The Lone Star State has more than a fair share of celebrities. Do your favorite famous Texans make it to the list? Find it out here:
Selena Gomez is a famous actress, singer, and producer. She was born in Grand Prairie, Texas, on July 22, 1992.
Gomez is a former child and teen actress who initially rose to fame via the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007 – 2012). Alongside her television career, she has also starred in several films, notably Another Cinderella Story, Princess Protection Program, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Ramona and Beezus, Monte Carlo, Spring Breakers, Getaway, The Fundamentals of Caring, The Dead Don’t Die, and A Rainy Day in New York.
As a singer, Gomez has released a handful of albums – three with her former band Selena Gomez & the Scene, and three solo albums. She has sold over seven million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
Gomez is also a big social media star, and at one point, she became the most-followed person on Instagram.
Beyoncé Knowles is a singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress. She was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas.
During the late 1990s, Beyoncé initially rose to fame as the lead singer of the all-girl trio Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. During Destiny Child’s hiatus, she went solo with her debut album Dangerously in Love, which spawned two Billboard Hot 100 (pop) number-one singles, “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy.” With the disbanding of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé released her second solo album B’Day, which featured the hit singles, “Irreplaceable,” and “Beautiful Liar.” Her other albums, Beyoncé and Lemonade, earned her universal acclaim.
She has also acted in a handful of movies, including, The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, Obsessed, and The Lion King. She is married to Jay-Z, a well-known producer and one of the most influential hip-hop artists of his generation.
Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor and producer. Born in Uvalde, Texas, on November 4, 1969, he got his first breakout role in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused. McConaughey starred in his first leading role in the legal drama film A Time to Kill in 1996. It was followed by other films, such as Contact, Amistad, The Newton Boys, and EDtv.
In the 2000s, McConaughey became known as a rom-com leading man and sex symbol through movies like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Fool’s Gold, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. He switched to more dramatic roles in The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, The Wolf of Wall Street, Killer Joe, and Mud.
McConaughey’s portrayal of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in the 2013 drama film Dallas Buyers Club earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Willie Nelson is highly regarded as one of the most popular and respected country singers of the 20th century and present. He was born in Abbott, Texas, on April 29, 1933.
Nelson started his music career in the 1950s, recording his own songs and penning hits for other stars (such as “Crazy” by Patsy Cline). But the singer-songwriter and musician didn’t become a star until the mid-1970s, thanks to the bourgeoning “outlaw country” music scene. It started with the critically successful album Shotgun Willie (1973), followed by commercially successful albums Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978) that cemented his status as a bonafide country star. He has recorded and released 95 studio albums, 70 of which are solo ones.
He is also active in several issues and causes, advocating for farmers, reforms for the legalization of marijuana in the US, animal welfare, and LGBT groups, among many others.
Steve Martin is one of the most recognizable American comedians, thanks to movies The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t’ Wear Plaid, Three Amigos, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Parenthood, The Father of the Bride movies, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
He was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas. Like many famous funnymen, Martin started his career as a stand-up comedian who eventually made frequent appearances on TV shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live. Martin is also a musician, playing the banjo and performing on records and live performances. Since the 2000s, Martin has increasingly shifted his career to music, acting less and spending his professional life playing the banjo, recording, and touring with bluegrass artists.
For Dakota Johnson, showbusiness runs in the blood. The actress and model was born in Austin, Texas, on October 4, 1989.
Although she is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith and the granddaughter of actress Tippi Hedren, Johnson carved her own name through the commercially successful three Fifty Shades movies. Johnson’s role in the movie trilogy as Anastasia Steele earned her a People’s Choice Awards and a BAFTA Rising Star nomination in 2016.
Johnson’s other film credits include 21 Jump Street, Five-Year Engagement, Black Mass, A Bigger Splash, How to Be Single, Suspiria, Bad Times at El Royale, Wounds, and The Peanut Brittle Falcon.
Actress and producer Eva Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 15, 1975, to Tejano parents. Thus, she describes herself as a “Texican” (a Mexican-American Texan). She was first recognized in the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, where she was a cast member from 2001 to 2003.
Her breakout role as Gabrielle Solis in the drama series Desperate Housewives (2004 – 2012) made her a legitimate Hollywood star. Longoria earned a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the series.
Although she is mainly known as a television star, Longoria has branched out her acting talents to the big screen. Her films include The Sentinel, Over Her Dead Body, For Greater Glory, Frontera, Lowriders, and Overboard. On top of her film and television engagements, Longoria has also appeared in various ad campaigns.
