Ally Walker starred in the series Profiler and Tell Me You Love Me. She received a degree in biochemistry from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and worked as a researcher on a genetic engineering project in preparation for UCLA Medical School when she was discovered -- no kidding -- by a Hollywood producer in a restaurant.
This list blows me away. I had no idea these celebrities had the credentials listed. Good for them. It proves you can be smart and entertaining also. I would love to hear why they chose such difficult fields, investing the time and energy, then moving into other areas. Wonder if it has anything to do with $$$$$$$$$. Great post Rob.
I think most of them persued engineering careers because they needed a backup plan in case they didn't hit it big. I thnk that there a lot of actors out there doing menial jobs in order to survive between acting gigs. IMO, relatively few of them hit it big.
Apparently this list only includes living celebrities. But if you wanted to extend it to those who previously lived, we need to remember the actress Hedy Lamarr. During WWII she invented the spread spectrum technique of frequency hopping. It was first used during the Cuban missile crisis.
One thing I found interesting was the number of Gen-xers on the list. I would guess that reflects increased college graduation stats. The pool of potential celebs now includes a greater number of college grads. I imagine the number of Millennial celebs will include even more STEM grads.
Jeff Foxworthy is another: He was my ICS 1700 lab T/A at Georgia Tech in fall 1978; and he received his Bachelor in Information & Computer Science in spring 1979. He was a software engineer at IBM for about 5 years, performing standup comedy at The Punch Line on Roswell Road in Atlanta, before hitting the big time.
Thanks for the list Rob. I already knew about Rowan Atkinson and Mayim Bialik but the rest of the people in the list left me with amazement. Especially Lisa Kudrow, as i am a huge F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan and i have watched the episodes countless times, never knew Lisa was equally good in biology. Though if Lisa had pursued her biology instead of acting, the TV show would have missed one hell of a comedian.
Great list! I love reading about the secret lives of celebrities--especially when they are secretly geeks. ;) Actually, a lot of these folks weren't so surprising, because often when people excel in music or the arts they are also highly intelligent people. But the three that stood out for me were Mike Judge, Dolph Lundgren and Montel Williams. Not that people with low-brow humor, good looks and smarmy talk-show personas can't be highly intelligent and accomplished engineers--but these three definitely were not what I expected.
In the wake of the legendary musician's death, information is coming forward that Prince was an advocate of green technology and was a major backer behind an organization that teaches underprivileged children how to code.
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