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I'm famous and I'm from Wisconsin


TopBilled
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Recently at the local public library I came across a book about famous actors from Wisconsin-- they are not necessarily folks born in Wisconsin but they grew up in Wisconsin and identify it as their home state. I am temporarily back in Wisconsin visiting with family. Since this is where I spent the first thirteen years of my life, and since I love movies, the book caught my eye.

 

The library had a reference copy and I spent part of an afternoon reading the chapter on Fred MacMurray, who was born in Illinois but at age two moved to Beaver Dam which he always considered his hometown.  I asked the reference librarian to find a circulating copy from another branch. She looked high and low and finally obtained one for me which I picked up yesterday.

 

I would like to use this thread to discuss some of the actors featured in this book...because there is some very good stuff here...and they're not all big time movie stars, some are character actors or primarily stage actors who had moderate success on screen.

 

Before I begin, I am wondering if anyone else is originally from Wisconsin...?

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I didn't start at page one. I decided the first chapter I would read when I brought the book home was the one on Colleen Dewhurst. Maybe this is because I had recently seen her in a rerun of Murphy Brown or because I had always been fascinated by the fact she married and divorced George C. Scott twice. Or perhaps because she was always a solid and dependable presence in any movie or television program in which I had seen her.

 

What I love about this book is that it is, obviously, more detailed than what you would find on wiki or the IMDB. For instance, Colleen's wiki page says she grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (near Milwaukee) but it doesn't talk about the hardship her family experienced when her parents divorced. They were from Canada originally, lived in the eastern part of the U.S., then settled permanently in Wisconsin when Colleen was still very young. 

 

A great thing about her is that she fell into acting almost by accident. She wanted to fly airplanes. But when she wound up doing theatre in college, she found her true calling. Her talent was instantly recognizable and she soon headed to New York without finishing her degree. But what's really interesting is that she was basically kicked out of college and that years later they invited her back and gave her an honorary doctorate. She was also given a special award named after the woman who had kicked her out of college. So to say her life was full of irony is an understatement.

 

Another college in Wisconsin that she had visited in her youth and where she got her first glimpse of fraternity boys (because the college she attended was an all-girls school) is where she wound up sending her two sons. Her youngest son, Campbell Scott, discovered his passion for acting in the theatre department there. And later after he had become a success as an actor, he became a member of the board of that college. 

 

Colleen very strongly identified with life in Wisconsin. Though she had homes in New York and in Canada during the later years of her life, she returned to her home state often. As I said, her sons attended college here and they seem to see Wisconsin as part of their heritage, too. 

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Yep, I hear it's a great place to be "from" alright...especially during the months of November through March.

 

But then again, I've always pretty much been a "Sun Worshiper", and so I admit I might be a bit biased here.

 

(...aaah, and not to sidetrack TB's thread here, but THIS reminds me of all the times Northwest Airlines would send this L.A. boy to their headquarters in Minneapolis in the month of January for annual recurrent training, and when I'd step off that airplane and out the MSP airports' door and think to myself, "HOW in the world do you people DO this?..."living here", that is...aaah, but "To each their own", HUH?!...and besides I DO have to admit I always found Minnesotans very nice people, "doncha know"!) LOL

 

;)

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Yep, I hear it's a great place to be "from" alright...especially during the months of November through March.

 

But then again, I've always pretty much been a "Sun Worshiper", and so I admit I might be a bit biased here.

 

(...aaah, and not to sidetrack TB's thread here, but THIS reminds me of all the times Northwest Airlines would send this L.A. boy to their headquarters in Minneapolis in the month of January for annual recurrent training, and when I'd step off that airplane and out the MSP airports' door and think to myself, "HOW in the world do you people DO this?..."living here", that is...aaah, but "To each their own", HUH?!...and besides I DO have to admit I always found Minnesotans very nice people, "doncha know"!) LOL

 

;)

Well as you probably remember, I used to post about living in Arizona...and I am still officially a resident of Arizona. But I have to tell you Dargo this was the nicest summer I have had in ten years being up here-- I did not miss the 45 days in a row of 120 degree whether that I endured every July and August in AZ. Like you said, to each his own.

