Truly Talented Texans

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1.
Cyd Charisse
Cyd Charisse was born Tula Ellice Finklea on March 8, 1921 in Amarillo, Texas. Born to be a dancer, she spent her early childhood taking ballet lessons and joined the Ballet Russe at age 13. In 1939, she married Nico Charisse, her former dance teacher. In 1943, she appeared in her first film, Something to Shout About...
 
2.
Callie Khouri
Raised in Texas and Kentucky by her doctor father and mother. Went to Purdue University to study landscape architecture but switched to drama. Moved to Nashville after college to be with her family before heading to Los Angeles in 1982 to study at the Strasburg Institute. Worked for a commercials production...
 
3.
Tracy Scoggins
Tracy Dawn Scoggins was born and raised in Dickinson, Texas. At age 16, she enrolled in Southwest Texas State, where she studied speech communications and physical education. After leaving college, she was hired by the Elite Modeling Agency and sent to New York City. After one year, she continued her modeling career with assignments in Italy...
 
4.
Carol Burnett
The entertainment world has enjoyed a five-decade love affair with comedienne/singer Carol Burnett. A peerless sketch performer and delightful, self-effacing personality who rightfully succeeded Lucille Ball as the carrot-topped "Queen of Television Comedy," it was Burnett's traumatic childhood that set the stage for her comedy...
 
5.
Steve Martin
Writer, The Jerk
Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA as Stephen Glenn Martin to Mary Lee (née Stewart; 1913-2002) and Glenn Vernon Martin (1914-1997), a real estate salesman and aspiring actor. He was raised in Inglewood and Garden Grove in California. In 1960, he got a job at the Magic shop of Disney's Fantasyland...
 
6.
Owen Wilson
Self-proclaimed troublemaker Owen Wilson was born in Dallas, to Irish-American parents originally from Massachusetts. He grew up in Texas with his mother, Laura (Cunningham), a photographer; his father, Robert Andrew Wilson, an ad exec; and his brothers, Andrew Wilson (the eldest) and Luke Wilson (the youngest)...
 
7.
Renée Zellweger
Renée Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, USA. Her mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), is a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife, of Norwegian, Kven (Finnish), and Swedish descent. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is a Swiss-born engineer. The two married in 1963. Renée has a brother named Drew Zellweger...
 
8.
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner, whose primary claim to fame is his portrayal of the beloved android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His parents, Sylvia (Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, owned and operated a furniture store, and were both from Jewish immigrant families (from Austria...
 
10.
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; Crawford worked a variety of menial jobs...
 
11.
Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (Harmon) and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her film career began at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16 impersonating Betty Hutton. Reynolds wasn't a dancer until she was selected to be Gene Kelly's partner in Singin' in the Rain...
 
12.
Powers Boothe
Actor, Sin City
Incisive, gravelly-voiced screen tough guy Powers Boothe was born on June 1, 1948 in Snyder, Texas, a sharecropper's son. Used to hard physical work "chopping cotton" as a youngster, he went on to become the first member of his family to attend university. He then proceeded to study acting via a fellowship with Southern Methodist University...
 
13.
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral...
 
14.
Stephnie Weir
Actress, MADtv
Stephnie Weir was raised in Texas and attended Odessa Junior College studying theater and broadcasting. Following that she went on to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, were she studied anthropology and women's studies. As she expanded on her creative talents in Chicago, Ms. Weir performed at the Second City's Main Stage...
 
15.
Pola Negri
Actress, The Wildcat
Barbara Apollina Chalupiec (aka Pola Negri) was born in Janowa, Poland on January 3, 1897. Pola was born into a comfortable lifestyle until her father was arrested by the Russians and sent to a Siberian prison camp. Moving to Warsaw in 1902, she was to spend her formative years in dire poverty. As a teenager...
 
16.
Tommy Tune
Tommy Tune is possibly the tallest dancer in the country. He was in the New York Company of "How Now Dow Jones" when Ernest Lehman engaged him to play Ambrose Kemper in the film, "Hello, Dolly!". His father is a Texas restaurateur. Tommy acted in, directed and choreographed school productions, arrived in New York St...
 
17.
Thomas Haden Church
Actor, Sideways
Thomas Haden Church was born Thomas Richard McMillen in Yolo, California, to Maxine (Sanders) and Carlos Richard McMillen, who was a U.S. marine and surveyor. He was raised in Texas. Church began his show business career in front of a microphone instead of a camera, first as a radio deejay and then as a voice-over announcer...
 
18.
Summer Glau
Actress, Serenity
Summer is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She's been a ballerina most of her life. Her debut was in various commercials and a guest appearance on the WB's Angel. She has gone on to star on the TV series Firefly as well as its follow-up movie Serenity and the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
 
19.
Michelle Rodriguez
Actress, Avatar
Known for tough-chick roles, Michelle Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn. She was born Mayte Michelle Rodriguez on July 12, 1978, in Bexar County, Texas, to Carmen Milady Pared Espinal, from the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodríguez Santiago, who served in the U.S. Army and was originally from Puerto Rico...
 
20.
Steve Railsback
Actor, Lifeforce
Noted for his dangerous, chameleon-like portrayals while possessing the scariest-looking pair of eyes in the business, leathery-looking Steve Railsback has mesmerized us over the years with a number of weird, often warped roles both on film and television. While never achieving the degree of stardom deserved...
 
21.
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé was born in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles, manages Destiny's Child. Her mother, Tina Knowles (née Celestine Ann Beyincé), designs their glittering costumes. Solange Knowles, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé is of African-American and Creole descent...
 
22.
Dabney Coleman
Actor, WarGames
For decades, Dabney Coleman has often appeared as a smarmy, selfish, nervous person, often with money, who is mostly out for himself. He did such a good job in this type of part that he's made a career of it in film. Dabney Wharton Coleman was born in Austin, Texas, to Mary Wharton (Johns) and Melvin Randolph Coleman...
 
23.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas, the son of Lucille Marie (Scott), a police officer and beauty shop owner, and Clyde C. Jones, who worked on oil fields. Tommy himself worked in underwater construction and on an oil rig. He attended St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigious prep school for boys in Dallas...
 
24.
Dorothy Malone
Actress, Peyton Place
The blonde, sultry, dreamy-eyed beauty of Dorothy Malone, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, took some time before it made an impact with American filmgoing audiences. But once she did, she played it for all it was worth in her one chance Academy Award-winning "bad girl" performance, a role quite unlike the classy and straight-laced lady herself...
 
25.
Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, dancer and actress Debbie Allen, lived in Mexico. She has another brother...
 
26.
Debbie Allen
Deborah Kaye Allen was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Debbie, her older brother, Andrew (called Tex), and her older sister, actress Phylicia Rashad, lived in Mexico to escape US racism...
 
27.
Ann Miller
Ann Miller was born Johnnie Lucille Ann Collier on April 12, 1923 in Chireno, Texas. She lived there until she was nine, when her mother left her philandering father and moved with Ann to Los Angeles, California. Even at that young age, she had to support her mother, who was hearing-impaired and unable to hold a job...
 
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30.
Tobe Hooper
Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror. Before becoming a filmmaker, Hooper--a native of Austin, TX--spent the 1960s as a college teacher and documentary cameraman. He organized a small cast of teachers and students and made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre...
 
32.
Forest Whitaker
Actor, Arrival
Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor...
 
33.
Chris Cooper
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised. Educated at the University of Missouri school of drama...
 
34.
Greer Garson
Actress, Mrs. Miniver
Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson was born on September 29, 1904 in London, England, to Nancy Sophia (Greer) and George Garson, a commercial clerk. She was of Scottish and Ulster-Scots descent. Her childhood was a normal if not non-descript life. Greer showed no early signs of interest in becoming an actress...
 
35.
Jim Parsons
Having grown up in Houston, and its northern suburb of Spring, he made his first stage appearance in a school play at the age of 6. Parsons then went on to study theater at the University of Houston. From there he won a place on a two-year Masters course in classical theater at the University of San Diego/The Old Globe Theater, graduating in 2001...
 
36.
Kris Kristofferson
Actor, Blade II
Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson. His paternal grandparents were Swedish, and his father was a United States Air Force general who pushed his son to a military career. Kris was a Golden Gloves boxer and went to Pomona College in California...
 
37.
Amber Heard
Actress, Zombieland
Amber Laura Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige (Parsons), an internet researcher, and David Clinton Heard, a contractor. She has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Welsh ancestry. Heard appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film, North Country, in which she played Charlize Theron's character in flashbacks...
 
38.
Irene Ryan
Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, Irene Ryan was already an established vaudeville, radio and movie actress, though not as famous prior to her television stint. She accompanied Bob Hope on his famous military tours and she was known as "the gal who makes Bob Hope laugh." After being cast as Granny...
 
39.
Carolyn Jones
Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn suffered from severe asthma...
 
40.
Jessica Alba
Actress, Sin City
Jessica Marie Alba was born on April 28, 1981, in Pomona, CA, to Catherine (Jensen) and Mark David Alba, who served in the US Air Force. Her mother has Danish, Welsh, German, English, and French ancestry, while her father is of Mexican descent (including Spanish, Indigenous Mexican, and distant Sephardic Jewish...
“ oops...not Texan but too cute to remove ” - dcody2875