12) Natalie Portman
She came to the notice of audiences and critics as the 12 year old assassin in Leon: The Professional (1994), where she held her own against the actors Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. Portman went on to star in other Hollywood films but it was not until she played Queen Amidala in Star Wars (1990, 2002, 2005) that her name became familiar. Her lead performance in The Black Swan (2010) earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actress and she prepared for the role by enduring grueling hours of studious practice. Her ability to focus and concentrate has undoubtedly been instrumental in her success at Harvard, where she excelled. While maintaining her acting career, Portman completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and graduated with honors. She is quoted as saying “I’d rather be smart than a movie star”.