Aug 262013
 

This list of famous introverts begins with a brief description of introverted personality traits. You’ll be surprised at which actors and actresses are famous!

Introverts, famous or not, do not have personality disorders. Readers often ask me about introverted personality traits, and I’m surprised at what people think about introverts – famous or not.

Are you an introvert? Here’s a quick way to tell:

“If there is an emergency do you tend to stand still and feel somewhat shut down or in slow motion? If you have a standstill reaction to stress more often, then you are probably an introvert,” says psychotherapist and author Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. “In a crisis do you tend to move your body immediately and feel like taking action, maybe without pausing to think? Then you are probably an extrovert if you react with movement.”


I’m an introvert, but I react with movement. My sister is an extrovert, and she freezes during emergencies. This goes to show that there are exceptions to every rule.

Questions About Introverted Personality Traits

Is introversion a personality disorder?

No, no, no! Introverts are normal. Extroverts are normal. Neither type of personality is a personality disorder. However, any personality type – introverted or extroverted – can veer off in unhealthy directions.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with introverted personality traits, though introverts are commonly seen as abnormal, nerds, loners, withdrawn, shy, and unfriendly. Introverts – even famous introverts – can also be seen as lacking social skills.

Introverts:

  • Enjoy time alone
  • Consider only deep relationships as friends
  • Feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun
  • Are often good listeners
  • Appear calm and self-contained
  • Think then speak or act

People with introverted personalities have an inward focus and aren’t usually the “life of the party.” Introverts have a strong sense of self that can make them feel highly self-conscious around other people – making walking into a crowded room a little nerve-wracking. They have a hard time being goofy in front of the camera and telling jokes to more than a couple of people at a time, but they can be extremely witty. They’re less “Larry, Curly, and Moe” and more Woody Allen – but that doesn’t mean introverts’ personality traits are neurotic! And yes, Woody Allen is a famous introvert :-)

Introverts process their emotions, thoughts, and observations internally. They can be social people, but reveal less about themselves than extroverts do. Introverts are more private, and less public. Introverts need time to think before responding to a situation, and develop their ideas by reflecting privately. Introverts’ personality traits can be passionate, and sometimes aggressive.

Many introverts prefer working at home, working in home-based businesses.

Is it possible for an introvert to become an extrovert?

I suppose introverts can force themselves to be more extroverted, but why? Not for career success, because introverted people can be just as successful professionally as extroverts – especially if they’re armed with Tips for Networking Successfully for Introverts. Introverts don’t need to become extroverts for relationship success, even if they’re with extroverts.

There’s no reason for introverts to become extroverts. Better to accept your personality traits than to try to change. Take a page from a famous introvert’s book, and embrace your personality.

What advantages does an introvert have? 

According to Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage, there are several advantages to being an introvert:

  • work well with others, especially in one-to-one relationships
  • maintain long-term friendships
  • flexible
  • independent
  • strong ability to concentrate
  • self-reflective
  • responsible
  • creative, out-of-the-box thinking
  • analytical skills that integrate complexity
  • studious and smart

There are more people with extroverted personality traits than introverted personality traits. Famous introverts aren’t as common as extroverts (there are more extroverts in the world than introverts), but that doesn’t mean introverts are abnormal or have a personality disorder.

Most introverts are not famous because they avoid the spotlight. If you have introverted personality traits, read Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People.

Famous Introverts – Actresses

  • Candice Bergen, actress, writer, photographer
  • Ingrid Bergman, actress
  • Ellen Burstyn, actress
  • Glenn Close, actress
  • Audrey Hepburn, actress
  • Helen Hunt, actress
  • Diane Keaton, actress
  • Grace Kelly, actress
  • Jessica Lange, actress
  • Laura Linney, actress
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, actress
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, actress
  • Julia Roberts, actress
  • Meg Ryan, actress
  • Meryl Streep, actress

Famous Introverts – Actors

  • Clint Eastwood, actor/director
  • Harrison Ford, actor
  • Tom Hanks, actor
  • Sir Alfred Hitchcock, film director
  • Jack Lemmon, late actor
  • Bill Macy, actor
  • Steve Martin, all around talented guy
  • Noah Wiley, actor

Other Famous Introverts

  • Johnny Carson, former Tonight Show host
  • Jane Clayson, host of CBS Morning Show
  • Matt Lauer, co-host on the Today Show
  • David Letterman, host of the David Letterman Show
  • Diane Sawyer, co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America
  • Barbara Walters, host of 20/20

Are you an introvert? Take a Test for Introverted Personality Traits. Tell me what you discover about your personality!

