Actors who write fiction

We know they are talented actors, but are they as good at writing? Let’s leave it to critics to decide. Meanwhile, we will take a look at some of the most famous Hollywood stars who tried their hand at writing fiction.

Gene Hackman







Two-time Academy Award-winner Gene Hackman has written three novels in collaboration with undersea archaeologist Daniel Lenihan. Wake of the Perdido Star (1999) is a sea adventure of the 19th century, Justice for None (2004), a Depression-era tale of murder, and Escape from Andersonville (2008) about a prison escape during the Civil War. Payback at Morning Peak (2011) is his first solo effort, a story of love and revenge set in the Old West.

Jamie Lee Curtis







Jamie Lee Curtis got her big break in Hollywood as the “Scream Queen,” appearing in horror movies such as Halloween and Prom Night. She has written a number of children’s books, working with the illustrator Laura Cornell, including When I was Little: A Four-Year Old’s Memoir of Her Youth and Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born.

Ethan Hawke







During the late 1980s and 1990s, actor Ethan Hawke was slated to be the next hottest thing in Hollywood, but he wasn’t interested in being a high-profile movie star. Instead, Hawke chose smaller roles, returned to theatre work, and even wrote two novels: The Hottest State in 1997 and Ash Wednesday in 2002. Both were critically acclaimed successes. Although it’s “tempting to take a potshot” at this good-looking young actor, said Helen Falconer in The Guardian , “it is my duty to tell you that Hawke is a cracking writer,” and Ash Wednesday is “sharply and poignantly written.”

Carrie Fisher







Star Wars fans will always know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, but she has had a successful career as a writer too. Her novels include Postcards from the Edge and The Best Awful There Is, while her non-fiction books include Wishful Drinking and Shockaholic. Postcards from the Edge was also developed into a movie in 1990.

Hugh Laurie







Hugh Laurie has won countless awards, including Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards, for his work on American TV, and he also enjoyed a successful career on stage, TV and in films in Great Britain. The talented actor also experimented with novel writing and even submitted the book The Gun Seller to a publisher anonymously. His agent convinced him to admit that he was the author to help with publicity for the book, a thriller about a retired Army officer propositioned to assassinate an American businessman. Laurie has also written another novel, The Paper Soldier and released a biography.

Hilary Duff







The former Disney star may not be the type of celebrity you imagine as being a talented author. However, the beautiful actress struck gold in 2010, with her debut novel Elixir. It was a New York Times Best Seller. Devoted and True, completed the trilogy.

Steve Martin







Steve Martin has been a part of the entertainment industry since the 1960s. As well as writing for the stage, the funnyman has penned several novellas: Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company. Martin adapted Shopgirl for the big screen in 2005, and starred in it himself. He has also written a memoir called Born Standing Up, and a novel called An Object of Beauty.

Macaulay Culkin







The former child star published Junior, a semi-autobiographical story, in 2006. It didn’t receive good critics. Sarah Goldstein at Salon wrote: “It reads more like the kind of free-associating writing exercise a therapist would prescribe to a patient than an actual story. It is 200 pages of mostly incoherent rant.”

Whoopi Goldberg







Whoopi Goldberg published her debut novel, Alice, in 1992. It was another five years before she released her sophomore effort, Book. Other works include books for children such as Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners and the Sugar Plum Ballerinas series.

James Franco







James Franco is multi-talented, and he works as an actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and author. After majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing at UCLA, Franco went on to study creative writing at both Columbia University and Brooklyn College, and is now pursuing a PhD in English at Yale. He published his first book, a collection of short stories called Palo Alto, in 2010. He released a book of poems called Strongest of the Litter, in 2012, and the following year he published his debut novel, Actors Anonymous.

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