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These nine actors prove that it takes some pretty intelligent people to play funny, dim-witted roles. I bet you never knew that Mr. Bean has a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. Here are some smart actors who played dumb characters. Surprisingly, in real life they’re practically geniuses.

1. Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow is best known for her role as the endearing flaky, free spirit Phoebe Buffay on Friends. Although, she played a space cadet on TV, in real life Kudrow graduated from Vassar College with a Biology degree. She was a member of father’s staff for eight years while breaking into acting, earning a research credit on his study on the comparative likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches. While filming Friends, Kudrow was even referred to by her coworkers as the “smartest person on set.”

smart actors who played dumb characters
Helga Esteb /

2. Nolan Gould

Sixteen year old Nolan Gould is best known for playing Luke Dunphy, the lovable, goofy, and absent-minded brother on ABC’s hit series Modern Family. However, Gould is not so absent-minded in real life. He graduated from high school at age 13 with an IQ of 150 and he is also a member of Mensa, the largest and oldest IQ society in the world.

smart actors who play dumb characters
Helga Esteb /

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