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5 Celebrities You Won’t Believe Are Highly Educated

Mayim Bialik      

Actress Mayim Bialik arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

A lot of people may recognize Mayim Bialik from the character she plays, Amy Farrah Fowler, on The Big Bang Theory, but not people know that she is also highly educated. Mayim is a neuroscientist in real life, similar to her character, and had been accepted at both Yale and Harvard, but chose to go to UCLA instead. This was because she wanted to be close to her family, and earned a B.S. degree in Jewish studies, Hebrew studies, and neuroscience.

That wasn’t all, as Bialik also got a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break in 2005, so that she can concentrate on her acting commitments, but in 2007 she went back to get her PhD. She is also a published author and has a book called “Parenting based on the science of hormones involved in parent-child bonding”. 35 year old Mayim Bialik has 2 children and she has also been nominated for the Emmy Award on three occasions, which just goes on to show how talented she is in all facets of her life.

Brian May  

Brian May of rock group Queen performs during the VH1 Rock Honors concert in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 25, 2006.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Brian May, the guitar player of the rock band Queen, has got more in common with “Sir Isaac Newton”, than just his looks, as both hail from England and excel in physics and mathematics. From 1970 to 1974 May was studying ‘reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the Solar System’ at the Imperial College in London.

However, he couldn’t earn his PhD, since the fame of his rock band Queen rose to stratospheric proportions, due to which he had to put his studies on hold. He re-registered for his PhD at Imperial College in 2006, and managed to graduate in 2008. He may be a rock star and a guitar player for one of the leading rock bands of our generation, but that didn’t stop Brian May from getting a higher education. He is an inspiration to many people, who think that just because they have come across success, they should put a hold to their studies.

James Franco      


James France is probably the most surprising name on this list, since not many people will think of him as a PhD student at the University of Yale. He is known for his comic stoner films and as a filmmaker and actor, but he is also highly educated. He has also graduated from the University of Columbia, UCLA, where he had taken 62 credits in a single semester!

While growing up Franco didn’t wanted to become a marine zoologist, instead of an actor but his career choice hasn’t disappointed him. He has proved his acting credentials in numerous films, and he has famously carried on studying, while working in the film industry. He is among a select group of actors in Hollywood who have managed to earn their PhD, while keeping their acting commitments.

Natalie Portman    


Natalie Portman is definitely the definition of beauty with brains and is one of the few actresses in Hollywood who is also highly educated. She also famously skipped the premier of her film ‘Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace’, in order to study for her final exams in high school. Portman graduated in 2003 from Harvard University with a degree in psychology.

She also went to Israel and enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for graduate courses. She also has a keen interest in studying other languages, which she developed in her childhood, and has studied Arabic, German, Japanese, and French. She co-authored a couple of scientific studies, and is fluent in all the languages that she has studied. Natalie Portman is an inspiration to many people, and she goes on to show that she isn’t all about her good looks, since she has got higher education that most other actresses haven’t got in Hollywood.

Shaquille O’Neal      


Shaquille O’Neal probably doesn’t come across as someone who has completed his higher studies, partly due to the fact that he is a hugely successful athlete and one of the most successful basketball players the game has ever seen. He left LSU, when he got drafted into the NBA, but he had promised his mother that he would return and complete his studies. He fulfilled that promise by returning to complete his bachelor of arts in general studies.

His coach at the time, Phil Jackson, even let him miss a home game, so that he could attend his graduation, and at his ceremony, he said that he could now get a real job. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t just complete his bachelors; he also completed his MBA online from the University of Phoenix. He said that he wanted to have something impressive on his resume like the rest of the people who worked 9 to 5 regular jobs.

Towards the end of his career, he started to work on an Ed.D in Human Resource Development at Barry University, and he got his degree in 2012. He also has plans to further his studies as he has intentions to attend law school. O’Neal has also studied cinematography and directing at the New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking Conservatory.

Even now, after his lucrative and long NBA career is coming to an end, Shaq is still thinking about his studies, which goes on to show that if you have got a passion then you can do anything in life.



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