What Is It About Brown University? Famous Alumni

Like the English elite University hegemony of Oxford and Cambridge, the US Ivy League produces a vast array of talent in various fields. The majority of the political elite pass through the likes of Harvard and Yale amongst scientists, scholars and various minds of significant creative ingenuity.

Emma Watson At Elle Awards Watson joins an impressive list of Brown alumni.

Founded in 1764, before the US was even granted its independence from the British Empire, The Rhode Island institution has attracted an alumni that has changed the face of the country, as well as the world, on various levels. Contemporarily, Brown has been a notable site of emerging acting talent, the most high-profile case of which has been Emma Watson’s stint at the academic utopia. We look at a selection notable alumni who have penetrated into the sphere of popular culture as actors and entertainers after enjoying stints at the University:

Emma Watson 

Emma Watson at Noah PremiereThe actress graduated under watch from armed security.

Despite leaving amidst rumours of bullying, the actress recently graduated from Brown after taking a year-long sojourn to Oxford as part of an exchange programme. Her time there was, quite predictably, met with much interest toward the Harry Potter star from the celebrity media. It was firstly reported that the young Watson had endured bullying at the University, hence her move to Oxford for a year. But such claims were dismissed by Watson, who stated her decision to move to the Oxford was provoked by her desire to seek out a “normal” life. At her recent graduation, it was reported she was under armed guard, presumably to protect her from any over-zealous paparazzi, who still insist on following her every move. Nevertheless, the 24 year-old obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature after a five-year stint.  

More: Emma Watson Officially Graduates From Brown University

John Krasinski

Krasinski at Berlin Film Festival
Krasinski has often returned to Brown to address young actors. 

Krasinski comedy turn in the US version of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hugely successful British export, The Office, comes after graduation from Brown University in 2001 with a degree in theatre arts with an honours thesis. A sharp intellect is amplified by dashing good looks and Krasinski married beautiful and equally talented English actress Emily Blunt in 2010. Krasinski has stated that his time at Brown was invaluable in developing his acting pedigree and he has returned on numerous occasions to give talks to other aspiring young actors.   

More: Emily Blunt Declares Husband John Krasinski To Be 'Greatest Dad'

Laura Linney

Laura Linney Attends Al Pacino's Gala
Linney has recieved many awards for her acting prowess. 

Before three Academy Award nominations, receiving four Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Laura Linney graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree under the tutelage of John Emigh, a Professor of theatre arts responsible for many of Brown’s success stories. She has gone on to star in The Truman Show and Mystic River as well as playing the lead role of Cathy Jamison in the hit series The Big C

More: Laura Linney To Play Sherlock Holmes' Housekeeper In Forthcoming Feature Film

Tim Blake Nelson

Tim Blake Nelson Attends Midsummer Party
 O Brother, Tim Blake Nelson has found success as a memorable character actor.

The American writer, director and actor graduated from Brown as a Classics Major and was a Senior Orator for his class in 1986. His biggest role came in the shape of the dim-witted Delmar in the Coen Brother’s brilliant O Brother Where Art Thou? He has made a career as a character actor, playing side roles that are always memorable in their depiction of often humour characters. He is also a graduate of the University of Tulsa, where he received an honorary member of the exclusive Phi Betta Kappa national collegiate honour society.  

More: Tim Blake Nelson In Talks For New Fantastic Four Film

Ted Turner

Ted Turner Attends The Gorbachev Gala
Turner was expelled from Brown for having a female student in his dorm. 

As founder of CNN, Tuner helped change the face of American television towards the future. The media mogul, businessman and philanthropist enrolled at Brown University to study Classics but soon changed his degree to read Economics. Interestingly, Turner was expelled shortly before receiving his degree for having a female student in his dormitory room. Despite this, he was finally awarded an honorary Bachelor in the subject when he returned as keynote speaker of the National Association of College Broadcasters in 1986. 

Eva Amurri

Eva Amurri At Tommy Hilfiger Event
Amurri has followed the path of her mother Susan Sarandon into acting.

The daughter of Italian director Franco Amurri and American actress Susan Sarandon, the 29 year-old has wilfully followed the pathway previously trodden by her parents and dived into the world of acting, despite graduating from Brown with a degree in Italian Studies. Nevertheless she has scored roles in a host of hugely successful US sitcoms including How I Met Your MotherNew Girl and The Mindy Project. Elsewhere, she has taken roles in the equally huge TV hits Californication and House.

 Wendy Carlos

Born Walter Carlos in 1939, Wendy Carlos was a pioneer in electronic music who would go on to release such iconic albums as ‘Switched-On Bach’, a massive selling record that saw Carlos popularise the synthesizer by reworking the arrangements of Bach for the new electronic instrument. Carlos graduated from Brown with a B.A. in Music and Physics before attaining a further degree from Columbia in Music Composition. She would later go on to provide instantly recognisable scores for such movies as A Clockwork Orange, Beauty and the Beast, The Shining and the original version of Tron.


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Tags: Emma Watson - John Krasinski - Emily Blunt - Laura Linney - Tim Blake Nelson - Ted Turner - Eva Amurri


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