Monday, February 11, 2008

Famous Non-Athlete Minnesotans

We all know about Paul Molitor, Larry Fitzgerald and Roger Maris. They were all born in Minnesota and all are/were great athletes. But do all of us from the land of 10,000 lakes know about some of our other brothers and sisters around the country and the world. Below is a list of just a few Minnesotans (excluding sports figures) who are or have made a name for themselves.

The list are in Alphabetical order and not ranked. If I left someone out that deserves recognition please post in the comments. Here goes:

Ann Bancroft - Bancroft was born in Mendota Heights and is best known as the first woman to travel to the north pole by sled and by foot. Bancroft was elected to the Women's Hall of Fame after she led four women on a trek to the south pole on skis.

Jessica Biel - Born in Ely, Minnesota Jessica got her start on TV at 14 as the tomboyish Mary Camden on 7th Heaven. She appeared topless in Gear Magazine in 2000, while there was no seen nudity in the magazine it was controversial none-the-less as Biel was only 17 at the time of the shoot. She has now appeared in several motion pictures and is considered one of Hollywoods most attractive women.

Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm - The set of triplets from Minneapolis were playmates for Playboy Magazine in 1998. They originally tried out for a segment in the magazine called "Girls of the Big Ten" but did not make it. Later, all three got breast implants and have since been featured on several covers of the men's publication.

Bob Dylan - Robert Zimmerman was born in Duluth, Minnesota and is obviously best known for his singing and song writting. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. Even though much of his music is over 40 years old, it still remains extremely popular today.

Garrison Keillor - Born in Anoka, Minnesota, Keillor is best known as an author, storyteller, humorist, and radio personality. Keillor was elected to the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994, he is best known for his radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.

William James Mayo - Mayo was born in Le Sueur, MN where is learned the medical profession at a young age from his father. Mayo later moved to Rochester where he started the world famous Mayo Medical Clinic. Nine Presidents, numerous first ladies, kings and other celebrities have been treated at the Clinic.

Walter Mondale - Born in Ceylon, Minnesota, Walter was the 42nd Vice President of the United States and later the Ambassador to Japan under Bill Clinton. Mondale lost the bid to the Presidency against Ronald Reagan in 1984 in a landslide in which Mondale only won Washington DC and Minnesota.

Prince - Born in Minneapolis, no other explanation needed.

Kevin Sorbo - Born in Mound, Minnesota, we all know Kevin as Hercules. But he could have been Superman in Lois and Clark, or even Agent Mulder in the X-Files. Today he can be found on a show that I am guessing nobody watches, Andromeda.

Cheryl Tiegs - Cheryl hails from Breckenridge Minnesota and was a swimsuit model in numerous Sports Illustrated. She is probably best known for a picture of her in a white cotton swimsuit that was almost completely transparent. Google it and you will recognize it immediately. She claims she didn't realize how see-through it was until after she saw the pictures. Riiiight.

Vince Vaughn - Born in Minneapolis, Vince has appeared in several movies that many AH! readers and subscribers would put in their favorite comedies list. From Swingers to Wedding Crashers, Vince has a style of comedy that makes people laugh. Let's hope his version of the Kings of Comedy doesn't suck.

Jesse Ventura - The former governor, Navy Seal and Professional wrestler was born in Minneapolis and is one of the most polarized celebrities Minnesota has ever had. Some love him others hate him. He certainly has had an interesting life so far.

Steve Zahn - Born in Marshall, Minnesota, Steve has been in quite a few movies as the crazy sidekick. Zahn attended Gustavus and later, Harvard. He got his start in Reality Bites, but gives his most sterning performance as Wayne Lefessier in Saving Silverman.

Honorable Mention:
Hubert Humphrey - Technically born outside Minnesota in Wallace South Dakota, everyone knows that people born on the far east side claim to be from Minnesota anyway. Humphrey was the 38th Vice President and the founder of the Minnesota DFL party. Also, I believe he has some sort of Metrodome.

Angus MacGyver - MacGyver would top the list of Minnesotans if there wasn't for one tiny problem: he technically doesn't exist. Supposedly he was born in Mission City, Minnesota, but most people know him better as the resourceful agent for the Phoenix Foundation.

