Usually, the words "smart" and "celebrities" do not appear anywhere in the same vicinity. I mean, in a world with the likes of Paris, Lindsay and Mariah Carey, what else can you expect? But believe it or not, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Celebrities who not only have beauty, but brains as well! Working, thinking brains, that are not just booksmart! Here's my pick for 25 of the smartest celebrities in no particular order.
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It takes some kind of genius to come up with masterpieces like Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and more recently Inglourious Basterds. Yes, he has made a few blunders over the years (remember Death Proof and Four Rooms?) but the fact is, he knows what audiences want and he knows exactly how to deliver it! Here's a surprising fact about him: He dropped out of high school but is a member of MENSA with an IQ of 160 thus proving that school does not necessarily make you a genius and sometimes you're just born one.
24. Matt Damon
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Honestly, I'm not the biggest Matt Damon fan, although I did secretly enjoy the Bourne series and thought that Good Will Hunting was pretty much briliant. And now, after discovering that Matt was a straight-A student through grade school and high school and studied English at Harvard University, he has gone up ever so slightly in my personal "Hottest Men" list.
23. Sharon Stone
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She may be 52 but it's almost like this gorgeous woman has learnt the secret behind stopping time. Her Basic Instinct scene may just go down in history as one of the steamiest scenes ever but did you know that Sharon enrolled in Edinboro Univeristy in Pennsylvania at the age of 15, has an I.Q. of 154 and is a well-publicized member of MENSA? Yep, extraordinary beauty and brains, that's Sharon!
22. Meryl Streep
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61 and FABULOUS! Meryl Streep is the perfect example of what all women should age like. The best part is, she shows no signs of slowing down! In fact she only seems to be getting better with each passing day. With 16 Academy Award nominations and 25 Golden Globe nominations, I think it's safe to say that there's no other like Meryl Streep.
21. Cate Blanchett
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How can we not respect an actress who does an exemplary job every single time she appears before the camera? Whether as Queen Elizabeth, or as the tender Daisy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, this woman can never give a bad performance. I love actors who care more about acting than bankability and aren't afraid to take a leap. Do we spot an heir apparent to Meryl Streep?
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Her hips mesmerize, her voice enchants and her looks kill (well they could, if she tried). But with an IQ of 140, Shakira is more than just sizzling good looks and a divine voice. Ah, the unfairness that is life!
19. Elisabeth Shue
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We may not have seen Elisabeth around much lately, but I love the quintessential "girl next door" quality she has to her. Remember her adorable moves in the opening sequence to Adventures in Babysitting? Besides being absolutely lovable, Elisabeth is also quite the smarty pants having attended Wellesley College and Harvard University. She left Harvard to pursue her acting career but returned 15 years later to actually complete her degree. We love a perseverant woman!
18. Cindy Crawford
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The original supermodel has literally done it all, from being on the cover of every fashion magazine imaginable, to movies to exercise videos and running her own company! With her trademark mole and killer good looks, Cindy still ranks high up there in the "Hottest women" list...even at age 44. But this list is about the grey matter and considering Cindy was the High school valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA and was enrolled at Northwestern University to study chemical engineering on full academic scholarship, you can see why she deserved a spot on our list. She did however drop out after a semester to pursue modeling full time but I'm sure we all agree that she would have done wonderfully had she stayed.
17. Anderson Cooper
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It would be a serious crime not to include one of the finest journalists of our time, the very good looking Anderson Cooper on this list. Afterall, he did graduate from The Dalton School, after which he attended Yale studying both Political Science and International Relations. The rest as the say is history...
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Jennifer Connelly has a mysterious, incredibly sexy appeal about her and the best part about her is that she is super talented in the acting department and usually picks roles that prove it. I loved her in Requiem for a Dream, Labyrinth and A beautiful Mind and considering this dark haired beauty attended Yale for two years, then transferred to Stanford and is fluent in French and Italian, I'm in serious awe!
15. Famke Janssen
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There's something about Famke Janssen that screams "bad-ass". It's probably the fact that she played the vicious Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye who crushes her enemies between her thighs and has an orgasm at the same time (LOL! What?!!). This was followed up by the equally kickass Jean Grey in the X-men series. And last but not least,in real life, Famke attended Columbia University to study Literature and Writing and later attended the University of Amsterdam to study Economics. I would NOT want to get on the wrong side of that!
14. Emma Watson
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Emma Watson may only be 20, but has quite a serious head over her pretty little shoulders. I love how she's growing into a gorgeous woman right before our eyes and I know for a fact that she has a wonderful future with a fruitful acting career.As of now, we wish her luck with her degree in art and literature at the prestigious Brown University. Choosing a degree over an acting career? Kudos! Not many have the courage! Btw, who else is loving her new pixie do?
