20 of Our Favorite Celebrities from Michigan

Kristen Bell

Before the Europeans arrived in what is now the state of Michigan, a handful of different Algonquian tribes were the original habitants before the official creation of the United States of America. Bordering along with Canada’s province of Ontario, what mostly separates this American state from the province are four of the five Great Lakes, namely Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Only Lake Ontario doesn’t border along Michigan, just as Lake Michigan doesn’t border along any of the Ontario provinces. Michigan is a two-peninsula state and is mostly bordered by water. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline than any other political subdivision in the world. It also has the second most amount of water at 64,980 inland lakes and ponds dictating the geographical layout of the state. Only Alaska has it beat with over three million named and unnamed lakes and ponds that take up forty percent of the state’s geographical makeup. Currently, the state of Michigan has over ten million citizens with Detroit as its largest city with nearly 640 million people. From this particular state, it’s safe to say there are at least twenty well-known celebrities that have originally called Michigan their home before making it big in the entertainment industry.

20. Robert Tapert (Royal Oak)

Robert Gerald Tapert was born in Royal Oak, Michigan on March 14, 1955, and later attended Michigan State University where he’d meet Sam Raimi and together create Renaissance Pictures and Ghost House Pictures. Along with Ted Raimi, co-created the television series, Xena: Warrior Princess in 1995. As writer, director, and producer, he has also worked with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, American Gothic, M.A.N.T.I.S., and the Spy Game TV series. Tapert also co-created the prequel series, Young Hercules, which starred Ryan Gosling. Tapert, while writing for the original Hercules series, created the character, Xena, with actress Lucy Lawless assigned to the role. Her performance was impressive enough to spawn the spinoff series. Xena: Warrior Princess wound up becoming a role model for future films and series to star women as independent action heroes. During the production run of Xena, Robert Tapert and Lucy Lawless married in 1998 and had two sons. To this day, they still remain married to each other. Post-Xena credits belonging to Tapert also include Legend of the Seeker, and the epic, five-season series, Spartacus. There is also Ash vs Evil Dead that was based on the film franchise.

19. Martin Milner (Detroit)

Martin Sam Milner was born on December 28, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan, and was an American film, radio, stage, and television actor. He is best known for his performance on two television series, namely CBS’s Route 66 from 1960 until 1964 and NBC’s Adam-12 from 1968 until 1975. Before becoming a household name with the American audience, Milner and his family moved from Detroit to Los Angeles when he was a teenager. This is where he first began with Warner Bros., debuting in Life with Father in 1947 as one of the sons of the main character, Clarence Day, who was played by actor William Powell. On September 6, 2015, Martin Milner passed away from heart failure in his home of Carlsbad, California at the age of eighty-three years old.

18. Ted Raimi (Detroit)

Theodore Raimi was born on December 14, 1965, in Detroit, Michigan, and is the younger brother to the director, Sam Raimi. Ted Raimi is best known as Joxer the Mighty from the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess series. He also played Lieutenant JG Tim O’Neill in SeaQuest DSV, as well as Ted Hoffman in the Spider-Man trilogy. He has also appeared in The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Ash vs. Evil Dead. In addition to working with his brother on these productions, he has also appeared in minor roles on a number of other films and series, as well as lending his voice to the video game, Evil Dead: Regeneration.

17. Sam Raimi (Royal Oak)

Born as Samuel M. Raimi on October 23, 1959, out of Royal Oak, Michigan, this American filmmaker is known for creating the 2002-2007 Spider-Man Trilogy, as well as the Evil Dead franchise that began in 1981. He is the older brother of actor Ted Raimi. This is the same director and producer that brought Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its hit spin-off series, Xena: Warrior Princess. The main inspiration behind his work comes from comic books and slapstick comedy, which is evident in his highly dynamic film-making work. 1990’s Darkman, 1998’s A Simple Plan, 2000’s The Gift, 2009’s Drag Me to hell, 2013 Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful, and 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have all been directed by Raimi.

