Natalie Portman High School:
|Syosset High School, Syosset, New York|
Natalie Portman College:
|Harvard University, Massachusetts|
Natalie Portman is known for being one of the most highly educated actresses of her generation, choosing to take time out from her successful show-biz career in favor of personal enrichment. As a child, she attended Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and then Solomon Schechter Day School – it was important to her parents that the little Israeli émigré held onto her native Hebrew tongue. Even back then, the star had the wherewithal to turn down a Revlon contract at age 10, stating that she preferred acting to modeling. Between Syosset High School in Long Island, dance classes, and her turn as Queen Padmé-Amidala in Star Wars, the adolescent Portman managed to gracefully balance her burgeoning acting career with her education, even reaching semifinal rounds of national Intel Science Talent Search and skipping the Star Wars premiere to study for her finals. High-school classmates, who rave about her warmth, intelligence and maturity in the face of international fame, named her “Most Likely to Win Jeopardy”. This fame and success made it even more impressive when the 18-year-old decided to put aside her acting for four years as she attended Harvard University. Portman shone at university just as she had in high school: Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz failed to recognize the celebrity, who used her birth name of Hershlag, but he did recognize her as a “terrific student” who he would later work with on a book, and the Dean of the Social Sciences, who she assisted with lab research, applauded her determination and focus. After graduating from Harvard in 2003 with an A.B. degree in psychology, she has taken graduate courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and guest-lectured on counterterrorism at Columbia University. Today, the wife and mother continues her acting career - which has garnered her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award, among others - but says she still dreams of earning a medical degree in the future.