The Digital Footprints of 11 Famously Elusive Celebrities

What is PeekScore?: PeekScore is a rank from 1 to 10, assigned to every person. The higher someone’s score, the “more important” they are on the web. In calculating your PeekScore and updating it often, PeekYou takes into account your known presence and activity on the Internet, including but not limited to; your blogging, participation in social networks, the number of your friends, followers, or readers, the amount of web content you create, and your prominence in the news.

Don’t call them recluses, although some in the media will portray them as such. They are mostly just men and women who are content to let their works speak for themselves. Below is a list of 11 artists, all of whom work (or have worked) in popular media, and all of whom have achieved incredible success in their chosen fields. They are also men and women who have little interest in living their lives in a constant state of exposure and self-promotion, contrary to the prevailing mentality of our culture’s popular artists. Some have retired, some have sadly gone a little off the deep end, but for the most part these are men and women who have not shunned success, and who, to this day, are continuing to create and work hard at their crafts. They have simply chosen to live their lives on their own terms.

There are no Twitters, Facebooks, or blogs to be found among the individuals on this list (although there are some personal websites, mostly set up by corporate partners, or – as is the case with Ms. Bardot’s site – affiliated with charity work). And yet, so admired are their works, and/or so enduring are their iconic statuses that each of them has still made a significant mark here in the world wide web. The PeekScore measures the “digital footprint” of an individual, meaning it quantifies the full breadth and scope of his or her impact on the web. The score is based largely on a given individual’s own activity on the web, but as the above disclaimer states, it also factors in an individual’s “prominence in the news.” The works of the men and women on this list are so celebrated, written about, discussed, and enduring that each of them has left a large digital footprint without even directly contributing to it themselves. We felt that this phenomenon was worthy of notice. Here we are, after all, writing about these people.

Are there any famously press-shy/media-hostile artists who you think we should have included below? Are there any we shouldn’t have? Let us know.

Rank Picture Name Bio PeekScore
1

Terrence Malick There’s little doubt that the hubbub surrounding his most recent film, The Tree of Life, is why he’s topping our list today. Our media-shy friend here has been making films for nearly 40 years, and thus far he’s managed to make only five. In his defense, though, they are all pretty good. 8.30 / 10
2

Thomas Pynchon “My belief is that recluse is a code word generated by journalists meaning he doesn’t like to talk to reporters”, the brilliant author of Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Crying of Lot 49 once said. He lives openly in a city of over 8 million people, he’s done voices for The Simpsons, has made other appearances over the years, and apparently leads a quite normal life. He just doesn’t court the media and its adjacent brouhaha. 8.08 / 10
3

Bill Watterson The creator of the extraordinary, and extraordinarily popular, Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. After drawing the strip for ten years, he walked away to “work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises.” Notoriously unwilling to give autographs, a few years back he would occasionally sneak autographed copies of his books onto the shelves of a small bookshop in his Ohio hometown, just for fun. 8.03 / 10
4

Lana Wachowski (representing both Wachowskis) Lana (formerly Larry/Laurence) is one half – along with her brother Andy – of The Wachowskis, the writing/directing team responsible for the sprawling The Matrix franchise, and the (ahem, frankly underrated) Speed Racer film. While their press-shyness has contributed to their carrying about them something of a mystique, many who have worked with the pair have described them as extremely approachable and fun people. They just don’t have much interest in publicly talking about themselves or their lives. 8.01 / 10
5

Steve Ditko Some find religion and withdraw from the limelight, Ditko – the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange (and a man whose artwork is positively worshiped by hardcore comic geeks) – instead found Ayn Rand. His story is worth investigating, if you have the time. 7.71/ 10
6

Dave Chapelle As is well known, he admirably abandoned his wildly popular Chappelle’s Show for a number of reasons both personal and artistic. “I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced.” He still works as a stand-up comedian, which is his true craft and first love. 7.53 / 10
7

Daniel Day-Lewis “How can you be a recluse in a house full of children, even if you had the inclination to be, which I don’t?” While he shuns the publicity machine, for all the reasons any sane man would, he leads what he insists is an entirely normal life; only with the boatloads of cash you have on-hand when you’re a big, fancy movie star. 7.52 / 10
8

Brigitte Bardot She retired from entertainment in 1973, but what an iconic legacy she left behind. She has dedicated herself to animal rights causes in the subsequent decades, and in more recent years made headlines for expressing political opinions viewed by some as controversial. 7.49 / 10
9

Harper Lee After writing the inconceivably celebrated To Kill a Mockingbird, she then assisted Truman Capote in his researching In Cold Blood, and soon thereafter all but vanished from public view. Next to the now deceased J. D. Salinger, she may very well be modern times’ most famously media-shy author. 7.35 / 10
10

Sly Stone A pop musician of nearly incalculable importance and brilliance, during the 70s he apparently developed numerous drug and personal problems, which precipitated a decline and recession from public view. He has only emerged from hiding sporadically in the decades since, and never to much commercial or artistic avail. Of all the individuals on this list, he is the only one whose story has a tragic undercurrent. We couldn’t see compiling a list of this nature without including him, but let’s move on. 7.24 / 10
11

Cormac McCarthy He appeared on Oprah, and has popped up here and there in more recent years, but the author of No Country for Old Men, The Road, and All the Pretty Horses is as famous for shunning celebrity and its hassles as any artist you can name. 7.19 / 10

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