Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman is the winner of the 2011 Academy Award for her portrayal of a ballet dancer in the film Black Swan. Portman is one of Hollywood's most successful actresses but I was amazed in reading her biography by what this 29 year old actress has done beside acting.
First, her family history is interesting. Her family escaped from the Nazis in World War II (though her great-grandparents were victims) and her grandfather was an economics professor in Israel where the family resettled. Her great-grandmother was a spy for the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Her father is a physician specializing in fertility issues.
Natalie's career began as a young child and she later took on a well-known role in the Star Wars films in the late 1990s. In the middle of a very busy acting career, she attended Harvard and majored in psychology. She received her degree in 2003. At Harvard, she worked as a research assistant to famed law professor Alan Dershowitz. She is also an author on two scientific papers - one entitled "A Simple Method To Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar" and the other "Frontal Lobe Activation During Object Performance". For the first, she earned a semifinalist position in the Intel Science Search, something that is only available to the brightest high school scientists in America. The second paper was published while she was at Harvard.
Oh, and then there is a celebrated acting career that has now been capped off with the most prestigious award in filmdom. Congratulations Natalie.