What Religions Are Celebrities?

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Anonymous

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I suppose in many cases it's easy to guess who in the spotlight may be Christian, whether practising or just through habit of upbringing.
But which famous people are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist?

Tina Turner and Richard Gere are Buddhist. Sanjeev Bhaskar (i assume) is Hindu and Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Maureen Lipman and David Baddiel are Jewish. Cat Stevens is now Muslim and Imran Khan always has been.

Can anyone think of anyone else? This subject fascinates me. Sometimes one can guess who is Muslim or Hindu purly by applying stereotypes to race but Jewish isn't always that obvious. Gwyneth Paltrow and Goldie Hawn, for instance, break the stereotype whilst Jeff Goldblum, Krusty the Klown and Jackie Mason to me are more obvious.

I was told that the man who provides Shaggys voice in the Scooby Doo cartoons is a Muslim called Haseem. And Julia and Nadia Sawalha are half (if that's possible) Islamic through their father, the actor Nadim. I've also heard that Ben Kingsley, who played the fantastic Don Logan in Sexy Beast is both Jewish and Hindu.
 

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Tom Cruise and John Travolta are Scientologists (being the prime reason I don't watch their movies).
 

Timble2

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Niles Calder said:
Tom Cruise and John Travolta are Scientologists (being the prime reason I don't watch their movies).
Come on, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh yourself sick at John Travolta's version of L. Ron Hubbard's 'Battlefield Earth'. :)

Mel Gibson is Catholic, and is working on (or may indeed have finsished by now) a film on the life of Christ in Aramaic the language that Jesus actually spoke (I suppose there must be some Latin and Greek in there too among the Roman characters).
 

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Niles Calder said:
Tom Cruise and John Travolta are Scientologists (being the prime reason I don't watch their movies).
Celebrity Scientologists: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/faq-you/celeb.txt

They've caught a few but its mostly b-list or ex-members.

Unsurprisingly, money can't buy common sense.

Edit: of course, Scientology is a 'cult' and not a formally recognised 'religion' (in most sensible countries).
 

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The Jewish part of your question, [aside from begging the question (true of all I suppose), is this a racial-ethnic, cultural or religous identity we're talking about?] could go on for hundreds of pages. See http://www.jewhoo.com for instance. Lauren Bacall comes to mind as someone who doesn't "seem" Jewish to most people. Offhand the members of U2 and Michelle Shocked are fairly devout Christians, while producing reasonably secular music.
 
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Hayzee Comet said:
I was told that the man who provides Shaggys voice in the Scooby Doo cartoons is a Muslim called Haseem.

i thought it was Cassey Casum(SP?) American top ten show type person.... i heard he was so anti meat he wont even say anything meaty!....
 

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Casy Casem is definitely an arab (as are Kathy Najimy and Ralph Nader, among others), don't know about his being a follower of Islam.
 
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Hank Marvin and George Benson are Jehovah's Witnesses.

Isaac Hayes and Chick Corea are also Scientologists.

It would be good to see one or two plump for Wicca, but I guess it's a bad career move. :)

Big Bill Robinson
 

stu neville

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lopaka said:
Casy Casem is definitely an arab (as are Kathy Najimy and Ralph Nader, among others), don't know about his being a follower of Islam.
Ditto Paula Abdul and Frank Zappa, and again ditto.

Freddie Mercury was a Zoroastrian, Boy George follows Hare Krishna, and Meatloaf, Eric Clapton and Alice Cooper are all committed Christians.
 

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Big Bill Robins said:
It would be good to see one or two plump for Wicca, but I guess it's a bad career move. :)
I think Fairuza Balk is Wiccan; she owns an Occult/magic shop called Panpipes in Hollywood. To add a lame pick-up line, I know she bewitched me!

Wasn't Sammy Davis Jr. famously a Satanist for a brief period before his conversion to Judaism? Also, wasn't Jayne Mansfield?

And I guess Kenneth Anger could be considered an occultist, but I don't think he'd be a Satanist.

The lady who played Joanie on Happy Days... didn't she become a hard core Christian who didn't participate in one anniversary get together because she thought the cast was evil?

I believe William Katt, aka "The Greatest American Hero" also has become a hard core Christian, as did the former Vanity (real name Denise Brown?).

Pro wrestlers Ted "Million Dollar man" Debiasie and "Sting" now are wrestlers for Christ.
 
