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Thread: 10 Secretly Smart Celebrities

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    Default 10 Secretly Smart Celebrities

    Not all celebrities are as dumb as you might think. Check out this list of secretly cerebral celebs.

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    10. Lisa Kudrow

    Known for playing dumb, 'Friends' star Lisa Kudrow is actually one smart cookie. With a doctor for a dad and a neurologist for a brother, it's no surprise that before she went into acting, Kudrow was neck-deep in medical research. She received her B.S. in biology from Vassar and worked on her father's staff for 8 years, earning credit for her research on headaches

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    9. Edward Norton

    Hollywood's go-to everyman, Edward Norton graduated from Yale with a B.A. in history in 1991. While there he acted in university productions along with Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti. Besides having an Ivy League background, Norton learned to speak Japanese while working for his grandfather's company in Osaka.

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    8. Quentin Tarantino

    He dropped out of high school at 16, but the auteur director is reported (though it is unconfirmed) to have an IQ of 160. Even if the rumors turn out to be false, his decision to drop out in pursuit of his dream to make movies has already been vindicated.

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    7. Kate Beckinsale

    Known best for killing werewolves and vampires in skin-tight PVC, Kate Beckinsale is no slouch academically. The actress twice won the W.H. Smith Young Writer's comptetition in her teens and went on to study French and Russian literature at New College Oxford before moving into acting.

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    6. Ben Stein

    So it's not really a secret that Ben Stein is smart, but he does actually have some cred in academic circles. He's worked as a lawyer, a professor, a speech writer, a historian, and until recently he had a weekly business column in the New York Times. Stein's writings generally lean far right, and his reputation was damaged after he incorrectly predicted that the mortgage crisis would "blow over."

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    5. Geena Davis

    Before she became a movie star, Geena Davis was a model student who became fluent in Swedish by participating in the exchange program in high school. With an IQ of 140, Davis is a well-known member of MENSA. In 2009, she received an honorary Doctorate from Bates College for her work on gender studies in the media.

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    4. Conan O'Brien

    He's not the ratings king yet, but Conan O'Brien is easily the smartest talk show host on television. Conan graduated from high school as valedictorian and went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in history and literature. But he never lost his sense of humor. Conan was a writer for the Harvard Lampoon throughout his 4 years there.

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    3. Dolph Lundgren

    Swedish tough guy and "Rocky IV" star Dolph Lundgren has one tough academic record. He graduated from Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology before earning his master's in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney and being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.

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    2. Jodie Foster

    Acting since the age of 3, this actress is freaky smart. Jodie Foster graduated from the French-speaking Lycee Francais de Los Angeles in 1980 as valedictorian and went on to graduate magna cum laude from Yale with a B.A. in literature. Foster is still fluent in French and also understands German and Italian.

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    1. Natalie Portman

    A 4.0 high school student, Natalie Portman once said she'd "rather be smart than a movie star." Portman skipped the debut of Star Wars: Episode I so she could study for her high school finals and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Harvard University in 2003. She is fluent in Hebrew, and has studied French, Japanese, German and Arabic. She's twice been published in scientific journals and in 2006 appeared at Columbia to guest lecture on

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