8 Stars You Didn’t Know Were From the Bay Area

Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie | © Eva Rinaldi / Flickr
Photo of Deanna Morgado
26 April 2018

While many stars may call Los Angeles home, many of them began their lives elsewhere. Indeed, it might be surprising to find out how many of them were actually born quite a bit farther north—in the Bay Area.

Will Forte

Way before making people laugh during Saturday Night Live’s trouble-ensuing skits, comedian/actor Will Forte grew up in Lafayette in the East Bay Area. Even as a kid, Forte apparently tried to get laughs as a troublemaking youngster, as he explained in a 2011 interview in which he discussed the various pranks he’d pull as a teen at the local Sun Valley Mall. The comedian lives in L.A. now but never has a cruel thing to say about where he comes from.

Will Forte |  © Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Jonah Peretti

BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti was born and raised in Oakland. Peretti spent most of his childhood going back and forth between living with his mom, a schoolteacher, and his dad, a criminal justice lawyer and painter. Now 44, Peretti lives in Los Angeles with his wife and twins.

TCDNY2013 | © TechCrunch / Flickr

Jim Morrison

Though his time there was brief, The Doors lead singer is still often claimed by the Bay Area. He lived in Alameda for a short time, at 1717 Alameda Avenue, with his family. Jim Morrison’s father was a military man who worked at the local Alameda Naval Air Station. Between 1956 and 1958, Morrison was playing pranks on his Alameda High School teachers, reading books like On the Road, and cutting up snippets of magazines to create a string of animation. Morrison didn’t get a chance to graduate high school before his family relocated to Virginia.

Jim Morrison | © Elektra Records / WikiCommons

Dustin Diamond

Diamond hails from San Jose, living there as a kid while his mother worked at Pacific Bell (now AT&T). Born in 1977, Dustin Diamond rose to fame as a young kid, from his time as Screech on the Saved By the Bell TV show. In recent years, however, Diamond has been in and out of jail on charges such as disorderly conduct, concealed weapons charges, and violating probation.

Chiller Theatre Expo, Parsippany, NJ, 10/27/12 | © Rob DiCaterino / Flickr

Robert Frost

Although Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, England initially published the American poet for the first part of his career. His father was also a writer—William Prescott Frost Jr.—who edited the San Francisco Evening Bulletin newspaper. He was born in 1874 and moved to Massachusetts at the age of nine, which heavily inspired his literary work of rural New England lands.

Robert Frost | © U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Charles Martinet

The name may not sound familiar, but Charles Martinet’s voice certainly will. He was the original voice of Mario from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. video games. The voice actor was born in San Jose and lives there now. Mario isn’t the only character Martinet voices either. Working with the gaming franchise since 1990, Charles Martinet has also voiced fellow Super Mario characters Luigi, Baby Mario, Wario, Baby Luigi, Waluigi, and Toadsworth.

Charles Martinet | © Tim Bartel / Flickr / Derivative from original

Nicole Richie

Nicole was born and lived with her biological parents in Berkeley until she was three years old. When her parents, Peter Escovedo and Karen Moss, were unable to support their daughter financially, Nicole moved out of Berkeley after being adopted by soul music singer Lionel Richie.

Nicole Richie | © Eva Rinaldi / Flickr

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson most likely felt quite at home while filming San Francisco-based film San Andreas. The actor was born a half-hour away in Hayward. Regarded as one of the top professional wrestlers in history, Johnson first made a name for himself in the wrestling ring many years before his debut on the big screen.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson 2009 by David Shankbone | © David Shankbone / Flickr

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