Celebrities Born in the Midwest

by guram-63690 | created - 5 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. Marilyn Miller

Actress | Her Majesty, Love

"Look for the Silver Lining" became the appropriate signature song for one of Broadways's most popular musical stage stars of the 1920s, Marilyn Miller, for she embodied a vibrant, child-like optimism in her very best "happily ever after" showcases. Such happiness, however, did not extend into her ...

2. Linda Hayes

Actress | I'm Still Alive

Linda Hayes was born on October 11, 1918 in Sac City, Iowa, USA as Rachelle Mendenhall. She was an actress, known for I'm Still Alive (1940), The Girl from Mexico (1939) and Brooklyn (2015). She was married to Frank W. Walker, Lou Crosby and Dominic Germano. She died on December 19, 1995 in Palm ...

3. Fred MacMurray

Actor | Double Indemnity

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 ...

4. Joyce Jameson

Actress | The Outlaw Josey Wales

Well-endowed, attractive Joyce Jameson was typecast as 'broads', 'dames' and dizzy blondes - somewhat in the vein of Barbara Nichols. In real life, she was said to have been the antithesis of her screen personae, a graduate in theatre arts from UCLA, highly intelligent and well-read. Joyce began ...

5. Georgia Backus

Actress | Citizen Kane

Georgia Backus was born on October 13, 1900 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. She was an actress, known for Citizen Kane (1941), Cause for Alarm! (1951) and Suddenly It's Spring (1947). She died on September 7, 1983 in Sun City, California, USA.

6. Gene Morgan

Actor | Tangled Destinies

Gene Morgan was born on March 12, 1892 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA as Eugene Joseph Emery Kenney. He was an actor, known for Tangled Destinies (1932), Anybody's Blonde (1931) and You May Be Next! (1936). He was married to Rachel Laretta Hart. He died on August 15, 1940 in Santa Monica, California, ...

7. Glenn Tryon

Actor | Lonesome

Glenn Tryon was born on August 2, 1898 in Julietta, Idaho, USA as Glenn Monroe Kunkel. He was an actor and writer, known for Lonesome (1928), The Secret Menace (1931) and Hot Heels (1927). He was married to Jane Frazee and Lillian Hall. He died on April 18, 1970 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

8. Robert Livingston

Soundtrack | Money Train

Bob Livingston's father was a newspaper editor in Quincy, Illinois. As a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News Bob did a story on the Pasadena Playhouse, and that got him interested in acting. In his mid-20s, he was doing bit parts for Universal and Fox and went from there to romantic roles with ...

9. Lenore Lonergan

Actress | The Whistle at Eaton Falls

Lenore Leslie Lonergan was the daughter of actor, 'Lester Lonergan, Jr (1893-1958)' and opera singer, Julia Mary (Juliet) McIntyre-Lonergan (1889-1942). Her brother, Lester Lonergan III (1924-1968) was also an actor. Her paternal grandfather was Irish born actor, Lester Lonergan (1869-1931). She ...

10. Kathleen Burke

Actress | The Last Outpost

Kathleen Burke was born on September 5, 1913 in Hammond, Indiana, USA. She was an actress, known for The Last Outpost (1935), Island of Lost Souls (1932) and The Lion Man (1936). She was married to Jos Fernandez, Glen A. Rardin and Forrest Smith. She died on April 9, 1980 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

11. Paul Lynde

Actor | Bye Bye Birdie

Paul Lynde was born in 1926 in Mount Vernon, Ohio (one of six children and the middle of four boys). His father was a local police officer and the sheriff of the Mount Vernon Jail for two years. Lynde got his inspiration to become an actor at the age of four or five after his mother took him to see...

12. Louise Stanley

Actress | Gun Lords of Stirrup Basin

Louise Stanley was born on January 28, 1915 in Springfield, Illinois, USA as Louise Keyes. She was an actress, known for Gun Lords of Stirrup Basin (1937), Thunder in the Desert (1938) and Sky Bandits (1940). She was married to Jack Randall, Dennis O'Keefe and Charles Munn. She died on December 28,...

13. John Agar

Actor | Fort Apache

John Agar was born in Chicago, the eldest of four children. In World War II, Sgt. John Agar was a United States Army Air Force physical instructor. His 1945 marriage at the Wilshire Memorial Church to "America's Sweetheart" Shirley Temple put him in the public eye for the first time, and a movie ...

14. Marilyn Maxwell

Actress | Rock-a-Bye Baby

The less famous, but still undeniably talented, of the "Marilyn" sex symbols of the 1940s and 1950s was born Marvel Marilyn Maxwell in Clarinda, Iowa on August 3, 1921 (she later began using her middle name professionally at the suggestion of Louis B. Mayer). As a teenager, she worked as an usher ...

