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Freedom of religion has been a right in America for centuries. In the case of some celebrities, it’s the freedom of practicing no religion at all. Just as there seems to be no end to faiths to practice with various branches of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Scientology, and more to choose from, there also appears to be no end to those that deny any of it.
Here’s a list of 66 famous celebrities who are atheists. Which one surprises you to learn the most?
1. Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway was and remains one of history’s most famous novelists and short-story writers, even earning the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. As it turns out, his imagination for such notable works as For Whom the Bell Tolls or The Old Man and the Sea has been questionable whether that extends to God.
While Hemingway was considered Catholic, he has said that he “never wanted to be known as a Catholic writer because I know the importance of setting an example – and I have never set a good example.”
Further, the often-quoted line in For Whom the Bell Tolls, which reads, “All thinking men are atheists,” has caused many to question his true stance.
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2. Arthur Miller
Ernest Hemingway is not the only novelist on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists. Arthur Miller, known for such works as All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible, has also expressed his doubt in a higher power.
The ex-husband of the late Marilyn Monroe, while initially raised Jewish, was outspoken about his atheistic beliefs, as evidenced by his participation in the BBC documentary The Atheism Tapes in 2004. In it, he is quoted as saying, “The wedding of Christianity or Judaism with nationalism is lethal in my opinion.”
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3. Julia Sweeney
Actress Julia Sweeney, best known for her time as a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1994, may have been raised Catholic, but that belief didn’t stick with her.
She said in her TED Radio Hour episode “Believer and Doubters” that “I felt so lucky to be Catholic, and I loved the Catholic school, and I loved the nuns … then when it came to the belief part of it, I was always a little bit skeptical.”
She has further said when it comes to the word “believe,” “it has a lot of different connotations. I think when people talk about religion, they take belief to be the same as faith. … I have confidence in the scientific method. I have confidence in the biological history of our species being interconnected and tribal and helping each other and connected through love and family and relations.”
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4. Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel is considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time, with such works as Un Chien Andalou (1929) and L’Age d’Or (1930), both of which were credited as being the birth of Cinematic surrealism.
He famously declared during an interview with Jean de Baroncelli in 1959, “I’m an atheist still, thank God.” His films further suggest that he’s not just an atheist but also an antitheist.
5. Richard Dawkins
Evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins has always been upfront about his atheistic beliefs, showing support for such organizations as Humanists UK and the Brights movement. He has further indicated that there should be pride among atheists because it is “evidence of a healthy, independent mind.”
6. Adam Carolla
Famed comedian and radio personality Adam Carolla is the next entry on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists. Well known for earning the 2011 Guinness World Record for the “most downloaded podcast” for The Adam Carolla Show, he has said that he’s always been an atheist, noting to Penn Jillette in 2006 that the whole concept was bizarre to him.
“Obviously, you could take any Christian and just have them born into fundamentalist Hasidism, and they would be walking around with the beard and the whole getup. If you weren’t indoctrinated into that early on, then it makes no sense.”
7. Salman Rushdie
Novelist Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, known for such works as Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses, was initially raised as a liberal Muslim but later called himself a “hardline atheist” in 2006 during an interview with PBS.
He later was quoted as saying, “My point of view is that of a secular human being. I do not believe in supernatural entities, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu.”
8. Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe is famous for bringing “The Boy Who Lived” to life in the Harry Potter film franchise from 2001 until 2011.
A year after Harry Potter ended, he revealed his religious beliefs. “There was never [religious] faith in the house. I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish despite the fact that I’m English. … I’m an atheist, but I’m very proud of being Jewish. It means I have a good work ethic, and you get Jewish humor, and you’re allowed to tell Jewish jokes.” He has further said, “I’m very relaxed about [being an atheist]. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do.”
Radcliffe’s 2012 statements are not the only time he has commented on his religious beliefs. He said, later that year, “I’m an atheist and a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation.” Then, in 2019, he said he was “agnostic leaning toward atheism.”
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9. Omar Sharif
Considered one of Egypt’s greatest male film stars, appearing in such films as Lawrence of Arabia and Genghis Khan, Omar Sharif has said he saw religion as a cultural thing, not a religious one.
