11 authors who got their start as actors
As Tom Hanks publishes a collection of his short stories, we take a look at 10 other writers who earned their fame as actors before putting pen to paper.
Tom Hanks publishes first book
He's considered a great actor, and now he's an author, with his short story collection entitled "Uncommon Type: Some Stories." He's not the first Hollywood star to turn to literature. These other movie stars did it too.
Gene Wilder published late in life
Best-known as madcap Willa Wonka in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971), stage and screen actor Gene Wilder later went on to win an Emmy Award and be nominated for an Oscar twice. He took to writing in the last decade of his life. Though the jury's still out on whether his novels live up to his screenplays, Wilder put out two of them: "My French Whore" and "The Woman Who Wouldn't."
Carrie Fisher: more than just a princess
"Star Wars" skyrocketed teenager Carrie Fisher into the spotlight; her literary talents brought her accolades as an adult. Known for her wry sense of humor, Fisher turned her eye toward many of the issues she faced, from mental health and addiction to the difficulties of motherhood. Her most recent work, a memoir from filming — "The Princess Diarist" — was published one month before her death.
Franka Potente: Lola writes
After her debut in the cult classic "Run Lola Run," the German actress achieved international fame. She's less well-known for her books. In one, she exchanged letters with an acting colleague, Max Urlacher. It was followed by an exercise book, a collection of short stories and a novel.
An international Jewish family history: Adriana Altaras
Adriana Altaras used her Jewish family's turbulent history spanning several countries as the background for two books. Her debut, "Titos Brille" ("Tito's Glasses") was followed by the best-seller, "Doitscha — ein jüdische Mutter packt aus" ("Doitscha — a Jewish Mother Tells All"). In Germany, TV and movie productions followed.
The teenage angst of James Franco
The Oscar-nominated actor who appeared in films like "Spider-man" and "Milk" actually got his start on the TV series "Freaks and Geeks." The subject of being a misfit and feeling out of place in high school seems to be one that appeals to Franco, as his short story collection, "Palo Alto" is filled with self-destructive teenagers living out their angst.
Wizardry and poetry: Daniel Radcliffe's many talents
Publishing under the pen name Jacob Gershon at the age of 17, the man who played "Harry Potter" as a boy was found out in 2009 to have been writing poetry under the radar. In an interview with The Guardian, he said, "as an actor, there is room for a certain amount of creativity, but you’re always ultimately going to be saying somebody else's words."
What life allowed Hardy Krüger
The Hollywood star ("Hatari") and writer Hardy Krüger recently released his memoir, "Was das Leben sich erlaubt" ("What life allows") detailing his life beginning with a time when he revered Hitler and then rejected him before the war began. Since the end of the 70s, Krüger has placed his priorities in the written word, putting out 68 films and 18 books.
Employs his personal history for fiction: Joachim Meyerhoff
A theater actor and established member of the Burgtheater, Joachim Meyerhoff made his debut as a novelist in 2011. Pulling from his own biography and experiences, Meyerhoff created a fictionalized work about his childhood and youth spent at a psychiatric clinic as the son of the person in charge.
The love stories of Ethan Hawke
An actor and director before publishing books and writing screenplays, Ethan Hawke told The New York Times in 2013 that there really was no trick for making scripts like "Beyond Midnight" sound authentic. "There is no trick to writing a believable love story, a heartbreaking scene or real-sounding dialogue. All you need is to tell the truth. It's always heartbreaking."
Don't get 'Star Struck' by Pamela Anderson
After hanging up her orange life preserver, "Baywatch" actress Pamela Anderson took pen to page to write thinly-veiled fictional accounts of her life in books like "Star" and "Star Struck," released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Both novels consider the lives of celebrity, with "Star" landing on at least one best-seller list after its release.