One of the most notable and respected figures in the field of news, Dan Rather worked for CBS from 1963 until his departure from the network in 2006.
Rather was born in Wharton, Texas, on October 31, 1931. He first worked as a reporter and correspondent. His reporting during the height of Hurricane Carla in 1961 saved hundreds and thousands of lives by spontaneously creating the first weather report. He also reported from Dallas during President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
In 1981, Rather was promoted to a news anchor for the CBS Evening News, a position he held for 24 years. After CBS, he hosted Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel AXS TV from 2006 to 2013. He hosts several programs for AXS, the most current being The Big Interview with Dan Rather.
Kelly Clarkson initially rose to fame for being the first American Idol winner in 2002. The singer-songwriter and TV host was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 24, 1982.
Clarkson released her debut album Thankful in 2003 but found breakthrough success with her second album Breakaway, which featured four Billboard top ten hit singles, including “Since U Been Gone” and the title track. Breakaway sold over 12 million copies and earned two Grammy Awards.
Clarkson has released five other albums, including All I Ever Wanted (2009), which became her second number-one album, and Stronger (2011), making her the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album twice. Clarkson has sold over 25 million album copies worldwide.
Renée Zellweger is an Academy Award-winning actress and singer, born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas. Zellweger graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BA degree in English in 1992. While in college, she was initially drawn to acting after taking a drama course.
Following some minor movie roles, Zellweger acted in her first starring role in the 1994 slasher movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. She further rose to prominence with other starring roles in films Jerry Maguire, One True Thing, and Me, Myself and Irene. Her role in the black comedy Nurse Betty (2000) earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
Zellweger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2003 film Cold Mountain and the Academy Award for Best Actress in the 2019 biopic Judy. But perhaps her most famous (and lovable) movie role is that of a British single woman, Bridget Jones, in the romantic comedy film Briget Jones’s Diary (2001). It is followed by two equally successful sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016).
Fans of the actress and comedienne Carol Burnett will always remember her for her own variety and sketch TV program, The Carol Burnett Show. It was groundbreaking in many ways, but mainly for being the first TV show of its kind to be hosted by a female. It ran for 11 seasons from 1967 to 1978.
Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, on April 26, 1933. Along with her popular variety show, she also starred in other television shows and film projects, notably The Front Page (1974), Annie (1982), and Noises Off (1992). She has also acted on the stage, having appeared in Broadway productions, such as Once Upon a Mattress (1959), where she had her breakout role, and Moon Over Buffalo. The Emmy-award-winning Burmett has enjoyed a career span in over seven years.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones is an Academy Award-winning actor whose career spans over five decades. He was born in San Saba, Texas on September 15, 1946.
Fans and moviegoers will always remember Jones for his role as US Marshall Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive, which stars Harrison Ford in the title role. The role won him an Oscar Best Supporting Actor Award in 1994. He reprised the same role in the film’s 1998 spin-off, U.S. Marshals. His other popular role is that of Agent K in the Men in Black movie series, which also stars Will Smith. Jones has portrayed a wide range of different characters in movies and on television, including historical figures.
Lance Armstrong is a former cyclist born in Richardson, Texas on September 18, 1971. He was named after Lance Retzel, who played for the Dallas Cowboys as a wide receiver. He became a professional cyclist in 1992, eventually earning victories in the 1993 World Championship, the Clasica de San Sebastian in 1995, the Tour DuPont in 1995 and 1996, and others.
In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with metastatic testicular cancer. But he recovered, and he was soon back to his cycling career and later founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to assist other cancer patients and survivors.
He won seven consecutive Tour de France titles, from 1999 to 2005, but he was stripped of his titles after undergoing a doping investigation and his admission to using performance-enhancing drugs. He said of the humbling experience, “The stain will live forever. I’ll never get rid of it. I’ll just try and do the best for my family, my community, my constituency – whatever that may be.”
Many of you may recognize George Foreman recently for his successful George Foreman Grill. But to more people, he is a boxing legend. “Big George” is a two-time world heavyweight champion — and also the oldest heavyweight champion ever when he won the IBF title in 1995, at 46 years old. An Olympian, Foreman won the gold medal in the heavyweight category at the 1986 Mexico City Olympics.
He made his mark as an entrepreneur when launched his product, the George Foreman Grill, in 1994. The selling point of this two-sided grilling machine is that it reduces fat from the food as it grills and cooks it. Since its launch, the George Foreman Grill has sold over 100 million units worldwide.
