New Jersey is home to some of the greatest celebrities who have ever lived. From Bon Jovi to Whitney Houston, New Jersey is not only a breeding ground for some of the finest talents the world has ever seen, but it’s also one of the best places to settle down or purchase a second home. Sprinkled with a mix of urban and suburban communities, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the US. In our latest article on our favorite celebrities from New Jersey, we will look at some celebrities who were born there and grew up there, and some of who have settled there after moving from other states. You may find a few surprises in our list, like, did you know that SZA or Lauryn Hill hail from New Jersey? Check out this list of 20 of our favorite celebrities from New Jersey.
20. Charlie Puth
It wasn’t long ago since Charlie Puth became an online sensation after posting videos of himself singing on YouTube. It wouldn’t take long for him to later appear and perform on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and produce his own material that has seen him become a global superstar. Charlie Puth’s journey to the top started in Rumson, New Jersey when he played piano with his mother. Although he has acquired several homes in the US, he had to move back to New Jersey in 2020 to spend time with his parents due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Who would have thought that even the world’s most famous celebrities would hunker down back home just like the rest of us?
Two years ago, Halsey joined a list of famous celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Drake, who have hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live. At the time, it was her third time hosting the show. Although she moved a lot during her childhood, she was born in Edison, New Jersey, and got her name from a street in Brooklyn where her boyfriend lived. Halsey shot into the spotlight after her parody for Taylor Swift’s 2012 song, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” followed by another song that she posted in 2013.
18. Anne Hathaway
Although she was born in Brooklyn, Anne Hathaway traces her roots back to New Jersey. She is one of the most famous actresses in the world. She is well known for her role in the movie, Les Miserables where she portrayed Fantine. The role earned her three different awards; an Oscar, Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was also part of the cast of one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, The Dark Knight Rises, grossed $6.8 billion worldwide. With over 21 million followers on Instagram and many more on her other social media handles, Anne Hathaway definitely fits the bill of one of our favorite celebrities from New Jersey.
17. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler is well known for the show Chelsea Lately, which ran on E! Between 2007 and 2014. In January 2016, Chelsea Handler, a New Jersey native, also released the show, Chelsea Does which ran on Netflix. In 2012, she appeared on Times Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
16. Susan Sarandon
Born in a family of nine, Susan Sarandon is an award-winning actress who grew up in Edison, New Jersey. Her film career started back in 1969 and has featured roles in movies such as Dead Man Walking, The Witches of Eastwick, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and many more. Susan is also well known for her political activism and her support for the New Jerseyan. In 1999, she was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and in 2010, she was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
15. Lauryn Hill
Born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey, she is regarded as one of the most influential female emcees of all time. With the album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), Lauryn Hill had created one of the greatest hip hop albums of the 90s. For this reason, you can say that New Jersey was never short of rappers, and with Lauryn Hill, it has produced one of the finest female emcees.
14. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was a legend not only for his music but also his attitude, which saw him rub shoulders with crime bosses numerous times, which made most people see him as a badass guy. His wide array of hit songs in the 1940s and 1950s appeared in many films. He even earned an Oscar for his role in the film, From Here to Eternity. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Frank Sinatra sold more than 150 million records across the US, and he was effortlessly loved by fans of all ages.
13. Wycelf Jean
Wycelf Jean got his name from a legendary biblical scholar John Wycliffe. Although he was born in Haiti, he migrated to New York City with his family before ultimately settling down in East Orange, New Jersey. Wycliffe Jean is well known for his smash hit alongside Shakira, “Hips Don’t Lie.” The song became the highest-selling single of the 21st century and has hit the top spot in the charts of over 55 countries. He is also known for his charity work in Haiti that has provided scholarships to school-going children and charitable benefits to many citizens in Haiti.
12. Peter Dinklage
We all know Peter Dinklage for his role in Game of Thrones, portraying Tyrion Lannister. The role earned Peter Dinklage four Emmy Awards between 2011 and 2019. One of his recent projects sees him play the role of Toxic Avenger, aka “Toxie,” in a remake of the 1984 movie, The Toxic Avenger. The classic superhero New Jersey film was shot in Jersey City, Rutherford, Boonton,, and Harrison. Other than that, Peter Dinklage has starred in several other movies and is definitely one of our favorite celebrities from New Jersey.
11. Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana has found her greatest success performing in sci-fi and superhero movies. Born in 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, she is one of the best female movie stars from New Jersey. After two guest appearances in the TV series Law & Order, Zoe Saldana found her big breakthrough and was cast in the 2000 movie Center Stage. Recently, she portrayed Uhura in the 2013 filmStar Trek into Darkness and roles in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers. As of 2019, she was the second highest-grossing female actress of all time, appearing in films that have grossed more than $11 billion.
10. Christina Milian
Christina Milian got her first big break at 19 years after signing after she signed a contract with Murder Inc. Records. Although Christina was raised in Maryland, she was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. Christina Milian initially wanted to be an actress, and she has starred in several films, including the 2003 film Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Be Cool, and the 2006 horror film Pulse. However, she has also released three studio albums which prove that she is a woman of many talents.
9. Danny DeVito
With a net worth of over $80 million, Danny DeVito’s career in film spans close to five decades. His first big role was his portrayal of Louie De Palma, a taxi dispatcher in the TV series, Taxi. Born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, Danny DeVito’s extensive film career has seen him star in numerous movies.
8. Ali Larter
Ali Larter is well known for her dual roles as Niki Sanders and Tracy Strauss on the fictional TV series Heroes. Born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Ali Larter takes the eighth spot on our list of the 20 most favorite celebrities from New Jersey. Ali Larter always maintains that she was a tomboy until she turned 13 and started modeling as a career. She is most famous for her portrayal of Claire Redfield in the Resident Evil movies.
7. Whitney Houston
New Jersey has produced some great talents, but Whitney Houston has to be the icing on the cake as far as singers go. Whitney Houston is well known for transforming from a gospel singer to one of the world’s greatest pop singers of all time. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Whitney Houston was the first musician to have seven consecutive number one songs on the Billboard Charts. She sold over 170 million albums and won numerous awards, including six Grammy Awards. She was also a great actor, as evidenced in the movie, The Bodyguard, which was the tenth highest-grossing film of all time at its release. Despite her life struggles which ultimately led to her death, Whitney Houston is one of New Jersey’s finest talents.
6. Carli Lloyd
If Carli Lloyd were a male footballer somewhere in Europe or South America, they would build her statues in many stadiums. Those were the words of US Women National Team Head Coach Vlatco Andonovski. For many of her teammates and women soccer players, there is no doubt about her status in American women’s football. She is a legend. Born and raised in Delran Township, New Jersey Carli Lloyd began playing soccer at the age of five. In 2016, she was named the Best Fifa Women’s Player, a testament to her talent and hard work.
5. John Travolta
John Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, back in 1954. His first huge role in the film was in the movie Saturday Night Fever, where he portrayed Tony. His first home was located in a working-class neighborhood in Hoboken, New Jersey. He bought the house for$140,000 before turning it over to his sister for safe housekeeping after getting his big break in film.
Solana Imani Rowe, professionally known as SZA, was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey, and comes in at number four in our list of the most famous celebrities from New Jersey. The Grammy-nominated singer is one of the most exciting songstresses to ever come out of New Jersey in recent years. Before her fame, SZA went to school at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, and in 2018, she even returned to her former high school in commemoration of her induction into the school’s hall of fame.
3. Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas is a well-known name in the movie circle. His movie production and acting exploits have seen him receive numerous accolades, including two Grammy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and a host of many other awards. Michael Douglas hails from New Brunswick, New Jersey, and his first breakthrough came in 1969 with a CBS Playhouse Special called The Experiment.
2. Bruce Willis
Although Bruce Willis was born in Germany, his family relocated to Carneys Point, New Jersey, where he was brought up. After graduating from high school in 1973, Bruce Willis worked as a security guard at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant. Bruce Willis’ legacy speaks for itself, five golden, and he is undoubtedly one of the greatest action heroes of his generation. With major roles in movies such as Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, and Armageddon, Bruce Willis is one of the best movie stars to come out of New Jersey.
1. Shaquille O’Neal
Commonly known as Shaq, he is one of the greatest Basketball players of all time. With four NBA championships and an MVP award, Shaquille O’Neal is a person to be emulated, and even if you can manage to achieve half of what he has achieved, you would have done a great job while at it. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Shaquille O’Neal is our favorite celebrity from New Jersey. It’s not only due to our love for basketball and his analysis of the game; we have also seen how good an actor he was after starring in movies such as Steel (1997), My Wife and Kids, The Parkers, and many more. Being a huge wrestling fan himself, he has made cameos in WWE and recently AEW Dynamite.