Also, some actors listed here are not active churchgoers. Matthew Modine (who briefly attended Brigham Young University) and Eliza Dushku have both spoken with journalists about their Latter-day Saint background, and while both speak positively of their earlier years and their active family members, neither are presently known to be churchgoers. Jewel is another entertainer who still considers herself spiritual, but is not a churchgoer. Yet she has written about her Mormon ethnicity in her published poetry, and mentioned it in interviews. Roseanne was an active Latter-day Saint for many years as a child and teenager, but now identifies herself as a practicing Jew -- the faith she was born into.
On the other hand, Richard Dutcher, Danny Kamekona, Klinton Spilsbury, Paul Walker and Corbin Allred have all served full-time missions for the Church. (TV child star Johnny Whitaker also served a full-time mission for the Church. He is not listed below because we do not have box office figures for the films in which he had a lead role.) Al Harrington is probably best known to Latter-day Saint audiences as "Amaron" in the Church-produced film "The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd" (which plays in the Joseph Smith Building). He was also the star of "The Light of the World" production shown during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Eckhart is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Academy Award-winning actor Dean Jagger was a convert to the Church, and donated his awards, theatrical files, correspondence and five volumes of scrapbooks to the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU. His obituary was published in the Church News. Billy Barty (also a convert) was a very active Church member, as were many of the other actors listed here. Nearly all of the Latter-day Saint actors cast in lead roles in Latter-day Saint-themed films are active members. Wilford Brimley (3rd billed actor in "Brigham City") is one exception.
Based on box office figures, it seems that film audiences don't care whether or not actors are Latter-day Saints, Catholics, Jews, or whatever. We wouldn't say that actors never experience prejudice from filmmakers, casting agents, and executives (based on age, sex, race, religion, politics, etc.). But the moviegoing public seems generally unconcerned about the religious affiliation or background of actors when deciding what movies they choose to see.
Billing: In this list we have only listed films in which the Latter-day Saint actor was a headliner, somebody listed on the marquee, movie poster or the front of the video/DVD case. The number in the "Billing" column usually refers to the actor's billing on the movie poster. (Note that IMDb credits are often not listed in correct billing order.) "1" means top billing, the first actor's name listed. "2" means second billing, etc. Films are not listed here for which an actor was not a headliner. For example, only films in which Paul Walker is a headliner are listed here, and included in the total box office figures in the next table. Although Walker had a significant role in Pleasantville (1998, $40.568 million U.S. box office gross), he was not a headliner, and that film is not listed on this page. A great place to view movie posters is MovieGoods.com.
|Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs||Moroni Olsen||4||1937||$185,000,000||$1,488,000||1|
|True Lies||Eliza Dushku||7||1994||146,282,411||100,000,000||3|
|The Fast and the Furious||Paul Walker||1||2001||144,512,310||38,000,000||14|
|2 Fast 2 Furious||Paul Walker||1||2003||127,083,765||76,000,000||14|
|Erin Brockovich||Aaron Eckhart||3||2000||125,548,685||51,000,000||13|
|The Karate Kid II||Danny Kamekona||4||1986||115,103,979||4|
|The Notebook||Ryan Gosling||1||2004||81,001,787||54,000,000|
|We Were Soldiers||Keri Russell||6||2002||78,120,196||75,000,000||33|
|Any Given Sunday||Matthew Modine |
|Bring It On||Eliza Dushku||2||2000||68,353,550||10,000,000||37|
|In & Out||Wilford Brimley||5||1997||63,826,569||35,000,000||23|
|She's All That||Paul Walker||4||1999||63,465,522||10,000,000||38|
|In Search of Noah's Ark||Vern Adix||1||1977||55,734,000||10|
|Varsity Blues||Paul Walker||3||1999||52,894,169||16,000,000||45|
|Home on the Range||Roseanne||1||2004||50,026,353||110,000,000|
|Under Siege 2: Dark Territory||Katherine Heigl||3||1995||50,024,083||60,000,000||35|
|The Natural||Wilford Brimley||5||1984||47,951,979||28,000,000||15|
|Look Who's Talking Too||Roseanne||4||1990||47,789,072||25|
|Final Destination 2||A.J. Cook||2||2003||46,752,141||58|
|Full Metal Jacket||Matthew Modine||1||1987||46,341,085||30,000,000||23|
|The Tigger Movie||Ken Sansom||3||2000||45,542,421||20,000,000||54|
|Napoleon Dynamite||Jon Heder |
|West Side Story||Russ Tamblyn||3||1961||43,656,822||2|
|Transporter 2||Matthew Modine||5||2005||36,495,152||32,000,000|
|Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D||Dana Kimmell||1||1982||36,200,000||4,000,000||19|
|The Robe||Dean Jagger||6||1953||36,000,000||5,000,000|
|The Skulls||Paul Walker||2||2000||35,046,320||15,000,000||70|
|Bride of Chucky||Katherine Heigl||3||1998||32,404,188||25,000,000||62|
|Murder by Numbers||Ryan Gosling |
|The Core||Aaron Eckhart||1||2003||31,111,260||85,000,000||83|
|Tender Mercies||Wilford Brimley||4||1983||§ 30,471,098|
|The Champ||Rick Schroder||3||1979||30,441,738||21|
|Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back||Eliza Dushku||7||2001||30,059,386||22,000,000||78|
|White Christmas||Dean Jagger||5||1954||30,000,000|
|Pacific Heights||Matthew Modine||2||1990||29,381,000||42|
|The New Guy||Eliza Dushku||3||2002||28,972,187||88|
|High Road to China||Wilford Brimley||4||1983||28,400,000||25|
|Memphis Belle||Matthew Modine||1||1990||27,441,000||36|
|The Missing||Aaron Eckhart||6||2003||26,900,336||65,000,000||93|
|Peyton Place||Russ Tamblyn |
|My Father the Hero||Katherine Heigl||2||1994||25,479,000||52|
|Nurse Betty||Aaron Eckhart||5||2000||25,167,270||24,000,000||89|
|Beyond and Back||Vern Adix||1||1978||23,784,000||16|
|Piglet's Big Movie||Ken Sansom||3||2003||23,024,988||95|
|City by the Sea||Eliza Dushku||4||2002||22,433,915||60,000,000||101|
|My Fellow Americans||Wilford Brimley||5||1996||22,331,846||72|
|Joy Ride||Paul Walker||2||2001||21,973,182||23,000,000||99|
|Married to the Mob||Matthew Modine||2||1988||21,486,757||43|
|The Pledge||Aaron Eckhart||2||2001||19,733,089||45,000,000||101|
|Cocoon: The Return||Wilford Brimley||2||1988||18,924,000||61|
|The Upside of Anger||Keri Russell||5||2005||18,761,993||13,200,000||33|
|Pooh's Heffalump Movie||Ken Sansom||5||2005||18,098,433||20,000,000|
