Smartest 15 Actors & Actresses in Hollywood | Highest IQs

Who do you think are the smartest actors and actresses in Tinsel Town today?

Simple question, but not easily answered.

How does one judge who are actually the smartest?  What is the criteria that these individuals must meet from an already highly talented industry?  Should it be based on acting merit?  IQ, maybe?  Do they have to be a genius in some respect?  Degrees earned?  Or, simply your own subjective point of view?

Well, I’ve combined all of the above to formulate my own list (in no particular order).  Do you agree?


1.  Actress Natalie Portman is one smart lady. She has had papers published in scientific journals.Natalie Portman – IQ 140

Not only is she an Academy Award Winner for Best Actress but she can speak six languages; obviously English plus Hebrew, Spanish, Japanese, German, and French.  Apparently, she knows some Arabic too.  Quite impressive.

Under her birth name, Natalie Hershlag, she’s had 2 of her papers published in scientific journals.  She has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology.

For her award winning role in Black Swan she reportedly learnt Ballet in a couple of months.


2.  Daniel Day Lewis is the first actor to ever win 3 Best Actor Awards at the OscarsDaniel Day Lewis – ???

As winner of 3 Academy Awards for Best Actor, Daniel Day Lewis has gone down in the history books.  Being the first actor to do so!  I was unable to get a hold of his reported Intelligence Quota Score but I have a feeling it could be slightly elevated.  

I put him on this list because of his acting prowess and after listening to a couple of his speeches.  He just sounds…….smart.


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3.  Dolph Lundgren has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney, Australia.Dolph Lundgren – IQ 160

The bare minimum IQ score for someone to even qualify as a genius is 125.  So I think this guy is okay in that department.

Dolph Lundgren supposedly received straight A’s upon finishing high school.  He then went to the States to receive a chemistry degree from Washington State University.  After that, a chemical engineering degree from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology.  Not stopping there, he later went on to graduate from the University of Sydney in Australia with a master’s in chemical engineering.

With regards to acting, he probably isn’t up there with the Day Lewis’ or Nicholson’s of the acting realm but he’s still been in some formidable movies.  Such films as Universal Soldier, Rocky IV, and The Expendables Trilogy.  And, he’s a really nice bloke.


4.  Quentin Tarantino – IQ 160

Quentin Tarantino has one of the highest IQ scores in HollywoodAlthough not really known for being an actor, he’s still makes decent enough appearances so he qualifies.  Plus, he’s Quentin Tarantino.  No one, I think, can deny the genius of this film heavyweight.  His screenplay writing and directing abilities skyrocketed him to be among the movie greats years ago.  

And, he is nowhere near finished producing spectacular movies.

As at September 2015, he’s had 126 award wins and 110 award nominations including winning two Oscars.

Films that will forever live in admiration that are written and directed by Tarantino include Reservoir Dogs, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, and the Kill Bill Volumes.


5.  James Franco – IQ 130

One of James Franco's first and finest roles. Starring in the biographical film of the Hollywood icon James DeanThis guy.  Okay, here we go.

First off, he is a mathematician and was an intern at Lockheed Martin.

Secondly, he has a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduating with a GPA of 3.5 on a scale to 4.  All the while, still acting.

Thirdly, he has a masters from Columbia University School of Fine Arts in writing.  Again, while still acting.

Finally, he is now enrolled Yale University studying as a PhD student in English.

He’s also got something to do with NYU Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking.  To top it off, he sometimes teaches at all of the aforementioned establishments as well.

So it’s safe to say James Franco knows his stuff about writing, filming and, of course, acting.  He’s been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor for 127 hours.  As well as a few Golden Globes, where he won for his titular role as James Dean.



6.  James Woods probably has the highest IQ in all of Hollywood. He has an IQ of 184James Woods – IQ 184

That’s right, 184.  James Woods has the highest IQ on this list and probably many others that you’ll find.  He was accepted into MIT on a full scholarship.  

He got a near perfect score on his SATs with a 800 in verbal and 779 in math.  

Not sure if this has anything to do with brainpower but he’s ambidextrous and can write with both hands.  I think that just deserved a mention anyway.


7.  Jordana Brewster is a self-declared nerd, graduating from Yale UniversityJordana Brewster – IQ >120

Beauty and brains.  A combination that is so irresistibly attractive.  