While he saw himself as Jewish, Muslim, Canadian, and Egyptian, “I’m not sure that I subscribe to any particular religion on its own, but definitely, culturally, I’ve inherited certain traits and beliefs from my family that was passed down.”
10. Guy Pearce
Guy Pearce made a name for himself, starring as Mike Young in Neighbors, and from there, went on to make appearances in such hits as The King’s Speech, Iron Man 3, and Mary Queen of Scots.
While he has admitted in the past that he does not believe in God, he does believe “we’re all connected.”
11. Jack Nicholson
Regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, Jack Nicholson is famed for his roles in hit films like A Few Good Men, The Shining, and Batman, among others.
Of his Roman Catholic upbringing, he has said it is “the only official dogma training I’ve had. I liked it. It’s a smart religion.” However, in 1992, he told Vanity Fair, “I don’t believe in God now. I can still work up an envy for someone who has faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience.”
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12. Mark Zuckerberg
Where would the world of social media be if we didn’t have Mark Zuckerberg? When he co-founded Facebook in February 2004, a whole new world was opened.
It’s hard to say where exactly Zuckerberg is at in the question of religious beliefs as he’s said different things over the years, including identifying as an atheist following a reformed Jewish upbringing. But, in 2016, he said, “I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.”
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13. Julianne Moore
Emmy-award-winning actress Julianne Moore, known for her roles in Nine Months (1995) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), has never shied away from her atheism.
When she was asked what she thought God might say to her if she were to arrive in heaven, she sassily proclaimed God would say, “Well, I guess you were wrong; I do exist.”
14. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt, the Hollywood heartthrob, is one of the entries on our famous celebrities who are atheists list whose religious beliefs have fluctuated over the years. While he has reclaimed his Christian beliefs from his childhood being raised as a Southern Baptist, the Mr. & Mrs. Smith star once said he “oscillated[d] between agnosticism and atheism.”
He later said of his “rebellious” period of atheism: “Oh, man, I’ve gone through everything. Like, I cling to religion. I grew up with Christianity. Always questioned it, but it worked at times. Then, when I got on my own, I completely left it, and I called myself agnostic. Tried a few spiritual things but didn’t feel right. Then I called myself an atheist for a while, just kind of being rebellious. I wasn’t really, but I kinda labeled myself that for a while. It felt punk rock enough. Then, I found myself coming back around to just belief in, I hate to use the word spirituality, but just a belief in that we’re all connected.”
15. Larry King
Larry King was arguably one of the most recognized radio and television hosts in the business, with two Peabodys, an Emmy, and 10 Cable ACE Awards to his name. He also had more than 60,000 radio and television interviews under his belt at the time of his 2021 death.
Over the years, King made a few comments about his religious beliefs, first noting that he considered himself a Jewish agnostic in 2005 before saying he was “fully atheist” in 2015. He later told The Jerusalem Post in 2015, “I love being Jewish, am proud of my Jewishness, and I love Israel.”
16. Bill Gates
Bill Gates is one of the most successful businessmen in the world as a co-founder of Microsoft software, for which he has served as chairman, chief executive officer, president, and chief software architect. Through it, he has amassed a net worth of $116 billion.
With that kind of success, it seems a belief in God isn’t necessary in his mind. While he didn’t flat-out call himself an atheist, it’s clear that he doesn’t consider it important.
Gates told Rolling Stone in 2014, “The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important. … I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them.
“Now, science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill. But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there’s no scientific explanation of how it came about. To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view,” he continued. “I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don’t know.”
17. Bill Maher
Bill Maher, best known for the Real Time with Bill Maher, a political talk show on HBO, has always held extremely critical views of religion calling it “highly destructive.” This came to a head in his 2008 documentary film Religulous.
He does not, however, consider himself an atheist. “I’m not an atheist. There’s a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn’t believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need, but I’m not an atheist, no.”
He has also said, “I don’t know what happens when you die, and I don’t care.”
18. Sarah Silverman
Stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman, known for appearing on Saturday Night Live as well as her Comedy Central program The Sarah Silverman Program, has not described herself as an atheist but agnostic.
“I have no religion. But culturally, I can’t escape it; I’m very Jewish.”
19. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong is a famed road racing cyclist, setting the record of winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times (1999-2005). He is just as famous for being stripped of his titles following doping allegations that revealed he used performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career.
There’s one more thing he’s known for: being against organized religion. “I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable.” Considering his career trajectory, he hasn’t been following that well.
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20. George Clooney
Another one of the reigning kings of Hollywood on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists, George Clooney, has expressed his uncertainty when it comes to religion.
“I don’t believe in heaven and hell. I don’t know if I believe in God,” Clooney has been quoted as saying. “All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life – the only thing I know to exist – to be wasted.”
21. Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix is one on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists and who have been quite outspoken about their beliefs. According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the future Walk the Line actor first said in 1999, “I’m not into organized religion.”
Then, in 2008, he told Nylon Guys magazine, “I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in a soul. I don’t believe in anything. I think it’s totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me, it’s a pretty preposterous idea.”
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22. Madalyn Murray O’Hair
Madalyn Murray O’Hair was the ultimate atheist on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists, as she was known for her activist support of atheism and the separation of church and state.
Referred to by Life magazine as “the most hated woman in America,” O’Hair garnered fame for her atheism upon founding the American Atheists and winning her Murray v. Curlett case, which challenged Bible reading and prayer recitation in Maryland public schools.
23. Isaac Brock
Musician and singer-songwriter Isaac Brock, best known for being the lead vocalist of Modest Mouse, has described himself as not religious despite his many songs with religious themes.
“I’m 100 percent on the whole Christianity thing being a crock of [expletive], pretty much.” Further, he has said he “toy[s] around with the whole Biblical thing” because it “just has amazing characters.”
24. Angelina Jolie
Three-time Golden Globe Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie has been another up-and-down atheist on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists. Despite where she may be at now, the Maleficent actress has been quoted as saying, “For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn’t need to be a God for me” when she was asked in a 2000 interview, “Is there a God?”
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25. Johnny Depp
He brought characters like Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands to life, and it’s these characters, among many others, that have caused the world to fall in love with Johnny Depp.
While he doesn’t explicitly describe himself as an atheist, Depp has alluded to beliefs along those lines, saying, “I mean, I’m a pedestrian. I believe in where we are right now. … There are all kinds of angles, right? Is there a god? I don’t know. Have you seen him? I haven’t seen him.”
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26. Kailyn Lowry
Kailyn Lowry, famous for her appearance on MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and later cast on the spin-off Teen Mom 2, dropped the atheism bombshell via Twitter in 2012 after North Carolina banned gay marriage.
“I’m atheist, I believe in gay rights & I KNOW I’m a good mom. #judgeme This is 2012, #acceptdiversityalready!”
27. Jenelle Evans
Kailyn Lowry isn’t the only Teen Mom 2 alum who is an atheist.
Her fellow cast member Jenelle Evans, who has been involved in many controversial scenarios throughout her time on the reality show, simply replied to Lowry’s social media post with the comment, “I’m atheist too…”
28. Hugh Hefner
Is it bad that we’re not entirely surprised that Hugh Hefner appears on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists? The founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy magazine bluntly shared his views on religion in a 2000 interview with his own magazine.
“It’s perfectly clear to me that religion is a myth. It’s something we have invented to explain the inexplicable.” Further, Christian author Lee Strobel, who once interviewed Hefner, described him as having a “very minimalistic, deistic view of God.”
29. Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis, best known for his role in the Die Hard film franchise, has never straight out said he is an atheist, but he no longer practices his Lutheran upbringing. Further, his comments over the years have suggested atheistic views.
“Organized religions, in general, in my opinion, are dying forms. They were all very important when we didn’t know the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened. Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally! I choose not to believe that’s the way. And that’s what makes America cool, you know?”
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30. Zac Efron
Zac Efron won over hearts when he graced the Disney Channel as Troy Bolton in the hit High School Musical franchise. Since then, he has continued to prove his talents as an actor.
His agnostic mindset goes back to the way he was raised, as his family never practiced religion, even though his paternal grandfather was Jewish.
31. Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster is one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood, first starting out as a teen idol appearing in movies like Freaky Friday and Candlestone. She has since transitioned into more mature roles following her graduation from Yale University and become a highly respected actress.
