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Celebrity Autobiographies That Entertain and Inspire
Modern60

Reviewed By Celina Bravo, Editor

By Modern60, Editorial Team

Published On June 3, 2024

Beauty & Fashion

Celebrity Autobiographies That Entertain and Inspire

There's no prerequisites to worthiness. You're born worthy, and I think that's a message a lot of women need to hear.

Glitz and glamor, fashion and faux pas are what the paparazzi and entertainment magazines cover about celebrity life. But, there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Maintaining superstardom, being photographed wherever one goes, and managing a private life is no cakewalk. And so, stars often open up about their struggles and triumphs in their autobiographies to allow their fans a sneak peek into the “reality behind the reel.”

Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

Source: Instagram/violadavis/

Widely acclaimed for her portrayal of the astute, harsh, yet nurturing defense attorney Analise Keating from the thriller series How to Get Away With Murder, Viola Davis has a rich history of powerful performances to her name. Whether in her role as the mother of the only African-American student at a parish school in Doubt (2008) or her mesmerizing portrayal of a 1960s maid in The Help (2011), Davis has shone in every character, winning several awards and even more hearts.

And just like in her movies, Davis leaves no stone unturned in her autobiography, Finding Me. The book has it all—her countless struggles as a person of color, a child hailing from a dysfunctional family, a woman struggling to make it big in tinseltown, and her trials and triumphs as an actor.

In the synopsis of her autobiography, Viola Davis writes, “In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.”

Will by Will Smith

Source: Instagram/willsmith/

Singing, acting, rapping, producing movies, sweeping his fans off their feet—you name it, and he’s done it. And with his autobiography Will, the legend has added ‘writing’ to his portfolio.

In his autobiography, Will Smith opens up about his struggles as a reserved little boy in West Philadelphia, his turbulent family environment, and his transition to a legend who transformed the world of rap AND made an indelible mark in Hollywood. Yet, not many know this was just half the battle won for him.

The Pursuit of Happyness star talks about his life before and after attaining the peak of success, which makes his writing candid, honest, and astounding. USA Today describes the autobiography as “an ultimately heartwarming read,” adding, “Will provides a humane glimpse of the man behind the actor, producer, and musician, as he opens up about all his insecurities and trauma.”

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Source: Instagram/michelleobama44/

Beside every successful man is a woman. This adage rings true with Michelle Obama. While former President Barack Obama assumed the official presidency and led the country to new heights, we saw his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, get into the nitty gritty of how society and healthcare functioned at large.

Even when she was no longer the First Lady, Obama continued inspiring the masses with her adorable Netflix show Waffles + Mochi, her occasional interviews and public appearances, and her bestselling memoir Becoming. While many people admire the former First Lady for her commendable initiatives, Becoming treads beyond this public image, exploring her roots and education, family life and legal career, marriage and motherhood, and life at the world’s most famous address.

Every page of her book is a ray of hope for women in particular and humanity in general. An excerpt from her book, which says, “For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others,” sums up her life.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Source: Instagram/springsteen/

Bruce Springsteen, known as “the Boss” of Heartland Rock, has an unmatched energy, especially on stage. But a particular incident fuelled his decision to narrate his life story to the world. In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show, which motivated the singer to write about it. But his determination made him go a step further, and Springsteen spent the next seven years writing his memoir.

The autobiography outlines Springsteen’s struggles from growing up in a Catholic household in New Jersey to watching Elvis Presley’s debut on the Ed Sullivan Show and his relentless pursuit of music and rap.

In his WWNO interview with Terry Gross, Springsteen opens up about his autobiography, saying, “I had youth, almost a decade of hardcore bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style, and a story to tell. This book is both a continuation of that story and a search into its origins.”

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Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan

Source: CBC News

What name pops up in your mind when we say “martial arts”? If it’s Jackie Chan, you’re certainly not alone. Over the decades, Jackie Chan has become synonymous with stunts, martial arts, and comedy, with several power-packed action movies to his credit.

The actor’s unforgettable appearances in blockbusters like Shanghai Noon, The Karate Kid, and Rush Hour have earned him immense popularity among all age groups. But his journey began with bit parts as a child actor and, later, small, forgettable roles in action movies, reflecting a journey of struggles and perseverance.

Jackie Chan’s autobiography Never Grow Up offers a look into the actor’s incredible journey through 200 movies, an illustrious career spanning several decades, and multiple injuries he had to face while filming. Chan’s life story is nothing short of an adventure, and his memoir sums it up beautifully, in all its honesty.

My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

Source: Instagram/barbrastreisand/

One of the first performers to achieve the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) status and with a spectacular career spanning six decades, Barbra Streisand needs no introduction. Interestingly, the singer, who earned the prestigious Grammy through her debut, The Barbra Streisand Album, started her career by performing at Broadway theaters and in nightclubs. Her memoir My Name is Barbra gives readers more than a sneak peek into this struggling phase. 

The autobiography takes readers through her childhood in Brooklyn, her early performances in the nightclubs of New York, her groundbreaking debut, and a string of successes and challenges that followed. She also describes her friendships, her marriage to James Brolin, and her political views, among other things.

My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton

Source: Instagram/dollyparton/

Dolly Parton has established herself as a singer with a strong yet gentle voice, a popular songwriter, and a skilled actor. Her humanitarian acts and straightforward personality are the cherry on top. Parton, who started her musical journey at the age of thirteen by performing on local radio and television programs, inspires aspiring singers and dreamers alike.

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Her autobiography, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, reflects her no-nonsense attitude, determination, generosity, unbeatable will, and, of course, striking sense of humor. From music and religion to plastic surgery and success, Parton covers many topics that keep its readers engaged. For Dolly Parton’s fans, music lovers, and everyone with a dream, this book is a must-read.

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Source: Instagram/schwarzenegger/

Known for his incredibly strong physique and remarkably diverse career, Arnold Schwarzenegger is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and is a fitness icon for many. Over the decades, the actor has worn multiple hats, from professional bodybuilder to actor, businessman, filmmaker, and politician, and so his autobiography, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, was entertaining, to say the least.

In his book, Schwarzenegger opens up about his illustrious career, controversies, childhood and youth, journey to the United States, life as a bodybuilder, and political career, among other things, making it an extremely heart-warming and enthralling account. He also talks about some of his iconic movies and characters, making for a fun read for movie lovers and bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts.

While one can find enough information on the lives of celebrities and their journeys online, an autobiography can do complete justice to the enigmas that these personalities have been and the struggles they faced to reach where they currently are. Biographies written by movie lovers, close friends of celebrities, journalists, etc., come close to achieving the candidness of autobiographies. For example, Johnny Depp’s biography, The Secret World of Johnny Depp: The Intimate Biography of Hollywood’s Best-Loved Rebel by Nigel Goodall, offers a detailed insight into the actor’s personal and professional life, his trials and triumphs. For further reading, one can also try Bad Reputation: The Unauthorized Biography of Joan Jett by Dave Thompson and PATRICK DEMPSEY: Biography of an American Actor and Racing Driver by Charles Oliver.

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The Editorial Team at Modern60 is a group of highly skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds in journalism, content creation, editing, and digital media. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to ensure that every piece of content meets our strict editorial guidelines and quality standards. The team is dedicated to delivering accurate, well-researched, and engaging content across various subjects, including health, wellness, lifestyle, and current events. With their commitment to upholding the highest standards of journalism and content creation, the Modern60 Editorial Team is the driving force behind our mission to empower and inspire our readers.

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