8 famous people you probably didn’t realize studied economics

Cate Blanchett, Danny Glover, Gene Kelly, Ray Manzarek, Paul Newman, Aung San Suu Kyi, Will Self, Arsene Wenger. Believe it or not, they all studied economics before they became famous

1. Cate Blanchett - Actress, Oscar magnet

Cate Blanchett performing a scene from Hedda Gabler at The Sydney Theatre Company.

She never graduated, but the versatile actress studied economics and fine arts at the University of Melbourne, before going on to do the greatest impressions of Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth I and Bob Dylan ever.

2. Arsene Wenger - Football manager, headmaster in another universe

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger watches his team during a 0-0 draw against Sunderland at The Stadium of Light.
Image: © Owen Humphreys / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Arsenal’s long-time manager graduated with a Masters in Economics from the University of Strasbourg in 1974. With a shrewd and thrifty reputation in the transfer market, his degree has obviously served him well.

3. Gene Kelly - Actor, dancer, a dab hand at sit-ups

Gene Kelly in Hollywood, July 3, 1967
Image: © Ed Widdis / AP/Press Association Images

Yep, dancing sensation Gene Kelly, probably best known for the classic 1952 film Singin’ In The Rain, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1933. Effortlessly stylish and could easily talk you through the mechanics of monetary policy if you asked.

4. Danny Glover - Actor, activist, lethal weapon

The actor and campaigner Danny Glover
Image: © Victoria Will / Invision/Press Association Images

If putting up with Mel Gibson for four movies wasn’t enough hard work, Glover has also been a tireless political and civil rights campaigner. In a recent interview he said: “I studied economics... I still study economics, I’m still trying to figure out economics.” Join the club, Danny.

5. Paul Newman - Actor, cool hand, eyes bluer than the Caribbean sea

Actor Paul Newman arrives at the 1967 Annual Academy Awards
Image: © AP/Press Association Images

The legendary Hollywood actor studied an interesting combination of economics and drama at Kenyon College in Ohio and completed his BA in 1949. He later went on to produce a best-selling salad dressing.

6. Will Self - Writer, raconteur, grumpy old man

Writer Will Self
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The ever sapient scribe went to Oxford of course, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). Querulous, loquacious and loads of other words we don’t really understand, Self has warned against the “false prophets of the new priesthood of economics” who base their analyses and predictions on "spurious notions of human behavior". Take that, economists.

7. Aung San Suu Kyi - stateswoman, democracy campaigner, all-round hero

Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to supporters during a ceremony
Image: © Khin Maung Win / AP/Press Association Images

Like Self, ASSK also studied PPE at Oxford. Her party, the NLD have a : fiscal prudence, efficient government, revitalizing agriculture, monetary and fiscal stability, and functioning infrastructure. Sorted.

8. Ray Manzarek - The Doors founder, keyboard noodler, wore a mean pair of shades

Musican Ray Manzarek poses for a portrait at the Gibson Guitar Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Saturday 17 January, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Mainz)
Image: © Mark Mainz / AP/Press Association Images

The man that gave The Doors their distinctive sound, Manzarek did a degree in economics at DePaul University in the early Sixties, before all the acid kicked in.

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