 magazine covers worldwide, including Vogue, Elle, W, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Allure. She was a top supermodel of the ’90s, but Cindy is hardly superficial! In her younger years, she was the valedictorian of her high school class and briefly studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University before opting for a full-time modeling career. Aside from posing for the cameras and walking runways, Cindy has created a trusted brand representing fashion, beauty, fitness and home. With an IQ of 154, beauty and brains certainly rule for Cindy Crawford!
Number 6 – Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler is an actress, comedian, author, producer, writer and director. She is best known for portraying Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer. She is also popular for voicing the character Agent Lana Kane in the American TV film Archer. She has also co-hosted one of America’s favorite talk shows, The Talk. Aisha began showing her interest in comedy in high school when she joined her theatre program. But it wasn’t until after graduating with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Policy from Dartmouth College, that she pursued her career in acting. Aisha Tyler apparently boasts an impressive IQ of 156!
Number 5 – Matt Damon
Matt Damon is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He is famous for his incredible action films. However, it’s likely he reached such heights not only because of his charming looks but also because of his intelligence. While, Matt Damon dropped out of Harvard University to follow his dreams of acting, he did get enough out of school to inspire him to co-write the Oscar-winning script for Good Will Hunting – with his good friend Ben Affleck. That’s when Matt Damon’s career really started taking off, and he become one of the most bankable actors in show business today! Matt’s IQ score stands at a highly impressive 160!
Number 4 – Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino is an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actor, writer, director and producer. Despite dropping out of school at the young age of 15, he holds a staggeringly high IQ of 160! To achieve success in the film industry without having a formal education is impressive enough, but creating masterpieces like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs based on just his personal study of movies is simply astounding. The legend behind all of his movies screams out GENIUS!
Number 3 – Mayim Bialik
She was once famed for the 90’s hit show Blossom, but today she is better known as Neurobiologist Amy in The Big Bang Theory. Did you know that she is just as smart as the character that she plays? In an interesting case of art imitating life, Mayim genuinely holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and she holds a reported genius IQ of 163. She is also known for her strong stance and outspoken support of natural, holistic parenting and is a spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.
Number 2 – Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Atkinson is famous for creating and playing one of the dumbest characters ever made, Mr. Bean. But the man behind the character is actually incredibly brilliant. In real life, his IQ is 178, making him one of the smartest celebrities. He studied at Newcastle University and Oxford University where he earned his degrees in Electrical Engineering. It was during his studies that he somehow became interested in acting, and eventually Rowan made a rather impressive career out of it.
Number 1 – James Woods
James Woods is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actor who studied Political Science at MIT before dropping out to pursue his acting career. Don’t recognize the face or name? That’s probably because James is most well-known for his voice acting in shows and films like Family Guy, The Simpsons, Grand Theft Auto, and Disney’s Hercules. While he may not have the cultural relevance that some of the other stars on this list enjoy today, James has a long and celebrated career in acting, producing, and voice work. But all that being said, his most impressive attribute may be the fact that his IQ is a truly incredible 184 – the highest on this list!