Not everyone is able to handle a constant onslaught of human beings incessantly wanting to know your every move, especially when it comes to your love life. In the life of a well-known and revered celebrity, avoiding this is almost impossible. The paparazzi have gotten out of control, and being in the public eye doesn’t quite mean the same thing it did fifty years ago. Many big names have been able to perform on sets or on stage, but when it comes to public interaction, they fall short in their ability to cope.
Whatever their reasons these individuals have managed to stay out of the public eye for the most part, be them recluses or just individuals with a system to stay out of the tabloids.
10. Daniel Radcliffe
The former star of the Harry Potter films has done a great job of establishing himself as a serious actor after the Potter franchise came to a close. He’s mainly kept himself to theater and more independent film productions, probably in an attempt to distance himself from the Potter character.
Radcliffe isn’t a recluse by any means but he takes certain precautions to keep his life private and his pictures out of the tabloids. Unlike the vast majority of the modernized world, Radcliffe does not use social media like Twitter or Facebook. In fact, Radcliffe has stated that other celebrities that are constantly Tweeting about their lives on a moment to moment basis can’t expect the media to take their requests for privacy very seriously.
Radcliffe had even managed to keep his coupling with Erin Darke under the radar for nearly two years.
9. Johnny Depp
Depp has stated that at one time it may have been fun but he never really became accustomed to the attention that comes with being one of the biggest stars of our time. According to Mr. Depp, he never leaves the house unless he absolutely has a reason to.
Between having children and the advent of the internet, Depp realized that his kids could read anything about him, and the only way to confirm that any given Hollywood rumor is false is to just keep going out in the public eye to an absolute minimum. Most of his interaction with society comes from press tours for his bigger films.
8. Steve Ditko
Many may not know who Steve Ditko is, but absolutely everyone in the world is familiar with his work. Ditko was the original artist for and co-creator of Marvel Comic’s Spider-Man. Ditko’s work was not limited to Spider-Man of course. He is one of a handful of artists and writers that made Marvel everything it is today, and he was a large part of the re-branding of DC Comics in the 1970’s. A fact that even some comic book fans don’t know is that Ditko is notoriously private.
Ditko declined almost every interview ever offered. In fact, a documentary was made about this subject called In Search of Steve Ditko. It took the filmmaker and famous comic book writer Neil Gaiman personally going to Ditko’s home to get some words with the prolific artist, and even then Ditko did not allow cameras.
7. Dave Chappelle
Following a contract where he would receive $50 million dollars for a mere two seasons of Chappelle’s Show, star Dave Chappelle famously walked off the set and did not return. The show never continued. Not only did Chappelle walk away from the show, but he walked away from a high profile public life entirely.
Chappelle claims he didn’t feel right about having that much money when other people did not. It made him uncomfortable and he also felt that people around him were using that money as a tool to manipulate him.
After Chappelle left the show, he spent some time in Africa and eventually came back to the U.S., but not to Hollywood; he moved to a farm in Ohio so he could keep to himself.
Since then, Dave has rarely given interviews and has done a few stand-up dates. However, there were times where his stand-up consisted of him standing on stage for 90 minutes, sighing, and reading his text messages to himself.
6. Neil Peart
The very famous and very talented drummer for the band Rush has issues with human contact, believe it or not. It would seem impossible for someone that big being on stage in front of so many people on such a regular basis would have such social issues.
In the documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage, it was revealed just how private Peart actually is. Being in front of people doesn’t seem to be his issue, but more precisely interacting with large numbers of people. While Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee meet with the fans and sign autographs, Peart stays backstage in a room by himself. Peart says in the documentary that he’s very sorry and he feels terrible for being that way towards fans, but he just can’t physically or mentally handle that amount of public interaction.
5. Daniel Day-Lewis
Day-Lewis is a very reluctant star in the same vein as Johnny Depp. He might be one of the greatest and highly revered actors on the planet, but he seems to truly despise the stare of the public eye.
Day-Lewis prefers to keep himself shut in at a 50-acre mountain estate in Ireland. Despite his caliber as an actor, he only emerges to do one film every two to three years.
On top of his reclusive nature, there are claims that Day-Lewis is growing increasingly strange, with reports that some stars have left films due to the fact that Day-Lewis was “crazy and intimidating”.
4. Axl Rose
Axl Rose, the lead singer for the band Guns n’ Roses, seems to go in and out of reclusiveness. You won’t hear from him for several years, and then he emerges with some sort of new material or Guns n’ Roses announcement.
Axl will go years at a time, completely hidden from public view. His solo album Chinese Democracy was fifteen years in the making and no one had heard from Rose for nearly four years before the album was released. After the album performed poorly with fans and critics, Axl decided to once again go into hiding. It was reported that during this time Axl hired and fired his manager three times in the course of five weeks.
3. John Hughes
John Hughes was the king of 1980’s teen comedies. Even the generations that followed are familiar with his films The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles. He made stars out of several members of young Hollywood, so much so that a group of casting regulars like Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were lovingly referred to as “The Brat Pack”.
Hughes retired from film sometime in the 1990’s and decided to live his life out of the public eye in the Midwest of the United States, never making appearances or giving interviews. According to an interview with Molly Ringwald after Hughes’ death, Hughes was a sensitive individual, who was the first to think that somebody was slighting him.
2. Bill Watterson
Like Steve Ditko, the public may not be familiar with Bill Watterson’s name, but you would be hard-pressed to find someone that isn’t familiar with his work. Watterson was the creator of the much loved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that ran in newspaper syndication for ten years, with “reruns” running to this day.
Calvin and Hobbes was and is one of the most widely popular comic strips of all time. When Watterson left, many people wanted to know why, but Watterson has only given two known interviews and drawn one “secret” comic strip since retiring from public life in 1995. It’s been reported that he spends his time painting watercolors.
1. J.D. Salinger
The author of Catcher in the Rye may very well be the most famous celebrity recluse. So much so that even his own friends refuse to give interviews and talk to the media about him. The only people that seem to be open about Salinger are his former lover and his own daughter, whose tales about the author or so outlandish that they’ve been dismissed by many. If the stories are true, it could give some insight into why Salinger liked to stay so private. One of the claims his daughter made was that he drank urine. She also claimed he kept young pen pals. His ex-lover, who admittedly was quite a bit younger than Salinger, claims he had a very strange set of sexual fetishes.
The closest Salinger ever came to “coming back” was when an author of an unofficial Catcher in the Rye sequel was sued by Salinger. Many thought he would come out and make a statement, but unfortunately all the work was done by his lawyers.