Also – if you’re a lonely introvert, read Does Owning a Dog Make You Happy? It describes how dogs act as “social lubricants” to help people interact in healthy ways. Especially important for introverts!

Resources for Introverts

Famous Introverts

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World – by Marti Olsen Laney, the source of the “famous introverts” information.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (pictured) by Susan Cain – the number one bestselling book on Amazon about introverted personality traits.

The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling.

What do you think about this list of famous introverts? I welcome your comments below…

introverted famous people

  25 Responses to “Famous Introverts”

  1. Anon, thanks for being here! It sounds like you’ve thought a great deal about your introverted personality traits, and have come to accept yourself. That’s wonderful.

    I’m always grateful when introverts share their experience here, to give other readers insight and inspiration about their own personalities and lives.

  2. Thanks for the article and raising awareness about introversion. I’m a left hand introvert (in a righthanded extroverted world) and spend about 70% of my time alone. I’ve faced shame of being a loner, a long with weight shaming being very thin. I’ve managed to be a great,honest,long term friend. My relationships are almost always one on one and once more people are introduced I gain a heightened awareness, though n

  3. Sheelagh, I’m so glad to hear from you! That’s great that you’re proud of yourself, and proud to be an introvert :-) It sounds like you’re done with feeling ashamed of yourself, and you’re happy with who you are. That’s fantastic!

    The happier and healthier we introverts are, the better place the world will be. Our joy, peace, and happiness is contagious :-)

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  4. Mindy,

    I hadn’t thought about encouraging kids in preschool to play alone if they want — to let them be introverts if that’s their tendency! We should start when we’re young, start letting ourselves be introverted and not pushing each other to be extroverted.

    Mostly, I believe we should be aware of the different personality traits. Learning what it means to be introverted is really important, and famous introverts can help us accept that it’s healthy and good to have quiet, low key personality traits.

  5. I’ve recently discovered that I’m an introvert, and I have to say that I love reading articles like this just to know that there are many people out there like me!
    I really don’t mind being introverted, but it is discouraging that being quiet makes people associate me with so many negative things, like being anti-social, a loner, etc. when in reality I just don’t like to talk unless I have something meaningful to say (and someone meaningful to talk to!)
    Thanks for writing this; it’s always nice to know that I’m not alone. :)

  6. Hello Pat,

    It sounds like you have a very dynamic, interesting personality! You’re an introvert, loner, and atheist…and people may be a bit unsettled by you. I’m sorry you lost your job, and haven’t been employed for five years.

    Sometimes introverts are misunderstood, and their actions (including their quiet silences when many others might be talking) make people speculate that something is “wrong” with them. But it’s just being quiet!

    I wish you well,
    Laurie

  7. Lilly,

    I’m glad this list of famous introverts – and the advantages of introverted personality traits – was helpful! It’s so important to get educated about what it means to be introverted, so we don’t feel bad about ourselves. Or feel like we’re abnormal, weird, or even nuts.

    In peace and passion,
    Laurie

  8. wow!!! This is a fantastic day of my life……i feel much relieved and much happier than ever I am an introvert and had been facing a lot of pressure from my family, teachers, friends that iam abnormal and need to change. But now i found out that i am okay and from now i can be as i want and don’t want to act as an extravert any more……!!

    • I suspect that there are far many more introverts than extraverts in this world than most people would confess to only because we live in a culture that promotes social interaction especially with all the tech gadgets designed to foster more social relationships. Furthermore, it is not cool to be a loner. It is also my belief that many people only masquerade as extroverts thinking that this is the desired way to be. It goes against the grain of who we are. Putting on a social mask does not make you anymore connected with people than one who prefers to spend time alone connecting with others in different ways. I enjoy coming up with ideas to help others, prey for others and take joy in seeing others enjoying life. I work for a preschool program that promotes social-emotional development and I think we have to be careful not to make children feel bad about not wanting to play with other children, at times. It is important to let children know that its ok to want to want to be alone as long as it does not adversely affect their self esteem and self image.

