Hollywood Stars Who Have Refused To Sign Autographs For Fans

Being rich and famous is the dream of many, and may even be the reason some people make the move to Hollywood in the first place. But with the glamorous lifestyle of a movie star, musician, or TV personality comes a cost: the almost total loss of privacy, and the more rich and famous one becomes, the less of a personal life one may feel like they have. 

Part of that celebrity means being recognized wherever they go and having fans flock to them even if they're just on an afternoon stroll in the park. Some come to say hello or take a selfie, but most will want something much more personal — an autograph; to hang on their wall, hold as a keepsake of their encounter, or even to sell for a profit. This constant public adulation can be exciting at first but can become frustrating over time, and while many stars enjoy basking in the attention and are happy to sign autographs freely to all comers, there are many who have outright refused.

These stars all have their reasons for not signing for their fans, some more understandable than others. From sci-fi heroes to award-winning directors, here's a list of just a few we've found who've refused autographs to their fans.

William Shatner

As Captain Kirk in "Star Trek," William Shatner is the face of a franchise that arguably launched the very concept of fandom. The sci-fi series, despite not being on the air in the 1970s, sparked some of the first fan conventions dedicated to a TV show. But he's also had a complicated relationship with fans for decades, famously mocking Trekkies on a 1986 episode of "Saturday Night Live" where he told them to "get a life." 

No matter how he may really feel about his fans, however, the outspoken Shatner has more recently announced that he'll no longer be signing autographs unless it's at one of those conventions. It all came out during a contentious Twitter exchange where the actor firmly declared that "Most who follow me know I don't give autographs in public." This led to a fierce back and forth with upset fans, with many feeling his refusal to sign outside of paid convention appearances was insulting to fans who love and adore not just "Star Trek," but the actor himself.

"An autograph is a simple thank-you that costs nothing but means the world to a true fan," said one reply. Shatner defended the policy, though, writing that when he's "out & about with family" it's not appropriate. But when fans asked about times when he would be open to signing an autograph for free, he dug in his heels. "[If] you don't like that... don't follow me."

James Cameron

When it comes to blockbuster movie directors, few have had as much success in their career as James Cameron. Following an early effort on "Piranha 3D" in the early '80s, Cameron rattled off a string of iconic sci-fi classics including "The Terminator," "Aliens," and "The Abyss." In fact, outside of that first directorial effort, Cameron has never directed a flop, with every other film in his catalog being not just a popular, well-reviewed fan favorite, but an astounding box office success. As a result, Cameron probably has more fans than many actors, with audiences eager to get his autograph when they see him. 

In 2022, however, ahead of the release of his billion-dollar smash sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water," Cameron made headlines when he walked out of a screening of the film and refused to sign autographs. Worse, however, is that as fans waiting for a peek of the star director jeered him for his refusal to put pen to paper, Cameron audaciously gave them the middle finger. 

Captured on camera and published in Page Six, it wasn't a good look for Cameron, though he's not exactly known as one of Hollywood's most friendly directors. As talented as he may be, he's actually earned a reputation for being a temperamental sort, though this might be the first time he so publicly dissed his own fans.

Bryan Cranston

Star of the acclaimed series, "Breaking Bad" — one of the best TV series of all time if you ask artificial intelligence — actor Bryan Cranston has become a beloved Hollywood icon. He's won six Emmy awards for his performance as Walter White, but his career is far bigger than just that role. Long before, Cranston had legions of fans who loved him for his role as Tim Whatley in the '90s sitcom classic, "Seinfeld," and as Hal in "Malcolm in the Middle." Yet, Cranston has joined the ever-growing list of actors who don't sign autographs.

Unlike Cameron or Shatner, however, Cranston genuinely seems to regret his decision to say goodbye to his days of signing for fans, and expressed gratitude while announcing it on Twitter. "After 18 years of signing everything for fans — I'm retiring. Overwhelmed by requests and I just can't do it anymore," he told his millions of followers on social media. "I love meeting fans and will personalize pix in person, but that's all."

Capping off the message, Cranston proved why he's well-liked for more than just his on-screen roles. "Thanks for your understanding. See you on the street — we'll take a selfie!" Thanks to the humility and graciousness in his message, fans were more than understanding, with one saying "selfies are better than autographs anyway!"

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz was one of Hollywood's hottest starlets in the 1990s thanks to starring opposite Jim Carrey in "The Mask," with Ben Stiller in "Something About Mary," and Ewan McGregor in "A Life Less Ordinary." She eventually led a pair of "Charlie's Angels" movies and voiced Princess Fiona in the "Shrek" franchise. With so much success in so many different kinds of films, Diaz has earned a healthy following of fans of all ages and from all walks of life, and many of them would do just about anything for her signature.

Unfortunately, Diaz isn't always so keen to sign for them. While attending the New York movie premiere of the 2014 film, "Sex Tape," with co-star Jason Segel, onlookers expressed dismay at the way she treated fans hoping for her to sign a little something for her. Unwilling to even stop for a moment to hand out their signatures, Diaz and Segel were labeled "awful" by one eyewitness, as reported by Radar Online.