|Masters of the Universe||Billy Barty||4||1987||17,336,000||22,000,000||66|
|Just Like Heaven||Jon Heder||6||2005||16,408,718|
|Wrong Turn||Eliza Dushku||1||2003||15,417,771||15,000,000||117|
|The Nude Bomb||Rhonda Fleming||3||1980||14,662,035||44|
|Private School||Matthew Modine||3||1983||14,049,000||38|
|The Nun's Story||Dean Jagger||5||1959||14,000,000||3,500,000|
|Out Cold||A.J. Cook||2||2001||13,903,262||11,000,000||111|
|The Thing||Wilford Brimley||2||1982||13,782,000||10,000,000||66|
|Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins||Wilford Brimley||3||1985||13,600,000||54|
|The Legend of the Lone Ranger||Klinton Spilsbury||1||1981||13,400,000||18,000,000||33|
|Vision Quest||Matthew Modine||1||1985||13,000,000||48|
|Come Blow Your Horn||Dan Blocker||6||1963||12,705,882||10|
|Bye Bye, Love||Matthew Modine |
|Gunfight at the O.K. Corral||Rhonda Fleming||3||1957||11,750,000|
|Gross Anatomy||Matthew Modine||1||1989||11,604,000||56|
|The Big Parade||John Gilbert||1||1925||11,000,000||245,000||1|
|Cutthroat Island||Matthew Modine||2||1995||11,000,000||92,000,000||116|
|Since You Went Away||Robert Walker||6||1944||10,735,968||2,400,000||3|
|The High and the Mighty||Laraine Day||3||1954||10,400,000|
|Elmer Gantry||Dean Jagger||3||1960||10,400,000||3,000,000|
|Father of the Bride||Moroni Olsen |
|King Kong||Fay Wray||1||1933||10,000,000||1|
|Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo||Robert Walker||2||1944||9,746,954||4|
|Le Divorce||Matthew Modine||8||2003||9,074,550||129|
|White Fang II: Myth of the White Wolf||Al Harrington||3||1994||8,878,000||101|
|Suspect Zero||Aaron Eckhart||1||2004||8,712,564||27,000,000|
|Under the Rainbow||Billy Barty||5||1981||8,500,000||20,000,000||43|
|10 to Midnight||Wilford Brimley||6||1983||7,100,000||88|
|Strangers on a Train||Robert Walker||3||1951||7,000,000||1,200,000|
|Los Muertos, la carne y el diablo||Patricia Wright||2||1974||§ 6,734,827|
|Till the Clouds Roll by||Robert Walker||7||1947||6,724,000||2,841,000|
|Twelve O'Clock High||Dean Jagger||5||1949||6,450,000|
|Short Cuts||Matthew Modine||4||1993||6,110,000||105|
|The Hotel New Hampshire||Wilford Brimley||5||1984||5,100,000||79|
|Seven Brides for Seven Brothers||Russ Tamblyn||4||1954||5,000,000|
|Harry and Son||Wilford Brimley||4||1984||4,900,000||81|
|Your Friends and Neighbors||Aaron Eckhart||2||1998||4,710,749||5,000,000||158|
|Meet the Deedles||Paul Walker||2||1998||4,308,981||24,000,000||161|
|Making the Grade||Gordon Jump||3||1984||4,100,000||85|
|Mrs. Soffel||Matthew Modine||3||1984||4,000,000||87|
|Benji: Off the Leash!||Nick Whitaker |
|Soul Survivors||Eliza Dushku||3||2001||3,100,650||14,000,000||161|
|Las Flores del miedo||Patricia Wright||2||1973||§ 3,088,350|
|In The Company of Men||Aaron Eckhart||1||1997||2,883,661||250,000||160|
|The Clock||Robert Walker||2||1945||2,783,000||1,324,000|
|Brigham Young - Frontiersman||Dean Jagger||3||1940||2,500,000||2,700,000|
|God's Army||Richard Dutcher |
|Riding Giants||Jeff Clark||3||2004||2,271,826|
|Easy Come, Easy Go||Pat Priest||3||1967||1,950,000|
|A Home of Our Own||Sarah Schaub||4||1993||1,703,000||12,000,000||124|
|Race the Sun||Eliza Dushku||4||1996||1,681,685||189|
|The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey||Bryce Chamberlain |
Jan Broberg Felt
|Saints and Soldiers||Corbin Allred |
Lawrence Bagby Jr.
