The archetypal blonde bombshell, Jayne Mansfield may have been famous for her body, but she also made a mark on Hollywood with her brains. Here, to celebrate what would have been her 84th birthday, are 22 stars—starting with Mansfield—reported to have extraordinarily high IQs
Photo by Bert Six/John Kobal Foundation
Jayne Mansfield — IQ: 149
The star of "Too Hot to Handle" lived up to that movie title in 1963 when she appeared in a Playboy feature so racy that it got editor Hugh Hefner arrested for obscenity. In fact, she had a genius for publicity—and we mean that literally.
Steve Martin — IQ: 142
Not only is Steve Martin an accomplished banjo player, the credited inventor of air quotes and one of the funniest people on the planet—he's also a genius. With an IQ of 142, he considered becoming a professor while studying at Cal State, but instead opted for a career that gave him the freedom to wear an arrow through his head. Smart choice. Literally.
Photo by Larry Hulst
Meryl Streep — IQ: 143
As if being one of the most acclaimed actresses of any generation wasn't enough, the "Devil Wears Prada" star has an IQ of 143. Somehow all that intelligence didn't prevent her from agreeing to take a role in Robert Redford's "Lions for Lambs." Hey, even geniuses have off days. We still love her.
Hedy Lamarr — IQ: Through the Roof
The star of Cecile B. DeMille's 1949 blockbuster "Samson and Delilah" was promoted as "the world's most beautiful woman" during MGM's Golden Age. She was also brilliant. Born in Vienna, Hedy Lamarr invented (with composer George Antheil) a "frequency hopping" system originally aimed at preventing Nazis from jamming radio-controlled torpedoes during World War II. Her invention was a key to the development of today's cordless phone technology.
Conan O'Brien — IQ: 160
This shouldn't come as a shock. After all, Conan is a Harvard grad, accomplished comedy writer and all-around nerdy-looking dude. His IQ is reportedly 160, which is the same as Stephen Hawking's. But it must be noted that the famous physicist never made millions off of a masturbating bear character. So who's the real genius now, Mr. Hawking?
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/PTTOW!
Geena Davis — IQ: 140
We all know what happens when you say "Beetlejuice" three times, but apparently saying "genius" over and over again makes it a reality. Geena Davis is fluent in Swedish, plays a multitude of instruments and belongs to Mensa, which only admits members with an IQ at or above the 98th percentile. So do the math—or let Geena do it.
Goldie Hawn — IQ: 140-plus
Don't let the bubble-headed blonde act you remember from "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" fool you. Goldie Hawn is another card-carrying member of Mensa.
Sylvester Stallone — IQ: 160
He usually plays characters known for brawn rather than brains, but the Oscar-winning actor and screenwriter ranks among the smartest guys in Hollywood, with a reported IQ of 160. Yo, Adrian! Writing dialogue that pithy is harder than it looks.
Cindy Crawford — IQ: 154
She was a top supermodel of the '80s and '90s, but Cindy Crawford is hardly superficial. With an IQ of 154, she was the valedictorian of her high school class and briefly studied chemical engineering at Northwestern before opting for a full-time modeling career. Still stunning at 51, Crawford last year became a spokesman for the Italian beverage company Acqua Minerale San Benedetto.
Photo by Rose Hartman via Getty Images
Reggie Jackson — IQ: 160
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993 because of his five world championships, 14 All-Star appearances, 563 home runs and .357 batting average in the month of October (hence his nickname, Mr. October). But these stats don't tell the whole story. With a reported IQ of 160, Reggie Jackson may be the smartest athlete ever to swing a bat.
Sharon Stone — IQ: 148
For many years Sharon Stone maintained that, thanks to her genius-level IQ, she belonged to Mensa. Then, in 2002, the Oscar-winning actress admitted that the latter was not true. Still, the fact that she started college at the age of 15 is certainly impressive. Unless she made up that story, too.
David Duchovny — IQ: 147
Princeton and Yale graduate David Duchovny is one of the brightest actors of the last few decades. But ducking out from "The X-Files" after Season 7 proved to be a dumb move—his career tanked shortly thereafter. Luckily for Duchovny (and the rest of us), special agent Fox Mulder returned to glory last year in an "X-Files" reboot. Believe.
Photo by Myung J. Chun
Lisa Kudrow — IQ: 154
What did it take to land the role of dim-witted and incredibly naive Phoebe Buffay on the wildly popular television series "Friends"? An IQ of 154 coupled with a degree in psychobiology from Vassar College. Turns out you've got to be pretty damn smart to play dumb.
Quentin Tarantino — IQ: 160
A high school dropout, Quentin Tarantino has a reported IQ of 160, and his groundbreaking movie "Pulp Fiction" reflects that. But no one would call him an intellectual snob. "I don't believe in elitism," Tarantino once said. "I don't think the audience is this dumb person, lower than me. I am the audience."
Alicia Keyes — IQ: 154
Grammy winner Alicia Keyes was her high school valedictorian (at age 16!) and briefly attended Columbia University before dropping out to pursue music full-time. Her IQ is supposedly 154, but given her accomplishments to date, we think it might be even higher.
Photo by Andrew Lipovsky
Dolph Lundgren — IQ: 160
You probably never thought of the ginormous Swede from "Rocky IV" as the smartest guy in the room. But in most rooms, that would be the case. Dolph Lundgren has a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney and won a Fulbright scholarship to MIT. Not only will he break you, he'll break down your chemical elements and tell you exactly what you're made of.
Photo by Kurt Krieger
Jodie Foster — IQ: 132
The actress who played a 12-year-old prostitute in "Taxi Driver" was always precocious. She was was talking at nine months and taught herself to read by the age of three. After becoming bilingual at the Lycée Francais, she took a break from Hollywood to study literature at Yale, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Matt Damon — IQ: 160
He's the kid from Boston who co-wrote and starred in "Good Will Hunting," about an undiscovered math prodigy who cleans up around an Ivy League school. Well, maybe that role wasn't such a stretch for Matt Damon, a genius with an IQ of 160 who dropped out of Harvard to become one of the most bankable actors in show business today.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole
Nicole Kidman — IQ: 132
Poise, charm and eloquence are often associated with brainy and highly evolved people, so it's no surprise that Nicole Kidman's IQ rings in at 132. Further proof of her intelligence: When she divorced Tom Cruise, she told the court she didn't want her children raised in the Church of Scientology.
Tommy Lee Jones — IQ: 135
With an IQ hovering around 135, Tommy Lee Jones is no slouch. And his roommate at Harvard was Al Gore, who, although he did not "invent the Internet," did win a Nobel Prize for raising awareness of global climate change. Is it too late for the Gore-Jones ticket to emerge? We might actually vote.
Madonna — IQ: 140
It's safe to say that Madonna is some kind of artistic genius who helped reshape pop culture throughout the '80s, '90s and into the new millennium. And her IQ has been reported to land around the 140 mark. Still, when people ask "What's her number?" that's not usually what they're referring to.
Photo by Michael Tran via Getty Images
James Woods — IQ: 184
We were amazed to hear that James Woods' IQ is a staggering 184. Wanna know who told us this? James Woods. Hmmm. Well, he was accepted by MIT.
When it comes to popping the question, stars are just like us—only more so
The charming slacker from 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' went on to become one of the hardest-working actors around
Believe it or not, winter is officially over—and don't it feel good!
The Brooklyn-based director's best movies range from sports and crime dramas to his ongoing exploration of race relations
Behind the scenes of the 1972 crime classic, which still stands as one of the greatest movies ever made
They suffered what seemed like career-ending falls from grace, but these celebrities bounced back