"It's not like the fans were following them at a hotel or restaurant, it was a film premiere with fans," one fan said. "Both of their attitudes were disgusting." Another fan claimed to have waited hours to spot the stars, and that they had been "lectured" by Diaz for asking for an autograph, after which she and Segel left the premiere in a huff.

Jonah Hill

It's not uncommon of course for a star to have a bad day and slam the door on fans looking for a signature. Others, like Bryan Cranston, have decided to "retire" the practice after spending decades handing out free autographs. But every once in a while there's a star who insists they're simply not going to sign for fans as a general rule, and one such Hollywood great who seems to have done just that is Jonah Hill, star of classics like "Superbad" and "22 Jump Street" among so many others. 

Though he's never publicly announced the policy, some fans have noticed a curious practice from the actor when they approach him looking for a scribble of his name. Taking to social media, one dumbstruck fan revealed that instead of an autograph, Hill handed him a pre-printed card that simply says "I just met Jonah Hill — it was a total letdown." It was likely intended to be funny, but it didn't go over so well with the fan.

"Who goes to all the trouble," the fan told NY Daily News. "It would be easier to just sign something or take a quick picture. He needs to chill out. He thinks he is very important." Others, however, don't seem to mind, as another fan told Yahoo: "I thought it was hilarious and I told him and said thanks and he said take care." At the very least, fans get to walk away with a little memento of their encounter.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson got her start young, and by the time she was 21 had a starring role in the Edgar Wright film, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." It was onward and upward from there, with roles in "21 Jump Street" alongside Jonah Hill, "Don Jon" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt," and in 2016 she won an Academy Award for her lead role in "Room." Today she's one of Hollywood's brightest stars, as Captain Marvel in the MCU, and playing the villain in "Fast X." A singer, dancer, and actress who can seemingly do it all, there's at least one thing she really doesn't do much, and that's sign autographs for fans.

We learned of her dislike of the practice in 2015, after a disappointing fan encounter with a gentleman who relayed his story to the internet. As chronicled by Mike the Fanboy, Larson was making an appearance at the Toronto Film Festival when a fan went looking for an autograph, only to be told by the star "Sorry, I don't do that anymore." Despite her insistence that she wouldn't provide a signature for him, Larson did happily agree to a selfie, even throwing her arm around the adoring fan and sporting a wide smile for his photo collection.

Bill Hader

Another star to announce they're done with signing autographs, comedian Bill Hader got his start as a 'Not Ready For Prime Time Player' on "Saturday Night Live." There he performed fan-favorite characters like style icon Stefon and war vet Anthony Peter Coleman, in addition to spot-on impersonations of James Carville, Vincent Price, and Kieth Morrison. In 2023, Hader concluded a four-season run on "Barry," the acclaimed comedy-drama that he created himself, and took home a pair of Emmys for.

Unfortunately, some bad experiences and uncomfortable encounters with fans have soured Hader on signing autographs, as he became inundated with requests for him to put his name on "Star Wars" merchandise after helping to create the voice of the droid BB-8. "I do not sign them," Hader told the "Happy, Sad, Confused" podcast. "Autograph people don't like me. I won't sign things." But it was about far more than just the frequency of requests he was getting, but due to the cynical nature of it all. 

"I used to sign stuff, and then one time I saw somebody and they had their kid come up to me to sign a BB-8 thing and it was three in the morning," Hader recounted. "This guy kept his kid up all night. [He] was like, 'Go over there so he'll sign it so I can sell it online.' ... So now, I just kind of blanket, like, I'm not signing any of this [stuff]."

Steve Martin

Though he's hosted "Saturday Night Live" more times than we can count, Steve Martin was never actually a member of the cast. Still, thanks to his hosting the show repeatedly — and to roles in movies like "The Jerk," "The Man with Two Brains," and "Three Amigos!," he became one of the biggest comedians in film. Decades later he came back as big as ever thanks to his leading role in the Hulu dramedy, "Only Murders in the Building," in which he stars alongside Martin Short and Selena Gomez. But in addition to his reputation as one of the funniest men in Hollywood, he's also become known as a star who's reluctant to sign autographs for his fans.

Just looking briefly online, anecdotes will pop up from all corners of fans being denied an autograph from the comic legend. In fact, you'll even find more than one instance of Martin using the same pre-printed business card trick that Jonah Hill uses, but going back decades, reportedly handed out during the mid-1980s. Unlike Hill, though, Martin stopped doing it after facing criticism from some fans, saying "I realized that when people ask for an autograph, what they really kind of want is a little encounter; to find out what you're really like in 30 seconds" (per Hollywood.com).

