Famous People from Kentucky

Muhammad Ali (1942 - ) Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. Former professional boxer. World heavyweight champion of boxing. He remains the only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion. Considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. Born in Louisville, KY (198)

James Lane Allen (1849 - 1925) An American novelist and short story writer. His work, including the novel A Kentucky Cardinal, often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. Born in Lexington, KY (1478)

David Rice Atchison (1807 - 1886) A U.S. Senator from Missouri. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate for six years. Technically he held the office of president of the United States for one day in 1849 when Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn into office on Sunday. Born in Frogtown, KY (328)

Alben W. Barkley (1877 - 1956) Born Willie Alben Barkley. A lawyer and politician from Kentucky who served in both houses of Congress and as the 35th Vice President of the United States from 1949 to 1953. Born in Lowes, KY (202)

Ned Thomas Beatty (1937 - ) An American actor who has appeared in more than 100 films. He has been nominated for many awards stemming from his performances in films and television series such as Network, Friendly Fire, Hear My Song and Toy Story 3. Born in Louisville, KY (1484)

James Best (1926 - 2015) Born Jules Guy. An American actor best known for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard. He has also worked as an acting coach, artist, and musician. Born in Powderly, KY (1485)

James Bowie (1796 - 1836) An American pioneer, soldier, smuggler, slave trader and land speculator. He played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo. Also known for his famous "Bowie knife." He is a legendary figure in Texas history and a folk hero of American culture. Born in Springcreek, KY (204)

John C Breckinridge (1821 - 1875) The 14th Vice President of the United States (1857-1861) serving under James Buchanan. He was the youngest ever to serve as Vice President. He is the only Senator of the United States convicted of treason by the Senate. Born in Lexington, KY (1717)

W. Earl Brown (1963 - ) An American character actor. He appeared in the movies Scream, There's Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich and The Sessions. He has also appeared in many television series including Seinfeld, X-Files, Six Feet Under and NYPD Blue. Born in Murray, KY (1486)

Tod Browning (1880 - 1962) Born Charles Albert Browning, Jr. An American motion picture actor, director and screenwriter. Browning's career spanned the silent and talkie eras. Best-known as the director of Dracula, the cult classic Freaks, and classic silent film collaborations with Lon Chaney. Born in Louisville, KY (1487)

Leo Burmester (1944 - 2007) An American actor. He appeared in 37 films, 32 television shows and 9 Broadway plays. Born in Louisville, KY (1488)

Kit Carson (1809 - 1868) Born Christopher Houston Carson. An American mountain man, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and American Army officer. He became a frontier legend in his own lifetime. Born in Madison County, KY (208)

Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810 - 1903) Nicknamed "The Lion of White Hall." He was a Kentucky planter and politician who worked for the abolition of slavery. Born in Madison County, KY (1500)

George Clooney (1961 - ) An American actor, writer, producer, director, and activist. He made his debut on television in the series ER. He has been in many films including Batman & Robin, Three Kings, Ocean's Eleven and directed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The Monuments Men among others. Born in Lexington, KY (199)

Rosemary Clooney (1928 - 2002) An American cabaret singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit "Come On-a My House" which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Tenderly", "Hey There" and "This Ole House." She was the star of her own television series in 1956, The Rosemary Clooney Show. Born in Maysville, KY (1489)

William James Crowe, Jr. (1925 - 2007) A United States Navy Admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton. Born in La Grange, KY (1481)

William "Billy" Ray Cyrus (1961 - ) An American country music singer, songwriter and actor. Best know for his number one single "Achy Breaky Heart." Father of singer Miley Cyrus. Born in Flatwoods, KY (1503)

Jefferson Davis (1808 - 1889) An American soldier and politician who was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Born in Fairview, KY (200)

Kassie DePaiva (1961 - ) Born Katherine Virginia Wesley. An American soap opera actress and singer. She began her career at 18 as a solo artist at the Grand Ole Opry. Her daytime drama debut was in 1986 on Guiding Light. In 1993 she began her 19 year career on One Life to Live. Born in Morganfield, KY (1490)

Johnny Depp (1963 - ) Born John Christopher Depp II. An American actor, producer, and musician. Famous for his roles as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Born in Owensboro, KY (211)

Irene Dunne (1898 - 1990) An American film actress and singer of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress 5 times. Born in Louisville,, KY (212)

Donald Galloway (1937 - 2009) An American actor of stage, film and television, a political libertarian and journalist. Best known for his role as Detective Sergeant Ed Brown on the crime drama Ironside (1967-1975). Born in Brooksville, KY (1491)

Crystal Gayle (1951 - ) Born Brenda Gail Webb. An American country music singer best known for her 1977 country-pop hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue. She is the sister of singer Loretta Lynn. Born in Paintsville, KY (1504)

Duncan Hines (1880 - 1959) An American pioneer of restaurant ratings for travelers. Best know for the brand of food products that bears his name. Born in Bowling Green, KY (201)

Joseph Holt (1807 - 1894) A leading member of the Buchanan administration and was Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, most notably during the Lincoln assassination trials. Born in Breckinridge County, KY (1482)

John Bell Hood (1831 - 1879) A Confederate general during the American Civil War. One of the best brigade and division commanders in the Confederate States Army. Born in Owingsville, KY (1209)

Josh Hopkins (1970 - ) An American actor and amateur musician. He has appeared in many TV series and films. He is the writer and performer of the song "Feigning Interest," whose music video went viral in 2007. Born in Lexington, KY (1492)

