The Lone Star State has more than a fair share of celebrities. Do your favorite famous Texans make it to the list? Find it out here:
Selena Gomez is a famous actress, singer, and producer. She was born in Grand Prairie, Texas, on July 22, 1992.
Gomez is a former child and teen actress who initially rose to fame via the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007 – 2012). Alongside her television career, she has also starred in several films, notably Another Cinderella Story, Princess Protection Program, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Ramona and Beezus, Monte Carlo, Spring Breakers, Getaway, The Fundamentals of Caring, The Dead Don’t Die, and A Rainy Day in New York.
As a singer, Gomez has released a handful of albums – three with her former band Selena Gomez & the Scene, and three solo albums. She has sold over seven million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
Gomez is also a big social media star, and at one point, she became the most-followed person on Instagram.
Beyoncé Knowles is a singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress. She was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas.
During the late 1990s, Beyoncé initially rose to fame as the lead singer of the all-girl trio Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. During Destiny Child’s hiatus, she went solo with her debut album Dangerously in Love, which spawned two Billboard Hot 100 (pop) number-one singles, “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy.” With the disbanding of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé released her second solo album B’Day, which featured the hit singles, “Irreplaceable,” and “Beautiful Liar.” Her other albums, Beyoncé and Lemonade, earned her universal acclaim.
She has also acted in a handful of movies, including, The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, Obsessed, and The Lion King. She is married to Jay-Z, a well-known producer and one of the most influential hip-hop artists of his generation.
Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor and producer. Born in Uvalde, Texas, on November 4, 1969, he got his first breakout role in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused. McConaughey starred in his first leading role in the legal drama film A Time to Kill in 1996. It was followed by other films, such as Contact, Amistad, The Newton Boys, and EDtv.
In the 2000s, McConaughey became known as a rom-com leading man and sex symbol through movies like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Fool’s Gold, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. He switched to more dramatic roles in The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, The Wolf of Wall Street, Killer Joe, and Mud.
McConaughey’s portrayal of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in the 2013 drama film Dallas Buyers Club earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Willie Nelson is highly regarded as one of the most popular and respected country singers of the 20th century and present. He was born in Abbott, Texas, on April 29, 1933.
Nelson started his music career in the 1950s, recording his own songs and penning hits for other stars (such as “Crazy” by Patsy Cline). But the singer-songwriter and musician didn’t become a star until the mid-1970s, thanks to the bourgeoning “outlaw country” music scene. It started with the critically successful album Shotgun Willie (1973), followed by commercially successful albums Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978) that cemented his status as a bonafide country star. He has recorded and released 95 studio albums, 70 of which are solo ones.
He is also active in several issues and causes, advocating for farmers, reforms for the legalization of marijuana in the US, animal welfare, and LGBT groups, among many others.
Steve Martin is one of the most recognizable American comedians, thanks to movies The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t’ Wear Plaid, Three Amigos, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Parenthood, The Father of the Bride movies, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
He was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas. Like many famous funnymen, Martin started his career as a stand-up comedian who eventually made frequent appearances on TV shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live. Martin is also a musician, playing the banjo and performing on records and live performances. Since the 2000s, Martin has increasingly shifted his career to music, acting less and spending his professional life playing the banjo, recording, and touring with bluegrass artists.
For Dakota Johnson, showbusiness runs in the blood. The actress and model was born in Austin, Texas, on October 4, 1989.
Although she is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith and the granddaughter of actress Tippi Hedren, Johnson carved her own name through the commercially successful three Fifty Shades movies. Johnson’s role in the movie trilogy as Anastasia Steele earned her a People’s Choice Awards and a BAFTA Rising Star nomination in 2016.
Johnson’s other film credits include 21 Jump Street, Five-Year Engagement, Black Mass, A Bigger Splash, How to Be Single, Suspiria, Bad Times at El Royale, Wounds, and The Peanut Brittle Falcon.
Actress and producer Eva Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 15, 1975, to Tejano parents. Thus, she describes herself as a “Texican” (a Mexican-American Texan). She was first recognized in the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, where she was a cast member from 2001 to 2003.
Her breakout role as Gabrielle Solis in the drama series Desperate Housewives (2004 – 2012) made her a legitimate Hollywood star. Longoria earned a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the series.
Although she is mainly known as a television star, Longoria has branched out her acting talents to the big screen. Her films include The Sentinel, Over Her Dead Body, For Greater Glory, Frontera, Lowriders, and Overboard. On top of her film and television engagements, Longoria has also appeared in various ad campaigns.
One of the most notable and respected figures in the field of news, Dan Rather worked for CBS from 1963 until his departure from the network in 2006.
Rather was born in Wharton, Texas, on October 31, 1931. He first worked as a reporter and correspondent. His reporting during the height of Hurricane Carla in 1961 saved hundreds and thousands of lives by spontaneously creating the first weather report. He also reported from Dallas during President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
In 1981, Rather was promoted to a news anchor for the CBS Evening News, a position he held for 24 years. After CBS, he hosted Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel AXS TV from 2006 to 2013. He hosts several programs for AXS, the most current being The Big Interview with Dan Rather.
Kelly Clarkson initially rose to fame for being the first American Idol winner in 2002. The singer-songwriter and TV host was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 24, 1982.
Clarkson released her debut album Thankful in 2003 but found breakthrough success with her second album Breakaway, which featured four Billboard top ten hit singles, including “Since U Been Gone” and the title track. Breakaway sold over 12 million copies and earned two Grammy Awards.
Clarkson has released five other albums, including All I Ever Wanted (2009), which became her second number-one album, and Stronger (2011), making her the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album twice. Clarkson has sold over 25 million album copies worldwide.
Renée Zellweger is an Academy Award-winning actress and singer, born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas. Zellweger graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BA degree in English in 1992. While in college, she was initially drawn to acting after taking a drama course.
Following some minor movie roles, Zellweger acted in her first starring role in the 1994 slasher movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. She further rose to prominence with other starring roles in films Jerry Maguire, One True Thing, and Me, Myself and Irene. Her role in the black comedy Nurse Betty (2000) earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
Zellweger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2003 film Cold Mountain and the Academy Award for Best Actress in the 2019 biopic Judy. But perhaps her most famous (and lovable) movie role is that of a British single woman, Bridget Jones, in the romantic comedy film Briget Jones’s Diary (2001). It is followed by two equally successful sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016).