Houston may be home to NASA, but it also serves as the first home to many Hollywood stars. We talked about the movies that had been filmed in Houston and today we are going to talk about the Houston Celebrities you may or may not have known hail from our great city. Besides yourself, here are 17 Houston celebrities born on the Houston scene.
Beyoncé Knowles is one of the most famous and well known Houston celebrities that was born in Houston! Beyoncé pursued her singing career as a child, entering countless singing competitions (and winning). She attended St. Mary’s Montessori School where her talent was first recognized by her dance instructor. She later attended Parker Elementary School and then the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Alief Elsik High School. Beyonce still speaks fondly of Houston and according to her interview with the website, Visit Houston Texas, Houston is “a great place to raise a family” and will always be home to her. Queen Bey’s favorite places to eat in Houston include Frenchy’s Chicken, This Is It, and Pappadeaux. We love you too, Beyoncé!
In her Lemonade music video. While most take away the theme of infidelity, there’s still a chance that ‘Lemonade’ is a shout out to Beyoncé’s roots about Houston’s Lemonade Day that sparks children’s interest in business, right?
While Jim Parsons plays theoretical physicist, Sheldon Cooper, who was born in Galveston in The Big Bang Theory, Parsons is a Houstonian man. He graduated from Klein Oak High and then the University of Houston. While at Klein Oak, he was voted the “Friendliest Guy.” (It must be that Texan hospitality, right?) While in Houston and pursuing acting, he performed at Houston’s Infernal Bridegroom Productions. To this day, he says the Menil is his favorite museum (take that, New York!!!!). He also considers Rudyard’s to be his favorite hangout spot. Despite living in LA, Parsons is a devoted Houston sports fan and even created a heartfelt video to persuade Dwight Howard to stay on the Houston Rockets team. Oh, Jim, you’re the real MVP.
Dennis Quaid hails from Houston and attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School, and the University of Houston. While at Bellaire, he pursued Mandarin and dance. After dropping out of U of H, Quaid would go on to appear in Day After Tomorrow, The Rookie, The Parent Trap, and more.
Randy Quaid is Dennis Quaid’s older brother and also attended Paul W. Horn Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School, and the University of Houston. After being cast in The Last Picture Show, Randy dropped out. This is when one expects a “Stay in school, kids”, but Quaid went on to become an Oscar nominee.
Before she was being chased by Jack Nicholson and his ax in The Shining, Duvall was born and raised in Houston! She attended South Texas Junior College, but stopped when Robert Altman persuaded her into acting and thank goodness for that!
He was born in Houston but relocated to Germany. While overseas, he played football in Germany, but moved back to Houston to be with his uncle (who played defensive end for the Oilers!). For Strahan’s fall semester of senior year, he played football for Westbury High School and one semester at Texas Southern University, where they gave him a scholarship. Leaving TSU in the spring, he went back to Germany to finish his education and returned to the states to play football for the NFL Giants. Kelly Ripa and Houstonians everywhere are unsure how to cope with his absence.
Mireille is one of those Houston celebrities who moved here when she was five years old. She pursued her love for theater at The High School of the Performing and Visual Arts where her older siblings attended for theater, visual arts, and dancing. You can catch Enos on ABC’s The Catch where she has the starring role as Alice.
This Gilmore Girl is actually a Houston girl. Bledel attended St. Agnes Academy and was scouted by a Page Parkes employee while shopping. Before she struck big with her role as Rory Gilmore, Alexis acted as an extra in fellow Houston-born Wes Anderson’s movie Rushmore-filmed in Houston.
Jennifer Garner was born and raised in Houston—until she was four years old and moved to West Virginia. Well, at least Houston knew her then, right?
Born and raised in Houston, acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson attended and graduated from St. John’s School in 1987. Twelve years later, he would use St. John’s as the film location and inspiration for Rushmore School in his film Rushmore. While at St. John’s he helped edit the yearbook and according to a past teacher of his (and to the disappointment of many twee Anderson fans), Anderson was “normal” and “not eccentric”.
Before playing Bridget Jones, Renée Zellweger was born and raised in Katy where she attended Katy High School and participated in cheerleading, gymnastics, and drama club. And then she went on to join the Texas Chainsaw Massacre club. No biggie.
Hilary isn’t just one of our Houston celebrities, she is a sixth generation Texan. Hilary went to Memorial Drive Elementary before moving to Hollywood to pursue her career at age 9. It looks like Houston wasn’t what Duff’s dreams were made of.
(Hilary Duff, post Houston childhood and Lizzie McGuire. Photo by Craig Barritt.)
The older sister of Hilary Duff was born in Houston and is a sixth generation Texan. She would later go on to perform on Broadway in Hairspray- Houston’s reputation for big hair nevertheless gave her firsthand insight into this topic!
Oh, Swayze. He was born in Houston to Patsy Yvonne Helen and Jesse Wayne Swayze. Unsurprisingly, dancing is second nature in the Swayze family, as his mother was a choreographer and dance teacher to countless successes-Randy Quaid and Tommy Tune. She also choreographed the dance scenes in Urban Cowboy, Liar’s Moon, Hope Floats, and One Last Dance. Patrick Swayze attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Oak Forest Elementary, Black Middle School, and Waltrip High School. While he lived in Houston, he resided in the Oak Forest area. He received a football scholarship but suffered knee damage. Thankfully football didn’t kick off, but his pursuit of dance did. Without that injury, Dirty Dancing (1980) would have been without Swayze!
Another one of our Houston celebrities, Josh Brener won the first Tommy Tune (fellow Houstonian) award for Best Actor in 2003. Brenner attended Bellaire High School. I guess you could say Brener had a good start in Houston because he would eventually go on to graduate from Harvard. In a recent Reddit AMA, Brener also gives love to Houston-owned deli Kenny and Ziggy’s. Make sure to watch Brener in HBO’s Silicon Valley.
Chandra was born in Houston and from the start, knew she wanted to act. At five years old, she began her training with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) and then went to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In an interview with Visithoustontexas.com, she cites The Spaghetti Warehouse, House of Pies, and Ninfa’s as some of her favorite places to eat.
Did you know that Matt Bomer is one of our Houston celebrities? This White Collar actor grew up in Spring, Texas (a Houston suburb) and attended Klein High School. He and Lee Pace worked and performed with the Alley Theatre.
What Houston celebrities did we miss? Tell us in the comments!
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