When it comes to prestigious universities, Harvard is in a league of its own. The Ivy League school has educated some of the world’s most influential leaders in business, politics, science, and the arts. Among Harvard’s famous alumni are also some big names from the entertainment industry.
Let’s take a look at 15 celebrities who received their education at the famed halls of Harvard.
1. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman has an impressive education background, graduating from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in psychology. She balanced her acting career while attending the university, starring in “Star Wars” prequels.
2. Conan O’Brien
Before becoming a late night television host, Conan O’Brien graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1985. He was even president of the famous humor publication, Harvard Lampoon.
3. Mira Sorvino
Oscar winner Mira Sorvino earned her degree in East Asian studies from Harvard in 1989. She also pursued her passion for acting at the university’s student-run theater group.
4. Ashley Judd
Actress Ashley Judd attended Harvard from 1986 to 1990 where she was very involved in student activities. She majored in French but later transferred to Brown University where she graduated.
5. Matt Damon
Matt Damon attended Harvard from 1988 to 1992 but dropped out just before graduation to pursue his acting career. Even without a degree, Damon’s time at Harvard helped launch his path to fame.
6. Tatyana Ali
Best known for playing Ashley on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Tatyana Ali graduated from Harvard in 2002 with a degree in African-American studies and government.
7. Cole Sprouse
Cole Sprouse, star of “Riverdale,” took a break from acting to attend New York University. But he later transferred to Harvard temporarily before returning to acting full-time.
8. Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Shue enrolled at Harvard in 1985 and graduated in 1988 with a degree in government. She balanced her education with acting, appearing in “The Karate Kid” and other 80s classics.
9. Rachel Dratch
Comedian Rachel Dratch majored in drama and psychology at Dartmouth but completed her bachelor’s degree at Harvard Summer School. She was a star performer in Harvard’s comedy group.
10. Tyra Banks
Supermodel Tyra Banks attended Harvard Business School’s exclusive Owner/President Management program in 2012. This helped prepare her for her career as a media mogul.
11. Scottie Pippen
Legendary basketball player Scottie Pippen attended the University of Central Arkansas but later returned to school at Harvard in 2006. He majored in sociology.
12. Maria Shriver
Journalist and author Maria Shriver is part of the Kennedy political dynasty. She earned her bachelor’s degree in American studies from Harvard in 1978.
13. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg studied computer science at Harvard before dropping out in 2004 to work full-time on Facebook. Clearly, that choice paid off in the long run.
14. Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones, star of “Parks and Recreation,” graduated from Harvard in 1997 with a degree in religion and philosophy. She also composed music for the famous Hasty Pudding student theater group.
15. James Franco
James Franco attended many colleges, including UCLA and Columbia. But he also spent time at Harvard, studying English literature and creative writing in graduate school.
Ivy League Education to Silver Screen Success
For these 15 stars, attending the hallowed halls of Harvard was part of their journey to success in the limelight. They prove that an Ivy League education can help pave the way for a major career in arts and entertainment. Many found a way to balance their studies while pursuing their Hollywood dreams.