Iowans in Hollywood

Information gathered here is drawn from the Internet Movie Database and a series titled "Famous Iowans" published in the Des Moines Register. Additions and corrections are welcome and can be forwarded to Paula Mohr.

Name Birth Death Occupation Hometown Iowa connection Comments Link
Adams, Julie1926ActressWaterlooBorn Betty May Adams in Waterloo.go to IMDB
Allison, Fran19071989ActressLa Porte CityStarred in Kukla, Fran and Ollie.go to IMDB
Ameche, Don19081993ActorAttended Loras College in Dubuque.Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.go to IMDB
Arens, JoeActor, businessmanAltonOwner of and actor for the St. Louis Motion Pictures Company.go to IMDB
Arkoff, Samuel19182001ProducerFort DodgeFounder of American Releasing Corp. which made low budget films.go to IMDB
Armstrong, Robert18901973Actor Started acting at Princess Theatre in Des Moines. Appeared in first King Kong. go to IMDB
Arnold, Tom1959Actor, comedianOttumwaBorn in Ottumwa and performed stand-up comedy at open microphone nights at University of Iowa.go to IMDB
Bailey, Jack19071980Actor, game show hostHamptonWas one of the voices of Goofy in the Walt Disney cartoons.go to IMDB
Bainter, Fay18931968Actress on Broadway, and in moviesLived in Iowa as a young woman and performed at the Princess Theatre in Des Moines.First performer nominated for Oscars in two categories in one year. go to IMDB
Beauchamp, Clem18981992Production managerBloomfieldWorked on many of director Stanley Kramer's films.go to IMDB
Bellamy, Ralph19041991Actor on Broadway and in moviesPerformed at Princess Theatre in Des Moines.go to IMDB
Bernhardt, Sarah18441923ActressAccording to legend, Bernhardt lived in Iowa as a young girl.go to IMDB
Blakesley, Earl, Jr.ScreenwriterShenandoahgo to IMDB
Blank, A.H.1879Movie theatre ownerDes Moinesgo to IMDB
Block, Ralph18891974Producer, screenwriterCherokeeFirst president of the Screen Writers Guild (1934-1935).go to IMDB
Boyle, Lara Flynn1970ActressDavenportgo to IMDB
Brand, Neville19201992ActorGriswoldgo to IMDB
Brodie, Andy1980Director, editorAmesgo to IMDB
Carey, MacDonald19131994ActorSioux CityStarred in the television show Days of Our Lives; in the 1940s-1960s made many B-movies and was known as 'the King of the Bs'.go to IMDB
Carson, Johnny19252005Talk show hostCorninggo to IMDB
Christine, Virginia19201996ActressStantonActress who appeared in Folgers Coffee ads.go to IMDB
Christopher, Mark1963DirectorFort Dodgego to IMDB
Clemenson, Christian1958ActorHumboldtDirected/starred in Humboldt community theatre productions. Won 2006 Emmy Award for Boston Legal.go to IMDB
Coffin, Edwin18871942WriterRolfego to IMDB
Collins, Max Allan1948Novelist, writer, directorMuscatineWrote Road to Perdition.go to IMDB
Collins, Stephen1947ActorDes MoinesStarred in Seventh Heaven.go to IMDB
Conklin, Chester18861971Comic actorOskaloosago to IMDB
Cooper, Gary19011961ActorAttended Iowa College in Grinnell.go to IMDB
Crookham, JoeFilm lightingMuscatine, OskaloosaFounded the Musco Lighting company in 1976.Won a Scientific and Engineering Award during the 58th Academy Awards for inventing transportable lighting equipment; 'Lighting the Way for success'.go to IMDB
Cunningham, Jack18821941WriterIoniago to IMDB
Daily, Bill1927ActorDes MoinesMajor Healey on 'I Dream of Jeannie.go to IMDB
Dale, PaulActorMarshalltownStarred in It's A Small World; given name is Dale Paullin; information available at the Marshall County Historical Society.go to IMDB
Damita, Lili19041994ActressMarried Fort Dodge businessman Allen Looomis and lived in Fort Dodge from 1962-1983; buried in Fort Dodge cemetery.go to IMDB
Deets, FrancesActressFort Dodgego to IMDB
Doughten, RussellProducerBorn and raised in Iowa, attended Drake University.Producer of The Blob (1958). Founded Russ Doughten Films.go to IMDB
Ellison, James19101993ActorGuthrie CenterBorn James Ellison Smith. Starred in The Plainsman.go to IMDB
Emerson, Michael1954ActorCedar RapidsAppeared in Saw (2004), The Legend of Zorro (2005) and the television series Lost.go to IMDB
Farrell, Sharon1940ActressSioux CityAppeared in The Reivers.go to IMDB
Farrell, Terry1963ActressCedar RapidsStarred as Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.go to IMDB
Fischer, Margarita18861975ActressMissouri ValleyEarly film actress.go to IMDB
Forsmark, AnthonyActorNevadaAttended Iowa State UniversityIn Black Russian (2009) and Broken Dreams (2010), along with a number of shorts.go to IMDB
