Famous Minnesotans

by ShanKat77 | created - 30 Jul 2013 | updated - 27 Jan 2014 | Public

These are celebrities who have direct ties to Minnesota.

1. Rachael Leigh Cook

Actress | She's All That

Minneapolis native Rachael Leigh Cook began her career as a model at the tender age of 10, gracing Milk-Bone(R) boxes and Target(R) ads nationwide in the USA. She also appeared in a now-famous (in the USA) anti-drug TV spot in which, armed with a frying pan, she bashed her way through a kitchen to ...

2. Josh Hartnett

Actor | Lucky Number Slevin

Joshua Daniel Hartnett was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Wendy Anne (Kronstedt) and Daniel Thomas Hartnett, a building manager. His father is of Irish and German descent, and his mother is of Swedish and Norwegian ancestry. Hartnett graduated from South High School in Minneapolis in June of ...

3. Garrett Hedlund

Actor | Tron

Born in Roseau, Minnesota, Garrett John Hedlund is the son of Kristi Anne (Yanish) and Robert Martin Hedlund. He has two older siblings, Nathaniel and Amanda. His father is of Swedish descent and his mother is of German and Norwegian ancestry.

Garrett spent his early years growing up on a farm in a ...

4. Vince Vaughn

Producer | The Break-Up

Vincent Anthony Vaughn was born on March 28, 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and was raised in Lake Forest, Illinois. His parents are Vernon Vaughn, a salesman and character actor, and Sharon Vaughn (née Sharon Eileen DePalmo), a real-estate agent and stockbroker. They divorced in 1991. He ...

5. Maria Thayer

Actress | Accepted

Maria Thayer was born on October 30, 1975 in Boring, Oregon, USA as Maria Christina Thayer. She is an actress, known for Accepted (2006), State of Play (2009) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008).

She is a 1994 graduate of Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley MN

6. Brianna Brown

Actress | Spider-Man 2

Minnesota-born Brianna Brown began acting in elementary school and local community productions. After high school she journeyed to Hollywood to pursue an acting career full-time. She snagged a part in the pilot show for Judd Apatow's quirky, fondly remembered series Freaks and Geeks (1999). From ...

Also an AVHS alum.

7. Reggie Rolle

Actor | Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

Born Reginald Larentes Rolle in St. Paul, Minnesota, entertainment is in Reggie's namesake; his middle name, inspired by legendary director Dino de Laurentiis, foreshadowed his future in the industry. After attending the University of Minnesota, where he studied marketing and theater, Reggie moved ...

Also an AVHS alum.

8. Vincent Kartheiser

Actor | Mad Men

Known to audiences worldwide as spitfire advertising executive "Pete Campbell" on Matthew Weiner's Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award-winning drama series Mad Men (2007), Vincent Kartheiser has actually been acting since he was a teen. Starting with Untamed Heart (1993), alongside Marisa Tomei, ...

Also an AVHS alum.

9. Joel Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), A Serious Man (2009) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child.

10. Ethan Coen

Producer | The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Ethan Jesse Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), A Serious Man (2009) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He has been married to Tricia Cooke since October 2, 1990. They have two ...

11. Seann William Scott

Actor | American Pie

Seann William Scott was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, to Patricia Anne (Simons) and William Frank Scott, a factory worker. He was discovered at a talent competition in Los Angeles, and almost immediately was flown to New York by ABC to test for All My Children (1970). His face has also been ...

12. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

13. Bob Dylan

Soundtrack | Renaldo and Clara

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota; his father Abe worked for the Standard Oil Co. Six years later the family moved to Hibbing, often the coldest place in the US, where he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. In 1959 he entered the...

14. Prince

Soundtrack | Under the Cherry Moon

Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth, ...

15. Richard Dean Anderson

Actor | Stargate SG-1

The future MacGyver (1985) and Stargate SG-1 (1997) star was born on January 23, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Anderson, was a teacher at a local high school and his mother, Jocelyn, was an artist who was talented in both sculpting and painting. He and his three younger ...

16. James Arness

Actor | Gunsmoke

American leading man famed as the star of one of the longest-running shows in U.S. television history, Gunsmoke (1955). Born of Norwegian heritage (the family name, Aurness, had formerly been Aursness) in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rolf and Ruth Duesler Aurness. His father was a traveling salesman ...

17. Peter Graves

Actor | Airplane!

Peter Graves was born Peter Duesler Aurness on March 18, 1926 on Minneapolis, Minnesota. While growing up in Minnesota, he excelled at sports and music (as a saxophonist), and by age 16, he was a radio announcer at WMIN in Minneapolis. After two years in the United States Army Air Force, he studied...

18. Jesse Ventura

Actor | Predator

Jesse Ventura was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Bernice Martha (Lenz), a nurse who was of German descent, and George William Janos, a steam fitter of Slovak ancestry. In November 1990, professional wrestler turned actor Jesse Ventura was elected to a four-year term as mayor of Brooklyn Park, ...

19. Louie Anderson

Actor | Coming to America

Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, the three-time Emmy®-Award winner, is one of the country's most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time." His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best selling author, star of his own ...

20. James Hong

Actor | Big Trouble in Little China

James Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He studied civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, but at some point along the way became interested in acting. He graduated from the University of Southern California and practiced for 1½ years as a road engineer with the County of Los ...

21. Dave Ellefson

Soundtrack | Super Mario Bros.

Dave Ellefson was born on November 12, 1964 in Jackson, Minnesota, USA as David Warren Ellefson. He is an actor, known for Super Mario Bros. (1993), Megadeth: Countdown to Extinction - Live (2013) and Northern Light Orchestra (2009). He has been married to Julie Foley since 1993. They have two ...

22. Joel Gretsch

Actor | Push

Joel Gretsch was born on December 20, 1963 in St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA as Joel James Gretsch. He is an actor and director, known for Push (2009), Minority Report (2002) and The 4400 (2004). He has been married to Melanie Shatner since September 5, 1999. They have two children.

23. Judy Garland

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...

24. Loni Anderson

Actress | WKRP in Cincinnati

A buxom, be-dimpled, pert-nosed knockout, Loni Anderson took an assured place on one of the television sex symbol pedestals during the late 1970s and early 1980s. A breakout hit in her Emmy-nominated role as Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978), she later became a soap-styled ...

25. Jessica Lange

Actress | Tootsie

Jessica Lange was born in 1949, in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where her father worked as a traveling salesman. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama. She moved to New York, working as a model, until producer Dino De Laurentiis...

26. Lea Thompson

Actress | Back to the Future Part II

Lea Katherine Thompson was born on May 31, 1961, in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the youngest of five children. Her parents are Barbara Anne (Barry) and Clifford Elwin "Cliff" Thompson. Since all her siblings were much older than she, Lea says it seemed like she had more than two parents. The ...

27. Hope Lange

Actress | Death Wish

One of the most natural beauties of the 1960s with a gentle voice and personality to match, blonde Hope Lange was born in Redding Ridge, Connecticut, and performed on stage from the age of nine. She studied both drama and dance under Martha Graham, did some modeling and then worked in stock ...



Recently Viewed