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Famous Christian Scientists
(Members of the Church of Christ, Scientist)
NOTE: This page is only about adherents and members of the Christian denomination known as the Church of Christ, Scientist (i.e., Christian Science, whose members are known as Christian Scientists). This page has nothing to do with famous scientists who are Christians (i.e., Christians of any denomination whose occupation was science). For such a list, see: Some Famous Scientists who were Christians.
- Mary Baker Eddy - founder of Christian Science
- David James Nolan - Chancellor of The Christian Science University. Excommunicated from the Church of Christ, Scientist. David Nolan was one of the main figures in a Science and Health copyright case tried in U.S. Supreme Court
Actors and Actresses:
- Ginger Rogers - actress, dancer
- Marilyn Monroe - actress
- Val Kilmer - actor, movie star (Red Planet; Pollock; The Prince of Egypt; The Saint; The Ghost and the Darkness; Batman Forever; etc.)
- Audrey Hepburn - actress
- Joan Crawford - actress (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; Flamingo Road; Possessed; Grand Hotel; and dozens more)
- Doris Day - actress, movie star
- Jean Harlow - actress
- Mary Pickford - actress, movie star, studio boss; "America's Sweetheart" (convert)
- Alfre Woodard - actress; Star Trek: First Contact; The Core; etc. (convert)
- Henry Fonda - actor
- Milton Berle - comedian (convert)
- Robert Duvall - actor
- Carol Channing - actress
- Glynis Johns - actress
- Charles "Buddy" Rogers - actor (married Mary Pickford)
- Edith Evans - actress
- Corinne Griffith - silent film actress (known as "the Orchid Lady")
- Ellen DeGeneres - comedian; actress
- Elizabeth Taylor - actress (not active member after she came to Hollywood)
- Alan Young - actor (human star of the horse sitcom Mr. Ed)
- Mickey Rooney - actor
- Robin Williams - actor, comedian (Robins is an Episcopalian, but he was raised by a Christian Scientist mother)
- Jean Stapleton - actress (All in the Family)
- Georgia Engel - actress ( The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
- Spalding Gray - actor (The Killing Fields, True Stories, Beaches, Straight Talk, King of the Hill); theatrical monologuist; writer: Impossible Vacation (lapsed)
- Bruce Campbell - actor (Evil Dead; Evil Dead II; Congo; Icebreaker; Demolitionist; The Hudsucker Proxy; etc.)
- Lilia Skala - Austrian-born actress; Oscar nominee for Lilies of the Field; first woman architect in Austria
- Marlon Brando - actor (reared somewhat by a devout Christian Scientist grandmother, but not a member himself)
- Bette Davis - actress, movie star (in Christian Science temporarily)
- Gene Autry - TV's famous singing-cowboy star
- Howard Hawks - influential American film director (Bringing Up Baby; etc.)
- King Vidor - influential American film director (The Big Parade; The Fountainhead; Duel in the Sun; etc.)
- Frank Capra - director (It's a Wonderful Life, etc.)
- Dalton Trumbo - one of most influential screenwriters in Hollywood history (Spartacus; Papillon; Roman Holiday; etc.)
- Horton Foote - screenwriter: Academy Awards for Tender Mercies; To Kill a Mockingbird; nomination for The Trip to Bountiful (1985)
- Danielle Steele - popular American author
- Jonathan Carroll - author (lapsed)
- Richard Bach - famed author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and other books (not active Church member in later years)
- John Hughes - former editor of Christian Science Monitor and spokesman for U.S. State Department; first editor of the Deseret News who was not a Latter-day Saint
- Cindy Adams - journalist, newspaper columnist
- Kay Fanning - publisher and editor of Anchorage Daily News
- Theodore Dreiser - influential 20th Century author; wrote An American Tragedy (convert)
- Jim Henson - famed puppeteer: Muppets; Sesame Street; Dark Crystal, etc. (a Sunday School teacher, but later left the Church)
- David Unger Hart - puppeteer
- Bruce Hornsby - singer, musician, popular recording artist
- Mike Nesmith - of the Monkees
- Kay Kyser - famed musician, big band leader (Christian Science practitioner)
- Lionel Hampton - orchestra leader
- Fred Rose - country music star
- Mindy Jostyn - singer, musician
- Peter Link - up-and-coming composer, musician
- Ray Conniff Jr. - musician, band leader
- Cornelius Bumpus - famous musician (keyboard, woodwind)
- Lady Nancy Astor - first woman member of British Parliament (convert to Christian Science)
- Ralph Owen Brewster - (1888-1961) Governor of Maine (1925-29); U.S. Rep. (1935-41); U.S. Senator (1941-52)
- Scott McCallum - governor of Wisconsin
- Frederick Bennett Balzar - (1880-1934) Governor of Nevada (1927-34)
- Ralph L. Carr - (1887-1950) Governor of Colorado (1939-43)
- Charles Percy - senator from Illinois
- John Downey Works - (1847-1928) justice of California state supreme court (1888-91); U.S. Senator from California (1911-17)
- John Rousselot - U.S. House of Rep., California (1961-63, 1970-1983), Repub.
