"Hoosiers in Hollywood" by David L. Smith

by MediaPhile@evpl on Monday, November 24 2008, 7:08pm. Viewed 1,170 times.

David Smith, professor emeritus of telecommunications at Ball State University, wrote this coffee-table tome hoosiers in hollywoodabout Hoosiers who found fame in Hollywood. Here are some you may or may not know about:

  • Alice Terry (born on a farm near Vincennes, she was a silent film star)
  • Clifton Webb (born in Indianapolis, he made his opera debut in Tosca at the Boston Opera House at age 17)
  • Red Skelton (grew up in a poor section of Vincennes called "Oklahoma," in the north end of town)
  • William Marshall (born in Gary, he starred in the movie Blacula)
  • Steve McQueen (born in Beech Grove as "an unwanted child who was virtually abandoned by his teen mother")
  • James Dean (born in Marion and given the first name of his attending physician)
  • Fred Williamson (born in Gary, he graduated from Northwestern in architecture, was drafted by the NFL, and played in Super Bowl 1 - he later directed or starred in 40 films)
  • Greg Kinnear (born in Logansport and lived there until he was nine)
  • Marilyn Miller (born in Evansville in 1898, she became the "Queen of Musical Comedy")
  • Louise Dresser (born in Evansville in 1878, Dresser lived here until her teens and went on to star in both Vaudeville and silent films)
  • Carole Lombard (born in Fort Wayne, her family moved to San Francisco when she was six)
  • Marjorie Main (born near the small town of Acton in 1890, her most famous role was "Ma Kettle")
  • Anne Baxter (born in Michigan City, she was the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Betsy Palmer (lived in Hammond and East Chicago, then attended secretarial school, followed by the IU extension in Gary before becoming a theatre major at DePaul U in Chicago)
  • Florence Henderson (the youngest of 10 children born to a poor farming family in Dale)
  • Shelley Long (born and raised in Fort Wayne; both parents were school teachers)
  • Vivica Fox (born in Indianapolis, she graduated from Arlington High School and later found fame as an actress and singer)
  • Richard, Barbara, Constance, Joan Bennett (Richard, who grew up in Bennett's Switch, near Logansport, became an actor and producer and father to three actresses)
  • Jackson Five (born and raised in Gary)
  • Elmo Lincoln (born in Rochester and the first Tarzan -- in the 1918 Tarzan of the Apes)
  • Buck Jones (born in Vincennes, he grew up in Indianapolis and later became a leading movie cowboy)
  • Roberta Wise (born and raised in Connorsville, he later directed Citizen Kane and many other movies)
  • Sydney Pollack (born in Lafayette, he moved to South Bend while in elementary school)

Many many more Hoosiers are covered in this heavily illustrated compendium.


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