15. Read Morgan

Actor | Maverick

Read Morgan was born on January 30, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for Maverick (1994), Back to the Future (1985) and Kelly's Heroes (1970).

16. Beatrice Blinn

Actress | The Shadow

Beatrice Blinn was born on July 7, 1901 in Forest County, Wisconsin, USA. She was an actress, known for The Shadow (1937), Art Trouble (1934) and Girls Can Play (1937). She was married to Crane Wilbur. She died on March 31, 1979 in Oceanside, California, USA.

17. Mary Kornman

Actress | College Humor

Born in Idaho in 1915, perky blonde Mary Kornman's acting career began at age five. She made her "name" as the cute, spunky little girl in the 1920s' "Our Gang" shorts, and was often paired with Mickey Daniels. The two returned to the screen as a pair again several years after leaving the "Rascals"...

18. Gloria Dickson

Actress | They Won't Forget

Gloria Dickson was born Thais Alalia Dickerson on August 13, 1917, in Pocotello, Idaho. After her father died her mother took Gloria and her sister to California. During high school she started acting in local theater productions. When she was nineteen a Warner Brothers talent scout saw one of her ...

19. Rod La Rocque

Actor | The Locked Door

Rod La Rocque was born Roderick Ross LaRocque on November 29, 1898 in Chicago to a French father and an Irish mother. Stage-struck in his early teen years, he spent his summers with local stock companies, playing juvenile roles for $1.00 per performance. By the time he was 16, while he was ...

20. Janet Shaw

Actress | Shadow of a Doubt

Janet Shaw was born on January 23, 1919 in Beatrice, Nebraska, USA as Ellen Martha Clancy. She was an actress, known for Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Night Monster (1942) and The Old Maid (1939). She was married to David Ashford Stuart and Willard Garcia Ilefeldt. She died on October 15, 2001 in ...

21. Elaine Shepard

Actress | Darkest Africa

Elaine Shepard was born on April 2, 1913 in Olney, Illinois, USA. She was an actress, known for Darkest Africa (1936), Law of the Ranger (1937) and Topper (1937). She died on September 6, 1998 in New York City, New York, USA.

22. Norman Foster

Director | Letter to Loretta

Norman Foster was born on December 13, 1903 in Richmond, Indiana, USA as Norman Foster Hoeffer. He was a director and actor, known for The Loretta Young Show (1953), I Cover Chinatown (1936) and Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939). He was married to Sally Blane and Claudette Colbert. He died on July 7...

23. Betty Jane Rhodes

Actress | You Can't Ration Love

This swinging singer from WWII was born on April 14, 1921 in Rockford, Illionois to non-professionals. A gorgeous, fresh-faced, blue-eyed blonde doll blessed with a natural vocal talent, Betty Jane Rhodes was initially discovered on radio and was recording by age 8. Her promising contralto helped ...

24. Jan Wiley

Actress | A Fig Leaf for Eve

Jan Wiley was born on February 23, 1916 in Marion, Indiana, USA as Jan Harriet Wiley. She was an actress, known for A Fig Leaf for Eve (1944), The Master Key (1945) and Tonto Basin Outlaws (1941). She was married to Mort Greene and Roger Clark. She died on May 27, 1993 in Rancho Palos Verdes, ...

25. Betty Rowland

Actress | Love & Kisses

Burlesque dancer and stripper Betty Jane Rowland was born on January 23, 1916 in Columbus, Ohio. Her father was an accountant who lost his job during the Great Depression. Betty and her sisters Dian and Roz Elle all started out as dancers in vaudeville before making the transition into burlesque. ...

26. Merna Kennedy

Actress | The Circus

Merna Kennedy was born on September 7, 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois, USA as Merna Kahler. She was an actress, known for The Circus (1928), The Big Chance (1933) and I Like It That Way (1934). She was married to Forrest Brayton and Busby Berkeley. She died on December 20, 1944 in Los Angeles, ...

27. Bill Thompson

Actor | Peter Pan

Bill Thompson was born on July 8, 1913 in Terre Haute, Indiana, USA as William H. Thompson. He was an actor, known for Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). He was married to Mary Margaret McBride. He died on July 15, 1971 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

28. Rita La Roy

Actress | Hold That Woman!

Rita La Roy was born on October 2, 1901 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA as Ina May Stewart. She was an actress and director, known for Hold That Woman! (1940), Hot Saturday (1932) and Sin Takes a Holiday (1930). She was married to Ben Hershfield. She died on February 17, 1993 in San Diego, California,...