Of all the famous celebrities who are atheists on our list, Foster’s view of it all has to be the most interesting. “I’m an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don’t believe in God, we celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids,” she once said.
32. Amber Heard
Known for her high-profile marriage to Johnny Depp just as much if not more than her acting, it seems Amber Heard did, at the very least, share her ex’s belief system, or, more accurately, lack of one.
Although she was raised Catholic, she has said, “I don’t think you can believe or not believe in anything unless you know a lot about it. I know Christianity, especially Catholicism, like the back of my hand. And my education has given me the freedom to know that it is completely absurd for me to believe it.”
33. Kathy Griffin
Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin, best known for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, has described herself as a “militant atheist.”
“I think I’m getting more atheist because of the way the country is getting more into bible-thumping.”
34. Javier Bardem
From the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men to Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Javier Bardem has held multiple significant roles in his lifetime.
While he was raised Catholic, he is highly agnostic now, even stating in 2005, in regard to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Spain, that if he were gay, “he would get married right away tomorrow, just to [expletive] with the Church.”
Additionally, he has said he doesn’t deny the supernatural, but he does not strongly believe in it. “We are just this little, tiny spot in the whole universe, so of course, there must be other things, other people, other creatures, other lives, and other dimensions.’
35. Keira Knightley
Known for her roles in films like Pride and Prejudice and Pirates of the Caribbean, Keira Knightly has some interesting thoughts when talking about hypocrisy and right-wing Christianity during an interview with David Cronenberg.
“If only I wasn’t an atheist, I could get away with anything,” she told Interview Magazine. “You’d just ask for forgiveness, and then you’d be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.”
36. Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon stole hearts when he starred in the 1984 film Footloose. Ever since he has gone on to star in multiple high-profile films.
He revealed to The Times in 2005, “I don’t believe in God. But if I did, I would say sex is a God-given right.” He has also been outspoken about the separation of church and state.
37. Morgan Freeman
Here’s a shocker on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists. Morgan Freeman may have played God in Bruce Almighty and its spin-off, Evan Almighty, but that doesn’t mean he believes in God.
In fact, he has been quoted as saying, “Man was the one that created God.”
38. Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane, best known for co-creating and starring in Family Guy and as well as co-creating American Dad!, has never shied away from talking about his atheism.
“I do not believe in God. I’m an atheist. I consider myself a critical thinker, and it fascinates me that in the 21st century, most people still believe in, as George Carlin puts it, ‘the invisible man living in the sky.’”
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39. Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman is the actress and former model who brought life to leading roles in Dangerous Liaisons, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill: Volume 1 and 2.
She is another example of one of the famous celebrities who are atheists who, while they don’t believe in God, haven’t completely renounced it either. “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.”
40. Robert Smith
English musician Robert Smith, best known for co-founding, serving as lead vocalist, and the only continuous member of the Cure since 1978, pronounced his atheism in an interview with The Face in 1989.
“I don’t believe in God. I wish I did. I used to lay myself open to visions of God, but I never had any,” he said. “I come from a religious family [having been raised Catholic], and there have been moments when I’ve felt the oneness of things, but they never last. They fade away, leaving me with the belief that it’s only fear that drives people to religion. And I don’t think I’m ever going to wake up and know that I was wrong.”
41. Geddy Lee
Rush’s lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist Geddy Lee, ranked by Hit Parader as the 13th Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalist of All Time in 2006, has been known to call himself a Jewish atheist in interviews.”
“I consider myself a Jew as a race, but not so much as a religion. I’m not down with religion at all. I’m a Jewish atheist, if that’s possible.”
42. Andy Partridge
Andrew Partridge, an English guitarist and founder of XTC, of all our famous celebrities who are atheists, seems to have a more complicated view to go along with it.
While he has said that he identifies as an atheist, noting that he was “interested in the pre-Christian appreciation of the land and the spirit of things, spirits in animate things and inanimate things,” he does in a metaphorical existence of heaven and hell. He has further expressed his opinions in many of his songs.
His 1986 single “Season Cycle” features the couplet, “Everybody says, Join our religion, get to heaven / I say, no thanks, why bless my soul, I’m already there!”