Frawley, William18871966ActorBurlingtonPlayed Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy.go to IMDB
Frederick, John1916Actor, authorNorwalkgo to IMDB
Fridley, Robert1917Theatre owner, producerWestgate vicinityOwner of Fridley Theatres; produced Every Girl Should Have One (1978) and The Hazing (1977).go to IMDB
Getz, John1946ActorDavenportGraduated from the University of Iowa.Appeared in The Fly (1986) and The Social Network (2010).go to IMDB
Giesler, Jerry18861962LawyerWilton JunctionHollywood lawyer.go to IMDB
Gish, Annabeth1971ActressBorn in Albuquerque but graduated in 1989 from Northern University High School in Cedar Falls.go to IMDB
Glaspell, Susan18821948Writer, playwrightDavenportReceived Pulitzer Prize in 1931 for the play Alison's House based on the life of Emily Dickinson.go to IMDB
Godar, BenWriter, director, actorAmes, Des Moinesgo to IMDB
Goebel, Otto E.BusinessmanAltonOwner/Executive head of the St. Louis Motion Picture company.go to IMDB
Gourley, Ryan1985ActorWest Des MoinesIn 16 to Life (2009).go to IMDB
Grandy, Fred1948ActorSioux CityServed as U.S. Congressman for Iowa from 1986-1995.Starred in The Love Boat.go to IMDB
Hatton, Raymond18871971ActorRed Oakgo to IMDB
Hedges, Peter1962WriterWest Des MoinesWrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape.go to IMDB
Heggen, Tom19181949AuthorFort DodgeWrote Mister Roberts.go to IMDB
Higgins, David Anthony1961ActorDes Moinesgo to IMDB
Hilliard, Harriet19091994ActressDes MoinesBorn Peggy Lou Snyder. With her husband, Ozzie Nelson, best known for Ozzie and Harriet.go to IMDB
Hurt, Mary Beth1948ActressMarshalltownGraduated from the University of Iowa.Born Mary Beth Supinger.go to IMDB
Jackson, Selmer Adolf18881971Actor Lake MillsCharacter actor of the 1930s and 1940s.go to IMDB
Jones, Alfred19201989BusinessmanOsceolago to IMDB
Kantor, MacKinlay19041977ScreenwriterWebster CityWrote The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).go to IMDB
Karras, Alex1935ActorPlayed on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 1956 Rose Bowl championship team.In Blazing Saddles (1974) and played George Papadapolis in the Webster T.V. series (1983-1989).go to IMDB
Keenan, Frank18581929ActorDubuquego to IMDB
Kemp, BarryWriter, producerFort Dodgego to IMDB
Lane, Leota, Priscilla, and RosemarySingers, actressesIndianolaBorn to Lorenzo and Cora Mullican and lived in Indianola.go to IMDB
Leachman, Cloris1926ActressDes MoinesFirst movie was Kiss Me Deadly (1955) but worked primarily as a television actress.go to IMDB
Leighton, Laura1968ActressIowa CityStarred in Melrose Place and appeared in numerous television movies.go to IMDB
Leslie, Amy18551939Actress, opera singer, drama criticWest BurlingtonDramatic critic for the Chicago Daily News from 1890 to 1930.go to IMDB
Lindsay, Margaret19101981ActressDubuqueCharacter actress in dozens of 1930s and 1940s movies; played Hepzibah in The House of the Seven Gables (1940); her last film was Tammy and the Doctor (1963) in which she played Nurse Colman.go to IMDB
Livingston, Ron1967ActorCedar RapidsStarred in Office Space (1999) .go to IMDB
Lyon, Sue1946ActressDavenportStarred in Lolita (1962).go to IMDB
MacMackin, Archer18881961Director, writer, producerLake Citygo to IMDB
Margolin, Stuart1940ActorDavenportAppeared in more than 100 movies and television shows including Kelly's Heroes (1970), Days of Heaven (1978) and The Rockford Files.go to IMDB
Martin, Zach1980Sound mix technicianWest Des Moinesgo to IMDB
Mathers, Jerry1948ActorSioux CityStarred in Leave It to Beaver.go to IMDB
Micheaux, Oscar18841951FilmmakerLived and worked in Sioux City.African American silent film maker who lived and worked in Sioux City; first African-American to produce a feature length film as well as a sound feature length film.go to IMDB
Monaghan, Michelle1976ActressWinthropgo to IMDB
Moore, Constance19202005ActressSioux Citygo to IMDB
Moran, Peggy19182002ActressClintonAppeared with Abbott and Costello in One Night in the Tropics.go to IMDB
Morris, Greg19331996ActorStudied drama at the University of Iowa.Starred in Mission Impossible the TV series.go to IMDB
Morris, Phil1959ActorIowa CityPlayed Jackie Chiles on the television show Seinfeld.go to IMDB
Mulgrew, Kate1955ActressDubuqueKnown for her role as Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager.go to IMDB