Jordana Brewster is a Yale University graduate and self-declared nerd.  She finished with a BA in English.


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8.  Edward Norton spent some time in Japan and as a result can now speak Japanese fluently.Edward Norton

Edward Norton can speak Japanese after having worked for his grandfather’s company in Osaka.  

He attended Yale graduating with BA in History.

On top of that he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his film debut Primal Fear.  


9.  Ken Jeong is still qualified as a medical physician in the state of CaliforniaKen Jeong – IQ >120

Not only is he a comedic genius.  But…

Does being a doctor make you smart?  Yeah, I think so.  He played a doctor in Knocked Up so well because, yes, he is a great actor but also because he’s actually earned his medical physician qualifications for real.  Ken, that’s why you’re on my list, champ.

Dr Kendrick Jeong M.D. graduated from the University of North Carolina and did his internship in New Orleans.

He also married a doctor, another smart move.


10.  The British actress Kate Beckinsale attended Oxford.Kate Beckinsale – IQ 152

Yeah, Kate Beckinsale has a Ferrari for a brain where the rest of us all have a Toyota Camry.  

She’s wicked smart.  There’s the tale she was 6 years old reading like she’s 11.  So there were some signs early that she is sharper than the sharpest.

Although she never graduated from Oxford University where she studied French and Russian Literature, it helped her acting by being able to work internationally.



11.  Geena Davis is a member of Mensa. She easily qualifies to make the list of smartest actors and actressesGeena Davis – IQ 140

Ever heard of Mensa?  It’s a society eligible only for those very gifted among us who can qualify.  And, to qualify you have to be in the top 2 percentile of people.  Well, Geena Davis is one of them. And, it’s pretty hard to get into.  

She can also speak Swedish and has a BA in drama.

She almost qualified for the U.S. Team for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  I don’t know if that means she smart or just dedicated but it’s impressive when she only took it up 2 years beforehand.


12.  Steve Martin is a member of the Mensa. An organisation for those with a high intelligence quotaSteve Martin – IQ 142

Like Geena Davis, Steve Martin is also a part of Mensa.  At 70 years old, he’s had a healthy career in show business and has an honorary Academy Award to prove it.  

He majored in Philosophy at California State University.


13.  Jessica AlbaJessica Alba – IQ 151

She started what is now a billion dollar company and still owns around 20% of it.

At only 34, it kinda made me wonder what I was doing with my life.  Because on top of a successful businesswoman, we all know she is highly payed Hollywood actress.

She supports a myriad causes and charities and is going down as one of the most influential people in Hollywood.

14.  Billionaire Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey – IQ 136

Yes, she is an actress and a good one at that.  Oprah Winfrey makes this list for obvious reasons.

She is an inspiration to millions having overcome such hardships as being abused as a child, running away from home, and a teen pregnancy.

She was once sacked from being a news anchor because they said she didn’t have a future in television.

She is now one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. And, is a billionaire in her own right.

15.  Meryl Streep will go down in history as the greatest actress of all time.Meryl Streep – IQ 143

Meryl Streep makes it simply for her acting prowess.  Her ability to do accents and dedication to her craft.  She has been hailed as one of the best actresses/actors of all time.  Not an easy thing to accomplish.

She has racked up a slew of Academy Award and Golden Globe wins and nominations.

Thanks for Reading

Rohan Flegler's list of smartest actors and actressesDo you agree with this list of the smartest actors and actresses?  Are there more do you think?  Who else should be on this list?  Make sure to leave your comments below!



5 thoughts on “Smartest 15 Actors & Actresses in Hollywood | Highest IQs

    • I know right! I remember reading about these people and thinking, “Wow, I really need to make a post about this.” We’re so overwhelmed by mainstream media with the silly things some celebrities do that we never really appreciate the ones who are getting degrees or have unknown talents. Cheers for commenting!

  1. Some are high an impressive, but some in the 120 -130 range aren’t all the impressive. I’m not a collage graduate, an have had my IQ taken a few times. I never scored lower then a 128 with my highest being 140. That said James woods with the 180 wow, an Dolph with a 160 should of stayed in the private sector, he’s not that good as an actor ( sorry Dolph. )

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