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Anonymous

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The Jewhoo site is fascinating stuff, and I'm still only through the actor and actress section. Some big surpises:
Anton Diffring. Blond, blue eyed actor who always played the generic German Nazi in old war film is Jewish.
Sean and Chris Penn - I thought they were Irish!

It just goes to show - Assumption is the mother of all f*** ups
 
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stu neville said:
Ditto Paula Abdul and Frank Zappa, and again ditto.
Coudn't voulch for Paula Abdul, but to say that Zappa was ethnically 'an Arab' is a gross over-simplication.

From "The Real Frank Zappa Book" -

"My ancestry is Sicilian, Greek, Arab and French. My mother's mother was French and Sicilian, and her dad was Italian (from Naples). She was first generation. ( 101's editorial note - American immigrant ) The Greek-Arab side is from my Dad. He was born in a Sicilian village called Partinico, and came over on the immigrant boats when he was a kid."

Although you're right to point out that this had no bearing on his religious convictions. Zappa appears to have been a very good example of what many people on this messageboard refer to as a 'bright'. Indeed, possibly of interest to those of us who havebeen debating such a thing, in or around 1987, Zappa filed papers to start his own religion. C.A.S.H. - the Church of American Secular Humanism.
Again from Zappa's own "Real Frank Zappa Book", a press release from 1987 -

"Thousands of years ago, wise men predicted a NEW RELIGION would appear at the time of a unique planetary alignment called the Harmonic Convergence - THE PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULFILLED!
The ancient writings didn't mention a Nixon-appointed judge named Brevard Hand, but they should have.
His ruling in the controversial Alabama School Textbook Case provided the Final Sign From On High which led (Zappa) to file articles of incorporation in the State of Alabama for C.A.S.H. - CHURCH OF AMERICAN SECULAR HUMANISM.
In deciding the case, Judge Hand ruled that 'Secular Humanism' was, in fact, an actual religion, and that the tenets of its faith were dominating the curriculum of Alabama Schools, thereby violating the rights of decent Christian folks who demanded 'equal time'.
The problem with this historic legal interpretation, ,according to some, was that there really wasn't a 'religion' called Secular Humanism... and certainly no CHURCH of SECULAR HUMANISM.
Out of this desperate need, C.A.S.H was created. Zappa reasoned that, if the Judge's ruling was upheld, Secular Humanism was entitled to the same benefits under U.S. law that every other religion enjoys: tax exemptions, awesome political power, unaudited expenditures of vast sums on real estate speculations, etc, in drafting the Tenets Of The Faith, he duplicated the actual language of the Judge's ruling, adding to it a few thoughts of his own...
...When asked to explain, Zappa paraphrased Oliver North , saying "As a result of Judge Hand's finding on this matter, I sensed a need for the creation of an 'off-the-shelf, ,stand-alone, self-financing (religious) organisation, capeable of worldwide covert action' "
He also said, "If the Judge's ruling is struck down... and, in fact, it should be, there is still a need for this church. The people of Our Faith refuse to be persecuted any longer by a fanatical fifth column, ,shovelling money in the direction of 'special friends' in Washington D.C. "


The law is an ass, doubly so when Religion is involved. Sorry, that was probably my longest reply yet, and most of it quotation. Sorry about that. Zappa and religion kinda both pet subjects o' mine...
 
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Anonymous

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Oh, and 'Satanism' as a religion pops up occasionally in discussions of celebs and faith. Often difficult to tell who's 'serious', who's just going for shock value and who's just had urban myths spring up round them.
I suppose Alistair Crowley was a 'celebrity', wasn't he? Also, Marylin Manson claims to have been ordained in the 'Church Of Satan' (I forget which one, American Satanists seem very fractious and in-fighting, a bit like their Christian counterparts). However, Manson also claimed that he'd played Paul, the Jewish kid in 'The Woonder Years', which was just a fib, so I don't know how much credulity to invest there.
The only rock 'n' roll type I can say considers themself a 'Satanist' for certain is Glen Benton, vocalist with death metal group Deicide. Benton's personal beliefs included regularly branding himself on the forehead with an inverted cross, to renew and focus his faith. He was also outspokenly pro-vivisection and bloodsports., views which led to huge security scares at some of the band's UK tours, when militant Animal Rights activists would threaten to bomb concerts.
Benton stated in several interviews in rock mags such as 'Kerrang' that he would kill himself at the age of 33 as a mockery of Christ's death at that age. As I grew out of death metal many years ago, and as I'm a notoriously idle web-searcher, I've no idea if he went through with this, though by my reckoning, he'd be about 37 by now....
 

