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From Here To Hollywood [Update]

Connecticut connections to the entertainment industry.

For some actors, the road to the Oscars' fabled red carpet began in Connecticut.
Many entertainment industry standouts have ties to the state. Some are natives and others have chosen it as their sanctuary to get away from the
whirlwind that is Hollywood. They have produced well-known works and
influenced various productions from behind the camera to starring on the big screen. The following list highlights some of the brightest lights, as well as brushes with famous names and other notable Connecticut connections to
the world of entertainment.

Kevin Bacon, the Hollywood Walk of Fame member, grew up in Philadelphia,
but he and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, live part time in Sharon.

Notable Works: Footloose, Mystic River, Murder in the First.

Richard Belzer, actor and comedian, was born in Bridgeport, grew up in
 Fairfield and worked as a reporter for The Bridgeport Post.

Notable Works: Law & Order: SVU, Homicide: Life on the Street.

Ernest Borgnine, whose career spans more than six decades, was born in Hamden and later moved to North Haven. His hometown of Hamden named a park in his honor.

Notable Works: Marty, McHale’s Navy, Airwolf.

Harry Connick, Jr. lives in New Canaan with his wife, the former Victoria’s Secret model, Jill Goodacre, and their children. Connick began his career as a musician — as a singer and composer — and has acted in television (including a recurring role on Will and Grace), on Broadway and in movies.

 Notable Works: Memphis Belle, Little Man Tate, Independence Day, My Dog Skip.

Glenn Close, nominated for five Oscars, was born in Greenwich.

Notable Works: Fatal Attraction, Damages, Dangerous Liaison*, 101
Dalmatians.

Brian Dennehy, the film, stage and screen actor, was born in Bridgeport and currently resides in Woodstock. He also appears regularly on stage
throughout Connecticut.

Notable Works: Best Seller, Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night.

Colleen Dewhurst (1924-1991) had an illustrious career as a stage actress both on and Off-Broadway. She also acted in a number of theatrical release films as well as numerous made-for-television movies. Dewhurst lived in Greenwich during her two marriages to actor George C. Scott.

 Notable Works: A Fine Madness, Annie Hall, Ice Castles.

Paul Giamatti, rumored to have been a member of the Skull and Bones secret society while at Yale University, was born and raised in New Haven.*

Notable Works: Cinderella Man, Sideways, American Splendor.

Mel Gibson, the actor and director lived for many years with his former wife and their seven children on a farm in backcountry Greenwich.

Notable Works: Lethal Weapon series, Mad Max, Braveheart, Apocolypto, What Women Want. 

Katherine Heigl, model-turned-actress, was born in Washington D.C., but spent most of her childhood in New Canaan.

Notable Works: Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up, 27 Dresses. 

Katharine Hepburn, the classic American actress, was born in Hartford and lived for decades in the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook. She and her family narrowly escaped the 1938 Hurricane. Today, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theatre is in Old Saybrook.

Notable Works: Morning Glory, Love Among the Ruins, On Golden Pond.

Ron Howard, the actor, director and producer, was born in Oklahoma, but he
lives with his high school sweetheart and their four children on a 35-acre estate in Greenwich.

Notable Works: Happy Days, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind.

Christopher Lloyd was born in Stamford and raised in New Canaan and Westport. His family donated their family's ancestral home, Waveny Park, to the town of New Canaan.

Notable Works: Back to the Future Trilogy, Taxi, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Dylan McDermott, one of People’s Most Beautiful People in 1998, was born and raised in Waterbury.

Notable Works: In the Line of Fire, The Practice, Dark Blue. 

Paul Newman, the classic American heartthrob, was born in Ohio, but along with his wife and three daughters, Newman escaped the Hollywood hills to make their home in Westport. In 2008, he died in his home in Westport.

Notable Works: The Color of Money, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler.

Diana Ross, the Motown diva, may have been born in Detroit, but she lives part-time in her multi-million dollar mansion in Greenwich.

Notable Works: The Supremes, Lady Sings the Blues.

Meg Ryan, America’s sweetheart, was born and raised in Fairfield.

Notable Works: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail.

George C. Scott (1927 - 1999) lived in Greenwich with his actress wife Colleen Dewhurts (whom he married and divorced twice).

Notable Works: Patton, Dr. Strangelove.

Meryl Streep, the multiple award-winner and nominee, was born in New Jersey, but she and her husband, Don Gummer, were wed on Masons Island and make Greenwich their primary residence.

Notable Works: The Deer Hunter, Julie & Julia, Mamma Mia!

Christopher Walken, whose career includes more than 100 movies and shows, was born in Queens, NY, but he and his wife, Georgianne Walken, reside in Wilton.

Notable Works: The Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction, Catch Me If You Can.

Did we miss your favorite Connecticut star? Tell us in the comments.

Terry Dinan February 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM
Very cool list. I'll add MGM musical star Jane Powell (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Royal Wedding, On the Town) and husband, the great child star of the '30's and 40's, Dickie Moore (Our Gang, Sergeant York, Member of the Wedding) both of whom reside in Wilton. Also, the late Richard Widmark (Kiss of Death, Panic in the Streets, Judgement at Nuremberg) lived in Roxbury, CT for many years until his death in 2008.
Terry Dinan February 27, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Also...Paul Newman's co-star in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" was longtime New Canaan resident Eileen Heckart, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1972 for her performance in "Butterflies Are Free".
Jeff M February 27, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Chris Eliot lives in Wilton as does Christopher Plummer.
Jeff M February 27, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Also Wilton: Paul Dano. Chloë Sevigny is from Darien. Cloris Leachman used to live on Brookside in Darien. And "bad actor" Leona Helmsley was from Greenwich before she went room temperature.
Terry Dinan February 27, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Wasn't Robert Mitchum from Bridgeport?
Kendra S February 27, 2011 at 02:44 PM
David Canary - Candy from Bonanza and Adam/Stuart (formerly) on All My Children is long-time Wilton resident.
Eugenie Diserio February 27, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Actor and Director, Tony Goldwyn lives in New Canaan. I wrote about his movie, "Conviction." http://newcanaan.patch.com/articles/tony-goldwyns-conviction
Dont Ever Call Me Soccer Mom February 27, 2011 at 04:55 PM
John Mayer, from Fairfield, has an Oscar for original song, "Say" Joe Pantoliano, Joey Pants from "Sopranos", he lives in Westport Chloe Sevigny is from Darien I could go on about how many you missed, but I need to get my errands done :)
Don Harrison February 27, 2011 at 06:43 PM
A few notable omissions: Rosalind Russell: Born and raised in Waterbury. Notable work: "Auntie Mame." Linda Kozlowski: Raised in Fairfield, graduated from Andrew Warde H.S. Notable work: "Crocodile Dundee." James Van Der Beek: Borm in Waterbury (I think), raised in Cheshire. His father pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm team in Waterbury. Robert Mitchum: Born in Bridgeport.
Herbert Aspbury February 28, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Matt Aspbury from New Canaan has been a layout artist and photographer for Pixar for the past 7 years and his latest film, Toy Story 3, just won an Oscar for best animated film. He also worked on UP, Cars, Ratatouille and Wall*E, all Academy Award winners. Before Pixar he worked for DreamWorks where his credits included Shrek 2, Spirit, Silverado and Road to Madagascar. He is a graduate of NC High School and Skidmore College and took courses at the Silvermine Guild.

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