Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Why do people automatically assume artists have to be a bit... dumb. I can't tell you the amount of times a conversation has taken a slight tone shift when someone answers the question of... "And what do you do?" with... "I'm an actor/dancer/writer... etc." There is always a touch of "bless your heart" mixed with "how courageous" and a sprinkle of "here, I'll use my smaller words for you darlin'."

Like I can't comprehend your callous, bloviating, garrulous verbosity. I know things, and I talk real good, so relax. That is why it's always so humorous and I always feel vindicated when people discover the brains behind the art of any of us, especially the famous.

Redditor u/invaderism wanted to drink all the smart juice of the famous by asking:

Which actor or celebrity is smarter than we usually give him/her credit for?

People thought Madonna was an idiot. Oh, how they were mistaken. You know she had a perfect GPA and is basically a self-made almost billionaire. That doesn't just happen on dumb luck kiddies.


"Leslie Nielsen of Naked Gun fame mowed through celebrity Jeopardy! questions like nothing. Sharp guy."

- edgarpickle

"Leslie Nielsen comes from a very smart family, his brother was deputy prime minister briefly and a long standing parliament member. Same with Norm MacDonald. His brother was the chief US correspondent for the CBC for over a decade and a very accomplished journalist."

- dbcanuck


Season 9 Phoebe GIF by Friends Giphy

"Lisa Kudrow. She plays a lot of dummies but has a degree in Biology from Vassar and worked as a medical researcher for a few years before getting into acting."

- sarahafrantz

The David Files

"David Duchovny. Collegiate School for Boys in Manhattan, valedictorian. BA in Literature from Princeton, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude. MA in English lit from Yale. Still hasn't finished his Ph.D from Yale. Singer and songwriter, two published albums (haven't listened to them, just came up in a search)."

- virtualadept

Shawn Wits...

"Wallace Shawn (Vizzini from The Princess Bride) is a Harvard graduate with a degree in history. He also studied Latin, philosophy, economics and politics at Oxford and was also a Fulbright scholar. So, while Cary Elwes is no dimwit, he probably would not have triumphed in a genuine battle of wits with Shawn."

- Adddicus


Modern Family Abc GIF by HULU Giphy

"The actor who played the really dumb kid on Modern Family graduated from high school when he was 13."

- mordeci00

You know Sharon Stone is a card carrying member of MENSA. She has an IQ equal to Einstein. And what do you do for a living?

People Who Made A Lot Of Money From Something Totally Random | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Hips are Smart

Shakira Hips GIF by Latin GRAMMYs Giphy

"Shakira can speak five languages fluently (Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic) and also translates all of her music herself."

- madsky11

'Reese it up'

"Justin Berfield"

"Reese in Malcolm in the Middle was also quite bright in real life. It was eerie watching that kid talk about how he makes real estate investments on an interview, because I just kept on waiting for him to 'Reese it up' by finishing off a rare display of brilliance with something idiotic."

- ACaffeinatedWandress

Over the Top

"Ina Garten. She's known for her cooking and over the top Hamptons lifestyle, but she was a budgets analyst under Presidents Ford and Carter."

- jmt2589

"And if you can't afford my recipes, you can always use Rachel Ray's cheap a**" — or something to that effect. All hail the Ina. The IG comments on her showing how to properly chill champagne were great."

- realtimmahh

"Hey Vern!"

"Jim Varney known for playing a goofy guy named Ernest "Hey Vern!" Was a genius. Extremely intelligent, even though he played a character that lacked common sense and generally dumb. Enjoyed spending his free time working on pocket watches and working with the small mechanical parts inside to see how they work. Hell of a guy off camera, his best friend was Billy Bob Thornton."

- Justatrandomperson

The Blonde

Dolly Parton GIF Giphy

"I'm sure most of reddit knows this by now but Dolly Parton."

- forest-for-trees-

"When asked is dumb blonde jokes offended her she replied, "No. I know I'm not dumb, I also know I'm not blonde". Gotta love Dolly."

- Smartgirlny


"Dolph Lundgren. Dude plays a big dumb bastard but has a masters in chemical engineering and I believe is part of Mensa."

- Straightup32

"Two masters degrees in chemical engineering. Man also had a Fullbright scholarship to MIT, which he gave up to "follow some disco dancer". So unexpected that the Expendables writers just said fuck it and gave his character his real life background."

- AnnieAbattoir

Ms. Wilson

"Rebel Wilson is a lawyer."

- asupernova91

"I was checking if somebody mentioned her. This surprised me a lot but listening to her speeches it shows a lot of intelligence and dry humor. She has used her law degree to change the rating of a movie that she produced. I think it was "Hustle" and she went to an arbitration to have it rated PG-13."

- chocearthling

Mr. Schur...

Excited Season 2 GIF by The Office Giphy

"Michael Herbert Schur (Mose Schrute from The Office). When I read his bio I was amazed to see that Mose went to Harvard. Then there are his credits. The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Good Place, Brooklyn 9-9. A genius in comedy and writing."

- Gherkinstein

"just a sex symbol"

"Hedy Lamarr was a famous actress/sex symbol in the 1940s who also was a self-taught inventor - most famously figuring out a way to jam the frequency of German radio-controlled torpedoes during WW2."

- Jockobutters

"And whose invention is responsible for the WiFi we enjoy today. Your phone can switch frequencies and still communicate with your router via WiFi. That was her invention. She's viewed by many as "just a sex symbol," but she was much more intelligent than she's given credit for."

- TechyDad


"Rowan Atkinson."

- donDanbery

"M.S. in electrical engineering and was working on Ph.D. before he decided to turn full into entertainment. He definitely had a backup plan for if show business failed."

- Krilion

"When I toured the University of Oxford, the tour guide proudly told us he was an alum. Everyone was shocked lol." -



"Charlie Day is a really smart guy. He usually plays characters not too dissimilar from Charlie Kelly on Always Sunny. But IRL he's a multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer, and just an all around intelligent guy."

- hooch

"Great pick. His graduation speech is well worth watching:

Charlie Day's Merrimack College Commencement Address"

- gotthelowdown


"Has anyone mentioned Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden? Marketing director for an airline, an airline pilot and and entrepreneur. Actually lots of hard rockers are quite educated and accomplished at things other than rock and roll. But Bruce is one of my favs."

- ratsrule67

A Funny Doc

"Ken Jeong is a medical doctor. Can you imagine being one of his patients?"


"I was going to chime in and say he hasn't practiced medicine in years and isn't even licensed, because I am 99% sure I heard that in the past, but luckily I looked it up because I am very wrong! He practiced medicine full-time until 2006 and maintains his license in case he needs it. Apparently he has assisted with medical emergencies on set. Crazy stuff:"

- HooBoy401

Smart Rolling

Mick Jagger Dancing GIF Giphy

"Mick Jagger got into the London School of Economics, a prestigious school. He later dropped out to do music, but people say over the decades, the Rolling Stones have handled their money better than most bands."

- RealisticDelusions77

For the Queen

"Brian May from Queen (born 19 July 1947) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, author, astrophysicist, and university administrator."

- thestonez

"He dropped out of school when Queen started to get big in 1974, but then went back and dusted off his thesis to finally finish his PhD in 2007."

"I guess it's lucky he was doing astrophysics. I'm not sure how many science subjects you can have a 30 year pause in doing a thesis and still have it be relevant given how fast science moves."

- blearghhh_two

Never underestimate a blonde or Dolly Parton. Thanks for the COVID shot Dolly.

And stop underestimating artists. We got brains too.

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