Sure, a PhD in neuroscience isn’t a requirement to nab an Oscar, but it can’t hurt, right? Here, 11 of the smartest leading ladies in Hollywood on the big and small screens.

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LISA KUDROW

The Friends star has a degree in biology from Vassar College and once worked with her father--a world-renowned headache specialist--on a study about hemispheric dominance. (And to think: Phoebe doesn’t even believe in evolution…)

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MAYIM BIALIK

News flash: Blossom has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. But why be a doctor when you can play one on TV?

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NATALIE PORTMAN

The Ivy League grad speaks six languages and has been published twice in scientific journals under her given name, Natalie Hershlag. (Her paper on "Frontal Lobe Activation During Object Permanence" is still up on the Harvard website.) 

 

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ALLISON WILLIAMS

Thanks to dad Brian’s strict rules about education, the Girls star wasn’t allowed to act professionally until she earned a college degree. So, whatevs, she went to Yale and studied English and archaeology.

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CINDY CRAWFORD

Before she graced the pages of Vogue, the fashion icon turned furniture maven was valedictorian of her high school class. She even went to Northwestern University with a full scholarship to study chemical engineering but dropped out after one semester to give modeling a whirl.

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JODIE FOSTER

Who says child actors are entitled? Foster was valedictorian at the Lycée Francais in L.A., where she became fluent in French, before she headed on to Yale.

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MIRA SORVINO

But whatever, French. Sorvino is fluent in Mandarin. (And whatever, Yale. Sorvino went to Harvard.)

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KATE BECKINSALE

Can we get this woman in a Dostoevsky adaptation, please? The Underworld star speaks French, Russian and German, and majored in Russian Lit at Oxford.

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SHARON STONE

Above-basic instinct: According to the Penn State University Library, Stone has an IQ of 154.

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DANICA MCKELLAR

We know her best as Winnie Cooper, but The Wonder Years star is also a summa cum laude grad of UCLA with a degree in mathematics. She even co-authored her own physics theorem.

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GEENA DAVIS

She’s a full-blown member of Mensa, fluent in Swedish and an Olympic-level archer. And as we all know: There is no crying in archery.

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