Richard Mentor Johnson (1780 - 1850) He was the 9th Vice President of the United States (1837-1841) serving under Martin Van Buren. He is the only vice president ever elected by the U.S. Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. Born in Louisville, KY (1716)

Albert Sidney Johnston (1803 - 1862) Served as a general in three different armies; the Texian Army, the United States Army and the Confederate States Army. Born in Washington, KY (1210)

Wynonna Judd (1964 - ) Born Christina Claire Ciminella. An American country music singer. She first became famous singing with her mother, Naomi, in The Judds. She began her solo career in 1991. Her first 4 singles all reached number one on the U.S. country singles charts. Born in Ashland, KY (703)

Naomi Judd (1946 - ) Born Diana Ellen Judd. An American country music singer, songwriter, and activist. She began her music career singing with her daughter Wynonna as The Judds. They had 20 top 10 hits and they won 5 Grammy awards. Born in Ashland, KY (1505)

Husband Edward Kimmel (1882 - 1968) A four-star admiral in the United States Navy. He served as Commander-in-chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Because of the attack, he was removed from office and was reduced to his permanent two-star rank of rear admiral. Born in Henderson, KY (1483)

Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) The 16th President of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the United States through its Civil War and abolished slavery. Born in Sinking Spring Farm, KY (144)

Patty Loveless (1957 - ) Born Patty Lee Ramey. An American country music singer. She was the CMA's Female Vocalist of the Year in 1996. Born in Pikeville, KY (1506)

Loretta Lynn (1934 - ) Country music singer-songwriter. Known as "The Coal Miner's Daughter" and "The First Lady of Country Music." Sister of singer Crystal Gayle. Born in Butcher Holler, KY (203)

Terrence Vaughan Mann (1951 - ) An American actor, director, singer, songwriter and dancer who has been prominent on the Broadway stage for the past three decades. Born in Ashland, KY (1493)

William Reibert Mapother, Jr. (1965 - ) An American actor known for his role as Ethan Rom on the television series Lost. He has appeared in over 60 films and television shows including American Horror Story, World Trade Center, Criminal Minds, Touched by an Angel and CSI: Miami. Born in Louisville, KY (1494)

Victor John Mature (1913 - 1999) An American stage, film and television actor. Some of his films include The Robe, Samson and Delilah, The Egyptian and Million Dollar Mermaid. Born in Louisville, KY (1495)

Ed McClanahan (1932 - ) An American novelist, essayist, and professor. Born in Brooksville, KY (1479)

Charles L. Napier (1936 - 2011) An American actor, known for his portrayals of square-jawed tough guys and military types. Some of his films include The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. He appeared on numerous TV series including Star Trek, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the miniseries The Blue and the Gray. Born in Mt Union, KY (1496)

Patricia Neal (1926 - 2010) An American actress of stage and screen. She was best known for her roles as Helen Benson in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Emily Eustace Failenson in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Alma Brown in Hud, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Born in Packard, KY (1497)

Marsha Norman (1947 - ) An American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. She received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play 'night, Mother. She wrote the book and lyrics for such Broadway musicals as The Secret Garden, and The Red Shoes, as well as the libretto for the musical The Color Purple. Born in Louisville, KY (1480)

Warren Mercer Oates (1928 - 1982) An American actor. He has appeared in movies including The Wild Bunch, The Hired Hand, Race with the Devil and he also portrayed Sergeant Hulka in Stripes. Born in Depoy, KY (1498)

Pee Wee Reese (1918 - 1999) Born Harold Peter Henry Reese. An American professional baseball shortstop with Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1940 to 1958. A ten-time All Star. Born in Ekron, KY (207)

Diane Sawyer (1945 - ) Born Lila Diane Sawyer. An American television journalist. The former anchor of ABC World News, Co-anchor of Good Morning America and Primetime. The first female reporter on 60 Minutes. Born in Glasgow, KY (206)

Adlai Ewing Stevenson I (1835 - 1914) Served as the 23rd Vice President of the United States from 1893 to 1897. He was a Congressman from Illinois and Assistant Postmaster General of the United States during Grover Cleveland's first administration. Born in Christian County, KY (1501)

Madame Sul-Te-Wan (1873 - 1959) Born Nellie Conley. A pioneering stage and film actress who became one of the most prominent black performers in Hollywood during the silent film era. Born in Louisville, KY (1499)

Jim Varney, Jr. (1949 - 2000) An American actor, voice actor, comedian and writer. Best known for his portrayal of Ernest P. Worrell and the original voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story. Born in Lexington, KY (210)

Frederick Moore Vinson (1890 - 1953) Served the United States in all three branches of government and was the most prominent member of the Vinson political family. In the legislative branch, he was an elected member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisa, Kentucky, for twelve years. In the executive branch, he was the Secretary of Treasury under President Harry S. Truman. In the judicial branch, he was the thirteenth Chief Justice of the United States, appointed by President Truman. Born in Louisa, KY (1502)

Robert Penn Warren (1905 - 1989) An American poet, novelist and literary critic. One of the founders of New Criticism. He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel for his novel All the King's Men. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979 and is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. Born in Guthrie, KY (209)

Dwight David Yoakam (1956 - ) An American singer-songwriter, actor and film director, most famous for his pioneering country music. Popular since the early 1980s, he has recorded more than twenty-one albums and compilations, has charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and sold more than 25 million records. Born in Pikeville, KY (1507)