Notable atheists and non-theists

by Alexej | created - 13 Apr 2012 | updated - 09 May 2012 | Public

In my research I have found so many, that the list is doomed to be incomplete. Try visiting the Celeb Atheists web site for a much more complete listing. Hundreds more!

1. Stephen Hawking

Actor | Star Trek: The Next Generation

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of ...

2. Carl Sagan

Writer | Contact

Astronomer, educator and author Carl Sagan was perhaps the world's greatest popularizer of science, reaching millions of people through newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts. He is well-known for his work on the PBS series Cosmos (1980), the Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning show that ...

3. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Actor | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator.

Born and raised in New York City, Tyson became interested in astronomy at the age of nine after a visit to the Hayden Planetarium. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, where he was ...

4. Sam Harris

Self | The God Who Wasn't There

Sam Harris was born on April 9, 1967 in the USA.

5. Bertrand Russell

Self | Five More

Bertrand Russell was born on May 18, 1872 in Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales as Bertrand Arthur William Russell. He was married to Edith Finch, Patricia Spence, Dora Russell and Alys Pearsall. He died on February 2, 1970 in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Wales.

6. Richard Dawkins

Actor | Doctor Who

Richard Dawkins was born on March 26, 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya as Clinton Richard Dawkins. He is an actor and writer, known for Doctor Who (2005), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) and Intersect. He has been married to Lalla Ward since September 1992. He was previously married to Eve Barham ...

7. Christopher Hitchens

Writer | On an Electric Night

Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) was a British-American author, journalist, and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Nation, Slate, and Free Inquiry.

Hitchens is known for his atheism and anti-theism and was a firm believer in the Enlightenment values ...

8. Madalyn Murray-O'Hair

Self | The Mike Douglas Show

Madalyn Murray O'Hair (née Mays) born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a militant feminist activist, well known as the American atheist activist, founder of American Atheists, and the organization's president from 1963 to 1986. Madalyn Murray O'Hair become famous for the Murray v. Curlett ...

9. Philip Pullman

Writer | The Golden Compass

Philip Pullman was born on October 19, 1946 in Norwich, Norfolk, England. He is a writer and producer, known for The Golden Compass (2007), The Adventures of John Blake and His Dark Materials. He has been married to Judith Speller since April 15, 1970.

10. Bill Maher

Writer | Real Time with Bill Maher

Bill Maher was born William Maher in New York City, New York, and grew up in River Vale, New Jersey. His father, William Aloysius Maher, Jr., who was of Irish descent, was a radio announcer and news editor. His mother, Julie (Berman), was a nurse, who was from a Jewish family. Maher was raised in ...

11. Tim Minchin

Actor | Californication

Tim Minchin was born on October, 1975, as Timothy David Minchin, and was brought up in Perth, Western Australia. He is an actor, comedian, musician, writer, and director known for Californication (2007), Larrikins (2018), and Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra (2011). He is the composer ...

12. Skandar Keynes

Actor | The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Skandar Amin Casper Keynes (born 5 September 1991) is an English actor best known for starring as Edmund Pevensie in the 2005 film adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He returned in the role of Edmund in the film's sequels The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince ...

13. Daniel Radcliffe

Actor | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23, 1989 in Fulham, London, England, to casting agent Marcia Gresham (née Jacobson) and literary agent Alan Radcliffe. His father is from a Northern Irish Protestant background, while his mother was born in South Africa, to a Jewish family (from Lithuania, ...

14. Penn Jillette

Writer | Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Penn Jillette was born on March 5, 1955 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA as Penn Fraser Jillette. He is a writer and producer, known for Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003), Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). He has been married to Emily Zolten Jillette ...

15. Stephen Fry

Actor | Gosford Park

Writer, actor, comedian, doer of good works, excellent good friend to the famous and not, Fry lives in his London SW1 flat and his Norfolk house when not traveling. Famous for his public declaration of celibacy in the "Tatler" back in the 1980s, Emma Thompson has characterised her friend as "90 ...

16. Ricky Gervais

Writer | The Office

Ricky Dene Gervais was born in a suburb of Reading, Berkshire, to Eva Sophia (House) and Lawrence Raymond Gervais, who was a hod carrier and labourer. His father was born in Ontario, Canada, of French-Canadian descent, and his mother was English. He was educated at Ashmead Comprehensive School and ...

17. Keira Knightley

Actress | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Keira Christina Knightley was born March 26, 1985 in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born ...

