The inhabitants of West Virginia work extremely hard to impact change globally and in their state. West Virginia is a small state, but it has its fair share of celebrities who are happy to call the Mountain State home. Many important personalities across different industries, including business, film, government, and sports, hail from this beautiful state. While most of these stars now live in other states, their roots in this beautiful state allow them to bring a distinct, profound, and prideful sense to all of their endeavours and triumphs. The historical background of this state is quite significant, making it unique. The state’s undulating mountains and hilly terrain and valleys earned it the name “The Mountain State.” This has made the state a renowned haven for mining over the years. West Virginia is also well-known for its wide range of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, and skiing. West Virginians are known to be the nicest people globally, and they have a strong sense of community; even though their state pride runs deep, they’re very welcoming and accommodating. From the famous writer and TV host Steve Harvey to Brad Dourif, eminent celebrities share a special bond with West Virginia as their hometown. This article will list down 20 of our favorite stars from West Virginia.
20. Cynthia Germanotta
Cynthia Germanotta was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. Many people might know her as the mother of Lady Gaga, a renowned musical sensation. She is a famous entrepreneur, American philanthropist, and activist. Germanotta is also the president and co-founder of the non-profit organization “Born This Way Foundation” and a former telecom executive. The foundation’s primary goal is to end the social stigma linked to mental health issues among young people. Germanotta has won several awards, including the Greater Boston PFLAG Award, the Dancing Classrooms Award, and the Columbus Citizens Foundation Humanitarian Award.
19. Deron Williams
Deron Michael Williams is well-known as a former American professional basketball player. Deron Williams was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. His love for sports began early in his elementary and middle school years when he won two state wrestling championships. Williams kicked off his basketball career by playing college basketball for the Illinois Fighting Illinois. In 2005, the Utah Jazz drafted Deron Williams as the third overall player in the 2005 NBA draft. In the 2011 NBA lockout, he played for Beşiktaş Basketbol of the Turkish Basketball League. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, Williams became a gold medal winner for the US national team.
18. Jessica Lynch
Jessica Dawn Lynch hails from Palestine, West Virginia. Lynch is well-known for serving as a US Army soldier in the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and allied forces. Jessica Lynch served as a unit supply specialist with the 507th Maintenance Company. Lynch was featured as the first-ever woman to be successfully rescued as an American prisoner of war since World War II. Lynch began her acting career by featuring in the film “Virtuous” as Specialist Summer L. Gabriel. Her character in the movie was inspired by what she went through in the Iraq War.
17. George Brett
The 21 seasons professional baseball player was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia. George Brett played as a third baseman in Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals. In 1999, George Brett was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first vote. In addition, he is the only player in MLB history to have won the batting title in three distinct decades. George Brett acted as the Royals’ interim coach in 2013, and later on, he served as the vice president of baseball operations.
16. Joyce DeWitt
Joyce DeWitt was featured in the famous ABC sitcom, “Three’s Company,” as Janet Wood. She started practicing her acting career in high school. DeWitt has delighted her audience and fans with her varied and pleasant performances throughout her acting career. Her reserved demeanor distinguishes her from other famous personalities as a Hollywood star. In actuality, this American Hollywood actress is a kind-hearted soul who routinely donates to charity to help the less fortunate in society.
15. Patsy Ramsey
The number fifteen celebrity on our list of the best celebrities from West Virginia is an American pageant winner. Her modeling career started back then in 1977 when she won the “Miss West Virginia” title. One of her sisters, Pamela, was also a beauty-pageant winner. Patsy Ramsy is also known as JonBenét’s mother. JonBenét is popularly known as the kid who won many beauty pageants.
14. Katie Lee
Born in West Virginia, Katherine Lee is a renowned cookbook author, novelist, and television food critic. Katie Lee has published two cookbooks and served as a chef in a number of different restaurants. In 2007, she was featured as a judge in “Iron Chef America,” an American cooking show competition. Katie Lee also contributed to several cooking magazines. In addition, Katherine makes appearances as the narrator of both the “Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites with Katie Lee” and also the Food Network’s talk show, “The Kitchen.”
13. Lou Holtz
Many people around the globe know Lou Holtz as the only college football coach to lead six separate soccer programs to bowl games and get four of them to the final top 20 rankings. He is a legendary coach and a superb footballer and analyst for CBS Sports and ESPN. Lou Holtz served as the head football coach at different colleges and universities in the United States. For one season, Holtz worked as a coach for the NFL team, the New York Jets. In 2008, Lou Holtz was included in the College Football Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent author who has given motivational talks at a number of notable events.
