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Celebrity Religions

Did you know that John Travolta is a Scientologist? Probably. But maybe you didn't know that Nicole Kidman is a devoted Catholic, that John Woo is a Lutheran, or that George Lucas identifies himself as a "Buddhist Methodist." Learn the religious affiliations of dozens of celebrities from movies, music, literature and politics in our celebrity religion index.

The chart below show the religious affiliations or belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name. Where available, click on a celebrity's name for a full religious profile; click on a religion name for more information on that faith. This list will be expanded over time.

Obligatory disclaimer: this index simply indicates the most prominent religious associations of various celebrities, which encompass a wide range of religious commitment, belief and practice. Whether a particular celebrity is "really" a Jew, Catholic, or Scientologist is a matter of further research and opinion.

Celebrity Religion/Belief Quotes, More Information, Sources
Douglas Adams
Atheism The British author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy called himself a "radical Atheist."
Muhammad Ali Sunni Islam The world-champion boxer converted to the Nation of Islam in 1964, and then to Sunni Islam in 1975. - Wikipedia
Rick Allen eclectic/Hare Krishna/ mysticism The Def Leppard drummer has had a variety of mystic experiences and finds peace in drumming. - Beliefnet
Woody Allen
(b. 1935)
Atheism "Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends." - "My Philosophy" in The New Yorker
Kirstie Alley Scientology The actress credits Scientology's program Narconon with freeing her from cocaine addiction. - ABCNews.com
Isaac Asimov
Atheism The science-fiction writer proclaimed himself an atheist, saying, "I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time." - Free Inquiry, Spring 1982
Beck Scientology Scientology runs in Beck's family - his father has reportedly been a Scientologist for close to 40 years, and his brother-in-law is fellow Scientology Giovanni Ribisi. - ABCNews.com
Sir Richard Branson
(b. 1950)
Atheism The British entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin group has stated he does not believe in God. - Richard Branson, Losing my Virginity, p. 239
George Carlin
(b. 1937)
Atheism This American comedian is an outspoken atheist who has written a number of monologues about the nonexistence of God. "I don't have any beliefs or allegiances.  I don't believe in this country.  I don't believe in religion, or a god, and I don't believe in all these man-made institutional ideas."- Godless Geeks
Jim Caviezel Catholicism The Passion of the Christ actor is a devout Catholic. "Jesus is there for us in the Scriptures. How often do we ignore Him? We must shake off this indifference. Only the Faith and the wisdom of the Church can save us, but it requires men and women, warriors ready to risk their good names, even their very lives to stand up for the truth." -- FreeRepublic.com, March 1, 2004
Erika Christensen Scientology "Scientology helps me in acting to focus on communication." - ABCNews.com
Tom Cruise Scientology Scientology's most famous exponent, especially in recent years, Cruise has reportedly reached one of the highest levels in the program ("Operating Thetan VII"). He joined in 1986 when married to then-Scientologist Mimi Rogers, who is no longer a member. More on Tom Cruise...
Charles Darwin Anglicanism/ Unitarianism The evolutionary biologist was nominally an Anglican, but attended a Unitarian church. - Adherents.com
Dame Judi Dench Quaker This Oscar-winning English actress became a member of the Society of Friends after attending a Quaker school. "Quaker Meetings are entirely to do with everybody else... passing things round... communing with other people. Theatre is live communication with other people." - Quakernet.org
John Denver EST The folk singer was a follower of the self-improvement association known as EST (Erhard Seminars Training). - IMDb.com
Jenna Elfman Scientology The actress told Scientology's magazine, Celebrity: "I intend to make Scientology as accessible to as many people as I can." She said it's her "duty to clear the planet," by helping people get rid of negative thoughts and emotions. - ABCNews.com
Larry Flynt
(b. 1942)
Atheism The notorious founder of Hustler is an atheist.
Richard Gere Tibetan Buddhism Richard Gere has been a practicing Buddhist for decades, first in Zen and then in Tibetan Buddhism. He has frequently met with, and been taught by, the Dalai Lama. Shambhala Sun, May 1999
Mel Gibson Traditionalist Catholicism Mel Gibson belongs to a Catholic sect that does not accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. "Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." - Time, January 27, 2003
Dizzy Gillespie Baha'i Faith Dizzy became a Baha'i in 1970, and compared the progressive ages of music to God's progressive revelation in religion. - Baha'i Library book excerpt