Not-so-honorable Mention:
Tammy Faye Bakker - Born in International Falls, she was the wife of Jim Bakker. Jim was the former televangelist and convicted felon. She was one of the founding members of the 700 club and on was on the surreal life.

Craig Kilborn - Born in Hastings, Craig was the original host of The Daily Show and a Sports Center Anchor. Kilborn did not extend his contract for the Daily Show after numerous female staffers accused him of inappropriate comments. After a 5 year stint as the host of the Late Late Show, he left the show to pursue writing and producing. One wonders how big he could have been if he would have stayed at Comedy Central a bit longer.

Carl Panzram - Born in Warren, Minnesota, Panzram was a convicted serial killer who claims to have killed over 20 people in his lifetime. He was executed by hanging in 1930.
Winona Ryder


brex said...

If you mention Steve Zahn you should mention Sean William Scott aka Stiffler, was born in cottage grove.

Scott said...

MacGyver may be not exist, but the actor who played him does - and hails from Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

Minnesotans always love to mention Lindbergh (nazi sympathizer) and judy garland (her ruby red slippers were stolen from a museum in..whatever town that is up north)

That one funny guy who is in Grandmas Boy and does some appearances in Reno 911 is from minnesota.

Now! trivia: Name the band that played with Rhianna last night at the grammys. They are from Minneapolis.

tfrezac2002 said...

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lea Thompson, Wynona Ryder and one that would go in the "Not So Honerable Mention" section. John Madden.

TwinsWin83 said...

Judy Garland is from Grand Rapids. We used to play in a legion tourney up there every summer during 'Judy Garland Days' and they would have the munchkins (sp?) that were still alive from the original Wizard of Oz movie there to march in the parade. Kinda Creepy.

People from North Dakota get pissed when Minnesotans say Roger Maris if a from MN (even though he is) because they consider him a North Dakotan and he is like their main claim to fame.

Sinclair Lewis is from Sauk Center.

I always heard that Bob Dylan rejects his Minnesota orgins and refuses to even discuss it when asked. Is that true?

soup said...

Nick Swardson is the comedian from grandmas boy was born in St Paul.

Josh Hartnett

F scott Fitzgerald

good list though

haasertime said...

people thought that Bob Dylan resented Minnesota just because, when he first got famous, he would never tell people where he was from. He has also said Hibbing wasn't for him because it couldn't provide what he sought. Not exactly a ripjob. He often talks about Minnesota lovingly when he plays shows here, and he owns a farm up on highway 55.

yes, nick swardson. funny guy.

soup said...

And don't you try to take Humphrey from us. South Dakota needs all the famous people we can get. I just looked at a famous people from South Dakota list and there is a person on the list of 23 people named:Rain-in-the-Face Hunkpapa. You can't make that up.

TwinsWin83 said...

Charles Schulz

Tim O'Brien- author of The Things They Carried

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Ethan and Joel Coen

Rachel Leigh Cook

Louie Anderson

T.R. Knight

I still like Craig Killborn.

tfrezac2002 said...

Soup, Rain in the Face was the leader of the attack on Custer if memory serves me correct.

Daymonster said...

Josh Hartnett was not born in minnesota.

I did forget some of those. I wrote one about winona ryder but I don't know what happen to it.

soup said...

You're right Rezac. I just think the name is funny.

And, I embarrassing as it is I actually googled "Josh Hartnett bio" just now. On (,,20153026,00.html) it says, "And, for the record, he was born in Minnesota, not San Francisco as commonly misreported, he said."

roy said...

i think josh hartnett went to south high school, one of my prof's and good friends from Augsburg, his daughter went to prom with him, i know for sure he is from MN, and i think that he did go to south, possibly burnsville, not sure.

mao_1976 said...

2 things for ya. As Scott said, Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) is from Minnesota. And one up and coming actor Garrett Hedlund was born and raised in Roseau, MN. He's had big roles in Troy, Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers just to name a few!

Daymonster said...

I stand corrected, hartnett was born in MN, imdb lied.

Anonymous said...

All good people from "The Field" can forget Alex Holden, made famous in Friends, and a bunch of other no-name movies