Texas Living

Lone Star Legends: 12 Celebrities From Texas

By Peter Simek 9.3.21

Texas is known for its swagger, gusto, and larger-than-life personalities, so it’s no surprise that the state has produced so many stars. Some stay in Hollywood, while others find the allure and pull of home too tough to resist and settle back in their home state. Actors like Matthew McConaughey and Eva Longoria have become ambassadors of the Lone Star State — but do you know all the names on our list of celebrities from Texas?

Hilary Duff from Texas

Hilary Duff

Birthplace: Houston
Notable Roles: “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” “Cheaper by the Dozen”
Duff split her time in childhood between Houston and San Antonio, where her father owned convenience stores. She took acting and ballet classes, and the show biz bug bit. In 1993, Duff moved with her mother and sister to Hollywood to pursue a career as a child star.

Morgan Fairchild from Texas

Morgan Fairchild

Birthplace: Dallas
Notable Roles: “Dallas,” “Flamingo Road”
While still a child in Dallas, Fairchild made an appearance on the beloved local television program “Mr. Peppermint Show” and later on a teen bandstand show. Her first job in the movies came when she was a double for Faye Dunaway during the filming of “Bonnie and Clyde,” which was shot throughout North Texas.

Farrah Fawcett from Texas

Farrah Fawcett

Birthplace: Corpus Christi
Notable Roles: “Charlie’s Angels,” “Logan’s Run”
Fawcett attended the University of Texas, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. Her freshman year, she was named one of the 10 most beautiful women on campus. Her photos found their way to a Hollywood agent, who urged her to model. She declined the offer initially, but a couple of years later decided to try her luck. The rest is Tinseltown history.

Jamie Fox from Texas

Jamie Foxx

Birthplace: Terrell
Notable Roles: “Collateral,” “Ray”
Foxx’s talent began to shine when he was still a child growing up in Terrell. He played piano at the New Hope Baptist Church and entertained his grade-school teachers by telling jokes. A star athlete at Terrell High School, Foxx dreamed of playing for the Dallas Cowboys but instead received a scholarship to the United States International University to study musical and performing arts composition, solidifying his journey into the arts.

Woody Harrelson from Texas

Woody Harrelson

Birthplace: Midland
Notable Roles: “Cheers,” “Natural Born Killers”
Harrelson’s childhood in Midland was not easy. His father was a convicted hitman who was sentenced to jail for life. When he was still a young boy and with his father out of the picture, Harrelson’s mother moved the family to Ohio. He attended Hanover College in Indiana, where he received a BFA in Theatre, which propelled him to an accomplished career.

Tommy Lee Jones from Texas

Tommy Lee Jones

Birthplace: San Saba
Notable roles: “The Fugitive,” “No Country for Old Men”
When Jones was a young boy, his family lived in Midland, where his father was an oilfield worker. He eventually resettled in Dallas and graduated from St. Mark’s School of Texas. He then headed off to Harvard, where he was roommates with future Vice President Al Gore.

Eva Longoria from Texas

Eva Longoria

Birthplace: Corpus Christi
Notable Roles: “Desperate Housewives,” “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”
Longoria grew up in Corpus Christi, where she worked at a Wendy’s in high school to earn money to pay for her quinceañera. Longoria won the title of Miss Corpus Christi USA, which helped pave her way to Hollywood.

Steve Martin from Texas

Steve Martin

Birthplace: Waco
Notable Roles: “Three Amigos!”, “Father of the Bride”
Martin is somewhat of an honorary Texan. He was born in Waco and lived in the state for the first five years of his life. His father, a real estate salesperson, then moved the family to California so he could pursue acting. Martin’s father didn’t make it, but things worked out well for his now-famous son.

celebrities from Texas

Matthew McConaughey

Birthplace: Uvalde
Notable roles: “Dazed and Confused,” “Dallas Buyers Club”
There is no more iconic celebrity from Texas than McConaughey, who still calls Austin home. As the story goes, he was discovered during the production of “Dazed and Confused,” where his onset ad-libbing helped expand his role in the film and jumpstart an explosive career.

Bill Paxton from Texas

Bill Paxton

Birthplace: Fort Worth
Notable Roles: “Aliens,” “Twister”
Paxton’s childhood in Fort Worth is best known for an eerie brush with notoriety. A photo taken outside the Hotel Texas as President John F. Kennedy emerges on the morning of his assassination shows Paxton in the crowd. After high school, Paxton studied in England, where he started making films with friends and fellow Texans Danny Martin and Tom Huckabee.

Lou Diamond Phiips from Texas

Lou Diamond Philips

Birthplace: Philippines
Notable Roles: “La Bamba,” “Young Guns”
The son of a Marine, Philips was born in the Philippines before the family settled in Corpus Christi. In 1985, he received a BA in drama from the University of Texas at Arlington. A couple of years later, Philips scored his breakout role in “La Bamba.”

Owen Wilson from Texas

Owen Wilson

Birthplace: Dallas
Notable Roles: “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Midnight in Paris”
Owen and his equally famous brother Luke burst on the scene after starring in filmmaker Wes Anderson’s (a Houston native) first film “Bottle Rocket.” The brothers went on to successful Hollywood careers. Their mother, an acclaimed photographer, still lives in Dallas, where they are seen from time to time.

Texas has been a significant presence in the film industry for over a century. Trace Texas’ place in cinematic history here.

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