Former and Current Wisconsin Residents

Not just natives, but people who have called it home. Not counting all the athletes who retired here.

Honorable Mention: John and Charles Ringling, Curly Lambeau, "Billie" Frechette, the Davidson brothers, John Muir, General Bragg, Blatz, Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Jim Gantner, and astronauts Dan Brandenstein, Mark C. Lee, Nathan J. Lindsay, and Jeffrey Williams.

You can't expect IMDB to have a listing for the man who invented the answering machine, can you?
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2.
“ Him and Don Ameche both being from Kenosha, it's a good bet they were related. ” - joe_538
 
3.
Don Ameche
Actor, Cocoon
Don Ameche was a versatile and popular American film actor in the 1930s and '40s, usually as the dapper, mustached leading man. He was also popular as a radio master of ceremonies during this time. As his film popularity waned in the 1950s, he continued working in theater and some TV. His film career...
 
4.
Andrea Anders
Actress, Joey
1993 graduate of DeForest Area High School, in DeForest, Wisconsin. Attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, earning a bachelor degree of fine arts in 1997. From there, attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning a master of fine arts in 2001. After leaving Rutgers, headed to the New York area to work on her acting career...
 
9.
Kristin Bauer van Straten
Actress, True Blood
Kristin grew up in Wisconsin playing sports, riding horses, and shooting guns. Her father was an avid horseman and gun collector and her mother a housewife involved in charities. Kristin moved to Los Angeles and began acting in 1994 after studying fine arts in St. Louis, Boston and New York. She still studies drawing and painting...
 
10.
John Belushi
John Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on January 24, 1949, to Agnes Demetri (Samaras) and Adam Anastos Belushi, a restaurant owner. His father was an Albanian immigrant, from Qytezë, and his mother was also of Albanian descent. He grew up in Wheaton, where the family moved when he was six...
“ Attended UW-Whitewater ” - joe_538
 
11.
Bunny Berigan
Soundtrack, Brick
 
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Pamela Britton
Pamela Britton was born Armilda Jane Owen in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her mother was Ethel Owen, a prominent stage, radio and early television actress. Pam first used Gloria Jane Owen as her stage name, but not wanting to trade on her mother's reputation, chose Pamela from a British book, and then Britton to emphasize its source...
 
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Jack Carson
When Jack Carson arrived in Hollywood in 1937, he found work at RKO as an extra. His first major acting role came alongside Humphrey Bogart in the romantic comedy Stand-In. After a few years, he developed into a popular character actor who would be seen in a large number of comedies, musicals and a few westerns...
 
24.
The Chordettes
Soundtrack, Deadpool
 
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26.
Ellen Corby
Actress, The Waltons
Ellen Hansen (aka Ellen Corby aka Grandma Walton) was born June 3, 1911 (or 1913), in Racine, WI. She grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and left for Hollywood in the early 1930s to become an actress, which she became only after working as a script assistant for twelve years. She appeared in over 25 uncredited or small character parts before taking the role of the lovelorn Aunt Trina...
 
27.
Ray Corrigan
Ray Corrigan was a physical culturist and very good athlete. He began working in Hollywood, as a physical fitness trainer for movie stars. Bit parts in 1932 led to action roles in the Undersea Kingdom and The Leathernecks Have Landed, the same year he began his role as Tucson Smith in Republic Pictures' "Three Mesquiteer" series; he did 24 films in that series before leaving in 1939...
 
28.
Willem Dafoe
Actor, Spider-Man
Willem Dafoe was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Muriel Isabel (Sprissler), a nurse, and Dr. William Alfred Dafoe, a surgeon. He is of German, French, English, Irish, and Scottish descent. In 1979, Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless...
 
29.
Jeffrey Dahmer
One of the nation's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer was born and raised in Bath Township, Ohio, a middle-class suburb of Akron. Much has been made of his childhood tendencies - including cases of cruelty to animals - but to outward appearances, at least, he seemed to be a normal child...
 
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Colleen Dewhurst
Actress, Annie Hall
Tall, luminous and leonine, the legendary Colleen Dewhurst must go down as one of the theater's finest contemporary tragediennes of the late 1900s. With trademark dusky tones and a majestically careworn appearance, she possessed an inimitable down-to-earth fierceness that not only earned her the title...
 
34.
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.
 
