By now, everyone knows that comic actor Ken Jeong is also a practicing physician. But here’s a few celebrities you might know are also doctors… at least, they have Ph.D.s in varying fields.
10 Doctors Whose Names You’ll Recognize Instantly
These celebrity doctors are also famous actors, legendary sports figures and musicians. Surprised? So were we!
1. Brian May, guitarist for the band Queen
May’s love of mathematics and physics is secondary to his passion for his custom-designed and built guitar, the Red Special. But before Queen rocketed to stardom in 1974, May was working on his doctoral studies in astrophysics. At the time, he wrote and published two peer-reviewed papers on the subject. Then in August 2007, May submitted his thesis on radial velocity using data from NASA’s IRAS satellite. May graduated with his Ph.D. in May 2008 from Imperial College London. His doctoral dissertation’s now available in a book titled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud.
2. Mayim Bialik, actress on The Big Bang Theory
Bialik originally rose to stardom after starring on Blossom as a teenager in the 1990s. However, she took a break from acting to complete her neuroscience Ph.D. in 2007. After that, Bialik returned to acting in 2010. Despite earning her degree, Bialik stated that doctors and research scientists kept schedules incompatible with her parenting goals. In other words, she wanted to spend more time with her kids — and preferred her old SAG health insurance!
3. George Miller, writer/director of the Mad Max film franchise
This Australian director holds two Oscars for his work on popular children’s films Happy Feet (2006) and Babe (1995). But most people know him for the Mad Max film franchise that launched Mel Gibson to stardom in 1979. Prior to that, however, Miller earned his M.D. at the University of New South Wales. Interestingly, both George and his twin brother, John, studied to become doctor. Miller worked as a physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney before finding fame in Hollywood.
4. Peter Weller, Robocop actor
Weller’s one of two actors who also happen to be doctors in our top 10 list. And while he’s instantly recognizable as Robocop, you may also know him from the History Channel’s Engineering an Empire program. Weller earned an Italian Renaissance art history doctorate from UCLA in 2014. In his spare time, Weller occasionally teaches ancient history courses at New York’s Syracuse University.
5. Dexter Holland, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for punk band The Offspring
Perhaps one of the least-known doctors on our list is former punk singer Dexter Holland. But the guy’s undeniably smart, as he now holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California. Like many doctors on our list, Holland’s published his share of mind-bending academic papers. Nowadays, Holland spends time honing hot sauce recipes for his Gringo Bandito product line.
6. Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park author and prolific Hollywood screenwriter/film director
Crichton’s most famous for authoring books with medical and/or scientific backgrounds, like The Andromeda Strain. But long before directing films like Westworld and Coma, Crichton earned his MD from Harvard in 1969. Crichton decided to abandon a career in medicine after completing his clinical rotations at Boston City Hospital in 1970. Crichton became disillusioned with practicing medicine after observing that the reputations of doctors mattered more to hospitals than patients’ well-being.
7. Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show
Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow earned her Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil) degree in political science from Oxford University. While her doctoral thesis focused on prison health care reform for inmates with HIV/AIDS, Maddow’s now famous for her nightly MSNBC political commentary.
8. Wladimir Klitschko, world heavyweight champion boxer & Olympic gold medalist
Klitschko’s boxing career is legendary. For example: He has a world record for holding the heavyweight boxing championship title for 4,3282 days. In 1996, he became a gold medalist boxing in the super-heavyweight division. But what you might not know is that he and his brother, Vitali, aren’t just incredible boxers. They’re also doctors! Both brothers earned a sports science Ph.D. from Kiev University in the early 2000s. In 2015, Klitschko accepted an adjunct professor position at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. You can still find him there today, teaching master’s-level students.
9. Shaquille O’Neal, NBA Hall-of-Famer and Space Jam star
Among all doctors on this list, basketball legend Shaq may be the most unexpected entry. O’Neal earned his educational doctorate in human resource development from Barry University in 2012. After retiring from basketball, O’Neal parlayed his education into several different successful business ventures.
10. Miuccia Prada, owner/clothing designer for luxury brands Miu Miu & Prada
Prada’s one of two doctors on our list that earned political science Ph.Ds. After graduating from the University of Milan in 1973, Prada left politics behind to take over her father’s luxury brand. By 1998, Prada’s iconic tiny backpack purses catapulted her to fashion stardom. In 2011, Prada launched a successful IPO in Hong Kong worth $2.1 billion.