Northern Californians
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Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of study...
Jessica Chastain
Actress, The Martian
Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and was in a dance troupe by age thirteen...
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
Jazz Raycole
Actress, Babe
Jazz Raycole is a professionally trained dancer. By four years of age, she was involved in dance competitions, and has trained with many top choreographers. She is currently dancing under the supervision of multi-talented choreographer Debbie Allen. After deciding to break into acting, Raycole and her family moved to Los Angeles...
Dan Inosanto
Stunts, Big Stan
Noted Filipino-American martial arts practitioner, who studied "jeet kune do" from fellow martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. Always seeking to improve his knowledge, Inosanto holds numerous belts in various martial arts including Asian, American & Brazilian disciplines such as Muay Thai, Pentjak Silat & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...
Lyndsy Fonseca
Actress, Kick-Ass
Lyndsy Marie Fonseca was born in Oakland, California, and was raised first in Alameda and then Moraga, California. Lyndsy competed in the International Modeling & Talent Association, where she was recognized as the second runner-up for "Young Miss Dancer of the Year" and was the first runner-up for "Miss Barbizon Young Miss Talent of the Year"...
Shemar Moore
Shemar Franklin Moore (born April 20, 1970) is an American actor and former fashion model. His notable roles are that of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005, Derek Morgan on CBS's Criminal Minds from 2005 to 2016, and as the third permanent host of Soul Train from 1999 to 2003.
Robert Culp
Tall, slim and exceedingly good-looking American leading man Robert Culp, a former cartoonist in his teen years, appeared off-Broadway in the 1950s before settling into polished, clean-cut film leads and "other man" supports a decade later. Hitting the popular TV boards in the hip, racially ground-breaking espionage program I Spy...
Billie Joe Armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Piedmont, California, a small town surrounded by the city of Oakland, and was raised in Rodeo, California, the youngest of six children of Ollie (Jackson) and Andrew "Andy" Marsicano Armstrong. His father worked as a jazz musician and truck driver for Safeway Inc. to support his family...
Kenzo Lee
Actor, Spring
Kenzo Lee is an American actor. He has been seen in How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, Extant, A Leading Man, and Baby. He was born and raised in Oakland, California. He graduated from UC San Diego and the British American Drama Academy. He has been seen in numerous national commercials...
Brandon Lee
Actor, The Crow
Born in Oakland, California, USA, Brandon Lee spent the first eight years of his life in Hong Kong. By the time he was able to walk, he was already involved in learning about martial arts from his father, martial arts expert and famed actor Bruce Lee. After Bruce Lee's untimely death, Brandon...
Brie Larson
Actress, Room
Brie Larson has built an impressive career as an acclaimed television actress, rising feature film star and emerging recording artist. A native of Sacramento, Brie started studying drama at the early age of 6, as the youngest student ever to attend the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco...
Sasha Grey
Sasha Grey is an American former pornographic actress who has since become a mainstream actress, model, author and musician. She first made her name in mainstream media after appearing on several popular television programs and in pop culture magazines examining her willingness to enter the world of hardcore porn at a young age. She has also been featured in music videos and advertising campaigns.
Greta Gerwig
Actress, Frances Ha
Greta Celeste Gerwig is an American actress and filmmaker. She was born in Sacramento, California, to Christine Gerwig (nee Sauer), a nurse, and Gordon Gerwig, a financial consultant and computer programmer. She has German, Irish, and English ancestry. Gerwig was raised as a Unitarian Universalist...
Colin Hanks
Actor, King Kong
Colin Lewes Hanks is an American actor. He was born in Sacramento, California, to actors Samantha Lewes and Tom Hanks. Colin is best-known for his work as "Jack Bailey" in the series, The Good Guys and as "Alex Whitman" in Roswell. Hanks' best-known film role may be in the teen movie...
Adrienne Barbeau
Actress, The Fog
Adrienne Jo Barbeau is an American actress and author best known for her roles on the TV series Maude and in horror films, especially those directed by John Carpenter, with whom she was once married. She was born on June 11, 1945 in Sacramento, California, the daughter of an executive for Mobil Oil...
Mary Alexandra Stiefvater
Actress, Supergator
Mary Alexandra Stiefvater was born in Chico, California and grew up in Stockton, where she was first introduced to theater and dance at a young age. Educated at The University of California at Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater, she also studied French cinema and philosophy abroad at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and Le Centre Parisien d'Études Critiques...
Mark Spitz
Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is an American former competition swimmer, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in seven events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing...
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His father had English, and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family...
Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill is an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer, and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy - Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983) - a role he reprise in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)...
Ben Affleck
Producer, Argo
American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has a younger brother...
Andy Samberg
Andy Samberg was born in Berkeley, California, to Marjorie (Marrow), a teacher, and Joe Samberg, a photographer. With Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, Samberg is one of three Los Angeles, California-based writer-performer-filmmakers--all childhood friends--dubbed the Lonely Island, whose short films were showcased on the popular untelevised television network show and Web site Channel
Rebecca Romijn
Actress, X2
Rebecca Alie Romijn was born on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker. Her mother was American-born, with Dutch and English ancestry, and was a teacher of English. Rebecca attended Berkeley High School where her nickname was the "Jolly Blond Giant"...
Melissa Sue Anderson
Melissa Sue Anderson was very much like her most famous character role, of eldest child & sister, Mary Ingalls -- a quiet, slightly shy girl who would rather read a book than climb a tree. Her show business career got started, when a dance teacher urged her parents to find an agent for her. She began doing television commercials...
Nina Hartley
Actress, Boogie Nights
Nina Hartley was born Marie Louise Hartman on March 11, 1959, in Berkeley, California. After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1977, Nina attended San Francisco State University's undergraduate school of nursing and graduated in 1985. Her career in the adult-entertainment industry began while she was in her sophomore year of nursing school...
Nicole Richie
Producer, The Simple Life
The outspoken, wise-cracking comedic socialite and star of The Simple Life, Nicole Camille Escovedo was born in Berkeley, California on September 21, 1981. She is the adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey, and socialite Paris Hilton's former best friend. Richie...
Ryan Fleck
Director, Half Nelson
Ryan K. Fleck is an American film director, cinematographer, editor, and screenwriter best known for directing and writing the 2006 film Half Nelson and the 2008 film Sugar. He is known for his collaborations with fellow filmmaker Anna Boden. Ryan was born in Berkeley, California and raised in Berkeley and Oakland...
Clint Eastwood
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the elder of two children in a middle-class family, Eastwood stayed in high school until the comparatively late age of nineteen and worked menial jobs over a period of several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College...
Leslie Mann
Actress, 17 Again
Actress Leslie Mann was born in San Francisco, California. She was raised by her mother, Janet, a realtor, and was educated at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California. At the age of 17 she launched her career, appearing in various TV commercials. Her screen break came when she was cast as Nurse Mary in the short-lived Birdland...
Benjamin Bratt
The middle of five children, Bratt hails from a close-knit family. His mother, an indigenous Quechua Peruvian from Lima, moved to the U.S. at age 14. He grew up in San Francisco. He is known for his roles in the films Traffic, Miss Congeniality, and Despicable Me 2. He is married to actress Talisa Soto.
Ryan Guzman
Ryan Anthony Guzman is an American actor, model, and mixed martial arts fighter. He was born September 21, 1987 in Abilene, Texas, to Lisa (Hudson) and Ray Guzman. After his fathers' service in the Air Force ended, the family moved to Sacramento, CA to raise Ryan and later on his younger brother Steven...
Jamie Chung
Actress, Big Hero 6
Jamie Chung was born and raised in California, the daughter of Korean parents. She studied Economics at the University of California, Riverside. Chung's break came in 2004, when she was working in a sports bar. MTV held auditions for Real World there, she tried out, and was successful, appearing in the San Diego based fourteenth season...
Alicia Silverstone
Actress, Clueless
Alicia Silverstone was born on October 4, 1976 in San Francisco, California, the youngest of three children. She is the daughter of Didi (Radford), a former flight attendant, and Monty Silverstone, a real-estate investor. Her English-born father is from a Jewish family, while her Scottish-born mother converted to Judaism...
Josh Hartnett
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 1996...
Liev Schreiber
Liev (pronounced Lee-ev) Schreiber was born in San Francisco. His mother, Heather (Milgram), is a painter, and his father, Tell Schreiber (Tell Carroll Schreiber III), is a theatrical actor who had a small role in The Keeper. His mother is from a working-class Jewish family from Poland and Russia...
Rob Schneider
Robert Michael "Rob" Schneider (born October 31, 1963) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and director. A stand-up comic and veteran of the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, Schneider has gone on to a successful career in feature films, including starring roles in the comedy films Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick, and Grown Ups.
Danny Glover
Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years. Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights. Glover trained at the Black Actors' Workshop of the American Conservatory Theater...
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
Eric Dane
Eric Dane is an American actor known as "Dr. Mark Sloan" on Grey's Anatomy and as a co-star in Marley & Me and Valentine's Day. He was born on November 9, 1972, in San Francisco, California, the older of two brothers. His father is an architect and interior designer based in San Francisco. His mother...
Aisha Tyler
Actress, Archer
Aisha Tyler born September 18, 1970 is an American talk show host, actress, comedian, author, producer, writer, and director. She is known for portraying Andrea Marino in the first season of Ghost Whisperer, voicing Lana Kane in Archer, and portraying Mother Nature in the Santa Clause film series, as well as recurring roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Talk Soup.
David Strathairn
David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and one sixteenth Chinese (the latter three from his paternal grandmother)...
Genevieve Padalecki
Actress, Wildfire
Making her television debut as Kris Furillo, Genevieve is an experienced stage actress. She has performed in regional productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Crimes of the Heart" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Genevieve holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama and a bachelor of arts in English from the Tisch School of the Arts...
Lisa Bonet
Lisa Bonet was born in San Francisco, California, to Arlene Joyce (Litman), a teacher, and Allen Bonet, an opera singer. She has lived most of her life in New York and Los Angeles, where she attended Reseda High School and Celluloid Actor's Studio. Her father was African-American and her mother was Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Poland and Russia)...
Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens...
Marla Sokoloff
Born and raised in San Francisco, Marla Sokoloff moved to Los Angeles in 1994 and enrolled in the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, where she studied theater and music. She won numerous awards and accolades for her singing, performing the national anthem at such high profile events as the Oakland A's baseball games and for the USO...
Jeffrey Tambor
An incisive talent when it comes to playing bent, off-the-wall characters, Jeffrey Tambor has been captivating audiences for nearly four decades. Tambor was born and raised in San Francisco, to Eileen (Salzberg) and Michael Bernard Tambor, a flooring contractor. His family is Ashkenazi Jewish (from Hungary and Ukraine)...
BD Wong
BD Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He made his Broadway debut in "M. Butterfly." He is the only actor to be honored with the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theater World Award for the same performance. He starred in the television series All-American Girl...
Kevin Pollak
Kevin Pollak was born in San Francisco in 1957, to Elaine (Klein) and Robert Pollak. A stand-up comedy performer at age 10, he turned professional comedian a decade later and was puttering around from city to city when film roles beckoned. Pollak refocused thereafter on acting in what would be a wise and profitable career move...
Linda Cardellini
Actress, ER
Linda Edna Cardellini was born in Redwood City, California, to Lorraine (Hernan) and Wayne David Cardellini, a businessman. She is of Italian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish (from her mother), German, English, and Scottish descent. Linda grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, California, the youngest of four children...
Keith Carradine
Actor, Nashville
It seems the second generation of acting Carradines -- David, Keith and Robert -- are proudly continuing the family tradition and begetting a third generation of talent. The dynasty began with veteran Hollywood patriarch John Carradine, the son of a surgeon and a correspondent for the Associated Press. Keith was a child, born of John's second marriage to actress Sonia Sorel...
Courtney Love
The daughter of Grateful Dead devotee and first manager Hank Harrison and psychotherapist Linda Caroll, Courtney Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California in 1964. Love spent her early years living in hippie communes in Oregon and at schools in Europe and New Zealand, under the care of her mother and other family members...
Ashlie Brillault
Ashlie was born in San Francisco and raised in Long Beach, and inherited the laid-back and down-to-earth Southern California attitude. At an extremely young age, her mother noticed the passion and excitement Ashlie had for performing and got her feet wet by introducing her to the world of modeling. She landed her first modeling job at the age of three and continued to model in many print ads...
Margaret Cho
Actress, 30 Rock
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean...
Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc, known as "The Man of Thousand Voices" is regarded as the most prolific actor to ever work in Hollywood with over a thousand screen credits. He developed and performed nearly 400 distinct character voices with precision and a uniquely expressive vocal range. The legendary specialist from radio programs...
Teri Hatcher
Teri Lynn Hatcher was born in Palo Alto, California, the only child of Esther (Beshur), a computer programmer, and Owen Walker Hatcher, Jr., a nuclear physicist and electrical engineer. She has Syrian (from her immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Czech ancestry. Teri grew up in Sunnyvale...
Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa was born in Salinas, California. Her family moved to San Diego whilst she was still a toddler. She has a younger sister, Stella Hudgens, who is also an actress. Her mother, Gina (Guangco), an officer worker, is from the Philippines. Her father, Gregory Hudgens, a firefighter, has Irish and Native American ancestry...
Janet Leigh
Actress, Psycho
Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and psychology...
Molly Ringwald
Molly Ringwald was born in Roseville, California, to Adele Edith (Frembd), a chef, and Robert Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist. Her ancestry includes German, English, and Swedish. She released an album at the age of 6 entitled, "I Wanna Be Loved By You, Molly Sings". She is the youngest daughter of Bob Ringwald...
Dwayne Johnson
Actor, WWE Raw
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia...
Sam Rockwell
Actor, Moon
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco...
Suzanne Somers
Actress, Step by Step
Suzanne Somers is the third of four children born to Frank and Marion Mahoney. Her father worked loading beer onto boxcars, and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up living in constant fear of being hurt or even killed at the hands of her verbally and physically abusive alcoholic father. She was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was young...
Jeremy Sumpter
Jeremy Robert Myron Sumpter was born on February 5, 1989 in Monterey, California, to Sandra (Johnson) and Gary Sumpter. He was raised in his mother's hometown, Mount Sterling, Kentucky. At a young age, he enjoyed mountain climbing and play with his friends like any other normal kid, but when he went to Lexington...
Kate Walsh
Kate Walsh was born in San Jose, California, on October 13, 1967. She grew up partly in San Jose and partly in Tucson, Arizona, later attending the University of Arizona, where she got involved in regional theater. She later moved to Chicago where she began working with the Piven Theatre Workshop and...
Dustin Diamond
Attended Zion Lutheran School in Anaheim, California. While in fifth grade, he portrayed 8th-grader Samuel "Screech" Powers in the television series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which evolved into Saved by the Bell and its various television movies and spin-offs. Also appeared in the television series The Wonder Years.
Farley Granger
Farley Earle Granger was born in 1925 in San Jose, California, to Eva (Hopkins) and Farley Earle Granger, who owned an automobile dealership. Right out of high school, he was brought to the attention of movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, who cast him in a small role in The North Star. He followed it up with a much bigger part in The Purple Heart and then joined the army...
Simon Rex
Actor Simon Rex had an auspicious entrance into the world of entertainment when he appeared in some pornographic solo scenes in a series of straight-to-video gay porn releases. He initially found mainstream fame as an MTV VJ. After doing a few roles, including Felicity, he performed an acclaimed comedic turn as a spoof-on-Eminem rapper in Scary Movie 3...
Todd Bridges
Actor Todd Bridges has seen and done it all. Todd has lived and worked amongst some of the most famous and influential individuals in the world. For over twenty-five years, he has victoriously survived a rapidly changing business. He experienced his second rise to fame, as "Juice" on The Young and the Restless...