Matt Groening Agnosticism It's difficult to get a straight answer from this creator of The Simpsons, but he did tell one interviewer, "Technically, I'm an agnostic, but I definitely believe in hell - especially after watching the fall TV schedule." - Celebrity Atheist List
Isaac Hayes Scientology The singer has said that Scientology is the "gateway to eternity" and "the path to happiness and total spiritual freedom." - ABCNews.com
Katharine Hepburn
Atheism "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" - Ladies' Home Journal, October 1991
Katie Holmes Scientology Raised a Roman Catholic, the new Mrs. Cruise has been studying Scientology. Cruise told Entertainment Weekly, "She digs it." - ABCNews.com
Angelina Jolie general spirituality/ eclectic "There doesn't need to be a God for me. There's something in people that's spiritual, that's godlike. I don't feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don't really know if it's better to just not believe in anything, either." More on Angelina Jolie...
Nicole Kidman Catholicism The award-winning actress was raised Catholic and has increasingly returned to her religious roots since divorcing Scientologist Tom Cruise. "Catholicism guides me. I certainly have a strong belief. I try to go to church regularly, and I try to go to confession." - Catholic.org
Ben Kingsley Quaker Though perhaps best known for portraying the Hindu saint Gandhi, Kingsley is a member of the Religious Society of Friends. - Quakernet.org
Gladys Knight Mormonism "Since I joined the Church, I desire to be more and more obedient to God. As I do so, many people say to me, 'I see a light in you more than ever before. What is it?'" - BlackLDS.org
Jason Lee Scientology ABCNews.com
C.S. Lewis Christianity The Oxford professor and author of the Chronicles of Narnia was an atheist for most of his life until he quite reluctantly converted to (Anglican) Christianity, convinced of its truth. He was known for his ability to explain Christian belief in a reasonable and accessible way, in such books as Mere Christianity.
Juliette Lewis Scientology Lewis joined Scientology when she was 22. She has said that thanks to Scientology, "I am no longer stuck in the bottomless pit of despair and apathy." - ABCNews.com
Joe Lieberman Orthodox Judaism LATimes.com, Aug. 28, 2000
New York Magazine, Nov. 18, 2002
Evangeline Lilly Protestant Christian "Over and over again, I've been called a walking oxymoron. I do things that you wouldn't associate with a good little Christian girl. People say I'm half-boy, half-girl." More on Evangeline Lilly...
Carole Lombard Baha'i Faith The great actress and beloved of Clark Gable was a second-generation Baha'i. - The Bahá'í World 1940-1944 (Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette), p. 635.
George Lucas "Buddhist Methodist" The creator of Star Wars and "the Force" was raised Methodist and has studied Eastern and Native American religions. He believes in God and in good and evil, and has labeled himself a "Buddhist Methodist." Adherents.com
David Lynch Transcendental Meditation The Twin Peaks director has practiced TM since 1976 and recently established the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which aims to bring TM to students. The Eagle, September 29, 2005; Beliefnet
Malcolm X
Islam A long-time member and spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X converted to orthodox Islam after a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964. - Wikipedia
Alexander McQueen Atheism The fashion designer has identified himself as an atheist. - Celebrity Atheist List
Hakeem Olajuwon Islam The Nigerian-native basketball star is a devout Muslim. "God comes first. Paradise is not cheap." - Beliefnet
Mary Pickford Christian Science The great 1920s actress was raised a Catholic but converted to Christian Science later in life. - Adherents.com
Lisa Marie Presley Scientology "Were it not for Scientology, I would either be completely insane or dead by now." - ABCNews.com
Kelly Preston Scientology "If you want your life to be richer and fuller, and you just want to be really happy, then there you go. You need Scientology." - Scientology Celebrity Centre Website
Christopher Reeve Unitarian The Superman actor jointed the Unitarian church around the age of 50. "I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don't know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do. The Unitarian believes that God is good, and believes that God believes that man is good. Inherently. The Unitarian God is not a God of vengeance. And that is something I can appreciate." - Reader's Digest, October 2004
Giovanni Ribisi Scientology "Without Scientology, I would be in an alley somewhere, looking for drugs." - ABCNews.com
Anne Rice Catholicism The vampire novel author converted to Catholicism in 1998, and wrote a novel called Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt in 2004. Adherents.com
Salman Rushdie
(b. 1947)
Atheism "God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith... From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person. - Salman Rushdie, In God We Trust (1985)
