Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by Alexander Burgemeester
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by delusions of grandiose, a lack of empathy, and the need and desire for constant praise. Therefore, it can be argued that many celebrities and public figures are narcissistic because as you will read, they share many characteristics that could be interpreted as narcissistic.
According to psychiatry professor Drew Pinsky’s study, famous people suffer from narcissism at a higher rate than the general public. To many, this would not come as a surprise considering the fact that over recent years, the word ‘narcissist’ has been thrown around like confetti. The assumption is that narcissists are vain individuals who can’t get enough of themselves.
But the reality is that they are desperately insecure, and for the famous person, the face they wear in public does not match the inner turmoil they endure. Here is a list of famous narcissists now and in history.
Disclaimer: This article is not a statement of facts, none of the people mentioned have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. However, they do display narcissistic tendencies in their behaviour.
10 Famous Narcissists
Fact About Narcissism: There is a positive side to narcissism; people with narcissistic personality disorder can be charming, intuitive and intelligent.
Let’s take a look at some of the famous people who show personality traits that suggest narcissism. Most of them show grandiose thinking and exaggerated self-importance, many believe or fantasise about the power they have, most believe they are special, need to be admired and feel entitled.
Many dictators and criminals had or have narcissistic personalities as well as the Hollywood celebrities; some are negative role models and some are positive. Hitler and Stalin both had grandiose self-images as did Casanova, Marquis de Sade, Peter Sellers, and the heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard. Other likely suspects are Madonna, Margaret Thatcher, Paris Hilton and O.J. Simpson. Here are just a few of the many famous narcissists
Donald Trump: According to developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, Donald Trump is a classic narcissist. Other experts have argued that it would be very easy to diagnose him with the disorder because he displays so many of the conditions symptoms, such as his domineering character and his willingness to demean people with no remorse.
Niklas Bendtner: The Danish striker is quoted as saying, “If you ask me if I am one of the best strikers in the world, I say yes.” He believes this to be true despite the fact that during a top-flight season he has not scored more than nine goals. From his comment, it appears that he has one of the common narcissistic symptoms of delusions of grandiose.
Jose Mourinho: Known for tooting his own horn in public, the infamous football coach Jose Mourinho once stated, “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m a European champion and I think I’m a special one.”
Larry Page: The American internet entrepreneur and computer scientist is one of the co-founders of Google. Experts believe he inhabits an alternate universe and seems to live in the future. His employees have described him as ‘terrifying’ during their interactions with him because his expectations are way too high.
Mark Zuckerberg: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook has been referred to as a ‘productive narcissist’ by psychoanalyst and anthropologist Michael Maccoby. Productive narcissists are visionaries with a desire to change the world. They are aggressive, and competitive, and believe that they don’t need to follow the same rules as everyone else.
Kenya Moore: The ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star feels the need to get involved in everyone’s business. Kenya believes that everything she says is of exceptionally high importance and slows down her speech intentionally to emphasize this.
Draya Michele: The American media personality, fashion designer, model, and actress suffers from a case of exceptionally high self-esteem and during an interview with US Weekly stated, “I’m an Aquarius. Yes, I believe we are superior.
Joseline Hernandez: The reality TV personality refers to herself in the third person and sincerely believes she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Hernandez believes she is indestructible, and despite the many rumours that continue to circulate about her personal life, her response is always the same, “It doesn’t matter cause I’m a bad b**ch!”
Rick Ross: “Am I really a narcissist because I woke up to a bowl of lobster bisque.” One of his albums is titled, ‘Mastermind’ in which many of his songs are spent boasting about how great he is. The American rapper is very confident in himself, and sees nothing wrong with telling the world how awesome he is.
Tiger Woods: In his biography ‘Roaring Back – the Fall and Rise of Tiger Woods’; author Curt Sampson describes Woods as a pathological narcissist whose relationships were purely transactional. If you couldn’t help him achieve his goals, he didn’t want to have anything to do with you.
Ted Bundy: This psychopathic serial killer had a number of characteristics of a narcissist like grandiosity and manipulation. He was also self-centered and enjoyed being in the public eye.
10 Narcissist Celebrities
Fact About Narcissism: Narcissists suffer from an empathy deficit, they are not capable of empathy in the same way as people who are considered mentally stable.
Kim Kardashian: Kim Kardashian has been accused of being narcissistic for many reasons, but one of them is that she uses her children as narcissistic supply. In a 2019 Instagram post, she films a video of her asking her children to tell her how much they love her.
Kanye West: Media reports claim that the world famous rapper has an over inflated opinion of himself. West is probably one of the most famous narcissists; he has referred to himself as, “The new Kurt Cobain”, and believes his music is so fantastic it can cure cancer.
Mariah Carey: Narcissists have a tendency to engage in odd behaviors that are uncommon amongst the general public. Mariah Carey has publicly stated that she takes her baths in milk.
Madonna: The world renowned singer seems to have a habit of shamelessly stealing the limelight, and she has been pulled up on it on more than one occasion. Her public tributes to Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson both focused more on herself than on these iconic figures.
Tom Cruise: News reports suggest that Tom Cruise was responsible for brainwashing Nicole Kidman’s adopted children against her, and that is the reason they no longer have a relationship. He is one of the many famous people with npd/narcissism. Narcissists are known to turn people against you when they break up with you.
Justin Bieber: Reports suggest that the American singer continuously engages in reckless behaviour with no consideration given to those around him. Additionally, he once stated that the late Anne Frank would be a Bieber had she been alive today. Critics argue that a statement of this nature is inferring that his name is so important, someone as noteworthy as Anne Frank should be connected to it.