Foreman, who was born in Marshall, Texas, on January 10, 1949, is also an ordained Christian minister. He once said, “Preaching is my profession – I just moonlight as a boxer.”
Texas is considered as one of the tech-savvy, “innovation” US states. It is home to several national and global tech companies and startups, and many of these companies are headquartered in Texas.
One of these global tech companies, Dell Technologies, is truly a home-grown, Texan business. Dell Technologies is founded by Michael Dell, who is also the chairman and CEO of the company whose headquarters are located in Round Rock Texas.
Dell was born in Houston, Texas, on February 23, 1965. While still a student at the University of Austin, he started his computer business with a $1,000 startup capital. When his fledgling company grew – at one point, it sold $80,000 worth of PCs – he dropped out of college to focus on the business full-time. His company went public in 1988. In 1992, at just 27 years old, Dell became the youngest CEO of a company ranked in Fortune’s top 500 companies. Dell Inc. once led as the world’s biggest PC manufacturer. After a number of setbacks, Dell Inc. underwent a company overhaul and brought a new focus on corporate software and services as well as other electronic devices. In 2015, Dell acquired the computer-storage corporation, EMC, for $67 billion, then the biggest transaction in tech company history. The merger between Dell Inc. and EMC resulted in the formation of Dell Technologies in 2016.
As of October 2021, Dell is ranked as the 24th richest man in the world with a net worth of $54.6 billion.
Owen Wilson (no relation to Willie Nelson, by the way) is an actor, comedian, producer and screenwriter. He was born in Dallas, Texas, on November 18, 1952.
He is known for his association with filmmaker Wes Anderson with whom he shared acting and writing credits for films Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), the last of which he earned an Oscar and BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay. He has also appeared in Anderson’s other films: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (1994), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and The French Dispatch (2021).
As a comedy actor, Wilson appeared in comedy films, including Zoolander (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011), and The Internship (2013), as well as the Night at the Museum film series.
Nick Jonas first rose to fame as one-third of the Jonas Brothers, alongside his siblings Joe and Kevin. Their association with Disney led to two television movies Camp Rock (2008) and its sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010), as well as their own TV series Jonas (also known as Jonas L.A.). The Jonas Brothers also released five commercially successful albums. Nick released his first solo album Nicholas Jonas, in 2005, while the Jonas Brothers were on a hiatus.
After the Jonas Brothers split, Nick – who was born in Dallas, Texas, on September 16, 1992 – released his self-titled second solo album in 2014. Its second single, “Jealous,” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard singles chart. His third solo album, Last Year Was Complicated (2016) peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. In 2019, the brothers reunited and released the album Happiness Begins in the same year. In 2021, Nick Jonas released his fourth solo album Spaceman.
Actress and producer Jennifer Garner was born in Houston, Texas, on April 17, 1972. She catapulted to stardom with her role as CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the thriller TV series Alias (2001 – 2006). For her work in the series, Garner won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for best actress, and Emmy nominations.
Her notable films include Juno, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Invention of Lying, Valentine’s Day, Dallas Buyers Club, which starred Matthew McConaughey, who won an Oscar for his role in the film. She also received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her work in the movie. Aside from her showbiz commitments, Garner is also an advocate for early child education and serves as a board member of Save the Children USA.
Woody Harrelson is an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor and playwright. He rose to fame for his role as bartender Woody Boyd (yes, Woody) on the beloved sitcom Cheers from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s.
He has received three Oscar nominations for his roles in films The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996 – Best Actor), The Messenger (2009 – Best Supporting Actor), and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017 – Best supporting Actor). He was also nominated for the Emmy Primetime Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Marty Hart in the series True Detective.
Harrelson was born in Midland, Texas, on July 23, 1961.
Comedian, singer, record producer, and Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx was born Eric Marlon Bishop in Terrell, Texas, on December 13, 1967. He was first recognized as a cast member of the groundbreaking sketch comedy show In Living Color from 1991 to 1994. Then, he starred in his own sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show, which ran for five seasons (1996 – 2001).
He subsequently became known for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray, for which he won an Oscar Best Actor in the 77th Academy Awards. In the same ceremony, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 2004 crime-thriller film Collateral. This makes Foxx only the second actor and tenth individual overall to earn two acting nominations in the same year. Since 2017, Fox has served as host and producer of the game show Beat Shazam on Fox network.