Shia LaBeouf, Angelina Jolie & More Stars Who’ve Done LSD (Photos)

It’s probably no shock many to hear that Angelina Jolie and the Beatles dropped acid at different points in their lives. Now ‘Lawless’ star Shia LaBeouf has revealed that he did LSD to prepare for a role in ‘The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.’ But who would have guessed that Cary Grant and Marge Simpson were acid fans? See more stars who went on special trips, Roger Sterling–style.

Clockwise from top left: Getty Images (2); AP Photo (2)

Clockwise from top left: Getty Images (2); AP Photo (2)

It’s probably no shock many to hear that Angelina Jolie and the Beatles dropped acid at different points in their lives. Now Lawless star Shia LaBeouf has revealed that he did LSD to prepare for a role in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. But who would have guessed that Cary Grant and Marge Simpson were acid fans? See more stars who went on special trips, Roger Sterling–style.

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Angus T. Jones

Angus T. Jones has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons lately. The Two and a Half Men has been the center of attention since he posted a video of himself calling his sitcom filth --but just when you think things can't get any worse, they do. Jones recently admitted to doing drugs in high school and claims his cousin introduced him to marijuana in his junior year and by the time he was a senior, he was experimenting with acid. "This drug could change the world," he said. "If [acid] was legal everyone would be different." It's safe to say that now might be a good time for Jones to consider taking a vow of silence.

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Shia LaBeouf

It’s been a really long and really weird summer in Shia LaBeouf–land. First, there was his full frontal, interpretive dancing, fuzzy pink vest-wearing appearance in Sigur Ros’s music video for “Fjögur Píanó.” Then LaBeouf said he’d be willing to have unsimulated sex on camera for his role in the upcoming Lars von Trier film Nymphomaniac—which may or may not have caused this breakdown his girlfriend had. He has also sworn off studio films and is all about indie movies now because, in his own words, doing a big-budget movie involves studios “sticking a finger up your ass.” Now, LaBeouf has also admitted that he dropped acid on the set of crime comedy The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman in order to prepare for a scene in which his character does the same. “There’s a way to do an acid trip like Harold and Kumar, and there’s a way to be on acid,” he told USA Today. “What I know of acting, Sean Penn actually strapped up to that [electric] chair in Dead Man Walking. These are the guys that I look up to.” In the same interview, LaBeouf also let slip that he got moonshine drunk for a scene in the new bootlegging drama Lawless—but it’s OK, guys, because it’s for art.

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Cary Grant

Cary Grant was the epitome of Hollywood glamour in the 1930s and ‘40s, but off-screen, his personal life was less than perfect. For years, he struggled with psychological demons, until he found his salvation in the late 1950s with LSD. Under the supervision of a therapist—while grappling with several failed marriages and the fact that his mother had abandoned him as a child—Grant began using the drug. “I was literally reborn,” he told the Saturday Evening Post in 1978. “I learned that I could control my life, that I am not a hapless victim. I was making the mistake of thinking each of my wives was my mother.” Although Grant went on to divorce two more times after treatment, he continued to swear by the drug for therapeutic purposes.

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Aldous Huxley

If it were up to the visionary Aldous Huxley, best known for penning Brave New World, the future would be filled with psychedelics—lots of them. Beginning in the 1930s, the imaginative writer participated in experiments (scientific and otherwise) with mescaline and LSD, believing the drugs were a boon to mankind, and that they led the way to a higher state of consciousness. In the ‘50s, he published The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell about his experiences, which later became cult hippie texts and established him as the godfather, of sorts, of psychedelics. The last words the novelist ever wrote were: "LSD, 100 micrograms I.M."—requesting that his wife, Laura, inject him with the drug on his deathbed.

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Angelina Jolie

It’s a good thing Angelina Jolie gave up LSD before becoming a mom of six, or else child rearing could have been a lot more complicated. In 2007, Jolie confessed to doing acid before going to Disneyland: “I started thinking about Mickey Mouse being a short, middle-aged man in a costume who hates life,” she said of her trip. “Those drugs can be dangerous if you don't go into it positively—I gave them up long ago.”

