A To Z: Famous People That Lived in Colorado
Colorado is no stranger to producing celebrities.
Whether it is stars of big screen or Olympic athletes, the Centennial State has produced a number of famous people.
Take an alphabetical look from A to Z to celebrities that spent time or have ties to Colorado —some may even surprise you.
A: Amy Adams
The Douglas County High School grad was raised in Castle Rock, Colorado. She has been nominated for six Oscars in her career for "Junebug", "Doubt", "The Fighter," "The Master," "American Hustle" and "Vice". The actress who also starred in Disney's "Enchanted" began her professional entertainment career as a dancer in a 1994 dinner theater production of "A Chorus Line" in Boulder, according to a Vanity Fair article.
B: Jessica Biel
The actress made famous by starring in the television show 7th Heaven spent part of her youth in Boulder. She's gone on to act in various films and married entertainer Justin Timberlake in 2012.
C: Duane "Dog" Chapman
The bounty hunter and television personality who starred in the reality TV show "Dog The Bounty Hunter" was born in Denver in 1953 and moved back to the Centennial State with his production company in 2019.
D: Kristin Davis
The actress who plays Charlotte in “Sex and the City” and Brooke Armstrong in "Melrose Place" was born in Boulder on Feb. 23, 1965.
E: Dwight Eisenhower
The 34th President of the United States and WWII Allied Forces commander was born in Texas and lived all of the country in his military, but his time in Colorado was quite noteworthy. He married his wide Mamie Doud in Denver in 1916. The future first couple then had their second child John Eisenhower be born in Colorado as well. Colorado has another presidential tie to Gerald Ford, who later lived in Vail.
F: Missy Franklin
The five-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer grew up in Aurora and graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in 2013. She developed her skills as part of the Colorado Stars swimming club. She formerly held world records for 200-meter backstroke and the 4X100 meter medley relay.
G: Pam Grier
The star of "Foxy Brown" and "Jackie Brown" was born in North Carolina but later attended East High School and Metropolitan State College in Denver. Famous director Quentin Tarantino referred to Grier as "cinema's first female action star."
H: Roy Halladay
The 2-time CY Young winner and 8-time MLB all-star was born in Denver and raised in Arvada. He was drafted out of Arvada West High School in the 199 draft and made his MLB debut in 1998. Halladay died tragically in a 2017 plane crash. He was inducted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019 and his No. 32 is retried by the Toronto Blue Jays.
I: Matt Iseman
The Denver native was first a doctor who specialized in the lungs and respiratory system. He then pursued a stand-up comedy career, using his experiences as a doctor as inspiration. He's been featured on a number of television shows, including hosting American Ninja Warrior, Scream Play and Casino Nights game shows. He won his season of The New Celebrity Apprentice in 2017, which was hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
J: Vincent Jackson
The late NFL star was born in Colorado Springs and graduated from Widefield High School. A Baltimore Sun article says he was accepted to attend Ivy League schools Columbia but instead opted to play basketball and football at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. His time with the Bears earned him a second-round pick in the NFL draft and a 12-season, 3-Pro Bowl career that included catching 57 touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
K: John Kerry
The former Secretary of State and Democrat Presidential nominee was born in Denver in 1943. He later served as a patrol boat commander in the Vietnam War, which he later publicly protested. Kerry served as
L: Jake Lloyd
M: Christian McCaffery
The son of Denver Broncos legend and University of Northern Colorado football coach Ed McCaffery was the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, which according to CHSAA makes him one of seven Colorado High School players to go on and be drafted in the top 10. Christian has become an NFL superstar for the Carolina Panthers and annual top fantasy football pick.
N: Tracey Needham
The actress best known for playing as Paige Thatcher on "Life Goes On" moved to Colorado when she was a child and later attended Cherry Creek High School. She's been featured in a number of television series and was a series regular in shows "JAG", "Total Security" and "The Division."
O: Peter O'Fallon
The television and film director was born and raised in Colorado, and studied film at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Notably he directed the Christopher Walken and Denis Leary film called "Suicide Kings." He's directed a television shows for MGM, CBS, ABC SYFY, Spike, FX, TNT and Lifetime.
P: Trey Parker
One half of the creative duo force behind "South Park," Parker was born in Conifer, Colorado, and went to Evergreen High School and the University of Colorado. In addition to creating the Comedy Central cartoon classic, Parker and creative partner Matt Stone created the Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon" and the raunchy comedy film "Team America: World Police."
Q: Brandon Quinn
The Aurora native is an actor with a resume including "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "The Nightmare Room," "Big Wolf on Campus," "What I Like About You," CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and "Charmed."
R: AnnaSophia Robb
The Denver native starred in the movies "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "Soul Surfer" before becoming a young Carrie Bradshaw on the "Sex and the City" spinoff, "The Carrie Diaries." Most recently, Robb had a role in the Hulu movie, "The Act."
S: Kristen Schaal
The Comedian known for her roles in “Flight of the Conchords” and “Bob’s Burgers” was born in Longmont on Jan. 24, 1978. She's also been part of the cats of "Toy Story," "30 Rock" and "The Last Man On Earth."
T: Nikola Tesla
The iconic inventor and engineer was born in the Austrian empire but later lived and studied in Colorado Springs. He worked a number of experiments in electricity power and helped develop early X-Ray imaging.
U: Bobby Unser
The legendary Indy 500 race car driver was born in Colorado Springs. He won Indianapolis 500 races in three decades and is one of 10 drivers who have won the race three or more times.
V: Amy Van Dyken
The Denver native and former Colorado State University swimmer won six Olympic gold medals, including four at the 1996 games. ESPN honored her with an ESPY for Female Athlete of the Year. Van Dyken battled asthma to become one of the world's best simmer. She also tragically suffered a spinal cord injury after an ATV accident in 2014.
W: Byron White
Nicknamed "Whizzer," the former NFL star later went on to be a Supreme Court Justice nominated by John F. Kennedy. White, who dissented in the famous Roe v. Wade case, was later succeeded by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. White, who was raised in nearby Wellington, was born in Fort Collins on June 8, 1917. White died in Denver at age 84 in 2002.
While it was difficult to find a Coloradan person that started with "X,' recent memory gives a shout out to the 2021 Colorado winter storm named Xylia that dropped several feet over a Colorado weekend and shut down major highways for days.
Y: Ace Young
The singer-songwriter featured on the fifth season of "American Idol" grew up in Boulder. He graduated from Fairview High School and performed the National Anthem at the Pepsi Center in Denver as a youth. Young made it ot the top seven of his season later married another Idol alum in Diana DeGarmo, whom he met while they were both performing on Broadway.
Z: Clint Zavaras
There's not much to pick from the "Z" names but Colorado did produce this righthanded MLB pitcher of Greek dscent who went 1-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 10 career MLB games. The former Seattle Mariners player would only play in the Big Leagues in 1989. Zavaras was born in Denver, played for the Greek national team at the 204 Olympic games and now runs the baseball school called Slammers Bingo in Lakewood.