36.
Brian Donlevy
It seems that Brian Donlevy started out life as colorfully as any character he ever played on the stage or screen. He lied about his age (he was actually 14) in 1916 so he could join the army. When Gen. John J. Pershing sent American troops to invade Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa--Mexican rebels under Villa's command raided Columbus...
 
37.
Melvyn Douglas
Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka, but he was much, much more...
 
38.
Dave Dudley
Dave Dudley reigns supreme as the one and only king of trucker's country music. The tremendous success of his hit single "Six Days on the Road" in turn beget a whole new genre of country music. Other trucker's country songs Dave did are "Truck Drivin' Son of a Gun," "Trucker's Prayer," "Anything Leaving Town Today," "There Ain't No Easy Road," and "Two Six Packs Away." Moreover...
 
40.
Betty Everett
Soundtrack, Mermaids
 
41.
Chris Farley
Actor, Tommy Boy
Christopher Crosby Farley was born on February 15, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Mary Anne (Crosby) and Thomas Farley, who owned an oil company. Among his siblings are actors Kevin P. Farley and John Farley. He was of Irish heritage. Farley studied theatre and communications on Marquette University...
 
43.
Edna Ferber
Writer, Giant
 
44.
John Fiedler
Typical of busy character actors, Fiedler made his face (and voice) recognizable to millions. Many know the bald-pated Fiedler as therapy patient "Mr. Peterson" on The Bob Newhart Show; others might first recognize him for the 1968 movie, The Odd Couple, and spin-off TV show, The Odd Couple, or perhaps even from the Broadway play that preceded them...
 
45.
Lynn Fontanne
Actress, Peter Pan
She and her husband shared one career - as the pre-eminent acting pair on the American stage.
 
46.
Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, to Dorothy (Nidelman), a radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an actor turned advertising executive. His father was of Irish and German ancestry, while his maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus...
“ Went to college in Ripon
(I'm counting college time) ” - joe_538
 
47.
Zona Gale
Writer Zona Gale was born in Portage, WI, on August 26, 1874. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1895. She had had an interest in writing from childhood (she printed and bound her first "book" herself at age seven) and after college she obtained work on various newspapers in Milwaukee...
 
48.
Ed Gein
Ed Gein and his elder brother Henry lived on a rural farm near Plainfield, WI. George Gein, his father, was a tanner and carpenter and was drunk most of the time. Augusta, Ed's domineering mother, was the real power of the house. She was a religious fanatic who constantly warned her sons about the sins of premarital sex and railed against "evil" women...
 
49.
Heather Graham
Actress, The Hangover
Heather Joan Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Joan (Bransfield), a schoolteacher and children's book author, and James Graham, an FBI agent. She and her sister, actress Aimee Graham, were raised by their strictly Catholic parents. They relocated often, as a result of their father's occupation...
 
51.
Deidre Hall
Deidre Hall has emerged as one of America's most beloved actresses, who delighted her fans in August 1991, when she returned to NBC-TV's number one daytime program, Days of Our Lives. Hall created the role of "Dr. Marlena Evans" in 1976, a character whose popularity has created a furor and a fan following...
 
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Howard Hawks
Director, The Big Sleep
What do the classic films Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Rio Bravo have in common? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks...
 
57.
Woody Herman
Soundtrack, Pearl Harbor
Legendary clarinetist, composer ("At the Woodchoppers' Ball"), singer and bandleader (the Thundering Herd(s) ), educated at Marquette University. He was a clarinetist in the orchestras of Joey Lichter, Harry Sosnik, Gus Arnheim, and Indiana Jones, then formed his own orchestra, appearing in hotels, theatres and ballrooms...
 
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Nick Hexum
Music Department, 50 First Dates
 
59.
Hildegarde
Born Hildegarde Loretta Sell in Adell, Wisconsin, but for 70 years she was known simply as "The Incomparable Hildegarde," a title bestowed on her by columnist Walter Winchell. During the peak of her popularity in the 1930s and 40s, she was booked in cabarets and supper clubs at least 45 weeks a year...
 
61.
Joel Hodgson
Born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Joel Hodgson is best known as a stand-up comedian and creator of the cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000. Hodgson is also a toy designer, prop builder, sculptor, writer and producer. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he continues writing and performing.
 
