50 Biggest Stars Born, Raised, Have Lived or Are Currently Living in Oregon
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Celebrities have to be from somewhere. And, in fact, many are from Oregon, or are closely associated with the state.
Did you know that Clark Gable kicked his acting career into high gear in Astoria and sold ties in a downtown Portland department store? Or that 1950s pinup model Bettie Page went to Bible school here?
Or that it has been whispered that Johnny Depp has a home in Southern Oregon?
From authors to musicians to moviemakers to stars that fill up our television screens, this state is bursting with celebrities.
Here is a list of 50 famous folk who, at one time in their lives, called this state home.
Photo Credit: iStock
Related Slideshow: SLIDES: 50 Biggest Stars Connected to Oregon
The 50 Biggest Stars Born, Raised, Have Lived or Are Currently Living in Oregon
Perhaps Oregon's most famous son, at least in the world of food and foodies, James Beard is a legendary chef, cookbook author, television personality and is the inspiration beyond the highly coveted annual awards ceremony that bears his name and recognizes the best in the world of cuisine. Beard was born in Portland, but it was during his family vacations to Gearhart where he was exposed to the Pacific Northwest cuisine that would become an inspired staple in his repetoire.
Photo Credit: Lola Haze - BFAnyc.com
Known as the first "pregnant man" Thomas Beatie (born Tracy Lehuanani LaGondino) used to live in Bend, Oregon with his legally married wife Nancy Gillespie. As a man, he gave birth to all three of his children from 2008 to 2010. During that time he was featured in an article in The Advocate Magazine which resulted in him telling his story on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Photo Credit: By Frankie Fouganthin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
Brian Michael Bendis
Dubbed as "Marvel’s chief ambassador for converting moviegoers into comics readers" by New York magazine. For the last fifteen years, Bendis has penned much of what we know about Spider Man. A super writer in the world of super heroes, Bendis also teaches both at Portland State University and the University of Oregon.
Photo Credit: "6.21.10BrianMichaelBendisByLuigiNovi1" by Luigi Novi - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Live look
Guitarist and vocalist for Portland's own Sleater-Kinney Brownstein was born in Seattle, raised in Redmond but has pretty much spent her adult life in Portland. Speaking of Portland, her IFC comedy show with Fred Armisen, "Portlandia, has catapulted Carrie and the city of Portland to sketch comedy stardom.
Photo Credit: By Peabody Awards (253 Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC-BY-2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
Ty Burell is best known for his role as Phil Dunphey in the sitcom "Modern Family." He was born in Grants Pass and attended the University of Oregon.
A hippie chick turned thrilling mystery writer, this Iowa native has long called Portland home is perhaps best known for her series of Gretchen Lowell novels including Heartsick (2007), The Night Season (2011) and Let Me Go (August 2013).
Ultimate Fighting World Champ and mixed martial arts legend Randy Couture was an Olympic wrestling alternate who lived in Corvallis, Oregon, throughout much of his career, where he served as an assistant wrestling coach and a strength and conditioning coach for Oregon State University. It was in Corvallis that he decided to pursue the world of MMA. It was in Gresham that he established Team Quest with Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson, a training camp for fighters.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (see image here) via Wikimedia Commons
The former Today Show host and longtime NBC news reporter Ann Curry lived in Japan as a child, before moving to Ashland, Oregon, where she graduated from Ashland High School. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 1978.
Photo Credit: "Ann Curry 2012 Shankbone" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Live look (Image cropped)
The lead singer of The Motels, Martha's haunting voice can be found on such classic tracks as "Suddenly Last Summer" and "Only The Lonely." Martha herself can be found on a ranch just outside of St. Helens. For the last several years Davis has based herself out of Oregon as she continues to travel the world with her band.
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Actor Sam Elliott ("Mask", "Tombstone," Hulk") moved from California to Oregon during his teenage years, where he graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington where he got a two-year degree before moving to Los Angeles to become an actor.
Film director David Fincher was born in Colorado, grew up in San Anselmo, California and moved to Ashland, Oregon during his teen years. That is where he, like Ann Curry, graduated from Ashland High School. Making movies since a very early age he would go on to make classic films like "Fight Club" from the book by longtime Portland resident and Northwest native Chuck Palahinuk.
Photo Credit: "David Fincher (2012) 3" by Elen Nivrae from Paris, France - cropped and revised version of IMG_9260. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live look (image cropped)
"I got a DUI in Bend, Oregon, where I live now, very happily," actor Matthew Fox said. "I was not happy about the DUI at all." Known for his work in "Lost" and "Party of Five" the slightly reclusive star has family in Bend.
Photo Credit: By Ewen Roberts (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The legendary movie star of "Gone With the Wind" and "The Misfits" Clark Cable actually got his real acting break in, of all places, Astoria, Oregon where he performed with a local theater company. Prior to hitting the boards of Astoria, Gable sold neckties in the Mens Department of downtown Portland's Meier & Frank.
The creative genius behind tv classics "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" and the comic "Life in Hell" Groening finds much of his inspiration for his work in his home state of Oregon and his hometown of Portland. In fact many of the characters are named after local streets.
"Matt Groening by Gage Skidmore 2" by Gage Skidmore - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look (image cropped)
Oregon's most infamous resident this ice queen was born in Portland but is best known for her time in the outskirts of the city where, from an early age, she trained to become an accomplished athlete and one of the top figure skaters of her time. In 1991 Harding landed four triple axels in competition but it was in 1994 that Harding really made a name for herself when she was linked to an attack on her fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Harding, who has spent the last decade out of the spotlight is said to be living in the central Oregon town of Sisters.
Photo Credit: "Tonya harding mac club 1994 crop" by Copy Editor (talk) - Own work (Original text: “I (Copy Editor (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.”). Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look
Gregory Harrison was the title character in the television version of the sci-fi classic "Logan's Run" before appearing in "Trapper John M.D." another spin-off. In case the spin-off was of the television show that was inspired by the movie "M.A.S.H." Harrison is married to actress Randi Oakes (of CHiPs fame). He used to live in Gold Beach, Oregon, but as of 2007 is said to reside in Eugene.
Photo Credit:"Heather Menzies Gregory Harrison Logan's Run 1977" by MGM Television - eBay itemphoto frontphoto back. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look
Katie Marie Harman-Ebner, known for being Miss America in 2002, and former Miss Oregon in 2001, is a classical vocalist and stage actress. During the September 11th attacks she was newly selected as Miss America and she provide support to the rescue workers.
photo creidts: Katie Harman 2008, by Craig A. Hurst© under (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Actor Jon Heder hit the screen hard with his feature film debut came in 2004 as the title character of the comedy film "Napoleon Dynamite." Heder and his parents moved to Salem, Oregon, when he was 2 years old. He attended Walker Middle School in Salem and graduated from South Salem High School in 1996.
Photo Credit:"Jon Heder by Gage Skidmore" by Gage Skidmore - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look
The granddaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway and older sister of actress Mariel Hemingway, Margaux was born In Portland, Oregon. A supermodel of the 1970's, the sometimes actress was as known as much for her partying ways as she was for her magazine covers. In 1996, one day before the anniversary of her grandfather's own suicide, Hemingway was found dead in her studio apartment in Santa Monica.
Photo Credit: "Margaux Hemingway" by Sabonarola at en.wikipedia) - Own work (Sabonarola at en.wikipedia))Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look (image cropped)
Lisa is an American political satirist, radio personality, and former MTV VJ known merely as "Kennedy." She is also the co-host of 'the Independents' a Fox Business Channel show. She was born in Indianapolis, but raised in lake Oswego where she went to Lakeridge High. She left Portland in the early 90's and went to Los Angeles where she became a radio DJ.
Ken Kesey, Oregon's literary gift to the world, was actually born in Colorado. In 1946 his family moved to Springfield, Oregon where Kesey became a champion wrestler. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1953 and attended college at the University of Oregon where he earned a degree from the university's School of Journalism in speech and communication in 1957. He would go on to write such classics as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes A Great Notion.
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One of the stars of Showtime's Mary Jane-centric "Weeds" it shouldn't be any wonder that this Emmy-nominated actor was born in Oregon. In fact, it was Salem, Oregon. But Kirk soon moved from the "big" town of Salem to the much smaller hamlet of Union, Washington with a population hovering below 600 citizens.
