The Top 10 Most Famous Entertainers Born in Midland/Odessa, Texas
It's surprising when people aren’t aware of the celebrities from their hometowns. I wanted to see who represented my communities of Midland and Odessa Texas. I was impressed at all of the names and their accomplishments. So much so, I wanted to pass my newfound knowledge along to you.
You may already know some, or all of these well known celebs. And if so, color me impressed. But, if not, let me be the first to give you something to talk about tonight at the dinner table.
And, for the record, I am leaving off Rooster McConaughey. Rooster, if you are reading this, thank you, I am honored. Please understand, it is not that I don’t recognize your accomplishments. I cannot put you in the top 10 based on family connections. But you did get this "shout out" so we can just call that an "honorary mention". And by doing that, maybe the readers won't give me so much kick back for #10. Now, let's get this list going, shall we?.
In no particular order the The Top 10 Most Famous Entertainers Born in Midland/Odessa are:
#10 Chris Kyle (Odessa/1974-2013). As stated in my intro, that is if you read my intro, I know you may not see him as an “entertainer” but, as an author of this article, I say he belongs on this list. So on this list he shall be. Chris Kyle is recognized as “the most lethal sniper in US History”. He’s not listed for Bradley Cooper portraying him in the movie, otherwise Rooster would have to make the list.
#9 Stephanie Weir (Odessa/ 1967). Maybe not as popular as some of the upcoming names on the list. To me best known for MADTV (did I just show my age?). She has appeared in “Fun with Dick and Jane” and “Fist Fight” on the big screen. But more recently on the Goldberg’s television show. It is my guess she is more likely known for her recent role playing Bonnie in Happy Together (Claire’s mom).
#8 Carolyn McCormick (Midland 1959). This is one of those actresses that you know you have seen in a TON of movies but you cannot place it. She has been in roles in Sci-Fi films to Westerns. Romance movies with Richard Gere. But when I can't come up with her "real name" she has always been Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, from “Law and Order”.
#7 Michael Arden (Midland 1972). Ladies, let me just say BRIDEWARS. Yes, Chris Pratt was in the movie, so maybe you overlooked Michael. But no one forgets Liv’s “Mister of Honor”. Not when he is that cute! Sure, there have been other roles and movies, including, “The Odd Life on Timothy Green”. But, after all of these years, I suddenly find myself thinking about watching “Bride Wars”, again.
#6 Karen Ashley (Odessa 1975): I didn’t realize the YELLOW POWER RANGER was from here! I mean, yes, she is known for “Hanging with Mr. Cooper”. And seems that Mr. Steve Harvey has also had our native grace his television stage a time or two. But, when action calls, this Power Ranger “Unite(s)” with the rest of the gang and that is what she is best known for.
#5 Kathy Baker (Midland 1950): Kathy’s face has been seen on television and in the movies. The first thing I remember her being in was Edward Scissorhands. Another West Texan to appear on Law and Order…I am really starting to see a trend here, but also Medium and Grey’s Anatomy.
#4 Kristin Griffith/Odessa 1953): If I didn’t know better I would think there was a serious theme of Law and Order, but this one was more on Criminal Intent. I guess, there are worse law shows our entertainers could be spotlighted on. She has been in numerous movies, since the 70s, with co-stars including Jack Lemmon, Woody Allen, and Diane Keaton.
#3 Victor Aaron/Odessa (1956-1996): Victor passed away at 39 years old, in a road accident, but prior to made a name for himself in Hollywood. Appearing in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman on television. Some of his movies included and most notably Bulletproof. He was the voice of John Redcorn, from King of the Hill.
#2 Tommy Lee Jones (raised in Midland/1946): I know the title is BORN IN Midland/Odessa. But this is a BIG name. And I have him at #2 because, TECHNICALLY, he was raised here, not born here, or he would totally be #1 on this list. He was born in Sabba, Texas. But who I am NOT to give Midland credit? For all of you younger readers, Tommy Lee Jones is Agent K from the Men in Black. He was in Batman Forever. He was in the Fugitive. The list of his accomplishments and awards go on and on. He is truly a fan favorite. Side note, if you are not happy with him making the list, please do not contact Townsquare Media, Midland. They are having technical difficulties concerning this topic.
#1 Woody Harrelson (Midland/1961): I had absolutely no idea that Woody would be “making his way in the world today”, based on everything he learned in the Midland County. Pretty impressive. Roles on Cheers as a silly bartender. Then off to the big screen to portray characters in movies from Natural Born Killers, Zombieland to Hunger Games. There really isn’t an audience Woody hasn’t reached.
So, bravo, Permian Basin. Give yourself a standing ovation for recognizing and supporting your local actors, while they grew up. You managed to produce some great entertainment to the world. From the stage, to television, to the big screen. If the saying “it takes a village” means anything, then you have helped produce some great characters that have made people laugh, cry and smile for many years, and many more to come. So now, it is time to stand up and applaud yourselves, and keep going to the shows and continue to support the youth who one day will be sharing the spotlight with this list. I can't wait to see who we send off to Hollywood next!!