You've probably seen or heard of most celebrities in and around Los Angeles, so many people actually don't realize that tons of celebrities are from various, pretty random places.
It might surprise you that your favorite movie star doesn't hail from California and the country singer you're constantly listening to is not in fact from Nashville. Many stars came from small towns and were quite poor growing up. In fact, the number of clearly famous people who hail from tiny locations is shockingly large. These celebrities are known to still love their hometowns, pay due homage, and even start huge charities based on where they come from. After becoming ultra famous, some stars are excited to show the press their hometowns, while others prefer to ignore the fact that they grew up outside a large city.
Many stars are from small towns, but their fame hasn't necessarily made the town famous. Some of these towns are completely unknown to fans, and even the state may not realize that the celebrity is from that area. You may find it surprising that these 20 celebrities are actually from small towns, and even more shocking to learn and see what these towns are like today.
19 Shawnee, Oklahoma: Brad Pitt's Small-Town Roots
In addition to being actor Brad Pitt’s hometown, Shawnee, Oklahoma is known as the Redbud City of Oklahoma. Each year on the third Friday of April, Shawnee’s Redbud Festival, celebrating the town’s many redbud trees planted by citizens, is held downtown.
The town is home to many other interesting attractions, including the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, an Eagle Aviary, and the Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art. The town has its fair share of casinos as well, including the Black Hawk Casino, the Grand Casino, the Kickapoo Casino, and the Thunderbird Casino.
18 Wyomissing, Pennsylvania: Taylor Swift Isn't Shy to Pay Tribute
Dubbed “The Happiest City in Pennsylvania,” Wyomissing is the birthplace of musician Taylor Swift. This town of just over 10,000 residents offers visitors many places to shop, including the Berkshire Mall, the Farmer’s Market of Wyomissing, and the nearby Vanity Fair Outlets in Reading just two miles away.
Visitors to Wyomissing also have a variety of choices of lodging, ranging from The Inn at Reading to chain hotels such as the Courtyard at Marriott and the Hampton Inn. Those who decide to relocate to Wyomissing have enjoyed its short average commuting times, the high percentage of married families, and generally crime-free streets.
17 Ely, Minnesota: Jessica Biel's Outdoor-Focused Hometown
Ely, Minnesota houses many vacation resorts and offers wilderness experiences for tourists who want to get away from the big-city life for a while. This town, where actress Jessica Biel was born, offers shopping, golfing and restaurants for those who enjoy a faster-paced vacation; and canoeing, fishing, hiking, camping and birding for those seeking a quieter, nature-focused getaway.
Additionally, Ely features a variety of cultural museums, including the USA Bear Center, the International Wolf Center, the Ely-Winton History Museum, and the Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum. Tours of the arts, history, mines and local area birds are offered by diverse groups in Ely.
16 Roswell, New Mexico: Demi Moore's Town, Famous for UFOs
In addition to being the birthplace of actress Demi Moore, Roswell, New Mexico is famous for a UFO incident that occurred there in 1947. Today, visitors to the town of near 50,000 can enjoy related attractions such as the Roswell International UFO Museum and Research Center and the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium.
Outdoor activities abound in Roswell, such as golfing, boating, birding, and hiking. Visitors may also enjoy the 34-acre Spring River Park and Zoo, the only free zoo and park in the state. A wide variety of restaurants are available, as are lodging choices ranging from hotels and motels to RV facilities.
15 Union, Kentucky: Josh Hutcherson Hails from the South
A small town of just over 5000, Union, Kentucky is also the birthplace of actor Josh Hutcherson, best known for his role as Peeta in “The Hunger Games.” This formerly rural area was named Union as it was the connection between the salt manufacturing area Big Bone Lick and the City of Florence in the 1800s.
Visitors to Union today can check out Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, a state park that offers hiking, camping and a museum featuring area fossils and Native American history. Bed and breakfasts offer comfortable lodging for tourists, and a variety of restaurants and shops provide entertainment options.
14 Franklin, Tennessee: Miley Cyrus' Southern Roots
Franklin, Tennessee lies just 14 miles south of Nashville and is home to musician Miley Cyrus. One of the area’s main attractions is the Masters and Makers Trail, featuring two breweries, two distilleries, and one winery for visitors to tour, all within Williamson County. History buffs will enjoy the many historical attractions Franklin has to offer, including the MHAAH Museum.