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43. Paula Poundstone
Stand-up comedian and author Paula Poundstone has seemingly tuned into her knack for comedy to express her atheistic views.
“I’m an atheist. The good news about atheists is that we have no mandate to convert anyone. So you’ll never find me on your doorstep on a Saturday morning with a big smile, saying, ‘Just stopped by to tell you there is no word. I brought along this little blank book I was hoping you could take a look at.’”
44. Sam Harris
Author and philosopher Sam Harris seems to take the stereotypical view of other scientists as he’s become a leading figure of the New Atheist movement. In particular, he is opposed to dogmatic belief.
“Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a betrayal of science, and yet it is the lifeblood of religion.” He has further expressed the view that all religions are not created equal. “Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music.”
45. Brian Eno
English musician Brian Eno, best known for pioneering electronic and ambient music, while raised Catholic, calls himself a “kind of evangelical atheist.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (as a member of Roxy Music) said it all happened when he was 15. “I grew up a Catholic. I went to a Catholic school and had a normal Catholic education until I was 15 or so when I found that I was attracted to things that were not permitted by my faith. I became a sort of pragmatic atheist then so that I could have dates with girls.”
46. Gary Numan
Gary Numan came on the music scene as the frontman of Tubeway Army, a new wave band, and has since made his name as a solo artist, selling more than 10 million records worldwide and becoming known as the pioneer of electronic music.
During an interview with Medium, when asked about religion, he stated, “My feelings about religion are not changing at all. I dislike religion intensely. Religion is at the root of so much suffering and so much hatred. I have no belief in God, any God, and I’m glad of that. To look around at the world and at the history of the world and to believe that a God created all that and allows it to continue? Who wouldn’t be truly terrified of a God that did that? No, it’s all nonsense, but it does a huge amount of damage on a global scale.”
47. Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie, the British star best known on this side of the Atlantic for his role as Dr. Gregory House in the medical drama House, M.D., as well as for his appearances in films like Sense and Sensibility and Stuart Little, confirmed that he was an atheist in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
He once said said, “I admire the music, buildings, and ethics of religion, but I come unstuck on the God thing.” Further, he has said that he shares his famous character, Dr. House’s skepticism. “I do. Big chunks of it, yes. I’m not a religious man. Again, I think this is connected to my father. My father was religious oddly enough, but I nonetheless, I suppose, was impressed by [and] enamored of his devotion to medical science. I find I am a fan of science. I believe in science.”
48. Paul Kelly
Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Paul Kelly was another one of the famous celebrities who are atheists that was initially raised Roman Catholic. In his adulthood, though, he described himself as a non-believer.
49. Phyllis Diller
Phyllis Diller was a legendary stand-up comedian and actress best known for her wild hair and clothes, exaggerated laugh, eccentric stage persona, and self-deprecating humor.
She revealed in her book Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse that she knew she was an atheist from childhood. That was even true when she was attending church with her parents when she was young.
50. Greydon Square
Rapper and producer Eddie Collins, aka Greydon Square, has used his career to push further the discussion of atheism, critical thinking, and rational thought.
“I grew up as a Christian simply because I was told I was a Christian growing up. I’ve always maintained that I was taught about religion when I was intellectually defenseless by people who had an intellectual advantage over me,” he once said in an interview. “I always maintain that I was taught to think and believe what every other black kid who was a black kid in America was taught to believe – the monotheistic Judeo-Christian belief system.”
It was after he came back from serving in Iraq that he said he began to think differently. “It wasn’t really until I had been going to school out here in Arizona when I started studying physics and philosophy I started reading more secular skeptical authors. The Dan Dennetts, the Christopher Hitchens, even W.B. DuBois.”
51. John Lennon
John Lennon was famed for being one of the four men behind the beloved musical group the Beatles. His journey with religion was an up-and-down one. While he was raised Christian, Lennon had later said that he was disappointed in some aspects of organized religion. He later made a controversial statement in 1966: “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.”
After exploring a few types of religions, he ended his life as someone he described as spiritual but non-religious. “I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”
He also said, “Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”
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52. Stephen Baird
Stephen Baird, best known for being a member of The Galapagos Mountain Boys, specializes in adapting and parodying Christmas carols and hymns to give them scientific and secular-themed lyrics. Because of that, it’s not much of a surprise to find out that he is an atheist.
