It is a commonly held belief that academic education is not required to become an actor or singer. Believe it or not, you will be surprised to know the amount of knowledge required to take up either of the two professions that fall in the art category among many others. While most assume individuals who possess a strong penchant for the craft drop out of college to pursue their passion in the entertainment industry, there are many Bollywood stars out there that have proven the notion wrong. Not only did they end up completing their respective degrees but also graduated from well-reputed universities before taking the plunge into Indian cinema. And some even went ahead with further studies, holding more than one degree to their credit. Here is a list of some B-town actors that succeeded in the academic world as they have in entertaining audiences.
1. Amitabh Bachchan
During the megastar’s growing years, the education system was not as well established as it is now. However, the Shehenshah of Bollywood still has a vast profile of academic degrees to his credit. He graduated from Sherwood College in Nainital. Soon after, Amitabh obtained a double major in Science and Arts from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Later, he received an honorary doctorate degree from Queensland University in Australia. Salute to the superstar!
2. Shah Rukh Khan
He has not just been exceptional in his career trajectory but King Khan’s journey as a student was no different either. SRK holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Hansraj College, Delhi University. He did his early schooling from St. Columba’s School in the Indian capital and was awarded the 'Sword of Honour' (the greatest reward given to a student by the institution) for being the brightest student. From ‘Sword of Honour’ to ‘King Khan’, Shah Rukh’s brilliance knows no boundaries. Take a bow!
3. Vidya Balan
Bollywood actresses are not left behind. Vidya stepped into Indian cinema at 16 when she starred in the hit series Hum Paanch. However, she was said to be pursuing her studies simultaneously. The starlet has a Bachelor's degree from St. Xavier's College. She also holds a Master's degree in Sociology from Mumbai University.
4. Preity Zinta
The epitome of beauty, brains and that contagious million dollar smile, the Kal Ho Na Ho star has often voiced the rights of girls’ education. She received an Undergraduate degree in English with honours from St. Bede’s College in Shimla too. Preity then went ahead to study for her Master’s and completed a degree in criminal psychology.
5. Parineeti Chopra
She’s not just your girl-next-door! And we don’t only love her for her acting prowess. Turns out, this glam girl loves studying and has countless degrees to her name. She holds a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics from Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom. Wowza!
6. R Madhavan
Did you know why R Madhavan has a superb built and strong physique? It’s because he is not only a graduate in electronics but has also trained with the Royal Army, Navy and the Air Force. In his college days, he represented India as a cultural ambassador in Canada. How cool is that!
7. Soha Ali Khan
The Pataudi family holds immense pride in the fact that they are one of the most educated families of the Subcontinent. And Soha lives up to her family’s honour! For starters, she studied modern history at Balliol College, Oxford. She then went on to availing a Master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was apparently an all-rounder in school, balancing studying and sports together. Well, we’re not too surprised as she strikes the right balance between her personal and professional life too!
8. Varun Dhawan
The son of acclaimed artist David Dhawan never thought he’s venture in Bollywood. He has often revealed in interviews and talk shows that acting was never on the cards for him. However, fate had other plans for him and he eventually dived into showbiz. So, while he never saw a film career as a possibility, Varun’s studies remained his primary focus. He earned a business management degree from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. Upon his return he worked at several places before his call to acting.
9. John Abraham
There’s no denying that John is a better film producer than an actor. And while the former requires a tad bit more of education, the star never lacked behind in the need for it. The Bollywood heartthrob completed his early schooling years from Bombay Scottish School. He then got a commerce degree in economics from Jai Hind College. And that’s not all! John then worked hard towards a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies. Study hard, play harder!
Many more stars including Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonu Sood and Imran Khan among others make it to the list of the most educated stars in Bollywood. But the fact is, did any of them know how famous they would become or what life had planned for them a few years down the line? No. It’s true that education matters big time! Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Anushka Sharma have all received good quality education too. Shah Rukh recently revealed that he wants all his three children to earn reputable academic degrees before entering Bollywood, only so they know they always have something to fall back on. It’s not JUST a piece of paper nor just a piece of cake (even though we all wish it was!)