People are often fascinated with celebrities, especially movie stars. They not only look to them for entertainment, but also for cultural leadership and even sometimes for political guidance, evident by how often they appear in political ads. In many ways, actors have an inordinate amount of influence in our society.
For the most part, that influence comes from Los Angeles and New York City — the two main hubs of the entertainment industry in the U.S. Yet only a fraction of actors actually come from these cities. The pool of A-listers in Hollywood is very diverse when it comes to actors’ origins.
24/7 Wall St. has identified the most famous actor from each state. Each actor’s level of fame was determined by creating an index based Internet Movie Database popularity, Wikipedia page views, and audience ratings of the actor’s work.
Many of the famous actors on the list owe their fame to iconic characters they’ve played — Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones and Kirsten Bell is Veronica Mars. Interestingly, some of these actors weren’t always the first choice to play in some of their more memorable movies — these are actors who turned down blockbuster roles.
Many of the country’s most famous actors have earned their status through years of hard work. John Goodman — who was born in Affton, Missouri — has been working steadily for about 45 years. He currently has 162 acting credits to his name and is the most famous actor to originate in Missouri. Two of the actors on this list, Chadwick Boseman and River Phoenix, are no longer alive but remain the most famous actors born in South Carolina and Oregon, respectively.
Still, an entertainer’s level of fame is not directly correlated with how prolific or formally accomplished they are. A number of actors on the list are younger and have had shorter careers.
To determine the most famous actor from each state, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on each actor’s STARmeter ranking on the Internet Movie Database, the number of audience user ratings of all films and television shows in which the actors appear, and the number of page views of each actor’s Wikipedia pages from Nov. 16, 2018 to Nov. 15, 2020. To be considered, each actor had to appear in the top 10,000 rankings on IMDb’s STARmeter.
Each actor’s place of birth was the reference point for determining where they are from. Actors who have gained the majority of their fame for reasons other than acting, such as Meghan Markle, were excluded from consideration.