Björk, an Icelandic singer, songwriter, and composer best known for her distinct voice and three-octave vocal range, posted to Facebook on December 9, 2012, “I was sure that I was an atheist. But as I matured, I realized nature is my religion.”
She has further said, “I think religion is a mistake. I’m exhausted by its self-righteousness. I think atheists should start screaming for attention like religious folks do.”
54. Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt is one of the most decorated singers in music, with 11 Grammy Awards, among others. It was in a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair that she revealed her atheistic beliefs.
“Hildegard von Bingen said that singing is like being a feather on the breath of God. Which resonates with my atheist soul…”
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55. Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren, known for her roles as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen and DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, among others, has been quite delightful in her atheism.
“I’d describe myself as a Christian who doesn’t believe in God. I can’t help being Christian because I was brought up in Britain, and the morality of Christianity is part of the fabric of this country. But I don’t believe in God. But I do believe in treating other people as you’d want to be treated and being empathetic.”
56. Katharine Hepburn
Famed actress Katharine Hepburn, who was considered one of Hollywood’s leading ladies for six decades, revealed she was an atheist in a 1991 interview.
“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.”
57. Cloris Leachman
Cloris Leachman, known for films like The Last Picture Show (1971), Young Frankenstein (1974), and History of the World, Part I (1981), as well as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has been another on our list of famous celebrities who are atheists who seem to keep an open mind that it’s everyone’s right to believe what they want even if she doesn’t personally agree.
“I am an atheist, absolutely. But I really think it is wonderful that there are gods for people who need them. We all believe in something. It’s something or nothing.”
58. Larry Adler
Larry Adler, a famed harmonica player who collaborated with such acts as Sting, Elton John, and Kate Bush, called himself “an inveterate atheist” who refused to recognize the supernatural in any shape or form.”
59. Roy Bailey
According to Mojo magazine, English Folk singer Roy Bailey represented “the very soul of folk’s working class ideals .. a triumphal homage to the grassroots folk scene as a radical alternative to the mainstream music industry.”
He identified as an atheist throughout his life.
60. Sarah Polley
Former child star Sarah Polley, best known for her role as Romana Quimby in the television series Ramona based on the Beverly Clear books, revealed her beliefs when she talked about admiring directors Ingmar Bergman and Terrence Malick.
She is quoted as saying that Thin Red Line “single-handedly brought me out of a deep depression. It shifted something in me. I’m an atheist, but it was the first time that it gave me faith in other people’s faith.”
61. Chico Buarque
Brazilian singer-songwriter Chico Buarque is known for music that often has social, cultural, and economic reflections on Brazil. Mix that with his atheist beliefs, and you’ve got an interesting performer.
62. Geoffrey Burgon
British composer Geoffrey Burgon was best known for his compositions for Monty Python’s Life of Brian as well as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Brideshead Revisited.
Despite his atheism, he was also known to compose some extremely spiritual pieces.
63. Peter Buck
Co-founder and lead guitarist of the alternative rock band R.E.M. Peter Buck said of his atheism in an interview with East Coast Rocker magazine in 1988, “The only responsibility is to ourselves. If we all found God tomorrow and wanted to do a gospel show, we would do it. I never will. I’m an atheist. But if we drive people away because of the music we’re making or what we’re saying, fine. Don’t come in.”
64. Mike Burkett
Mike Burkett, better known professionally as Fat Mike and the bassist and lead vocalist of NOFX, says he is of Jewish heritage, but he is an atheist.
“I can be whoever I want to be. And good people will treat me well. Bad people are always gonna treat me bad,” he once said.
65. Vic Chesnutt
Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt, who made his commercial breakthrough with his album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation in 1996, was always outspoken about his atheism, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t struggled with what that meant for the people closest to him.
He once said that he made his born-again Christian mother cry when she heard him sing, “I am not a victim; I am an atheist.”
66. Wayne Coyne
Wayne Coyne, best known for his multiple roles with the Flaming Lips, has a more positive outlook with his atheism. While he doesn’t deny that he’s atheist, he has said, “I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, ‘God’ll take care of it. God’ll put gas in the car tomorrow.’”
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