 

The other thing that I am enjoying tremendously here, in addition to seeing relatives I hadn't seen in a long time, is how picturesque it is. Gone (for now) are the days of desert sand and sagebrush. Instead, I see this majestic bluff behind where I live now, and I can look down into a scenic valley (and use the hiking trails that lead down into the valley, along the river). Though Arturo might find it interesting to note that there is no good Mexican cuisine around here like I had been accustomed to in the southwest. 

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Very true about the very high temps during the Summer down in PHOENIX, TB, but as you probably know, up here in higher elevations of northern AZ such as up here in picturesque Sedona, it's always a heck of a lot cooler than down there.

 

(...and yeah, I know what you're saying about WI and MN, as I've also visited MSP and GRB during the Spring, Summer and Fall, and yes, its beautiful there at those times...though then AGAIN, you DO know that the "State Bird" of MN is the mosquito, "doncha know"?) ;)

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Very true about the very high temps during the Summer down in PHOENIX, TB, but as you probably know, up here in higher elevations of northern AZ such as up here in picturesque Sedona, it's always a heck of a lot cooler than down there.

 

(...and yeah, I know what you're saying about WI and MN, as I've also visited MSP and GRB during the Spring, Summer and Fall, and yes, its beautiful there at those times...though then AGAIN, you DO know that the "State Bird" of MN is the mosquito, "doncha know"?) ;)

Is it? I did not know that. :)

 

On my profile here, it says Minneapolis, but I am technically just across the border in Wisconsin. My relatives and the area where I grew up is an hour east of here. I picked this location so I could be near family but still at a distance so I could do my own things, and also be close to the twin cities.  

 

When I flew up here from Phoenix (after many years of not being in the midwest), I immediately felt the climate change getting off the plane. And I did have those thoughts running through my mind-- why have I done this, I want to go back to Arizona, this is a mistake, etc.

 

Another thing I did, too, before I closed everything up in Arizona was I had gone to spend two months in San Diego with some friends. So you have Arizona and San Diego on one hand, and Minnesota and Wisconsin on the other hand, and yeah, I was questioning it all. LOL But I knew this would only be for about six months and it really has turned out to be a nice change of pace. Plus, besides relatives, I have been able to look up elementary and middle school friends I had not seen in ages. 

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Okay, sorry.

 

(...and NOW back to the topic of famous people FROM Wisconsin!) LOL

 

I mentioned this in another thread but Alfred Lunt (part of the acting team of Lunt and Fontanne) is from Wisconsin.

 

I highly recommend a visit to the Lunts' estate Ten Chimneys if one is in southeastern Wisconsin. There are no tours during the winter.

Ten Chimneys is west  of Milwaukee in Waukesha County.

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I mentioned this in another thread but Alfred Lunt (part of the acting team of Lunt and Fontanne) is from Wisconsin.

 

I highly recommend a visit to the Lunts' estate Ten Chimneys if one is in southeastern Wisconsin. There are no tours during the winter.

Ten Chimneys is west  of Milwaukee in Waukesha County.

 

Speaking of "estates", and I don't know if TB is only goin' for the famous in the entertainment field here, but of course the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a Wisconsin native.

 

(...and talk about an interesting life, of which film documentarian Ken Burns focused upon a few years back)

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Speaking of "estates", and I don't know if TB is only goin' for the famous in the entertainment field here, but of course the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a Wisconsin native.

 

 

I am going to focus on actors/actresses in this thread. Trivia buffs know that Frank Lloyd Wright was the grandfather of Anne Baxter (born in Indiana but raised in New York).

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I am going to focus on actors/actresses in this thread. Trivia buffs know that Frank Lloyd Wright was the grandfather of Anne Baxter (born in Indiana but raised in New York).

 

OH Moses, OH Moses...errr...I mean, TB.

 

(...I guess now I know, huh?!...sorry) ;)

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Recently at the local public library I came across a book about famous actors from Wisconsin-- they are not necessarily folks born in Wisconsin but they grew up in Wisconsin and identify it as their home state. I am temporarily back in Wisconsin visiting with family. Since this is where I spent the first thirteen years of my life, and since I love movies, the book caught my eye.

