Celebs With Surprisingly High IQs

Celebrities, they're just like us! Except some of them are smarter. Like, way smarter. From certified Mensa members to MIT scholarship offers, let's take a look at some celebrities with surprisingly high IQs. 

Conan O'Brien

A comic legend was born when a tall ginger took over for David Letterman and premiered a show called Late Night With Conan O'Brien in 1993, but before he cracked jokes for a living, O'Brien hit the books as a history and literature major at Harvard. He sharpened his communication skills writing for the Harvard Lampoon and graduated magna cum laude from the Ivy League school in 1985. 

Diploma in hand, Coco wasn't quite sure what his future would look like. "I didn't know what I was going to do, I didn't know how I was going to do it," he told USC's second annual Comedy @SCA Festival. "But I remember thinking it's not going to be medical school, it's not going to be law school, the male modeling is not going to happen, and it's going to be, definitely, me being in show business."

Geena Davis

Known for her diverse body of work, from horror movie The Fly to tear-jerker Thelma & Louise to the always inspirational A League of Their Own, Oscar-winner Geena Davis is also a member of Mensa International, a society for those with IQs in the top 2 percent of the world. 

Fluent in Swedish and with a reported IQ of 140, Davis is a certified genius, and we wouldn't recommend using air quotes when discussing the term "genius" in front of her. Davis almost qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics with the U.S. archery team, despite having picked up a bow and arrow for the first time just two years prior. NBD. 

Dolph Lundgren

You know him as Ivan Drago, the Terminator-like Soviet boxer who killed Apollo Creed in Rocky 4, but you can also think of Dolph Lundgren as the greatest chemical engineer who never was. 

With a degree in chemical engineering from Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and a master's degree in the same from the University of Sydney, the 6'5" karate black belt received the prestigious Fulbright scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reported NPR. Somebody cast this man as a Bond villain already.

Angela Bassett

Best known for her Oscar-nominated turn as the iconic Tina Turner in 1993's What's Love Got to Do with It, ageless actress Angela Bassett became the first person from her Gulfport, Fla. high school to be admitted into the National Honor Society. She went on to earn two degrees from Yale–a bachelor's in African-American studies and a master's from Yale School of Drama. Beauty, brains, and biceps. Bassett has it all. 

Jayne Mansfield

Brought into Hollywood to give Marilyn Monroe some blonde bombshell competition, Jayne Mansfield went on to become one of the defining sex symbols and icons of the 1950s. With a supposed IQ of 163 and the ability to speak five languages, the curvaceous beauty understood that the general public at the time was "more interested in 40-21-35"–her legendary measurements. 

With a brain like this, it's no wonder her daughter is able to solve so many crimes on Law & Order: SVU. That's right, Mansfield's daughter is Detective Olivia Benson herself, Mariska Hargitay. 

Cindy Crawford

Ten years before she became one of the most famous supermodels to walk the Earth, Cindy Crawford graduated as valedictorian from DeKalb High School in Illinois. She was offered an academic scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University, but lucky for us, Crawford dropped out after one semester and proceeded to engineer a brilliant modeling career instead.  

David Duchovny

Before he became everyone's favorite conspiracy theorist on X-Files, actor David Duchovny earned a bachelor's degree in English literature at Princeton and a master's degree in English from Yale University to fulfill his dream of becoming a poet. His doctorate from Yale was reportedly cut short after television came calling. 

"You have a fantasy when you're young, that you're going to be Nietzsche, that you have access to the profoundest truths," he told The Independent. "But screenwriting doesn't sustain a great deal of critical thought. You have to be careful of pedantry and cant and preaching. I don't really have anything profound to say. If I had, I imagine I would have been a philosopher. But I don't, really. On the other hand, I'm not an idiot, either."

Did you fantasize about becoming Friedrich Nietzsche when you grew up? 

Natalie Portman

After her breakout role in 1994's The Professional at age 14, Natalie Portman's acting career reached majestic heights, and yet, she sought something more. 

Portman enrolled at Harvard at the height of her fame. "I don't care if college ruins my career," she told the New York Post at the time (via the Daily Mail.) "I'd rather be smart than a movie star." 

She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, which helped her hone her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan, according to former professor Alan Dershowitz. "She's an actor who uses her academic background," he told The Harvard Crimson

Emma Watson

She'll always be our Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter franchise, but in 2014, Emma Watson graduated from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in English literature. 

But the road to pomp and circumstance wasn't without its challenges. "On the first day, I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned to look at me," she told The Sunday Times (via E! News.) "I had to say to myself, 'It's okay, you can do this. You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage.'"

Even though she had to take two semesters off due to work commitments, Watson's smarts eventually earned her a place among Ivy League alums. 

John Legend

You know his music. You know his wife. But did you know hit-maker and philanthropist John Legend graduated high school at the ripe old age of 16? According to The New York Times, Legend "fielded scholarship offers from Harvard, Georgetown and Morehouse before settling on the University of Pennsylvania." While in college, he was introduced to Lauryn Hill and Kanye West, and the rest was history for this musical prodigy.