'I've had a sexy-ass life.' Patricia Clarkson and 9 other stars who chose not to be mums.

For some celebrities, children simply weren't on the on the cards

That includes actor Patricia Clarkson, who describes herself as a "single, straight, Southern woman who never married and never had children".

While chatting on the podcast Bruce Bozzi's Table for Twothe 63-year-old reflected on her "big choice" not to have kids. 

"I have so many sisters who have beautiful children, and they now have beautiful children," the Sharp Objects actor shared. "I love being an aunt, I love it more than, probably more than acting, which is odd. They're on par. But I'm telling you, these are gorgeous children, but that doesn’t have to define every woman."

Image: Getty.


Clarkson knew from a young age she didn't want to have kids and the "window to have a child" came and went, she says, at age 38, when she was in a relationship with an artist.

"At the end of the day, I loved working and I grew up with great parents who sacrificed everything for me," she said. 

"And you have to really be committed to having children. You have to be a great parent, and I was afraid I couldn’t be."

Clarkson also confessed she "didn't want to fail" at being a mother, adding: "I'm fine failing as an actor. I didn't want to fail at being a parent.

"My mother said, 'Patty, I just don't want you to wake up at 50 and be unhappy,'" she continued. 

"I woke up at 50 in stilettos and a thong. I've had a great sexy-ass life."

Clarkson is not the only celeb to choose not to have kids. Here are nine others who made the same decision.

Jennifer Coolidge

Queen Jennifer Coolidge. Image: Getty.


In June, White Lotus actor Jennifer Coolidge shared she has chosen not to have children simply because she doesn't want to grow up. 

During a recent interview, the star told British GQ the reason she opted not to have a family is largely because she says she is "very, very immature."

"I’m sort of a child," she went on to explain, adding she'd likely make a fantastic stepmother. "Maybe if I had kids, I would’ve had to have grown up."

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, 2019. Image: Getty.


The singer and actor, who rose to fame on the Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana, told Elle in 2019, the state of the world is preventing her from starting a family. 

"We just take and take and expect it to keep producing. And it's exhausted. It can't produce. We're getting handed a piece-of-s**t planet, and I refuse to hand that down to my child," Cyrus explained. 

"Until I feel like my kid would live on an earth with fish in the water, I'm not bringing in another person to deal with that."

Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall. Image: Getty.


When the Sex and the City actor turned 41, she made the conscious decision not to have children. 

Cattrall opened up about her decision in 2020 on the Women's Prize for Fiction podcast, in the interview she explained why she picked pursuing a career over a family. 

"So I was also 41. And I just thought that I have to make a decision here for my well-being. And I love to work, my work has been the passport to my independence, my freedom and my education," the actor explained.


Kim officially decided not to have kids while working on Sex and the City. 

"This was 1998, I would have to become a bit of a science experiment," Cattrall explained. "My partner and I would have to be available to have sex at a certain time. There's just no way, I could have done that in a healthy, emotional, physical, or even physical state, and do 19-hour days."

Betty White

Betty White, 2015. Image: Getty.


The legendary actor passed away in 2022 at the age of 99. During her time on earth, she chose to remain child-free. 

In 2011, she explained her decision to CBS Sunday Morning. 

"No, I've never regretted it. I'm so compulsive about stuff. I know that if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would've been my whole focus," she explained. 

"But I didn't choose to have children because I'm focused on my career and I don't think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both."

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder. Image: Getty.


The Stranger Things actor says she has found maternal fulfilment in other aspects of her life. 

In 2014, she admitted she needed to "stop listening" to other people's opinions about her body and motherhood choices. 

"This is a little personal but I'm 42 and… Well, I was talking to my dad last year and saying, 'What if I can't have a kid?' and he said, 'There are other ways to have children in your life,'" she recalled to The Telegraph in 2014.

"That's true — and I get these amazing doses with my brother's kids. I've just got to stop listening to other people. It's crazy the stuff women will tell you."

Dolly Parton

Image: Getty.


The singer's long and tumultuous (but always full) life influenced her to make the decision to stay child-free. 

In 2014, the 'Jolene' singer shared that having eight siblings who were younger than her was about just as maternal as she wanted to get. 

"I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life," she told People in 2014. "I've loved their kids just like they're my grandkids, and now I've got great-grand-kids! Now I'm GeeGee, which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn't meant for me to have kids so everybody's kids can be mine."

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi


Portia De Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres met in 2000 and have been inseparable ever since. 

There has also been curiosity surrounding why they chose not to have children. 

Portia simply said she didn't have the desire she felt was necessary to want to expand her family.

"There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, 'Am I going to have kids so I don't miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?" she told Out in 2013.

She continued, "I didn't feel that my response was 'yes' to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did."

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren. Image: Getty.


Whilst a proud stepmother, the 1923 actor has never wanted to become a mother. 

In a chat with Vogue in 2013, she explained the reason why she chose not to expand her family. 

"It was not my destiny. I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn't care what people thought."

Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger. Image: Getty.


"Motherhood has never been an ambition," the actor said to London Times back in 2008. "I don't think like that. I never have expectations like, 'When I'm 19 I'm going to do this, and by the time I've hit 25 I'm going to do that.' 

"I just take things as they come, each day at a time, and if things happen, all well and good."

This article was published on June 10, 2023 and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty.

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