13 Celebs We Didn’t Know Were Atheists


1. Daniel Radcliffe

Yes, you read that right – Harry Potter himself is an atheist. Daniel Radcliffe is an adamant atheist, despite his affinity for “magic”.

2. Keira Knightley

Keira Knightly, famous actress, is a self proclaimed atheist. She believes that her lack of faith in is a good thing, as she doesn’t believe that simply asking for forgiveness earns forgiveness for yourself.

3. Billy Joel

Billy Joel wrote songs about courting young, religious girls with the ways of wild behavior and spontaneity. When directly confronted and asked, Mr. Joel was direct: he confirmed that he was an atheist without anything added.

4. Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson is an atheist and she isn’t afraid to let it be known. She has also spoken out against religion, saying that she “fears” it as an establishment and “is suspicious” of it. Her words exactly were, “I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Koran, and I refute them.”

5. Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette is an outspoken atheist who makes great, common sense points. He is convinced that science prevails and that in the absence of either science or religion, either would be rediscovered, for better or for worse.

6. Julianne Moore

When Julianne Moore was asked about her beliefs, she stated quite clearly that she does not believe in a higher power. When confronted by the question, how would greet her at the gates, she said, “Well, I guess you were wrong. I do exist,” reinforcing her atheist belief structure.

7. James Cameron

James Cameron is an atheist and he’s relatively outspoken about it when asked. Though it doesn’t come up in media attention often, he has gone as far as to call agnostic faith “cowardly atheism”.

8. Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin was a comedian in the 80’s and she hasn’t done a whole lot lately, but she has stuck to her guns on atheism. When she won an Emmy in 2007, her speech included a moment reflecting about how others “thank ” when they get an award. She instead opted to say, “suck it, Jesus. This award is my now.”

9. Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson is among the richest, most entrepreneurial and amazing people in the world. He’s also an atheist. He believes that his fortune and empire were self-made, and that a higher power did not play a role in that. He does admit that a higher power is “comforting” to believe in, but that he cannot believe at this point in his life.

10. Sir Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen is a hero as an LGBT activist and an atheist. He represents the best in whole-hearted activism – he puts out who he is, and if others have a problem with it, they can fly kites. As the legendary actor to portray Magneto and Gandalf in our age, nobody tells Ian how to live life; especially not .

11. Seth MacFarlane

This flaming bag of tools has been dying to stay relevant since his movie, 100 Ways to Die in the West flopped so hard it killed Peter Griffin. Though his comedy and love of big band and lounge era muzak are trite and gut-wrenching at this point in current cultural media, his atheism at least comforts him that for all the racism and hate that he’s espoused, he at least won’t have to fear.

12. Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is the great mind of our time. As Einstein was before him, Hawking’s control over the media and his devotion to science makes him among the most instantly recognizable geniuses across the world. He is an atheist through all of his scientific academia – he has come to the conclusion that spontaneous creation is a more valid reason for existence than creation.

13. Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams is best known as the genius writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but he’s also known as a fervent atheist. He chats with anyone about his beliefs and he has used his belief structure to form metaphors, satire and other devices within his writing. He is a master at his craft and he does a great job unraveling the “official script” of religion and its purpose.

Jason Mueller

Jason Mueller is a Philadelphia-based writer with two decades of acclaim to his name. He follows gonzo journalism closely, as well as the current events in his area, nation and around the world. He aspires to trade FOREX and futures as a FT career.