Photo Credit: "Justin Kirk 2008" by Kristin Dos Santos - Justin Kirk. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look (image cropped)
Singer/songwriter, actress and author wasn't born in Oregon, but she has definitely made a name for herself here. From her earliest days at Dante's with her band "The Balls" to her time onstage at Portland Center Stage in both "Cabaret" and her own show, "Crazy Enough" which became the basis for her own memoir. And, yes, she spent some time on a reality television show called "Rockstar Supernova."
The Yoko Ono of Nirvana. The lead singer of Hole. The muse of many a high fashion designer. And an actress. Courtney Love is many things, including a longtime resident of Oregon. Love and her family moved the family to the rural community of Marcola, Oregon in 1970 and attended elementary school in Eugene. In the early 80's Love spent time in Portland including many a night at the now long gone punk club Satyricon.
Photo Credit: "Courtney Love Public Assembly Crop" by Amanda Farah - . Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look
One of Hugh Hefner's many ex-girlfriends Madison's stands out because she almost actually married the most famous bachelor in the world. It was all caught on tape (of course) via the popular E! reality show "The Girls Next Door." She also appeared on her own show called "Holly's World." Madison was born in the North Coast town of Astoria. After moving away for a few years, Holly and her family moved back to the small town of St. Helens where Holly would commute to Portland State University to study theater and psychology.
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It is said that the first "Spiderman" to hit the big screen had a tulmultous childhood that resulted in the young Tobey being shuttled from state to state including several times in both Oregon and Washington.
Photo Credit: By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC-BY-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the founding members of The Smiths, alongside Morrissey, this music-minded singer, songwriter and guitarist spent at least five years in Portland before returning his native land of Great Britian and his home in Manchester.
Photo Credit: By University of Salford Press Office [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The son of longtime Portland publishing magnate, Don Olson, Kaitlin grew up in Tigard, Oregon before going off to Hollywood to pursue her dream of an acting career that eventually landed her the role ofDeandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds in the television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
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Bettie Page once was the "queen of pin-up" modeling due to her distinctive hour-glass shaped body, black bangs and skimpy swimsuits. She was alternately a glamour gal, bondage model and one of Playboy magazine's first "Playmates of the Month." Flirting with the edge of erotic took a toll on Page. In the late 1950's she became an evangelical Christian. It was during this time in her life she attended the Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland.
Photo Credit: By CMG Worldwide (CMG Worldwide) (see image here) via Wikimedia Commons
The author of the cult classic "Fight Club" and many other masculine and minimalist tomes, Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington (and grew up nearby in the small town of Burbank, Washington) before bolting after his high school graduation to the big city of Portland, Oregon. His oft-mispronounced last name has not stopped him from becoming a household name to readers from all over the world. Chuck has lived in or near Portland for over 30 years.
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One of the greatest scientists of all time, Pauling is one of only two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie. The first was in 1954 for chemistry and in 1962 received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although he lived most of his life in Portland, Oregon he died at the age of 93 in Big Sur, California.
"LinusPaulingGraduation1922". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -see image here
Born in chilly Chicago but raised in the comfy confines of Lake Oswego, this model/actress—best known for her role in the television show "Sisters"—is actually more well known for being the girlfriend and first wife of New Jersey's first musical son, Bruce Springsteen. After Sisters and Springsteen Moore pretty much has retired from public life.
Photo Credit: "Julianne Moore 05" by Alan Light - Julianne Moore. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live Look
River Phoenix was born River Jude Bottom on August 23, 1970, in Metolius, Oregon. He would go on to make two seminal films in Oregon: 1986's "Stand By Me" and 1991's "My Own Private Idaho" directed by longtime Portland resident Gus Van Sant. River's career and life was cut short in 1993 when he died of drug-induced heart failure outside a club in Los Angeles.
Mitchell Craig "Mitch" Pileggi is perhaps best known for his creepy role as Walter Skinner on "The X-Files." Currently the Portland native has an even creepier role as Harris Ryland in TNT's updated version of the night time soap "Dallas."
Photo Credit: By Willo [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
One of the stars during "The Golden Age of Holllywood" Jane Powell grew up in Portland to become the "Oregon Victory Girl" where she traveled around the state for two years, during World War II, singing and selling victory bonds. During her time as the Oregon Victory Girl, Powell had two weekly radio shows. Powell is best known for her role in the musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" with Howard Keel.
