Do you know about the celebrities who found religion right before they died? When one is on one’s deathbed, they often think about what happens next. For many people, religion provides answers and comfort as they reach the end of their life.
Many celebrities throughout the ages found religion right before they died. Many of them converted to a religion on their deathbed.
The list includes Hollywood legends such as John Wayne and Renaissance men like Oscar Wilde. Religion helped them cope with the often frightening prospect of impending death.
Let’s have a look at some of the celebrities who found religion right before they died. Let’s find out why exactly they decided to turn toward religion in their final hours…
The word ‘legend’ is quite possibly can invent by John Wayne. He is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and famous particularly for his roles in Westerns. He is espousing his views on America’s greatness and would promote the ideals of America in many interviews.
But what about his faith? John Wayne grew up in a Presbyterian family. He would attend church with his parents and often read the Bible. His faith in God helped him throughout his life.
As an adult, he took an interest in Catholicism. He marry thrice – and all three of his wives were practicing Catholics. He also sent all his children to Catholic schools. One of John Wayne’s closest friends was John Ford, who directed many of his films. John Ford was also a devout Catholic, and this had an influence on John Wayne’s life.
However, it seemed that John Wayne maintained a commitment to Catholicism. One of his grandchildren became a Catholic priest. His grandson Fr. Matthew Muñoz, regretted that John Wayne hadn’t converted earlier to Catholicism.
Nevertheless, John Wayne was known to write letters to God and write prayers to Him. According to Fr. Matthew Muñoz and John’s son Patrick, the actor converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before his death.
John Wayne died on June 11, 1979, from stomach cancer. He’s remembered as one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors and an outspoken promoter of American values. Perhaps he should also be remembered for his devotion to God and the Christian Faith.
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Patricia Neal was a prominent stage and screen actress who was largely popular in the 1950s and 1960s.
She began her stage career as an understudy in the play The Voice of the Turtle on Broadway. She later won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Regina Hubbard in Another Part of the Forest.
Her film debut was in the 1949 comedy film John Loves Mary – where she starred alongside Ronald Reagan. She worked alongside him again in The Hasty Heart. She also appeared in the movie The Fountainhead – based on Ayn Rand’s novel.
Her film career continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She appeared in films such as A Face in the Crowd, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hud, and The Subject Was Roses.
Her career was going well, but her personal life contained much strife. She had a troubled relationship with Gary Cooper, with whom she had an affair with while he was still married. She later married writer Roald Dahl and had 5 children with him.
Sadly, their firstborn, Olivia, died at the age of 7 from measles. Patricia Neal also neglected her own health. She was a heavy smoker and had suffered a brain aneurysm while pregnant. She fell into a coma and had to learn how to walk and talk all over again!
Patricia Neal divorced Roald Dahl in 1983. She converted to Catholicism during this time and found solace in her faith. She had apparently converted to the faith only a few months before she died. No doubt this helped her during the final months of her life.
She died at home at the age of 84 in 2010 due to complications from lung cancer.
Gary Cooper was another icon of American cinema. One of his earliest film roles was in the 1928 film Wings. He had a short appearance in the film, but this was enough for producers and directors to take notice.
His popular films included Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Meet John Doe, Sergeant York, and High Noon. His favorite genre of films was, of course, Westerns. Apart from his famous role in High Noon, he also appeared in The Virginian, The Plainsman, and The Westerner.
He had a great reputation among other Hollywood stars and was often thought of as a distinguished gentleman.
Gary Cooper gave a lot of importance to the spiritual aspects of life. He converted to Catholicism during a troubled time in his life. He was known to have extramarital relationships with other starlets, such as Patricia Neal.
Separated from his family due to his affair with the actress. While he was happy with Patricia Neal, his wild lifestyle also took its toll. In the 1950s, while promoting High Noon, he visited Vatican City and met Pope Pius XII.
He continued to have affairs with different celebrity actresses and models. This brought him temporary pleasure, but clearly, he still felt empty inside. He knew he needed to find something to make his life much better.
The meeting with the Holy Father made him realize he had to take a spiritual path to deal with the emptiness that often comes with being a celebrity. He began attending church regularly and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1959.
Sadly, we lost Gary Cooper in 1961 to prostate and colon cancer. No doubt his faith helped him get through the hard times during his life.
One of the greatest writers of the 19th century was Oscar Wilde. He had a unique writing style and lifestyle. Yet, even huge Oscar Wilde fans may not know about his conversion to Catholicism.
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854 and was baptized as an Anglican. Nevertheless, his mother took a keen interest in Catholicism. She requested that a local Catholic priest teach her children about the faith.
Oscar paid attention to these teachings but didn’t consider himself to be a Catholic during his childhood. During his years at Oxford University, he began to look into Catholicism even more and briefly considered becoming a priest. However, these ambitions got squashed after he decided to join the Freemasons.
A few years later, he met Pope Pius IX during a trip to Rome. He was moved by his meeting with the Holy Father and began to look deeply into Catholicism once again. However, his family was against him joining the Catholic Church, so he put it off.
During the final years of his life, Oscar Wilde was recovering in Paris after a long prison sentence following a sodomy charge. He was ill from cerebral meningitis, and it was clear that he would die soon.
A Catholic priest visited Oscar Wilde on his deathbed, and he was finally received into the Catholic Church. The day after converting to Catholicism, Oscar Wilde passed away. He truly converted just before he died. But he found Catholicism since his childhood, and perhaps he always had the Catholic Faith in his mind.
Oscar Wilde wrote some of the 19th century’s most notable plays, such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Salomé. He also wrote the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as numerous essays on varied subjects. He’s known for his wit and unique perspective on life. Perhaps Oscar Wilde enthusiasts can now look back on his work to see how Catholicism influenced his works – if at all!
One of the most iconic figures of golf was Bobby Jones, who passed away in 1971 at the age of 69. He began playing golf during his teens. His won his first U.S. Open in 1923 at the age of 21. As an amateur golfer, he won a total of 13 championships.
In 1930, he became a household name in the golfing world. That year, he won all four Pre-Masters Grand Slams. As of this video, he remains the only golfer to have accomplished such a feat.
Bobby Jones retired from professional golfing at the age of 28 and pursued a career in law. However, golf never left his life. He made instructional films on how to play golf and helped promote golfing across the world.
Jones became one of the most recognized sports stars in the world. He later served in the Second World War and played in the Master’s tournament – though most of the time, he didn’t play like a serious contender.
He began having serious health issues in the 1940s, and in 1948, he was diagnosed with syringomyelia, which led to him being paralyzed through his spinal cord. Sadly, he spent the remainder of his life in a wheelchair. He converted to Catholicism three days before he died in 1971. No doubt this conversion helped him find comfort as he was nearing the end of his life.
He’ll always be remembered as an icon of golf and one who paved the way for today’s PGA stars!
Did you know about these celebrities who found religion right before they died?
This brings up the question:
Do you think that religion helps people during the final years of your life? Or can we find meaning in our lives within a secular context?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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