PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Celebrities From Memphis

Mike and I were talking the other night about the number of famous people who came from Memphis. We were coming up with a substantial list, so I checked it out and found even more, plus a couple of surprises. I’ve included one or two who just attended college here. For your entertainment, The Memphians:

Elvis Presley - Natch
Cybill Shepherd – Actress; also attended East High where Mike and I went to school. That's her class picture above.

Kathy Bates - Academy Award winning actress
Ginnifer Goodwin – “Margene” on HBO’s Big Love; also played the unhappy first wife of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line.
Michael Jeter – Actor; credits include The Green Mile and Polar Express
Tim McCarver – Cardinals’ baseball, TV sports commentator
Dixie Carter – Actress best known for her role as “the smart one” on TV’s Designing Women
Rick Dees – Radio disk jockey; was working at a Memphis station in ’76 when he recorded (the awful) Disco Duck which sold two million copies.
Wink Martindale – Disk jockey, TV host. First TV break was in Memphis when he was hired to host Mars Patrol dressed in Flash Gordon-like regalia. He went on to host Saturday afternoon’s Dance Party in Memphis before his career took off.
Morgan Freeman – Nothing more needs to be said about my friend Morgan.
George Hamilton – Yep, him. He was born here, but that was before the sun tan.
Aretha Franklin – You knew that, right?
Shelby Foote – Long-time Memphian; novelist; author of the three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative; featured expert in the PBS series on the Civil War. He passed away last year.
Eric Jerome Dickey – Author of books including Sister, Sister, Friends & Lovers, and Milk in My Coffee. He was featured on BET’s Our Voices.
William Sanderson – Actor; HBO series Deadwood; movies include Blade Runner and Last Man Standing
Fred Thompson – Actor; former U.S. Senator; Presidential candidate; received his law degree from the University of Memphis.
Fred Smith – Ever shipped a package by FedEx? He’s the founder and CEO.
Kemmons Wilson – Founder of Holiday Inns, Inc. The headquarters is still in Memphis, and that was my first post-college job writing/editing the employee newsletter for the worldwide chain. All five of the Wilson kids went to East High as did Mike and I.

Pretty Ladies With Brains
Pat Kerr Tigrett
– Fashion designer; 1964 Miss Tennessee Universe; in the USA national competition she won Best State Costume – foreshadowing of things to come?
Dana Buchman – Fashion designer; her brand, Dana Buchman, is currently owned by Liz Claiborne.
Linda Thompson - 1972 Miss TN USA and an Elvis girlfriend; later singer/songwriter. In 1992, she and her musician husband were nominated for a Grammy Award and an Academy Award for Best Song for “I Who Have Nothing” sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 movie, The Bodyguard.
1947 Miss America Barbara Walker Hummel (also a member of my college sorority)
1960 Miss America – Lynda Mead Shea

1987 Miss America – Kellye Cash

No comments: