The Most Famous Recluse: Ranking Notable Figures Who Embrace Solitude

Choose the Recluse you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 3, 2023 11:27)
Step into the intriguing world of mystery and solitude as we bring you the ultimate ranking of the most famous recluses of all time! At StrawPoll, we've gathered a fascinating mix of enigmatic figures, elusive artists, and secretive celebrities for you to vote for and decide who tops the list of these enigmatic beings. From the timeless tales of reclusive authors like J.D. Salinger to the intriguing legends surrounding billionaire Howard Hughes, we've got it all in one place. So, don't hold back, join the discussion and cast your vote for your favorite elusive icon, or better yet, suggest an elusive figure we might have missed. Delve into the shadows, unravel the mysteries, and be a part of this exclusive ranking that celebrates the allure of the secluded life!

Who Is the Most Famous Recluse?

  1. 1
    The author of "The Catcher in the Rye" was notorious for his reclusive lifestyle and avoiding the public eye. He rarely granted interviews and lived in seclusion for most of his life.
    J.D. Salinger in other rankings
  2. 2
    Howard Hughes
    Acme Newspictures · Public domain
    The business magnate and aviator was known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle. He withdrew from public life in the 1950s and lived as a recluse until his death in 1976.
    Howard Hughes in other rankings
  3. 3
    The Hollywood actress was known for her beauty and talent, but also for her reclusive lifestyle. After retiring from acting in 1941, she lived as a recluse in New York City until her death in 1990.
    Greta Garbo in other rankings
  4. 4
    Emily Dickinson
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain

    Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson
    The American poet was known for her introspective and solitary lifestyle. She rarely left her home in Amherst, Massachusetts, and only a handful of her poems were published during her lifetime.
    Emily Dickinson was an influential American poet known for her romantic and introspective writing style. Her poems often explored themes of love, nature, mortality, and the human experience.
    • Birthdate: December 10, 1830
    • Deathdate: May 15, 1886
    • Nationality: American
    • Writing Style: Romantic and introspective
    • Themes: Love, nature, mortality, and the human experience
    Emily Dickinson in other rankings
  5. 5
    Marcel Proust
    Otto Wegener · Public domain
    The French author was known for his reclusive lifestyle and spending most of his time in his bedroom writing his masterpiece "In Search of Lost Time."
    Marcel Proust in other rankings
  6. 6
    The American novelist has never made a public appearance since the 1960s and rarely grants interviews. He is known for his reclusive lifestyle and avoiding the spotlight.
  7. 7
    Harper Lee
    Eric Draper · Public domain
    The author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" was known for her reclusive lifestyle and avoiding the public eye. She rarely granted interviews and lived a quiet life in Monroeville, Alabama until her death in 2016.
    Harper Lee in other rankings
  8. 8
    Stanley Kubrick
    "Copyright by Warner Bros. Inc." · Public domain
    The filmmaker was known for his obsessive attention to detail and reclusive lifestyle. He rarely granted interviews and lived a secluded life with his family in England until his death in 1999.
    Stanley Kubrick in other rankings
  9. 9
    The American filmmaker is known for his reclusive lifestyle and avoiding the public eye. He rarely grants interviews and lives a private life with his family in Texas.
  10. 10
    Nikola Tesla
    Napoleon Sarony · Public domain
    The inventor and engineer was known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle. He spent most of his life working in his laboratory and had few personal relationships.
    Nikola Tesla in other rankings

Missing your favorite Recluse?


Ranking factors for famous Recluse

  1. Historical Significance
    The impact and influence the recluse has had on history and society. 2. Cultural Relevance: The extent to which the recluse's story, works, or ideas have become woven into popular culture. 3. Accomplishments: Any notable achievements, contributions, or innovations made by the recluse. 4. Recognition and Awards: The recognition, honors, or accolades received by the recluse during their lifetime or posthumously. 5. Influence: The degree to which the recluse has influenced and inspired other individuals, movements, or schools of thought. 6. Legacy: The lasting impact and enduring relevance of the recluse's work, ideas, or lifestyle. 7. Media Coverage: The extent of media attention, documentation, or public interest in the recluse's life and story. 8. Mythology and Legend: Any mythical or legendary elements associated with the recluse's persona or story. 9. Popularity: The level of public awareness, interest, or curiosity surrounding the recluse. 10. Longevity: The duration of the recluse's seclusion or isolation, as well as the sustained interest in their life or ideas.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Recluse. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Recluse is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 212 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Recluse once every 24 hours. The rank of each Recluse is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous recluse

Recluses are known for their tendency to avoid social interaction and live in seclusion. Despite their desire for privacy, many of them have managed to become famous figures in popular culture. From authors and musicians to politicians and artists, the world has seen its fair share of renowned recluses. One of the most famous recluses of all time is J.D. Salinger, the author of the iconic novel "The Catcher in the Rye". After the book's publication in 1951, Salinger withdrew from public life and became a recluse for the rest of his days. Despite this, his work continues to be celebrated and studied by readers and scholars alike. Another famous recluse is Howard Hughes, the American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Hughes was known for his eccentric behavior and his tendency to avoid the public eye. He lived in seclusion for the latter part of his life, but his legacy as a pioneer in the aviation and film industries continues to be felt to this day. Other famous recluses include Greta Garbo, the legendary Swedish actress, and Thomas Pynchon, the highly acclaimed American novelist. While their reasons for living in seclusion may vary, these individuals have all left an indelible mark on the world, proving that even the most private of people can still make a significant impact.

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