These days, an actor doesn’t really need an official website. It may be a half-decent way to promote a charity, update fans on a passion project, or shill a lifestyle brand, but isn’t that why we have Twitter and Instagram? Even so, a surprising number of actors from the A-list on down still maintain their own sites, which range from oddly elaborate to the stuff of Geocities fever dreams. With apologies to the celebs and their social-media managers, Vulture compiled this roundup of the strangest.
Much like the Scottish actor, Connery’s site hasn’t done anything new since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen hit theaters in 2003. You can still see some of his wife’s art
and download a Bond-themed screensaver, provided your computer runs Windows 95 or higher.
Talk about an opening salvo: Cruise’s site blasts a loop of Tangerine Dream’s “Love on a Real Train,” the song that played during the sex-on-a-train scene in Risky Business
. Despite that eyebrow-raising flourish, Cruise and Co. haven’t made any noticeable updates since 2013. Here’s what you’ll find: Seventy-two pages of very enthusiastic news items
, including one Edge of Tomorrow promotion
that begins with “WARNING … THIS WILL BE AN EPIC BLOG!” Here’s what you won’t: Any mentions of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard.
Worry not! John Travolta’s site has a “links of interest” section
that promotes Scientology and Dianetics. The real prizes, though, are the photos. The site features a variety in-your-face headshots, and there’s also a “rare” selection of images
that includes a real gem of Travolta playing the violin. So young, so handsome, so gifted.
At the bottom of Sir Ian’s very plain page, you’ll find this tidbit: “He has been an innovator on the Internet, with one of the earliest official sites for an actor, McKellen.com, launched on September 1, 1997. In 1999 he began publishing a series of journal entries that evolved into one of the earliest non-technical blogs.” McKellen wrote blog entries
and answered fan mail
until late 2012, around the same time his site took on its simple, mobile-friendly layout. It looks quite dated, but it’s still regularly updated. Cut Gandalf some slack.
“Billybobapalooza” has served fans with “all things Billy Bob since August 1, 1998.” If you don’t believe this ancient-looking page is legit, you can “click to hear Billy Bob holler you a welcome to his site,” which leads to an MP3 of the actor’s very own confirmation
. Though the site lacks polish, it makes up for it with updates — there’s news a-plenty about Bad Santa 2, as well as Thornton’s charities and his Americana band, the Boxmasters. They have a much better site.
Did you know that Gary Busey was one of Google’s top trending actors in 2015? I certainly didn’t — then I read a tidbit about it on his official page, where it’s superimposed over a shot of the mercurial actor himself. If you haven’t seen Busey on reality TV or followed his bizarre thoughts on Twitter
, then prepare yourself for the art of Buseyisms
, in which he picks words, creates original acronyms for them, and pairs each one with a philosophical message.
The Walking Dead fan favorite keeps it simple
: He links to his IMDB page, his production company, his photography books, and his official social networks. That’s it. In true Daryl Dixon form, most of the black-and-gray page is devoted to the dos and don’ts for contacting him: “There is no defined estimate for return mail. If you need to make sure your mail arrived at its destination, look into getting delivery confirmation. There is no fan email address for Norman […] Norman is not on Kik […] Norman’s son Mingus is NOT on Twitter, Facebook, etc.” Noted!
There’s nothing outlandishly wrong with Brosnan’s site, and it’s admirable that he devotes so much space to his activism for environmental causes
, children’s welfare
, and women’s health
. It’s just … well, it has a lot of quirks. The news section
includes stories taken word for word from Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter. An inexplicable photo gallery
mixes vacation candids, Hollywood parties, a shot of James Bond walking away from an explosion, and a particularly choice image
of Brosnan posing next to a large portrait of his younger self, shirt undone to expose his hairy chest. It’s got the requisite biography written by someone else
, but there’s also a short bit written by Brosnan himself
, which ends with this paragraph: “This website is a new beginning. Let’s see where it takes us. To quote the last line of Lawnmower Man, ‘All the phones are ringing.’” Uh, sure?
Fonda’s page is quite the mishmash. One section touts her own social network, “The Jane Fonda Community
,” which includes a message board for topics such as Grace and Frankie
, “Sensuous Women Over 45
,” the Vietnam War
, and “JUST FANS
.” There’s also a shop that sells DVDs of her films and workout videos, as well as T-shirts, coffee mugs
, and tote bags featuring her 1970 raised-fist mugshot
The rest of the site is devoted to a pretty good blog
that Fonda started in 2009, which she updates occasionally to discuss her life, career, politics, and health. (She even reads the comments
!) Here’s an excerpt from her most recent entry: “Another fun thing I did just before we started shooting was to attend a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee at the home of George and Amal Clooney. My tooth fell out again but oh well.”
Dame Helen Mirren lays down the law with her welcome message: “I am not a twitterer, or a facebooker, so this is the best way to keep up with the developments in my life and career.” If any Mirren heads actually rely on this site for news, though, they’re way behind — it hasn’t had any major updates since February 2015. After a few years of sporadic blog posts, tiny photos, and a headshot of the woman who handles Mirren’s fan mail
, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
The Judging Amy and Leftovers star isn’t messing around
. Her site has a lot going for it: thoughtful blog entries, information on her career and charity work, plus a lot of photos. Where it suffers is its baffling design. I bet it’d look damn cool if it were 2005, but today it just seems old. Flash animation? Check. An overwhelming number of icons and links? Check. An audio player that automatically plays songs by Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Sting, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? That’s there, too.
I’d rather not risk riling up the star of Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, so I’ll just say this: If you click around this site
, you’ll learn about Seagal’s martial arts, his music, his philanthropy, and his customized “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People” T-shirt.
At first glance, Seinfeld’s website
looks like a smattering of random phrases, such as “Bride Magazine/Give My Regards To Your Balls/Rhinoplasty.” Stick with it, though, and it’ll make sense. Each word correlates to a stand-up bit, and the site digs into Seinfeld’s massive library of performances to post three every day.
“When I started doing TV, I saved every appearance on every show I did,” he explains on the site. “I thought it might be fun to go through all of it and pick out three bits each day that still amuse me for some reason or another.” The layout is a little wonky — you can only click on a handful of links on any given day — but the real fun part is pondering the audience for this thing. What kind of fan comes back every single day? Who are these people? (Sorry.)
The site looks a little old, but Cassidy’s extremely loyal fans don’t seem to care. They comment on every post, even the ones written by his “web team.” A short blog entry about New Year’s Eve got 68 responses
(and who knows how many more were moderated away). The site also has a bunch of weird subsections run by fans, including a long list of “some interesting facts” about the Partridge Family idol:
“David fractured a toe on his left foot while performing in Little Johnny Jones.”
“In ‘Not Without My Daughter,’ an episode of Arrested Development, Oscar Bluth wears a jacket that reads David Cassidy Live! presumably from a concert.”
David was arrested and charged with DUI on November 3, 2010.
The more you know!
Slim pickings from Ray Romano. The comedian’s site
includes a reminder to watch HBO’s Vinyl (the season finale aired in April), four tour dates at the Mirage, and a handful of links for his 2004 stand-up special, 95 Miles to Go. Nothing else. Not even a shout-out to Everybody Loves Raymond.
Really? One of Hollywood’s biggest action stars can’t afford a better site? Is this the best a former governor can do? In 2016, Schwarzenegger’s site has only added a few posts: a statement about Nancy Reagan’s death
, a judicial endorsement
, and a bunch of plugs for a T-shirt that says, “Come With Me if You Want to Lift.” Nothing like focusing on the big issues during an election year, huh Arnie?