29. Andra Martin

Actress | A Fever in the Blood

Andra Martin was born on July 15, 1935 in Rockford, Illinois, USA as Sandra Rehn. She is an actress, known for A Fever in the Blood (1961), Yellowstone Kelly (1959) and Up Periscope (1959). She has been married to Philip M. Stein since August 8, 1970. She was previously married to David May II and ...

30. Lola Lane

Actress | The Big Fight

Lola Lane, born Dorothy Mullican, grew up Indianola, Iowa. Small-town life was not to her taste and she yearned to be in show business. She was also a bit of a rebel. At one time, in her teens, she 'scandalized' the townsfolk by dancing a particularly suggestive Charleston right in front of the ...

31. Byron Barr

Actor | Double Indemnity

Byron Barr was born on August 18, 1917 in Corning, Iowa, USA. He was an actor, known for Double Indemnity (1944), Tokyo Rose (1946) and Tarnished (1950). He died on November 3, 1966 in Sacramento County, California, USA.

32. Joan Valerie

Actress | Topa Topa

Born in Wisconsin in 1915, Helen Vlahikis, later known as Joan Valerie soon settles down in Hollywood, where she studied drama at the famous Pasadena Playhouse. Darryl F. Zanuck discovered her there but gave her parts only in B movies, although in pleasant ones. By way of example, she was the ...

33. Charles Morton

Actor | Arms and the Man

Handsome, athletic actor whose career started in the late silent era as a leading man and continued into sound features and finally television. Born in Illinois, Morton spent his adolescence in Madison, Wisconsin; receiving his education at Madison High School and the University of Wisconsin. He ...

34. Charlotte Merriam

Actress | Night Nurse

Charlotte Merriam born in Illinois in 1906. Her father was a Colonel in the Army. She began her film career in 1919 when she was 13 in The Flip of a Coin (1919). While visiting the Universal studios she was offered a part in a comedy series starring Eddie Lyons and Lee Moran, which she accepted. ...

35. Bryant Washburn

Actor | Captain Midnight

Bryant Washburn was born on April 28, 1889 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Franklin Bryant Washburn III. He was an actor and producer, known for Captain Midnight (1942), Hungry Hearts (1922) and Skinner's Bubble (1917). He was married to Virginia Vance and Mabel Forrest. He died on April 30, 1963 in ...

36. Carol Hughes

Actress | Gold Mine in the Sky

Carol Hughes was born on January 17, 1910 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Catherine Mabel Hukill. She was an actress, known for Gold Mine in the Sky (1938), Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) and Man from Music Mountain (1938). She was married to Frank Faylen. She died on August 8, 1995 in ...

37. Beverly Lloyd

Actress | Earl Carroll Vanities

Beverly Lloyd was born on March 27, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Beverly Carroll. She was an actress and writer, known for Earl Carroll Vanities (1945), Sing, Neighbor, Sing (1944) and Silent Partner (1944). She died on October 22, 2010 in Brentwood, California, USA.

38. Bill Coontz

Actor | Plunderers of Painted Flats

Bill Coontz was born on August 28, 1917 in Johnson, Iowa, USA as Willard B. Koontz. He is known for his work on Plunderers of Painted Flats (1959), Frankenstein's Daughter (1958) and Convoy (1978). He died on April 7, 1978 in Van Buren, Arkansas, USA.

39. Richard Davies

Actor | The Mad Doctor of Market Street

Richard Davies was born on August 3, 1915 in Provo, Utah, USA. He was an actor, known for The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942), The Falcon in Danger (1943) and Arson, Inc. (1949). He was married to Bonnie. He died on April 2, 1994 in Weaverville, California, USA.

40. Michael St. Angel

Actor | Bride by Mistake

Second lead and featured actor Michael St. Angel was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1916, the son of prominent business man Jasper St. Angel. Following high school the darkly handsome youth attended Wisconsin's Beloit College majoring in drama, then later transferred to Iowa's St. Ambrose College ...

41. Renee Whitney

Actress | Jimmy the Gent

Renee Whitney was born on February 9, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Bertha Renee Whitney. She was an actress, known for Jimmy the Gent (1934), The Big Shakedown (1934) and Footlight Parade (1933). She died on September 16, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

42. Jane Harker

Actress | The Unfaithful

Jane Harker was born on August 1, 1922 in Evanston, Illinois, USA as Jane Ellen Harker. She was an actress, known for The Unfaithful (1947), That Way with Women (1947) and Love and Learn (1947). She died on July 21, 2000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

43. Eddie Hall

Actor | The Fabulous Joe

Eddie Hall was born on February 3, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Edward Louis Hall. He is known for his work on The Fabulous Joe (1947), Thoroughbreds (1944) and The Hal Roach Comedy Carnival (1947). He was married to Flower Parry, Helen Patricia Stengel and Violet N. Cane. He died on February ...