- Christopher Shays - House of Rep., Connecticut, Republican
- Thomas M. Davis III - Rep. Tom Davis represents Virginia's 11th District in U.S. House of Rep., Republican
- Robert W. Goodlatte - U.S. House of Rep., Virginia's 6th District (1993-), Republican
- Lamar Smith - U.S. House of Rep., Texas 21st District, Republican
- David Dreier (b. 1952) David Timothy Dreier was U.S. Rep. from California (1981-2003, Districts 35, 33, 28, 26)
- Wesley Ernest Disney - (1883-1961) U.S. Rep. from Oklahoma 1st District (1931-45)
- Christopher H. Shays (b. 1945) - U.S. Rep. from Connecticut 4th District (1987-)
- H.R. Haldeman - important political figure in Nixon administration
- John Ehrlichman - important political figure in Nixon administration
- Egil "Bud" Krogh, Jr. - important political figure in Nixon administration
- Tommy Vardell - professional football player (NFL)
- Shannon Miller - gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast
- Doug Jenkins - race car driver
Intelligence and Spycraft:
- William Webster - FBI and CIA director
- Stansfield Turner - admiral and CIA director
- Alan Shepherd - astronaut, first American in space
- Joseph Cornell - famed New York-born avant garde/experimental medium artist
- Jean Harris - wealthy socialite at the center of a famous trial
- George Getty - businessman; founder of the Getty fortune
Additional Politicians who were Christian Scientists include:
Source: Political Graveyard (http://politicalgraveyard.com/group/christian-scientist.html; viewed 14 November 2005):
- Thomas F. Schweigert (1917-2001) - state senate, 1961-70
- John H. Stahlin (1914-1997) - state senate (1959-?)
- Vera Andrus (1896-1976)
- Jean Rae Backus (b. 1923)
- Silas Jack Galvin - Lieutenant Governor candidate, 1940
- Edmund Perry Hanson (1889-1953) - state House of Rep. (1935-36)
- John M. Burns - state assembly in 1960s, New York
- William Warren Davis (1862-1941), Massachusetts
- Mabel Gross (b. 1898), Wisconsin
- James Washington Orr (b. 1855) - Kansas: mayor of Atchison; state House of Rep.
- William Buchanan Price (b. 1865), Nebraska
- Irvin Elmer Rockwell (1862-1952) - Idaho state senate, 1915-19, 1929-30
- Edison Lothair Teetor (b. 1897) - Indiana state House of Rep., 1945-47
- Oscar C. Woodruff (b. 1852) - Vermont state House of Rep.
NOTE: Nearly all of the people listed above were/are devout, enthusiastic students of Christian Science (i.e., Christian Scientists: members of the Church of Christ, Scientist). Known exceptions are noted.
Additional possible additions to this list we are currently checking out:
Joel McCrea - movie star
Steve Arlen - Broadway actor
Gene Kelly - dancer, actor (only Catholic, as far as we know so far)
IWF has suggested posting the following salient points:
First, how devout, etc. the people that you list are/were in their religion cannot be researched; only opinions can be gathered on that, and that does not comprise fairness of reporting nor good journalism. The use of comments made by other individuals or during interviews, even if might be true, could be considered negative or unkind or imply something in character of the person listed and get back to their family members and hurt them.
Second, a person's religion and practice of it is a private matter to that person and their family.
We appeciate the correspondent who sent us the comments above and granted permission to post them on this page. The authors of this page have no disagreement with her, and appreciate her position.
We will say something, not as defense or argument, but simply to provide additional information.
