Famous Minnesotans

These are celebrities who have direct ties to Minnesota.
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1.
Rachael Leigh Cook
Minneapolis native Rachael Leigh Cook began her career as a model at the tender age of 10, gracing Milk-Bone(R) boxes and Target(R) ads nationwide in the USA. She also appeared in a now-famous (in the USA) anti-drug TV spot in which, armed with a frying pan, she bashed her way through a kitchen to show the disastrous effects of heroin...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
Garrett Hedlund
Born in Roseau, Minnesota, Garrett John Hedlund is the son of Kristi Anne (Yanish) and Robert Martin Hedlund. He has two older siblings, Nathaniel and Amanda. His father is of Swedish descent and his mother is of German and Norwegian ancestry. Garrett spent his early years growing up on a farm in a small town...
 
4.
Vince Vaughn
Vincent Anthony Vaughn was born on March 28, 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and was raised in Lake Forest, Illinois. His parents are Vernon Vaughn, a salesman and character actor, and Sharon Vaughn (née Sharon Eileen DePalmo), a real-estate agent and stockbroker. They divorced in 1991. He has two older sisters...
 
5.
“ She is a 1994 graduate of Apple Valley High School, Apple Valley MN ” - ShanKat77
 
6.
Brianna Brown
Minnesota-born Brianna Brown began acting in elementary school and local community productions. After high school she journeyed to Hollywood to pursue an acting career full-time. She snagged a part in the pilot show for Judd Apatow's quirky, fondly remembered series Freaks and Geeks. From there she got parts in several theatrical features...
“ Also an AVHS alum. ” - ShanKat77
 
7.
“ Also an AVHS alum. ” - ShanKat77
 
8.
Vincent Kartheiser
Actor, Mad Men
Known to audiences worldwide as spitfire advertising executive "Pete Campbell" on Matthew Weiner's Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award-winning drama series Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser has actually been acting since he was a teen. Starting with Untamed Heart, alongside Marisa Tomei, Kartheiser accumulated an impressive number of credits during his youth...
“ Also an AVHS alum. ” - ShanKat77
 
11.
Seann William Scott
Seann William Scott was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, to Patricia Anne (Simons) and William Frank Scott, a factory worker. He was discovered at a talent competition in Los Angeles, and almost immediately was flown to New York by ABC to test for All My Children. His face has also been seen from his...
 
12.
Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota near Medicine Lake. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of Mad magazine. In his early 20's he was often stopped by the police who often suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising....
 
13.
Bob Dylan
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Robert Allen Zimmerman was born 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota; his father Abe worked for the Standard Oil Co. Six years later the family moved to Hibbing, often the coldest place in the US, where he taught himself piano and guitar and formed several high school rock bands. In 1959 he entered the University of Minnesota and began performing as Bob Dylan at clubs in Minneapolis and St...
 
14.
Prince
Soundtrack, Batman
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Shaw, a jazz singer and social worker, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His father's stage name was "Prince Rogers". His parents were both from African-American families from Louisiana. They separated during his youth...
 
15.
Richard Dean Anderson
The future MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 star was born on January 23, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Anderson, was a teacher at a local high school and his mother, Jocelyn, was an artist who was talented in both sculpting and painting. He and his two younger brothers, Thomas John and James Stuart...
 
16.
James Arness
American leading man famed as the star of one of the longest-running shows in U.S. television history, Gunsmoke. Born of Norwegian heritage (the family name, Aurness, had formerly been Aursness) in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rolf and Ruth Duesler Aurness. His father was a traveling salesman of medical supplies and his mother later became a newspaper columnist...
 
17.
Peter Graves
Peter Graves was born Peter Duesler Arness on March 18, 1926 on Minneapolis, Minnesota. While growing up in Minnesota, he excelled at sports and music (as a saxophonist), and by age 16, he was a radio announcer at WMIN in Minneapolis. After two years in the United States Air Force, he studied drama at the University of Minnesota and then headed to Hollywood...
 
18.
Jesse Ventura
Actor, Predator
Jesse Ventura was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Bernice Martha (Lenz), a nurse who was of German descent, and George William Janos, a steam fitter of Slovak ancestry. In November 1990, professional wrestler turned actor Jesse Ventura was elected to a four-year term as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota...
 
19.
Louie Anderson
Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, the three-time Emmy®-Award winner, is one of the country's most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time." His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best selling author, star of his own stand up specials and sitcoms...
 
20.
James Hong
James Hong was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. He studied civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, but at some point along the way became interested in acting. He graduated from the University of Southern California and practiced for 1½ years as a road engineer with the County of Los Angeles...
 
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23.
Judy Garland
One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals. She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in Minnesota...
 
24.
Loni Anderson
A buxom, be-dimpled, pert-nosed knockout, Loni Anderson took an assured place on one of the television sex symbol pedestals during the late 1970s and early 1980s. A breakout hit in her Emmy-nominated role as Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, she later became a soap-styled fixture in mini-movies...
 
25.
Jessica Lange
Actress, Big Fish
Jessica Phyllis Lange was born 1949 in Cloquet, Minnesota, to Dorothy Florence (Sahlman) and Albert John Lange, a traveling salesman and teacher. She is of Finnish (mother) and Dutch and German (father) descent. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama...
 
26.
Lea Thompson
Lea Katherine Thompson was born on May 31, 1961, in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the youngest of five children. Her parents are Barbara Anne (Barry) and Clifford Elwin "Cliff" Thompson. Since all her siblings were much older than she, Lea says it seemed like she had more than two parents. The family lived in the Starlight Motel...
 
27.
Hope Lange
Actress, Blue Velvet
One of the most natural beauties of the 1960s with a gentle voice and personality to match, blonde Hope Lange was born in Redding Ridge, Connecticut, and performed on stage from the age of nine. She studied both drama and dance under Martha Graham, did some modeling and then worked in stock companies and on television...