12. Chris Sarandon
This famous American actor is also known as Christopher Sarandon Jr. Chris is well-known for various acting roles, ranging from Jesus Christ to vampires. His spectacular performance as the Prince in movie “The Princess Bride” and the Detective’s role in “Child’s Play” have put him in the limelight. In the film “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” he performed a voice-over for the character “Jack Skellington.” Chris Sarandon was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Best New Male Star of the Year at the Golden Globes.
11. Conchata Ferrell
Conchata Ferrell is most recognized for her work as a supporting character in films and television shows. She is well-known for her appearance in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” Ferrell started her acting career on stage before moving on to movies and television. Conchata Ferrell created a name for herself in the industry through her early-stage productions. Conchata is one of the great American actors from West Virginia.
10. Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton hails from Fairmount, West Virginia. She is one of the greatest American gymnasts and one of the most popular athletes in the US. In 1984 during the Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton earned a gold medal in the individual all-around category. This achievement was historic because she was the first woman from America to win an all-around gold medal at the Olympics. She is also the winner of two silver medals and two bronze medals.
9. Brad Dourif
Bradford Dourif is popularly recognized around the world for his role as “Billy Bibbit” in the 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” This role got him an Oscar nomination, and he also won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award. Brad Dourif also received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for making an appearance in several TV series, notably “Deadwood.”
8. John Corbett
The number eight celebrity on our list of the best superstars from West Virginia is a Golden Globe Award nominee for his performance as Aidan Shaw in the popular film “Sex and the City.” John Corbett also played the role of Chris Stevens in the comedy-drama series “Northern Exposure,” for which he received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award nomination. In addition to him being a talented actor, John Corbett is also a singer; he has released two albums. This talented actor hails from Wheeling, West Virginia.
7. Chuck Yeager
Charles Elwood is a famous test pilot known as the first person to break the sound barrier when no one did expect that a fixed-wing aircraft could fly faster than the speed of sound. He accomplished this milestone in 1947 when he flew the experimental Bell X-1 research aircraft. After graduating from high school, Chuck Yeager joined the US Army Air Corps and served in World War II. After returning from the war, Chuck Yeager also became an instructor for the US Air Force.
6. Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson was a Confederate general who served during the American Civil War era. Jackson joined the United States Military Academy at West Point, and later on, he served in the Mexican-American war. His success is credited to his severe discipline and the daring tactics with which he startled and exploited his opponents’ weaknesses. In West Virginia, he is commemorated by the “Stonewall Jackson State Park.”
5. Jerry West
Jerome Alan West, also known as Jerry West, is a renowned basketball executive and former basketball player. He was born in Chelyan, West Virginia. For 14 years of his basketball career, West played for the Los Angeles Lakers and acted as the co-captain of the 1960 United States men’s Olympic basketball team. In 2010, the team was included in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a unit.
4. Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. She is a renowned mathematician. Many people recognize her for her great influence and contributions to the U.S. space program. Katherine Johnson’s mathematical analyses have greatly assisted astronauts in reaching the Moon and charting several flight trajectories. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award for her extraordinary works and contributions in space.
3. Randy Moss
Randy Moss is a popular football wide receiver. In his first year at Marshall University, he had a record-breaking season that put him in the limelight. Through his game performances on multiple occasions, Moss has demonstrated remarkable talent. The basic fact that Randy Moss is greatly appreciated and has a massive fan following proves that he has an extraordinary talent.
2. John Forbes Nash Jr
The number two celebrity on our list is a Nobel prize winner who became famous by making an appearance in the movie “A Beautiful Mind.” John Forbes Nash started to develop significant interest in mathematics in his teen years. His works and contributions on algebraic geometry, game theory (which greatly benefits organizations), and partial differential equations put him in the spotlight. In addition to being extremely good at mathematics, he is also good at accounting, artificial intelligence, and economics. John Forbes Nash Jr. is globally recognized for also coming up with brilliant movements that fight against schizophrenia and the stigma associated with this psychological condition.
1. Steve Harvey
The number one celebrity on our list of our favorite celebrities from West Virginia is one of the most talented American entertainers of this era, Steve Harvey. Steve Harvey traces his roots back in Welch, West Virginia. He is regarded as an all-round entertainer who plays different roles in the industry, including a radio personality, a television host, a comedian, and a producer. His acting career began by performing as a stand-up comedian. Many people know him for his television series, “The Steve Harvey Show,” which is greatly loved across the globe. “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” and “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” are some of the other shows that he has hosted. Steve Harvey has received 14 NAACP Image Awards in various categories and five Daytime Emmy Awards.Steve Harvey also received the BET Humanitarian Award in 2011.