16. Dave Coulier (St. Clair Shores)

David Alan Coulier was born on September 21, 1959, in St. Claire Shores, Michigan, and is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods, Michigan.. This actor, impressionist, stand-up comic, and television host is best known for playing Joey Gladstone on the ABC sitcom series, Full House, and now its sequel, Fuller House. He is also the voice behind Peter Venkman of the cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters. He is also the infant incarnations of the Muppet Babies, namely Animal and Bunsen.

15. Selma Blair (Southfield)

Born in Southfield, Michigan, as Selma Blair Beitner on June 23, 1972, this actress played an impressive number of roles in films and television before her 1998 lead role in Brown’s Requiem. Her big breakthrough came when she starred as Zoe Bean on the Warner Brother sitcom, Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane in 1999. She was also in Cruel Intentions, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Legally Blonde, and The Sweetest Thing. On television, she is best known for her role as Kate Wales from the hit sitcom, Anger Management. In 2016, she starred as Kris Jenner during the first season of the FX drama series, American Crime Story.

14. Toni Trucks (Grand Rapids)

Toni Trucks was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 30, 1980, but was raised in Manistee, Michigan. She studied Musical Theatre at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance before moving to New York where she performed at regional venues. She then relocated to Los Angeles to make her television debut as the female lead on Showtime’s Barbershop. She also has appeared on several other television programs, as well as the telefilms of Star Runners and Starstruck. On NCIS: New Orleans and Grimm, she has made several guest appearances. Currently, she is a regular on the drama series, SEAL Team, playing a US Navy Petty Officer Logistics Specialist known as Lisa Davis. Trucks was also a regular on the CBS drama, Made in Jersey.

13. Bob Eubanks (Flint)

Robert Leland Eubanks, best known as the host for The Newlywed Game that began in 1966, was born on January 8, 1938, in Flint, Michigan. From 1986 until1989, he also hosted the revamped version of the game show, Card Sharks. In the year 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2005, he received a lifetime achievement Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. While on The Newlywed Game, Eubanks became infamous for his quote, “making whoopee” each time there was a question he was required to ask the contestants that revolved around sex.

12. Jill Dobson (Quincy)

Born on November 8, 1977, in Quincy, Michigan, Jillian Susan Dobson seemed destined to become a news reporter. In 1998 at Troy University in Alabama, she earned a B.A. in journalism summa cum laude before receiving an M.A. in journalism from Michigan State University in 2001. In between this, she competed in the Miss USA 2000 pageant where she managed to place within the top ten. After graduating from Michigan State, Dobson interned at Fox News starting in the fall of 2001. On September 7, 2001, she began interviewing the rescue workers at Ground Zero in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks that took down the World Trade Center towers. After this, Dobson began her career at the CBS branch of WLNS in Lansing, Michigan as a General Assignment Reporter. From 2002 until 2004, she worked for WWMT Channel 3 in Kalamazoo, Michigan before moving to New York where she began to work as a correspondent for News 12 Long Island. She was also a freelance reporter for E! News, then a News & Style Editor at Large, the television spokesperson for Star Magazine. Starting in July 2007, Dobson became an entertainment correspondent for Fox News that later saw her as a regular Fox & Friends. She’s also been on Hannity and Colmes, Hannity, O’Reilly Factor, The Live Desk, and Red Eye. She has also covered several red carpet events, including the Oscars, in Los Angeles. When Fox News began to move away from entertainment reporting, this prompted Jill Dobson to play entertainment correspondent Madison Daly on the Onion News Network, which premiered on January 21, 2011, on the IFC Network.

11. Alice Cooper (Detroit)

Born as Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4, 1948, the American singer, songwriter, and actor, better known as Alice Cooper originally hailed out of Detroit, Michigan. His raspy voice and epic stage shows have given Alice Cooper the nickname of Godfather of Shock Rock by music journalists and peers. Alice Cooper, as a band, started out of Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. Now as a solo artist with that name, Cooper has engaged in a variety of different music styles from new wave to heavy metal and has been instrumental in shaping the sound and look of hard rock and metal music as the industry knows it. In addition to his legendary music career, Cooper has also engaged in acting and is also considered one of the best celebrity golfers ever to hit the greens. Starting in 2004, Alice Cooper became a radio DJ, hosting his classic rock show, Nights with Alice Cooper.

