11 Celebrities Who Were Kid Geniuses (PHOTOS)

Kiri Blakeley | Jun 4, 2014 Celebrities

Celebrities aren't exactly known for their brain power. They already have looks, talent, and money, no one wants to think they could be smart too! But, sadly, a lot of them are.

It's pretty tough to get to the top of the Hollywood food chain without having something rattling inside that big old head besides kale chips and Swarovski crystals. Some celebs are even, dare we say it, bonafide geniuses -- and have been since they were kids! Here are 11 unexpected celebrities who were whiz kids. (No, Justin Bieber is not on this list. Neither is Kim Kardashian.)

  • Natalie Portman


    Image via TS, PacificCoastNews

    Natalie Portman is not only an Oscar-winning actress, and gorgeous, but also scarily smart. As a high school student, she made it to the semifinals of the famously difficult Intel science competition with her environmentally friendly method of converting waste into useful energy. Then she, oh, studied a little neuroscience at Harvard.

  • Ashton Kutcher


    Image via aplusk/Instagram

    Ashton rose to fame playing a ditz on That '70s Show, but in real life, he is no dummy. Ashton's high school grades were good enough that he won scholarships to MIT and Purdue to study engineering. He was in the National Honor Society. Some little demon made him sabotage it all by breaking into his high school and getting arrested. But he bounced back after being discovered by a modeling scout and moving to Hollywood.

  • Cindy Crawford


    Image via Cindy Crawford/Instagram

    Cindy was valedictorian of her high school class in DeKalb, Illinois and was offered a full scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University. But her looks soon got her modeling jobs and she dropped out. Her parents must have been horrified, but it worked out for her.

  • Mayim Bialik


    Image via NBC

    Mayim might be known as a child star from her role in '90s sitcom Blossom, but she's anything but the stereotypical kid star. Instead of hitting her teenage years and self-destructing, she got a Ph. D in neuroscience from UCLA. She now stars in the geeky Big Bang Theory.

  • Madonna


    Image via Madonna/Instagram

    Madonna was a straight-A student at her Bay City, Michigan high school. She reportedly has an IQ of 140, which would qualify her for Mensa, the high IQ society. She was obviously smart enough to figure out that sex sells.

  • Nolan Gould


    Image via nolangouldofficial/Instagram

    Modern Family star Nolan Gould has an IQ of 150 and is a member of Mensa. He took accelerated courses, which allowed him to graduate high school at 13. His parents must be proud -- and, um, intimidated.

  • Brooke Shields


    Image via BrookeShields/Twitter

    Despite being probably the most famous model in the world while still in her teens, Brooke, who was a straight-A student, ditched her career for Princeton University, where she majored in French Literature.

  • Flavor Flav


    Image via Flavor Flav/Facebook

    The clock-wearing Public Enemy rapper and reality show staple was once known as a child music prodigy who taught himself how to play drums, trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, and even the French horn. According to Chuck D, Flav can play 15 instruments.

  • Danica McKellar


    Image via Danica McKellar/Instagram

    Famous for her role as dreamy Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, Danica McKellar is now almost equally famous as a smarty pants. The math genius, who graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, has written four books about mathematics (and how girls can love it!).

  • Oprah Winfrey


    Image via Oprah/Instagram

    Despite living in crippling poverty, Oprah was smart. Her grandmother said she was reading the Bible before age 3, and when she lived with her father as a teen, she became an honors student, placed second in a national speech team contest, and won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. Too bad she never lived up to her potential. (Har.)

  • Ronan Farrow


    Image via Ronan Farrow/Instagram

    The MSNBC news show host and son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (or Frank Sinatra?) graduated high school at 15. He then attended Yale Law School and passed the famously difficult New York State bar exam. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He was a special youth advisor to both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He won so many awards they're too numerous to type.


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