Nagle, Conrad18971970ActorKeokukAttended Highland Park College in Des Moines. Performed at the Princess Theatre.Helped establish Screen Actors' Guild. Co-Founder of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. One of the creators of the Oscars. go to IMDB
Nolte, Nick1941ActorAttended Kingsley Elementary School in Waterloo.Born in Omaha, Nebraska.go to IMDB
O'Keefe, Dennis19081968ActorFort MadisonBorn Edward Vance Flanagan. Starred in the television show The Dennis O'Keefe Show (1959-60).go to IMDB
Parsons, Harriet19061983Movie producerBurlingtonWas one of three women working as contract producers for major Hollywood studios between 1943 and 1955.go to IMDB
Patterson, Neva19202010ActressNevadaA character actress who had her debut in Taxi (1953).go to IMDB
Petty, Lori1963ActressGraduated from Sioux City's North High School.go to IMDB
Prentiss, EleanorActressFort Dodgego to IMDB
Quigley, Linnea1958ActressDavenportHorror movie 'scream queen' actress who starred in The Return of the Living Dead (1985).go to IMDB
Rabe, David1940WriterDubuquego to IMDB
Rafferty, Frances19222004ActressSioux Citygo to IMDB
Reagan, Ronald19112004ActorSports announcer for WHO radio in Des Moines (1937).Governor of California 1967-1975, 40th president of the US 1981-1989.go to IMDB
Reed, Donna19211986ActressDenisonBorn Donna Belle Mullenger. Starred in It's a Wonderful Life.go to IMDB
Rees, Marian1927Film producer, philanthropistLe Marsgo to IMDB
Reeves, George19141959ActorWoolstockIn Gone With the Wind and starred in Adventures of Superman.go to IMDB
Rosenthal, LewVaudeville comedianWaterlooOperated the Iowa Theatre in Waterloo.go to IMDB
Ross, GeneActorFort Dodgego to IMDB
Routh, Brandon1979ActorDes MoinesGrew up in Norwalk, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa.Starred as Superman in Superman Returns (2006).go to IMDB
Russell, Lillian18601922Singer, ActressClintonBorn Helen Louise Leonard.go to IMDB
Schaffner, NeilActorPerformed at Princess Theatre in Des Moines.go to IMDB
Schoedsack, Ernest18931979DirectorCouncil Bluffs vicinitygo to IMDB
Seberg, Jean19381979ActressMarshalltowngo to IMDB
Sherman, Evelyn18821974ActressNashuaBorn Eva May Spear.go to IMDB
Smith, Riley1978ActorCedar Rapidsgo to IMDB
Spence, Hartzell19082001AuthorClarionWrote book which was the basis for One Foot in Heaven which in turn was nominated for Best Picture Academy Award (1941). The story focused on the life of William Spence, a Lake Mills pastor and his family.go to IMDB
Stong, Phil18991957AuthorPittsburgBorn near Keosauqua, Iowa. Wrote State Fair.go to IMDB
Swanson, Harold (H.N.)Literary agent, writerCentervilleRepresented F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. go to IMDB
Talbott, Michael1955ActorWaverlyAppeared in Carrie (1976) and First Blood (1982); was Switek in the television show Miami Vice.go to IMDB
Taylor, Kent19071987ActorNashuaPopular B actor from the 1930s and 1940s.go to IMDB
Thompson, Sada19292011ActressDes Moinesgo to IMDB
Tilghman, Bill18541924Actor, Director, CinematographerFort DodgeServed as a lawman for 35 years before deciding to make a true outlaw movie: Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws (1915). go to IMDB
Tinsley, Charles David18731965Movie producerCorninggo to IMDB
Tucker, Forrest19191986ActorMoved to Iowa as a child.Known as Sergeant O'Rourke on F Troop but also was featured in a number of movies.go to IMDB
Utterback, Sarah1982ActressNew HamptonBest known for role in Grey's Anatomy.go to IMDB
Wallace, Marcia1942ActressCrestonStarred in Bob Newhart Show and voice talent in The Simpsons.go to IMDB
Waller, Robert1939NovelistRockfordWrote novel Bridges of Madison County which became the basis for the movie.go to IMDB
Watkin, Pierre18871960ActorSioux CityCharacter actor.go to IMDB
Wayne, John19071979ActorWintersetBorn Marion Morrison.go to IMDB
Wilcots, Joseph19392009CinematographerDes MoinesCinematographer for Roots (1977).go to IMDB
Wilder, Gene1933ActorIowa CityGraduated from the University of Iowa.go to IMDB
Williams, Tennessee19111983PlaywrightStudied at the University of Iowa.go to IMDB
Willson, Meredith19021984ComposerMason CityWrote the book, words, and music for The Music Man (1962).go to IMDB
Wood, Elijah1981ActorCedar RapidsBest known for his role as Frodo in The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003).go to IMDB
Woodhouse, J. StewartwriterDes Moinesgo to IMDB
Worden, Hank19011992ActorRolfego to IMDB

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