We’ve covered several names in previous articles about various celebrities (Arkansas filmmakers such as Billy Bob Thornton, Joey Lauren Adams, and Jeff Nichols) from the Natural State (also musicians such as Johnny Cash and Ronnie Dunn), but there are definitely other well-known individuals out there with Arkansas connections. From Nashville to Hollywood, Arkansas maintains a strong representation in the entertainment and media worlds.
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10. Crescent Dragonwagon: Born Ellen Zolotow in New York, this esteemed author has written fifty traditionally published books, including two novels, seven cookbooks / culinary memoirs, more than twenty children's books, a biography, and a collection of poetry.
Dragonwagon and her late husband, Ned Shank, owned Dairy Hollow House, a country inn and restaurant in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Dragonwagon later co-founded the non-profit Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow, and was active in the cultural and literary life of Arkansas throughout the 31 years she lived in the state full-time. Since the 2014 death of her subsequent partner, filmmaker-activist David R. Koff, she has divided her time between New York, Vermont, and Arkansas.
9. Conway Twitty: Born Harold Jenkins, this late country music legend originally hailed from northwestern Mississippi but moved to Helena, Arkansas when he was ten.
Allegedly, in 1957, Jenkins decided that his real name wasn't marketable and sought a better show business name. Legend states that the singer was looking at a road map when he spotted Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas, and chose the name Conway Twitty.
8. Helen Gurley Brown: Born in Green Forest, Arkansas and noted for her exceptional writing skills, Brown put a distinct on the definition of modern women in American society. She served as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years.
In 1962, Brown's book Sex and the Single Girl was published in 28 countries and stayed on the bestseller lists for over a year. In 1964 the book inspired a film of the same name starring Natalie Wood. Brown began her editor-in-chief position at Cosmopolitan in 1965, where she revamped the magazine as New Cosmopolitan and re-invented it as a magazine for the modern single career woman.
7. Amy Lee: This Grammy-award winning lead singer for rock band Evanescence was born in Riverside, California, but Amy's family moved twice more before settling in Little Rock, Arkansas. Amy attended and graduated from Pulaski Academy in Little Rock.
Along with fellow Arkansan and guitarist Ben Moody, Lee performed with Evanescence in their beginning years at Juanita's Cantina in downtown Little Rock in the mid-90s. Their success as a group would come later with 2002's now-classic powerhouse "Bring Me To Life".
6. Ralphie May: This popular stand-up comedian was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee but raised in Clarksville, Arkansas.
In 2005, May released his comedy album, Just Correct. Since then, he has recorded four Comedy Central specials: Girth of a Nation (2006), Prime Cut (2007), Austin-tatious (2008), and Too Big To Ignore (2012), as well as one Netflix special, Unruly (2015).
5. Marty Stouffer: Raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Stouffer serves as the narrator and producer of the wildlife and nature documentary television program Wild America that originally aired on PBS.
The lives of Marty Stouffer and his brothers Mark and Marshall, in the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, were adapted for the 1997 movie, Wild America.
4. Ben Moody: Born and raised in Little Rock, this guitarist and record producer is a former member of award-winning Evanescence. Moody currently performs with the bands: The Halo Method and We Are The Fallen.
Aside from his music endeavours, Moody works with his television and film production company, Makeshift Films.
3. Brad Neely: Raised in Fort Smith, this comic book artist and television writer/producer is known for his work on TV series such as Comedy Central's South Park and Adult Swim's China, IL.
Neely's work includes the comic series "Creased Comics" and the Harry Potter spoof Wizard People, Dear Reader, which consists of an alternate soundtrack of narration in the style of a book on tape, which viewers can play over the muted movie. Neely is featured in the documentary We Are Wizards.
2. Collin Raye: This country hit singer hails from DeQueen, Arkansas, and made his debut in the country music world with 1991's number one hit ballad Love, Me.
Between 1991 and 2007, Raye charted 30 singles on the U.S. country charts; he has also charted twice on the Adult Contemporary format as a duet partner on two Jim Brickman songs. Four of Raye's singles have reached Number One on the Billboard country music charts: 1992's "Love, Me" and "In This Life", 1994's "My Kind of Girl", and 1998's "I Can Still Feel You".
1. Sid "Vicious" Eudy: What wrestling fan can forget about the Master and the Ruler of the World? Former WWF (now WWE) Champion "Psycho" Sid Vicious hails from West Memphis, Arkansas.
Popular with wrestling fans throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Eudy worked for both major wrestling companies WWF and WCW during their peak business years alongside other legendary wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Bret "Hitman" Hart, and Kevin Nash.
Be sure to check out past articles to see other names of native Arkansans who have “made it” in their various genres! The Natural State has a great number of celebrities who have called it home. What do you think of our list? Tell us below in the comment section!