99 Celebrities Who Went to Ivy League Schools People

99 Celebrities Who Went to Ivy League Schools

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Celebrities who went to Ivy League schools are those smarty pants actors, musicians, and other famous people in the entertainment industry who at one point in their careers attended one of the most prestigious universities in the country. All of these stars scored big for their work in Hollywood but judging by their schooling, they would have likely been successful in other fields as well.

Perhaps the most prestigious of them all, Harvard University, was once home to many of our favorite current actors and TV stars such as Conan O' Brien, Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, and Jack Lemmon. Yale University is no different with numerous famous alumni such as Meryl Streep, Edward Norton, James Franco, Claire Danes, Jodie Foster, Leiv Screiber, Paul Newman, and Anderson Cooper.

Hundreds of famous people have attended other Ivy League schools too, like Brown University, which was attended by Emma Watson, John Krasinski, and Julie Bowed, or Columbia University, once a place where Kathryn Bigelow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christopher Reeve and Casey Affleck formerly studied. To round out the eight Ivy League schools, Cornell University has its share of stars, like Bill Nye, Bill Maher, and Jane Lynch, as does Dartmouth College, with alumni such as Mindy Kaling, Aisha Tyler, and Mr. Rogers, Princeton University, formerly home to Brooke Shields, David Duchovny and Ethan Cohen, and the University of Pennsylvania, with esteemed former attendees such as John Legend, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Trump, and Candice Bergen.

So while these celebrities who attended Ivy League schools might seen like some of your typical Hollywood airheads, all have high quality educations to fall back on should that whole TV, movies, or music thing not work out. Not a bad plan B at all!

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  1. Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter and producer. His career was launched with the success of his and Ben Affleck's Academy Award-winning screenplay, Good Will Hunting, for which he also received a number of Best Actor nominations. He is among Forbes magazine's most bankable ...more

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    • Age: age 45
    • Birthplace: Cambridge, USA, Massachusetts
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Field of Dreams, 30 Rock, + more
  2. Meryl Streep is an American actress. A three-time Academy Award winner, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of all time. Streep 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 ...more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: USA, New Jersey, Summit
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Manhattan, + more
  3. Conan Christopher O'Brien is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, musician, and voice actor. He is best known for hosting several late-night talk shows through Conan, which premiered on American cable television station TBS in 2010. O'Brien was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and ...more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: USA, Massachusetts, Brookline
    • Profession: Talk show host, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: Vanilla Sky, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bewitched, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Pootie Tang, + more
  4. Natalie Portman is an Israeli-born American actress, producer, and director. Her first role was in the 1994 action thriller Léon: The Professional, opposite Jean Reno, but mainstream success came when she was cast as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In 1999, she enrolled at Harvard ...more

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    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Thor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Thor: The Dark World, Heat, + more
  5. Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at the age of ten. Following his first lead role in October Sky, he starred in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko, in which he played a psychologically ...more

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    • Age: age 35
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor
    • Credits: Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac, The Day After Tomorrow, Prisoners, + more
  6. Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson is an English actress, model, and activist. Watson rose to prominence 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, ...more

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    • Age: age 25
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Model, Actor
    • Credits: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, + more
  7. Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer and activist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in the films Primal Fear, American History X and Birdman. He also starred in other roles, such as Everyone Says I Love You, The People vs. Larry Flynt, ...more

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: Boston, USA, Massachusetts
    • Profession: Journalist, Environmentalist, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, + more
  8. Claire Catherine Danes is an American actress, who first came to prominence with her role as Angela Chase in the 1994 series My So-Called Life. The role won her the first of four Golden Globe Awards. She made her film debut the same year in Little Women. Her other films include Romeo + Juliet, The ...more

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    • Age: age 36
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Television producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Homeland, Princess Mononoke, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Stardust, My So-Called Life, + more
  9. John Burke Krasinski is an American actor, director and screenwriter. He is known for his role as Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom The Office. His film credits include Away We Go, Leatherheads, License to Wed, Big Miracle, Something Borrowed, It's Complicated, and Promised Land.more

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    • Age: age 36
    • Birthplace: USA, Massachusetts, Newton
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Office, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Muppets, Shrek the Third, Don Jon, + more
  10. Rashida Leah Jones is an American film and television actress, comic book author, screenwriter, and occasional singer. Jones played the role of Ann Perkins on NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation, Louisa Fenn on Fox's Boston Public and Karen Filippelli on The Office. Jones has had film roles in Our Idiot ...more

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    • Age: age 39
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author, Actor, Voice acting, + more
    • Credits: Parks and Recreation, The Social Network, The Muppets, I Love You, Man, + more
  11. James Edward Franco is an American actor, filmmaker, and teacher. His first prominent acting role was the lead character Daniel Desario on the short-lived cult hit television program Freaks and Geeks. He later played the title character in the TV biographical film James Dean, for which he won a Golden ...more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: USA, California, Palo Alto
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Film Editor, Author, + more
    • Credits: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Oz the Great and Powerful, Freaks and Geeks, + more
  12. Elizabeth Casey is an actor.more

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    • Age: age 41
    • Birthplace: USA, Massachusetts, Pittsfield
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director
    • Credits: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, + more
  13. John Roger Stephens, better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American singer, songwriter and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe and one Academy Award. In 2007, Legend received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Prior to the release of Legend's ...more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Television producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Soul Men, Duets, Soundtrack for a Revolution, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, + more
  14. Anna Helene Paquin is a Canadian-born New Zealand actress. Her first film was The Piano, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in March 1994 at the age of 11, making her the second youngest winner in Oscar history. She later appeared in a number of successful films, including ...more

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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: True Blood, X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, Almost Famous, X-Men 2, + more
  15. Isaac Liev Schreiber is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He became known during the late 1990s and early 2000s, having appeared in several independent films, and later mainstream Hollywood films, including the Scream trilogy of horror films, Phantoms, The Sum of All Fears, X-Men ...more

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    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director
    • Credits: Scream, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Scream 2, The Hurricane, The Butler, + more
  16. Ashley Judd is an American actress and political activist. She grew up in a family of successful performing artists as the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna Judd. While she is best known for an ongoing acting career spanning more than two decades, she has increasingly ...more

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    • Age: age 47
    • Birthplace: Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Etymologist, Spokesperson, Television producer, Actor, Voice acting, + more
    • Credits: Heat, Natural Born Killers, A Time to Kill, Divergent, Kiss the Girls, + more
  17. Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He has received four Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive. His other notable starring roles include former Texas Ranger Woodrow F.more

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: Texas, USA, San Saba
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director
    • Credits: No Country for Old Men, Captain America: The First Avenger, Men in Black, Men in Black 3, Batman Forever, + more
  18. Brooke Christa Shields is an American actress, model and former child star. Shields, initially a child model, gained critical acclaim for her leading role in Louis Malle's controversial film Pretty Baby, in which she played a child prostitute in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. The role ...more

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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Television producer, Model, Author, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Other Guys, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Blue Lagoon, Hannah Montana: The Movie, Endless Love, + more
  19. William Oliver Stone is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and military veteran. Stone came to public prominence between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. Many of ...more

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Television director, Soldier, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: Platoon, Scarface, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Conan the Barbarian, + more
  20. Alicia Christian Foster, known professionally as Jodie Foster, is an American actress, film director, and producer. Foster began acting in commercials at the age of three, and her first significant role came in 1976 as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver, for which she received a nomination for the ...more

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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Musician, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director
    • Credits: The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Contact, Elysium, Panic Room, + more
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