"I'd rather be smart than a movie star," said Natalie Portman, explaining why she put her film career on hold to hit the books at Harvard. But while at school, Portman did continue and finish her work on the "Star Wars" prequels, which launched her to wider fame. She graduated in 2003 with a bachelor's in psychology. Portman, whose family emigrated from Israel to the United States in 1988, served as Alan Dershowitz's research assistant, receiving kudos for her work on "The Case for Israel."
Portman, 16, in 1997.
Christopher Bierlein/Globe photo