|Blue in the Face||Roseanne||8||1995||1,275,999||175|
|Robot Jox||Danny Kamekona||5||1991||1,272,977||10,000,000|
|The Singles Ward||Will Swenson |
Michael J. Birkeland
|The Best Two Years||KC Clyde |
|The R.M.||Kirby Heyborne |
|Viva Villa!||Fay Wray||3||1934||1,109,000||1,022,000|
|Brigham City||Richard Dutcher |
|Jack Weyland's Charly||Heather Beers |
Jackie Winterrose Fullmer
|Ride with the Devil||Jewel Kilcher||3||1999||630,779||35,000,000||220|
|Poolhall Junkies||Rick Schroder||5||2003||562,059||4,000,000||218|
|The Browning Version||Matthew Modine||3||1994||464,423||151|
|The Believer||Ryan Gosling||1||2002||406,035||254|
|Little Secrets||Jan Broberg Felt |
|Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy||Ben Gourley |
|The United States of Leland||Ryan Gosling||2||2004||343,816|
|The Real Blonde||Matthew Modine||1||1998||247,745||251|
|The Home Teachers||Michael J. Birkeland |
|Beverly Hills Brats||Terry Moore||3||1989||192,561||152|
|Baptists at Our Barbecue||Dan Merkley |
|Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars||Mick Ronson||2||2002||162,548||308|
|Mobsters and Mormons||Clayton Taylor |
|There Goes My Baby||Rick Schroder||2||1994||125,169||10,500,000|
|Sons of Provo||Will Swenson |
|Handcart||Jaelan Petrie |
|Out of Step||Alison Akin Clark |
|Mad About Mambo||Keri Russell||2||2000||61,663||349|
|Date with Death||Robert Clarke||3||1959||60,000|
|Eight Days a Week||Keri Russell||2||1997||26,347||348|
|Summer of the Monkeys||Wilford Brimley||3||1998||22,500||309|
|The Work and the Story||Nathan Smith Jones |
|The Slaughter Rule||Ryan Gosling||1||2003||13,134||410|
|This Divided State||Kay Anderson |
|Giving It Up (a.k.a. "Casanova Falling")||Amy Redford||5||1999||5,000||402|
|Into the Blue||Paul Walker||1||2005||?|
Weighted Box Office Totals
(Each film's U.S. box office gross is divided by star's billing.)
The Fast and the Furious: On 26 June 2001, The Fast and the Furious, with Paul Walker at the very top of the marque, may be the biggest opening weekend for an RM in film history. The film took in $40,089,015 at the box office its opening weekend, making it the Number One film in the country. It left Eddie Murphy's Doctor Dolittle 2, which opened the same day, in the dust: Eddie's comedy grossed just $25,037,039, although it opened on 237 more screens.
Not only was The Fast and the Furious on its way to box office success, it even received an enthusiastic "thumbs up" recommendation from the country's most respected film critic, Roger Ebert.
Mulan: Donny Osmond is actually the fifth-billed cast member in Disney's Mulan (1998). He provides the singing voice for Captain Li Shang, the film's male lead, but he has just one song. Perhaps it is a stretch to call him a headliner/star in the film. Perhaps not.
Peyton Place: Although only fifth billed, Russ Tamblyn is on the movie poster as a headliner, in very large print, on the 2nd line. Terry Moore is sixth-billed, but not actually a headliner.
Any Given Sunday: Although it is unusual for actors with 7th and 10th billing to be listed on official movie posters, Modine and Eckhart are indeed listed on the poster for this star-packed film.
Masters of the Universe: Various databases list Billy Barty with 4th billing. (He played Gwildor.) But the movie poster lists six actors, NOT including Barty: Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Courtney Cox, James Tolkan, Christina Pickles, and Meg Foster. A bit of trivia: Another of the film's stars not on the poster: non-LDS actor Robert Duncan McNeill ("Tom Paris" of "Star Trek: Voyager").
Little Secrets: Actually, only the four leads in "Little Secrets" received billing on the poster: non-Latter-day Saint actors Evan Rachel Wood, Michael Angarano, David Gallagher and Vivica A. Fox. But most of the remaining cast, including the supporting actors with the 5th-, 6th- and 8th-billed roles, and most of the other credited cast members are Latter-day Saints. So we have included this film in the actors table, although in the strictest sense it doesn't meet the criteria applied to the other movies listed.
Out of Step: This film clearly has three leads -- Alison Akin Clark, Jeremy Elliott, and Michael Buster -- but their relative billing can potentially be interpreted in different ways. On the actual poster, their names appear at the very top of the poster in a large typeface in the following order: Jeremy Elliott, Alison Akin Clark, Michael Buster. This order is seemingly necessary because this is the order the three leads are pictured in the photo on the poster. In the smaller credits text block at the bottom of the poster their names are listed thus: "MICHAEL BUSTER JEREMY ELLIOTT and introducing ALISON AKIN CLARK." This is also how their name appear in the opening credits: first Buster, then Elliott, and finally Clark with an "introducing" tag. In the closing credits, however, the order is: Alison Akin Clark, Michael Buster, Jeremy Elliot. In the actual film, Clark is the focus of the entire film, appearing in most scenes. Elliott has the second-largest role, followed by Buster. This third position for Clark's name seems dictated by the traditional formatting of an "and introducing" credit. The placement after the two male leads, who have less screen time, is perhaps more aesthetic, as well as appropriate because Clark had less "marquee" value, because this was her debut. In the table above, the billing has been assigned based on prominence within the film, with Clark 1st, Elliott 2nd, and Buster 3rd. 4th- and 5th-billed actors Tayva Patch and Rick Macy are NOT listed on the poster, but we have listed them in the above table anyway.
