Celebrity Mormons

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mitt Romney

In 1966, the private equity guru-cum-governor of Massachusetts served a 30-month Mormon mission all over France, where he eventually became co-acting president of the French mission, overseeing 175 members. Romney then graduated from the Mormon Church’s private college, Brigham Young University, in 1971. "I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it," Romney said in a 2007 speech, according to CNN. "My faith is the faith of my fathers. I will be true to them and to my beliefs. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right, so be it." Unfortunately, a Pew Research Center poll revealed that his Mormon faith negatively impacted Romney’s 2008 presidential run. With Romney throwing his hat in the 2012 presidential race, there’s no telling yet whether America has warmed to Mormonism. That being said, he’s exhibited impressive fundraising chops—Romney’s camp recently raised over $10 million in just a single day.

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Ryan Gosling

Despite his breakthrough role as a Jewish neo-Nazi in the critically acclaimed 2001 drama The Believer, one of indiewood’s most intense actors, Ryan Gosling, was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Gosling grew up in Cornwall, Ontario, and not only did his parents divorce when he was young, but Gosling had to be removed from elementary school and homeschooled because he was constantly harassed by his fellow students. Of his faith, Gosling told BeliefNet, “I grew up Mormon. I wasn't really Mormon, my parents were. My mom was really cool. She said, ‘This is an option, but this isn't the only option. This is an idea, but this isn’t the only idea. You have to find your own truth.’ I never really could identify with it. There's good things about going to church. [Being Mormon] socialized me at a young age. You have to pray in public, shake a lot of hands, talk in public, sing in church, stuff like that. It has definitely stayed with me.”

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Katherine Heigl

After her older brother Jason died in a car accident while out to lunch with some of his high school friends, the tragedy encouraged Heigl’s parents to convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Heigl was just 7 when she lost her brother. “I give my parents unbelievable credit for pulling it together, and I give the Mormon Church a lot of credit for helping them to do that,” Heigl told Vanity Fair. After Heigl became a star in Hollywood, following stints on the ABC TV drama Grey’s Anatomy and films like Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, she married singer Josh Kelley on December 23, 2007. Of her decision not to live with Kelley prior to getting married, Heigl told Vanity Fair, “I ... didn't want to live together before we were married. I still have enough Mormon in me—not a lot, but enough—that I wanted to keep that a little bit sacred."

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Glenn Beck

As host of his own Fox News program as well as the radio show, The Glenn Beck Program, and the author of several books, Glenn Beck has drawn the ire of both liberals and conservatives alike with his scathing rhetoric. He recently came under fire for mocking Meghan McCain for having curves. Although raised Roman Catholic, Beck became addicted to booze and drugs, and, after kicking everything in 1994, embarked on what he told Salon was “a spiritual quest.” After he married his second wife, Tania, Beck’s Mormon friend and former radio co-host Pat Gray convinced Beck to visit The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the couple eventually joined in 1999, with Gray baptizing Beck. “I woudn’t be here without it. I would be a drunk without it. I wouldn’t have my family without it,” said Beck on a Mormon TV program.

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Amy Adams

Before she was nominated for three Oscars, starring in the films Enchanted, Julie & Julia, and The Fighter, among others, Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy. The fourth of seven children, Adams was an army brat whose father was stationed at the U.S. army post Caserma Ederle at the time of her birth, before the large family settled in Colorado. Adams was raised Mormon, but her family left the church following her parents’ divorce when she was 12. “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know it instilled in me a value system I still hold true,” Adams told The Telegraph. In May 2010, Adams gave birth to a daughter with her fiancé, Darren Le Gallo. In an interview with Parade in 2009, when asked whether she still holds true to the Mormon faith, Adams said, “Well, I certainly hold onto a definite sense of right and wrong. I try to live by the golden rule. I’m afraid I will always feel the weight of a lie. I’m very hard on myself anyway.”

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Jon Huntsman

Before serving as the 16th Governor of Utah and the U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman spent time in Taiwan as a Mormon missionary. In fact, in addition to his father being the billionaire businessman Jon Huntsman of the Huntsman Corporation, his maternal grandfather, David B. Haight, was an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Addressing his Mormon faith, Huntsman recently told Time magazine, “I'm a very spiritual person," as opposed to a religious one, he says, "and proud of my Mormon roots." When asked if he’s still a member of the Mormon Church, Huntsman said, "That's tough to define. There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides." Sounds like a pretty cagey answer for a man many see as possibly eyeing a 2012 presidential run.