  9. People who don’t make life a living hell for me because I’m an Introvert will later do so if they learn I’m a “secular socialist” (i.e. Atheist). Therefore to the average, ignorant a$$hole, I have all the characteristics of a serial killer and if my “godlessness” isn’t enough, the Fear of my presence is usually enough to disturb the overly-religious people.

    All it takes is one glib a$$hole to make up a story about me and the others will follow along adding to it. All it takes is a few whispers “He doesn’t believe in god!” to kick it off. Or something entirely different: “He thinks he’s better than us so he doesn’t want to associate with us.” “I bet he’s on drugs.” “Maybe there are Voices in his Head that are talking to him?” Add to the fact that this vicious circle only adds to my alienation and anxiety, to say nothing about increasing my social phobias, and the fact that I don’t go around with a stupid smile on my face like so many people. Oh, and because I don’t act like an outgoing introvert who flexes his muscles and puts on a bravado display in front of women (including using the word “f**k” in any which way possible and as often as possible)…I’m often called a Faggot or so goes the rumors. So Many Stupid Assumptions are made about me… And the brighter assholes out there like to piece them together via fabricated nonsense stories, and build upon them. The easiest solution is simply for me to Remove Myself from such people’s presence. Thus in addition to being an Introvert and an Atheist, I’m also a Loner.

    My last job was literally my Last job when I found myself wedged between Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. Even my supervisor was cracking jokes about me. They slowly inched their way into my life, found out that I was reading science fiction novels (complete with “demonic” cover art) rather than the Bible or Kuran, and before long they were nervous just being in my presence. I was framed. One day I went to work and was fired after someone proclaimed I had a gun! I was escorted off the premises and I’ve been unemployed ever since. 5 years and counting.

  10. Yes, if people understood more about introverted personality traits, an introvert’s life would be so much easier! That’s why it’s important to talk about being introverted, so people learn how to accept us. :-)

  11. Why do you hate being an introvert? How would your life be better if you were extroverted?

    • I do’nt hate being an introvert, on the contrery I love it. I just wished the extroverted people had a better ability to understand the introverted ones. Then the life could be much much easier for us.

  12. I just found out im an introvert. I hate being an introvert js.

    • You know,alot of my life I was ashamed of my personality. I really thought there was something wrong with me. Growing up, my brother didnt help.he always made me ashamed. Undermined me, always tried to make me feel inferior. Now I REALLY know who I am, a nice,kind supportive introvert, I am proud of myself. My brother? He’s shallow, and an attention seeker, not someone to look up to!

  13. Hello Michael,

    Thank for your thoughts! I’m an introvert, too, and I reacted very well in my past emergency situations (including an attempted rape in my own bedroom in the middle of the night). I think perhaps what the author meant (I got that tip about introverted personality traits from Marti Olsen Laney’s book) is that on average, most of the time, introverts may not react as well. I personally agree with you (and my own experience!), but it’s interesting to read her thoughts.

    I’d take your “how you spend your time” up one notch, and include “what fills you with energy?” For instance, being with groups of people drains me of energy, which means I’m an introvert.

    Where do you get your energy? If ti’s from large crowds, then you’re extroverted. It sounds like you’re an introvert :-)

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thank you for responding. How kind of you. Oh yes, I am definitely an introvert. No question about that.

      Like you crowds of people drain me of energy and after meetings I need space on my own. My comment about the emergency thing is that most people who don’t react when seeing an emergency situation is often because they just don’t know what to do. They could also be shy, have little confidence and so on which doesn’t equate to introvercy. Yes, it is what fills people with energy or how do people recharge their batteries that is perhaps more indicative.

  14. Hi Laurie,

    Like you I am studying the world of personality types with emphasis on introvert/extroverts. Though purely out of self interest as an introvert might. I’d just like to say that I disagree with your statement about how an introvert might react in the case of an emergency. Having faced a few myself and having read on how to deal with such issues I feel confident to react effectively.

    I think it a more accurate assessment by looking at how people spend their social time. Is it alone or with others?

  15. Thank you for your thoughts on famous introverts, and being a “loner.” I love to be by myself — we recently got back from Las Vegas, and I found it SO overwhelming! All those people, noises, sights — talk about sensory overload. Luckily, our hotel was off the strip so I had a 3 block walk of quiet after and before immersing myself into the loud extroverted Las Vegas strip of hotels, casinos, shops, restaurants.