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Bizzarely enough, Steven Seagal is the reincarnation of a Tibetan Lama!
 
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Marilyn Manson was associated with Anton LeVey's lot, as was Jayne Mansfield, I think.
Glen Benton, prick that he is, is still alive I believe.
Lisa-Marie Presley's a scientologist and if her daddy's still alive, one of the theories is that he's a monk somewhere.
 
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Anonymous

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Unlike 'Jewishness', being ethnically an Arab does not equate with being a Muslim. Many Arabs in Israel (such as the Drews) are Christian, and, for that matter, Arabs and Jews were both originally semitic in origin, and share most of the same patriarchs.
 

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How loose a definition of celebrity would you like?

Cannon and Ball are Born Again Christians - and now do a Bible-based stage show (hilarious no doubt - "Rock on Jesus").

Another Saturday Tea Time favourite to succumb to religion once the world realised how crap he was is Syd Little - the "little" one from Little and Large (even their names match their relative sizes - brilliant).

Eddie Large (ha ha - even typing the name has made me wet myself) has found salvation in the bottle rather than Jesus. A sensible choice, I'm sure you'll agree.

The moral of the story - when ITV cancels your contract - you'll always find a forgiving audience with God.

Any information on Russ Abbott's spirtual state?

P.S. I bet any Americans reading this have no idea what I am on about. Trust me - these are comedy legends. I have hours of fun questioning a Finnish friend of mine over whether he has heard of Britain's greatest 1980's Saturday Tea Time entertainers. Amazingly, he just looks blank at the mention of Russ Abbot's Mad House, or Noel Edmonds and his innuendo filled Crinkley Bottom. The joy of being British.
 
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Eddie Large (ha ha - even typing the name has made me wet myself) has found salvation in the bottle rather than Jesus. A sensible choice, I'm sure you'll agree.
lol, that was vicious

Any information on Russ Abbott's spirtual state?
My friend's parents have an LP of Russ Abbott from the 80's (I know) and among some of the musical gems on there is song entitled "Oh, oh, my mother-in-law", where Russ, surely the best looking and most righteous person ever to walk this earth, laments the looks and very existence of his wife's mum. Now I know Jesus and God etc are forgiving, but the Bible was written long before that awful song ever was. And I think of that poor older trouper Bella Emberg. Three quarters of Russ' repartee was to mock her for her looks and shape. Ha-de-f*cking-ha.
I think most of us are assured a ticket on the Heaven Express when the time comes but I imagine that Mr Abbott will be going some place else.
That's just my opinion, of course. Hopefully, there's a clue in his surname and he's taken a vow of eternal silence.
 

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Russ Abbot - Official FT Thread Hijacker

Amazingly, that is the second thread that I have been involved in which has gone off-track thanks to Russ Abbot - yet another reason why he should be at the back of the queue when St Peter opens the pearly gates.

I can't remember the other thread that it happened to - but will post a link if I can get it.............................

Perhaps there should be a Russ Abbot thread - to prevent him from hijacking other threads?

P.S. Bella Emburg comment - so funny and true.
 

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It's very difficult to buy a rap album without the artist thanking "God" on the CD notes and frequently namechecking Him lyrically, so I suppose you could argue that e.g. 50 Cent is a Christian, even though it would be harder to argue that his Christianity was reflected in either his lifestyle or subject matter.
 
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I can't speak to Ralph Nader's ethnic heritage, but he's a native of Connecticut. I think Wolcott or Prospect, somewhere thereabouts... Well within twenty miles of where I'm from, and there's not a whole lot of anything anyone could consider "arab" in a cultural sense anywhere around. Except, of course, Sphinx Temple, which is I guess a shriner hall.
Oh yeah, Mel Brooks is jewish... you'd never know; he's very subtle about it.
 
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Oh yeah, Mel Brooks is jewish... you'd never know; he's very subtle about it.
Like our own dear David Baddiel. He only mentions his Jewishness every time he appears on tv. I admit, as the starter of this thread, that belonging to a minority religion is to me an exotic and interesting facet of a person in a sea of rather uniform seculars but it doesn't encapsulate them as a person or as a comic. In fact, when one compares the biting wit of some British and American Jewish comedians, we can assume that Baddiel breaks the mould with his p*ss-poor banter and crap jokes.

Schbaddiel (definition) the act of relating a seemingly hilarious anecdote, only to be met with a deathlike silence by the audience.
 

