from an NBC.com article today…
Actress Kate Beckinsale studied French and Russian at Oxford University and won the W.H. Smith Young Writers’ competition twice – once for her short stories and once for her poems. She’s also tri-lingual, speaking German, Russian and French fluently. [note: article names these three languages, calls her tri-lingual…what about English?]
Conan O’Brien earned valedictorian honors in high school before he went on to Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in American History.
Jennifer Connelly began her college studies at Yale University. After two years, she transferred to Stanford, where she finished her degree in English.
Matt Damon‘s straight As in high school earned him a spot at Harvard University. While there, this Boston-bred actor studied English.
After leaving one of New York City’s top private high schools, David Duchovny enrolled at Princeton. He went on to Yale for graduate school, where he earned a Master’s degree in English Literature.
Jodie Foster is another high school valedictorian, but she earned the title from the French-speaking Lycee Francais de Los Angeles. Foster went on to attend Yale and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Literature.
After graduating high school in Los Angeles, Maggie Gyllenhaal attended Columbia in New York, where she studied Literature and Eastern Religions. Gyllenhaal graduated in 1999 and then moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Tommy Lee Jones left his hometown in Texas to attend Harvard on a need-based scholarship, where he played offensive tackle on the varsity football team. Jones graduated cum laude with a degree in English in 1969. He was also future Vice President Al Gore’s roommate.
L.A.-born Rashida Jones left California to attend Harvard University, where she studied Religion and Philosophy.
After graduating high school at just 16 years old, Alicia Keys enrolled in Columbia University for two years before leaving to pursue her music career.
After taking a semester off after graduating high school, John Krasinski attended Brown University where he studied Playwriting. He graduated from Brown in 2001, and went on to star in commercials, TV shows and off-Broadway performances before becoming Jim Halpert on The Office.
“Friends”‘ star Lisa Kudrow wanted to follow in her physician father’s footsteps – she received a B.S. in Biology from Vassar College. Later she spent 8 years working on her father’s staff to study the likelihood of left-handed people to develop cluster headaches.
Hugh Laurie is no dumb doc. The British actor attended the prestigious Cambridge University, earning a third-class honors degree in anthropology and archaeology.
Along with being a bodybuilder and Rocky’s boxing opponent in Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology and received a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney. He was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, which he dropped to pursue acting. He is fluent in Swedish, English, and Spanish.
Amanda Peet credits an acting class she took at Columbia University with inspiring her to become a professional actress. She graduated from Columbia with a degree in History.
After graduating from high school with a pristine 4.0, Natalie Portman headed to Harvard where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also attended Hebrew University for graduate school, and is now fluent in Hebrew, French and Japanese.
Shakira is fluent in Spanish, English, Italian, and Portuguese, and boasts an IQ of 140.
Brooke Shields went to Princeton University, where she graduated in 1987 with a degree in French Literature.
After high school in New Jersey, Mira Sorvino was accepted to Harvard. She graduated magna cum laude in East Asian Studies in 1989. She wrote a Hoopes Prize-winning thesis on racial conflict in China, written and researched during a year she spent studying abroad in Beijing.
After graduating with honors in Economics from Columbia University in 1966, Ben Stein went on to study at Yale Law School, where he was voted valedictorian. He also worked in both the Nixon and Ford administrations as a speechwriter.
Meryl Streep has an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama.
Though cult director Quentin Tarentino dropped out of high school when he was 16, he reportedly has an IQ of 160.
Aisha Tyler earned a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in Government with a minor in Environmental Policy. She is also fluent in French, Russian and Swahili.
After graduating from Stanford with a B.A. in English, Sigourney Weaver pursued her dreams at the Yale School of Drama.