You’ll Be Shocked What These Famous Celebrities Really Believe About the Afterlife
They may be rich and famous, but they aren’t immortal. Celebrities have had near-death experiences, changed their religious beliefs, and sworn by, as well as doubted, the existence of a higher power — just like their fans.
These well-known actors, directors, producers, and physicists came to terms with their early ideas on the afterlife, and what that may mean for them during their time on earth.
1. Woody Allen
Woody Allen was raised Jewish, and while Judaism doesn’t have an easily-explainable view of the afterlife, Allen has identified his own. “I don’t believe in the afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.”
While tongue-in-cheek, his work reflects this skeptical view of the afterlife. In Cafe Society, the lead character’s brother converts to Catholicism in jail to “access the afterlife” since he’s unsure his Jewish faith provides a clear path.
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2. Tom Cruise
The Scientology-advocate likely believes as other Scientologists (like his famous peer John Travolta) that humans each have a spirit called a “thetan.” In Scientology’s doctrine, the body the thetan inhabits ceases to work and the thetan travels in search of a new host body.
“Scientologists believe that thetans have been attached to bodies in past lives and that this pattern of attachment will continue well into the future,” Stephen Kent, a professor of alternative religions, said.
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3. Robin Williams
When the late Robin Williams toured to promote his film What Dreams May Come, in which his character literally traversed through hell, heaven, and back, he revealed his own beliefs about the afterlife.
“I think you are getting your dreams, a preview of coming attractions in heaven and hell if you believe in heaven and hell. It’s a weird thing because the moment you get into a heaven and hell discussion, you go, ‘Is it a Catholic heaven? Is it a Jewish heaven? It’s like Miami on a nice day. Is it a Buddhist vision?’ I believe that you have samples here on earth of heaven.”
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4. Morgan Freeman
He may act as the voice of God and even the higher power itself in various films, but Freeman isn’t a strong believer in a higher power or the afterlife. “My opinion does not question the existence of God, merely how we arrived at the existence of God,” Freeman said.
Freeman believes that the belief in God itself is a universal reality humankind created and developed over time. While he remains a skeptic, he did admit to seeing “the light that everyone talks about” once before.
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5. Tracy Morgan
Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday to explain how the terrifying six-car accident that killed his friend changed his life forever.
Morgan had a near-death experience (NDE) where he claimed he “went to heaven” and saw his late father who died when Morgan was a teenager. “Something’s different … I find myself saying ‘I love you’ 200 times a day to strangers,” he told the talk show host.
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6. Jane Seymour
The former Bond girl was filming a movie in Spain when she fell ill and was sent to the hospital. When the doctors accidentally administered too much antibiotic, Seymour went into an anaphylactic shock she claims “changed her life.”
Seymour recalled an out-of-body experience where she saw herself in the hospital. “I was resuscitated, I came back, and I realized that you take nothing with you except the love you’ve shared and the difference you’ve made. It made life very simple.”
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7. Donald Sutherland
Sutherland caught bacterial meningitis in Venice which sent him into a coma and sealed his belief in the afterlife. “Standing behind my right shoulder, I’d watched my comatose body slide peacefully down a blue tunnel. That same blue tunnel the near-dead always talk about. Such a tempting journey. So serene.”
8. Stephen Hawking
The famous, late physicist called heaven “a fairy story,” among other things. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he said. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
While he didn’t fear death, he certainly didn’t welcome it. Hawking wasn’t religious and called a creator “not necessary” in creating the world in his book The Grand Design.
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9. Oprah Winfrey
The Super Soul Sunday host, who frequently interviews physicists and psychics about their opinions on what happens when we die, came to terms with her own beliefs in her seven-night miniseries Belief.
Oprah created Belief to showcase the “inherently pluralistic message” she feels lays in the multitude of beliefs people worldwide have about a God, a lack thereof, and the potential of an afterlife. The billionaire believes there are “a million ways” to get to God and what may lay beyond our current reality.
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10. John McCain
The Republican U.S. Senator and a former presidential candidate expressed disdain at his Republican colleagues who preach religion in politics. He upholds this standard with his word — he never gives secular speeches — as well as his actions, claiming he attended church, but “not as often as I should.”
McCain was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer during the summer of 2017 and wrote what he’d like to see happen “before he leaves” the world. “‘I hate to leave it. But I don’t have a complaint. Not one. It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace.”
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11. Ricky Gervais
The stand-up comedian, actor, and producer is by no means the only celebrity who is also atheist: he may be the only one to joke so frequently about his beliefs on Twitter, however. Ironically, Gervais is currently creating a show called ‘The Afterlife‘ about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven.
Gervais stands by his belief there is no God or life after death. “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe,” he wrote.
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12. Halle Berry
The actress swore she saw a ghost — so what does that mean for our future souls? While filming the biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandrige, Berry swore that she kept one of Dandridge’s dresses — and a ghost — with her.
“I’d come home and the housekeeper would say she’d heard my vanity chair moving upstairs in my bathroom. And our fridge door would fly open by itself. I’m not kidding … When the film was over, I desperately wanted to keep her dress, but it had to go. And then everything was fine.”
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13. Keanu Reeves
Reeves, like Berry, has good reason to believe we come back to linger after we die: He saw a ghost at a young age. “It was in New York. It was cool,” Reeves told talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
“There’s no head, there’s nobody, there are no legs. It’s just there. And then it disappears. Is that a ghost? Or is that just some weird floating jacket?” Reeves is non-religious but admitted, “I believe in God and the Devil … they don’t have to have pitchforks and a long white beard.”
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14. Tina Turner
The famous singer credited her Buddhist faith for many things, including giving her the strength to leave her abusive husband. “I’m gonna focus on [Buddhism],” she told Rolling Stone; “I think that’s gonna be my message, that’s why I’m here.”
15. Tyler Henry
Celebrity psychic Tyler Henry of E!’s Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry believes there is a medium through which the living can contact the deceased — at least, he does so on television.
Henry first discovered his “clairvoyant medium” abilities at age 10. He made headlines for “predicting Alan Thicke’s death” when he discussed the future of a heart problem with Thicke on Hollywood Medium. Thicke died of a heart attack several months later.
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