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..the complete non-humour of which is heightened by the invariable presence of the very funny Frank Skinner, who is of course a practising Catholic.

If you're going to have a double act, either have them both as funny as each other (eg Laurel and Hardy), or as crap as each other (Little and Large), or go for the real "funny man/straight man" combi. Having one who's funny and one who's convinced he's funny don't work.

Back OT: Helen Young the weather person is a practising Baptist.
 

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Apropos Mel Gibson

I mentioned earlier that Mel Gibson was Holy Roman and that he was making a movie of the Life of Christ in Aramaic.

Looks like it's finished and is already peeing people off.

Full story at:
http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1011871,00.html

Bloodthirsty or a classic? Gibson's film of Christ's last days alarms Jewish groups

Star claims Holy Ghost helped him make film but threatens legal action after academics criticise script of The Passion

Gary Younge in New York
Monday August 4, 2003
The Guardian

On the face of it Mel Gibson's new film, The Passion, appears to be little more than a work of celluloid self-indulgence by a Hollywood veteran. Portraying the final 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ, it has no distributor, features no stars and the dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic. It is not even certain whether the final product will have subtitles.
Yet the film, co-directed by Gibson, who has spent m (£15.6m) of his own money on the project, has already attracted lavish praise from evangelicals and stern criticism from Jewish and Catholic scholars, with one academic warning that it could provoke within the US "one of the great crisis in Christian-Jewish relations".

The star has claimed the "Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelise". But a panel of three Jewish and six Catholic scholars, who have studied a draft script, say the film is anti-semitic and theologically inaccurate, portraying Jews as bloodthirsty and vengeful and reviving the worst traditions of the passion plays which contributed to deadly attacks against Jews over the centuries.

"When we read the screenplay our sense was this wasn't really something you could fix. All the way through, the Jews are portrayed as bloodthirsty," said Sister Mary C Boys, a professor at New York's Union Theological Seminary. "We're really concerned that this could be one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations."

The panel was convened by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the help of the Jewish advocacy group, the Anti-Defamation League. Gibson responded by accusing the scholars of illegally obtaining stolen property - the draft script - and extortion while threatening court orders and lawsuits.

He is showing a rough cut of the film to selected evangelicals, religious leaders, pundits and politicians, including David Kuo, of the White House's faith-based initiatives. They signed confidentiality agreements before the screening.

The controversy has also put Gibson's own religious beliefs under the spotlight. He funds a "traditionalist Catholic church" in Los Angeles, a spin-off from mainstream Catholicism that rejects the second Vatican council which, among other things, cleared Jews of being collectively responsible for Christ's murder.

 
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Logan5 said:
Oh yeah, Mel Brooks is jewish... you'd never know; he's very subtle about it.
If you'd started out on the Lake Tahoe, begels 'n' blintzes circuit, you'd be Jewish. Even if you'd started out from a long line of WASPs of Scottish/German descent.
 

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Max Bygraves is a catholic, I thought for years he was jewish.
 

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beakboo said:
Max Bygraves is a catholic, I thought for years he was jewish.
Maybe he thought he was Jewish for years as well......
 

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Re: Apropos Mel Gibson

Timble said:
I mentioned earlier that Mel Gibson was Holy Roman and that he was making a movie of the Life of Christ in Aramaic.

Looks like it's finished and is already peeing people off.

Full story at:
http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1011871,00.html

Quote from this morning's Los Angeles Times : 'Passion' shaping up as Gibson's lethal weapon by Tim Rutten

"Meanwhile, Gibson maintains an equally studied silence about the views of his father, Hutton, a well-known traditionalist "theologian", who also happens to be a Holocaust denier and "sedevacanist" ("the seat is empty" in Latin), who believes there has been no pope since the conclave that elected John XXIII was subverted by a Jewish/Masonic conspiracy."

Yikes! Talk about 'sins of the father'...
 

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Timble said:
Mel Gibson is Catholic, and is working on (or may indeed have finsished by now) a film on the life of Christ in Aramaic the language that Jesus actually spoke...
Isn't he actually a member of some extreme Catholic group who do not believe in the legitimacy of the present Pope (or the past few Popes for that matter) and who hold some rather unpleasant right-wing views.

As for him playing Christ - doesn't that just suit the guy down to the ground. He does tend to become needlessly messianic at the drop of a hat. Can't abide the twat myself.

Bugger - lopaka beat me to it.
 
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