    The older I get, the happier I am alone. In a good healthy way :-)

  16. Laurie

    After reading the article it seems like I am more introverted as a part time artist I enjoy time a lone when I’m able to find the time

    However I also love meeting new people and
    Enjoy Doing a lot of extroverted activities.I have heard of the book the power of quiet and. Would truthfully say I am an ambivert whoch is a balance of being both personality tupes

  17. At 60 I’m learning to embrace my “lonerrness”. My family were all extroverts. My mom shamed me because I preferred to be alone and didn’t have many friends. I don’t enjoy parties, noise and confusion. She always told me there was something wrong with me and when “they” found out “they” would lock me up. Needless to say, I’ve tried my best to fit in to a world I don’t understand or enjoy. Now at this late stage I’m learning there’s nothing wrong with me, I just wasn’t like my family. What a relief. I can now be me and not worry about being locked away. I’m sure there are others like me who worry because “loners” have such a bad rep. Most of the mass murders are described as loners. That makes people think every loner is going postal. I live in a very social State. “Loners” are not understood here or accepted. Because I don’t socialize much I’ve had my property vandalized, neighbors have called the police to report me dead, and kids like to ring my doorbell and run (I’ve since cut the wires). At work, I’ve been reprimanded because I don’t say good morning enough. Thanks to people like you, Anthony Storr, & Anneli Rufus I’ve learned I’m in good company as a loner. Thank you.

  18. Laurie,

    You asked why the interest in introverts. I am an introvert (No need to take the quiz. :) I have know and been OK with it most of my life.) I have two daughters who are introverts as well. Another daughter, my youngest, is an extrovert.
    My middle daughter is in her last year in high school at a new school and is being ostrisized for being a loner. She is artistic in many ways such as drawing (mostly anime), writing, pottery and any crafty thing she can come up with… especially making clothes and jewelry. Being that it is a new school, the students haven’t grown up knowing her and accepting her. Knowing this, I guess it is sad to say that I’m not surprised by their judgmental beliefs… Kids can be cruel. Just yesterday, however, two of her teachers made poor choices and belittled her. One in particular really went too far by stating that “loners” were “losers”. He stated that something was wrong with them for not wanting to friend request strangers on Facebook and hang out. Called them homebodies with no life. REALLY ticked me off. My daughter was offended, of course. Not only does she recognize herself as a “loner” but so do others at school and while he was talking the students were snickering and looking at her. The teacher, knowing this, continued.
    I feel he is unfair to make judgments on people because they won’t follow their peers blindly. My daughter is carful to choose friends and prefers time alone. Is happy with it. I am going to suggest that she write an essay on introverted people who are famous. I am actually interested in finding more musically artistic, crafty artistic, and scientifically inspired people. I have found that Emily Dickinson and Isaac Newton were introverts. I’m sure that many great composers were as well.
    Thanks for sharing your information. It will be very helpful.

    • Dear Sue Ellen,

      I can’t believe that teacher said those things! What a jerk. It’s one thing for random people to be ignorant and cruel, but for a teacher to say those things….that’s beyond rude. I’d be tempted to talk to the principal of the school about him. Teachers need to be upheld to a higher standard — that teacher sounds as bad as a teenage bully.

      I’m sorry your daughter had to hear that from him. It sounds like she’s clear about how she chooses her friends and who she is – which is great.

      I love the idea of writing an essay about famous introverts! What a clever way to fight his ignorance, and for her to stand up for herself.

      Thank you for sharing here – it was really interesting to hear from you. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Even the extroverts ;-)

      Stay true to you,
      Laurie

  19. I’m glad you’re on my New Beginnings email list, Leona! If you have any tips or feedback, please do let me know. It’s my first newsletter experience, and I’m still learning.

    About introverts – yes, I think most people fall somewhere on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. I’m definitely on the introverted side. I could be alone for a week, and be very happy! But then I start to get a little “yearn-y” for people :-)

    I’m going to ask you about the newsletter on the blog article, because I know you’re following that post, and I’m not sure if you’re following famous introverts!

  20. Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for writing this very interesting article. I’m on your New Beginnings Newsletter e-mail list and I live in San Diego. :-)

    I took the introvert personality test and found out I’m an Extrovert. However, I feel like I’m also an introvert, as I love spending time alone to write, do research, and read. So I guess I’m a combination of the two, probably like a lot of people.

    Keep up the great work! :-)

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