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: This glam rock classic starring David Bowie and co-starring Latter-day Saint singer/rock musician Mick Ronson was first released in 1973. The box office figures shown above are from the digitally remastered version released theatrically in 2002 by Cowboy Pictures.
City by the Sea: Production budget: $40,000,000. P&A: $20,000,000
The Core: Production budget: $60 million. P&A: $25 million.
Paycheck: Production budget: $60 million. P&A: $25 million.
Timeline: Production budget: $80 million. P&A: $25 million.
The Notebook: Production budget: $29 million. P&A: $25 million.
Joel Bishop: In "Handcart, actor Joel Bishop plays Edward Martin, the leader of the handcart company at the center of the film's story. Bishop was left off of the movie posters, but he received sixth billing on the video/DVD covers. The special edition version released to videos and DVDs had been re-edited, with some additional material added, and the director felt that Bishop deserved to be listed on the cover.
Robert Walker in "Till the Clouds Roll by": Thirteen stars were listed on the movie poster under the heading Starring (Alphabetically) order: June Allyson, Lucille Bremer, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Van Heflin, Lena Horne, Angela Lansbury, Tony Martin, Virginia O'Brien, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and Robert Walker. Although Walker as listed last, this does not equate to "13th billing." The billing number used in the table above is 7, which is the average of all billings 1 through 13.
This Transporter 2: The official movie poster apparently has no names on it - not the names of any of the actors, nor even the director's name. Modine has the 5th billed role in the opening credits. (Preliminary, based on IMDb.com, must verify this.)
This Divided State: This is a documentary, but the film's director (Steven Greenstreet) provided the following list of "lead characters" who are sufficiently prominent in the film that they would have been poster-billed had this been a regular narrative/fictional film: Michael Moore; Sean Hannity; Kay Anderson; Joe Vogel; Jim Bassi; Alex Caldiero; Dennis Potter; Ken Brown. All of these individuals are Latter-day Saints except for the first two: Michael Moore and Sean Hannity (both Catholics).
Just Like Heaven: Technically, Jon Heder was not actually on the movie poster. Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo were the only cast members to receive poster billing. Heder actually has the 6th billed role in the onscreen closing credits for his supporting role. Heder is the last actor whose name is shown during the opening titles, but his title reads "and Jon Heder," and his name does not share space with another actor, as is the case with most of the other supporting actors, so it is something of a prominent title. Technically, Heder's lack of poster billing could preclude him from being listed on the table above. Yet, Jon Heder was so prominently featured in movie trailers and TV ad campaigns for this movie that unless one actually saw the movie and the credits, it certainly seems as if is the third billed star, even 2nd-billed, or co-equal with Mark Ruffalo in the film. The people responsible for marketing this film found than "Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder" had tremendous name recognition and that promoting his presense in the film would sell tickets. So, although he technically has a smaller role than 3 other supporting actors, only his part was highlighted in TV ads (along with leads Witherspoon and Ruffalo). In Just Like Heaven, Heder's character is a pivotal one, but he really only has 3 major scenes, and two minor scenes. Significantly, he is alone on the screen in the film's very final scene: he gets to deliver the final punchline and serve as the film's final image. With Jon Heder's growing popularity, it would not be surprising if his picture, his name, or both appear on the DVD cover, and on any newly designed posters.
Noel: Paul Walker stars in 3rd billed role in this movie, which was released in only a few theaters in the United States, and U.S. box office gross is not available. Total gross was €1,515,163 euros in Italy.