Kylie Jenner: Socialite and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner has been accused of being completely self obsessed. Apparently, her constant positing of selfies on social media teaches young girls that physical appearance is the most important aspect of a woman.
Drake: The Canadian rapper Drake was accused of being a narcissist after he sent out a social media post paying tribute to Barak Obama leaving office. His farewell note included a photo shopped picture of the former president in which he had given Obama his beard and hairstyle.
Beyoncé: The most famous female vocalist in the world was branded a narcissist after her documentary, “Life is but a Dream.” She was accused of being out of touch with reality, and living in her own fantasy world.
Angelina Jolie: The American actress has been accused of craving attention and desperately needs to be in the limelight. Producer Scott Rudin referred to her as a “spoiled brat with limited talent.”
Marilyn Manson: When confronted over the allegation that his music inspired Columbine Shootings, he simply denied any responsibility and stated that the killers needed more attention. Manson appeared self-centered, is exhibitionistic and enjoys being in the public eye.
O.J. Simpson: Simpson lacks empathy and is often envious of others. He also believes that he is special and deserves merit.
Paris Hilton: Paris lives in front of the camera-the world is her stage; she has been arrested for DUI, and seems to lack empathy.
The 5 Most Narcissistic People in History
Fact About Narcissism: Narcissim are not born, they are made; environmental factors play a larger role in the disorder than genetics.
Franklin Roosevelt: Roosevelt has been labelled as one of the most charismatic presidents in American history. According to experts, narcissists are extremely charismatic, and it is this characteristic that makes the disorder difficult to spot because they are able to convince everyone around them that they are perfectly normal.
Lyndon Johnson: The 36th president of the United States wanted to go down in history as the greatest president of America. His biographer Robert Caro referred to him as an exceptionally empty person who couldn’t stand to be alone and needed constant approval, affection, attention and companionship.
Nero: Donald Trump has been described as the modern day Nero. The famous Roman ruler bought complete devastation, and misery to the Roman people. He was known for craving attention and fame.
Alexander the Great: Critics argue that he served with a narcissistic leadership style because he failed to carry out his obligations as a statesman, and was more concerned with satisfying his own military passions.
Henry VIII: Experts argue that his behaviour was tantamount to that of a modern day serial killer, and have also labelled him as a psychopath. However, he was also very charming, selfish and ruthless, which are all characteristics of a narcissist.
5 Historical Narcissistic Leaders
Fact About Narcissism: Narcissism is rooted in self loathing and low-self esteem due to childhood trauma.
Adolph Hitler: Experts believe that Adolf Hitler was a pathological narcissist who so believed in his own superiority that everyone else should be put to death. He managed to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust.
George Washington: George Washington was the first president of the United States. He has been accused of being a narcissist because he had an over-inflated confidence in his own judgements, and he strongly believed he earned his achievements. Many have argued against this.
Richard Nixon: The 37th president of the United States has been described as having an out of control ego. He openly referred to himself in the third person, and hated former presidents getting recognition for their achievements, namely John F. Kennedy.
Robert Mugabe: The late president of Zimbabwe wore clothes with his face on it, he was a vile villain who killed thousands, and destroyed the livelihoods of many more. Everything had to be done his way, and if it wasn’t, he went on a warpath. Narcissists are known for their controlling nature.
Josef Stalin: Experts describe the former leader of the Soviet Union a malignant narcissist. He ruled the nation with an iron fist and terrorised the people with his unpredictable behaviour. In classic narcissist style, he would have citizens tortured, he would then have them rescued and reward them.
5 Famous Movie Characters With Narcissism
Fact About Narcissism: Narcissim is a spectrum disorder; in other words, some people are more narcissistic than others.
Miranda Priestly: The lead character in the movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ was an egomaniac who was obsessed with her physical appearance. Priestly was cold, and demanding, and expected perfection from her employees. Anything short of the best was met with intense criticism.
Jenna Maroney: Is the lead character in the television series ‘30 Rock’, shesuffers from delusions of grandiose. Maroney believes she is entitled to special treatment and that everyone around her should worship her. However, her achievements are not worthy of the recognition she thinks she is due.
Violet Weston: Violet Weston is a character in ‘August: Osage County’, she is emotionally abusive and cruel. Weston is also heavily addicted to narcotics, all of which are character traits of a narcissist.
Gilderoy Lockhart: Described as ‘everyone’s favourite narcissist’, this character in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ is described as a pathological liar who tells so many lies that he believes in his own stories. He is also convinced that he is someone of grand importance to the world.
Zaphod Beeblebrox: Zaphod Beeblebrox is a fictional character in the TV series ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’ One of his many quotes that display his narcissistic character is, “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” He is also an extrovert, untrustworthy, irresponsible, clever and imaginative.
Everyone admires celebrities, public figures and industry leaders for their massive success. The entertainment industry is a multibillion dollar machine driven by those who buy into the image of high profile people.
But from the information presented, it is clear that they all have their own challenges to deal with. As much as we all love pointing the finger at self-obsessed narcissistic celebrities, the reality is that narcissism is a crippling condition steeped in desperately painful feelings of self-loathing, and insecurity.
These people have had terrible childhoods, case in point Madonna; she lost her mother at the age of five. She was forced to take care of her younger siblings and grew up before her time. Psychologists argue that such treatment during childhood stunts emotional growth, and this can cause narcissism during adulthood.
What we see in public, is not what is displayed in private. Despite their millions and billions, many of them are suffering more than we could possibly imagine.
Wo do you believe is missing on these lists?