For some people, meeting a celebrity and getting the chance to ask for their autograph is priceless. But everything has its price. No matter what their scribbled-down names are really worth, there are swindlers who seek out famous signatures just to turn a profit. And there’s a pretty big market for it.
If you do a little research, you’ll quickly find that there are die-hard fans and seasoned collectors willing to pay whatever it costs to get their hands on the autograph of their dreams. But some stars say “keep dreaming.”
Whether it’s because they’re constantly bombarded by fans or they don’t want it sold on eBay, the celebrities on this list almost always refuse to sign autographs. With that said, the majority of these famous figures have signed a picture, poster, or napkin here or there. And they all have at least one exception to their “no-autographs” rule. Of course, their choosiness only makes these elusively famous signatures that much more valuable in the eyes of fans, collectors, and those looking to sell them.
Here are 9 celebrities famous for refusing to sign autographs.
Steve Martin has been a household name since his first SNL stint in 1976. In recent years, the forever funny man has seen a major resurgence in popularity. Thanks to Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, his following has only grown.
Unfortunately, his new generation of devoted fans will likely have just as much trouble getting Martin’s autograph as his longtime fans have always had. But unlike some celebs on this list, he’s known for being friendly when he says no.
According to those who’ve tried and failed, Martin has often gotten creative when it comes to avoiding excited autograph seekers. On occasion, he’s signed a few, and you’ll find them for a pretty penny online. Back in the 1980s, however, the comedy legend handed out business cards that read: “This certifies that you have had a personal encounter with me and you found me warm, polite, intelligent, and funny.”
In the early days of her music career, Billie Eilish was happy to sign autographs whenever she was asked. These days, she’s changed her tune. The singer/songwriter intentionally stopped signing anything for anyone altogether in 2019.
When asked why she stopped in interviews, the Grammy winner said it came down to the dishonest intentions of those asking and poor reactions from those who worshipped her one minute and then turned on her the second she said no.
“It’s something that I don’t do because I used to, but I realized all anyone did was sell everything that I signed, so I stopped doing that,” Eilish explained to Teen Vogue. “It was kind of like a policy of mine that I don’t.”
Thanks to his iconic role in Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is one of television’s most adored actors. In turn, his autograph is one of the most sought-after on the planet. Once upon a time, he signed “everything.”
In various interviews, the actor has admitted that the feeding frenzy became a little tiring after a while. In truth, Cranston may not say no all of the time, but he limits how often he does it these days.
“After 18 years of signing everything for fans, I’m retiring,” per BBC. Cranston went on to say that he was still open to taking “selfies” with fans when he’s asked. If you have your heart set on his autograph, don’t let news of his “retirement” get you down. Just be in the right place at the right time, he says. While he may not be inclined to sign when randomly approached, the A-lister still signs during pre-planned events.
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According to the star herself, it’s not that she outright refuses to sign autographs. Instead, the globally adored actress just wants to interact with her fans in a more sincere way when possible. And she’s also reportedly burnt out on book signings after global mega fame.
“Emma Watson wants to get to know you, not sign another “Harry Potter” book,” per ET Canada. Apparently, she also avoids taking selfies. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Emma explained her decision:
“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not. If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.”
The 91-year-old Star Trek star has been in showbiz for a very, very long time. Who knows how many autographs he’s been asked for! No matter the exact number, he’s no longer keen on signing autographs whenever he’s asked.
In public, it’s always a hard no these days. Shatner’s exception to the rule? Convention appearances. Since some fans were displeased with his policy, he tweeted his reasoning in 2018.
“If I’m out and about with family or waiting for a plane and I do it for one [person], an instant line [of] 50 forms. So if I say no to No. 1 or No. 21 it’s the same—I’m a jerk. So to save time the answer is no. There’s a time and place for everything and conventions are that place.”
Don’t let her famously sunny disposition fool you. Some say that only applies to her onscreen personas. Reportedly, Cameron Diaz will not sign autographs, and she’s sometimes said to be a lot less friendly in off-camera situations. Allegedly, she once “wished cancer” upon Rolling Stone’s Founder.
Word on the street is she’s had explosive reactions when asked for autographs too. Her negative responses to random requests from fans have become infamously “nasty,” with many calling Diaz downright rude to them. Some even claim she’s said things like “F off” when asked for an autograph. Yikes.
Rude rumors aside, the silver screen star stands by her simple, straightforward reasoning for saying no. As noted by ET Canada, Diaz has stated, “If one person asks, then a crowd will.” But no matter how fed up she might be, some of the ways she’s chosen to refuse their requests definitely seem uncalled for.
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Joaquin Phoenix is known for being a little averse to the unwritten “rules” surrounding stardom, valuing both his privacy and normalcy. With that said, he’s in no way ungrateful for what fame has afforded him. That’s part of why the incredibly talented actor isn’t totally against signing autographs once in a while.
While autographs might not be totally off the table, Phoenix has a strict “no pictures” policy. As of today, he makes sure not to break it. So if you ever try to snap a selfie with the Oscar-winning actor, you might want to reconsider. Or, you might strike up a conversation instead. For some fans, that could be worth way more than an autograph.
While talking with Playboy, Phoenix revealed how he handled one request for a photograph from a fan he met while out and about. “I said, ‘You know what? I don’t do that, but thanks so much for coming up … We chatted a bit. It was fun. Then she went and bought her tube socks, and I bought my stupid little sweatpants, and that was it.”
If you go to a live taping of The View, don’t ask its co-host for her John Hancock! You’ll be out of luck. Typically, Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t sign autographs for anyone. In fact, she’s famously one of those celebrities who has refused to do so since she became mega-famous.
Once her 90s talk show became a beloved hit, Rosie reportedly said goodbye to her autograph signing days for good. However, this big star has one sweet exception worth noting. Apparently, the seasoned comedienne is willing to take a moment and sign her autograph when children ask her for it.
Will Ferrell might be world-renowned for his sense of humor, but when he’s asked for autographs, it’s no laughing matter. In fact, the SNL alum finds himself on “the worst celebrities to ask for autographs” roundups just about every year. While a simple “no” would suffice, the comedian apparently goes to great lengths to get out of it.
So how does he go the extra mile to make sure those seeking his signature get the picture? Reportedly, the Elf star will go as far as mocking or embarrassing anyone who dares to ask for his autograph. Whether or not Will Ferrell’s bad manners are a tactic to keep future fans from asking for anything or just plain bad manners remains up in the air. But fans who’ve tried say if you’re brave enough to ask, you’ll be finding out the hard way.