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Do I hear you say who? Well, Matt and Trey are the creators of the very controversial (but oh-so-hilarious) South Park. Do I hear you say WHAT are you thinking? Well, here's the deal. They may mock and ridicule our favorite celebrities and politicians and be downright crude in their manner of dealing with different issues, but satire isn't the easiest thing and usually, they get it right. You may think of them as thoughtless but like Parker said in an interview, "You have to think about it a lot in order to make fun of it."
12. Alicia Keys
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Here's another woman who proves that sometimes, life is about the risks you take. Alicia may have graduated high school at 16 and served as Valedictorian but did you know that she actually gave up a scholarship to Columbia University to pursue a career in music? With that soulful voice and musical ear, she continues to produce some fantastic music! Dare I say that leaving uni definitely worked out for her!
11. Angelina Jolie
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Angelina travels the globe as a U.N Goodwill Ambassador, helping the less fortunate and making the world a better place, all while being a great actress and an even better partner and mother. Looks like Jolie has truly discovered how to use her celebrity status for good. And that right there is the mark of an exemplary woman! I wish more would follow in her footsteps...
10. Claire Danes
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Claire is the ideal candidate for the phrase "It's not the quantity, it's the quality that counts." Having won a Golden Globe at 15 for My So-Called Life, Claire went on to give some memorable perfomances in Romeo and Juliet, Temple Grandin and my personal favorite, Stardust (which you MUST watch if you are a fan of romantic movies.) I know what you're wondering: why is sweet Claire on this list? Well, for starters, she attended the fancy Dalton School in NYC and the Lycee Francais des Los Angeles. She also studied Psychology at Yale before giving it up for an acting career.
9. Steve Martin
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So how insanely funny is this guy?!! But don't be fooled by his comic stature. Steve Martin is actually quite the smart cookie, considering he majored in Philosophy at California State University, almost became a professor at some point and is a member of MENSA. His IQ may be 142 but his crazy quotient on the other hand is a whole different story...
8. Jodie Foster
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Jodie has had a very successful TV and film career to say the least. I loved her in Taxi Driver, Silence of the Lambs and The Accused (which won her an Oscar btw). What's not to love about a woman who isn't afraid to be versatile? More importantly, what's not to love about a woman who attended Yale and graduated with a degree in Literature!
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Yes, Nicole is achingly gorgeous and delivers powerful performances (a la Moulin Rouge, The Hours and Days of Thunder) and I would kill for those legs! But did you also know that Nicole has an IQ of 132, even though she dropped out of college? Epitome of beauty with brains? I think so!
6. Will Smith
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Anyone who has been called "the most powerful actor on the planet" has to be a certain degree of smart (not to mention, suave, good looking and charming!) Between Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and his last movie,Seven Pounds (a must-watch btw), Smith has had an AMAZING run in Hollywood with all sorts of roles and movies. The best part is, he shows no signs of slowing down! Brownie points for being the sweetest husband and the greatest dad!
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James Cameron may not do it often but when he does, he gets it bang on! Titanic will forever remain one of my favorites and Avatar was visually SPECTACULAR to say the least.I mean seriously, James is a visionary and let's face it, not all of us have the courage to dream and then to go after it.
4. Geena Davis
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I don't remember the last time I saw Gina on screen (Stuart Little perhaps?) but at 54, she is still mighty fine! Geena studied drama at the Boston University,is fluent in Swedish and plays piano, flute, drums and organ AND is a member of MENSA with an IQ of 140! Go Geena!
3. Johnny Depp
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Call me biased but somehow, every list I make has to have a spot for the ever fabulous Johnny Depp! But seriously, how can we not include the fearless Captain Jack Sparrow? Never one to care about box-office success, Johnny always picks slightly quirky, odd ball roles. The funny thing is, box office success usually follows. It's also wonderful how he chooses to stay far, far away from the madness of Hollywood. Did I ever tell you about the time that Depp and I were in Chicago at the same time? *screams* I can't wait to watch him in Shantaram!
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Who doesn't love this petite cutie with piercing doe eyes and serious acting prowess? Not to mention, all the years that Natalie has been around, she has never once had an infamous episode be it a drug scandal, excessive partying,too much drinking or the discovery of a sex tape (which seems to be a celebrity favorite these days). But, here's why Natalie made it on our list: graduating high school with a 4.0 GPA, attending Harvard where she received a Bachelor�s Degree in psychology and being fluent in Hebrew, French and Japanese. Phew!
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How is it possible to be as genetically blessed as Kate? Seriously, find me one flaw with this woman and I will read the entire Twilight series to you out loud (I *really* hate Twilight!). Speaking of vampires, there never has been and never will be another vampire as deviously hot as Selene aka Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld series. Before you go about finding flaws, let me also mention that Kate studied French and Russian literature at Oxford University and won the W.H.Smith Young Writers� competition twice with short stories and poems. Go Kate!
And that brings us to the end of our 25 Smartest Celebs list! Quite a few surprises in there, huh? Have I missed any smarties you know? Do share!