62.
Harry Houdini
The great American escape artist and magician Houdini (immortalized by a memorable performance by Tony Curtis in the eponymous 1953 film) was born Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary, though he often gave his birthplace as Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was raised. One of five brothers and one daughter born to rabbi Samuel Weiss and his wife Cecilia...
 
63.
Tom Hulce
Actor, Amadeus
Thomas Edward Hulce was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Plymouth, MI, where he was raised with his two sisters and older brother. He is the son of Joanna (Winkleman), who had sung professionally, and Raymond Albert Hulce, who worked for Ford. He has English, German, and Irish ancestry. Wanting to be a singer...
 
64.
Jeffrey Hunter
Jeffrey Hunter (born in Louisiana as Henry Herman McKinnies Jr.) was an only child. His parents met at the University of Arkansas, and when he was almost four his family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his teens he acted in productions of the North Shore Children's Theater, and from 1942 to 1944 performed in summer stock with the local Port Players...
 
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Al Jarreau
Music Department, Moonlighting
 
69.
Kristen Johnston
Kristen Johnston studied acting at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School in New York City. She won two Emmys for her role on 3rd Rock from the Sun. She has appeared on many other television shows, including Ugly Betty, ER, Bored to Death and, perhaps most memorably, as the party girl whose famous final words were "I'm so bored I could die" on Sex and the City...
 
70.
Jane Kaczmarek
Jane grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her mother, Evelyn, was a school teacher. Her father, Edward, is a former Defense Department employee. She is the oldest of four children. Her brothers, Jim & Bill, are a teacher and an entrepreneur respectively. Her sister, Mary, works for an Internet company. Jane was a theater major at the University of Wisconsin...
 
73.
Pee Wee King
Soundtrack, Shrek
 
74.
Stephen King
Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name "King"...
“ Briefly ” - joe_538
 
75.
Kathy Kinney
Despite her role as Mimi on The Drew Carey Show, Kathy Kinney's first memorable television role is generally considered to be the regularly appearing Ms. Goddard, the town librarian on Newhart. Over the years, she has worked hard as a character actress making appearances on several television series including...
 
77.
“ I never knew Herb Kohl was in Billy Jack... ” - joe_538
 
78.
Ron Kovic
Imagine having Tom Cruise play your life story in a movie, and ending up on stage in Hollywood celebrating the movie's two Oscars? All Ron Kovic had to do to achieve this fantasy was serve three tours of duty in Vietnam, get paralyzed for life by combat wounds, and write a best-selling book about it all...
 
80.
Carole Landis
In 1935, after high school and a brief marriage in San Bernardino, California, Frances Ridste ran away to San Francisco to work as a nightclub dancer and band singer under the stage name Carole Landis. She got to Hollywood at age 17 in 1936 and got mostly extra work, but in 1937 she landed a contract with Warner Bros...
 
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Liberace
Most remembered for his extravagant costumes and trademark candelabra placed on the lids of his flashy pianos, Liberace was loved by his audiences for his music talent and unique showmanship. He was born as Wladziu Valentino Liberace on May 16, 1919, into a musical family, in Wisconsin. His mother, Frances Liberace (née Zuchowski)...
 
85.
“ Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison, did not graduate. ” - joe_538
 
91.
Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray was likely the most underrated actor of his generation. True, his earliest work is mostly dismissed as pedestrian, but no other actor working in the 1940s and 50s was able to score so supremely whenever cast against type. Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, to Maleta Martin and Frederick MacMurray...
 
92.
Fredric March
Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He starred on the Broadway stage first in 1926 and would return there between screen appearances later on. He won plaudits (and an Academy Award nomination) for his send-up of John Barrymore in The Royal Family of Broadway...
 
95.
Kerwin Mathews
Before there was a George Lucas and Harrison Ford running around creating special-effects excitement, there was a virile, boyishly handsome actor named Kerwin Mathews who was entertaining audiences battling a variety of creatures courtesy of pioneer special effects guru Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen's...
 
96.
John Matuszak
John Daniel Tooz Matuszak was an American football defensive lineman in the National Football League and also an actor. Matuszak was born in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Tampa and played for their football team. Matuszak also played for the Houston Oilers of the NFL and joined the Houston Texans of the World Football League...
 
99.
Hattie McDaniel
After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West. Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams. In this one, directed by George Stevens and aided and abetted by star Katharine Hepburn...