Actor and martial arts expert Chuck Norris grew up in a poor family in Oklahoma. Norris became a Christian at age 12, but he drifted away from his faith as his entertainment career progressed. He was one of the few people who visited GOP strategist Lee Atwater, whose last word to Norris were, “Chuck, trust in the Lord. I love you.” Norris recommitted his life to Christ and has since written several books focused on Christianity and speaks openly about his faith.
Country singer and songwriter Sarah Darling made her Nashville debut in 2008 and released hit singles including “Knowing What I Know About Heaven.” She told Fox News that her faith is central to her life. She realizes that keeping her head in the entertainment business is a challenge for anyone: “No matter what you’re going through, God is always there for you.”
Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s most respected and most private stars. A profoundly faith-filled Christian, he told GQ magazine in 2012, “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word.” He speaks openly and regularly about his faith.
An outspoken Christian, actress Patricia Heaton notes that others in Hollywood are reticent about expressing their own beliefs. She notes that her sister is a Dominican nun who is nothing like the bitter, repressed stereotypes shown in TV and films. She believes that actions are more powerful than words, and she is careful to speak with compassion when she expresses even controversial opinions.
Born in the U.S. and raised in Australia, actor Mel Gibson wrote and produced the 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ.” Investing $25 million of his money in the film, he notes, “This movie is about faith, hope, love, and forgiveness – themes that are as important now as they were in Jesus’ time.” A profoundly faithful Catholic, he attends daily mass at the private chapel at his home.
Executive producer of the CBS series “Touched by an Angel,” Martha Williamson, found that viewers and actors alike drew closer to God due to the show’s message of love. She recalled that one atheist actor became a believer after shooting an episode. Before the show aired, she received a lot of questions about her faith: “I had to stand up and say I am not making a Christian show, but I am a Christian making a show about angels, and I cannot compromise my beliefs.”
Kirk Cameron rose to prominence as a teen star in the 1980s in TV’s “Growing Pains.” He was an adamant atheist until he was 18, when he began attending church with his girlfriend. A vocal evangelical Christian, Cameron has produced and starred in numerous faith-based films, such as “Fireproof” and documentaries, such as “Monumental” and “Unstoppable.”
Actor and comedian Chris Tucker converted to Christianity after he wrapped 1997’s “Money Talks” and returned home to Georgia. Known as a comedian who avoids profanity in his stand-up routines, he muses, “Being a Christian helps me in comedy. I have to dig deeper to find something that’s still funny and not raunchy. It’s harder. I like the challenge.” Tucker, who wears a cross around his neck, co-starred in 2012’s acclaimed “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Emmy Award winner Martin Sheen returned to his faith after becoming seriously ill while filming 1979’s “Apocalypse Now.” Born Ramon Estevez, he chose his stage name to honor theologian Fulton J. Sheen. The actor said: “It doesn’t really matter how much of the rules or the dogma we accepted and lived by if we’re not really living by the fundamental creed of the Catholic Church, which is service to others and finding God in ourselves and then seeing God in everyone, including our enemies.”