It’s hard to believe that these stars ever followed a religion that would forbid them from drinking champagne at the Emmy Awards, but they did!
The main branch of Mormonism is the Latter Day Saint movement, which began with visions of Joseph Smith in upstate New York in the 1820s. After Smith’s death in 1844, Mormons followed Brigham Young to what would become the state of Utah. Utah remains the center of Mormon cultural influence, and North America has more Mormons than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons live outside the U.S. Polygamy is one of the most controversial aspects of Mormonism, and was practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890. Some Mormons still practice plural marriage, and it inspires TV series to this day.
Here are 10 celebrities who used to be Mormon.
We can only imagine how many Mormon rules this raunchy talk show host has broken on her show! Handler is no longer influenced by the religion. She was raised in a Jewish/Mormon household. Today Handler identifies as Jewish.
The Arcade Fire front man may live a rockstar life now, but Butler was raised in a Mormon household. He no longer follows the faith, but it may have influenced his studies — he took religious studies classes later in life. Butler says he is grateful he had a somewhat religious upbringing.
“The Dark Knight” star Eckhart was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and went on his Mormon mission to France and Switzerland. Eckhart graduated from the famous Mormon college — Brigham Young University — but says he no longer lives a Mormon lifestyle.
As a former “Buffy” cast member, Dushku may have upset the Mormon church by being on a vampire show, but she is no longer a member. The vampire slayer was raised Mormon, but says she is no longer religious.
“The Panic! At the Disco” artist was raised Mormon but has since spoken out against the religion. In one interview he admitted that a “South Park” episode poking fun at the religion helped him see it more clearly.
The late Walker was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints but left the church to become a Christian. In one interview Walker said he wished people were not so critical of religion. As someone who spent much time in nature, he said he didn’t understand how some people didn’t believe in God.
The “American Hustler” star was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Adams left the church as an adult, but she says the religion still plays a big role in her values — it taught her to bring joy to those around her.
The parents of former “The Voice” judge met as students at Brigham Young University, one of the most famous Mormon colleges in the U.S. It’s believed she was raised in a house with Mormon values, however today she says she is raising her son Jewish.
Heartthrob Gosling was raised by devout Mormons. The actor says the religion influenced every aspect of his life as a child from what he ate to how he thought. Gosling is no longer a member of the church and has said his mother has relaxed her Mormon practices as well.
The screenwriter of “Milk,” Black is openly gay and wrote a film about one of the first openly gay politicians. Black says most of his family still practices Mormonism, and he laments that they supported Proposition 8. Prop 8 was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections by opponents of same-sex marriage. Ultimately it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court. The decision went into effect June 26, 2013.