11 Hollywood actors in Mormon-themed movies

Over the years, there have been many Mormon-themed films featuring well-known Hollywood stars.

Possibly one of the first Mormon films was "Mr. Kruegar's Christmas" released in 1980 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, starring James Stewart.

Previously the LDS Church had produced public service announcements, "Music and the Spoken Word" and other public communication projects, but it had hardly reached into movie production.

Since the release of "Mr. Kruegar's Christmas," the LDS Church has produced many films.

In addition, an increasing number of films have been produced by independent filmmakers surrounding Mormon themes.

Here is a list of some of the notable actors who have appeared in Mormon-themed movies either before or after their Hollywood careers.

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Kearns, UT

I can't believe you left Celeste Holm off the list. She was in the LDS film Nora's Christmas Gift and then returned to Utah to be a part of the cast of the television show Promised Land.

West Jordan, UT

Aaron Eckhart was actually raised LDS and he served a mission in France. So his affiliation is not all that surprising...

Perry, KS

I am pretty sure I remember that Anne Hathaway had filmed The Other Side of Heaven before the Princess Diaries, but the Other Side of Heaven film had a delayed release until after the Princess Diaries. They were lucky to get her it seems to me! Made a big difference at the box office for the Other Side of Heaven.

Gilbert, AZ

James Stewart was an established movie star well before "It's a Wonderful Life." His film career started in 1935. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "The Philadelphia Story" from the pre-war era are the most watched today. He won an Academy Award for "The Philadelphia Story" in 1940. Stewart had taken a five year break from films as he distinguished himself in World War 2. "Wonderful Life" was his first film after the war. That film was not well received at the time, so did not give his career a boost. Of course it is justifiably beloved today.

Papa Bear Andy
Reno, NV

What about Jane Kaczmarek from Malcom in the Middle and Art Carney in The Last Leaf?

Tucson, AZ

The church scored a coup getting Jimmy Stewart. And who can forget Gordon Jump?

Jake D.

Tyrone Power and John Carradine in Brigham Young, Jon Voight and Terrance Stamp in Sepember Dawn, and Gordon Jump's role as Peter in the Endowment.

London, 00

What's the point of this article?
The ones who were in these films pre-discovery (Anne Hathaway etc), wouldn't been seen dead in a 'Mormon' film now.
The ones who's careers were all but over (Gary Coleman etc), were desperate for anything.

Diane Earlywine
Pinetop/Lakeside, AZ

think you have to be as old as me (70) to remember that Gordon Jump was a member of the church.

American Fork, UT

How about bill maher in 'religulous'?

Hightstown, NJ

1. It's Krueger, not Kruegar.

2. Forever Strong isn't explicitly Mormon-themed, but darn close, and there's a bunch of Hollywood types in that one.

Kramer's Corner
Penryn, CA

Also Dean Jagger in Brigham Young (with Tyrone Power). He played Brighsm Young

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT


IMO those who criticize the church loose all their credibility anyway and generally have very little understanding of reason. But surely you must recognize that your characterizing Bill Maher as an actor does not help your own credibility or his as a critic of the church.

Salt Lake City, UT

How about Vincent Price as Joseph Smith (in the film Brigham Young)? Man, how about that casting.


Sometimes I think Desnews goes a little too far in the stories they print. This one seems way way to far - almost desperate to make an LDS point.

Fine we are not huge media movie folks - but I a a member of this religion because of the theology and teachings not for the really weak link to these so called stars in Mormon Movies.

Besides you forgot all the stars being created in the musical Book of Mormon and of course we were so close to having a BYU alum in the White House.

Highland, UT

It's "Mr. Krueger's Christmas." Silly typo.

Bluffdale, UT

Charlton Heston played Brigham Young in the 1995 TV movie "The Avenging Angel" and James Coburn played Porter Rockwell.

Layton, UT

Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" melts my heart. Love him, and love that film, even as old as it is!

Henderson, NV

Was Loraine Day mentioned. When our oldest Daughter went through the LA Temple the first time Ms Day was working in the Bride's room. I recognized her and she was very gracious when I asked her and she confirmed her identity. She looked great for her age. She was in several 1940's films.

Simply Irresistible
Temecula / USA, CA

John Phillip Law (September 7, 1937 – May 13, 2008) starred as Brigham Young. Not sure who produced it. He was a Hollywood client of mine and he personally gave me a VHS version of this film. The film is not however referenced in his filmography.

Jacky Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Gordon Jump was also in the church film Families are Forever, made in the early 80's

Cowboy Dude

Gordon Jump was also in "It All started With Thad" about "Every Member a Missionary" program.

Salt Lake City, UT

I hope those actors who were formerly Mormons now enjoy the decidedly more uplifting lifestyle than that offered by Hollywood and its morally-defunct adherents. Think: Great and Spacious Building.

Salt Lake City, UT

Correction to previous comment: "I hope those actors who were formerly Mormons now enjoy the decidedly more uplifting lifestyle offered, instead, by Hollywood and its morally-defunct adherents. Think: Great and Spacious Building."


Shortly after MASH ended, Mike Farrell came to BYU, and conducted an answer and question session about the recently ended popular show. Being a political activist, he also expressed his views opposing the Reagan administration's involvement with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. He was asked if he was a member of the LDS church. His reply was, to the effect of "No. But I am familiar with your religon." Mike came across as an approachable, personable, and a nice guy, kind of like his role on MASH.

Papa Bear Andy
Reno, NV

I forgot C. Thomas Howell in The Prodigal Son. His character was even named Tom Howell. He has appeared as one of the friends in ET and as the lead in several forgettable comedies.

Rob of NV
Las Vegas, NV

One overlooked actress was Kathleen Beller, who played Eliza Williams in "Legacy". She is a Hollywood actress who earlier had been in the Dynasty TV series as Kirby Anders Colby. As I remember, there were a number of "Hollywood" actors involved with the Legacy film. If I remember correctly from news reports, even though they were not members of the LDS Church the cast was required to read the Book of Mormon prior to and during filming. Also, Edward Herrmann was a lead character in the 1979 movie "Take Down", which was a movie produced and directed by Kieth Merrill, who is LDS. While not an LDS movie per se, the movie theme and production was influenced by the many LDS members that made the movie.

Tooele, UT

Papa Bear Andy: "I forgot C. Thomas Howell in The Prodigal Son. His character was even named Tom Howell. He has appeared as one of the friends in ET and as the lead in several forgettable comedies."

Am I up in the night, or wasn't it William Boyett, who played Sgt. MacDonald on "Adam-12," who played the dad in "The Prodigal Son"? (I once remarked on another forum, since Robert Pine [formerly Sgt. Joseph Getraer on "CHiPs" played the dad in "On The Way Home," that the Church was seemed to be making a habit of casting former TV police sergeants in its films. ;D

Payson, UT

Dear Mormoneuk,
I'm so glad to have someone like you to remind Mormons we are not popular in the world. In my 75 years of experience and growing up the only LDS kid in the schools of my Texas town, I just might have picked up the fact that we are looked at as being a very peculiar people by many or simply marginalized or ignored by others. But, I for one am glad for these articles that for some reason seem to spark my interest. And, I honestly don't know why. Anyway, I say, DN keep them coming.

Jonny Canuck
Medicine Hat, 00

Stewart Petersen was in several movies as a youth (some of them with somewhat hidden LDS themes) and in the temple film.

David Mohr
Victoria/BC/Canada, 00

Was not Mike Farrell the elder's quorum president in one of the short films we use for teaching?

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