Celebrities Who Refuse to Sign Autographs

Celebrity autographs serve two purposes. They can provide tangible proof that you once captured the attention of a famous individual, and they can be profitable if you choose to sell them to collectors. Either way, there’s usually a feeding frenzy for them when celebrities step out in public. However, not everyone with a recognizable face is agreeable to putting pen to paper. Here are some celebrities who regularly opt out of scribbling something on a napkin when they’re seen out in public. Some of them might come as a surprise.


William Shatner will usually pass up autograph solicitations unless he’s appearing at a Star Trek convention. He explained his reasoning by saying, “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, to save time, the answer is no. There’s a time and place for everything and conventions are that place.”

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston’s reason for never signing autographs is simply burnout. “After 18 years of signing everything for fans, I’m retiring,” he said in 2018. He will sign autographs, but only during pre-planned events.

Steve Martin, who’s winning over a new generation of fans thanks to the success of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, once devised a clever way to avoid autograph seekers without making them feel alienated. In the 1980s, he 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.”

Ringo Starr, who was the drummer for The Beatles, is arguably one of the most famous people on the planet, which makes demand for his signature understandable. Yet, Starr has stuck an edict first announced in 2008 that he would never grant an autograph request because he’s uncomfortable with people profiting from them. Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney shared the sentiment in 2021.

Joaquin Phoenix — the Oscar-winning star of Joker — may not have a hang-up about autographs, but he's totally opposed to photos. When he is asked for a photo or autograph, he politely responds, “You know what? I don’t do that, but thanks so much for coming up.”