Connoisseurs of the arts will enjoy a variety of cultural attractions in Franklin, such as the David Arms Gallery, The Copper Fox, and Studio Tenn, which features live performances. Vacation rentals and hotel accommodations are abundant throughout the Franklin area.
13 Lindale, Texas: Miranda Lambert's famous in a small town
Part of the Tyler, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area, Lindale is a town of just under 5000 and the birthplace of country singer Miranda Lambert. This tiny Texas town located halfway between Shreveport, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas is home to the Old Mill Pond Museum, Darden Harvest Park, and Faulkner Park Nature Trails and Pond.
A street in Lindale has been named Miranda Lambert Way, to honor all that she has done for her hometown. Shoppers can enjoy Lambert’s The Pink Pistol boutique and let their dogs run in the new dog park that she recently funded. She is also helping to create a pet adoption center in Lindale.
12 Horizontina, Brazil: Gisele Bundchen is a Small Town Girl With a Big Flair
This small town is home to supermodel and wife of famous football quarterback Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen. Horizontina, Brazil is part of the southern Rio Grande do Sul state, near Brazil’s border with Argentina. With just under 20,000 residents, Horizontina is called the “Cradle of National Harvesters Automotive,” as it was the site of the building of the first automotive harvester in Brazil in 1965. Today, visitors can tour the John Deere factory.
Many popular bars and restaurants exist in the Horizontina area, as well as accommodations ranging from highly affordable rentals to expensive hotels and resorts. A language dialect from Germany, Riograndenser Hunsruckisch, is widely spoken in Horizontina.
11 Owensboro, Kentucky: Is Johnny Depp's Town Small or Large?
Actor Johnny Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, the fourth-largest city in the state. It is home to diverse attractions including the Red Man chewing tobacco company (now owned by Swedish Match) as well as the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall of Fame. The O.Z. Tyler Kentucky Bourbon Distillery can be toured, as can the popular Owensboro Museum of Science and History and Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
In addition, Owensboro is home to the largest sassafras tree in the world, estimated at about 300 years old. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy this as well as Smothers Park and the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden.
10 Williamstown, Massachusetts: Matthew Perry's Historic Hometown
“Friends” star and actor Matthew Perry was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts in the state’s northwest corner. This town of just under 8000 is also notable for hosting the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival each July and August. Williamstown is home to noted liberal arts college Williams College, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Clark Art Institute for culture lovers.
The Williamstown Historical Museum provides visitors with information about the town’s history as a place to stop along the Mohawk Trail to the present day. Hikers and nature lovers will love the network of trails throughout Williamstown and the Berkshire County area.
9 Doylestown, Pennsylvania: Pink is a Small Town Girl?
Located about 30 miles north of Philadelphia and 80 miles southwest of New York City, Doylestown, Pennsylvania is home to musician Pink (born Alecia Beth Moore). Cultural and artistic sites abound throughout Doylestown and the Bucks County area, including the Mercer Museum which features Early American domestic vehicles and tools, the palatial Foothill Castle, and the James A. Michener Art Museum (another favorite child of Doylestown).
Nature lovers will enjoy boating and hiking in the area’s abundance of parks including Peace Valley Park, Central Park, Burpee Park and Fonthill Park. An unusual attraction in Doylestown is the Doan Outlaw Graves, the burial site of two members of the Doan gang from Revolutionary times.
8 Summit, New Jersey: Meryl Streep's Average Roots Lead to Greatness
With a population of just over 20,000, Summit, New Jersey, the birthplace of actress Meryl Streep, lies 25 miles west of New York City. It has an active performing and visual arts culture, including the century-old Summit Playhouse which offers three shows each year; the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater, also offering three plays annually; and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, with exhibitions and art classes for all ages.
The town’s name comes from the Second Watchung Mountain upon which it is situated. Those who enjoy the outdoors can explore the Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Briant Park, Hidden Valley Park, and the Watchung Reservation.
7 Checotah, Oklahoma: Carrie Underwood's Famous Tiny Town
Country singer Carrie Underwood’s birthplace of Checotah, Oklahoma is truly a small town, with a population of just over 3000. In addition to being famous as Underwood’s home, Checotah is nicknamed the “Steer Wrestling Capital of the World.” This small town offers visitors antique malls and shopping, as well as historic sites including the Honey Springs/Elk Creek battlefield and its downtown historic district.