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Francis Crick

Funny what’s left out of science textbooks: Legendary biologist Francis Crick was reportedly under the influence of LSD when he and his lab partner, James Watson, discovered the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953. Apparently, Crick—a devotee of Aldous Huxley—confessed his use to a fellow scientist years later, saying he frequently did small doses of the drug (then still legal for psychotherapy) to “boost his powers of thought,” the Mail on Sunday reported following his death in 2004. Crick never went public with his use—though he was a vocal founding member of Soma, a group that worked to legalized marijuana, named after a drug in Brave New World.

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Anais Nin

Novelist Anais Nin was one of many curious celebrities who visited the clinic of Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Dr. Oscar Janiger in the 1950s to experiment with acid under his supervision. In one of her published diaries, Nin described her reactions to it: “The music vibrated through my body as if I were one of the instruments and I felt myself becoming a full percussion orchestra, becoming green, blue, orange,” she wrote. “The waves of the sounds ran through my hair like a caress.”

AP Photo

Bill Gates

While he’s never officially admitted doing LSD, Microsoft founder Bill Gates hasn’t denied it, either. In a 1994 interview with Playboy, when asked about using acid, Gates simply said that his “errant youth ended a long time ago,” then commented that “there were things (he) did under the age of 25 that (he) ended up not doing subsequently.” Rumor has it that during one acid trip, the future tech mogul stared at a table, thinking the corner was going to plunge into his eye. “The young mind can deal with certain kinds of gooping around that I don't think at this age I could,” he said.

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Dock Ellis

Long before steroids shook baseball, pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter on a different “performance enhancer.” While visiting friends in Los Angeles before a 1970 double-header against the San Diego Padres, the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher took Purple Haze acid—and at game time, he was still high. “I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria,” he later said. “I was zeroed in on the catcher’s glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes.” After battling drug and alcohol issues for decades, Ellis, who died in 2008, eventually became a substance-abuse counselor.

Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images

Dan Rather

Like Bill Gates, Dan Rather is coy when discussing his psychedelic past. In a 1980 interview with Ladies Home Journal, when asked if he’d smoked pot, the legendary anchor said: “As a reporter—and I don't want to say that that's the only context—I've tried everything. I can say to you with confidence, I know a fair amount about LSD. I've never been a social user of any of these things, but my curiosity has carried me into a lot of interesting areas.”

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Matt Parker and Trey Stone

Walking the red carpet causes jitters for some celebrities, but not for South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone—at least not when they’re tripping on acid. Several years ago, the duo confessed that they did LSD before dressing in drag and attending the 2000 Academy Awards. “It seemed like the right day—drop acid and get on the red carpet in a dress,” said Stone, who wore a Gwyneth Paltrow-inspired pink gown for the magic carpet ride, while Parker donned a low-cut dress reminiscent of one worn by J.Lo.

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The Beatles

Legend has it that The Beatles were first introduced to LSD one evening in 1965, while enjoying a casual dinner with their wives and George Harrison’s dentist near London's Bayswater Place. The dentist slipped the drug into their coffee without telling them—and the rest is music history. Their acid trips are said to have inspired the song “Help” (many believe the lyrics "Now I find I've changed my mind, opened up the doors" grew out of Huxley's Doors of Perception), and of course, more famously, “ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” After insisting for years that the latter referred to a drawing by John Lennon’s son Julian, in 2009, Paul McCartney set the record straight in a BBC interview—the song was, in fact, about acid. He later revealed that “Day Tripper” was also inspired by the drug.

AP Photo

Jack Nicholson

Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson was another frequent visitor to Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Dr. Oscar Janiger’s clinic, along with Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley, Anais Nin, and James Coburn. And like other artists, he may have the drug to thank for his career success: For years, Nicholson struggled to make it in Hollywood. Then in the late 1960s, his screenplay for the LSD-fueled movie The Trip—starring future fellow Easy Riders Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper—became a cult hit, and his career took off.


Marge Simpson

The Simpson family has hallucinated so many times throughout the show’s 20-year run, it’s hard to keep track of all those long, strange trips. In the beginning of season 7, though, Marge Simpson confessed her vice plainly: “A little LSD is all I need,” she said—then clarified, “love for (my) son and daughters.” Hmm…can that really explain why, after “drinking tap water” in one episode, she hallucinates that the walls are melting and a turkey’s talking to her?