 

The library had a reference copy and I spent part of an afternoon reading the chapter on Fred MacMurray, who was born in Illinois but at age two moved to Beaver Dam which he always considered his hometown.  I asked the reference librarian to find a circulating copy from another branch. She looked high and low and finally obtained one for me which I picked up yesterday.

 

I would like to use this thread to discuss some of the actors featured in this book...because there is some very good stuff here...and they're not all big time movie stars, some are character actors or primarily stage actors who had moderate success on screen.

 

Before I begin, I am wondering if anyone else is originally from Wisconsin...?

Senator Joe McCarthy. 'Nuff said.

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Senator Joe McCarthy. 'Nuff said.

 

Oooooh! Now is THAT nice, DGF?!

 

Gotta admit though I got a chuckle out'a this!

 

(...AND, is THIS from the same guy around here who's just accused darkblue of bein' a "provocateur"???!!!) LOL

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....and didn't Alan (the Horse) Ameche go to U. of Wisconsin?

He did.  The book has a section about actors who grew up elsewhere but attended college in Wisconsin. I was surprised to learn that Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of them. So was Harrison Ford.

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He did.  The book has a section about actors who grew up elsewhere but attended college in Wisconsin. I was surprised to learn that Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of them. So was Harrison Ford.

 

Yeah, but I hear in Arnold's case, ironically, he never went "baak" to Wisconsin!!!

 

(...sooooo, any truth to that rumor, TB???) ;)

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Off the top of my ^pointy^ head . . . and without looking at Wikipedia for 'assistance' I recall an obscure actress I'm almost 100% sure was born in Wisconsin.  She appeared in a 2 movies I've seen and starred on a Tv show as 'Cinderella' (I believe) in the 1980s. 

 

     The fairly decent 1981 horror movie 'HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE' starred CAITLIN O'HEANEY, who was born in 1953 (I think) and is from Whitefish Bay, WI.  She also appeared as "Kathleen Heaney" in the late '70s horror flick "SAVAGE WEEKEND". 

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Off the top of my ^pointy^ head . . . and without looking at Wikipedia for 'assistance' I recall an obscure actress I'm almost 100% sure was born in Wisconsin.  She appeared in a 2 movies I've seen and starred on a Tv show as 'Cinderella' (I believe) in the 1980s. 

 

     The fairly decent 1981 horror movie 'HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE' starred CAITLIN O'HEANEY, who was born in 1953 (I think) and is from Whitefish Bay, WI.  She also appeared as "Kathleen Heaney" in the late '70s horror flick "SAVAGE WEEKEND". 

Yes, Whitefish Bay has a few. I already mentioned Colleen Dewhurst being from there. Also, Jeffrey Hunter grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.

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Uta Hagen, the original Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was born in Germany in 1919 but settled in Wisconsin at a very early age, when her father, Oskar Hagen, became a professor at the University of Wisconsin/Madison. Ms. Hagen's other credits include Desdemona in a famous production of Othello, with Paul Robeson; and The Country Girl, for which she won her first Tony Award. Kim Hunter has said Ms. Hagen's Blanche in Streetcar was the best ever, and Kim worked with Jessica Tandy and Vivian Leigh!

 

Hagen appeared in a few films but was blacklisted. She continued to work in New York, becoming one of America's most renowned acting teachers. She died in 2004. Her father, Oskar Hagen, a leading scholar/professor at Madison, founded the Department of Art History there and was also heavily involved in music and other fields. He taught there for many years and died in 1957.

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jerry harrison was one of the founding members.

 

according to joel whitburn, jerry (he) was born in milwaukee.

 

i do not know if tina weymouth (the female member) was a wisconsin native.

 

One of the members of Talking Heads was a

Badgerite, or is it Badgertarian?

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gorganzola heads represent!       :D
great thread, topbilled.

i've been born and bred in milwaukee all my life; i don't think i could live anywhere else.

anyway, within the past coupla years i've compiled a short list of actors who hail from wisconsin.

very interesting tidbit about frank lloyd wright.

i'll try to contribute any way to this thread for all posterity.       :D

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