9 Celebrities Who Moonlight as College Professors
Hollywood power stretches far and wide. It’s rare to find a celebrity who hasn’t dabbled in more than one field—we have writer-actor-producer-activists like Lena Dunham, singer-designer-businesswomen like Victoria Beckham, and more entrepreneurial rising stars than we can keep track of.
One of the most unexpected crossover fields, however, is gaining popularity among Hollywood heavyweights: teaching. Today’s prospective college students have a new factor to consider when choosing a school—the celebrities who teach there!
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Scroll down to see some of the most famous former, current, and upcoming professors in the game.
Back in ’99, Oprah added a title to her already overwhelming list of roles: Professor Winfrey. The successful talk show host and businesswoman taught a course at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management alongside her longtime partner Steadman Graham. It goes without saying that Winfrey’s “Dynamics of Leadership” course drew quite a bit of student interest. Any advice Oprah has to share, we’re more than willing to take!
In the spring of 2008, Harold and Kumar star Kal Penn took on a new leading role as an Ivy League professor—and a popular one at that! The actor taught two cinema studies courses at the University of Pennsylvania: a seminar on contemporary American teen films and a course titled Images of Asian Americans in the Media. According to the multi-hyphenate’s Rate My Professors page, he is “AWESOME AND FUNNY AS HELL.”
Years before he was terrorizing the general public as morally bankrupt politician Frank Underwood in Netflix's House of Cards, Kevin Spacey spent time teaching his Oscar-winning ways to drama students at Oxford. Appointed Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theater at Oxford’s St. Catherine’s College (now say that slowly, in Underwood's signature drawl), Spacey spent a year imparting his Hollywood wisdom to eager pupils abroad.
In 2002, Baldwin shared lessons learned through his decades-long acting career with students at Long Island's Southampton University.
Angelina Jolie is expected to teach a course about the impact of war on women at the London School of Economics this September. Testament to her true passion for the topic, the Oscar-winning actress and human rights activist has accepted the position without pay.
The University of Texas alum signed on as a contributing professor for his alma mater's Advanced Producing: Script to Screen course.
At this point, Franco is basically the face of the celebrity-turned-college professor movement. The well-educated actor has held teaching gigs at big name film schools including NYU, USC, and UCLA. And, obvs, he scored a red chili pepper on the Rate My Professor hotness scale...
Last August, news spread that supermodel and accomplished businesswoman Tyra Banks would co-teach a class on creating a personal brand at Stanford University. We like to think all her course emails will be labeled URGENT: TYRA MAIL.
The Oscar-nominated director is really the O.G. celebrity professor. Lee began teaching back in 1991 at Harvard University—you might've heard of it. He's gone on to teach courses at his alma mater, NYU.