We have over a dozen "famous adherent" pages, listing adherents of numerous religious groups, not just Christian Science. None of the people are listed as a result of any intrusion into their private lives. We do not post information based on hearsay or rumors, or obtained by going through people's mail or simply by reporting on where people were spotted attending worship services. The information here is based on published biographies, interviews with news organizations and magazines, press releases, etc.
Some people feel that a person's religion and practice is a private matter. We respect that opinion. But when a public person chooses to intentionally publicize this aspect of their lives, they make it a public matter, and we have no reservations about repeating information they knowingly shared with the world.
Finally, with regards to this particular page about Christian Scientists... Dozens of active Christian Scientists have contributed the ideas, suggestions and references used to create this page. Only one person has complained that the page exists. Looking at this list of people, we can't imagine what harm could be done by it. This is a list of very impressive people, in both their public careers and their private lives. They weren't all perfect, of course. Marilyn Monroe had problems, we know that. But we look at these names and we see, for the most part, a group worthy of admiration, not for their fame, but for their qualities as individuals. If we knew of a really villainous, disreputable Christian Scientist who was truly famous, we would list him or her too. But we don't know of anybody like that.
Albert Einstein and Christian Science
Einstein was never a Christian Scientist.
To read about Albert Einstein's actual religious affiliation, click here.
According to some Christian Science sources, Einstein attended a Christian Science church for a time and is quoted as having said a variety of complementary things about the teachings of Christian Science, particularly its nonstandard concept of physical matter. According to Carole Wilson (23 April 2000), Einstein was a regular attendee of 9th Church of Christ, Scientist (a Christian Science church) in New York City.
Mary Baker Eddy and Albert Einstein are both known for forwarding concepts of the physical universe quite different from those generally accepted by the scientists of their day. Biographers of Einstein (other than some Christian Scientists) do not regard him as a Christian Scientist. He is known variously as a non-practicing Jew, an agnostic, or simply as a person with an idiosyncratic personal worldview. More details about Einstein's religious background and beliefs, from general academic sources, can be found here.
It is beyond the scope of this document to extant to which Einstein's scientific theories or personal beliefs coincide with Christian Science teachings. Holding some similar or even identical beliefs as those taught by a group does not necessarily make a person an adherent of that group. But if Einstein was regularly attending a Christian Science church he would meet one of the technical definitions of an "adherent." This "Famous Christian Scientists" page is not intended as a source of detailed information about Albert Einstein or any other individual listed here. This "factoid" or rumor, (whichever it is) is included here for the sake of completeness.
An article on the official Christian Science website notes (http://www.christianscience.org/Einstein.htm):
Few people today realize how much Albert Einstein studied Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, supported its conclusions, and admired its author, Mary Baker Eddy. Dr. Einstein was known to visit Christian Science churches and Reading Rooms in the New York and New Jersey areas. There have been numerous anecdotes and quotes preserved over the years from individuals who have had knowledge of, or contact with Dr. Einstein, in connection with Christian Science.
[See also: Albert Einstein Online; Dr. Albert Einstein article; Mary Baker Eddy Letter No. 3; quote by Einstein on the Healing Unlimited Publications web page.]
"...the librarian of the New York Reading Room which Dr. Einstein frequented, that upon his leaving the Reading Room one day he commented, 'You people don't know what you have in that book (meaning Science and Health).'"
"In an affidavit by Mary Spaulding, wife of the famous violinist Alfred Spaulding, was preserved a conversation she had with Albert Einstein in the New York City Reading Room on 42nd Street. Dr. Einstein's high regard for Science and Health is reflected in the following: 'Science and Health is beyond this generation's understanding. It is the pure science. And, to think that a woman knew this over eighty years ago!'"
"A [librarian] in the [Christian Science Reading Room] in Princeton, New Jersey told me that Dr. Einstein was one of the most frequent visitors to the Reading Room. He would come in and spend an hour or two just reading Science and Health. One day as he was leaving the Reading Room, he stopped at the librarian's desk, and said: 'If everyone realized what is in that book (meaning Science and Health), you would not have enough room anywhere to accommodate the people who would be clamoring for it.'" - Reminiscences of Elizabeth Earl Jones, from The Healer: The Healing Work of Mary Baker Eddy, p. 189.
Thanks to Lori and Casey Wilkinson for their suggestions and information about additional names! And thanks to Thomas Miller and Robert Marr for providing information about David James Nolan.
Copyright © 2005 by Adherents.com.
Web page created 30 October 1999. Last modified 7 May 2007.
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