10. Bob Seger (Detroit)

Born as Robert Clark Seger on May 6, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan, is the 1973 founder of the Silver Bullet Band, better known as Bob Seger. He, along with fellow Detroit-area musicians, began to layout what became a highly impressive recording career for the artist that produced one solid hit after another. With a career that now spans over six decades, as a soloist and band member, Seger has sold over seventy-five million records worldwide. This makes him one of the world’s best-selling artists in the industry. In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was named Billboard’s 2015 Legend of Live honoree at its twelfth annual Touring Conference & Awards.

9. Diana Ross (Detroit)

Born in Detroit, Michigan on March 26, 1944, Diana Ross was one of six children that were raised in the North End section of Detroit, near Highland Park, Michigan. She was a neighbor to Motown legend, Smokey Robinson. In 1958, her family moved to the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects where she attended Cass Technical High School, a four-year college and preparatory magnet school located in downtown Detroit. Ross originally took up clothing design as it was her heart’s desire to engage in a career in fashion. She also took modeling and cosmetology. At fifteen years old, Ross joined the Primettes, a sister group to the Primes. This ultimately led Diana Ross to become one of The Supremes before embarking on a solo career. In addition to performing as a singer, Diana Ross also engaged in acting where she won a Golden Globe for her 1972 performance in Lady Sings the Blues. By Billboard Magazine, she was named Female Entertainer of the Century in 1976 and is ranked as the thirtieth greatest Hot 100 artist of all time. In 1988, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes. She also has her name in the Guinness Book of World Records, recognized as having more hits than any other female artist in the charts. She also became a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. In 2016, she also was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

8. Smokey Robinson (Detroit)

William Robinson Jr., better known as Smokey Robinson, was born on February 19, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan. He was the founder and frontman of the Motown vocal group, The Miracles, and has also teamed up with a number of Motown icons such as The Temptations, Mary Wells, Aretha Franklin, Joss Stone, Timothy Bloom, Marvin Gaye, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, and Rick James. Whether teamed up with another star or on his own as a soloist, Smokey Robinson’s contribution to the music industry saw a 1987 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as a 2016 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. As a singer, songwriter, and record producer, Smokey Robinson has become one of the biggest icons in the music industry and not just with the Motown genre.

7. Dick Enberg (Mount Clemens)

Richard Alan Enberg was born on January 9, 1935, in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and grew up in Armada, Michigan. He became an American sportscaster that enjoyed nearly sixty years’ worth of play-by-play commentary on several radio stations and television networks for a variety of sports and teams. From 1975 until 1999, he was broadcasting for NBC before moving to CBS from 2000 until 2014. He was also with ESPN from 2004 until 2011. As for individual teams he’s covered, they have been the UCLA Bruins in basketball, the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, the California Angels of the MLB, and the San Diego Padres of the MLB. Enbert was best noted for his signature on-air catchphrases such as “Touch ’em all” for home runs and “Oh, my!” for some of the most exciting athletic plays he personally witnessed. He also announced and hosted the Tournament of Roses Parade for several years until he retired from broadcasting in 2016. On December 21, 2017, he passed away at the age of eighty-two years old from what is suspected to be a heart attack.

6. Paula Faris (Jackson)

Born in Jackson, Michigan, on October 26, 1975, is Paula Faris. After attending Jackson Christian School, she became a 1997 graduate of Cedarville University with a degree in broadcasting, emphasizing television production. She was the journalist and television correspondent of what used to be known as ABC News. She was also a tenure as co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend from 2014 until 2018. From 2015 until 2018, she was a co-host of the View. Her resume also includes co-anchoring World News Now and America This Morning. Some of her most recent work has included publishing a book titled Called Out, which reflects on leaving her television career behind in favor of what she feels is her true calling. She also has a podcast, Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris, that was launched in November 2018.