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Born Robert Moore in Portland in 1949 this now well-known sportscaster used to play football at the University of Oregon. In 1972, Bobby Moore converted to Islam, and changed his name to Ahmad Rashād. He has been married four times including to actress Phylicia Rashad of "Cosby" fame and Sale Johnson who is the ex-wife of Johnson & Johnson billionaire heir, and New York Jets owner,Woody Johnson.
Photo Credit: "Ahmad Rashad" by Anthony Collins - originally uploaded to Flickr as Ahmad Rashad. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - Live look
A soap opera acting legend (and sometimes adult undergarment pitch person) Lisa Rinna plays "Billie," just one of the conivving women who make up the cast of the long-running "Days of Our Lives." Born in Medford, Lisa now lives in Los Angeles with her longtime husband, actor Harry Hamlin.
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Born in Portland and a graduate of Beaverton's Sunset High School Katee would go on to international geek and sci-fi stardom as "Starbuck" on the re-boot of the television series "Battlestar Galactica." She currently stars in the A&E series "Longmire" as Deputy Sheriff Victoria "Vic" Moretti. This gal is tough.
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Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant was not born here (it was actually in Kentucky) but probably has more to do with people knowning what Oregon looks like over the last couple of decades via his seminal films such as "Mala Noche," "Drugstore Cowboy," "My Own Private Idaho," and "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues." Although he calls Portland his home Gus spents a good portion of his time on the road (and in Los Angeles) making his films.
Photo Credit: By Gorup de Besanez (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons (Image cropped)
Singer/songwriter smith gained noterity for his music in the town where he spent a good portion of his short life: Portland. Smith, who graduated from Lincoln High School, played in local bands like Heatmiser, before reaching acclaim and appearing on The Academy Awards for the song "Miss Misery" that appeared in Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting."
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Mindy Burbano was merely a Forest Grove dental hygenist. That was until she was "discovered" by Oprah Winfrey during a taping of the "Oprah" show—were Mindy let out a big "cockle doodle doo" and became forever known on that show and to the world as "The Rooster Lady." Mindy parlayed her affinity for animal noises into a career in entertainment grew up in the Portland area. Her acting credits include "The Princess Diaries," "Dickie Roberts," and Mrs. Glenn Stearns on "The Real Gilligan's Island."
photo credits: Mindy's official site
A Portland native, actress Sally Struthers is best known as "Gloria," the daughter of the ill-tempered Archie Bunker on "All In The Family" as well as countless late-night commercials.
Lead singer and co-founder of the alternative band, The Dandy Warhols, Taylor-Taylor spends a good time at his home in Portland when he isn't travelling the world with his band.
Photo Credit: By Graham Stanley from Barcelona, Spain (Dandy Warhols July 2006) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The original "Bionic Woman," Lindsay Wagner attended Portland's David Douglas High School as well as the Unversity of Oregon. After winning an Emmy as "Jamie Sommers" Wagner would go onto make a career out of appearing in televison series, movies of the week, and more recently as the pitch person for a bed company.
One of the biggest stars in professional soccer this two-time Olympic gold medalist splits her time between Portland and New York State where she currently plays for Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League.
Photo Credit: By Abby_Wambach_USA_vs_Can_Sep17.jpg: Ampatent derivative work: Hmlarson [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons (Image cropped)
Matt Ward, better known as M. Ward, is a singer songwriter has lived in Portland since his post-college days. It's here where he gained promience in the indie music scene and it is here where, legend has it, he has invited actress Zooey Deschanel (his bandmate in She & Him) to perform at local coffeeshops.
The widow of civil rights leader Medgar Evers and an out-spoken activist in her own right, Myrlie is an accomplished author and journalist. After her husband's death, Evers would eventually marry fellow activist Walter Williams and moved with him to Bend, Oregon in 1989.
Photo Credit: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher S. Johnson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This former "Miss Teen USA" (one of two such crown holders from Oregon) is from the coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon. After her reign Bridgette would go on to co-star in films with the likes of Adam Sandler, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Wilson is the wife of tennis great Pete Sampras, and the mother of two sons.
Photo Credit: Guilty Viewing Pleasures: Mortal Kombat
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