When it comes to the golden era of Hollywood, not many actors were more beloved than Greta Garbo, who ruled the silver screen in both silent and sound movies. She won Oscars, she dazzled audiences--but she was notoriously avoidant when it came to the spotlight.
Garbo did virtually none of the things we normally associate with movie stars. She never attended any premieres or awards shows, she declined all interviews, and she wouldn't even respond to fan mail. Fans might have seen her all the time on the big screen, but in reality, they knew little about her.
Author Harper Lee only has two books to her name, but that was enough to catapult her to fame. Her 1960s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has sold more than 10 million copies and is frequently studied in American schools.
But Lee was not a fan of the limelight. While she did make the occasional public appearance during her life, she never granted interviews or accepted speaking engagements.
If you grew up in the 80s, John Hughes was probably a big part of your life, even if you didn't realize it. The famous director was responsible for major hits like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink. However, all that ended quickly in the 90s.
By the 90s, Hughes had decided he had enough of Hollywood and moved to Chicago. After the move, he rarely spoke to the press or made public appearances. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2009.
When the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released in 1998, the world thought they would be seeing a lot more of this talented singer. But rather, what followed was 12 years of radio silence from Hill, even though her follow-up album was highly anticipated at the time.
Hill says that she wasn't being a recluse during those years. Rather, she says she was simply focusing on raising her child and being a good mom. More recently, Hill has been out of the spotlight while she spent time in jail for tax fraud.
Most of us would probably be a recluse if we lived the bizarre, questionable life that Michael Jackson did. The King of Pop might have not been a true recluse, but he tried his hardest to keep his personal life from the public.
It was reported that in the months leading up to his death, Jackson refused to leave the house at all.
David Bowie didn't spend his entire musical career as a recluse, but there was a period in the 2000s where no one heard much from the superstar for almost a decade.
Bowie had a heart attack early in the decade, and it's believed that his reluctance to be in the spotlight was largely due to his health problems. Thankfully, Bowie made a return to music and public before his death in 2016.
When you're one of the best actors in the world, there's no reason for you to be a people person, and clearly Daniel Day-Lewis feels the same way. The star of hit films like Lincoln and There Will Be Blood is notoriously private in Hollywood.
Lewis lives in the country and only rarely leaves home to make films. Visitors are only rarely welcomed, and it's rumored that the actor spends much of his time riding horses in the mountains.
Johnny Carson found himself in viewers bedrooms every night of the week, but despite this, the iconic host of The Tonight Show was actually kind of reclusive in real life.
While the late-night host seemed charming and extroverted on screen, his personal friends described him as shy and insecure. Additionally, he struggled with one-on-one relationships, which meant close, private friends were hard to come by for Carson.
Dave Chapelle is in the spotlight plenty these days, but for a time, the comedian was sick of it all. After the wild success of his sketch show Chapelle's Show, Chapelle withdrew from Hollywood, citing issues about making a TV program and dealing with fans and executives.
However, starting in 2013, Chapelle began making more public appearances and has even released several stand up sets in the past few years. That being said, he now lives in Ohio, far away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood.
You might not recognize Julie Kavner's face, but you've definitely heard her. She's been the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons for over 20 years now.
But it appears that Kavner doesn't want to share in any of Marge's fame. She declines interviews and photo shoots in favor of a more private lifestyle.
In the 60s and 70s, the world loved Sly Stone as frontman for the band Sly and the Family Stone. And it also seemed like Sly Stone loved the world. But things changed in the 1980s.
After the breakup of the band, Stone was dealing with some drug problems and other personal issues, and by the 90s, Stone was virtually a recluse. Even as he's begun to reemerge in the past decade, you're unlikely to catch an interview with him or see him out and about.
Being a world-class chess champion might seem unusual, but honestly, it was probably the least unusual thing about Bobby Fischer. Even though he won the World Chess Tournament in 1972, his life was more marked by erractic and reclusive behavior than chess.
After leaving the US in 1992, Fischer never returned in his lifetime and was notoriously difficult to keep up with. After spending some time in a Japanese prison, he eventually made his way to Iceland, where he resided until his death.
Brian Wilson was largely responsible for the success of the Beach Boys, but by the 1970s, he was getting sick of the fame. It was during this period that he became a major recluse.
In 1973, Wilson's father died, which ushered in an unhealthy period for the musician. This included withdrawing from society, heavy drug use, and even a suicide attempt.
Of all the celebrities on this list, Stanley Kubrick is probably the least surprising. The filmmaker was famous for unusual and creative films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining, and it's really no wonder that that kind of genius didn't enjoy the public.
However, in addition to being naturally reclusive, Kubrick was also a notorious workaholic. So that could also help to explain why he was so unavailable to the outside world.
Adele took the music world by storm, but as quickly as she showed up, it seemed like she was gone even sooner. This chanteuse clearly doesn't want a life in the public eye.
When her son was born, she stepped away from the spotlight to be a mother. But that didn't always go smoothly. In 2013, she brought a lawsuit against photographers who had released images of her son.