Some Seriously Smart Celebrities
When we think about our favorite celebrities, we often forget that they are people with lives outside of show business. While most of them are just normal people, there are those that have gone above and beyond what most of us would consider a "normal" education. These are the people who have attained the highest level of study - a doctorate. Note: None of the people on this list were given an honorary doctorate from a college. They all earned their degrees the old-fashioned way: They studied. Here is a hat's off look at five very smart celebrities:
Bill Cosby has been one of my favorite comedians since I was a kid. His cartoon, Fat Albert, was the last cartoon available on Saturday mornings and I used to watch it religiously. Later, in the 80's and 90's, I followed him as Dr. Heath Huxtable on "The Cosby Show". Little did I realize, "the Cos'" was a real life doctor! He worked his way through school to get a PhD in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1976. For his doctoral research, he wrote a dissertation entitled, "An Integration of the Visual Media Via 'Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids' Into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning". Hey, Hey, Hey!
Remember this guy from "Freaks and Geeks"? He really was a geek! If you think you are smart, you've got nothing on this guy. Sure he plays the part of a party-guy who likes to smoke a lot of weed, but James Franco is a fricken' genius! He decided to go back to college in 2006 because he wasn't happy with the direction his acting career was taking him. I can understand why, too. He'd only been in a couple of Spider-Man movies (did those even make any money???) and only had leading roles in a half dozen other films! He headed off to UCLA where he got into their English program. While there, he talked the school into allowing him to take SIXTY-TWO credit hours (the max is typically 19 at UCLA) and graduated in two years Summa Cum Laude. He took off for New York City where he enrolled in Columbia University for his Master's degree in English. This must not have been enough, though, because while he was doing that (and acting), he simultaneously was New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking, and Brooklyn College for fiction writing, while occasionally commuting to North Carolina's Warren Wilson College for poetry! Whew! Finally, he found time to slow down and headed to Yale to get his PhD in English where he blew off the Academy Award nominations so he wouldn't miss class. Today, when he is not making one of the eleven films currently in post or pre-production, he teaches a class at NYU about turning poetry into film. This guy is a serious workaholic!
They may play hard rocking punk, but The Decendents' lead singer, Milo Auckerman has his head on straight when it comes to education. He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison and when he isn't acting as front man for the band, he's off being a plant researcher for DuPont Chemical in Delaware. His bandmates are pretty proud of him, too. Their first full-length album after he joined the band back in 1982 is called, "Milo Goes To College".
For those three people who aren't fans of "The Big Bang Theory", it is a show about four incredibly intelligent geniuses and their not-as-bright, but beautiful neighbor. The five lead actors aren't the real geniuses. It's Mayim Bialik, also known as, Amy Farrah Fowler, who plays the "girlfriend" of Sheldon Cooper. You may also remember her as the teenage star, Blossom Russo, on the NBC series "Blossom". This child actress was always super-intelligent. After high school, she decided to go to UCLA, despite having been accepted to Yale AND Harvard. She stated that she wanted to stay close to her parents and did not want to move to the East Coast. She earned a bachelor's degree in 2000 in neuroscience, Hebrew, and Jewish studies, and went on to the PhD program in neuroscience. Bialik completed her PhD in 2007 with a dissertation was an investigation of Prader-Willi syndrome.
Brian May is a rock legend and lead guitarist and song writer for the band, Queen. While being the mind behind the song, "Fat Bottomed Girls" he is also an astrophysicist! Long after the hey-day of Queen's rise to fame, May got his education. His bachelor's degrees are in physics and mathematics where he excelled with honors. He entered a PhD program in physics, but then Queen became popular back in the 1970s and he dropped out. He graduated from Imperial College (London) in 2007 and - while he's not touring the world - is the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.