Beginning as a settlement in the 1830s, Checotah is named for Creek Chief Samuel Checote, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army. Today, visitors enjoy the peacefulness of the picturesque farms and cattle ranches in the area.
6 Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Ashton Kutcher's Normal Early Life
Actor Ashton Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is not exactly a small town at a population of just over 100,000. It provides a haven for arts and culture in the area, including the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Cultural Center of Iowa, and the Paramount Theatre.
Its nickname is “City of the Five Seasons,” and Cedar Rapids itself was named for the Cedar River rapids as well as the large cedar trees in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy all seasons in Cedar Rapids’ numerous parks and recreational areas.
5 Kosciusko, Mississippi: Oprah Winfrey's Path to Greatness
Situated along the Natchez Trace Parkway, Kosciusko, Mississippi is the birthplace of superstar Oprah Winfrey. This small town of just under 8000 residents was named after Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a leader during the US Revolution. Originally called Redbud Springs, Kosciusko was nicknamed “the Beehive of the Hills” due to its strategic placement facilitating interstate commerce.
Today, visitors to Kosciuszko can enjoy many shopping venues, fast and fine dining and lodging choices ranging from bed and breakfasts to hotels. Local parks offering outdoor fun include Kosy Pocket Park, Redbud Springs Park, Northside Park, Hugh Ellard Park and Jason Niles Park.
4 Concord, Massachusetts: Steve Carell Hails from New England
Founded in 1635, Concord, Massachusetts is the oldest town settled by Europeans in New England. It is also famous as the birthplace of actor Steve Carell. With a population of just under 18,000, Concord offers visitors many historical sites such as the Old North Bridge, site of the first victory of the Revolutionary War.
Many famous authors hail from Concord, including Henty David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott. Tributes to these authors as well as their graves can be visited in the Concord area. Thoreau enthusiasts can visit a replica of his cottage on Walden Pond as well as his restored birthplace.
4. Kentwood, Louisiana: Britney Spears' Different Hometown
A truly small town, Kentwood, Louisiana is home to just over 2000 residents, one of whom used to be pop singer Britney Spears. Located near Louisiana’s border with Mississippi, Kentwood features a variety of restaurants serving southern barbecue, local foods and Asian cuisine.
History buffs will enjoy the Kentwood Historical Museum, featuring a military exhibit on servicemen from the area. The Sweethome Historic Black Museum in Kentwood serves to document and preserve traditional history.
Lodging in Kentwood and the surrounding area range from chain hotels to home rentals and bed and breakfasts.
3 Sharon, Kansas: Martina McBride is Truly Country
Country singer Martina McBride is from an extremely small town. Sharon, Kansas has a population of under 200 residents. Located in Barber County, the closest “larger” town is Medicine Lodge, nine miles away, boasting a population of 2000 residents.
Attractions within the town of Sharon include the Wisner Library, many beautiful sunflower fields, and ranches galore. Visitors can enjoy outdoor adventures like horseback trail rides at places such as Gypsum Hill in nearby Medicine Lodge. Dining at the town’s Bull Pen Bar and Grill is recommended. The closest traditional hotel type lodging can be found about 30 miles away in Anthony.
2 Atlanta, Texas: Ellen DeGeneres' Comedic Birth
The town of Atlanta, Texas hosts a population of just over 5500, and one of its favorite daughters is the television personality, Ellen DeGeneres. Located in the northeastern part of the state, Atlanta was established in the Piney Woods area in the late 1800s. With its proximity to Shreveport (55 miles), Texarkana (20 miles) and Dallas (2 hours 30 minutes), Atlanta has become a popular home for retired folk and is designated a Certified Retirement Community.
Visitors to Atlanta can enjoy outdoor recreation at Atlanta State Park, with boating and fishing on Wright Putnam Lake. McNoble Harper Park and the Historical Atlanta City Park are other popular choices for outdoor activities.
1 Marco Island, Florida: Leighton Meester Carved Her Own Path
Leighton Meester, an actress best known for the television show “Gossip Girl,” hails from Marco Island, Florida. The largest of the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida, this barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida is home to just under 18,000. Visitors to Marco Island enjoy the sandy beaches, beautiful resorts and delicious dining choices the island has to offer.
Outdoor activities abound here and include dolphin exploration tours, Everglades boat tours, swamp buggy adventures and airboat tours. Hiking, canoeing and kayaking are popular at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. White, sandy beaches offer ample opportunities for shell collectors.