Truly Talented Texans

by dcody2875 | created - 10 Feb 2012 | updated - 10 Feb 2012 | Public

1. Cyd Charisse

Actress | Silk Stockings

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, ...

2. Callie Khouri

Writer | Thelma & Louise

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 ...

3. Tracy Scoggins

Actress | Crusade

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 ...

4. Carol Burnett

Actress | Annie

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...

5. Steve Martin

Writer | Roxanne

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 ...

6. Owen Wilson

Actor | The Royal Tenenbaums

Self-proclaimed troublemaker Owen Cunningham 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 ...

7. Renée Zellweger

Actress | Chicago

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. ...

8. Brent Spiner

Actor | Star Trek: First Contact

Brent Spiner, whose primary claim to fame is his portrayal of the beloved android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His parents, Sylvia (Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, owned and operated a furniture store, and were both from ...

9. Michael Dorn

Actor | Star Trek: First Contact

Michael Dorn was born on December 9, 1952 in Luling, Texas, USA as Michiel Dorn. He is an actor and director, known for Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

10. Joan Crawford

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

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; ...

11. Debbie Reynolds

Actress | Singin' in the Rain

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 ...

12. Powers Boothe

Actor | The Avengers

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 ...

13. Jamie Foxx

Actor | Django Unchained

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 biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...

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 ...

15. Pola Negri

Actress | Die Bergkatze

Pola Negri was born in Lipno, Poland, and moved to Warsaw as a child. Living in poverty with her mother, a teenage Pola auditioned and was accepted to the Imperial Ballet. Due to an illness that ended her dancing career, she soon switched to the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts and became ...

16. Tommy Tune

Actor | Hello, Dolly!

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, ...

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...

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 (1999). She has gone on to star on the TV series Firefly (2002) as well as its follow-up movie Serenity (2005) and the TV series ...

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....

20. Steve Railsback

Actor | The Stunt Man

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 ...

21. Beyoncé

Soundtrack | Dreamgirls

Beyoncé was born & raised in Houston, Texas. Her father, Mathew Knowles, manages Destiny's Child. Her mother, Tina Knowles designs their glittering costumes. Solange, her sister (they're about 5 years apart), has released her debut album. She dances with her big sister during DC-3 concerts. Beyoncé...

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 ...

23. Tommy Lee Jones

Actor | The Fugitive

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 ...

24. Dorothy Malone

Actress | Written on the Wind

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 film-going 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 ...

25. Phylicia Rashad

Actress | The Cosby Show

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. ...

26. Debbie Allen

Actress | Fame

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 ...

27. Ann Miller

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

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 ...

28. Belita Moreno

Actress | Grosse Pointe Blank

Belita Moreno was born on November 1, 1949 in Dallas, Texas, USA as Aurabela Belita Moreno. She is known for her work on Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), George Lopez (2002) and Clear and Present Danger (1994). She has been married to Joel Rudnick since July 12, 1981. They have two children.

29. John Hillerman

Actor | Magnum, P.I.

The impeccably urbane Englishman Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (VC !) -- Tom Selleck's sophisticated majordomo in Magnum, P.I. (1980) -- was of French, German and Austrian descent, raised in a small Texas town and educated at a Catholic high school. He majored in journalism from the University of ...

30. Tobe Hooper

Director | The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005).

Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He spent the 1960s as a college ...

31. Gene Roddenberry

Writer | Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry was born on August 19, 1921 in El Paso, Texas, USA as Eugene Wesley Roddenberry. He was a writer and producer, known for Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He was married to Majel Barrett and Eileen Anita Rexroat. He ...

32. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

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 (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American ...

33. Chris Cooper

Actor | Adaptation.

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 ...

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 ...

35. Jim Parsons

Actor | The Big Bang Theory

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 ...

36. Kris Kristofferson

Actor | Blade

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 ...

37. Amber Heard

Actress | The Rum Diary

Amber Laura Heard was born in Austin, Texas, to Patricia Paige Heard (née Parsons), an internet researcher, and David C. Heard (David Clinton Heard), a contractor. She has English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Welsh ancestry.

Heard appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film, North Country (2005), ...

38. Irene Ryan

Actress | The Beverly Hillbillies

Before becoming known to millions as Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), 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...

39. Carolyn Jones

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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 ...

40. Jessica Alba

Actress | Fantastic Four

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 ...

oops...not Texan but too cute to remove