It’s been a busy season for celebrity memoirs. While platforms and publications constantly weigh in on the tea of their lives, A-listers dish their own stories in these books. Some are uplifting, humorous and raw; some poetic and visual; and sadly, others have been published posthumously. Peeling back the curtains and cutting the cameras, here are 14 memoirs that have captured our attention.
From Hollywood greats no longer with us…
The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir by Paul Newman. In 1986, Newman’s close friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern, interviewed the legendary actor’s family and friends – ranging from old Navy buddies to stars like Tom Cruise – for an oral history of his life. This book compiles these sometimes painful, sometimes humorous interviews into a candid account of Newman’s life.
Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman by Alan Rickman. The diaries of the acclaimed British star of stage and screen provide an intimate look inside the late actor’s life, going beyond his outstanding performances as villains Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.
To those who are still on screens, big and small
Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton. In another memoir from a slithery Harry Potter alum, Felton (aka the bleach blonde bad boy Draco Malfoy) recalls navigating the limelight as a child actor and his experience filming the beloved movie series for over a decade.
Making a Scene by Constance Wu. In her memoir, Wu reflects on growing up in the suburbs of Virginia, waiting tables in New York, and her big breaks in Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians. Through heartbreak and harassment, Wu is vulnerable and audacious, and Making a Scene addresses the difficulties of being an outspoken Asian American woman in Hollywood.
Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry. In this humorous and self-aware memoir, Perry details his life from childhood ambitions to success in his role on the hit show Friends. At the heart of the book is Perry’s journey to overcome addiction and how he found peace in sobriety.
Number One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions by Steve Martin, with drawings by Harry Bliss. Walk through Martin’s career with this illustrated memoir. With New Yorker cartoonist Bliss, Martin shares moments from his well-known roles in films like Father of the Bride and Roxanne as well as his multifaceted career as a stand-up comedian, writer, cartoonist and banjo player.
Have I Told You This Already?: Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember by Lauren Graham. In this down-to-earth, laughter-filled, anecdotal memoir, Gilmore Girls star Graham writes about her experiences from grinding as a waitress in New York and working on her first project while living on her aunt’s couch in Los Angeles, to establishing herself in Hollywood and aging gracefully in the industry.
From the world of sports journalism
Uphill: A Memoir by Jemele Hill. In 2017, Atlantic journalist and former ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor Hill faced intense backlash after a controversial tweet about President Trump. In Uphillshe gives the bigger picture of how as a Black woman from Detroit – whose life challenges included parents who struggled with addiction – she came to be unapologetic and speak her truth.
Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes by Stephen A. Smith. In his upcoming memoir, Smith gives us a raw look into how he became one of America’s most popular sportscasters: from growing up in a low-income household in Queens, to hustling and getting his own show on ESPN before being fired – only to be rehired as the star of their morning program First Case.
From the music world
Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono. In this 40-chapter memoir – each chapter dedicated to a song by his seminal band, U2 – musician, artist and activist Bono chronicles his life, from his roots in Dublin and the founding of U2 in the 1970s to his philanthropic work. He reflects on his faith and his dedication to the fight against AIDS and poverty.
A Book of Days by Patti Smith. Smith takes you through a year of her life A Book of Days, a beautiful visual roadmap inspired by her popular Instagram photography. Through more than 365 images, Smith documents her travels as well as everyday moments, taking the reader through the mind of a poet, artist and performer.
The Book of Jose: A Memoir by Fat Joe and Shaheem Reid. Grammy-nominated hip-hop legend and entrepreneur Fat Joe tells the story of his tough upbringing on the streets of South Bronx in a Puerto Rican and Cuban family, how he transformed from bullied kid Joseph Cartagena to Fat Joe, and found his voice through music in an environment filled with violence.
From the world of political (and actual) royalty
The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama. In her second memoir, the former first lady draws from her own experiences and relationships to offer insights into how to handle life changes – delving into topics ranging from marriage and parenthood to political activism – and shines a light on how younger generations can find their own path forward.
Spare by Prince Harry. In his highly anticipated memoir, due to be published in January 2023, Prince Harry reflects on his life after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and the intense scrutiny that accompanies his title. It’s billed as the first full account of how he and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, decided to step away from their royal duties in 2020.