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The Bay Area has been the home and birthplace of many actors, musicians and athletes who have made a profound impact on the entertainment industry and popular culture both in American and around the world. We check out ten famous faces from this idyllic region of California.
Born and raised in Palo Alto, James Franco rose to fame by starring in the cult classic TV show, Freaks and Geeks and now has become a modern day icon, starring in various big-budget movies. Aside from being a movie star, Franco has also directed movies and has taught classes at prestigious universities around the country.
San Francisco native and front woman of the 1990s grunge band, Hole, Courtney Love represented her hometown through her music and other creative endeavors. Also famous for her marriage to Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, her most recent role was in the new TV series hit, Empire.
Hailing from San Francisco, this classic and iconic spaghetti Western star has become one of the most famous and recognizable movie stars and one of the most critically respected, award-winning directors in the world. Along with being a movie icon, Eastwood served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Born in San Francisco’s famous Chinatown, Bruce Lee came to be one of the most famous martial artists in history. With five feature-length films, Lee’s skills in martial arts made him a household name across the globe.
Most famous for her role as Maria, in the movie version of West Side Story, Natalie Wood was born in San Francisco to Russian immigrant parents. She was a classic beauty of her time, with a Hollywood marriage to actor Robert Wagner. Unfortunately, her life ended tragically and mysteriously in a boating accident at the age of 43.
San Mateo is the birthplace of the star of the New England Patriots. Having become one of the most well-known football players in the nation for his skills as a quarterback, Tom Brady has led his team to four Super Bowl victories. He is also married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
Tom Hanks was born in the San Francisco suburb of Concord and started his career as a comic, first becoming famous for his hilarious antics in the sitcom ‘Bosom Buddies’. Hanks made the successful transition from a comic actor to a serious one, winning accolades and awards for his dramatic roles in such famous films as Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Cast Away and Apollo 13 among others.
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco and was one of the founding entrepreneurs of the Silicon Valley, helping to build the personal computer industry as co-founder of Apple, Inc. His legacy can be seen in the advances in personal computers but also on their unique design and user interfaces. Jobs lived with his family in Palo Alto until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2011.
Joe DiMaggio was one of the most famous American baseball players of all time. Although he played his entire career for the New York Yankees, he was born in Martinez, California, growing up in San Francisco from the age of one. In his 13 years playing baseball with the Yankees, he and his team won 9 World Series Championships. DiMaggio was also known for his famous marriage to Marilyn Monroe, with whom he eloped.
Kristi Yamaguchi is a World Champion and Olympic Figure Skater who was born in Hayward and is of Japanese descent. She began skating as a young child and specialised in pair skating before transitioning to become a solo skater. She continues to inspire her fans around the world through her Always Dream Foundation that supports children in need through educational and recreational activities.