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Top 10 Famous People Smart Enough to Be in MENSA

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Astrid Willis Countee

When it comes to rising to the top of the Hollywood food chain, some people just have it all. For this list, we’re looking at celebrities who have high marks in the IQ department., from Shakira, to Matt Damon & Dolph Lundgren. These stars are absolutely brilliant! WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Famous People Smart Enough to Be in MENSA.

Special thanks to our user roxy for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Famous+People+You+Did+not+Know+Were+in+MENSA.

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Script written by Astrid Willis Countee

Top 10 Famous People Smart Enough to Be in MENSA

When it comes to rising to the top of the Hollywood food chain, some people just have it all. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 famous people smart enough to be in MENSA.

For this list, we’re looking at celebrities who have high marks in the IQ department. We can’t officially claim that they are MENSA certified since this info isn’t officially released for celebrities, but we’re still confident that these entries would be capable of getting an invite.


#10: Shakira

This Colombian’s hips don’t lie and neither does her high IQ. With a reported rating of 140, is it really that surprising that this singer and dancer is also a businesswoman and philanthropist? Though she’d been active in her native Latin America in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, it was only at the turn of the new millennium that she broke into the English language market. But signs of her intelligence began showing way earlier than that: Shakira wrote her first song when she was 8 and released her debut full-length a mere 5 years later! Talent, beauty and brains; Shakira’s got it all!


#9: Matt Damon

Who says that actors aren’t smart? This A-list actor started out as the archetypal loner kid who got good grades but never quite fit in. His academic skills landed him at Harvard, where he wrote an early treatment of what was to become the screenplay for the Academy Award winning Good Will Hunting. This story about a Boston native with genius level intellect is part art imitating life, as Damon has a reported IQ of 160. As his acting career heated up, Damon left college behind before finishing that degree. Since then, he has gone on to portray many complex and intellectually curious characters.


#8: Dolph Lundgren

Next up, also batting with an alleged IQ of 160 is the Swedish actor, screenwriter and martial artist Dolph Lundgren. Lundgren’s ambition was born out of a tough home life with an abusive father that often called his son a loser. At the early age of 7, Lundgren became involved in combat sports, and by the time he graduated high school with all As, he set his sights on America. He studied chemical engineering in the US under several scholarships, and was awarded a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982. After being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, he left to work for Grace Jones, and their romantic relationship led him to pursue a career in acting.


#7: Madonna

This Queen of Pop will be one of the first to tell you that she doesn’t often get recognized for her smarts. Her chameleon like ability to change her image and her dynamic performances keep attention on her body. But this singer also sports a brain with a reported IQ of 140; in other words, It wasn’t just her knack for controversy that has helped her craft one of the most successful careers in music. While the internet continues to debate whether her MENSA status is real or not, it’s clear that the Material Girl has a lot going on upstairs.


#6: Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn is known for playing the iconic dumb blonde, but she is anything but. Starting her career as a ballet and a go-go dancer, her upbeat attitude and bikini body got her typecast as a ditzy girl. But by the time she made it to her first major film role in the late 1960s, she was an Oscar winning actress. With a reported IQ in the 140s, Hawn found it frustrating to play the same dumbed down characters and used her white hot career to take on more serious roles. Her commitment to education was solidified in 2003 when she opened the Hawn Foundation, a non-profit that offers youth programs in the hopes of improving their academic performance.


#5: Nolan Gould

This card-carrying MENSA member showed signs early on that he was advanced for his age. Nolan Gould famously graduated high school at the age of 13 and started college at 14 all while sporting an IQ of 150. Fans of his character on Modern Family are often surprised to find the actor so much more intelligent than his alter ego Luke. In addition to acting, he excels at music, playing the double bass and the banjo. Gould has always had big plans for his future, saying at age 11 that he hoped to build a company that mass produces hotels, restaurants and theme parks.


#4: Quentin Tarantino

This acclaimed filmmaker is famously a high school dropout who worked at a porn theater and put himself through acting classes. But once he started writing and directing hit films like From Dusk Til Dawn and Pulp Fiction in the 90s, his reported 160 IQ genius became more noticeable. His dialogue heavy scenes and clever satirical style have helped him to become what one critic calls "the single most influential director of his generation”. Tarantino’s highly developed knowledge of film is self-taught, and he writes his films like pieces of literature. As a result, a 2013 film magazine survey found that Tarantino was the most cited director in the UK for film essays and dissertations.


#3: Geena Davis

Some women get beauty and brains, and Geena Davis is one of those women. This former model turned actress excels in the arts, playing multiple musical instruments and is also fluent in Swedish. She even tried out for the US Olympic archery team in 1999, placing 24th out of 300 women, after having learned the sport 2 years prior. The award winning actress with an IQ of 140 is featured as a Prominent Mensan on their website. In 2007, Davis opened the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The institute has one of the largest repositories on gender and media as it has been a collaborator in several important research projects.


#2: Steve Martin

An accomplished banjo player makes our list here. Funny man Steve Martin is seriously smart, apparently clocking in with an IQ of 142. While attending college in California, Martin started acting and performing comedy routines for fun. But his studies in philosophy had him seriously considering leaving it all behind to be a professor instead. Ironically, it was his philosophical background that got him to see comedy from a whole new perspective. After changing his major to theatre, he eventually dropped out at 21 to work the night club circuit in LA. Two years later, Martin won his first Emmy for comedy writing, something he would continue to excel at throughout his career.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are some honorable mentions.
Park Kyung

Ashley Rickards

Glenne Headly

#1: Ashton Kutcher

Inspired to find a cure for his brother’s heart problem, Ashton Kutcher enrolled in college with the intention of majoring in biochemical engineering. While at school, Kutcher got scouted by a modeling agent. He dropped out of school and subsequently turned his successful modeling career into a successful acting career. He found stardom playing Michael Kelso on That ‘70s Show, and Punk’d us all into believing that he was the airhead that he played. In real life, Kutcher is wicked smart. He has a reported IQ of 160, and is heavily involved in venture capital, investment and tech outside of his acting career. He is no dummy, he just plays one on TV.

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