13 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Lived In Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin may not be widely known as a celebrity hotspot, but you may be surprised to learn that a number of notable actors, comedians, and personalities once lived there. From athletes to red-carpet celebrities, these 13 famous faces have called the Dairy State home.
Here are a few celebrities you didn't know came from Wisconsin.
13.) Oprah Winfrey (Milwaukee)
Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah Winfrey was raised in Milwaukee, attending Lincoln High School and Nicolet High School (she finished high school in Nashville, where her dad lived).
12.) Chris Farley (Madison)
Christopher Crosby Farley was an American comedian and actor. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style on the popular late-night show, Saturday Night Live (SNL). He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Maple Bluff.
11.) Mark Ruffalo (Kenosha)
Mark Alan Ruffalo is an American actor and producer. He is featured in several movies such as 13 Going On 30, Now You See Me, and She-Hulk. Mark was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but eventually moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he lived out most of his teenage years.
10.) Nick Viall (Waukesha)
Nick Viall is an American reality TV star, entrepreneur, and podcast host. He first rose to fame in 2014 after appearing on The Bachelorette and quickly became a fan favorite. Since then, he has been featured in four seasons of the show, competed on Dancing with the Stars, and is the host of his own podcast called The Viall Files. His various business endeavors, from wine labels to personal care products, have gained him immense success.
Nick Viall, a "Bachelor" franchise veteran, went to Waukesha North High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his first appearance on the show, Viall took Dorfman on a hometown date in Milwaukee, where they visited Lakefront Brewery and the Milwaukee Public Market. Viall introduced her to his family in Waukesha.
9.) Rachel Brosnahan (Milwaukee)
Rachel Brosnahan is an American actress who has been recognized for her many acting achievements. She is best known for her leading role in the Amazon Prime show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which won her a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award in 2018. Rachel has also appeared in numerous films such as Patriots Day and Manhattan Romance, as well as TV shows such as House of Cards and Inside Amy Schumer.
Brosnahan was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her father worked in children's publishing and the family moved to Highland Park, Illinois when Brosnahan was four.
8.) Willem Dafoe (Appleton)
Willem Dafoe is an American actor, known for his intense and compelling performances. He has received nominations for three Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards, and has also starred in iconic films such as Platoon, The English Patient, and Spider-Man.
Defoe, grew up in a large house near Lawrence University in Appleton and was the seventh of eight children. Defoe attended Appleton East High School but was expelled because of a video editing project in his communications class.
7.) Trixie Mattel (Milwaukee/Crivitz)
Trixie Mattel (Brian Michael Firkus) is an American drag queen, singer-songwriter, comedian, author, and television personality. She is best known for her time on RuPaul's Drag Race, where she won the 3rd season of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars.
Trixie is from Crivitz, a village about 50 miles north of Green Bay. She currently co-owns an LGBTQ+ bar in Milwaukee.
6.) Tony Shalhoub (Green Bay)
Tony Shalhoub is an American actor, comedian, director, and producer. He is best known for his role as Detective Adrian Monk in the TV show Monk, for which he won three Emmy Awards, and as Abed Nadir on the NBC sitcom Community.
Shalhoub, the ninth of ten children, was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Shalhoub graduated from Green Bay East High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before transferring to the University of Southern Maine, where he studied drama.
5.) Harrison Ford (Ripon)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from Hollywood, Harrison Ford was living in the state of Wisconsin. He went to Ripon College, discovered his love of performing, and got his first professional acting job. He also met and married his first wife in Wisconsin.
Harrison Ford is an iconic American actor and producer best known for his iconic roles in films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, and The Fugitive.
4.) Arnold Schwarzenegger (Superior)
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a legendary actor and former Governor of California. He is best known for his action films such as The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, and Predator. He also served in the Austrian Army and competed as a bodybuilder in his early career.
When he was 31, he started school at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
3.) J.J. Watt (Pewaukee)
Justin James Watt is a recently retired American former football defensive end who played in the National Football League for twelve seasons. He played college football at Central Michigan and Wisconsin and was drafted by the Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
J.J. Watt was born in Pewaukee Wisconsin, attended Pewaukee High School, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he played football.
2.) Gwen Jorgensen (Waukesha)
Gwen Rosemary Jorgensen is an American distance runner and former professional triathlete. She is the 2014 and 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series Champion. She has been named USA Triathlon's 2013 and 2014 Olympic/ITU Female Athlete of the Year.
Gwen was born in Waukesha Wisconsin and attended Waukesha South High School and then the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she swam and ran for the Badgers. She earned a master's degree in accounting, passed the CPA exam, and worked for Ernst & Young in Milwaukee as a tax accountant.
1.) Gene Wilder (Milwaukee)
Jerome Silberman, known professionally as Gene Wilder, was an American actor, comedian, writer, and filmmaker born in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He is known mainly for his comedic roles, but also for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
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