44. Cathy Crosby

Actress | The Chinese Room

Cathy Crosby was born on November 24, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Cathleen Denyse Crosby. She is an actress, known for The Chinese Room (1968), Girls Town (1959) and The Beat Generation (1959).

45. Alan Curtis

Actor | Phantom Lady

Attractive Hollywood leading man (and sometime villain) from the late 30s until his death following surgery, Alan Curtis (Harry Ueberroth) was born 24 July 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in that area and in the early 1930s became a model, appearing in many magazine and newspaper ...

46. Gary Leon

Actor | Dante's Inferno

Gary Leon was born on February 5, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Leon Garfield. He was an actor, known for Dante's Inferno (1935) and Big News (1929). He died on March 30, 1988 in Beaumont, California, USA.

47. Dean Harens

Actor | Wonder Woman

Dean Harens was born on June 30, 1920 in South Bend, Indiana, USA. He was an actor, known for Wonder Woman (1975), Robert Montgomery Presents (1950) and The Outer Limits (1963). He was married to June Dayton. He died on May 20, 1996 in Van Nuys, California, USA.

48. Joyce Taylor

Actress | Atlantis: The Lost Continent

Born in Taylorville, Illinois, Joyce Taylor sang in amateur shows at age ten and turned professional when she was a very grown-up-looking 15, signing on with Mercury Records. She was under contract to Howard Hughes' RKO in the 1950s but the eccentric and enigmatic tycoon only allowed her to act in ...

49. Linda Perry

Actress | They Won't Forget

Linda Perry was born on August 18, 1912 in Boise, Idaho, USA. She was an actress, known for They Won't Forget (1937), The Romance of Robert Burns (1937) and The Mad Miss Manton (1938). She died on January 12, 2001 in Lancaster, California, USA.

50. Eleanor Stewart

Actress | The Rangers Step In

Eleanor Stewart was born on February 2, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She is known for her work on The Rangers Step In (1937), Rolling Caravans (1938) and Pirates on Horseback (1941). She was married to Greiner, Maurice and Peterson, Les. She died on July 4, 2007 in Rancho Bernardo, California, ...

51. Lillian Gish

Actress | The Night of the Hunter

Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893, in Springfield, Ohio. Her father, James Lee Gish, was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother, Mary Gish ...

52. Julie Wilson

Actress | This Could Be the Night

Julie Wilson was born on October 21, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA as Julie May Wilson. She was an actress, known for This Could Be the Night (1957), Kiss Me, Kate (1958) and Monsters (1988). She was married to Michael McAloney, Harvey Bernhard and Barron Polan. She died on April 5, 2015 in ...

53. Kathryn Stanley

Actress | Hold 'er Sheriff

Kathryn Stanley was born on November 12, 1897 in Illinois, USA. She is known for her work on Hold 'er Sheriff (1931), The Nightwatchman's Mistake (1929) and Hubby's Weekend Trip (1928). She died on April 17, 1978 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

54. Mary Howard

Actress | Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Mary Howard was born on August 24, 1914 in Independence, Kansas, USA as Mary Marjorie Howard. She was an actress, known for Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), Billy the Kid (1941) and Thru Different Eyes (1942). She was married to Alfred De Liagre Jr.. She died on June 6, 2009 in Manhattan, New York ...

55. Lillian Cornell

Actress | Las Vegas Nights

Lillian Cornell was born on June 2, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Lillian May Michuda. She was an actress, known for Las Vegas Nights (1941), Rhythm on the River (1940) and Buck Benny Rides Again (1940). She was married to Ace Cook Fessenden. She died on May 25, 2015 in Miami, Florida, USA.

56. Geneva Mitchell

Actress | Behind the Evidence

Geneva Mitchell was born on February 3, 1908 in Medaryville, Indiana, USA as Geneva Doris Mitchell. She was an actress, known for Behind the Evidence (1935), The Crime Patrol (1936) and Good Sport (1931). She was married to Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Harry J. Bryant, Jack Hayes and Robert S. Savage. ...

57. Diana Gibson

Actress | Behind the Headlines

American leading lady, born Rosemary LaBie in Chicago, Illinois, and educated at Our Lady of Loretto Academy. Diana came equipped with some stage training (from a stint with Chicago's Goodman Theatre) and had won several beauty contests before moving to Los Angeles as a high fashion model. She also...

58. Peggy Moran

Actress | The Mummy's Hand

Mary Jeanette Moran was born in Clinton, Iowa. The daughter of Louise Moran, a dancer with the famous Denishawn Dancers, and the celebrated artist Earl Moran, whose paintings graced many a barracks wall during World War II. One of Earl's favorite models was Norma Jean Baker, who later changed her ...



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