Celebrity surprises:

Peter Weller edition.
I was just watching The History Channel, in the segment where they were talking about Roman roads. One of their talking heads came on to say something about road construction. He was identified as “Peter Weller – Syracuse University.”

I thought, “Jeezopete, is that the same Peter Weller that was in Robocop?”

A quick trip to IMDB confirmed it:

Wow, who knew?? He has hidden depths, I guess. :slight_smile:

Anybody know of other celebrities with surprising skills/talents?

Damn, I saw that and thought the same thing! Go figure!

Sergio Aragones, cartoonist famous for MAD and Groo the Wanderer, was in show business in the late 50s-to-early 70s. One of his earliest TV gigs was as a stunt double for Irish McCalla, star of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, on that show.

Charo, the voluptuous “cootchie cootchie” girl, is an accomplished classical guitarist and a former student of Andres Segovia.

Winona Ryder, “It girl” of the late 80s, was arrested and successfully prosecuted for shoplifting. Hey, I was surprised.

My favorite: Dolph Lungren.

Who would’ve thunk it?

Kris Kristofferson earned a Rhodes scholarship to study literature at Oxford.

Cindy Crawford was attending Northwestern University in pursuit of an engineering degree when she decided to quit school because of her growing modelling career.

The lead singer for the punk band Bad Religion, Greg Graffin, has an advanced degree in paleoanthropology and has taught evolutionary history at Cornell, if I’m not mistaken.

Ventriloquist Paul Winchell (whose most famous dummy was called Jerry Mahoney) was also an inventor who held numerous patents, among which were a disposable razor, a flameless cigarette lighter, an illuminated ballpoint pen, a retractable fountain pen, an invisible garter belt, battery-operated heated gloves, a portable blood plasma defroster, a sectional garment for hypothermia, a piezo-electric diaphragm, and an artificial human heart.

The film director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers) has a Ph.D. from the University of Leiden.

The actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and can speak fluent Mandarin Chinese.

The musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, of the Doobie Brothers, is also a highly-paid consultant to the Pentagon and defense contractors. Since 2005, he’s served on the NASA Exploration Systems Advisory Committee.

Zeppo Marx, from IMDB:

“Somewhat of a mechanical whiz, Zeppo invented a wristwatch that would monitor the pulse rate of cardiac patients, and his company, Marman Products, produced clamping devices which were used in the first atomic bomb raids over Japan in 1945.”

Dexter Holland from The Offspring is a PhD candidate in Molecular Bio.

Didn’t I hear that Jodie Foster is some kind of braniac? I adore her.

Brainiac, damnit! Brainiac! Sheesh!

Queen was probably one of the most educated bands in rock:
[li]Freddie Mercury - diploma in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College[/li][li]John Deacon - degree in electrical engineering from Chelsea College[/li][li]Roger Taylor - B.Sc. in biology from North London Polytechnic[/li][li]Brian May - almost completed his Ph.D. in astronomy at Imperial College London, lacking only his dissertation; co-author on two scientific papers, including one published in Nature[/li][/ul]

Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years”) graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in math. She’s co-author on a paper published in the Journal of Physics.

Harrison Ford is a helicopter pilot, and has responded to a couple distress calls to rescue hikers trapped in the hills. Imagine their surprise…

I’d have guessed:

Mercury - astronomy
Deacon - divinity
Taylor - fashion design
May - statistics, specializing in probability

The resemblance is uncanny!

Yeah but that picture was obviously after she had shaved that tremendous mustache she was known for.

Milo Auckerman, lead singer of the punk band Descendents had a PHD in biochemistry and does a lot of research work. Many of the long gaps between recording and touring were due to his going to school or him working his “day job” in between touring and recording.

It’s why my friend and I used to call him, “The Nazi experiment gone horibly awry!” (In incredibly cheezy 1950’s sci-fi scientist voices)

I was going to bring up Geena Davis and her archery, but then realized it’s not -that- unexpected that someone athletic would be… Well… A decent athlete!