813.3k readers

The Smartest Celebrities

Updated October 28, 2020 813.3k views100 items

The smartest celebrities are those who have documented high IQs, multiple degrees from distinguished universities, and a history of long hours spent studying complicated subjects. Some of these celebs, like Matt Damon, even star in the best movies about geniuses. A number of famous actors are members of the "high IQ society" Mensa - or, at least, a number of online sources say they are. Those people are included here, as are businessmen, musicians, and even wrestlers with impressive academic résumés, and Bond girls like Jill St. John. For example, Swedish-born action star Dolph Lundgren, aka Ivan Drago, has a master's degree in Chemical Engineering and was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to M.I.T. Likewise, Oscar winner Natalie Portman has a Harvard degree, has lectured at Columbia University, and can speak five languages. And Bill Gates founded Microsoft. Which of these most brilliant celebrities surprises you most?

For brevity, this list does not include career politicians or widely recognized geniuses in academia.


  • Judy Holliday
    Reported IQ: 172

    More Judy Holliday 

    #67 of 76 The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress#189 of 234 Which Actor Would You Bring Back for One Final Movie?

  • Dexter Holland

    Dexter Holland

    University of Southern California


    BirthplaceGarden Grove, California, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 170

    More Dexter Holland 

    #385 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#179 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • James Woods


    BirthplaceVernal, Utah, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 180

    More James Woods 

    The Best James Woods Movies#155 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever

  • Masi Oka

    Masi Oka

    Brown University


    BirthplaceShibuya, Tokyo, Japan

    Reported IQ: 189

    More Masi Oka 

    #100 of 115 The Best Short Actors#173 of 187 The Best Living American Actors

  • Paul Allen

    Paul Allen

    Washington State University


    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 170

    More Paul Allen 

    #6 of 31 The Best NBA Team Owners of All Time#16 of 26 The Best NFL Team Owners of All Time

  • Bill Gates

    Bill Gates

    Harvard College


    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 160

    More Bill Gates 

    How Steve Jobs And Bill Gates Went From Friends To Bitter Enemies#44 of 2,443 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • Quentin Tarantino
    Reported IQ: 160

    More Quentin Tarantino 

    Easter Eggs You Didn't Notice in Quentin Tarantino Films#64 of 69 Celebrities with the Weirdest Middle Names

  • Michael Crichton

    Michael Crichton

    Harvard University, Harvard Medical School

    AgeDec. at 66 (1942-2008)

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    John Michael Crichton (; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author,... more on Wikipedia

    More Michael Crichton 

    Things You Didn't Know About Michael CrichtonThe Best Michael Crichton Books of All Time

  • Jill St. John

    Jill St. John

    UCLA Extension


    BirthplaceLos Angeles, USA, California

    Reported IQ: 162

    More Jill St. John 

    #397 of 853 The Best Actresses in Film History#760 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

  • Rowan Atkinson

    Rowan Atkinson

    Newcastle University, The Queen's College Oxford


    BirthplaceConsett, United Kingdom

    Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born January 6, 1955), CBE is an English actor, comedian, and... more on Wikipedia

    More Rowan Atkinson 

    #115 of 272 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today#36 of 233 The Funniest Stand Up Comedians Of All Time

  • Jayne Mansfield

    Jayne Mansfield

    UCLA, Southern Methodist University

    AgeDec. at 34 (1933-1967)

    BirthplaceBryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 163

    More Jayne Mansfield 

    From Bombshell Bigger Than Marilyn To A Tragic End At 34, The Rise And Fall Of Jayne Mansfield#323 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Danica McKellar


    BirthplaceLa Jolla, San Diego, California, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 154

    More Danica McKellar 

    What Has Danica McKellar Been Up To Since 'The Wonder Years'?#19 of 289 The Best 'Dancing With The Stars' Contestants, Ranked

  • Reggie Jackson

    Reggie Jackson

    Arizona State University


    BirthplaceWyncote, Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 160

    More Reggie Jackson 

    #16 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time#66 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time

  • Alan Rachins

    Alan Rachins

    Wharton School of Business, Empire State College


    BirthplaceCambridge, USA, Massachusetts

    Reported IQ: 152
  • Dolph Lundgren

    Dolph Lundgren

    Washington State University, Clemson University


    BirthplaceSpånga, Stockholm, Sweden

    Reported IQ: 160

    More Dolph Lundgren 

    The Best Dolph Lundgren Movies#29 of 149 The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

  • Matt Damon

    Matt Damon

    Harvard University


    BirthplaceCambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 160

    More Matt Damon 

    The Best Matt Damon MoviesFascinating Things Most People Don't Know About Matt Damon

  • Steve Wozniak

    Steve Wozniak

    UC Berkeley


    BirthplaceSan Jose, California, United States of America

    Stephen Gary "Woz" Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950) is an American inventor, electronics... more on Wikipedia

    More Steve Wozniak 

    #183 of 796 Famous American Inventors List#2 of 33 33 Famous People Who Were Teachers

  • Bill O'Reilly

    Bill O'Reilly

    Marist College, Queen Mary College (London)


    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 150

    More Bill O'Reilly 

    #230 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World#120 of 198 Celebrities Who Should Run for President

  • Jimmy Savile

    Jimmy Savile

    University of Leeds

    AgeDec. at 85 (1926-2011)

    BirthplaceLeeds, United Kingdom

    Reported IQ: 149

    More Jimmy Savile 

    #72 of 79 The Best Political Musicians#4 of 15 15 Seemingly Upstanding Members of Society Who Turned Out to Be Monsters

  • Jim Morrison

    Jim Morrison

    St. Petersburg College, Florida State University

    AgeDec. at 28 (1943-1971)

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Florida, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 147

    More Jim Morrison 

    #5 of 29 Members of The 27 Club#477 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • Nolan Gould
    Reported IQ: 150

    More Nolan Gould 

    #12 of 14 Actors Known For Roles Opposite To Who They Are In Real Life#1 of 13 How the Cast of Modern Family Aged from the First to Last Season

  • Alicia Keys

    Alicia Keys

    Columbia University


    BirthplaceHell's Kitchen, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Reported IQ: 154

    More Alicia Keys 

    The Best Songs Feat. Alicia Keys#9 of 198 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years

  • Ben Stein

    Ben Stein

    Columbia College, Yale Law School


    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    Reported IQ: 150

    More Ben Stein 

    #9 of 27 The Best Actors And Actresses Whose Whole Thing Is Their Voice#12 of 23 The Best Celebrity Game Show Hosts of All Time

  • Kate Beckinsale

    Kate Beckinsale

    New College Oxford


    BirthplaceFinsbury Park, London, United Kingdom

    Reported IQ: 152

    More Kate Beckinsale 

    A Complete Timeline Of Kate Beckinsale And Pete Davidson's Relationship#17 of 201 Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • Scott Adams

    Scott Adams

    Hartwick College, UC Berkeley


    BirthplaceWindham, New York

    Reported member of Mensa (IQ at least 140)