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15 celebrities you didn’t know were atheist

By / 01.24.11

Atheist Celebrities

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhoaoTZJSX4" target="_blank">YouTube/Warner Bros.</a>



Okay, by now pretty much the whole world knows that Ricky Gervais is an atheist (and thank God for that). However, he is by far the only non-believer in the world of Hollywood. While fellow atheists such as Seth MacFarlane, David Cross and Sarah Silverman may not surprise you, there are numerous big celebs that you may not know are atheist. Here are 15 of them…

Photo credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.

15 Katharine Hepburn

Yep, that’s right. The American Film Institute’s “Greatest Female Star” in the history of American cinema was an atheist. In a 1991 interview with Ladies’ Home Journal, Ms. Hepburn stated, “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.”

14 Brangelina

We can count Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie as one person, right? According to Brad Pitt, he is “probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic.” Proving that married people typically share in the same beliefs, Angelina has made statements that also depict her disbelief in God.

13 Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti is one of today’s greatest character actors. During his career, he has won 26 different awards, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe (for John Adams). One can only assume none of his acceptance speeches included a shout-out to the man upstairs.

12 Sir Ian McKellen

“THOUGH SHALL NOT PASS”… into the gates of heaven because they don’t exist. Or, at least so believes Sir Ian Mckellen. As Ian himself puts it, “I’m an atheist. So God, if She exists, isn’t really a part of my life.”

11 Woody Allen

Woody Allen has had a couple great and memorable quips that pertain to his atheism. For example, “If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”

10 Hugh Laurie

You’ll find a lot more British celebrities who are atheist (or at least willing to admit it) than American celebrities. Hugh Laurie is a case in point. Not only is his television character, Dr. Gregory House, a self-proclaimed atheist, but so too is the actor himself.

9 Daniel Radcliffe

Yet another British atheist. Actually, I’m sure this comes at no surprise to those Christians who believe Harry Potter books and magic in general are tools of the devil. According to Radcliffe, “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it.”

8 Keanu Reeves

Is ‘sad Keanu’ so sad because he has nothing to look forward to once his life here on earth is over? Probably not. In interviews Keanu seems perfectly content with his conclusion that God does not exist.

7 Gene Wilder

Celebrities from the older generations of Hollywood who ‘come out’ as atheist are typically more surprising than all those hedonistic young kids growing up in Hollywood these days. In a 2005 interview, the original (and best) Willie Wonka told a reporter, “Well, I’m a Jewish-Buddhist-Atheist, I guess.”

6 Daniel Day-Lewis

Actually, Daniel Day-Lewis considers himself an agnostic. This fact means that he believes the existence of a God is currently impossible to know. As such, he chooses to suspend his judgment on deciding whether or not one (or many) exists.

5 Julianne Moore

During a 2002 interview on Inside the Actor’s Studio, James Lipton asked Julianne Moore what God would say to her when she appeared before him at the pearly gates. She replied, “Well, I guess you were wrong, because I do exist.”

4 James Lipton

Speaking of James Lipton, Tom Cruise once turned Lipton’s famous “God at the pearly gates” question around on him. In response to the question Lipton answered in a similar manner as Julianne Moore, “You see Jim, you were wrong. I exist, but you may come in anyway.”

3 Roger Ebert

According to the world’s most famous TV critic (sorry, Gene Shalit), “I have never said, although readers have freely informed me, that I am an atheist, agnostic, or at the very least a secular humanist – which I am.”

2 Bruce Lee

When considering the master martial artistry of Bruce Lee, one might guess that he was perhaps Buddhist. However, towards the end of his life in the early 1970s he confirmed the fact that he was indeed an atheist.

1 Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was a public atheist well before it was socially acceptable to be so (although, it’s really still not all that acceptable). Regardless, Chaplin discusses his atheism in his 1964 autobiography and has been quoted to say, “By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none.”


TAGSAngelina JolieArbitrary Rankingsatheismatheist celebritiesBrad PittBrangelinaBruce LeeCharlie ChaplinDaniel Day-LewisDaniel RadcliffefeaturedGene WilderHugh LaurieIan McKellenJames LiptonJulianne MooreKatharine HepburnKeanu ReevesListsPaul GiamattiReligionRoger EbertWoody Allen
Jeff Wysaski
About Jeff Wysaski... Jeff Wysaski is a freelance humor writer based out of Los Angeles. He has written for such esteemed online sites as Manolith, COED Magazine and Pleated Jeans. When not behind his laptop, Jeff can probably be found at a comedy show, eating a sandwich or practicing his latest ribbon dancing routine.

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