Portland, Oregon is a great place to live. While most of us are every day Joes, Hollywood does not hold the monopoly on famous residents. A number of celebrities of all kinds are either from Portland or reside(d) in Portland. Here are a few:
Art Alexakis: Everclear was one of the most successful musical acts to come out of Portland in the 1990’s; especially with the release of Sparkle and Fade. While all members of Everclear lived and resided in Portland, Alexakis still lives here and can be seen around town, interacting with fans and enjoying the sights and sounds of this amazing city.
Mel Blanc: We all grew up listening to Mel Blanc. He was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn and other cartoon legends. Blanc was born in San Francisco in 1908 but moved to Portland and went to Lincoln High School.
Emily and Zooey Deschanel: Emily Deschanel, Dr. Temperance Brennan (AKA: BONES) and sister Zooey (Elf, New Girl) both call Portland home.
Black Francis: Also known as Frank Black – founder of the post punk grunge band the Pixies, most notable for their song “Where is my Mind” featured during the closing moments of the film Fight Club, based on a novel by Portlander, Chuck Palahniuk.
Clark Gable: Gable was born in Ohio but at the age of seventeen, he moved to Portland, Oregon and began working as a clerk at Meier & Frank, where he was discovered and the star of Gone with the Wind was on his way towards becoming Hollywood royalty.
Matt Groenig: The creator of The Simpsons is a life long Portland resident. He even named many of his Simpsons’ characters (Mayor Quimby, Ned Flanders etc.) after streets in the Alphabet District in downtown Portland.
Joey Harrington: Harrington attended Central Catholic High School in Portland and starred at the University of Oregon where he was nominated for the Heisman trophy and was drafted third overall in the NFL draft of 2002 by the Detroit Lions. He played in the NFL for five seasons.
Usula K. LeGuin: LeGuin, an author of short stories, children’s books and fantasy/science fiction novels, has received a National Book Foundation lifetime achievement award. Her story, The Ones who walk Away from Omelas, is a dystopian fantasy which takes its name from the state capital of Oregon. Salem, Oregon (Omelas is Salem O in reverse).
Courtney Love: Musician and wife of the late (Nirvana front man) Kurt Cobain. She is the former front woman of grunge band, Hole and is now well known as an actress in such roles as The People Vs. Larry Flint and Sid and Nancy.
Chuck Palahniuk: Author of such novels as Fight Club, Diary, Snuff, Choke, and Survivor, Palahniuk’s works evoke Portland without ever saying where they are actually set. Palahniuk often does book readings and signings at Powell’s Books.
Roddy Piper: A former wrestler for the WWE. He entered the ring in a kilt with bagpipes playing.
Elliot Smith: Founder of 90’s punk/grunge band Heatmiser, Elliot Smith went on to win several Grammy’s as a solo artist, namely for this work on the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. Smith eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he died in 2003.
Ndamukong Suh: Suh played high school football at Grant High School. In college at the University of Nebraska, he won numerous awards and was an All American. He now stars as a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. His aggressive style of play has resulted in almost a quarter million dollars in fines over the course of his career. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.
Craig Thompson: Thompson is a graphic novelist, best known for his books Good-bye, Chunky Rice, Blankets, Carnet de Voyage, and Habibi. He has received a number of awards. He was born in Michigan but has called Portland his home since 1997.
Gus Van Sant: Known for his minimalist films, such as Last Days and My Own Private Idaho, his work is well known for exploring marginalized subcultures and alternative lifestyles. He was nominated for an Academy Award as director of the film Good Will Hunting.
Many other notable people have chosen to call Portland, Oregon home, and one visit here will show you why.