Hedy Lamarr (see previous post) was a celebrated actresses and inventor, but how many other actresses are also scientists? Here are a few!
Mayim Bialik @missmayim famously plays neuroscientist Amy in The Big Bang Theory, but she took time out from a successful acting career to earn a PhD, writing her dissertation on the hypothalamic activity of patients with Prader-Willi syndrome.
Danica McKellar @danicamckellar was a child actress, starring in The Wonder Years, but she went on to do a mathematics undergraduate degree and published a paper. She now writes books which aim to make maths more accessible to adolescent girls.
Natalie Portman is not only an Oscar-winning actress, but is also one of the few people with a finite Erdős–Bacon number indicating that she has a collaborative link to both Kevin Bacon through films and mathematician Paul Erdős through academic papers. While studying at Harvard she contributed to this psychology paper.
Nichelle Nichols @NichelleIsUhura, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek TV series, went on to help in a NASA project to recruit minority and female personnel. The new recruits included Dr Sally Ride, the first female American astronaut, and the current NASA administrator. Thanks @henryjameslau for suggesting Nichelle Nichols!
Did I miss someone? If you can think of any more actresses with a STEM background, or actresses involved in STEM outreach, please leave a comment!