5. Kristen Bell (Huntington Woods)

From Huntington Woods, Michigan, Kristen Anne Bell was born on July 18, 1980. The start of her acting career began in stage production while attending the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She made her Broadway debut in 2001 led her to her first big-screen film, Spartan in 2004, then the television drama film, Gracie’s Choice. From 2004 until 2007, she was the critically acclaimed title character to the drama series, Veronica Mars and was awarded as Best Actress on Television by the Saturn Awards. Playing the title character in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall served as the big breakthrough for the actress’s career that led her to star in additional film productions, including Showtime’s House of Lies and NBC’s The Good Place.

4. Jerry Bruckheimer (Detroit)

Born on September 21, 1943, in Detroit, Jerome Leon Bruckheimer has brought forth a long, impressive list of the big screen and small screen film productions that have covered the genres of action, drama, fantasy, and science fiction. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer behind film favorites such as Armageddon, Bad Boys, Beverly Hills Cop, Black Hawk Down, Con Air, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Flashdance, National Treasure, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Rock, and Top Gun. He has also brought forth all the CSI series onto network television, as well as Cold Case, The Amazing Race, and Without a Trace, just to name a few. He is also the co-founder and co-majority owner of the 2021 National Hockey League (NHL) expansion team, the Seattle Kraken.

3. Casey Kasem (Detroit)

Born as Kemal Amin Kasem on April 27, 1932, in Detroit, Michigan, is best known by music fans as Casey Kasem. He was an actor, disc jockey, and radio personality who created and hosted several radio countdown programs and is best known for the notable American Top 40. He was also the original voice to Shaggy of the animated Scooby-Doo series from 1969 until 1997, then from 2002 until 2009. On July 4, 1970, Casey Kasem began to host the original American Top 40 and remained as the host until 1988. He then spent nine years hosting another countdown series, namely Casey’s Top 40 that ran from January 1989 until February 1998. He then returned to the American Top 40 in 1998. The spinoff countdown series that focused on country music and adult contemporary is also credited to Kasim. In 1983, he founded the American Video Awards and continued to co-produce it until its final show in 1987. He was regarded as the voice of NBC and helped each year the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon. On June 15, 2014, Casey Kasem passed away at eighty-two years of age. In addition to his accomplishments, Casey Kasim has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as of 1981 and was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame radio division in 1985. Five years later, they also issued him a Radio Hall of Fame’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, Kasim then received a Radio Icon Award from the Radio Music Awards.

2. Bruce Martyn (Sault Ste. Marie)

Born on June 24, 1929, Bruce Martyn was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan before earning his degree from Michigan Tech at the Soo before it became Lake Superior State University. Martyn began his broadcasting career doing play-by-play commentary for the Soo Indians of the North Ontario Hockey Association on WSOO-AM in 1950. This resulted in Bruce moving his career to the Detroit market at WCAR-AM in 1953. At one point, he did radio assignments throughout Michigan on the weekly syndicated talk show, This Week in Michigan. He also covered Michigan State Spartans football, NBA’s Detroit Pistons, and NFL’s Detroit Lions. After ten years, he moved to television and the UHF station, WKBD-TV. It didn’t take long before he began to broadcast for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, which saw a career run from 1964 until 1995, which was for thirty-one seasons. He was mostly partners with NHL icon, Sid Abel, who became best known for the phrase, “He shoots, he scores!” Martyn retired after the 1994-95 season of the Detroit Red Wings, but returned in 1997 to call the second period of the team’s Stanley Cup clincher. He was presented with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting in 1991 by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. He also became a lifetime member of the Destroit Sports Media Association, where he once served as its president.

1. Loni Love (Detroit)

Loni Love was born on July 14, 1971, in Detroit, Michigan. She spent her childhood growing up in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, which became part of her comedy routines while she performed as a standup comic. Prior to engaging in a career as an actress, comedian, and television host, she started off as an electrical engineer with General Motors after first graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1989, then Prairie View A&M University in Texas. While in Texas, she also minored in music, which is where she became a stand-up comic while attending college. On the 2003 edition of Star Search, she was a runner-up and was named as one of the top ten comics to watch according to Comedy Central and Variety. She has since become a daytime talk show co-host on The Real, which premiered on July 15, 2013. While on the show, she has received four consecutive Daytime Emmy Award nominations from 2016 until 2019, which saw a 2018 win as Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host, shared with her co-hosts, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai, and Tamera Mowry.

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