Skip to main content

Main Area


Entertainers who went to college

  • #10. Ken Jeong

    Actor and comedian Ken Jeong attended Duke University and earned his M.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Jeong completed his residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans (specializing in internal medicine), while concurrently performing stand-up on the side.

  • #9. Conan O’Brien

    Talk show vet Conan O’Brien attended Harvard University, concentrating in history and literature and eventually graduating magna cum laude. During college, O'Brien drummed in a band called The Bad Clams and was a writer for the Harvard Lampoon humor magazine.

  • #8. Edward Norton

    Edward Norton attended Yale University, where he studied history and was on the rowing team. He also participated in acting, appearing in school productions (alongside actors Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti). After graduating, he worked at his grandfather’s company in Japan, but then returned to the States to act in a few off-Broadway shows.

  • #7. Jon Stewart

    Former host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart went to the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he first majored in chemistry before switching to psychology. He was also on the school soccer team. After graduating, he went to New York to begin doing stand-up comedy while working odd jobs.

  • #6. Lisa Kudrow

    Lisa Kudrow, known for her work in the popular sitcom Friends, received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Vassar College. It was her original dream to follow in her physician father's footsteps and research cluster headaches. Kudrow worked with her father's practice for years before finally breaking into acting.

  • #5. Michael Jordan

    The basketball legend accepted a basketball scholarship to North Carolina, where he majored in cultural geography. He left before completing his senior year to be drafted in the 1984 NBA draft. He went back to school to finish his degree two years later.

  • #4. Ray Romano

    Ray Romano, star of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, attended Queens College in Flushing, N.Y. for a brief stint. He studied accounting but dropped out to be in the TV movie Johnnie Walker Comedy Search in 1989 on The Comedy Channel.

  • #3. Rowan Atkinson

    British actor Rowan Atkinson studied at Newcastle University, where he received a degree in electrical engineering. He earned his master’s in electrical engineering at the Queen's College in Oxford, and was made an Honorary Fellow in 2006. During school he wrote sketches and collaborated with theater groups on and off campus, including the Etceterasthe revue group of the Experimental Theatre Cluband the Oxford University Dramatic Society.

  • #2. Weird Al Yankovic

    Musician and parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, where he earned a bachelor's degree in architecture. Growing up, he made parodies of all kinds of songs, and upon graduation played one of those songs live on a radio show, altering his course to showman.

  • #1. Natalie Portman

    Natalie Portman started acting at a young age, but paused her career to go to school. Portman graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then picked her acting career back up and continued her studies simultaneously. Upon graduation, she took graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and later was a guest lecturer at Columbia University, where she taught a course in terrorism and counterterrorism. "I don't care if [college] ruins my career," she once said. "I'd rather be smart than a movie star.”

2018 All rights reserved.