From the Windy City to Hollywood Part One

hollywood We boast  the best theatres outside of NY, best movie sets outside of Hollywood , and one of the best theatre schools in the country with Northwestern University. Is it any wonder that from our stages have come some of the brightest and most talented actors ?  Some of them are household names from the small screen and some are a fixture on the big screen. Join Chitownstarconnections as we salute the second city…..

jeff-perryLets start off with one of the hottest actors on the tube now. Jeff Perry is one of the founders of the Steppenwolf theatre.  He is currently playing the role of Cyrus Beane on the ABC hit “Scandal”

leonard johnny galecki Johnny Galecki got his start on the Goodman stage .  He was also the adorable David, boyfriend of Darlene on Roseanne . Now he is on the hot CBS comedy  “The Big Bang Theory” as Dr Leonard Hofstadfer

david eigenberg David Eigenberg  has had the fortune to have two great roles. Currently he fights fires on the NBC hit  “Chicago Fire.” He will be more known to fashionistas everywhere as Steve Brady who stole Miranda’s heart on “Sex and the City”

mr selfridge jeremy pivenJeremy Piven currently stars in the PBS series “Mr Selfridge” but soon he will be returning to the role that made him a star, Ari Gold as the “Entourage “movie will be released . His parents founded the famous Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston

sean hayesWilmette native Sean Hayes  made the world laugh as the “out and proud” Jack McFarland from “Will and Grace”  Now he continues the yucks as a hapless father in “Sean Saves the World.”on NBC

adam-baldwin-firefly-janeAdam Baldwin flew through the galaxy on the Serenity on “Firefly”  He is also from Chicago.  Recently he reunited with his former captain on “Castle.”

melissa-mccarthy-imageMelissa McCarthy has certainly come full circle. She has won an Emmy and currently appears in the CBS  show”Mike and Molly”  She was hilarious in the movie hit “Bridesmaids”

stana katic Stana Katic shines brightly as the cop and love interest on the ABC crime romance “Castle” She is also a graduate of the DePaul theatre school

saul on homelandMandy Patinkin is a national theatre treasure. He performed on Broadway in the original Evita with Patty Lupone.  Currently he is the complex Saul on the acclaimed Showtime series, “Homeland.”

jane-lynchIllinois girl Jane Lynch is now an Emmy award winner for her role as the psychotic Sue Sylvester on “Glee” She rules her cheerios with an iron fist.

john mahoney John Mahoney has acted on the Chicago stage for years but it wasn’t until he was cast in the role of affable Martin Crane on “Frazier” that his place in pop culture would be cemented.  Recently he appeared in “The Birthday Party ” at Steppenwolf Theatre

william petersen steppenwolfWilliam Petersen came from Evanston to be the crime fighter Grissom on the super hit CSI. He has also been a part of the Steppenwolf theatre ensemble . This summer he appeared on stage there in the play Slowgirl.

021311-jennifer-hudson-400Girlfriend has done good for herself. She came from the South Side and first came to light on “American Idol”  After that , nothing could stop this “Dream girl”  . She went on to win the Oscar with her golden voice.  Despite trials and tribulations, Jennifer Hudson has remained strong

Vince-Vaughn-9542588-1-402Raised in Lake Forrest, Vince Vaughn started out doing improv and partnered up with bro Jon Farveau to write and make the cult classic “Swingers”  Today he is a regular fixture at the cinema with such hits as “Wedding Crashers,” “Old School” and “The Break Up”

131005154611-mpw13-shonda-rhimes-620xb This woman is one of the powerhouses of television. Her production company “Shondaland”  dominates Thursdays on ABC with the power hits “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”  It’s writer and creator Shonda Rhimes and she hails from Chicago as well.

52773528EA009_Cannes_Broken Wilmette’s son became America’s funny man. Bill Murray has long been a fixture in the comedy landscape.  From SNL to Ghostbusters, Bill took his skills that he learned from Second City and built it into a long and lucrative career.

joan_cusackEvanston and Piven conributed the dynamic acting team of Joan and John Cusack.  With such classics as “Serendipidity” and “Say Anything”, Cusack is a film and theatre icon. Joan is an award winning actress who specializes in edgy roles. John ‘s best buddy is none other than fellow Piven alum, Jeremy.

father-mulcahy_480x360 William Christopher started and continues to act on the stages of Chicago. This Evanston boy cemented his place in pop culture as the affable Father Francis Mulcahy on the classic series “M*A*S*H*”

CougarTown2 Oak Park native Busy Phillips made a name for herself on the cult hit “Freaks and Geeks”  . Today , she is a member of the wine swilling cul de sac of TBS “Cougar Town”  Here she is with her neighbor Jules, played by series producer Courteney Cox

mclean stevenson Illinois boy McLean Stevenson set his place in pop culture as fun loving Lt Col Henry Blake on “M*A*S*H*”  He remained loyal to his roots by having Blake come from Illinois as well.

gary cole Gary Cole is another illustrious Steppenwolf alum. He has played so many movie and television appearances . But the role he will forever be known for is shown here.  He was the harried boss of Ron Livingston in the cult classic “Office Space”

laurie metcalf on big bangLaurie Metcalf started on the Steppenwolf stage as well.  She has appeared in the movies and television a lot, but was most remembered as the sister of Roseanne . For this role, she won many awards. Most recently , she appeared on the Steppenwolf stage in “Detroit” Here she appears in the recurring role of Mrs. Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory”

gary sinise Along with Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise founded the world famous Steppenwolf Theatre.  Sinise has done many film and television roles .  He recently ended his run as Mac on “CSI NY”  . One of the causes that is dear to his heart is aiding veterans by performing with his Lt Dan band.

David+SchwimmerComing from California, David Schwimmer attended Northwestern and became one of the founders of the lucrative and edgy  Lookingglass Theatre .  Today , David focuses more on being behind the camera and theatre. This summer he directed the play “Big Lake Big City” at Lookingglass. David’s birthday is on Saturday.

tom-lennon-sean-saves-the-worldChicago  ‘s Thomas Lennon has made quite a name for himself. He created the hilarious “Reno 911” and wrote the very successful “Night at the Museum” series as well. He is currently appearing with fellow Chicagoan Sean Hayes on NBC’s “Sean Saves the World” .

robin williams Finally we come to the master showman and comic, Robin Williams. Robin has been on the scene since he appeared as the wacky alien Mork in the seventies. He has made quite a name for himself with such great movies as “Moscow on the Hudson”  “The Bird Cage” and “Good Morning Vietnam”  winning an Academy Award for “Good Will Hunting” He has also lent his voice to the Disney cartoon , Aladdin as the Genie.Now Robin has made his return to television in the CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones.”


About chitownstarconnections

Melanie Christy is am actress/singer who came to Chicago to pursue her dreams of acting. Coming from a small town in Ohio she has been enjoying the things that city life has to offer like great cuisine from all parts of the globe, parties with great people including celebrities, gorgeous fashions and of course fun! Follow her, read her blog and learn about all the amazing adventures you can be a part of throughout Chicagoland! Jennifer Hedrick is the photographer and techie for our blogs. She was born and raised here in Chicago. Her love of photography started when she was a child. She has photographed many celebs, events, fashion shows and more. She also considers herself a bit of a foodie and loves food porn. Her other loves include her nieces and nephews, animals and the shows Castle, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
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