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Paul Walker

With his beach bod and surfer dude mentality, you’d never peg Paul Walker, star of the top grossing film of 2011 to date, Fast Five, as a Mormon. However, the Southern California native was indeed raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and graduated from Village Christian School in Sun Valley, California. While his family still adheres to the Mormon faith, the 37-year-old action star stopped following the religion’s strict guidelines (no drinking, no premarital sex) many years ago. “But I still hold myself accountable," Walker told USA Today. "I'm not the kind of guy who's taking advantage of my position. I could be sleeping with a different 18-year-old girl every day if I wanted to. But that's not my speed."

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Julianne Hough

Before she served as a dancer on the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars, released a self-titled country music album that debuted No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart, and transitioned to Hollywood actress, Julianne Hough grew up the youngest of five children in a Mormon family in Sandy, Utah--a suburb of Salt Lake City. In an interview with the country music blog 9513, Hough said, “Everybody knows me as the Mormon girl that hasn’t done anything wrong…I grew up really fast in London. And I feel like my twenties were actually when I was in my teens. And so I went through things that made me become who I am today, and I’ve made choices that decided in the fact that I do want to be a goody-two-shoes.”

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Brandon Flowers

Despite his band being based out of Sin City and named The Killers, singer Brandon Flowers is no bad boy. Rather, the 29-year-old grew up in Utah the youngest of six children, and to this day, is still a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Bob Dylan said it best—you can't be Jewish and be cool,” Flowers joked to The Guardian, “and you can't be a Mormon and be cool! But I'm trying my best!” Flowers and his wife even named their first of three sons Ammon, after a Book of Mormon prophet.

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Stephenie Meyer

Her vampire romance series of novels, Twilight, has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, and been adapted into a billion-dollar movie franchise. But Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books, is still a very strict Mormon. She graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University, is very straitlaced—doesn’t drink or smoke—and is even married to a man named Christiaan. “Unconsciously, I put a lot of my beliefs into the story,” Meyer told a Mormon website. “The most obvious Mormon influences can be seen in the ways that Meyer has her teenage heroine stand up for marriage and, ultimately, motherhood," Jana Riess, co-author of Mormonism for Dummies, told The State Journal-Register. “But anyone who is familiar with the Book of Mormon can also discern deeper theological themes, from the Mormon reinterpretation of the Fall of humankind—which inspired the apple on the Twilight book cover—to the theme of overcoming the natural man, which we can see when Bella wrestles with her desires and decides whether or not to become a vampire.”

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Aaron Eckhart

His debut film role may have been as a sociopathic misogynist who seduces and manipulates a deaf woman in Neil LaBute’s cult film, In the Company of Men, but strong-chinned actor Aaron Eckhart was, like LaBute, raised Mormon. Eckhart graduated with a BA from Brigham Young University in 1994, and served a two-year mission in France and Switzerland before his breakthrough role in LaBute’s black comedy. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the star of The Dark Knight and Erin Brockovich said, “I'm certainly not a deacon, I'm not a priest. I'm sure people think I'm a Mormon, but I don't know that I'm a Mormon anymore, you know? To be honest, to be perfectly clear, I'd be a hypocrite if I did say that I was, just because I haven't lived that lifestyle for so many years.''

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Mireille Enos

The star of AMC’s critically acclaimed TV drama The Killing, Mireille Enos grew up in Houston Texas, as a member of the Mormon church. She later graduated from Brigham Young University, before pursuing an acting career. The 35-year-old gained notoriety playing polygamist twins on the Mormon-themed HBO TV series Big Love--an ironic choice, of course, given that her father served an LDS mission to France, where he converted her French mother. “The writers didn’t know when they cast me that I grew up in the [LDS] Church,” Enos told The Salt Lake Tribune. “They looked me up online, saw I went to BYU, and ran over and said, ‘Are your parents freaking out?’ ” They weren’t — and didn’t, according to Enos. The actress is rumored to have landed the lead role opposite Brad Pitt in an upcoming adaptation of the post-apocalyptic zombie novel World War Z.

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Roy Halladay

As a two-time Cy Young winner and the pitcher of two no-hitters and one perfect game, Philadelphia Phillies star Roy “Doc” Halladay is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Halladay grew up in the suburb of Arvada right outside Denver, Colorado, and was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We both grew up Mormon," Roy’s wife, Brandi Halladay, told the Toronto Star. "In the Mormon church, young men go on missions for two years. Roy got drafted right out of high school and didn't go. He really got a lot of flak, but Roy was worried about taking care of his family. His grandfather in Idaho was a patriarch of the church. He went to Roy and he said, ‘You'll serve your mission in other ways. Baseball's going to open doors for you that might not be opened otherwise.’” Although the two are now non-practicing, they continue to live up to Roy’s grandfather’s advice, with Roy being nominated numerous times for the Roberto Clemente Award for his work with underprivileged children.