From athletes to actors, musicians to politicians, The Good Land has raised a lot of greats. There are countless famous people who are from Milwaukee, but here are 13 of the greatest.
1. Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder was a beloved actor, director, writer, and songwriter who unfortunately passed away in 2016. He left us with memorable works such as
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, The Producers, and many more. We're not surprised that such an incredibly talented man was from The Good Land.
Władziu Valentino Liberace, or better known as just Liberace, was an American pianist. This child prodigy was from West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee. He also had a television career and earned his own 15-minute TV program,
The Liberace Show.
3. Les Paul
That's right, Les Paul is from the Midwest! This American musician was born in Waukesha, a MKE suburb. He was the pioneer of the solid-body guitar, and the famous Gibson Les Paul electric guitar was inspired by Paul's inventions.
4. Bill Weir
Bill Weir is a well-known television anchor. His past experience includes being a sports anchor for local stations in Green Bay, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He's also a former co-anchor of
Nightline on ABC. Currently, he is a journalist and anchor for CNN!
5. Kurt Neumann
The lead musician for the band,
The BoDeans is from the 414! After meeting in high school, Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas created the BoDeans. They went on to make a dozen albums.
6. Jerry and David Zucker
Brothers Jerry and David Zucker are the creators of the popular film
Airplane! Their other co-writer, Jim Abrahams, is from Milwaukee too.
7. Marc Alaimo
Marc Alaimo is a Milwaukee villain! At least, that's what he's most known for. This Milwaukee-born actor played Gul Dukat in the TV series
Star Trek. He's mostly appeared as villains in various other shows as well.
8. Howie Epstein
The bassist from iconic rock band,
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was also from Brew City.
9. Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner is an American businessman, investor, stockbroker, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist—and a Milwaukee native! He wrote a memoir in 2006 which captured his struggle with homelessness and raising his son within it. His book,
The Pursuit of Happyness, was turned into a major motion picture the same year, starring Will Smith as Gardner.
10. Dwyane Wade
This basketball player is not only from Milwaukee, he went to Marquette and started his successful career here, being drafted 5th in the nation. This NBA star was the first to lead the Miami Heat to a championship in franchise history, and is a 12 time NBA All-Star!
11. Dan Harmon
Dan Harmon is a popular producer and voice actor. He created and produced one of NBC's most popular shows,
Community. He also co-created Adult Swim's animated show, Rick and Morty. Of course these successful shows were the brainchild of someone from Brew City!
12. Dan Jansen
This retired Olympic speed skater was born in West Allis. Over the course of his career, Jansen set a total of eight world records in his sport. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004, and he's now a commentator for NBC.
13. Alice Cooper! ...okay, maybe not
But he wishes he was! Alice Cooper has made his love for Milwaukee very well known. He famously talked about our wonderful city in
Wayne's World, and the 2016 Milwaukee Film Fest even featured a short on the rockstars love for MKE. We consider him an honorary Milwaukeean.
Did you know all of these celebrities were from Milwaukee? Who’s your favorite Milwaukee native? Let us know in the comments!