Making a successful career as a character actor until being cast in his Golden Globe winning role as Adrian Monk on the series Monk, Tony Shalhoub is a Green Bay native.
A multiple Emmy winner and Juilliard-trained actor, Bradley Whitford is most recognizable from his roles as Eric Gordon the antagonist in the Adam Sandler film Billy Madison, his first Emmy-winning performance as Josh Lyman in The West Wing, his second Emmy-winning performance as Mark "Marcy" May in Transparent, and the father in Jordan Peele's Get Out. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin and was married to fellow Wisconsin actor Jane Kaczmarek until 2008.
Heather Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a family of Irish decent. Graham was voted "Most Talented" by her Agoura High School class. She received her first major role in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy, establishing her as an underground acting success. She went on to garner widespread appeal with roles in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and The Hangover. Her most recognized and revered role may be in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights as the porn starlet Rollergirl. Besides her acting roles, she is a public advocate for Children International.
One of the most celebrated Wisconsin actors, Mark Ruffalo has been nominated for a Golden Globe, a SAG, a BAFTA, and an Academy Award. He was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin but spent most of his young life in Virginia. Ruffalo is celebrated for his roles in Shutter Island, The Kids Are All Right, The Avengers, Foxcatcher, and Spotlight.
Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Gene Wilder was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. Wilder claimed his love of comedic acting began at the age of eight, when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to "try and make her laugh." Wilder was the star of many Mel Brooks films, including Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. His most notable role may be his charming performance as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Wilder died August, 29, 2016.
A truly enigmatic actor, Willem Dafoe is known for his vast variety of performances. Dafoe is a member of the experimental theatre company the Wooster Group, and has recieved two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire). He was born in Appleton, Wisconsin and studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for a year and a half.
A Menomonee Falls native who describes the Wisconsin Town as a "family-oriented small town," Jessica Szohr is most known as Vanessa Abrams from Gossip Girl.
Amy Pietz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is the adopted daughter of a nurse and a truck driver. Pietz is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and has starred in many television roles. She has received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series nomination for her role as Annie Spadaro in the NBC sitcom Caroline in the City. Most recently, Pietz played the recurring character Donna in The Office.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and raised in Lake Worth, Florida, Deidre Hall is mostly known for her portrayal of Dr. Marlena Evans on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Her role has earned her many awards including two Best Actress Soapy Awards in 1982 and 1983. She has won three Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1984, 1985, and 1995.
Rachel Brosnahan, known for her Emmy-nominated performance as Rachel Posner in House of Cards, is a Milwaukee native.
Jane Kaczmarek is a Milwaukee native who can be most recognized for her role as Lois, Malcolm's mother in the long-standing television show Malcolm in the Middle. Kaczmarek was raised in Greendale, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin she became friends with fellow actor Tony Shalhoub, whom she joined in the graduate drama program at Yale. Kaczmarek was married to fellow Wisconsinite actor Bradley Whitford for seventeen years (1992-2008).
Music video actress and reality television star Jeana Keough is more known as Playboy magazine's November 1980 Playmate of the Month. Keough appeared in three seperate ZZ Top music videos in the 80's. Recently she was a cast member in The Real Housewives of Orange County where she showcased her life as a real-estate salesperson. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wisconsin.
Kristin Bauer van Straten is an actress originating from Racine. She grew up playing sports, riding horses, and shooting guns. She graduated from the Prairie School in Racine and studied fine arts at Washington University in St. Louis, eventually moving to Los Angeles to persue acting. She is best known for her role as the vampire Pamela Swynford De Beaufort in True Blood.
Kurtwood Smith is most recognized for his role as Red Forman on That '70s Show, but is also a New Lisbon native. He played the antagonist in the original RoboCop alongside fellow Wisconsinite, Peter Weller.
Born in Brandon, Wisconsin, Laura Ramsey was "discovered" while waiting tables in Los Angeles. She is mostly known for roles in She's the Man, The Ruins, and Mad Men.
Not born in Wisconsin, but raised here, Mary Stein was born in Marquette, Michigan. Stein is a Juilliard-trained actress known for roles in Babe: Pig in the City and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. She attended Franklin High School and received a B.A. from Marquette in 1980.
Michael Maize is an actor known for roles in National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Mr. Robot. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Peter Bonerz is known for his role as Dr. Jerry Robinson on The Bob Newhart Show, and was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended Marquette University where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree. Following graduation, he decided to move to New York City to persue a career in theater.
Charlotte Rae (Lubotsky) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 22, 1926. Rae graduated from Shorewood High School in 1944. After, she attended Northwestern University where she befriended Cloris Leachman, they would be best friends for life. Rae has worked in film, television, stage, stand-up comedy, singing, and dancing. She has earned roles for over six decades. Rae is most known for her television work on the sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.
Chris Mulkey was born in Viroqua, Wisconsin and has a widespread career in supporting roles. He is most known for his role as Uncle Frank in the Oscar-winning Whiplash, and as Hank Jennings in the original Twin Peaks.
Chris Noth's iconic role as "Mr. Big" in Sex in the City earned him his first Golden Globe and solidified him as celebrated telvision star. Noth was born in Madison, Wisconsin and earned a MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He earned his second Golden Globe as Peter Florrick in the CBS drama The Good Wife, garnering himself wide critical acclaim.
Star of the NBC drama Grimm, David Giuntoli was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Giuntoli's family moved to St. Louis, Missouri at a young age. In high school he began to do some theater acting. After high school he attended Indiana University at Bloomington, and earned a bachelor's degree in International Business and Finance. When returning home Giuntoli realized that a career in finance wasn't for him and began to take private acting lessons. In 2016 he co-starred in Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is a four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner. She is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes, including A Woman Under the Influence, earning her a Academy Award nominiation for Best Actress. She was born in Madison, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin for three years, before transferring to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
The star of the Robocop franchise, Peter Weller was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. More recently, Weller appeared in the Showtime series Dexter as Stan Liddy.
Often considered one of the hardest working character actors, Richard Riehle can be recognized in plethora of supporting roles including Tom Smykowski in Office Space. Riehle was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he began his acting career.
Born Sam Elliott, Sam Page was born in Whitefish Bay. At Whitefish Bay High School he captained the football and baseball teams. Following high school he attended Princeton University, where he earned a BA in ecology and evolutionary biology. On a whim, Page decided to pursue acting in Hollywood. He can be recognized from roles in Mad Men, Desperate Housewives, 7th Heaven, and Gossip Girl.
Forever remembered as good ol' boy Luke Duke from the iconic 80's television series The Dukes of Hazzard, Tom Wopat is a Lodi, Wisconsin native. From a young age Wopat began singing and dancing in school musicals, and caught the acting bug. Following the end of The Dukes of Hazzard, he has performed in many musicals and Broadway shows.