J.D. Salinger Hinduism/ eclectic The author of Catcher in the Rye dabbled in Christian Science, Scientology, and Hinduism, but Hinduism seems to have been especially important in his life. - Adherents.com
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Atheism Among the works of this British Romantic poet was the book The Necessity of Atheism.
Jada Pinkett Smith Scientology "I'm actually a connoisseur of all religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism - so I've always been very interested in Scientology. I find it very intriguing, so it was great talking to him [Cruise]." - USAToday.com, August 3, 2004
Will Smith general spirituality/ Scientology "I've probably read 95% of the words in the Bible. Probably 60% of the Torah. 70% of the Koran. And the thing that is so amazing to me is how everybody, in essence, believes the same thing. I just can't understand how we get from such similar beliefs to murdering one another. My beliefs are that individuals have to create relationships with God. You can't listen to what the preacher says-you have to read the Bible yourself and make your interpretation. I'm good friends with Tom Cruise and I just think a lot of the ideas in Scientology are brilliant and revolutionary and non-religious." - Blender, June 2005
Britney Spears Baptist Christianity, sometimes Kabbalah Raised a Baptist, Britney spears was once known for insisting on the importance of virginity before marriage. She became interested in Kabbalah through Madonna, but has reportedly now left it behind in favor of a "Christian life coach."
Joseph Stalin
Atheism The Soviet dictator said, "You know, they are fooling us, there is no God... all this talk about God is sheer nonsense." - E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin
Uma Thurman Buddhism/ eclectic Uma's father, Robert Thurman, is the foremost Buddhist scholar in America. "When asked if I consider myself Buddhist, the answer is, Not really. But it's more my religion than any other because I was brought up with it in an intellectual and spiritual environment. I don't practice or preach it, however. But Buddhism has had a major effect on who I am and how I think about the world. What I have learned is that I like all religions, but only parts of them." - Celebrity Atheist List
J.R.R. Tolkien Catholicism The author of the Lord of the Rings was a devout Catholic for most of his life. He played a significant role in the conversion of his friend C.S. Lewis.
Christy Turlington yoga-practicing Catholic The highly-regarded model and activist has a degree in Eastern religions and is a fervent devotee of yoga, but remains a practicing Catholic. She does not see her devotion to yoga as incompatible with Catholicism, and says, "Yoga transcends Hinduism." More on Christy Turlington...
John Travolta Scientology "I would say that Scientology put me into the big time." In 2000, this well-known Scientologist produced and starred in Battlefield Earth, based on a novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. - ABCNews.com
Kurt Vonnegut
(b. 1922)
Atheism/ Unitarianism The American author has said, "I am an atheist (or at best a Unitarian who winds up in churches quite a lot)." - James A. Haught, 2,000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt (1996)
Andy Warhol Catholicism The pop-artist was a devout, church-going Catholic. - Adherents.com
Oscar Wilde Anglicanism, Catholicism The witty writer Oscar Wilde was a deathbed convert to Catholicism, which had long appealed to him. Washington Times
Serena and Venus Williams Jehovah's Witnesses "We believe in good association, association with fellow Witnesses, not becoming too involved with people that don't have the same beliefs and same values that we do. We go to meetings three times a week. They encourage us. You learn there, you learn more, just continue learning until you get a better understanding of things. I guess you are aware that we do house-to-house witnessing. I can't do that at all because I'm on the road. Getting more popular, I don't know if I can go house-to-house. I'm thinking about that." - Venus, asapsports.com
Rainn Wilson Baha'i Faith The Office and Six Feet Under actor is a Baha'i, as are his parents. - Seattle Times, May 22, 2006
John Woo Lutheranism The acclaimed Hong Kong director grew up in the Lutheran church, which was his shelter in a frightening world of gangs. He uses Christian symbolism, like doves, in his ultra-violent movies. "The church's peace and harmony symbolize understanding and redemption, and everyone, whether you're good or bad, can find salvation in the church." - Salon.com, June 27, 1997

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For sources, please see linked articles.

Article Info

Title Celebrity Religions
Last UpdatedOctober 29, 2016
URL www.religionfacts.com/charts/celebrities
Short URLrlft.co/1862
MLA Citation “Celebrity Religions.” ReligionFacts.com. 29 Oct. 2016. Web. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020. <www.religionfacts.com/charts/celebrities>

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