18. Julia Gillard

Actress | Junior Masterchef Australia

Julia Gillard was born on September 29, 1961 in Barry, Wales as Julia Eileen Gillard. She is known for her work on Junior Masterchef Australia (2010), The Diamond Queen (2012) and Lateline (1990).

19. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...

20. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

21. Jodie Foster

Actress | The Silence of the Lambs

Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but ...

22. John Malkovich

Actor | Being John Malkovich

John Gavin Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinois, to Joe Anne (Choisser), who owned a local newspaper, and Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director. His paternal grandparents were Croatian. In 1976, Malkovich joined Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, newly founded by his friend Gary ...

23. Adam Savage

Producer | MythBusters

Adam Savage started his varied career as a child actor. His father worked on Sesame Street as a Muppeteer and he learned very early on about 'behind the scene' work on a television show. He appeared in some episodes of Sesame Street. Later on, as a teenager, he starred in the Billy Joel video for "...

24. Brad Pitt

Actor | Mr. & Mrs. Smith

An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven (...

25. Stephen Merchant

Writer | Extras

Stephen Merchant was born on November 24, 1974 in Bristol, England. He is a writer and producer, known for Extras (2005), The Office (2005) and Logan (2017).

26. Kevin Kline

Actor | Wild Wild West

Kevin Kline was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Margaret and Robert Joseph Kline, who owned several stores. His father was of German Jewish descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. After attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Kline studied at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972, ...

27. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

28. Milan Kundera

Writer | The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Milan Kundera was born on April 1st 1929 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He wrote his first poems during his high school years. After World War II he worked as a jazz musician before going to college. He studied music, film and literature at university in Prague. He moved on to become a professor at the ...

29. Teller

Writer | Penn & Teller Get Killed

Teller was born on February 14, 1948 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Raymond Joseph Teller. He is a writer and producer, known for Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989), Tim's Vermeer (2013) and Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003).

30. Jean-Paul Sartre

Writer | Les orgueilleux

Jean-Paul Charles-Aymard Sartre was born on June 21, 1905, in Paris, France. His father, Jean-Baptiste Sartre, was an officer in the French Navy. His mother, Anne-Marie Schweitzer, was the cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer. Sartre was one year old when his father died. He was ...

31. Gene Wilder

Actor | Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.

Wilder caught his first big break ...

32. Andy Serkis

Actor | War for the Planet of the Apes

English film actor, director and author Andy Serkis is known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for such computer-generated characters as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001-2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), ...

33. George Carlin

Actor | Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

George Denis Patrick Carlin was born and raised in Manhattan, New York City, to Mary (Bearey), a secretary, and Patrick John Carlin, an advertising manager for The Sun; they had met while working in marketing. His father was from Donegal, Ireland, and his mother was Irish-American. His parents ...

34. Seth Green

Actor | Austin Powers in Goldmember

Seth Green has starred in numerous films and television series including the Austin Powers trilogy, The Italian Job (2003), Without a Paddle (2004), Party Monster (2003), Can't Hardly Wait (1998), Old Dogs (2009) and dozens more, including starring roles in Sexy Evil Genius (2013), The Story of Luke...

35. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

36. Eddie Izzard

Actor | Ocean's Thirteen

Best-known for his surreal and digressive stand-up, British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard was born on February 7, 1962, in Aden, Yemen, where his English parents -- Dorothy Ella, a nurse and midwife, and Harold John Izzard, an accountant -- worked for British Petroleum.

Izzard worked as a street ...

37. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the...

38. Peter Fonda

Actor | Easy Rider

Peter Henry Fonda was born in New York City, to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw. He is the brother of actress Jane Fonda and the father of actress Bridget Fonda. His ancestry includes Dutch, English, Scottish, and distant French and Italian.

Fonda made...

39. Billy Joel

Soundtrack | Oliver & Company

Billy Joel was born on May 9, 1949 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as William Martin Joel. He has been married to Alexis Roderick since July 4, 2015. They have two children. He was previously married to Katie Lee, Christie Brinkley and Elizabeth Weber.

40. Jesse Ventura

Actor | Predator

Jesse Ventura was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Bernice Martha (Lenz), a nurse who was of German descent, and George William Janos, a steam fitter of Slovak ancestry. In November 1990, professional wrestler turned actor Jesse Ventura was elected to a four-year term as mayor of Brooklyn Park, ...

41. Isaac Asimov

Writer | I, Robot

Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov ...