Celebrities From the Big Apple New York City

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Christina Aguilera
Soundtrack, Get Smart
Christina Maria Aguilera was born on December 18, 1980, in Staten Island, New York, to Shelly Loraine (Fidler) and Fausto Wagner Xavier Aguilera. Her father is Ecuadorian and her mother, who is American-born, has English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced when she was young and she lived with her mother...
 
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Fran Drescher
Actress, The Nanny
Francine Joy Drescher was born on September 30th, 1957 in Flushing, Queens, New York to Mort Drescher and Sylvia Drescher. Fran, as she is called, attended Hillcrest High school in New York with another now-famous name, Ray Romano. She was a studious girl and was quite popular. In fact, at age fifteen...
 
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James Caan
A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York-born and bred. He was born in the Bronx, to Sophie (Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan...
 
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Jon Stewart
Producer, The Daily Show
Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City, New York, to Marian (Laskin), a teacher, and Donald Leibowitz, a physics professor. His family is Ashkenazi Jewish (from Austria, Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus). Stewart moved to Lawrenceville, New Jersey during his childhood. He graduated from the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg...
 
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Legendary US NBA basketball player with the Milwaukee Bucks (1969-1975) and the Los Angeles Lakers (1975-1989), the 7' 2" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor) has made numerous guest appearances on US TV shows including Man from Atlantis, 21 Jump Street, Tales from the Darkside and Scrubs. However...
 
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Matthew Broderick
A slight comic actor chiefly known for his boyish charm, Matthew Broderick was born on March 21, 1962 in New York City, to Patricia Broderick (née Biow), a playwright and painter, and James Broderick, an actor. His father had Irish and English ancestry, and his mother was from a Jewish family (from Germany and Poland)...
 
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Neil Diamond
Soundtrack, Shrek
Neil Leslie Diamond was born in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York City, on January 24, 1941. His father, Akeeba "Kieve" Diamond, was a dry-goods merchant. Both he and wife Rose were Jewish immigrants from Poland. The Diamond family temporarily relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming, because of Kieve Diamond's military service during World War II...
 
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Phoebe Cates
Phoebe Belle Cates was born on July 16, 1963 in New York City, New York, and raised there. She is the daughter of Lily and Joseph Cates, who was a Broadway producer and television pioneer. Her uncle was director/producer Gilbert Cates. Phoebe is of Russian Jewish, and one quarter Chinese, descent...
 
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Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
De Niro's longtime collaboration with Scorsese later earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. He also earned nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver and Cape Fear, both directed by Scorsese. De Niro received additional Academy Award nominations for Michael Cimino's Vietnam war drama The Deer Hunter...
 
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Rosario Dawson
Actress, Sin City
This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing television (the series Gemini Division, which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's powerhouse talent stands out the most in edgy, urban filming that dates back to 1995 when she was only sixteen...
 
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Sean Combs
Soundtrack, Training Day
Sean Diddy Combs, AKA Puff Daddy, is the definition of a mogul. Starting his career as the director of A&R at Uptown Records, he was integral in launching the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci, and later started his own label, Bad Boy Records, which has fostered talent that includes Mariah Carey, Method Man...
 
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Spike Lee
Director, Inside Man
Spike Lee was born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from artistic, education-grounded background; his father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a schoolteacher. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University...
 
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Vincent D'Onofrio
Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio was born on June 30, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, to Phyllis, a restaurant manager and server, and Gene D'Onofrio, a theater production assistant and interior designer. He is of Italian descent and has two older sisters. He studied at the Actors Studio and the American Stanislavski Theatre...
 
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Vin Diesel
Actor, Furious 7
Vin Diesel was born Mark Sinclair in Alameda County, California, along with his fraternal twin brother, Paul Vincent. He was raised by his astrologer/psychologist mother, Delora Sherleen (Sinclair), and adoptive father, Irving H. Vincent, an acting instructor and theater manager, in an artist's housing project in New York City's Greenwich Village...
 
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Woody Allen
Writer, Annie Hall
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...
 
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Eddie Cahill
Actor, CSI: NY
Edmund P. Cahill, or better known as Eddie Cahill, was born on January 15, 1978 in New York City, New York. He is probably best known for playing the role of Detective Don Flack on the hit series, CSI: NY. Eddie came from a family of Irish and Italian descent. He spent his years growing up in New York City with his family...
 
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Patty Duke
Patty Duke was born Anna Marie Duke on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, New York, to Frances Margaret (McMahon), a cashier, and John Patrick Duke, a cab driver and handyman. She is of Irish, and one eighth German, descent. Her acting career began when she was introduced to her brother Ray Duke's managers...
 
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Jesse Eisenberg
Curly haired and with a fast-talking voice, Jesse Eisenberg is a movie actor, known for his Academy Award nominated role as Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film The Social Network. He has also starred in the films The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland, The Education of Charlie Banks, 30 Minutes or Less...
 
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Edie Falco
Actress, The Sopranos
Edith Falco, called Edie, was born on July 5, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, English, and Cornish (mother) descent. Edie grew up on Long Island and attended SUNY Purchase, where she was trained in acting at the prestigious Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film...
 
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Richard Dreyfuss
Actor, Jaws
Richard Dreyfuss is an American leading man, who has played his fair share of irritating pests and brash, ambitious hustlers. He was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, to Geraldine (Robbins), an activist, and Norman Dreyfus, a restaurateur and attorney. His paternal grandparents were Austro-Hungarian Jewish immigrants, and his mother's family was Russian Jewish...
 
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Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to television...
 
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Steve Buscemi
Actor, Fargo
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
 
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Abigail Breslin
Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin is one of the most sought-after actors of her generation. Her unique and charismatic talents have contributed to her versatile roles in both comedy and drama. Most recently, Breslin starred in the first season of the horror-comedy series, "Scream Queens" opposite Emma Roberts...
 
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Nestor Carbonell
He is most often recognized for his integral role in the series "Lost" as Richard Alpert, as well as his turn as Mayor Anthony Garcia opposite Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight". He reprised his role as the Mayor in the box-office hit "The Dark Knight Rises". Nestor can be seen starring in Universal's "Bates Motel" (2013-2017) as Sheriff Alex Romero...
 
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Julie Chen
Self, The Talk
Chen began filling in as news anchor for The CBS Morning News and This Morning in June 1999. Before that, she was a reporter and anchor for WCBS-TV, the CBS station in New York (1997-99). She also was a reporter for WDTN-TV Dayton (1995-97). Chen was a producer for ABC NewsOne, that network's affiliate news service (1991-95)...
 
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Al Franken
Al Franken is best known for nearly two decades of work on Saturday Night Live. During that time he wrote, performed in and produced hundreds of sketches, including "Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley" and "The Final Days," a piece about the last days of Richard Nixon's presidency. A noted political commentator and satirist...
 
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Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is an American songwriter, singer, actress, philanthropist, dancer and fashion designer. Gaga was born on March 28, 1986 in Manhattan, New York City, to Cynthia Louise (Bissett) and Joseph Anthony Germanotta, Jr., an internet entrepreneur. Her father is of Italian descent...
 
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Whoopi Goldberg
Self, The View
Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1955. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway...
 
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Elliott Gould
Elliott Gould is an American actor known for his roles in MASH, his Oscar-nominated performance in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and more recently, his portrayal of old-time con artist Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. Gould was born Elliott Goldstein on August 29...
 
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Maggie Gyllenhaal
Academy Award-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was born on November 16, 1977, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Her parents, Naomi Foner (née Achs) and Stephen Gyllenhaal, are both filmmakers, and her brother is actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, while her father has Swedish, English, Swiss-German, and German ancestry...
 
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Alicia Keys
Soundtrack, Men in Black
Alicia Keys was born in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, to Teresa (Augello), a paralegal who was also an occasional actress, and Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Her father is African-American, and her mother, who is caucasian, is of Italian and English/Irish/Scottish ancestry. Alicia began taking piano lessons at age seven at her mother's insistence...
 
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Harvey Keitel
Came to prominence in the early films of Martin Scorsese after working in theatre for around a decade, particularly Mean Streets and Taxi Driver. Faded into anonymity in the 1980s even though he turned in some impressive performances in films by some of America's leading directors. He reemergered into star status with his role as Mr...
 
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Lenny Kravitz
Actor, Precious
Four time Grammy Award-winner Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on May 26, 1964 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, the only child of actress Roxie Roker and Hollywood producer Sy Kravitz. The family moved to California when Lenny was ten. His father was Jewish and his mother was of African-American and Afro-Bahamian ancestry...
 
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Diane Lane
Actress, Man of Steel
Diane Lane was born on January 22, 1965, in New York. She is the daughter of acting coach Burton Eugene "Burt" Lane and nightclub singer/centerfold Colleen Farrington. Her parents' families were both from the state of Georgia. Diane was acting from a very young age and made her stage debut at the age of six...
 
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Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is Danish. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson, born three minutes after her, and a paternal half-brother, Christian. Her grandfather was writer Ejner Johansson...
 
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Norah Jones
Actress, Ted
Norah Jones (born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She is a daughter of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is Anoushka Shankar's half-sister. In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me...
 
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Alyssa Milano
Actress, Charmed
Alyssa Milano comes from an Italian-American family; her mother Lin Milano is a fashion designer and father Thomas Milano is a film music editor. Alyssa was born in a working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn and grew up in a modest house on Staten Island. One day her babysitter, who was an aspiring dancer...
 
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Barbra Streisand
Actress, Funny Girl
Barbra Streisand is an American singer, actress, director and producer and one of the most successful personalities in show business. She is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards,...
 
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Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films...
 
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Regis Philbin
TV-talk show host, game-show host, singer, author, and TV personality, Regis Philbin became one of the most popular talk-show hosts in America and in Canada, especially. Growing up as an only child in The Bronx, New York, Philbin went to the University of Notre Dame and got a degree in sociology. Later...
 
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Peter Facinelli
Peter Facinelli was born in Queens, New York, the youngest child of Bruna (Reich) and Pierino Facinelli, a waiter. His parents are Italian immigrants, originally from Trentino, Northern Italy. He has three sisters. Peter was educated at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, New York, and went on to attend St...
 
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Topher Grace
Topher Grace was born Christopher John Grace in New York City, New York, to Pat, a schoolmaster's assistant, and John Grace, an executive. He was raised in Darien, Connecticut. He attended boarding school in New Hampshire for two years, where he began his acting career in such musicals as "Joseph and...