Actors are storytellers first and foremost; it is their job to bring to life a character for the big or small screen and help tell their story while simultaneously serving a bigger story as well. Moreover, writing is as much a creative outlet as acting, so it’s not surprising to hear that many celebrities these days are making the transition from telling stories onscreen to penning them on paper. Some are beginners, while others have a growing body of work, and ironically some have even been adapted for the screen.
Whether jumping on the celebrity tell-all bandwagon, flexing their creative muscles with an original idea, writing heartfelt children’s stories, or simply trying to make a difference, these celebrity works have something for everyone. Furthermore, some of these actors turned writers are so accomplished, they can consider writing a second career. While there are many more actors turned writers who could have graced the list, we selected just a handful of our favorites that we felt brought something of value to the table. Here is a list of seven actors who have also written books.
7 Steve Martin
The legendary Steve Martin has made a name for himself as not only a comedian and actor, but also as an accomplished writer. He has several published works, including a memoir, several plays, and the 2001 novel Shopgirl, which has since been adapted for a major motion picture starring the actor himself, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzman. He also wrote the New York Times bestseller The Pleasure of My Company and, more recently, An Object of Beauty. You can next catch Martin in the highly anticipated second season of Only Murders in the Building.
6 Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher is another actor turned writer whose writing was adapted for the big screen with her semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge. In the book, Fisher delves into her own personal struggles with addiction through her protagonist Suzanne Vale. Both the novel and the film (starring Meryl Streep and Shirley Maclaine) were well-received by critics. Fisher discusses her personal experiences that inspired the novel in this archived LA Times interview.
5 Elizabeth Olsen
In her off time from starring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Olsen and her hubby Robbie Arnett have penned their debut children’s book Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective, which follows the main character Hattie Harmony as she helps her friends and readers overcome their anxieties in simple everyday situations, such as catching the school bus and speaking aloud in class. The book is said to be the first in a series. Arnett and Olsen discussed the book in a recent interview with People magazine, stating “We hope Hattie Harmony will become a welcomed reminder that it’s okay to speak up when we need help and to always treat ourselves and others with kindness.”
4 Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke is another actor turned writer who has several published works, including novels The Hottest State, Ash Wednesday, Rules for a Knightand A Bright Ray of Darkness. In addition to these novels, he also co-wrote Meadowlark, A Coming-Of-Age Crime Story with fellow writer Greg Ruth, and the graphic novel Indeh also co-written by Ruth. Hawke is also an accomplished screenwriter and has won two major awards for his work on screenplay for Before Midnight with Richard Linklater, who was also nominated for an Academy Award. You can catch Hawke in the latest Disney + series Moon Knight and also in the upcoming horror flick The Black Phone scheduled for release in June 2022.
3 Betty White
Beyond being a successful comedian, actress, animal activist, and absolute legend, the late Betty White was also a celebrated author. White had written several books throughout her career, including three memoirs Betty White in Person, Here We Go Again: My Life in Televisionand If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t), to name only a few. She has also written quite a few books on her love of animals.
2 Tina Fey
If you love Tina Fey‘s work on Mean Girls, 30 Rockand SNL then you are sure to enjoy Bossypants. In the comedic autobiography, Fey discusses the highs and lows of her career and her experiences as a woman in a man’s world. It is a razor-sharp, witty, and intelligent read that will make you feel closer to the accomplished writer and comedian.
1 Hugh Laurie
English actor Hugh Laurie may be most well known as the titular Dr. Gregory House from the popular medical drama House, however, he has an extensive resume. Many may be surprised to know that outside of acting, the multi-talented Laurie is not only a writer, having authored the action-packed spy spoof The Gun Seller in 1996, but also an accomplished musician, having released two blues albums Let Them Talk spirit Didn’t It Rain. Laurie will next star in the Netflix miniseries The Light We Cannot See opposite Mark Ruffalo.
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