The Valedictorians and Salutatorians of Hollywood Royalty

Many of today’s most popular stars could have easily won most popular or most beautiful in high school but few think about those Hollywood elite who were also named the brightest in their class, the valedictorians and salutatorians. Actors are generally considered to be less than the brightest bulb in the box mainly because people think it’s an easy job anyone can do if they’re “pretty”. But like many things that’s just not so and while Hollywood is known for its beauty not its brains there are quite a few scholars that should be noted.

Known as one of the most distinguished and well respected female actors of our time, Jodie Foster is one of the few actors actually known for her brains as well as her acting chops. Jodie grew up in the industry and proved to be a talented young actor gaining her first Oscar nomination at the age of fourteen for her role as a child prostitute in “Taxi Driver. But Jodie was able to avoid the pitfalls of many young actors and continued her education.

She graduated valedictorian in 1980 from the private Los Angeles academy Lycee Francais. She then attended Yale where she majored in literature and in 1985 graduated magna cum laude. Her smarts have done her well, Jodie has won two Academy Awards for leading performances, in 1989 for The Accused and in 1992 for The Silence of the Lambs.

Behind the numerous disastrously funny vacations and Saturday Night Live skit’s a man considered a comedic genius was actually fairly close to genius. Chevy Chase graduated valedictorian of his high school. If he hadn’t turned to acting he said he would have like to of been a doctor. Maybe he’d be able to tickle your funny bone during a doctor’s visit.

See also  Best Disney Movies of All Time: The Top 20 Films

The deeply dark and private but immensely talented Kevin Spacey was very much the studious type. While he did graduate valedictorian in high school he also did his share of ditching class to watch revival films at the NuArt Theater. Those who know him well say he has an encyclopedic knowledge of film, he wants to be completely consumed by his art.

His intelligence extends to his personal life as well. In an interview with the London Evening Standard in 1998 he said “It’s not that I want to create some bullshit mystique by maintaining a silence about my personal life, it is just that the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person.

Who would have known it but supermodel Cindy Crawford graduated high school as a valedictorian and was given a scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern. She started school at Northwestern but at the tender age of nineteen began modeling and well, the rest is history. On the opposite end of the spectrum Weird Al Yankovic, the outrageous personality who has made a living doing offbeat impersonations and mockeries was also a valedictorian.

One you might expect, Ben Stein, the door pan stare, monotone voice and lack of personality scream bookworm, and this time they’re right. But not to be forgotten two soulful country crooners who were able to speak at their graduations just for not as long as the val, Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood were both salutatorians.

See also  Review: The Muppets (2011)

So, not all of Hollywood is dumb, sleeps around to get ahead or makes it simply because they’re pretty. Brains still do count.