Mark Hamill

There are few stars as celebrated and beloved among fandom than Mark Hamill, star of the "Star Wars" saga and the inimitable voice of the Joker on "Batman: The Animated Series." Famously friendly, his social media presence alone is a bastion of kindness, empathy, and good humor, and he always seems willing to engage with his fans whenever he sees them, especially at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con or Star Wars Celebration. Not long ago, however, Hamill was caught refusing to sign anything at a "Star Wars" premiere, citing the fact that too many autograph hunters were only in it to get something they could sell for a profit.

"If I could know it's a fan (not a dealer), I'd sign all night," he wrote on Twitter in 2015. "Tired of seeing what I sign on eBay within hours." Still, if you can attend one of his many convention appearances, he'll happily sign whatever you like — for the right price, which in 2017 was as high as $295, which outraged some fans. "No average fan can afford that absurd price and for someone who touts himself as super fan-oriented, that is a huge slap in the face," said a convention attendee on Reddit.

Interestingly enough, however, Hamill is famous for signing inappropriate messages on old "Star Wars" trading cards. "When I signed those cards, it was under the condition that the owner would never sell them or ever show them in public," he tweeted in 2022. "Oops."

Benedict Cumberbatch

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has more fandoms than we can count thanks to his appearances in multiple franchises. This includes playing the modern-day version of Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective in BBC's "Sherlock," voicing Smaug the dragon in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, playing the villainous Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness," and of course being the most important sorcerer in the MCU, Doctor Strange.

In addition, he's also big on the stage, performing frequently on London's theater circuit. With all those fandoms converging, it would be a surprise if the actor ever gets a moment to himself when out on the street. So it's understandable then, to learn that Cumberbatch has an apparent policy around when and where he'll sign autographs for fans, and one time he steadfastly refuses seems to be before and after his stage performances.

This was revealed in 2015 when a published report in the Irish Mirror noted a sign on the stage door during his run on "Hamlet" announcing that he would not be signing autographs, disappointing fans who may have hoped to catch him on the way in or out of the theater, a common practice for West End signature-hounds. Unfortunately, Cumberbatch isn't the most available of stars, either, rarely making convention appearances, so if you do snag a signature from him, keep it secret and safe.

Bella Thorne

Thanks to a supporting role in the TV series, "Dirty Sexy Money," Bella Thorne became a star at just 10 years old. She'd go on to join the main cast of "Big Love" for a year, before leading the Disney Channel sitcom, "Shake It Up," for three seasons. As she got older, bigger roles continued coming her way, leading "Famous in Love" and starring in "Paradise City" on Amazon. Over the years she's had plenty of admirers asking for her autograph, but she's had to say no to some of them.

Interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter in 2023, Thorne described an incident that occurred while attending the Sundance Film Festival. As she was signing for a group of fans, one gentleman approached her with photos that she refused to put her name on. "It was this guy and he was shoving photos in front of me," she recalled. Initially refusing to sign a photo from a GQ photoshoot because it didn't seem appropriate, Thorne became more agitated when he continued putting more and more photos in front of her to sign.

"There was some stuff there from a Candies campaign that I did when I was 16 and it was clear that he wanted me to sign things that were viewed as sexy and even underage and I was like, 'Give me something else.' He said, 'Aren't they all sexy?' No, enough is enough."

Paul McCartney

There aren't many people living today who are as famous as Paul McCartney, founding member of The Beatles and writer of such classics as "All You Need is Love" and "Let it Be." In his youth, he was at the center of Beatlemania, one of the biggest pop cultural phenomenons of all time, and was swarmed by fans wherever he went. Yet, it doesn't seem like he's ever been happy with the practice of scratching his name on a photo or card for his fans.

In a 2021 interview with Reader's Digest, the singer-songwriter talked about how odd and uncomfortable requests for his signature make him. "It always struck me as a bit of a strange thing," he said. "I'm not a fan of it. I'd much rather just meet people and talk to people on a level. You get to the point where all the bravado and status becomes boring, and you yearn for normality." Sadly, this extends to selfies with the star too, something he also finds disconcerting. "It's like the exchange is for nothing more than a kind of badge. Great badge too — what you've usually got is a ropey photo with a poor backdrop and me looking a bit miserable."

Tobey Maguire

In 2021, Tobey Maguire stepped back under the mask to play the webhead himself in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" — a role that made him the idol of an entire generation of kids and one that made him face crowds looking for Spidey's autograph when he was starring in the now-iconic Sam Raimi trilogy. But that level of stardom takes its toll, whether that's simply being tired of all the signature-seekers, or getting frustrated with seeing autograph dealers flipping his John Hancock for big bucks.

At the height of that fame in 2002, Maguire spoke with Howard Stern about his frustration with that kind of attention. "In L.A., as I, you know, get out of my car to go eat at a restaurant, people are standing there who sell autographs or get my autograph," he told the shock jock. "I'm just not interested in signing those autographs." But that doesn't mean he's entirely averse to the practice entirely. "If a little kid wants an autograph or someone who's really a fan or if I'm working, I'm at an event, I'll sign some autographs. But if I'm, like, living my personal life and people who want to make some money off of my signature, I'm just ... I don't really take any time for that."