Famous Minnesotans

Many public figures who have made huge splashes on the national scene in politics, art, music and movies hail from the land of 10,000 lakes. Throughout Minnesota’s rich history, an abundance of people have stood out as stars among us, including actors, musicians, politicians, entrepreneurs, cartoonists, radio stars, writers and pro-wrestlers.

AS SEEN ON THE BIG & SMALL SCREEN

Hailing from Minneapolis, Louis Perry "Louie" Anderson (born March 24, 1953) is an American stand-up comedian. Anderson created the cartoon series Life with Louie, has written three books, and was the initial host of the second revival of the game show Family Feud, from 1999 to 2002.
T.R. Knight, known to his fans as George O’Malley on the Emmy-winning “Grey’s Anatomy,” is a Stillwater, MN native. For many years, he was a member of the Guthrie Theater’s acting company.

“Six Feet Under,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” and “Parenthood” star Peter Krause, grew up in Alexandria, west of Minneapolis.
Minneapolis native Vincent Kartheiser, known for his role on “Mad Men” began his acting career at the Children’s Theatre Company.
Josh Hartnett, the heart-throb movie star of films such as The Black Dahlia and Pearl Harbor, grew up in Saint Paul and currently lives in Minneapolis.
Movie actor Seann William Scott hails from Cottage Grove, suburb of Minneapolis.
Melissa Peterman, a product of the Brave New Workshop, wrapped a successful run on the TV show “Reba” in 2007. She’s also known for her memorable prostitute role in the movie Fargo.
Joel and Ethan Coen, writers/directors/producers of such movies as Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, A Serious Man, Burn After Reading and True Grit, grew up in the Minneapolis suburb St. Louis Park and filmed Fargo and A Serious Man in the area.

GREAT MINNESOTA AUTHORS

F. Scott Fitzgerald,  author of “The Great Gatsby,” is one of many literary geniuses to grow up in Saint Paul.
Attending the same high school as the Coen brothers and former “Saturday Night Live” comedian, and now, Senator Al Franken, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman is a prolific author, columnist and expert in Middle East affairs for the New York Times.
Garrison Keillor, the well-known humorist whose weekly radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” inspired Robert Altman’s last film of the same name hails from Anoka, just north of Minneapolis. He still contributes to Minnesota Public Radio and owns an independent bookstore called Common Good Books in Saint Paul.
Charles Schulz, the cartoonist who drew “Peanuts” for nearly 50 years was born in Minneapolis and lived in Saint Paul through his young adulthood.

A NEW BREED OF POLITICIANS

Even before Arnold took over California, Minnesota began producing Hollywood stars-turned-politicians.

From feather boa in the wrestling ring to glasses and suits as governor of the state, Jesse “The Body” Ventura raised Minnesota’s profile by unexpectedly beating two high-profile candidates to become the state’s 38th governor.

An Emmy Award–winning comedian, actor, author, screenwriter, political commentator, radio host and “Saturday Night Live” alumni, Al Franken grew up in St. Louis Park and is currently a Minneapolis resident. Noted for his liberal social and political views, Franken won Minnesota’s United States Senate seat in 2008.

OTHER FAMOUS MINNESOTA-BRED NAMES IN THE WORLD OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

> Warren Burger, Supreme Court Chief Justice
> Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States
> Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator
> Alexander Ramsey, second Governer of Minnesota; U.S. Senator

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